Socialist Alliance

Andres Garin died in Wollongong in December, aged 77. Andres was a founding member of Socialist Alliance as well as an activist with the Democratic Socialist Party and its predecessor, the Socialist Workers Party, for whom he ran as a senate candidate in the 1983 federal election. Andres was a comrade of great integrity and political conviction. He was always a fighter for justice and a better world against capitalist oppression and exploitation here in Australia and internationally, particularly in the struggles in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Most people think that democracy and elections are pretty much the same thing. The truth is that any meaningful push for genuine democracy would require a lot more than just electoral reform. The change of prime minister from Tony Abbott to Malcolm Turnbull shows that a change of leader means very little in terms of actual policy change. And this is not because the policies they push are popular. We need a change of government: not just a change from the Liberals to Labor, but a change from corporate power to people power.
Former police prosecutor Peter Murrihy is the new councillor for the Kildare ward after winning the recent by-election in the Greater Geelong Council. Murrihy defeated 10 other candidates to win the safe Liberal ward with 27.41% of the primary vote. Although Murrihy said he was politically unaffiliated, he received preferences from Liberal Party member Trent Sullivan. Much was made in the local media of the fact that Murrihy put forward no political promises or commitments during his campaign.
There is a growing chorus of people and groups calling on Malcolm Turnbull to recall and recycle the Radicalisation Awareness Kit that claims environmentalism is a pathway to violent extremism. The Greens have called for it to be withdrawn from circulation immediately and consigned to the recycling bin. Greens Leader Richard Di Natale said: “This booklet is so tainted by Tony Abbott’s politics of fear it should be shredded. Malcolm Turnbull has got to assert his leadership and declare Abbott’s culture wars are over.
The Australian Labor Party’s (ALP) new higher education policy, announced on September 21, risks being indistinguishable from that of the Coalition under Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. That is because the new Prime Minister has signalled a departure from the bully-boy antics of former education minister Christopher Pyne, who had threatened to introduce his doomed education cuts a third time to the Senate this spring.
About 500 people attended Geelong’s first marriage equality rally on September 19. It was largely a young crowd with the visible presence of the local Socialist Alliance branch, the Greens, local Deakin University students, and the Geelong Adolescent Sexuality Project, a local support service for LGBTI youth.
In breaking news, it seems that the Labor Party left cannot agree to oppose a “turn back the boats” policy. So there seems to be no chance that the upcoming national Labor Party Conference in Melbourne on July 24 to 26 will consider opposing the Coalition policy of turning boats back that are attempting to reach this country, so the passengers can claim asylum, a human right.

So Tony Abbott is the new prime minister. The Rudd-Gillard-Rudd Labor governments delivered this outcome with the narrow self-interest of its MPs and mafia-like faction heads and its desperation to prove itself as the best managers of the system for the billionaire class.

The Melbourne media have ignored the raised vote for socialists in the October 27 local government elections. The Socialist Party’s sitting councillor Steve Jolly increased his vote from 29.2% in 2008 to 34.24% in the inner-city City of Yarra council. In other wards of Yarra Council, the Socialist Party increased its vote but did not retain its other sitting councilor, Anthony Main. Since Jolly was elected, his vote has continued to rise. This is because he and the Socialist Party have used the council position to build campaigns in the local area.
“Capitalism wrecks everything,” Liam Flenady, Socialist Alliance candidate for South Brisbane in the March 24 Queensland election, told a meet-the-cadidates forum sponsored by Green Left Weekly on March 6. "The neoliberal agenda of the past three decades means privatising profits, and socialising losses. Queensland and Australia are in the midst of a political crisis right now. "People have generally lost confidence in the major parties and their support for the status quo. But they don't yet have a firm belief in a viable alternative project.

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