The last-man-standing of Bush’s coalition of the willing was unceremoniously dumped in the November 2007 Australian election.

Former Labor leader and party apostate Mark Latham called it the Seinfeld election, an election about nothing. Incoming prime minister Kevin Rudd’s “me-too-ism” aside, there was enough difference between the Australian Labor Party and John Howard’s conservative coalition government for the Australian electorate and the working class in particular to comprehensively demolish the conservative’s hold on Australian politics.


Phil Doyle says that the Your Rights At Work campaign won't be airbrushed out of Labor’s victory.

"It’s time for a new page to be written in our nation’s history." Kevin Rudd, November 24, 2007.

In the lead up to the 2007 federal election tens of thousands of ordinary Australians mobilised into a concerted campaign to change a government. These people re-wrote Australian history.

Yet, as soon as that victory was achieved, their efforts were all but ignored by, not just vast swathes of the media, but also by the ultimate beneficiaries, the incoming government.


Socialists must take a more active approach if it wants to push the NSW ALP out of its managerial rut

It's no wonder that the good burghers of New South Wales are underwhelmed by the impending state election. What is on offer is more of the same bland managerial capitalism from Morris Iemma's ALP. It seems to have seeped through to most of the populace that Peter Debnam's NSW Liberals have been over-run by an extremist rightwing agenda. Budgie smugglers or not, we ain't buying it. It seems that NSW is destined to have four more years of the Labor machine.


Kevin Rudd, ALP national conference and uranium mining

Kevin Rudd is gearing up for his first ALP national conference as party leader. Labor loves a winner and the boy from the back blocks of rural Queensland seems to be the party's best hope to take the required 16 seats from the coalition at year's end.


Geoff Drechsler wonders if reform is simply a case of just-add-policy. He calls for an end to the mantra of neoliberalism and a fight for the democratic-socialist heart of the labour movement.

It is reassuring for the future of the Labor Party to see plenty of rank-and file-activity around the issue of party reform. This ranges from the Labor First website to initiatives sponsored by individual branches, such as those of the Camperdown and Ararat branches and is nationwide in scope.


Tristan Ewins calls on socialists to join the Fabian Society to prevent its statement of purpose being stripped of its socialist objective.

Editorial note:

"Labor Tribune welcomes Tristan Ewins call to fight for socialism throughout the movement and for the unity of socialists. However, the Fabian tradition was always about trying to marry the impossible: socialism for the working class with a reliance on the capitalist state. We believe a radical rebirth of the democratic core of Marxism - and the radical transcendence of the state from below - is required to overcome the liberal and anti-working class traditions in our movement."

From early September this year members of the Australian Fabians will have received a mail-out from the national executive announcing its intent to alter the constitution, in particular the statement of purposes, with the aim of removing all reference to socialism, classes, social and democratic ownership of any sort. The aim of this move appeared to be one of eliminating the traditional role of the Australian Fabians as a reformist socialist think-tank of the left, and of reducing it to a broad liberal forum devoid of traditional leftist aims or identity.


Tristan Ewins calls for a democratisation of ALP factions

Where to Next for Labor? Coming to the Party, Barry Jones (ed), Melbourne University Press, 2006, $24.95

In a timely contribution to debate surrounding the future of the Australian Labor Party, Where to next for Labor? Coming to the Party, edited by former federal minister and ALP president Barry Jones, is a welcome collection of views on what strategies are necessary to revitalise the ALP and, ultimately, win government. Issues considered range from the impact of factionalism to the decline of Labor’s traditional blue-collar working-class constituency, as well as the necessary work of building mass movements and reviving structures for rank-and-file participation and influence in the ALP.

Daleks essential to Beazley going forward

We are carrying this link to an article by Rodney Cavalier (NSW Education Minister 1984-88) for the spotlight it shines on the deteriation of the ALP's faction system, in particular since the end of the Cold War.

Readers might feel that Cavalier's positive comments on the factional stitch-ups that produced the Hawke ministry in 1983 and the Wran government are a touch self-serving - he was after all a minister in the latter. Labor movement activists might also question his positive analysis of the Hawke government, particularly those fighting the Liberal's Workchoices legislation, a piece of legislation that has the Accord as an antecedent.


Mark Kelly reviews the relationship between Australian Capital, imperialism and the labour movement.

