The last issue of Alliance Voices carried an Alliance Perspectives document, written by me. The October 23 National Executive decided our Sixth National Conference needs to vote on a shorter resolution, along lines suggested by Victorian State Convener Sue Bolton in a letter to the National Executive. Sue outlined her idea as follows:
- The first section should comment on the crisis — financial crisis, climate crisis and poverty crisis — the scale of the crisis and the inadequacy of the solutions being put forward by capitalism. It should make the point about the crisis indicating the total inadequacy of capitalism to solve any of the fundamental problems facing humanity and therefore the need to abandon capitalism and go in a different direction — socialism. It could even point to the fact that there is a battle over whether to follow a socialist or capitalist direction happening in Venezuela and Bolivia right now. This section should also flag some of what we see as solutions in terms of the financial crisis and the climate crisis.
- The next bit should talk about the role of wars and military spending in propping up the system and how the US war drive is causing massive devastation around the world, therefor, the need for socialists to be clear on the need to end the war drive
- The third second section should focus on Australian politics and life after Howard — how similar the Rudd govt is to the Howard government and how Rudd rules for the capitalists. It should make reference to the smallness of the changes that the Rudd govt is prepared to make to Howard's laws in every sphere — union, welfare, environment/climate, refugee, indigenous, gay and lesbian. It should make some comments about how Rudd Labor uses its relationship with the unions to persuade, cajole, threaten and frighten the unions into not taking any serious political/industrial action to push Rudd into repealing all of the anti-union laws.
- This leads into the final section which should discuss the role that Socialist Alliance needs to play to build a stronger socialist voice in Australia and build stronger movements/campaigns to build working class resistance on a number of fronts such as union, climate action, indigenous, anti-war. This section probably needs to make reference to some of the work that the Socialist Alliance has done in campaigns. It should also reaffirm Socialist Alliance's unity approach on the left.
Such a resolution needs to be written with a view to it being a public document and would be useful as a public statement on what the Socialist Alliance thinks about the crisis, what the left should call for and how the Socialist Alliance can fit into the picture.
This shorter resolution for voting on by conference will be produced as soon as possible. Of course, Alliance members are still welcome to comment on the "Alliance Perspectives" document.