Election statement by Hamish Chitts, Revolutionary Socialist Party candidate for Griffith

Election statement by Hamish Chitts, Revolutionary Socialist Party candidate for Griffith

Whoever wins the election workers will lose

Regardless of which party gains government from Saturday’s Federal Election the majority of people in this country, the working class, will be worse off. Whoever wins will continue to oversee measures that will profit a tiny minority of super rich, the capitalist class.

Whoever wins will continue to oversee the decline of real wages (ie wages have increased over time, but not anywhere near the rate of inflation) that we have seen since the 1980s. Workers safety will continue to be sacrificed for the greater profits of a few. Jobs will continue to be casualised and while some workers will be forced to work more hours many more will be forced onto piecemeal, basically part-time hours. As monopolies (or duopolies) like Coles and Woolworths continue their stranglehold on markets the cost of living will continue to rise. As fewer and fewer people own all the housing, the cost of renting or buying a house will become more and more expensive.

Whoever wins will continue to promote racism to scapegoat super-exploited workers from overseas for the ever increasing burden that capitalism and the government policies that protect capitalism will place on us. The winner will continue to promote the lie that it is in the interests of workers here to go off and kill workers in other countries like Afghanistan. We have more in common with the workers and subsistence farmers in Afghanistan than we do with the Murdochs and Packers of this world. Whoever wins will increase the apartheid measures against Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory to drive them from their land, their home for tens of thousands of years, for the profit of people that own the mining companies.

For these same minority interests, whoever wins will continue to promote and subsidise wasteful environmentally and climatically destructive methods of production driven by consumerism rather than social need that ultimately threaten our very existence. The government cannot see past short term profits for their backers nor their own privileges that they gain from capitalism.

Whoever wins will continue to promote sexism and homophobia in the name of so called family values. These values are a deception to reinforce gender roles that through the particular oppression of women save the capitalists billions of dollars in unpaid (or low paid) labour as carers for the young, old and sick and as domestic slaves.

Whoever wins will continue the socially, economically and environmentally unsustainable system of capitalism. A system that enslaves the majority of the world’s population, including the majority of people in this country for the wonderful lifestyles of a few. The ALP and Liberal National Coalition have always supported this system and the only difference between now and forty years ago is that the requirements of this flawed system can no longer handle the diversity of policy that existed in the past.

Workers of all nations need to unite against the parasites that feed off our hard work and to raise the red banner of 21st Century socialism, the banner of true democracy and egalitarianism, for a better future all can enjoy.

For more information contact:

ph) 0401 586 923 (Hamish)

email) brisbane

www.rsp.org.au or Hamish Chitts for Griffith on Facebook

Authorised by K. Newnam 8 Gillingham St. Woolloongabba

17 thoughts on “Election statement by Hamish Chitts, Revolutionary Socialist Party candidate for Griffith

  1. Some observations from the election results.

    The first thing of note is the socialist vote in West End, both Sam Watson and Hamish Chitts, has collapsed. West End is no longer the hot bed of radicalism that it used to be.

    The Greens have maintained their vote in West End but this is an indication of the changing reputation of the greens as a mainstream alternative, rather than the local community maintaining any radical vision. The Greens have increased their vote everywhere including suburbia and even the bush. The relatively static vote in West End just indicates West Ends metamorphosis into the bland and meaningless mainstream.

    I usually look around the booth counts in Aboriginal communities to see how socialist alliance and greens do in those communities. In the past I have cynically pointed out the pathetic vote that the socialist alliance gets, even with Sam as the candidate, in places such as Palm Island that have been a focus of S.A.’s campaigns. This election is much the same in most places, including Palm Island where Sam’s vote has doubled since the last federal election – from one to two votes.

    However in search around other communities to re-inforce my cynicism about S.A. I stumbled upon an amazing anomaly that I hope S.A. also manages to discover.

    Kowanyama senate vote…..

    S.A. – 159 (43.32%)
    Lab – 10 (2.72)
    LNP – 7 (1.91)

    Three times as many people (individuals, not percentages) voted for S.A. in Kowanyama than in West End.