Over thirty years ago, in 1975, Australia made Papua New Guinea independent. Following the withdrawal of Australia from Vietnam in 1973 and the granting of human rights to Aborigines in the 1960s, this represented the completion of a shift, of which the Whitlam administration was clearly chronologically the expression and not the cause, away from the racist colonialism which had been a clear part of the Australian essence since the notion of Australianness had been invented in the nineteenth century...


While there is room for people like Joe Tripodi in the ALP, it cannot be a genuine workers' party.

If you close your eyes till your vision goes blurry and you conjure up a parallel universe, you can just about imagine that Joe Tripodi is part of the labour movement.


Ian Rintoul of the Refugee Action Coalition says it's time to overhaul the ALP's refugee policy at next year's national conference

Until June 2002 when legislation was introduced excising thousands of islands from the effects of the Migration Act, federal Labor had supported all of the Howard government’s changes to refugee policy: from the One Nation policy of temporary protection visas (TPVs) to the Tampa legislation. Thanks to Labor’s bipartisan support for Howard’s policies, the refugee movement has suffered under an effective senate majority for almost the entire period of the Howard government.


Factions give Iemma an easy ride

Despite attempts to present the Iemma-Costa leadership as a "new direction" for NSW, the musty smell of the Carr years lingers. Marcus Strom reports from the NSW ALP state conference.

Most old hands at the NSW ALP state conference over the June long weekend reckoned it was a pretty tame affair as these things go. And that's just how the factional chiefs wanted it. The sparring warriors of the Labor tribe buried or blurred their differences to give Morris Iemma a smooth ride nine months out from a state election and embraced a federal leader that the NSW Right had been undermining for months.


Geoff Dreschler, an ALP activist in Melbourne, argues that radical changes to the way Labor chooses candidates would allow the party to reconnect with working-class Australia.


This is the weekend (10-11 June 2006) of the NSW ALP conference. In the run up to state conference, we provide a preview and commentary on what is up for discussion

With a state election nine months away it is no surprise that the heavies in Sussex Street are attempting to avoid controversy at the NSW ALP's state conference on June 10-11. A look at the conference order papers shows that while there is gratitude towards the former triumvirate of Carr-Egan-Refshauge, NSW general secretary Mark Arbib is clearly trying to show that NSW under Morris Iemma and Michael Costa have a new team in charge.

This was the tenet of the recent state budget and it is reflected in the conference slogan: "Getting NSW Moving". Does this mean that NSW has been going nowhere?


Prime minister John Howard has wedged NSW premier Morris Iemma and Victorian premier Steve Bracks into backing down over the privatisation of the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric scheme.

The federal government pulled its 13 per cent stake from sale, which would have meant Iemma would bear most of the political pain for the unpopular privatisation proposal. NSW and Victorian Labor had planned to plug their budgets with up to $3bn from the sale of the Hydro, considered by many an icon of early multiculturalism. Iemma is 10 months out from a state election.


This is a reply to Bob Gould's recent open letter carried on the Ozleft website.

Dear Bob

Thanks for the warm welcome you extend to Labor Tribune. In these bleak times for Marxists, revolutionary socialists, communists and radicals of various stripe, voices of camaraderie are welcome....


The ALP's three-mine policy is an out-of-date compromise that still lives.

Twenty years after Chernobyl, Labor activists should call for an end to all commercial uranium mining with guaranteed training and jobs for miners.

As Kim Beazley and the Martin Ferguson Labor left 'realists' talk up exanding Australia's uranium exports, Anthony Albanese, federal Labor's environment spokesperson, takes aim at the nuclear industry.

Open letter from OzLeft

Veteran Labor Left Trotskyist Bob Gould has written an open letter to Labor Tribune. In the interest of open debate, we carry the letter on our website.

A reply will be forthcoming. Given Bob's comments perhaps this is a good oppurtunity to break the seal on our comment facilities?


Anthony McLaughlin, comments on a Federal ALP member's IR Forum (April 2006) held in Inner-Western Sydney.

Anthony Albanese, the federal member for the unhappiest electorate in Australia, Grayndler, presented the "Future of Industrial Relations" forum on Wednesday April 12 to a crowd of more than 200 ALP and politically curious residents at Leichhardt town hall, Sydney.


The unified Sydney peace movement is a step forward. But these organisers failed in one of their key tasks - to organise the April 9 Palm Sunday march. We try to uncover the reasons for this failure and the ideas speakers presented to the 200 or attendees

And the peace movement said unto the masses, "Why hast thou forsaken me"