Magazine of the Socialist Party, Australian section of the CWI

Bosses by day and socialists by night!

The Socialist Party (SP) was surprised recently when we were informed that one of the leaders of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP), Linda Tenenbaum, is also the Managing Director of Sydney print company MPD.

MPD (formerly Marrickville Print and Design) have about 40 employees and currently print the Asian edition of the Financial Times newspaper in Australia.

It seems that by day Tenenbaum is the boss of a factory assisting the ruling class by printing one of their most influential papers and by night she writes ‘revolutionary’ articles for the SEP! Many of Tenenbaum’s articles have also been published on the World Socialist Web Site.

On the PrintNet website Tenenbaum says “We are delighted to have been chosen to print the Financial Times. The FT is, unquestionably, the highest profile financial newspaper in the world, with a history going back to the 1880’s.”

It seems that Tenenbaum is not only proud of her role in the production of this right wing paper, but she also likes to boast about the productivity improvements she has carried out in her factory.

On the AGFA website, Tenenbaum talks about MPD’s move to upgrade their pre-press facilities with the new ‘computer-to-plate technology’ (CtP). She says “Before CtP we could have up to five people working in pre-press on any one shift: outputting film, film planning and shooting plates. What they could do in an hour, one person can now carry out more effectively in 15 minutes or less.”

The SEP has correctly written thousands of words opposing job losses and productivity improvements. On this basis we can only hope that Tenenbaum is using her position to put her ‘socialist’ politics into action. We would hope that she has now reduced the working hours for these five workers without any loss in pay. We won’t however be holding our breath!

The Socialist Party rarely ever sees any members of the SEP as they make a conscious effort not to mix with the labour movement. But we did have some correspondence with them during the 2007 Federal Election campaign.

Despite never doing any work in the area, the SEP decided to stand a candidate in the seat of Melbourne where the Socialist Party was also standing. We wrote to them and asked if they would like to meet up and discuss the situation. We received the following short and sharp reply.

“On these matters, we have nothing to discuss. Our two parties have opposed programs, policies and perspectives. Moreover, we will not be making preference deals with any other party, or proposing any preferences to voters.

Linda Tenenbaum
Assistant National Secretary
Socialist Equality Party”

We now realise more fully what Tenenbaum means when she says our two parties have opposed programs, polices and perspectives. While the Socialist Party works hard everyday taking on the bosses and their system, the SEP seem content to just be bosses! We wish them well with their relationship with the Financial Times!

By Socialist Party reporters