Direct Action fund appeal: The big end of town
By Jon Lamb
Without a doubt, the biggest winners of the 2010 federal election will be the huge corporations that run Australia. Never mind Parliament House in Canberra and the sham of democracy on offer there — the real decisions about how this country is run are determined in the company boardrooms and the private clubs of the multi-millionaire owners of the nation’s big banking, mining and other corporations.
Of course the “big end of town” has never really had to seriously worry about elections in Australia. Mostly we have a choice between one pro-capitalist party or another running the show, each with a raft of policies that are little more than dressed-up lies and cons to buy the submission of working people to the profits-before-people capitalist system.
Take the pathetic debate over supposed solutions to the global climate change crisis. Neither the ALP nor the Liberal-National Coalition has any serious proposals to meet the challenge of immediately reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. Another round of “community consultation” for a carbon-pollution permit trading scheme via a “150-person Citizens” Assembly (a la PM Julia Gillard) or an expanded green corps (a la wannabe PM Tony Abbott) are the key “solutions” on offer. What a choice! No wonder there is renewed interest in the Australian Greens, socialists and other pro-environment candidates.
Both the major parties are fundamentally incapable of dealing with the environmental crisis. Both fully support the expansion of the deadly fossil fuel industry. Coal exports are set to rapidly increase over the next decade. Just from Queensland alone, coal exports are expected to rise from 170 million tonnes in 2009-10 to 380 million tonnes by 2020. All of it is destined to highly polluting heavy industry and power generation, mostly to the growing economies of India and China.
Little wonder then, that the biggest donations that the ALP and Coalition parties receive come from the huge mining corporations, bankers, financiers and speculators that benefit from the senseless destruction of the environment. In 2008-09, these two parties received a whopping $86.5 million between them. The biggest individual political donor that year was billionaire mining magnate Clive Palmer who donated $850,000. We can expect more open-handed, legalised bribery and influence this year round.
Unlike the political forces that these pro-capitalist parties represent, Direct Action is a newspaper with political views and beliefs at the polar opposite. We are for socialism of the 21st century, because ultimately this is the only guarantee for a sustainable and democratic future. We don’t have any super-wealthy benefactors looking out for us. But with your help we can continue to campaign and strive towards a better world for all. Please consider making a donation to the Direct Action fund appeal and help us reach our $35,000 target by the end of this year. So far we have raised $18 142 thanks to our supporters. You can make a donation by visiting “Donate” at www.directaction.org.au or sending a cheque or money order to Direct Action, Suite 72, 65 Myrtle Street Chippendale, NSW 2008.