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Issue #1736      June 22, 2016

Battle for hearts and minds

In the ongoing battle to win the hearts and minds of the working class, the Australian Council of Trade Unions through its national Build a Better Future campaign has been holding Meet and Greet sessions in key marginal seats around Australia.

For Western Australia the ACTU sent its National President Ged Kearney to talk to the working class faithful at the Kingsway Tavern in the key northern Perth mortgage belt seat of Cowan currently held by Liberal incumbent Luke Simpkin, and at the Gosnells Tavern in the new key southern Perth working class seat of Burt – which is nominally ALP.

Ged Kearney was introduced by Unions WA Secretary Meredith Hammat to the 50 strong crowd who turned up on a cold Tuesday night.

As part of the struggle to maintain and improve wages and conditions and protect jobs, workers need to ensure that the policies of the past two Liberal Prime Ministers of Abbott and Turnbull don’t stay. Under the federal Liberal government the workers of this country have suffered along with their communities.

“In a country as wealthy as Australia,” said Kearney, “we have so many unemployed and underemployed – many who are young people and are vulnerable as they try to leave their parents’ homes to climb onto the first rung of the ladder of life by securing sufficient employment to afford transport, a home and start a family.”

On the other side of the class divide the big business class has received tax cuts and promises of tax cuts, notwithstanding 580 medium to large corporations that paid no tax in the past year.

It was ironic noted Kearny that the Liberal Party’s federal election slogan, “Jobs and Growth” does not contain a “doing word” (verb) or in other words – there is no plan for action in achieving prosperity for all Australians – and not just the rich.

The corporations have also started their own campaign to promote tax cuts along the line of, “If we don’t have big business, we don’t have small business and small business employs lots of people”

For Kearney, corporate tax cuts and tax avoidance was not merely greed but theft! The avoidance of tax meant that corporations had services and infrastructure paid for by the taxes of the millions of working people.

While the slogan of the ACTU campaign is, “Put the Liberals Last” and by inference that meant putting the ALP first, Kearney was far more balanced and pragmatic about who workers should choose to give their first preference.

The Communist Party of Australia calls on workers and progressive minded people to put the Liberals last with their policies that seek to exploit and repress the lives of ordinary working class Australians and to put Greens and other left progressive forces as number one.

In the words of Vladimir Lenin, in the battle for political change required by the working class, parliamentary struggle is but one arena in which revolutionary action takes place. The struggle for political change must also take place in all aspects and areas of society from family life, to community life, cultural, artistic, sporting life and working life.

Next article – Theory and Practice – Socialism and human development today

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