  2. Voting in Coorparoo says:

    Hey John,

    I handed out how to vote cards for Sam Watson (Senate candidate for Socialist Alliance) on Saturday. The middle class people with kids were lining up to vote LNP which may account for the 9.4% swing against Kevin Rudd on the primary vote. It is hard to say but they seemed worried about their financial situation.

    A lot of people took Sam’s how to vote leaflet and supplementary info and a lot took the Greens.

    I was the only person to hand out socialist material at my election booth. Three hours leafleting produced 221 votes for Sam at Coorparoo Primary School which is just up the road from where I live. By the way, Coorparoo is an aboriginal word meaning ‘peaceful dove’ and I think the Coorparoo clan used it to refer to what is now called Norman Creek – they were mimicking the sound of ducks. Try singing out Coorparoo and you will see what I mean. I do it often when my train arrives at Coorparoo station – to the surprise of my fellow travellers. I just want to remind them of aboriginal past. Do they get it? I doubt it very much, but I am a great believer in learning by repetition – if I say it long enough ….

    Back to the voting in Coorparoo – Larissa Waters (elected Green’s Senator for Qld) got 15,798 votes at my booth.

    An interesting sidelight that you mention about Sam Watson getting 159 votes (43%) in KOWANYAMA in the Gulf.

    Did you notice that Larissa Waters (Greens) only got 1 vote in KOWANYAMA? Did the Greens support Bligh’s wild rivers legislation? I don’t know.

    I know we are talking at the margins here, but that is where we are, sadly, given the failure of the Socialist Alliance in the area of electoralist politics.

    I would be interested to hear what happened to people involved in other seats.

    Oh, by the way, I asked my state member (Cameron Dick) if it is lawful to kill a blackfella in Queensland?

    He replied blandly: “Ian, it is not lawful for any one to kill anyone else.”

    When I pressed him about police getting away with killing Mulrunji, Dick just said that a jury acquitted Hurley, as if to say that is the end of it.

    I do not think so.

    in solidarity
    23 Aug 2010

  3. Yes the Greens have supported Wild Rivers and their name is shit in North Qld. Aboriginal communities.

    Ronan Lee was the champion of Wild Rivers when he was in the Beattie/Bligh cabinet. The government’s lack of commitment to Wild RIvers was his main reason for defecting. He was the Greens lead candidate in the state election and focused on Wild Rivers. Although the Greens have denied it, Wild Rivers was part of the preference deal for that election which resulted in Bligh moving forward in imposing it.

    North Qld Greens have been very vocal in the anti-Pearson crusade.

    Just before the last federal parliament ended the senate voted on a coalition motion to incorporate the consent principles of the U.N. declaration on indigenous rights into the wild rivers law. The Greens voted against it, arguing that native title and the UN declaration have to be applied accross the board and not just in this one situation. (A bit like saying you cant take action on climate change until everyone else does).

    Everywhere except North Qld, the Greens appear to have polled about the same in Aboriginal communities as everywhere else, which is a big change. Warren H.Williams and Barbara Shaw have put the Greens on the map.

  4. Say no to opportunism says:

    Hello John,

    Of course the Greens in North Queensland are going to be ‘anti-Pearson’.

    Pearson got Warren Entsch (Liberal National party) back in the federal seat of Leichhardt last Saturday.

    And doesn’t Warren Entsch know it – just read what he says about Noel Pearson and the Wild Rivers bill:

    “But this is not simply a political issue to be argued in the context of an election campaign, it goes right to the heart of providing for an economic and social future for the many thousands of people who call Cape York home.

    Noel Pearson, who has been fighting for the Cape over many decades has been speaking out about these very issues now for well over twelve months.

    But it’s not only Noel and his people who are manning the ramparts, Richie Ahmat from the Cape York Land Council is also pulling no punches in representing his people.

    The recent Senate Inquiry, with its ‘stacked witness list’, didn’t do anything to satisfy the anxieties of those affected, however the issue has a long way to run and we’ll be keeping up the pressure all the way. [at http://www.warrenentsch.com.au/wild-rivers-tony-abbotts-private-members-bill%5D

    It made me sick to my stomach to listen to Warren Entsch on election night on the ABC pretending to be a born-again Murri lover — after all both he and his party has done in Queensland to destroy aboriginal lives, culture and tradition.

    It is not just Warren Entsch and Noel Pearson who are guilty of political opportunism when it comes Queensland politics.

