Who are the Victorian Socialists?

February 6, 2018
Sue Bolton, who is part of the Victorian Socialists ticket for the Victorian election.

Our political system is broken. The Liberals rule for their corporate mates. Labor is little better, tailing the political right and selling out its working class supporters to big money and developers.

It’s time for a genuine left alternative.

In the November 2018 state election, left wingers are uniting as the Victorian Socialists to get Yarra councillor Stephen Jolly elected to the upper house for the Northern Metropolitan Region.

We are for the poor against the rich, for workers against their bosses, for the powerless against the powerful.

The Victorian Socialists brings together socialist groups including Socialist Alternative and the Socialist Alliance, and individual activists, unionists and community organisers.

While Stephen Jolly will head the campaign, the ticket will also include Colleen Bolger from Socialist Alternative, and Socialist Alliance Moreland councillor Sue Bolton.

Stephen has been a socialist campaigner in Melbourne for more than 25 years. He has been elected to the Yarra Council in each of the last four contests because of his tireless campaigning for public housing tenants and on countless local issues.

Sue, a two-term councillor in Moreland, stands up for affordable housing, the rights of homeless people and more open space and parkland for local residents, and is campaigning for a clan-based treaty.

Colleen has been an activist for nearly two decades, fighting for public education, for refugee and migrant rights and against corporate greed.

The Victorian Socialists are here to fight for workers’ rights. But we don’t think, as Labor mostly does, that standing up for workers means going along with all the reactionary garbage that the Herald Sun and the rest of the media try to pass off as working class common sense.

The working class is Muslim, Christian and atheist. It is black and white. It is gay and straight. It is the barista, the delivery driver, the factory hand, the social worker, the nurse, the call centre operator, the teacher and the unemployed.

We have common interests.

The real enemy of workers in Melbourne isn’t refugees, African migrants or “political correctness gone mad”. It’s anti-union laws and the driving down of wages. It’s the refusal of governments to properly fund health and education. It’s the giving of land to developers who don’t have to provide decent amenities.

It’s the lack of infrastructure and decent public transport. It’s the sell-off of public housing. It’s the privatisation of services – such as electricity – which has busted household budgets. It’s housing market speculation, which has made Melbourne one of the most expensive cities in the world in which to get a home.

We need a socialist in parliament to fight for a better deal. This year in Victoria we have a chance to put one there.

If elected, Stephen Jolly will campaign to:

Fix the housing crisis by building 50,000 new public houses over five years, putting a cap on rents and closing tax loopholes for wealthy investors.

Improve public transport by reversing privatisation, creating a cross-town bus network, increasing the frequency of northern line trains — every 10 minutes, all day — and expanding the no fare zone.

Make electricity affordable again by putting the network back into public hands and stopping the private sector ripping off consumers, transitioning to a 100% renewable supply, and expanding home-based solar and battery storage to reduce bills and take pressure off the grid.

Get jobs in the north Melbourne’s north-west has the second highest unemployment rate in the state — 7.8%. The rich don’t care about living standards in the outer suburbs, and for too long Labor has taken us for granted — we need to move government departments here and create decent paying jobs.

Stop the attempts to divide us Politicians and the rich get away with neglecting working class living standards by shifting the focus away from their own failures. They try to turns us against each other — against Muslims, against Blacks, against gay people. There is always a new target. Victorian Socialists know that we are stronger together. We will always stand against racism and bigotry of all kinds.

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