Australia’s financial press promotes Labor’s shadow treasurer
1 February 2019
As the Liberal-National Coalition government, currently headed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, is torn apart by factional warfare, Australia’s primary financial newspaper has again hailed the Labor Party’s shadow treasurer Chris Bowen.
“How Chris Bowen plans to emulate hero Keating as a reformist treasurer,” was the headline on an Australian Financial Review background piece last weekend, in which Bowen restated his determination to match former Labor Treasurer and Prime Minister Paul Keating’s record from 1983 to 1996 by further restructuring the economy in the interests of big business.
The promotion of Bowen as a potential “new Keating” is another warning of Labor’s preparations to return to office as a totally committed pro-business government, while posturing as a champion of a “fair go” for workers in order to head off explosive social discontent.
Both the Australian Financial Review and the Australian, the other main print media mouthpiece of the capitalist class, ran “new Keating” promotions of Bowen last February, as the Coalition government, then headed by Malcolm Turnbull, began to implode.
At that time, the WSWS warned: “The Labor Party is being groomed, and grooming itself, to again impose on the working class an all-out assault on jobs, working conditions and basic rights, in the name of ‘economic reform,’ as it did in close partnership with the trade unions under Prime Minister Bob Hawke and Treasurer (later Prime Minister) Keating.”
Twelve months on, and nearly six months since the Liberal Party’s most right-wing elements ousted Turnbull and installed Morrison, the tensions engulfing the Coalition and the parliamentary…