    On the Greens side, Drew Hutton (Greens) was mad to advocate that his party give Joh Bjelke-Petsersen their preferences back in the 1980s. Drew could never be forgiven for such opportunist, callous stupidity.


  5. I think it is unfair to continually associate Pearson with embellished, self supporting, right wing commentary by Warren Ensch, John Howard, Peter Beattie and Tony Abbott .

    Entsch has nothing to do with why the Greens are anti-Pearson. It is the Wilderness society’s national campaign including the mudslinging at Pearson that is behind the Greens getting into the argument. Many Nth Qld TWS people are also in the Greens (as is the case all over the place). Despite this, TWS are, and always have been puppets of the ALP and this is the dynamic behind their defence of their own Wild Rivers project.

    As for Drew and the Greens.

    The Greens never given preferences to Bjelke Petersen. They preferenced against Goss that lead to the election of Borbidge.

    I was not in the Greens at that time (I don’t think) but I supported, then and now, the decision not to preference the ALP. It was necessary to do and I am glad that Drew and others had the guts to do it. As such, I was outraged by the personal and political campaign against Drew, orchestrated by Gary McLennan in a series of published articles, demonising him for his courage, a campaign that your comments above echo.

    The ALP takes for granted the votes of leftists and progressives that are disillusioned with the ALP. Who else will they vote for?

    This was profoundly exemplified in the anti-uranium movement that had, through blood, sweat and beers, built not just a national mass movement but also a national consensus (as close as we will get) in opposition to uranium mining.

    When Fraser was in power, the clear objective of the campaign was to get the ALP elected because of its anti-uranium policy.

    But the ALP policy was just tokenism to attract votes and Hawke flushed the anti-uranium movement down the toilet. But we still voted for the ALP, who else was there to vote for?

    Same with the peace and disarmament movement that fought so hard to ban nuclear warships from Australia. But the ALP sold us out, even George Georges didn’t cross the floor on allowing U.S. nuclear armed and powered ships into Australian ports.

    Then there was the Nuclear disarmament party, that was a catchment for disillusioned ex-ALP voters that directed preferences straight back to the ALP.

    Then the Greens arose and did exactly the same thing.

    As I remember, the Goss government sold out on environmentalism, Aboriginal land rights, union issues, and a whole range of other things about which there was great expectations after the fall of Bjelke Petersen.

    What was the left/ Green movement to do? Continue to deliver preferences to the ALP no matter what? If so, then what power could there possibly be in a Green party except to prop up the ALP against dissatisfaction from within its own power base?

    The Greens need to be able to inflict damage in order to have any power at all. If it cannot inflict damage it is meaningless sludge. Just like trade unions, without the ability to inflict damage, e.g. strike, then organised labour is just a mechanism to prop up the capitalist workplace.

    Just like guerilla war, you have to inflict damage at least once to prove that you are capable of inflicting damage, but once that is established you are considered a serious threat by the capacity of your presence alone, even if you are not inflicting further damage.

    The ALP has been able to sell out over and over again on any issue you can poke a stick at. They have been able to do this purely because of left wing sentimentalism that finds it as impossible to break emotional ties with the ALP in exactly the same way as Catholics can never emotionally detatch from their church despite deep disilusionment with it.

    Real power takes little heed of such sentimentalism. If the Greens or anyone else is serious about power it has to be able be able to engage with history, not comfortable normative paradigms of the status-quo, wishing they could be better.

    I hope there will always be people amongst the Green leadership who are willing to inflict damage on the ALP. The point at which this capacity dissappears is the point at which the Greens become irrelevant, you may as well join the ALP.

  6. 'Hurting people' says:

    Hello John,

    What I am saying is that Drew Hutton made a decision that led to a National Party government.

    He did not need to do that, no matter how disillusioned he was with Labor.

    Drew always attacks Alan Jones. Fair enough, Jones deserves that criticism from Drew Hutton who would know him well having been taught by Jones at an elitist GPS school in Brisbane. But how is Drew any different from Alan Jones, now? Why back a bunch of right-wing racists if you are trying to stand up for ecologically sustainable development? How does helping the national party do anything but hurt ordinary people?

