Kinda sorta. Actually, Uncle Joe is using the Higgins by-election (December 5) to draw attention to other matters. His policies are set out in his campaign literature. They include:
- 1. establishment of a “people’s bank”;
2. improved workers’ compensation;
3. a treaty between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians;
4. Mabo Day (June 3) to be declared a public holiday;
5. adoption of the Eureka flag as the national flag of Australia;
6. reform of the housing sector (in the interests of low-income earners);
7. an end to public subsidies of private skools and health care providers;
8. decriminalisation of drug use;
9. reform of immigration policy (with preference being given to family reunions as opposed to skilled migration);
10. increased taxes on polluters (as opposed to financial compensation — with such compensation as exists being aimed at workers, not employers);
11. constitutional reform (allowing for citizens’ initiated referenda);
12. use of superannuation funds to subsidise the establishment of workers’ co-operatives in non-polluting, socially-useful industry and;
13. legal recognition of same-sex marriage.
I think the above used to form part of what was once known as ‘social democratic’ politics, of the sort that experienced widespread support among previous generations of Australian workers, and for which the ALP was once, at least theoretically, committed to advancing (and to which a tiny, ‘left-wing’ fringe within the party still retains some adherence — and consequently experiences political maginalisation and irrelevance). Or to put it another way: Bump Me Into Parliament, Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs… and Working Families Working Families Working Families Working Families Working Families Working Families Working Families.
The Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) interviews Uncle Joe on climate change and related matters: