Sunday, 29 May 2016
SUE BOLTON - SOCIALIST ALLIANCE
Sue Bolton- Socialist Alliance Councillor for Moreland.
Big thumbs-up to Sue Bolton for telling it like it is.
Sue is one of the few politicians who has the courage and honesty to openly criticise the government's direction of privatising public housing under the guise of 'social', 'affordable' and 'community' housing.
Sue gave an excellent speech at the Bendigo St Occupation in Collingwood. Empty government-owned houses are now being occupied peacefully by homeless people- a political action organised by the Homeless Person's Union- a union that is not afraid to stand up to callous governments and demand the right to housing for homeless people.
Here are some extracts from Sue Bolton's speech.
"The actions of all the people who have initiated this occupation have given us the opportunity to relaunch something really, really necessary which is a campaign for public housing.
I'm really happy that activists in this campaign have been focusing on public housing and have not been sidetracked by sneaky forms of privatisation where governments are handing over properties to Not-for-Profit Housing Associations which operate just like private landlords- at least most of them do.
When the government announced it was giving away some of the East-West Link houses over to 'social' or 'affordable' housing, the media never really asked any questions like 'How many houses? What are you going to do with the rest? And what do you mean by social or affordable housing?'
There's a lot of bullshit from the government about 'affordable' and 'social' housing. It's not legit what the government is doing.
People are really suffering from the housing crisis. The government doesn't want people to understand that public housing is the answer!
Over many years governments- and even people within the housing sector that might have come from an activist background- have been denigrating the idea of public housing.
We need to widen the campaign and build broader support. That's going to be critical. We need to knock back this attitude that says 'public housing is gone. We don't need that any more'. We absolutely need public housing! There's no way the market will provide affordable housing.
What we need to fight for and rebuild a movement for- and I think this occupation is laying the basis for us to do that - is to relaunch a campaign for genuine public housing.
If we can win this - so that these houses are turned over to become genuine public housing - not fake 'social housing', or fake 'affordable housing' then this will be a win for everyone all over Australia, not just in Victoria.
Posted by Fiona Ross at 00:44