Public meeting: After the NSW Elections—How to fight AUKUS, War & Austerity!

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) is holding a public meeting following its New South Wales (NSW) state election campaign. It will be on Sunday, April 23 at 3 p.m. (AEST) at Bankstown Senior Citizens Hall, 7 West Terrace, Bankstown.  Tickets are $3 or $2 concession. Reserve your seat now!

[Photo: WSWS]

The outcome of the March 25th NSW elections confirms the warning issued by the SEP during our campaign that nothing would be resolved for ordinary people irrespective of who won the election. In fact, it underscores the SEP analysis that the result deepens the already profound crisis of the two-party system in Australia.

Far from the jubilation manufactured on election night that Labor had won a landslide and would rule as a majority government, NSW Labor governs in a minority capacity. Under conditions in which the Liberal Party recorded a 5-percentage point drop in their primary vote, Labor could not even secure a wafer-thin majority. It will likewise not control the upper house.

The outcome mirrors that of the federal election in May 2022, in which Labor scraped into office after recording its lowest primary vote since 1934, thanks to the implosion of the Liberal vote.

The results reflect the mass alienation of the population from the two main props of capitalist rule in Australia. They are correctly seen as being on a virtual unity ticket on all the essential issues facing the working class. This bipartisanship characterised the official NSW election campaign as Labor and Liberal marched in lockstep on every substantive issue.

However, anger at the major parties, while entirely justified, is not enough. What is needed is to build a new party of the working class, outside of the capitalist parliamentary system.

The Socialist Equality Party was the only party that told workers the truth in the election—that whichever party got into office, the program of big business and the banks would continue.

The SEP advanced a socialist alternative to the bipartisanship on display. While fighting for the largest possible vote, the SEP above all stood to build the revolutionary party of the working class, directed against capitalism.

Critical to this campaign was the fight to develop an international anti-war movement of students and workers. The election was being held while a major conflict was underway in Ukraine, which is nothing less than the opening shot to a third world war.

The SEP opposes Russia’s reactionary invasion of Ukraine but makes clear the war is above all driven by the US and its NATO allies. The purpose is to dismember Russia as part of Washington’s preparation for war against China, which it views as the chief threat to its global hegemony.

While absent from the official election campaign, the accelerated war drive against China was developing apace. The Albanese Labor government announced that new nuclear-powered submarines, via the AUKUS coalition, would be purchased to the tune of $368 billion as part of this US-led war drive.

There is an intimate link between the demands for massive military spending and calls for further cuts to social spending. Albanese has made clear the money for these subs will be found through the gutting of social services and increased productivity. The states and territories will be one of the key mechanisms for imposing these attacks.

Since coming to office, NSW Labor Premier Chris Minns has essentially confirmed that his government will do nothing to address the cost-of-living crisis. He has evaded any questions on the crippling 2.5 percent wage cap on public sector workers, which he promised to lift during the election campaign, yet has still given no details on what the new offer will be.

The Public Service Association (PSA) has let the cat out of the bag, saying Minns was asking for just 3.5 percent, only 1 percent more than the previous government and still less than half of last year’s official inflation rate of 7.8 percent. Minns has made clear that all negotiations would have “economic principles in mind.” The burden of war and billionaire profits will be placed on the backs of workers.

At the same time, Labor continues the “let it rip” COVID-19 policies of its predecessor. Labor previously collaborated closely with the hated Perrottet Liberal government to abolish all safety protocols to protect the population from COVID. This has caused thousands of deaths, disabled thousands of others and crippled the already overburdened hospitals.

To discuss these critical questions and the necessity for a new revolutionary party, the SEP will feature its candidates who ran in the elections. They are leading members of the party and will outline the global context within which the election occurred and present a socialist and internationalist program. Ample time will be provided for questions and discussion.

Reserve your seat today and if you cannot attend in person, register for the livestream here.

The SEP takes the pandemic seriously and aims to minimize risk of COVID transmission. We encourage all attendees to wear an N95 mask throughout the event to protect yourself and others.