Socialist Alliance challenges pro-business Labor


"Ain't that the truth", said the Socialist Alliance's lead upper house candidate in next March's NSW state election, Susan Price. "And it sums up why we're running against them."

Price was referring to the October 11 comment by investment banker and former NSW Labor premier Bob Carr that, "I ran a pro-business government and the Iemma government is pro-business".

"We always used to be told that the Labor Party was set up to represent the workers, but any pretense that this is still the case is hard to sustain", added Price, who is also the president of the National Tertiary Education Union at the University of NSW campus.

"The number one issue of concern for workers today is the federal government's attacks on workers' rights through the 'Work Choices' legislation", Price told Green Left Weekly. "We have decided to make this issue a major focus of our campaign because, although the ALP talks as if it is very concerned about the attacks, the state Labor governments are actually complicit in allowing John Howard's agenda on this and other issues to be implemented."

"Why can't the state governments make a pledge now not to award any contracts to companies that offer individual contracts, for instance?"

Price was selected as one of four upper house candidates at the Socialist Alliance's NSW state conference on October 7. Others on the ticket are Aboriginal rap artist Jakalene X-treme, human rights and anti-war activist Raul Bassi and National Union of Students female queer officer and same-sex marriage rights campaigner Rachel Evans.

The focus of the conference was the NSW state election campaign, although participants were aware that the Alliance is gearing up for three elections — state, local and federal — in NSW next year. The conference began with a report about the political situation facing working people, followed by a thorough discussion about the election campaign.

A highlight of the conference was the impassioned pledge of support for the Socialist Alliance made by Jakalene X-treme. "I have been watching you guys for several years", she said, explaining that she decided to join the Alliance because of its members genuine and passionate support for social justice.

[For more information about the Socialist Alliance's NSW election campaign, visit . Alex Bainbridge is a NSW co-convener of the Socialist Alliance.]