By Situation Theatre 28/8/2018
Way better than the time he rebadged himself Leader of the Liberal Party.
For too long there hasn’t been much of a choice for Labor voters. They could vote for the party whose leader promised to stop the boats, advocated boat turnbacks, killed the momentum of #LetThemStay, hobnobbed at exclusive, expensive fundraisers for business leaders, accepted political donations from fossil fuel companies, supported new coal mines and backed rafts of legislation transforming Australia into a police state, or they could vote for the Liberals.
Well, true believers, suffer no longer. The Labor leadership has finally realised that a foundation of bedding down with business, bipartisan cruelty to refugees, copycat violations of civil liberties, and excruciating contortions on Adani, might not be the inspiring social vision Australians crave. They’ve started to think that maybe there’s a reason 68% of Australians think Labor will do anything to win votes, beyond their leader’s embarrassing attempts at dabbing.
Thanks to his penchant for taking orders from internal party polling and focus groups, the Opposition Leader has, thank Christ, awakened to the broad appeal of socialism. It turns out that if you develop policy in the interests of workers, they’ll take an interest in you.
And so, the General Secretary of the Socialist Workers Party has announced a sweeping policy vision to urgently transform Australia into a truly progressive social democracy. Mr Shorten stressed that should he become Prime Minister he would hold democratic assemblies throughout the country to debate where on the socialist spectrum Australians would like to ultimately settle, from Scandinavian style social democracy to socialism all the way along to communism.
For now, Secretary Shorten has pledged a ban on political donations and fossil fuel subsidies, a progressive carbon tax, resource and financial transaction taxes, a massive increase to corporate and high income tax rates, reduced military spending in conjunction with de-funding private schools and properly funding public schools, free university education, free childcare, and radical housing affordability measures, including a plan to eradicate homelessness. He has also promised to fly all inmates on Nauru and Manus to Australia on his first day in office and outlined a rapid rise in the refugee intake and foreign aid budget.
Other initiatives include a rollback of all police state measures enacted by both major parties in recent decades as well as enormous investments in public infrastructure, high speed rail, welfare, and low-carbon fields like healthcare, the arts, and social work as well as significant no strings attached public interest media funding for organisations like the ABC and New Matilda.
In quite a long policy document, further measures include the localisation of agriculture based on ecological principles, a ban on new fossil fuel projects and a rapid transition to 100% renewables with the democratisation and decentralisation of the energy grid, a ten-fold increase in funding for women’s organisations, as well as treaty, sovereignty and land rights for Indigenous Australians.
Not everyone agrees with the new direction for the party. Lefty champion Anthony Albanese has grave concerns it will upset the party’s constituents in big business and instead offered his own inspiring vision for the party’s future.
“Have I told you about negative gearing?”
He followed this up with a tried and tested rhetorical formula.
“It’s time for bipartisanship, a close relationship with business, and stopping those god damn boats.”