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Here’s something to think about…

What does one do when one feels disempowered? What does one do when one feels one’s needs are being ignored, that one no longer has a voice? Well, there are several options.

If we feel that way, we can join one of the major parties and impress our opinions upon those leading the party through the branch system. We can try, but in all probability, that will end in tears.

We can disengage and go fishing or take up golf. We can simply disengage and count grains of sand, or we can voice our feelings through blogging that no one reads.

Another option is to voice our feelings, blogging to like-minded people who support us and affirm us. That is what contributors and readers of the AIMN do. We support each other in the hope that our voices will ultimately carry across the great divide and be heard by the major parties.

Some go to the extreme of starting their own political party. This has been a popular option of late. There is a glut of minority parties out there today, all started by people who were sick and tired of being ignored.

Starting a new political party is not that difficult. The recent surge in start-ups demonstrates this. It’s largely just a matter of paperwork. Getting it off the ground, however, is something else. Being heard and supported in great numbers though, is often a bridge too far.

Today, new political parties are like a poorly nurtured seed planted in winter. They sprout in the spring but die in the summer heat. Consequently there is one thing that they all have in common. None will ever bloom to their desired potential. None will ever form government. Not in a hundred years will that happen.

Yet, if we were to join them all together, make them as one party such that they become a much larger, single contender in the political boxing ring, there is a much better chance of their members being heard, of being listened to and having their concerns addressed.

Unity is strength. Which brings us to the point of this article. The Australian Employment Party was recently formed to extol the virtues of Modern Monetary Theory. On its own, it is just one more voice crying in the wilderness, one mostly ignored, one viewed by a sceptical electorate as another nut case collection of loonies having their moment in the sun.

Its co- founders, Iain Dooley and Tim Jones are not nut cases. Their raison d’être is to address the financial mismanagement of the government and the opposition who are welded to the neo-liberal philosophy of inequality. That’s right. Both the Liberal and the Labor party support a neo-liberal ideology that manages and promotes inequality.

Perhaps the Labor party is less inclined to this ideology than the Liberal party, but were they to deviate from their present manifesto, they would be sacrificing themselves to the outcry of the high priests of Capitalism and condemning themselves to the wilderness for generations to come.

The electorate’s response would be devastating and it would be terminal. Not because the electorate would know any better. But because, as captives to a biased media, they would never be able to recognise the benefits that would flow from a more equal society. They would never be given the chance.

Both Iain and Tim recognise the futility of forming a party that is unlikely to grow beyond cult status. Both realise that the only way to be heard and gain respect is to draw in more and more people from backgrounds as diverse as those that currently exist within that plethora of minor political parties already establish.

That is precisely what Iain is proposing. In an email sent out to members, he articulates the problem and the solution. It is an ambitious call, perhaps futile, but perhaps not.


iain-dooley Here is what he writes,

“I started work on the AEP because I wanted to do one thing:

I wanted to do senate estimates… with someone from treasury or the RBA and get them to admit on camera that the government is not dollar constrained.

That taxes and bond sales do not finance spending.

That we can adequately fund health, education, social security and full employment without tax increases.

That we don’t have to grovel to the private sector for jobs and perpetuate environmentally destructive industries.

That poverty and misery and exclusion and inequality are solvable problems with a couple of tweaks to how we run our economy.”

The full text of Iain’s email is here.

Each of these minor political parties has their own concerns which prompted their formation in the first place. From the Seniors United Party of Australia to Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party, they all have a purpose and a goal. The beauty is that each and every one of them could be accommodated within the MMT economic framework.

Furthermore, and the most worrying thing for the major parties, is that at the last federal election they captured 24% of the primary vote, twice that of the Greens.

Imagine therefore, what a transformation it would be were they to combine with the Greens. At long last the two party dominance of the Australian political scene would have been smashed.

Now there’s something to think about!


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  1. SGB

    I don’t have a problem with the aims of the AEP, I just have a problem with the name, it smacks of “oh hum just another ‘crackpot minor party”.

  2. David CArlisle

    Well I’m another grumpy old warhorse… gotta start somewhere and these blokes have runs on the board … I’ll play. And I understand a lot about money and management.

  3. Pingback: Here’s something to think about… | THE VIEW FROM MY GARDEN

  4. paulwalter

    There is a fair bit of truth in SGB’s comment, compounded by public apathy and media reinforcement of the status quo.

  5. Iain Dooley

    Thanks for publishing this John!

    I really hope this can be a path to joining forces across a wide spectrum of political potential energy and making it a bit more kinetic.

    BTW, I chose the name Australian Employment Party because it sounds pretty similar to Labor and to me it sounds like a name of a party that could form government.

