The Guardian • Issue #2013


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2013

The federal Treasurer delivered an address to Treasury staff last week, informing them that the government would oppose wage claims and use available legislation to attack campaign actions by unions. Here’s how Jim Chalmers put it: “We’ve got to make sure that the labour market can deliver rising incomes in a sustainable way over a long period.” But, of course, any wage rise will need to be fair, a word we will hear quite a bit in the coming months, “fair” being a term the Labor Party fills with hot air and floats over the raging sea of class contradictions whenever they’re about to stick it to working people. On this Fair Planet, capitalists don’t run the show. Instead, there is the verticality of wealth and horizontality of democracy. In this benign geometry, the polity bows to the general electorate and the vote of the millionaire counts for no more than that of the beggar.

A federal budget will be handed down on the 25th October, and a new “spending audit branch” has been set up in the Finance Department to identify the choicest cuts to deliver budget “savings,” or as prime minister Anthony Albanese put it, “really put the breaks” on spending. Two predictions: High on the list of the most vulnerable to be targeted, the NDIS will be contracted out and privatised, with the remainder disposed of all together; welfare and family payments will be cut.

As the Prime Minister capered off to the NATO war room in Madrid with whatever his particular brand of cringing servility is, the crossbench Senators, who had their staffing allocation cut to a quarter of the previous parliament’s, were planning some mayhem. The staffing cuts will make holding the government to account near impossible. Crossbench tactics include disrupting Senate procedures and the legislative agenda of the government. The first question to ask is, what does the government want to hide? Albanese will receive his instructions from the coalition of the killing: tyranny thrives behind a veil of secrecy.

PARASITE OF THE WEEK: The US Supreme Court’s roll-back of Roe v Wade is a blow against women’s rights to choose in terminating a pregnancy and people’s rights more broadly. The following is an extract from a statement in People’s World, paper of the CPUSA. “Today we mourn this horrific setback. Tomorrow and beyond, we organise. Everywhere – in our communities, unions, schools, places of worship, and workplaces. We must help build a backlash against the Right, one in the same spirit as the women who rebelled after Trump’s election and helped take the House of Representatives away from the Republican Party in 2018; the millions who marched for Black Lives after the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others; and the teachers, auto workers, and nurses who went on strike these past four years. As big as these movements were, the current situation demands a much larger movement, one that’s more inclusive, broader, more militant. Civil disobedience is in order.”

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