The Socialist Equality Party is holding the first public meeting in its Broadmeadows by-election campaign this Wednesday, at 7 p.m.
The SEP’s candidate, Peter Byrne, together with World Socialist Web Site correspondent Patrick O’Connor, will outline the socialist program required by the working class to fight the assault taking place on living standards, jobs and democratic rights, the threat of environmental disaster and the growing danger of militarism and war.
The by-election is taking place as the world economy enters its deepest crisis since the 1930s. Bitter rivalries between the major capitalist powers for geo-strategic influence and control of economic resources—fuelled by the intractable decline of US capitalism and the rise of China and other powers—now wrack every part of the world, while the ruling elite escalates its attacks on workers’ jobs, wages and conditions. Struggles by workers against these measures have already erupted in Greece, France, Spain and the UK, and in Tunisia and Egypt, heralding a new period of revolutionary upheaval.
The same processes are underway in Australia. Working class communities in areas such as Broadmeadows already suffer devastating rates of unemployment, poverty and social distress. But behind the backs of the population, governments at both the federal and state level are preparing even greater cuts to public spending and social services, at the behest of the banks and the corporate elite. At the same time, democratic rights are being eroded. The fraud of parliamentary democracy, and the thoroughly worm-eaten character of the Labor Party, were revealed last year in the coup that ousted elected prime minister, Kevin Rudd. Political decisions are made, not on the basis of elections and the “will” of the “people,” but in corporate boardrooms to further the interests of a tiny wealthy elite. The Labor Party’s utter contempt for working people has been demonstrated yet again in its installation of Frank McGuire, a millionaire property developer, who is not even a member of the party, as its candidate by fiat, following former premier John Brumby’s sudden resignation.
The working class requires a new socialist and internationalist perspective to advance its interests. The SEP’s meeting will discuss the need for a conscious political break with the Labor Party and its accomplices—including the Greens, the trade unions and the various middle-class pseudo-left organisations—and for the development of an independent political movement aimed at the complete reorganisation of society to meet the needs of the majority, not the profits of the wealthy few.
We urge all WSWS readers and SEP supporters in Victoria to attend.
Wednesday, February 2, 7 p.m.
Visy Cares Learning Centre
3-13 Hudson Circuit
Authorised by Nick Beams, 113/55 Flemington Rd, North Melbourne 3051.