Monday, April 28, 2014

Corporate message to politicians: toe the line

by Louisa L.

The sudden departure of NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell smells rotten. Despite savage cuts to the public service, O'Farrell represented the softer face of the Coalition's service to capitalism.

He goes, and suddenly Sinodinos's memory loss about big sums of money disappears from the front pages.

In capitalist terms, O'Farrell was hardly corrupt. Politicians regularly sup with their overlords and drink the best wine. It's highly unlikely, but perhaps he did forget the Grange. But why would such a trivial bribe even surface at ICAC?

Never get between corporations and buckets of money

The late CPA (M-L) Vice Chairperson and ex Victorian Wharfies' Union Secretary, Ted Bull, said, "I never took anything from the bosses, not a lunch not a drink. I was always polite, but I didn't want to owe them anything."

Perhaps keeping the "thank you" note gave an apparently corrupt wheeler and dealer a bargaining chip. But in this case neither the Grange nor the likely lie is the key.

Never get between corporations and buckets of money. Plunderers like Rupert Murdoch are up to their necks in the lucrative education industry, and O'Farrell was the first to sign up for Gonski after a huge campaign in NSW led by teachers and their union.

The capitalist class no longer want the masses in a largely de-industrialised Australia to be well educated, and they want control over - and profit from - education. They're happy for public education to be starved of funds. Government-subsidised for-profit schools are springing up around the world. Just days before O'Farrell drank his vintage hemlock and resigned, Federal Government touts announced they wanted to fund for-profit universities

Gonski is the main game

Gonski's needs-based funding has wide public support, and because Abbott and Pyne lose ground each time they directly attack it, they use diversions.

As well as vocally supporting Gonski, O'Farrell didn't reign in his Education Minister Adrian Piccoli who scoffed at Pyne's lauding of Independent Public Schools (IPSs) as lacking any evidence base, or his Board of Studies head Tom Alegounarias who's defended the National Curriculum from Pyne's other diversion, the relaunch of the history wars.

Post election, Gonski was the main game. To guarantee it, the support base has to be mobilised. Tens of thousands need to be active, a big ask in an increasingly casualised environment, where TAFEs and pre-schools are also under savage attack.

Hidden message?

Murdoch's Daily Telegraph gave O'Farrell a clear message to toe the line last September. A colony of endangered grey-headed flying foxes was delaying the construction of the Pacific Highway. Like the Tele, Barry was already opposing the delays. Yet, with added bat wings, he was ridiculed in a 'photograph', reminiscent of the doctored rat images that featured in the Tele's unrelenting campaign against Peter Slipper. Immediately O'Farrell jumped again to condemn 'green tape'.

So why was he attacked? The Tele would isolate itself by attacking him on Gonski, so it chose another pretext. Many union activists have experienced this, being sacked because their work 'isn't up to scratch', when their activism is the real problem.

Perhaps O'Farrell envisaged more attacks if he didn't resign. Of course the Tele can cry crocodile tears and put the boot into the once lauded ICAC. O'Farrell was expendable. Baird will be more reliable and more savage in his cuts.

The ruling class wants total subservience from its managers, and reckons it has enough strength to use the hardest, fastest method for everything. The only protection is the mobilised masses.

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree with this analysis. O'Farrell, while no great friend of the worker, wasn't subservient to his LNP masters and was stabbed in the back. Baird, as a good friend of Abbott, will carry out his masters' wishes with little or no resistance. It says a lot about the capitalist press that this take on the circumstances surrounding the resignation of O'Farrell has barely surfaced.