    Similarly, Noel Pearson was crucial to the election of a National Party member in Leichhardt. Warren Entsch had been voted out at the previous election in 2007 but Pearson backed him in 2010 and so people voted for him. The LNP/Nationals support the assimilation of indigenous people, the extinguishment of aboriginal land rights. Pearson is hurting his own people.

    The Greens are a social democratic party which is really an offshoot of the extraparliamentary struggles waged in the 1970s. The Anti-uranium movement was one of those struggles – it was extra-parliamentary. It was opportunists like Peter Garret that took it into parliament. Consider this, what if Garret had stayed with the Greens and not sold out to get a cabinet job with Labor? He would be a Greens Senator at least, maybe even in a house of reps. seat holding the balance of power.

    [caption id="attachment_7644" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="For the millions not the billionaires..."][/caption]

    And he would not be wearing the approbrium (at least not as much) of those that fought against uranium mining and export in the streets, on the wharves, in the mines and in workers organisations.

    Like Drew Hutton, Pearson is helping to bring back the ghosts of the Bjelke-Petersen era — you are right — they have both learnt about hurting people, but by teaming up with the bosses and the farmers they are hurting ordinary working people like Tommy Sebasio and Tom Clarke (see http://workersbushtelegraph.com.au/2010/08/16/etu-campaign-for-aboriginal-electrician-and-community-leader-in-bamaga-1000km-north-of-cairns/#comment-9673 ).

    Ian Curr

  7. Ian,

    Can you suggest an area of policy or implementation where Goss, Beattie or Bligh are better than Borbidge was?

    Who was hurt except the ALP and the delicate egos of those emotionally loyal to it, such as MacLennan and yourself?

    Russell Cooper, Borbidge’s police and corrective services minister, gave the most progressive and serious response to the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in custody in the whole country.

    The National Party’s indigenous policy, apart from facilitating and responding to the the RCIADIC, was essentially economic development in remote communities. Although this conforms to the National’s general tendency to support capitalism, it stands in contrast to Beattie and Bligh’s central policy which is Alcohol prohibition. (and contrast to Socialist Alliance who simply call for higher wages on the work for the dole CDEP).

    One of the Cooper/Borbidge plans was the privatisation of prisons, which many on the left attacked in the ideological issue of privatisation. This leftist opposition simply reinforced the fascist core of the prison system – the screws union.

    The Kennedy commission into prisons reccomended privatisation, not as a cost cutting outsourcing program but as a process that deliberately excluded the fascist screws from dominating the institutions, as such new screws were to be recruited and trained totally outside of the corrupt, racist and violent screw union structure.

    However the leftist opposition, especially from unions, reinforced the screws and empowered them to re-take the system to the extent that private screws were being trained at David Longland centre – the belly of the beast.

    All of the reforms that came out of the 80s riots at Boggo Rd. and Townsville, the Kennedy enquiry and the RCIADIC have been undone by the screws union and their mates in the ALP (who maintained the private prisons and integrated their training and management within the fascist core of the union).

    Emotive ideological frameworks make you blind to the reality, whether it be prison reform or wild rivers.

    And Pearson, who has he hurt except politicians and TWS?

    I am sure you will blame him for the NT intervention despite his prediction that it would fail because the communtiy did not own it and his opposition to blanket quarantining. For you, the commentary of those like Howard, Brough, Abbot and Entsh and their attempts to allign themselves with the Pearson myth that they themselves created, informs your critique of Pearson.

    Have you bothered to read any commentary from Cape York Aboriginal communities about Pearson or his plan?

    Get real!

    Emotive loyalty to the ALP is what makes the left irrelevant, not just in terms of electoral clout but also in the generation of ideas relevant to historical circumstance.

  8. 221 voted for Sam Watson in Division of Griffith says:

    Hello John,

    That link must be showing an earlier count. Just look at the low counts for the other candidates.

    According to the AEC website 221 people voted for Sam Watson at my booth at Coorparoo Primary. The defintive count is @ http://vtr.aec.gov.au/SenateDivisionFirstPrefsByVoteType-15508-163.htm

    I tell you, way more than 200 took the Socialist Alliance how to vote leaflet off me – I handed out more than 400 leaflets … plus I handed out more than 100 ‘For the millions not the billionaires’ newspaper.

