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18789Re: Two Labor state conferences

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  • bobgould987
    Jun 15, 2005
      A 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
      Socialist Alliance.

      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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