(AA) Anarchist Age Weekly Review

esperanto (lingvoj@lds.co.uk)
Wed, 10 Apr 1996 20:06:50 +0200

EXTRACTS 07/04/96
Vic 3052

Tel (03) 9828-4371

scanned article

It's strange how people flock to the polls
every time an election is called. They
seem to fall over themselves in their rush
to give politicians blank cheques to do as
they please. The recent Federal election
and last Saturday's Victorian State
election highlights the fact that most
Australians are wiling to allow a few
representatives to make the important
decisions for them.

Elections highlight the limitations of
representative ,democracy. Only a fool
would give a blank cheque to somebody
they didn't trust. Electors seem to be
happy to give power to representatives
over and over again. Parliamentary
democracy has lit@le if anything to do
with democracy. Last weekends
Victorian State election highlights the
utter futility of participating in the
parliamentary farce. Although over 45%
of Victorian electors did not vote for the
Liberal/National Party nearly 2/3rd of the
parliamentary seats were won by the

Irrespective of the margin someone wins
a parliamentary election by the victor is
able to make decisions for those who
voted for them and those who didn't for
the next three to four years.
Parliamentary democracy is not only an
insult to people's intelligence, it really has
little or anything to do with democracy.
Anarchists have consistently rejected
parliamentary rule because giving
representatives unlimited power to do
what they like is one sure way of courting

As anarchists we have consistently said
that the people who are affected by a
decision should make the decision. Once
a decision is made local assemblies
appoint or elect recallable delegates to co-
ordinate decisions which affect a number
of regions. These delegates have fixed
mandates if they are not able to co-
ordinate with other delegates from other
regions they will attempt to @lnd a
compromise decision. Once a
compromise decision is reached delegates
return to their local assemblies to ratify
the compromise decision. Delegates are
not able to make decisions on behalf of
the assemblies they represent. Only the
local assembly can make such a decision.

If you compare direct democratic decision
making processes with parliamentary
democracy you can see that no one
political group could dominate society or
make decisions on behalf of people. Both
@he recent Federal election and last
@aturday's Victorian State election
ighlights the utter stupidity of
parliamentary rule. A society based on
lirect democratic principles allows people
@o participate in all the decision making
processes. A society based on
arliamentary principles gives power to a
mall elite who have the authority to
@ake a whole range of decisions for
verybody for the next three to four years.
@ot everybody who votes for a particular
?olitical party agrees with all the policies
@f a particular party. Unfortunately if you
=A1lote for a particular party you are forced
-@ give that particular group a mandate for
111 their policies. No wonder more and
nore Australians are questioning the very
=B7ole of l@arliament in Australian society.

Looking at all the glum faces you'd think
that the Liberal/National Party had won
the Federal election and the Kennett
regime had been swept back into office.
Well they have, but the reality is that it
makes very little difference who is in
power if people are willing to stand up to
the government of the day. Now that
both elections are over, working people
and students in this country can take the
struggle up to the government.

Now that @e accord is nothing more than
a bad memory and the coalition is in
power at both a Federal and State level,
people have nothing to lose if they
confront the government. The death of
the accord has allowed the brakes to be
taken off the militant tradition that has
won students, workers ancl social security
beneficiaries so many reforms in the pas@
People can no longer rely on governments
to provide the necessities of life. They
cannot rely on employers providing them
with a fair share of the cake and they can't
rely on the State picking up the @b if they
are no longer productive.

The sweeping away of the Labor Party
from office has cleared the deck for
militant action against employers and the
government. People need to strike while
the iron is hot. As the Federal
government prepares to alter industrial
laws to strengthen power of employers
and the State, workers need to embark on
a campaign of direct action. Strikes
occupations, picket lines and protests are
tactics that can and should be utilised as
soon as possible to put employers and the
State on the back foot.

