Our Common Cause

Our Common Cause is the column of Socialist Alliance in Green Left which is widely recognised as one of the most authoritative left-wing English-language sources of news and political analysis in print and online. Green Left covers many of the issues and campaigns that Socialist Alliance members are involved in.

Members and supporters are encouraged to promote Green Left while campaigning in their communities and workplaces and to become financial supporters of Green Left to ensure its ongoing production and distribution.

The Socialist Alliance will be campaigning in the coming federal election on a platform of raising taxes on corporations and the super rich while easing the tax burden on the poor. Abolishing the GST is a critical part of this campaign.

The recent knifing of Tony Abbott by Malcolm Turnbull held a brief glimpse of hope for marriage equality in Australia. Unfortunately, the change of PM did not bring any change of policy, and the Liberal Party's homophobic agenda has remained the same.

Any meaningful push for genuine democracy would require a lot more than just electoral reform. We need a change of government: not just a change from the Liberals to Labor, but a change from corporate power to people power.

The global refugee crisis has its roots in the wars waged by global powers for resources and territory. These conflicts have left millions of people displaced and driven hundreds of thousands to seek safety and protection in countries like Australia.

Real self-determination will require radical changes in current approaches that largely fail the First Peoples: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities themselves should be at the forefront of driving these changes.

I know that we have just switched captains on a leaky boat — appropriate metaphor don’t you think — and the boat hasn’t actually changed. But you have to admit that seeing Abbott’s humiliation was enjoyable.

The announcement on September 9 that Australia will accept only 12,000 refugees from Syria and that the government will seek to discriminate on the basis of ethnicity and religion is further proof that the government is lying about leading the world in welcoming refugees.

"Rather than wasting billions locking up defenceless, innocent people in offshore prisons, we should close the camps on Nauru, Manus and all other refugee detention centres, lift the cap on our refugee intake immediately and organise mass airlifts of Syrian, Kurdish and other refugees to bring them to safety in Australia."

Within hours of the Australian Border Force — Prime Minister Tony Abbott's paramilitary amalgamation of the Customs Service and immigration department — announcing on August 28 that they would be joining the Victorian police and privatised public transport operators in Operation Fortitude.

When the Cole Royal Commission was first announced in 2001, Victorian unions resolved to not cooperate with it. In the light of these revelations, and the ACTU's call for it to be shut down, unions should consider motions of non-cooperation again.

The official unemployment rate in Broadmeadows is 23.5% but the real unemployment and underemployment rates are far higher. Youth unemployment is higher than the overall rate. We are very close to the 30% unemployment rate of the Great Depression.

Public disgust at Bronwyn Bishop's $5000 helicopter ride from Melbourne to Geelong is entirely justified. However, Tony Abbott's “root and branch” review of politicians' “entitlements” is designed to whitewash, not solve, the problem.