Those of us who support Labor’s approach to doing politics need to publicly acknowledge this, to hold it up as the only decent way, the only way that benefits all of us.
Our partisan political system perpetuates this. Those who support it, the ‘right side’, the ‘liberal’ side, regard this as the ‘norm’, the way our political system ought to function. After all they insist, it is the entrepreneurs who have created the enterprises that power our economy, who give work to those who haven’t the capacity to create work themselves. They are right in their assertion, but does that authenticate their position of superiority. Should those who offer work be valued more than those who undertake it?
There seems to be no logically plausible answer to this, but we all know that this is so.
The union movement has long insisted that workers ought to be valued, that our economy could not function without them – an obvious conclusion. Yet too often they are denigrated, seen as simply pawns in the global chess game played by the powerful. To demonstrate their value, their importance to the economy, they sometimes withdraw their labour, whereupon they are demonised for their ‘perversity’.
The Liberal Party will not promote an economic system that gives workers their just dues. They are focussed on employers, eager to give them the advantage, eager to ensure that they have the workers they need to prosper. They will not change. Their DNA will not allow that.
So is there an answer?