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Sunday, September 08, 2013

Prime Minister Abbott Happens, A Time to Organise by John Tognolini

This a letter I wrote earlier this year to my union's journal, the NSW Teachers' Federation's Education, not all of it was published. It is not a time to mourn but to organise and fight.

Yes Abbott Happens is prime minister, he won the race to the bottom on a election based on fear and ignorance. And amongst his targets are not just refugees but also workers' rights and the concept of a society. Sheer greed and welfare to the rich are his goals. We going to have to fight him and his plans. And the union "leaders" who have been on the nod for the last six years while the ALP has been in power, can go to hell if they want to sidetrack any fight back to a re-elect the ALP in 2016.

“re-elect Labor Campaign”

I’m so glad Maurie Mulheron [senior officer] has stated that Federation does not have a “re-elect Labor Campaign”.Not only is it such a forlorn hope in both the federal election this September but also the next two NSW elections in 2015 and 2019. Will there be an ICAC investigation not involving a former ALP state minister by 2020? That’s a fair question to ask colleagues.

As someone who’s home town is Melbourne. I saw firsthand the attacks on the public service including public education that Jeff Kennett carried out. Not only has Kennett been a role model for O’Farrell but also Newman in Queensland. I was also a witness to the ALP in their ten years of government following Kennett’s defeat, not reinstating one of four thousand permanent teaching positions that Kennett abolished. The ALP also did not reopen any of the schools and hospitals that Kennett shut down.

Now that Gillard has called the date of the federal election I feel that I would like to quote Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet and say, ”A plague on both your houses”. The thing is I’d feel sorry for the poor plague. Some people won't wear any critical comments of the ALP. Sorry they stink. They are the Alternative Liberal Party and their whiffy. Yes Abbott will be prime minister. It’s not something to look forward to.

I couldn't watch the ABC's Q&A the other week. Tony Abbott’s attack poodle Chris Hinde was on it, our future education minister. Flick. And can I find any reason to like the ALP? Well apart from Eddie Obeid’s appearances before ICAC providing a consistent source of amusement about how greed is such a big factor in the ALP. No I just can’t. He and other former ALP state ministers remind me of something Groucho Marx once said "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them…well, I have others." Old Groucho was only joking about it, the ALP do it for real.

I believe we should build on last year’s Community Day of Action with building May Day 2013 with a Defeat O'Farrell's Cuts theme or a Fight Back Theme. This is actually taking place in Orange and is a useful project for the Local Union Community Groups to work towards. These groups could build May Day within their unions and help get their members to May Day events across the state.

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