"John Howard is more than happy to welcome war criminal George Bush to Sydney in September, but he won't even give the time of day to struggling workers, such as Botany Cranes union delegate Barry Hemsworth, who is still on the grass more than 300 days after being unfairly sacked", Socialist Alliance activist Pip Hinman told Green Left Weekly.
Hinman is contesting the seat of Grayndler for the Socialist Alliance in the upcoming federal election. She is a leading activist in the Stop Bush Coalition (which is organising protests in Sydney during the September APEC summit) and was an organiser of the February 16, 2003, half-million-strong anti-war rally in Sydney.
"John Howard will stand shoulder to shoulder with Bush in promoting non-solutions to climate change when what we really need is a new 'Marshall plan'-style effort to radically reduce greenhouse emissions in this country as soon as possible. Where are the proposals for mandatory renewable energy targets and the doubling and tripling of public transport services?"
Jess Moore, the Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Cunningham, explained: "Socialist Alliance wants to build an alternative that puts health and education for all ahead of war and fossil fuel profits; an alternative that is tied to the interests of everyday people, not the corporate elite."
Moore, who was investigated by police late last year under PM John Howard's "anti-terror" laws, is active in the Wollongong Stop Bush committee and Students Against War. She was the 2006 president of the Wollongong Undergraduate Students Association.
"The Socialist Alliance stands for involving the community in decisions, not making backroom deals with the corporate elite", Moore told GLW. "That's why our platform reflects community need not corporate greed.
"Every Socialist Alliance candidate has pledged to take only the average worker's wage if elected, and to donate the rest back to campaigns for social justice and environmental solutions. If the other parties were serious about social justice they would so the same."
Both Moore and Hinman highlighted Labor's failure to offer a real alternative to the Howard agenda. "[Federal Labor leader] Kevin Rudd has been backsliding almost weekly since the ALP national conference", Hinman said. "Every time Rudd gives ground to Howard on industrial relations or the racist land grab in the Northern Territory, it makes a Howard victory more likely."
The Socialist Alliance will discuss its election campaign strategies at the NSW state conference on July 21 in Newcastle. Visit http://www.socialist-alliance.org for more information.