Queensland State Election 2012 — build extra-parliamentary opposition

In the 1970s, workers were denied democratic rights in the workplace and on the streets. Back then, electoral gerrymander prevented parliamentary opposition.

So we built extra-parliamentary opposition.

The Labor Party came to power in the 1980s on the back of efforts by the Left in trade unions and on the streets and sold public assets and deserted working class organisation.

This is the reality of how Labor governs.

Nevertheless, some on the Left fell in behind Labor.

Others went off into environmental and social movements.

Only a few stuck it out in unions and working class organisations.

As a result of this and restructuring of the capitalist system, trade union membership declined from 60% to below 20%.

We must learn the lessons of the past, but not make the same mistakes.

Now  40% of the population that voted for the ALP, KAP and Greens only have 10% of the seats in the parliament. It is not unlike the Bjelke-Petersen era. Much of the opposition to the LNP government lies outside the parliament.

Can the Left build democratic and socialist organisation within trade unions it has so long ignored?

Can the Left build workers political organisations?

Ian Curr
March 2012

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