Perplexed to read Richard Jones’ article ‘Now’s the time for those reforms’, when the opening sentence quotes: ‘Just over two weeks ago, we had a revolution, finally’. Really?
For most political progressives, it’s a long stretch to claim the election result was a ‘revolution’. Sure, it was a relief to be finally rid of a despicable, vile, and utterly horrid conservative government, but that does not mean that Labor, under a Labor Albanese government victory, heralded a ‘revolution’.
Richard makes some very solid and commendable points, and policy changes all worthy of doing by Labor, but abysmally fails to understand the realpolitik of Labor, when history has demonstrated Labor, especially in the era of neoliberalism has sided with capital and sold out the ordinary person.
Let’s not delude ourselves into believing it will be any different this time, when the economy and society are facing some unprecedented challenges – stagflation, rising cost of living, energy (poverty) crises, existential environmental crises, accelerating social/income inequalities, homelessness, poverty, lack of housing, rental unaffordability, just to name a few.
If nothing else, this election showed that most people are disillusioned and have lost confidence with the two major political parties. One third of voters voted for either so-called ‘Teal’ Independents, the Greens, or other fringe right wing parties.
One glaring omission in the article was no mention of the correlation between big business record high profits, and stagnating wage growth. Consider the rising cost of living and soaring energy costs, with the rate of wage theft, and exploitation that exists in today’s workforce? By all accounts there is a pattern emerging; the few (wealthy class) control, own, whilst the majority are feeling insecure – be it the increasing unaffordability of housing, rentals, cost of living, energy unaffordability and so on.
Industrial relations changes remain integral for rectifying this structural problem, otherwise inequalities will continue to fester.
One assumes Richard’s claim, that ‘globalisation is falling apart’, is referring to neoliberalism?
This is wishful thinking and illusory at best as, to date, the establishment institutions may be on the nose with many, and not serving their interests, but are well preserved by the status quo, and are at no risk of failing any time soon.
Another erroneous, and undemocratic call is that all Albanese and Labor need to do is halt the political campaign, when the political disconnect between ordinary people and politicians is at an all-time low and is precisely why there needs to be a concerted effort for a greater political engagement by ordinary people in the political process of decision making.
The political class have alienated themselves from ordinary people, and Labor has been a big player in this failing, as top-down political decision making continues to show.
Albanese is not the ‘Leftie’ he once was, he has become part of the political establishment, and understands well, to remain in power, Labor must play to the tune of those who hold and wield the real power in our contemporary world.
Labor, since the Hawke/Keating government, have shown that now they will comply with those who hold the real power in our system.