Social Justice

There is a big lie at the heart of Frydenberg’s budget speech. The rich don’t need more public largesse; if they wanted to create more jobs they already have more than enough money to do this.

The wages share of national income has fallen to below 50% for the first time since 1959

Aged care homes need to be nationalised now to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and to give residents their health, safety and dignity back.

Victim blaming helps deflect from a focus on the need for systemic changes. It is intentional on the part of the corporate media and governments that are looking for cover.

Those crowing the loudest about the Black Lives Matter movement pushing “cancel culture” should take a good hard look at exactly who is cancelling whose culture — since 1788.

The Victorian lockdown of public housing estates was scapegoating and victimisation of migrants and poor working-class people. It revealed the government’s racist and patronising assumption that these people are incapable of understanding, or complying with, public health messages voluntarily.

These people have committed no crime. There is no excuse for locking up innocent people for one day, let alone seven years. Even worse, is to lock them up with no end date in sight.

“When you capture people, and put chains around their necks, and make them walk 300 kilometres and then set them to work on cattle stations, what’s that called?” asked the award-winning author Bruce Pascoe after Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated that there had been no slavery in Australia.

Socialist councillor Sue Bolton, first elected to Moreland City Council in 2012 and re-elected in 2016, is standing again. Moreland is a hub of community activism going back to the anti-conscription movement during World War I.

The slogan “There’s no going back to normal” has gained considerable popularity for good reason. As governments all around the world have struggled to deal with the health and economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have been forced to take emergency steps they would not have countenanced just months ago, challenging the idea that greater public spending to address social needs is simply unaffordable.

The fall in the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases over the last few days has been received by most people with cautious relief. The official advice of federal and state governments remains to maintain the social distancing and to stay at home.

But the capitalist class is looking at things very differently. It is growing impatient for capitalist exploitation to return to “normal” and they are preparing us to accept the cost in lives.

How can lives be saved? How can people’s livelihoods be protected? Here is what has to be done so that we can protect our health and livelihoods in the face of this immense challenge.

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