Bill Mitchell-en Green Transition presentation, Adelaide, January 10, 2020
Here is the presentation I gave in Adelaide, where I briefly outlined a new initiative that I am part of that aims to do something about those inequities.
Professor William Mitchell, Green Transition Framework
(i) Sasi-ezkerrren istoroak
I told the audience that a new initiative was needed because our mainstream political parties were moribund and were stuck in a neoliberal vortex unable to do anything truly progressive and urgent.
In the Q&A, I was attacked by Labor Party apparatchiks for allegedly “dividing the Left” because I indicated I would not be seeking to work within the conventional Labor Party framework.
It is a typical sort of reaction one gets these days. But the reality is that the Labor Party has consistently lost elections and in May last year lost to the worst conservative government we have ever had.
The Labor Treasury spokesperson has spoken on national radio saying the Party would not consider increasing the unemployment benefit, which is way below the poverty line, if it endangered their fiscal surplus objective.
One of its senior MPs (Fitzgibbon) “joined forces with outspoken Coalition MP Craig Kelly to spruik Australia’s coal exports in parliament” (Source).
He also wants Labour to adopt a weak emissions reduction plan in line with the conservative government’s own plan, which is largely reflective of their climate change denial bias.
Craig Kelly was the conservative buffoon that appeared recently on the BBC and called out “brainwashed climate cultists” (Source).
During the BBC interview, Kelly called a British meteorologist, who has several university degrees in relevant fields, a “Pommy weather girl”.
Further, in 2017, it was revealed that the bosses in the Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees Association (SDA), which represents low pay and precariously employed shop assistants and is a powerful force in the Labor Party right-wing faction, was found to have done deals with the large supermarkets and fast food chains that would undermine the minimum pay and conditions for 60 per cent of the workforce.
The Australian Workers Union, another right-wing contributor to the Labor Party sides with the SDA.
Millions of dollars in lost wages went to the companies under these dirty deals. The employers had agreed to allow the officials of the SDA to use payroll services etc which made their jobs easier and presumably gives their union the fees necessary to pay the officials their managerial salaries. Meanwhile, they are content as the concession to sell their members down the river!
I could go on.
Not dealing with this lot is apparently “dividing the Left”. In fact, our initiative will identify the true Left.
Later, a response to my presentation appeared on social media, where I was attacked by a normally progressive voice for proposing an “idiosyncratic political approach with MMT more broadly” and “if the broader MMT community listened to and followed his political strategy it would be dead in a week.”
This was just a reflection of the fact that I won’t deal with marginal lobby groups in Australia who purport to lead the progressive charge.
One such group displayed their incompetence at the last federal election when they spent millions targetting so-called ‘right-wing conservative MPs’.
Their campaign was so pathetic that three of the worst conservative politicians were re-elected as a result, in part, because of the resentment of the respective electorates to the lobby group’s campaigning strategies.
One MP felt a swing of -0.28 per cent (that is, nothing), another -1.37 (small) and the worst of the MPs targetted, classified as the most ‘unpopular’ politician in Australia (Peter Dutton) gained a 2.95 per cent swing towards him.
To illustrate the confusion these groups elicit, this same group has signed up to another so-called progressive group and they advocate increasing taxes on higher income groups to pay for the services we deserve. Meanwhile, in another guise, they hold themselves out as promoting MMT.
So why would anyone who seeks to promote Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) to the broader population leave our work in the hands of groups like this.
As to the the “idiosyncratic” nature of our new initiative, let me just say that my research group (CofFEE) has formed a collaboration with a major, global climate action group (350.org) and the leading voice in indigenous affairs in Australia (Noel Pearson and his Cape York Institute).
Noel Pearson, is the highest profile indigenous leader in Australia. He was the lawyer that helped secure land rights for indigenous Australian’s which was a huge significant turning point in our history. He is highly connected.
Add to that group, the leading ecological economist in Australia, a high profile sociologist and support from a senior climatologist and others and we have put together a powerful and connected MMT-underpinned action group.
How idiosyncratic is that?
My first presentation at the Adelaide conference (January 9, 2020)- Introduction to MMT presentation – is not yet available it seems.