    Also when the speaker of the house calls members s/he says things like “Labor for Robertson” etc and I liked the idea of someone saying “Employment for Eden Monaro” or something similar in parliament 🙂

    The name also hits at the heart of MMT: the primary policy outcome of MMT and more broadly functional finance is that the easiest way for the government to tell there is a “spending gap” is the existence of involuntarily unemployed workers. This is therefore the most useful tool for economic management: if you achieve 0% involuntary unemployment whilst maintaining price stability, you have by definition got the correct size of government deficit.

    I doubt that the name would persist through any sort of alliance or amalgamation though.

    I’m certainly not married to it, but it sounds a lot better to me than The MMT Party or something which is where I started off.

    I would also like to mention that names we take for granted now would have sounded just as stupid when they were first suggested, but they become normal and iconic.

    An excellent example is the rap group Run DMC, whose members all thought the name sounded stupid when Russel Simmons suggested it.

    But that may be a bad example because unless you’re into rap music you probably still think the name Run DMC sounds stupid hehe

  6. Wayne Turner

    I really like the idea of this party.Full and stable full-time jobs should be available for all that want them.Yet we know big business and governments don’t want that,when the rich can get richer,workers can be exploited and “held over a barrel”.With the incease of unstable casual/part-time jobs.

    But the disillusioned in me,with the public.Could imagine the field day the MSM would have,just with the name alone,which of course the gullible morons will just blindly follow.

    Yes,if this party was getting anywhere,I can imagine it now 🙁

    “Australian Employment Party Are Bludgers That Need To Get A Real Job” – A MSM headline.

    Good luck.I believe in what you guys stand for.I just don’t believe in the general public,who most are as thick as a brick.

  7. Harquebus

    One entity that supports candidates who will represent the majority view of their constituents above that of their own is all that is required.

  8. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    The AEP discussion between Iain and Tim on Twitter the other day, was interesting.

    I think that is an effective way for the young party to gain public awareness and to give them a good opportunity to explain the potential of MMT to provide 0% unemployment and an equitable standard of living for everybody without destroying the environment.

    I also see great potential for AEP and other progressive micro parties to form a working alliance, which could work with the Greens too.

  9. Bighead1883

    One hopes John that Tim has much better luck than he had with his last political party,Australia Progressives and the huge shit fights which ensued
    I talk with him often and find he`s a straight shooter and have had a number tate` te te`s with Iain Dooley who`s also no dumb arse

    So TBH why not as any who can take votes from the conservatives are needed to keep Progressive Politics alive and kicking,just like Anthony Albanese does so well

    “Some commentators tipped Anthony Albanese to lose his seat to the Greens in the July federal election, an ambitious challenge seeking to position the Greens as the “natural home” for progressive voters. The recent release of his biography offers a chance to argue the progressive case for Labor, as Senator Jenny McAlister does in this review of Karen Middleton’s book.

    The promised upset did not eventuate.

    In Anthony, the Greens found an opponent who combined both a fierce will to power with a deeply idealistic heart. This is the paradox that resonates throughout Karen Middleton’s compelling biography”

  10. Sam_w

    All they needs is one ‘AEP’ senator and it would cause mayhem amongst the major parties.
    It would be like an economic ‘fact check’ sort of senator that would help change the context of Australian politics.

    Of course the biggest enemy will be the Australian media it manufactures outrage or compliance about particular issues in a void providing no context/past precedent.

    Amusing thought: I imagine morning TV like sunrise wont be paying Ian or Tim to talk for breakfast television for instance 😉
    “taxes don’t pay for anything” would be a good and easily provable insight the Australian public should be aware of.

    Money and Banking – Part 6: Treasury and Central Bank Interactions

  11. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Didn’t you get the message earlier, Bighead (from a higher power than myself on this site), that you’re considered a hypocrite?

    No accounting for political ‘Biggietry’, I suppose.

    But for you to claim some higher ground in your frequent contact with another social media self-identified ‘superstar’, you need a reality check.

    Please seek advice from your psychoanalyst and save us all from your pretentious criticism and understanding of worthwhile goals..

  12. Trish Corry

    At last! An argument for someone else to join with the Greens instead of Labor.

    JMS – Bit harsh. <3 you Biggy

  13. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Why harsh?

  14. Iain Dooley

    Thanks everyone. I’m not sure there’s much hope in The Greens Trish, they’ve been refusing to accept MMT for a while despite internal pressure.

    I think we have to go smaller …

    But at any rate we will just keep plodding along as best we can 🙂

  15. Lawrence Corry

    thats right Trish Just keep thinking the ALP are what they used to be..have you even looked at MMT..btw joing the grns imho would be the worst thing the AEP could do as they aspire to the same broken economic rules that the ALP,LNP do

  16. paulwalter

    No, I actually have sympathy for Labor on this. The Greens should have concentrated on pulling seats off Labor-right hacks or Tories.

    Although it IS peculiar that safe seats go to morons and Labor’s brightest and best are left to hold the inner city marginals.

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