A lost generation of students and workers
has no experience of militant action.
They need to be shown that the only way
the are going to get their fair share of the
cake is through mili@nt action. Unless
workers and students are willing to seize
the initiative over the next few months,
the government will maintain its current
winning streak. People need to put the
government and employers on notice that
they will embark on a course of militant
action unless their demands are met. The
electoral broom that has swept the Labor
Party from office is a blessing in disguise.
Workers and students will soon realise
that the way forward is via working
outside "the right channels". Having
Labor in office is more of a hindrance
than a help. While Labor is in office
workers and students are loathe to employ
direct action tactics because they believe
that reforms will come via the
government. The removal of the Labor
Party from the Federal sphere and the
return of the Kennett regime in Victoria
can and should provide the necessary
impetus for direct confrontation with the
State. People should no longer harbour
the illusion that things come to those who
Social, cultural and political changes have
all contributed to the change in
governments Australians are
experiencing. Whether these
governments are able to whittle away
what little gains Australians now have,
depends to a large degree on the reaction
of Australian students, social security
beneficiaries and workers. If people
decide to wait and see what the
government does the chances are that they
will be able to push through their
proposed changes. If people actively
resist changes, the chances are that the
Liberal/National Party coalition both at a
Federal and State level will be stopped
dead in their tracks.

You heard it from the mouth of Bernie
Fraser, the current head of the Australian
Reserve Bank. If in 1996 workers make
and win pay claims of over 5% the
Reserve Bank will be forced to lift
interest rates. As workers throw off the
shackles of the accord and come out
fighting to gain a fairer share of the cake,
the Reserve Bank is threatening to put a
ball and chain on workers if they dare to
ch@llenge the bosses right to @ake
extraordinary profits.

All through the eighties and the first half
of the_nineties@ workers hav=E7 waited for
their pie in the sky as bosses accumulate
more profits than they can poke a stick at.
W@en workers attempt to claw back some
of that wealth that they have created the
Reserve Bank steps in and says if your
wage claims for 1996 are more than 5@
we will have to lift interest rates. As most
workers are blessed with mortgages, those
that will be hardest hit by this threat are
those that are lest able to afford it.

Can you imagine the hue and cry that
would go up if working people in this
country said that they would withdraw
their labour as they're not being treated
fairly by their employers. When the
Reserve Bank openly attempts to
blackmail workers by threatening to lift
interest rates, the mass media does not
even mention the fact that the Reserve
Bank's comments are little short of
blackmail. It seems that employers are
able to get away with most things in this
society, while working people are
continually asked to tighten their belts
and make sacrifices for the good of the

It seems that both the Reserve Bank and
employers are able to make what profits
they like, while workers are continually
asked to practice fiscal restraint. The
current governments industrial and
workplace agenda revolves around
workers being pushed into individual
contracts. If individual contracts become
the norm over the next few years, the
possibility arises that unions will become
unnecessary cogs in the future industrial
relations quagmire.

The Initial European colonisation of the
Australian continent was followed by one
of the most viscous land grabs in the
history of this planet. In an attempt to
@ustify their dispossession of the
indigenous people on this continent the
British government and their
representatives in Australia dreamed up
that old terra nullius herring. As far as
the colonisers were concerned the
indigenous inhabitants had no rights as far
as land was concerned because they had
made no attempts to build permanent
settlements and cultivate the land. This
colonial lunacy went unchallenged for
204 years. In July 1992 the High Court
ruled that terra nullius was a lie and that
the descendants Or Australia's indigenous
people had a right to any land that had not
had native title extinguished.

@early four year@ @fter this historic
judgement indigenous people are still
waiting to claim native title over land
where native title has not been
extinguished. As various sections of
society position themselves to come to
grips with native title legislation, the
coalition government and the National
Farmers Association are talking about
passing legislation to ensure that any
crown land that has been subject to a
pastoral lease should be exempt from
native title jurisdiction. When you realise
that pastoral leases have covered and are
co@lering more than 90% of land that
could be subject to Native Title
legislation you realise that the Australian
govemment has little if any illterest in
coming to some sort of agreement on
native title with Australia's indigenous

Unfortunately the Australian government
is about to emba@k on the biggest theft of
land from indigenous Australians that we
have seen since white colonisation. What
Australia's settlers were not able to do
, with guns and poison and what the State
has not been able to do by law they now
hope to do via parliamentary legislation.
If we want to come to some sort of
accommodation with Australia's
indigenous inhabitants it's important as
1 many people as possible protest about the
s governments plans to extinguish native
y title on any crown land that has been
e subject to a pastoral lease.