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The Forum > Article Comments > Labor and the Australian oligarchy > Comments

Labor and the Australian oligarchy : Comments

By Tim Anderson, published 9/2/2007

The key to Laborís electoral success is to accommodate the Australian oligarchy - the corporate heavies.

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This is a reactionary list of whos who. Of course we live in a corporate world,and deals will be done. What gets me though is that word OLIGARCHY,and i thought i knew English.
Posted by DerekorDirk, Friday, 9 February 2007 9:28:04 AM
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A valuable and timely article Tim.

- just got back from the Age online poll, where the figures are 88 to 12 percent against trusting the Federal Government with water management.

It would seem that you are not an island.

It is almost certain that the bloodsuckers are after privatising our water, so relentless is their search for a free lunch. This one will have to carefully watched.
Posted by Chris Shaw, Carisbrook 3464, Friday, 9 February 2007 11:27:38 AM
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I think the author is assuming that it is the amount of money a political party has which determines who will form a government. While I concede that is generally true it is not always the case.

So what would a government not beholden to business do ? I would say pretty much like any other government in a capitalist state would do.

For example, if Rudd rips up WorkChoices business will be disappointed but knows the more collectivised system Rudd would propose would have minimal impact on profits and would likely be balanced (or outweighed) by other business friendly policies like higher R&D, better infrasatructure spending, more investment in education etc .

After all our political alternatives are inevitably limited by the prevailing mode of production - the job for our politicians is to manage this system, not create a new one. That is a job for wistful revolutionaries and the "new Left" caudillos in Latin America.
Posted by westernred, Friday, 9 February 2007 1:49:01 PM
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Politics is an oligarchy. The major parties block independents by making it hard to enter their turf. It's World Championship Wrestling. Look at Whitlam and Fraser, best of friends.

"Australian banks and mining companies have become tightly cross-linked."

The big power is with control of nominee and superannuation companies, generally own by Banks. At a Westpac AGM c. 1992, the small holders put a motion of no confidencein the Board, only to be squashed by the AMP Society with its massive proxy vote. [AMP had a common director with Westpace at the time.]

Moreover, had the Westpac Board been following its own Credit Policy and Risk Assessment guidelines, it is hard to see how it would not have avoided the mess in which it found itself, with Western Australian entrepreurs and the like.

Being on the Westpac Board was [is?] a win-win situation. Do a good job [the old Board didn't] and reap the benefit. Do a bad job and be pushed out, and receive a huge payout: cashed up, buy-in low, and ride the "J" curve share price, when the toe-cutters sack staff and cut back on expenditure.

[An unfortunate aside to Westpac's 1992 trough was the fools broke-up and sold-off two excellent historically significiant in-house libraries, to pay its bills.]

[I recall, at the time of the AGM complaining, the Westpac Chairman about having to run an eight hour meeting. Poor lamb. Having to work a full day. It's tough at the top. Maybe, he deserves another knighthood.]
Posted by Oliver, Friday, 9 February 2007 2:47:28 PM
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'while Fairfax is dominated by Liberal Party hacks';

Come on, give me a break. Seriously, you must me way left of centre to see Fairfax, ie The Age, in that light.

It is an interesting subject. The problem as I see it, is that we have a too small a political, executive and media class in this country.

The main problem with all western democracies now is the separation between government and business.

Business and Government means only one thing, business investing in government and in return for their investment, they desire a return on investment$$$$. Often by way of corrupting the free market - regulation, monopoly deals etc
Posted by password123, Saturday, 10 February 2007 8:02:15 AM
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If there is an oligarchy, it can only be that the people have abducated thier sovereignty through apathy.

Then it seems, the only true solution is too increase political involvement by the masses. How to do it? That is the real question.
Posted by StewartGlass, Saturday, 10 February 2007 12:59:20 PM
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