A lot of people woke up on Sunday after the election with a sore head. And not just from drowning their sorrows too determinedly the night before. The thought of Tony Abbott as prime minister is enough to make the soberest person’s head hurt.
What made it worse is that Abbott got in without a fight. It is no wonder that record numbers of people didn’t even bother voting, so uninspiring was the alternative: another three years of Labor.
On election night Labor politicians fell over themselves to admit that the ALP had made mistakes. Problem was, they all missed the point. “Disunity is death” they all said in unison. If only the party wasn’t so divided, so wracked by infighting, it could have won.
Of course if it wasn’t for the shambolic leadership wrangling, Labor might have polled better. But the reality is that infighting over the leadership was a symptom of Labor’s malaise, not its cause.
The core of the problem is that Labor stands for nothing. Nothing, that is, except a watered down version of the Liberal Party, short a few silver spoons and landed gents.
Year after year Labor moves further to the right. And every time it does, it brings more disasters upon itself.
With every new catastrophe there are some who hope: maybe now they will see sense. But they never do. And now, as Labor contemplates its latest debacle, the same people are coming up with the same answers that got them down this rabbit hole in the first place.
The seemingly agreed strategy coming out of this election from the Labor MPs is unite behind a new leader (any leader) and wait for the next election. Don’t reassess any policies, don’t look seriously about the deep crisis of Laborism that, having developed for the last 30 years, is now at its most acute point.
Labor has destroyed itself. But there is no point in the left sitting around moping. We need to organise resistance to the Liberals, and we need to start now.
Red Flag plans to play its role in the anti-Abbott resistance.
Over the past few months we are proud of what we have done with our new paper: reporting on struggles by workers across the country; taking up the defence of heroes like Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, who have dared to expose the truth about our rulers; and giving an unapologetically left wing take on all the issues and controversies of Australian politics.
The Abbott era will give us many more such challenges. When the corporate press inevitably covers up the Liberals’ lies, and makes excuses for Labor’s failure, we will be standing on the side of everyone whose rights Abbott attacks: championing resistance, building solidarity, and making the case for building a new socialist movement that can unite people in a fight against every injustice of the system.
We know we will have our work cut out. So if you share our contempt for the state of politics in Australia today, we need your support.
Take out a subscription to our paper to help us keep getting out an alternative to the corporate media. Better still, get involved in the struggle alongside us, and help build an alternative to the madness of our current system.