Socialism returns to Australian politics

It's been a while since we've had a political party advocating increased public ownership of the means of production.

Richard Farmer

Crikey political commentator

Socialism returns to Australian politics. It’s been a while since we’ve had a political party advocating increased public ownership of the means of production. But now the subject is back on an election agenda and it is not the Labor Party that’s putting it there. The new socialist advocates are Katter’s Australian Party.

Party founder and leader Bob Katter spelled out the philosophy when his members met at the weekend for their first convention and to launch their campaign for the Queensland state election.

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4 thoughts on “Socialism returns to Australian politics

  1. Bill Hilliger

    Bob Katter’s Australia Party = Australian Socialist Party.
    Bjelke Petersen would turn in his grave. The National/CLP party should be worried come next federal election.

  2. DeeToo

    Richard Farmer has not the foggiest idea about socialism; it is certainly NOT about not selling taxpayer-owned assets. Katter is not a socialist. There is only one thing that Bob Katter is and that is very good at telling you exactly what he knows you want to hear … on any given occasion. “You” can range from one person to the whole population – I have heard him at an Anti-privatisation Rally Townsville 11 October 2010.

  3. Brisbane James

    Sticking on labels like “lefties” or “socialism” is not very helpful.
    It dumbs things down to the point at which people put it into the “I have already decided” box.

    Let’s see which bits the Mad Katter would like to re-nationalise, and how, first. And of course whether they all add up to anything like sensible policy.

    Privatisation isn’t an all-encompassing panacea.

    In some circumstances, with due care to ensure an actual competitive marketplace and enforcable minimum service standards, it can work quite well.

    In others it can lead to monopolies, price-gouging, and loss of sovereign control over critical resources, infrastructure or service provision.

    There are things I consider too important to a community to simply flog off to whichever profit-driven multinational happens to have bags of cash that year.

    The flipside of course is that historically many state-run enterprises have not had enough motivation to pursue efficiency or excellence, ending up as bloated beaurocracies, panting in the shade while awaiting the next budget allocation.

    Getting a good system to deliver, is of course a hard question, but spending all day telling appealing stories to constituents or crowing in the media with whichever buzz-word gets advertiser hits, isn’t going to get answers anytime soon.

  4. Peter Ormonde

    Agrarian socialism has never been far from the program of the National Party Richard. When it rains, when it doesn’t, when there’s not enough wool, or too much, protecting us all from foreign apples or the homegrown banana menace. They like the rhetoric of all this rugged individual, world’s most efficient farmer tripe, but when it comes to the crunch they yearn for the safety and comfort of the nanny state. Subsidies now! More handouts! We’re a protected species.

    And our banks seem to have a habit of running off to the nanny state for comfort and cuddles when they scrape their knees. And our steel industry, and our car makers and our aluminium smelters….

    A curious sort of socialism this…. society carries the costs and the owners walk away with the profits.

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