    Some people took these becasue, as they said, the line up to vote was so long and they wanted to have something to read while they waited. I tried to gee them up with a few slogans like ‘Is it lawful to kill a blackfella in Qld? [Thankas to Coco Wharton for that provocative chant. Never underestimate the power of the human voice John. Or as the Greens bloke handing out beside me said it never hurts to ask (them to take a leaflet) no matter how surly they look. And he proved it by getting some pretty ugly looks but then the people took the Greens how-to-vote card anyway.

    Based on my own count any vote less than 221 would have been a mis-count, in fact 221 seems a bit low given the enthusiasm for taking my hand outs … but I trust the AEC counters, apart from the line up they ran a pretty smooth operation on the day. They even helped me work out how Sam’s vote was distributed if you vote above the line. I was telling everyone who took the leaflet to vote above the line …. cos I wanted the Greens to get Sam’s preferences above Labor and Liberal and all the far right crazies. As far as i know only 2 people voted below the line going through the full 60 candidates … they told me.

    Enough of that,
    take it easy,

  9. Ian,

    The link with the 221 count is for the whole of the Griffith electorate – all 45 booths.

    The link I provided is the latest Coorparoo school booth count.

  10. Don’t feel too bad. The Hill End booth has the reputation of the most left wing booth in Australia – and you beat it by 6 votes.

    If there is a voice to be heard in all of this it is the 159 people at Kowanyama who voted S.A. I hope the left can hear this as clearly as it does the street chants.

  11. Does voting count? says:

    Hello John,

    You are right the 16 votes were in my booth and the 221 were across Griffith.

    However the notes at the bottom of the page for Coorparoo Primary indicate that the vote is incomplete.

    Also I voted for Sam below the line. I took the oportunity to write two slogans on the ballot paper for the benefit of the counters and scrutineers. The two slogans I wrote were:

    1) Workers of all countries Unite
    2) Is it lawful to kill a blackfella in Qld?

    Did they count my vote as informal. If they did and I had been a scrutineer I would have pointed out that my vote shouls be counted becasue of the High Court decision in the ‘No Dams’ case. Perhaps the person who saw my vote was not across the High Court decision. I don’t know.

    The Labor local member for Greenslopes, Cameron Dick, argued that socialism is unattainable and that my vote is wasted. His offsider, the young barrister went one better. He said that it is the stuff of University debating societies.

    I think that socialism should be debated at universities…I not that the Communist Manifesto is back on the bestseller list. This is understandable given the failure of capitalism to serve ordinary peoples’ interests i.e. most recently in the GFC. It is Cameron Dick and his offsider who are sadly mistaken.

    Personnaly I think people vote for what they think is best for their economic future. For example if interests rate are high and their mortgages are hurting they vote against the government that is unable to control interest rates. Howard could not control interest rates and the rate went up so people voted him out. Neither Rudd nor Gillard could contain interest rates so people voted Labor out.

    Social Issues like what happened to Mulrunji, does not affect their vote.

    As far as the votes of 159 people at Kowanyama who voted for Sam Watson is concerned, deaths in custody obviously affects their lives more than it does whitefellas in Brisbane, or that is what people think.

    Personnally I do not think this is true, in the long run … for police to have the licence to kill a blackfella will hurt us all in the end.

    As you know I am not an advocate for the Left to pursue electoralist politics … I do not believe that is where power lies for ordinary people … for example, people have more potential for real power in their workplace. This is what me and others argued in ‘After the Waterfront – the workers are quiet’ when we argued that it would be better to try to influence your union than your local member. Having said that, I think that the Left could be more effective and would win seats in parliament if they could unite and do the work necessary … it would take 15 years before we would be in a position to influence the parllament as Bob Brown does now…


  12. With the present enthsiasm expressed for Green ministers in either a Labor or Liberal government,
    Australian Greens should reflect on the trajectory of the Irish Greens who followed such a course and rapidly sold out on the three major issues they campaigned on

    -the U.S. militarisation of civilian Shannon Airport

    -the freeway through the historic Tara

    -and the struggle of the people of Rossport against Shell

    The Irish Greens sellout on their anti-war positionis dealt with in the documentary “Route Irish” (not to be confused with the recent flick by Ken Loach by the same name). Check it out….


