16987Re: `Left-wing' Laurie Ferguson's betrayal of Nauru detainees
- Apr 25, 2005By 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
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
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
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
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
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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