Living the Dream – Last Drinks in (the workers) Paradise?

qld pic
State Of Queensland (Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning)

In this episode of Living the Dream Jon (@JonPiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) talk about the meltdown of politics in Queensland and the failure of the ALP government to carry out a coherent plan to address the decline in capital accumulation and facilitate social reproduction. Rob Pyne resigning from Labor(#corbynofcairns ?), candidates sending dicks pics and the shared anti-political language of both sides of the referendum campaign show a political class in freefall and deeply out of touch with the concerns of everyday people.

Should we care? Or just point and laugh? What is the relationship of the political to capitalism on a whole and to our struggle against it? How much of this is this a broader and global phenomenon and what can it tell us about life in Queensland?

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Articles we refer to include:

The State Infrastructure Plan

Humphrey McQueen – Queensland: a state of mind

Kathleen McLeod – “I Will Protect You With My Body” The Case For A Radical Sanctuary Movement To Protect Asylum Seekers In Australia

Andy Paine – Rewriting the political script

Chris O’Kane – State Violence, State Control: Marxist State Theory and the Critique of Political Economy

Mario Tronti – The Political (1979)

Left Flank and An Integral State

Mike Beggs – The Void Stares Back

#LetThemStay Fieldnotes 3: What happened? What were the different elements of the event and how did they fit together?



Recently I posed twelve questions to help myself understand the events of recent weeks and help think through what has happened and where we are all going. This is my first attempt to answer them. I doubt I will answer – in writing – all twelve.

The answers I provide are necessarily subjective and partial. I only attended the vigil twice. I welcome disagreement and corrections. However I think that subjective and qualitative reflections on collective experience are a vital part of how we understand them.

I think there were three separate elements: the decision by staff at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital to not discharge Asha on the basis that Nauru didn’t qualify as somewhere safe to return to; the vigil which became a blockade of sorts faced with the possibility of Border Force taking Asha; and the wave of symbolic actions and stunts where people proclaimed #LetTheStay with the aim of generating and circulating imagery in the media (social and otherwise).

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#LetThemStay Fieldnotes 1



The decision by the Lady Cilentro Children’s Hospital to not discharge the infant Nepalese refugee Asha back to Nauru and the emergence of a vigil in solidarity was an important and inspiring event. The experience of it was radically different from the protest-politics-as-usual that typify the activist repertoire in Brisbane. Now that Asha has been discharged into community detention, and is facing a very uncertain and probably deeply unpleasant future, there is a desire to make sense of what has happened, what is going on and what does it mean?

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Ergon workers defy Qld ALP’s Debt Action Plan

bundaberg workers strike

On the 20th January workers at Ergon Bundaberg Depot walked off their jobs in protest at proposed plans to cut positions and increase outsourcing. This followed a similar action in Atherton the previous Friday. Whilst this industrial action has received little news coverage it is of incredible importance. It is the articulation of a group of workers’ collective self-interest in a way that actually points to the deep flaws in the ALP state government’s attempt to manage the challenge of funding social reproduction and honouring the state’s debts (in the context of the end of the mining boom which is a symptom of the Global Recession). What this struggle shows us is that under the layers of mystification debt is ultimately about class struggles: debt hinges on the struggle between the ability of capital to secure the future of its profits via the imposition of work and discipline today and our collective ability to refuse it and assert our dignity and desires.

Continue reading “Ergon workers defy Qld ALP’s Debt Action Plan”

#qldworkersparadise : Sunny times for the working class in Qld under Labor?

President of Queensland Council of Unions John Battams with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at the Labour Day
President of Queensland Council of Unions John Battams with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at the Labour Day

On this show (@JonPiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) talk about what is going on in Queensland under the ALP. We look at the attempt to fund social reproduction and stimulate capital accumulation in the conditions of the end of the mining boom whilst trying to manufacture social peace.

Special attention is given to the Advance Queensland initiative.


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Living the Dream – Queensland: beautiful one day, workers’ paradise the next?

In this episode of Living the Dream we look at the recent Qld election and try to grapple with what it all means, what the new ALP government is planning to do, what the challenges facing capital accumulation are and where the lines of antagonism may be.

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Music from The Saints and Tina Harris

Articles referred include:

Don’t Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts Of Lessons For The Left


Economic and Fiscal Challenges: Interim Results of Medium Term Modelling

From the Subprime to the Sovereign Crisis. Why Keynesianism does not work?

Statement on Monetary Policy February 2015



Stranger Choices: Getting ready for the hangover



In part four of our three part series on the Qld election we talk about what can we expect after the votes have been counted and what does this mean for emancipatory politics, where can we draw our hope and power from and what do we mean by ‘we’ anyway?

Music by Razar

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Will we be kicking out Campbell Newman in two years?

The rally on the  7Th August organised by the union Together was at best a fairly dispiriting affair. The thing that I found the most depressing was a dual lack of vision and possibility. Most noticeably the lack of vision of the leadership of the union, a lack of vision which means not only can they do little to lead an effective resistance to the slow (now gathering pace) austerity of the LNP Newman government but also more despairingly they are contributing to the political disempowerment of the working class and setting us up for defeat. But the second lack of vision is the lack of vision of the anti-capitalist or radical left (to use a term that few will be happy about) to do anything to change the situation, to contribute to a real mobilisation of the class, or lay the foundations for emancipatory politics. What was on display was the double poverty: the poverty of the left-over machinery of social democracy and the poverty of those who want to do something about it. This needs to be addressed and discussed and ways out planned – ways out based not on ideological purity but reality.

Continue reading “Will we be kicking out Campbell Newman in two years?”

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