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Labor's death agonies

By John Passant - posted Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Opinion polls come and go.

But the latest one, just three weeks before the election, should scare the hell out of what passes for the Labor Party brains trust. With 52 per cent of the vote on a two party preferred basis, the Conservative coalition would easily win the election.

There are two trends discernible. One is the short term one - the possible defeat of the Labor Government at this election.


The other is the long term move of the ALP from “the left” (broadly defined) to the right.

This long term trend finds expression in the similarity between the two major parties on most policies.

Where are the real differences between them on Afghanistan, refugees, climate change, the ABCC (Australian Building and Construction Commissioner), the gender pay gap, the Northern Territory invasion, the transfer of wealth from workers to capital, the lengthening of the working day, the slow privatisation of public services etc, etc …

I see little difference at all.

The structural changes within society and the increasing role of the managerial class of capitalism have reflected themselves in the ALP and its takeover by that sub-class both personnel wise and intellectually. Labor has become little more than the second eleven of capital.

This is played out through the agency of Julia Gillard.


Higher pensions. Can we afford it asks Gillard? Paid parental leave. Can we afford it asks Gillard? A $14 billion gift to the big miners in the form of a backdown on the Resource Super Profits Tax to shut them up. No questions from Gillard at all about the costs of that. We know clearly where her priorities and those of the party that brought her to power lie.

The long term left wing shift to the Greens is not an aberration but a consequence of the ALP’s abandonment of the pretence of leftism.

The decline of the Labor Party coincides with the long term stagnation of global profit rates and the capitulation of almost all of the trade union bureaucracy to the ideas and practice of class collaboration.

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First published in En Passant with John Passant on July 31, 2010.

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About the Author

John Passant is a Canberra writer ( and member of Socialist Alternative.

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