10061Re: An open letter to ALP members on Senate preferences
- Oct 17, 2004A short answer to Norm, pending a longer one later
By Bob Gould
The situation from a socialist point of view ebbs and flows in the
Labor Party. My polemical material on the Green Left list and
elsewhere hasn't been directed mainly at what socialists should do in
the ALP or the Greens. It has been directed mainly against a mindless
exposure strategy towards the ALP and the Greens, adopted particularly
by the DSP and the SEP, and especially towards leftists who continue
in the ALP.
As Norm points out, I am indeed an individual with a few associates,
but I have been around labour movement politics for a very long time,
I know a large number of people, and I have a loud voice.
It's rather early days yet to talk about rebuilding a serious
socialist grouping in the Labor Party. I have chosen to adopt the
medium of open letters taking up arguments on key political questions,
which isn't a bad way to proceed in the current circumstances. I
distribute these letters very widely in ALP circles and on the web.
The most relevant of these letters to this discussion are my comment
on the NSW local government elections
http://members.optushome.com.au/spainter/Greensletter.html two items
in advance of the federal elections, commenting on a socialist
approach to those elections, including preference policy,
http://members.optushome.com.au/spainter/Electoral.html and going back
a bit further, a description of one sort of thing I do in the Labor
Party when there's an opportunity
I'm open to advice as to what socialists should do in the Labor Party,
and I'm interested that Norm now concedes that the Labor Party is a
reasonable place to engage in socialist activity.
On the basis of past experience of the DSP, which captured the 1971
Socialist Left in NSW and then acquiesced in its liquidation, and
which had some influence in a small publication called Labor Militant,
with which myself and some associates formed a cautious united front
in the mid-1980s, it's not my understanding that the DSP has
historically been very patient in Labor Party work. Of course things
can change, but a good start for the DSP would be to stop abusing
leftist ALP members for the very act of being in the ALP.
In relation to the Greens, socialists I know who are active in the
Greens are cautious in their activities. They have the awful skeletons
lying in front of them of the DSP's clamourous and disastrous
activities in the Nuclear Disarmament Party, and in the formative
stages of the Greens, particularly in NSW.
In both instances, the DSP took what were incipient mass movements and
attempted to take total organisational control of them at a very early
stage, with a big clamour about democracy, with disastrous results.
With those experiences in front of them and behind them, it's my
impression that socialists in the Greens are justifiably fairly
cautious in how they proceed.
Obviously, all these questions are up for sensible discussion, and
that discussion should proceed without too much rancour.
- << Previous post in topic Next post in topic >>