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Profile: Jerome Small, Victorian Socialists Candidate for Calwell

Victorian Socialists candidate Jerome Small is up for Calwell this coming Federal Election. He spoke to Farrago about climate policy, labour rights, and the challenges for Victorian Socialists in the upcoming election.

Victorian Socialists candidate Jerome Small is up for Calwell this coming Federal Election. He spoke to Farrago about climate policy, labour rights, and the challenges for Victorian Socialists in the upcoming election.

Now working as a construction worker, Small has been involved in trade unions for his working life. Recently, he participated in the protest against “rich climate criminals” and Dysons driver strike to continue fighting for government attention to climate change and labour rights.

He proposed to address climate emergencies, reduce toxic waste and increase minimum wages to restore socialism in Australian politics.

“The extraordinary productive systems which span the earth are built and operated by working-class people, but we don’t control that system, nor the vast wealth it produces,” said Small.

“Socialism is about turning this situation upside down, or rather, turning it right side up by putting the vast majority of the population in control, rather than a tiny number of unelected corporate chiefs and their servants.” 

The road to raising people’s voice in the parliament will be tough for Small and Victorian Socialists as Labor has secured the seat in Calwell over the past 40 years winning 53.9 per cent of votes before preferences in 2019, while Small representing Victorian Socialists only won 4.6 per cent.

Nevertheless, Small will challenge the seat again as both Labor and Liberal continue to support the opening of new gas and coal projects despite the warning from scientists that the temperature in Australia has increased 1.44 °C since 1910. Small understood the participation of the working class was the key to change the capitalistic approach.

“We need a radical mass movement to stop them. Importantly, very large sections of the working class see climate as a major priority,” he said.

Small also points out that although workers have the right to strike, the federal government has implemented legal restrictions to make striking  illegal, and trade unions have accepted the deprivation of rights too meekly.

“Victorian Socialists are for removing all the laws prohibiting the right of workers to withdraw our labour,” he said.

Despite reaching out to voters in person and on social media, Small admits lack of funds and fame compared to major parties is the biggest difficulty of his campaign, but he is confident to convince voters with the policies.

“But when we get to explain our policies of putting people before profit, and our people power approach to politics, it connects with many people. Calwell is the electorate that takes in many of the core working-class suburbs in Melbourne’s north. Our message of hope and resistance strikes a chord with many people,” he added.

Victorian Socialists will continue spreading their messages across the community and look for a remarkable outcome on 21 May.

 

Image from Facebook.

 
Farrago's magazine cover - Edition Five 2022

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