Forum: mining companies’ rip-off continues


"The recent campaign by the big mining companies, which brought down PM Kevin Rudd, shows the enormous power of these giant monopolies in our capitalist society”, Socialist Alliance activist Marg Gleeson told a public forum, sponsored by the SA on July 6.

"This two-month campaign of lies and distortions by the mining barons was victorious. It underlines exactly who holds the levers of power in our 'democratic' country."

Gleeson outlined the background to the battle over the mining super-profits tax, with the release of the Henry tax review in early May, and the ensuing campaign by the mining giants, particularly Rio Tinto, BHP-Billiton and Xstrata, to prevent a tax increase on their resources rip-off.

Rudd’s resulting fall, and his replacement by Julia Gillard, was a pre-emptive strike by the right-wing powerbrokers in the ALP to head off possible defeat in the upcoming federal elections.

Gleeson noted the comments by mainstream media analysts on the severity of Labor’s back-down, and their conclusions that the ALP was moving even further to the right under pressure from the ruling class. She welcomed the Greens' positive response on the mining tax and asylum seekers.

SA member Jim McIlroy stressed that the struggle over the mining tax was an escalation in the class struggle in Australia. "It represented an exercise of raw class power by the mining companies and their allies in the mainstream media. The two major parties are plunging even further to the right, which opens up a big space to the left of politics.

"The Greens will be the major beneficiary of this vacuum to the left, but we need to work hard in the Socialist Alliance to put forward our distinctive view that capitalism is the source of the crisis, and that socialism is the only realistic solution.

“The Socialist Alliance needs to campaign hard to present the socialist project as a genuine alternative to the Australian people in the coming election.”

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