    Four Brisbane based soldiers killed in Afghanistan in the past two weeks, Diggers facing charges for killing Afghani kids and no visible sign of an anti-war movement. Soon the Greens in a coalition prosecuting an imperial war in Afghanistan. Is that where you really want to be?

  13. Ian,

    The left is being more affective and is winning seats in parliament. However the agency is the Greens and not the ideological sects such as S.A. and RSP.

    Your faith in the workplace as a point of organisation is misplaced. The workplace is an institution of alienation and isolation and becomes more so as capitalism develops. This is the opposite of what Marx predicted and your adherence to Marxist ideology is insulating you from the historical realities of the workplace and broader society.

    As one of the very few leftists who actively supported any socialist election campaign, your claim that you do not support electoral politics sounds a bit thin.

    The real potential power is in local communities, not the workplace.

    Speaking of which, the Kowanyama vote indicates the strongest response in Qld (probably Australia) to the socialist message. Of course Sam being a Murri is a key factor and he obviously had the support of key people in Kowanyam who spread the word (campaigned). However this should not be understood as tokenism. Sam being black was the starting point, making him worthy of consideration in a black community. But Sam has not hidden his socialism under a bushell and “socialist alliance” was on the ballot paper.

    A significant sector of Kowanyama was prepared to consider a black socialist candidate, not just indicating a rejection of mainstream parties but also a willlingness to consider radical alternatives.

    This is not just a matter of deaths in custody or any other single issue, or else this voting pattern would have occured in other Aboriginal communities.

    Kowanyama, a non-industrial (peasant if you want to get technical) community suffering exploitation and oppression and has a viable grass roots community network, is the example of where any radical alternative is going to come from in the future.

    Its obvious, if the lumpen proletariate have no job then they have the opportunity to engage in grass roots community to a much greater degree than workers. Similarly their poverty is a greater motivation for radical action than the comfortable numbness of the bulk of the working class.

  14. To sell out, to sell off says:

    Who has the best chance to stop the sell off of public assets in Queensland?

    1) The community?
    2) Parliament?
    3) The Greens? or,
    4) Working people going on strike and shutting down the railroad, mines, electricity etc?

    Hey John, I know which one of these would have the best shot at doing this.

    Ciaron, concerning your remark ‘Soon the Greens in a coalition prosecuting an imperial war in Afghanistan. Is that where you really want to be?’

    The Greens would be stark raving mad to enter into a coalition with Labor or Liberal. They should sit on the cross benches and review every single piece of legislation that goes through the parliament. If a bill is bad they should vote it down. They were right to oppose the CPRS legislation – who seriously believes that the market will prevent climate change? Why vote for something that has never worked?

    The Greens would be foolish to go down the path pf the Australian Democrats who sold out on the GST (at least one of them did). To sell out is as bad as selling off … no one is going to supprt you in the long term.

    I would be surprised if the Australian Greens enetered into a coalition like the Irish and the German Greens did. Even from their own opportunist position this would harm their chances to wield power in the parliament.


  15. Ian,

    Your multiple choice paradigm is ideological and not realistic. If privatisation is to be stalled it will be through a combination of all those sectors.

    The best chance to stop the sell off in Qld is for a reconfiguration of the factional power balance within the ALP whereby Bligh is deposed and replaced by someone with a consensus and reconciliation agenda.

    There are two factors in this – 1/ bureacratic union pressure on ALP. I don’t think strikes will come into it except for token media stunts, and 2/ Extreme voter dissatisfaction with the Bligh government on a range of issues including but not limited to privatisation. Most of the dissatisfaction, I suspect, is a swing back to the LNP and has nothing to do with privatisation.

    However a significant portion of it is ALP voters who are dissillusioned with the ALP. As mentioned above, before the rise of the Greens, the ALP could take these dissilusioned voters for granted because they would not vote for the conservatives. However the rise of the Greens means there is now an alternative and the ALP must try and appease these voters if it is to retain or ever regain power in it own right.

    So, as a result of electoral imperatives (community and Greens) and trade union activity (factional deals) and the parliament (depose Bligh) there is a path to stop privatisation.

    No single element, as per your multiple choice question, has any hope.

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