1215Bob Gould on Green Left Weekly
- May 5, 20031. Workers Online
Bob Gould tries to prove prove the DSP's rampant anti-ALP
sectarianism by quoting the criticism a non-DSP member, Peter
Perkins, had of an article in Workers Online, web organ of the NSW
Labor Council, and then asserting that Green Left Weekly has the same
relentless sectarianism that Peter supposedly has towards WO. As so
often he makes a polemical mountain out of a factual molehill.
I did a search of the GL back issues web page for "Workers Online"
and found mentions in 16 separate pieces.
* 5 were credited reprints from WO, including the announcement of the
launch of the site (others on issues including unions and refugees,
exploitation of Big Issue distributors and why the Labor Council
should have supported global justice protests on May 1, 2001, by
CFMEU organier Phil Davey).
* 6 were simply crediting WO as a source.
* 1 mentioned WO and Labor Council support for a "corporate scumbag
tour" preceding global justice protests May 1, 2001.
* 1 was an article critical of WO editorial attacks on protests on
May 1, 2002 (alongside a reprint of the editorial).
* 1 was an article critical of the Labor Council's inclusion of cop
"union" representatives in negotiations with the state gov't on
workers comp (after cops had attacked workers protesting about the
issue) and of WO's refusal to publish a letter along similar lines.
* 2 were letters critical of WO editorial content, one by a DSP
member (Peter Boyle, on attacks by the Labor Council on Books not
Bombs protests), one not (John Passant, on non-union member levies).
Therefore far from unrelenting sectarian attacks GL has had a
measured engagement with WO and its discussions, either promoting its
utility as a source or critisising some of its content around issues
which are undoubtably contentious - though since it is an important
site 16 mentions in around 3 years is maybe a bit light.
2. Industrial coverage in general
I can't do any real analysis here apart from suggesting it's quite
ridiculous and meaningless to compare the industrial coverage of GL
to the organ of either the peak body of the labour movement in NSW,
with 100 of 1000s of members, or to that of the Communist Party when
it had, what, 10 000 members? and bases in dozens of unions.
3. International news and historical/theoretical articles
Bob *may* have a point in the lack of utility of a numerous long
international items in a socialist weekly. Many people now have ready
access to a range of international news and analysis from a left
perspective, and although coverage like GL's comes in a convenient
package, with a much higher resolution and more user friendly
interface than your computer screen, this is probably one reason that
GL's sales rate is generally less now than a decade ago.
He certainly has a point in that a socialist weekly should have
historical/theoretical pieces. GL has had somewhat more in the past,
but few recently, and in fact one decision of the last DSP congress
was to have a regular historical feature. The need to respond to a
frantic present seems to have got in the way, but I hope this aspect
can be addressed in future, both in GL and any Socialist Alliance
publication which incorporates it.
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