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16987Re: `Left-wing' Laurie Ferguson's betrayal of Nauru detainees

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  • bobgould987
    Apr 25, 2005
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      By Bob Gould

      A note to Norm Dixon, who demagogically demands of me, from time to
      time, a detailed description of what left-wingers are doing in the
      Labor Party.

      First of all my argument with the DSP is not directed at suggested
      that the DSP should enter the Labor Party wholesale, or the Greens for
      that matter. The DSP has obviously chosen for the moment to engage in
      independent activity.

      My argument is directed at trying to persuade the members of the DSP
      to adopt a more realistic united front attitude towards members of the
      Labor Party and the Greens, rather than bombarding them with offensive
      ultimatums about what they should do, particularly when these
      ultimatums are linked to an exposition by the DSP of the unscientific
      and inaccurate two-equal-parties-of-capitalism theory on which they
      base their approach, both to the Labor Party and to individual Labor
      Party members.

      Much the same principle ought to apply to the DSP's approach to
      socialist activists in the Greens.

      In my experience, socialist activity in the Labor Party, or in the
      Greens, isn't something that can be turned on and off like a tap, on
      the basis of some insulting, slightly demagogic, ultimatum from the
      DSP leadership.

      We are just coming out of a period of quiescence for socialist
      activity in the Labor Party, and in society at large.

      If past upsurges of socialist militancy in the Labor Party are any
      guide, and they are, initiatives for renewed socialist activity in the
      Labor Party must be based on something real.

      As it happens, I have a few bright ideas for renewed socialist and
      leftist activity in the Labor Party that may have some reality in the
      current conditions, but it's not use for Bob Gould to belt out a few
      bright ideas, no matter how smart they may be, as an isolated initiative.

      All around the country there are socialists and militants who hold
      Labor Party tickets, including most of the militant trade union
      current to which the DSP orients.

      I put to you very seriously, Norm, that perhaps Green Left Weekly
      could open up a serious discussion on what socialists who are in the
      Labor Party, or in the Greens for that matter, might do in the
      immediate future.

      You might interview, in this context, people such as Hughie Williams
      of the Transport Workers Union, the young leaders of Labor for
      Refugees in Queensland, the assistant secretary of the Maritime Union
      in WA, and perhaps even Kevin Reynolds in WA, maybe the young leaders
      of the Labor left and Labor for Refugees in the ACT, maybe a
      representative group of Labor for Refugees activists in NSW, and maybe
      people like Michele O'Neil, Martin Kingham, Kevin Bracken (MUA Vic)
      and Robyn Rothfield and Lev Lafayette from Labor for Refugees in Victoria.

      In the context of a serious discussion like that about immediate
      perspectives for the Labor left, I'd be more than willing to toss in
      my views. In the absence of a serious initiative like that, I'll
      continue to ignore the slightly self-interested sniping from the DSP
      leadership. I generally make it a practice not to respond in politics
      to the "when did you stop beating your wife" kind of question.
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