Number 13

Below is an updated version of my previous draft submitted to Alliance Voices, which includes suggestions from other comrades that relate more to wording than substance. I have included information on some recent international developments pertaining to this issue. This draft policy only focuses on currently illicit, psycho-active drugs, such as cannabis, heroin, cocaine, amphetamines and other drugs.

While the ongoing exchanges have not congealed as yet, a difference I do note is that Socialist Alternative tends to have a modest, sometimes even negative, take on prospects for the here and now.

At Socialist Alliance’s national conference in 2010, we adopted a draft Public Transport policy. In the pre-conference discussion I wrote that the drafting process needed to continue beyond the proposed draft (see Alliance Voices, vol. 8, no. 9, “Steps towards a Socialist Alliance sustainable transport policy” ), which was then put up and adopted as the draft.

We need to update our Tamil policy as some of the points in the policy on our website are out of date.

I want to submit (below) a redrafted version of the ATSI section, rather than just change bits here and there. I also think it should be closer to the front of the document, maybe where we first start talking about Australia, to put the dispossession, stolen wealth and unpaid labour of Aboriginal people right at the heart of Australian capitalism. 

To replace the words “disabled women” with “women with disability”. This is in line with the long time demands of people with disability to be spoken about in this way.

Socialist Alliance did not begin its life just as a convergence of small socialist groups. From very early it attracted a number of independent socialists — from various political backgrounds. Because of  this beginning, the Alliance started as a looser type of organisation.

The following amendments (underlined) to Towards a Socialist Australia are based on Graham Matthews' amendments.

I think overall the document is good but my main criticism is that for a document entitled Towards a Socialist Australia I think it focuses a bit too much on the problems and what sucks about capitalism and not enough about what a socialist Australia could actually look like and how we could get there.

Socialist Alliance has been campaigning for socialist revolution ever since it was formed in 2001. It adopted the labels “socialist” and “anti-capitalist” from the start and began articulating and developing a practical program to replace the capitalist system with socialism through the mobilisation of the power of the working class in alliance with other oppressed groups.

Once again the question of left unity is on the agenda in Australia. There have been exploratory talks between the Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative and also between the Socialist Alliance and the Communist Party of Australia (CPA).

I am submitting some suggested amendments to Jonathon Strauss’ redraft of the Sustainable Transport Policy.

Disclaimer — signed articles represent the views of their authors, not necessarily the views of the Socialist Alliance unless otherwise stated. Responsibility for all electoral comment is taken by P. Benedek, 22 Mountain Street, Ultimo, NSW 2007. Alliance Voices submission protocols.