18789Re: Two Labor state conferences
- Jun 15, 2005A response to Kim Bullimore and Jon Strauss
By Bob Gould
Obviously I was not at the Queensland ALP conference. My information
came from a combination of an email from one of the Labor for Refugees
leaders in Queensland, sent to my friend Jenny Haines, a Labor for
Refugees activist in NSW, and from reading the Brisbane Courier Mail.
My point about Green Left not having a journalist at the NSW Labor
Party conference is abput a general approach to the labour movement
and the class struggle.
Even in quiescent times, the NSW Labor Party conference is the biggest
representative gathering of the labour movement in Australia.
Firstly, for the DSP leadership to devise the idea of having a union
fightback conference on the same long weekend as the Labor Party
conferences in Queensland and NSW was a piece of short-sighted
sectarianism dictated by their desire to boost the Socialist Alliance
by attaching the Fightback event to the front end of it.
The negative feature of this sectarianism obviously is that the
Fightback conference became a gathering almost entirely of Victorian
unionists, because most trade union officials in NSW and Queensland
would be at the state Labor conferences.
Those considerations obviously don't matter to the DSP leadeship, as
against the narrow organisational interests of the DSP and the
Despite the deformations imposed on the old Communist Party by Moscow
and high Stalinism, the old CPA and the old Trotskyists took the ALP
state conferences very seriously, because of their experience of those
conferences as arenas of struggle.
Tribune, the CPA newspaper, always had a journalist present all
weekend, moving around the conference, getting stories and trying to
get a picture of the dynamics of the event.
Incidentally, Tribune had a staff that was a little smaller than the
GLW staff is now, but its coverage of Australian labour movement
affairs was in-depth and thorough, although it was influenced by
Failure to take seriously the big state Labor conferences underlines
how far the DSP is removed from the workers' movement, and the tragedy
is that it's largely a self-imposed isolation.
In answer to Jon Strauss, no I wasn't present at any of the trade
union delegates' meetings, but quite a few of my political friends and
associates were, and took a vigorous part in those events, as you well
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