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16923Re: `Left-wing' Laurie Ferguson's betrayal of Nauru detainees

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  • glparramatta
    Apr 24, 2005
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      Hi Jennifer,

      Where is the ``derision'' you refer to. If it came across that way, it
      was unintended. As I said clearly, I think it is terrific if such a
      campaign is continuing to take place and think it should be publicised
      on this list and in GLW.

      I'm only asking for details of the current state of this campaign
      within the ALP. Did it stop after the 2004 federal conference? If it
      did stop, why? I can find little evidence that it has continued since
      then, so I am asking Bob Gould and anybody else active in the ALP for
      this information.

      The consistent record of Socialist Alliance comrades, including DSP
      comrades, in building a mass the refugees' rights campaign over many
      years and in many states is very well known and respected. I'm sure
      you're not suggesting that we have not played a major role, along with
      many others including L4R and Rural Australians for Refugees, in
      changing public opinion on this and raising and keeping alive
      opposition to the government's treatment of refugees. Every issue of
      GLW, including the current issue, gives very prominent coverage to the
      struggle of refugees and their supporters. GLW also gave positive
      coverage to Labor for Refugees.

      I'm sure that, as you say, ``many many ALP members are disappointed
      that all that effort was made, the policy was adopted, and we now have
      a Spokesperson who doesn't follow that policy. The people who were
      involved in that effort put up with a lot of bullying, shouting and
      harassment by factional heavies inside the ALP.'' But what are their
      next steps in the campaign?

      Surely this does raise questions about whether continued reliance on
      internal ALP politics is the best and most effective way of organising
      for left activists today?

      And yes, part of my post was to (again) press Bob Gould to outline his
      efforts to build a fighting left within the ALP. Because he continues
      to argue that that is the way forward for socialist activists in
      Australia, counterposing that activity to that of building the
      Socialist Alliance and a genuine left alternative. So a balance sheet
      of the L4R experience and of other genuine left campaigns within the
      ALP would provide a useful gauge of the validity of his position.

      All the best,


      --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "Jennifer Haines"
      <jhaines1@v...> wrote:
      > It must be so easy sitting in the smug comfort of a group like the
      DSP, looking at the ALP and deriding those who struggle on a day by
      day basis to bring the ALP around to a more humane policy and practice
      on refugees. There are many many people inside the ALP who are very
      dismayed and upset by the utterings of Laurie Ferguson on immigration
      and refugee matters. But the solution is not to just sit there and be
      upset, but to take action. I'm impressed to hear that there are 100
      motions that have been passed. To me, that indicates that there is
      healthy debate taking place at least at rank and file level in the
      ALP. Is there a healthy debate going on inside the DSP on refugee
      policy? What exactly has the DSP achieved in terms of changing the
      policy of the ALP, or for that matter the Liberals, on refugee policy?
      > The effort that went into presenting the Labor for Refugees
      amendments at the National Conference of the ALP in 2004 was enormous,
      and again many many ALP members are disappointed that all that effort
      was made, the policy was adopted, and we now have a Spokesperson who
      doesn't follow that policy. The people who were involved in that
      effort put up with a lot of bullying, shouting and harassment by
      factional heavies inside the ALP. They were courageous in standing up
      to it, because the change in refugee policy was so essential. These
      people need support from fellow left wingers, not derision.
      > Jenny Haines
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: glparramatta
      > To: GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Saturday, April 23, 2005 6:47 PM
      > Subject: [GreenLeft_discussion] Re: `Left-wing' Laurie Ferguson's
      betrayal of Nauru detainees
      > --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "glparramatta"
      > <glparramatta@g...> wrote:
      > >
      > > but why should I know about this campaign within the
      > > ALP? It's the first time you've reported on it here that I can
      > > remember. And I have looked in vain for evidence of it on your
      > > website, or much else about your struggles within the ALP to build a
      > > genuine socialist pole (as opposed to every twist and turn of your
      > > ongoing debates with the DSP).
      > >
      > > I think it is terrific that such a struggle is taking place. But why
      > > keep it so well hidden? Go public! Keep us in the loop. Tell us
      > > this campaign's successes on the list more often. Write an
      article or
      > > letter about it for Green Left Weekly. Tell us when actions or
      > > are being organised and we'll help publicise them. We are happy to
      > > cooperate with those who prepared to build a genuine uncompromising
      > > fighting left in the ALP.
      > >
      > > Norm
      > Further to this, since posting the above I have searched the web in
      > vain for any evidence of this ``vigorous'' campaign by Labor for
      > Refugees and others within the ALP against the sell-out Labor ``left''
      > Ferguson. I've heard some ISO comrades say 100 motions have been
      > passed. When were they passed, where have they gone to and where have
      > they been debated. What are the plans after these motions have been
      > discussed, passed or rejected?
      > Labor for Refugees' web site comes to a screaming halt in February
      > 2004 with this:
      > ``Labor for Refugees: where to now? 01 February, 2004
      > ``Following the close defeat of the Labor for Refugees amendment at
      > the ALP's National Conference, supporters are invited to put forward
      > ideas on the path ahead.''
      > Nobody posted any ideas and the site has lay dorment ever since.
      > Please Bob, give us more details of this camapign and just how much
      > life there is to it.
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