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The Forum > Article Comments > Critique of Labor and the Greens on 'policy compromise' > Comments

Critique of Labor and the Greens on 'policy compromise' : Comments

By Tristan Ewins, published 30/12/2015

Should the ALP Socialist Left work for co-operation with the Greens or should the ALP Socialist Left fight them tooth and nail?

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I should clarify, also, that while Labor's policy on corporate tax evasion was stronger than the compromise negotiated by the Greens that in no way detracts from that fact Shorten's announced policies are very modest - perhaps even cosmetic - and do not go far at all in responding to the Budget deficit - and even in generating 'fiscal room to move'... That is so we can extend social insurance (NDIS, National Aged Care Insurance), extending Medicare (dental, physio, optical, mental health); implementing Gonski; paying for public infrastructure; reforming welfare etc....
Posted by Tristan Ewins, Wednesday, 30 December 2015 1:30:05 PM
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Well I cant trust the Greens, they are bent in getting inner Sydney Seats. Their new leader is very different from Bob Brown. It is time Labor stands up and fights the people need protection from this very greedy NLP/Greens association. It has echoes of Italy before WW2.
Posted by Aurora, Wednesday, 30 December 2015 5:13:41 PM
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first things the socialist left should learn that violence is unacceptable in Auustralia while free speach is.
Posted by runner, Wednesday, 30 December 2015 5:18:18 PM
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Thanks Tristan. I think the issue is not what individuals can do but what the mass movement of workers, or refugee activists, or peace people etc can do. I think the problem then is that class struggle in Australia is at all time lows, and one reason for this is of course the Accord between a labor government and the trade union leadership and the class collaboration underpinning it.

In that sense it matters not to me if a person is in the Socialist Left or a socialist group like the one I am a member of, Solidarity. As ong as we can work together in building (or perhaps more correctly, trying to build) mas movements then all well and good.

However I think the idea that Labor is a party of progressive reform is flawed. Without real pressure from below - big, militant mass movements - and without a sufficient social surplus (think of Marx's ideas about the tendency of the rate of profit to fall) and the result is that Labor, a capitalist workers' party on the way to becoming a capitalist party whose role is to manage capitalism, will and is a party of neoliberalism and austerity.
Posted by Passy, Wednesday, 30 December 2015 6:04:00 PM
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Runner, The Left has never been violent, it did the last war defend the countries from Dictatorships and Nazism/fascism., in Australia we have a GVT bent on taking away basic rights in health, education ,the present PM has the same policies as the last PM.no more no less as they are all ultra right neoconservatives.The media is owned by the right, so the freedom of speech is not real as well!
The GVT has increased the deficit so that they can push their regressive policies on Australians. Australia is a rich country going the way of Argentina and others.Sad sad times!
Posted by Aurora, Wednesday, 30 December 2015 6:19:26 PM
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A nice roundup of Labor's predicament, Tristan, but it's very difficult to see any positives from Labor's point of view. Shorten and his party oppose whatever the government puts forward for the sake of it. This is born out by the instances you cite where the Greens are compromising on what should be Labor policies.
Not only is Labor being contrarian "as policy", it lacks viable policies of its own to offer to the people instead, since as you say neither austerity nor taxation seem to be options. As you suggest, the obvious move is a higher tax threshold, which need not affect the vast majority of voters, but Labor needs to announce such a move immediately, and be prepared to dig in and fight for it (eminently winnable). I consider this Labor's only slim chance of winning the election, though time is very short, and should Labor announce such a scheme I believe the LNP would go early. Imo a reformed, progressive Labor party could become a political force again in the current global environment, but it needs time to sell the idea to the people, so it's unlikely to begin with the next pole.
Sadly there seems little evidence Labor has such a move in mind; like the LNP they seem besotted with neoliberalism, albeit with more radical social policies (as if that matters a damn!). Or else popular (centrist) politics is all they know anymore.
Labor seems bent on political destruction, announcing pie in the sky policies with no funding measures on the horizon. They're giving it to LNP on a platter. I doubt they'll need the Greens!
Posted by Holmes, Wednesday, 30 December 2015 6:30:50 PM
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