In Sydney’s largest ever protest, hundreds of thousands of workers took to the streets in May 1932 to denounce the coup by the state governor, Sir Philip Game, that overthrew Jack Lang’s Labor government.
One of the prevailing myths about Gough Whitlam is that he was a forthright opponent of the Vietnam War and that it was his Labor government that withdrew Australian troops from Vietnam. The reality is very different.
Despite a frenzied media barrage by the Murdoch press against “Dictator Dan”, Labor had a decisive victory in the Victorian election. Murdoch’s Herald Sun flirted with the politics of the far-right, anti-vax, conspiracy theory nutjobs to attack Premier Daniel Andrews, and the Liberal Party was happy to follow along.
The major employer associations are up in arms about the Albanese government’s proposed new industrial relations laws because they supposedly entrench greater union power. But despite the bosses’ outrage, Labor’s changes will do nothing to boost the wages of the overwhelming majority of workers.
The drums of war are beating faster. The media rhetoric increasingly emphasises the urgency of boosting Australia’s military strength, strengthening ties with the US and shoring up regional alliances in order to stand up to a rising China.
From its formation in the 1890s, the ALP has consistently sought to mediate the ongoing struggle between capitalists and workers. Labor leaders have striven to confine class conflict within limits that are compatible with the long-term stability and profitability of the capitalist system.