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18844Re: Fightback and Socialist Alliance conferences

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  • Kim B
    Jun 16 9:00 PM
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      Ah conspiracy theories and Bob’s embellishments…..don’t you love ‘em!


      Unlike Bob G, I was actually at the Alliance conference as a delegate.   It is interesting that Bob Gould attempts to paint Peter Boyle and John Percy as belligerent and supposed “attacking all their opponents”.  He of course, unsurprising leaves out any reference to some of the uncomradely attacks that were made on not only members of the DSP but also some non-aligned comrades who were NOT part of the NAC convenors groupings.    


      If the conversations, I had later in the bar are anything to go by, these attacks, however, only seemed to harden the opinion of the majority of the non-aligned comrades who were not aligned with the NAC convenors, that the NAC convenors did not represent them.


      One of the strangest arguments put up by at least 2 of the NAC convenors that Socialist Alliance should NOT adhere to the principle of one person, one vote.  This was repeated on a number of occasions by at least one of the NAC convenors and again this was not received well at all by other non-aligned comrades not around their grouping.


      The DSP had around 50% of the delegate floor, not 60% as Bob asserts.  From what I could see the affiliates had around 12 – 15 delegates, and the NAC convenor grouping had around 12 or so as well. This means that 20 or more comrades were NOT aligned with either the NAC convenors caucus or the other affiliates or the DSP.


      Many of the non-aligned comrades not grouped around the NAC convenors made a point of noting that they were extremely pissed off that they NAC convenors grouping was proporting to represent them.  The Geelong comrades in particular were angry as all hell and they made this fact known on the conference floor.  

      As for the GLW – SA proposal, Bob is wrong to say it was endorsed by the “standard 70:30” vote.  While no actual count was taken, the vote was more closer to probably 80: 20 or possibly as high as 85:15.  


      The main sticking point in this vote, was not the actual support for the GLW – SA relationship. 


      Both the FSP and the ISO proposals that the relationship be ended went down resoundingly, with from my vantage point on the delegate floor only the ISO, FSP and the other small affiliates and perhaps one or two non-aligned comrades voting for it.  The rest of the conference voted against the ISO and FSP proposals.


      Comrade Alex M amended the GLW proposal to change the size of the editorial board to be “no more then 12 comrades”. 


      This seemed to be a main sticking point with some of the grouping around the NAC convenors and once this was amended, the majority of the conference floor voted for the proposal.  Again from my vantage point on the delegation floor, the only comrades to vote against it were comrades from the smaller affiliates and possible 3 or 4 non-aligned comrades (although a few affiliate comrades did abstain from the vote).


      Indeed, at least one (if not possibly two) of the non-aligned NE comrades, who had voted for the NAC convenors proposal on SA- GLW voted at the NE voted against the NAC proposal on the conference floor.


      I agree with Dave R, it is a pity that Raul Bassi is not on the NE.  I know myself and many other DSP comrades did vote for him.  I would also agree with Dave, that Raul most likely unfortunately fell victim to some of the factional games by the other affiliates and even his own NAC caucus.  


      It should be remember that with proportional transferable votes, voters do not have to vote for all positions up for grabs, they can in fact choose to only vote for 1 person, 5 people or even 10 people and not the full 15 as was the case with this vote.


      AS for Humphrey McQueen – Bob I can assure you, the DSP did vote for Humphrey, perhaps you should ask your informants in the other affiliates whether or not they voted for him or not.


      As I noted above, in the proportional transferable vote system, you do not have vote for all positions, instead you can vote for just one person, or 5 or 10.  From my discussions with some of members of the other affiliates, it is clear they did not vote for a full slate of 15 instead voting only for 5 or 6 people instead.


      Again on GLW (again Bob only likes to hear what he things, not what really is)  The DSP has NEVER demanded that the affiliates or any non-aligned comrade for that matter sell GLW.


      This is completely voluntarily (as Alex M’s SA-GLW report notes).  If people want to sell GLW then they can, if they don’t, then they don’t have too.  Its their choice, pure and simple.  The fact, however, is that many non-aligned DO choose to sell GLW because they do see it as something that supports SA.   They would also sell Socialist Worker as well if the ISO provided copies of it. 


      I co-ordinate the stalls for Melbourne Central SA and we have not seen a new edition of Socialist Worker for months (and its getting a bit embarassing putting old editions of SW on the stall with news that is 3 or 4 months old).  The ISO has not provided me with any despite me asking for them on different occasions. 


      One older ISO member comes every Friday to the Bourke St stall.  I have never ever asked him to sell GLW but he does so off his own bat because he thinks it’s a great paper.  He would love to sell Socialist Worker, but his comrades have failed to provide us with any, so he sells GLW instead because HE CHOOSE TO DO SO.


      As for DSP membership declining/stagnating, Bob, you are “informants” are obviously behind the times. My branch in Melbourne has just recently joined 4 new comrades and we are looking to join a couple more in the near future.  Sydney branch has also joined 4 or 5 new members in recent weeks and our smaller branches are slowly increasing their membership as well. 


      Bob has been predicting the doom and gloom for the last four years in relation to the both the Socialist Alliance and the DSP and he will know doubt go on predicting it till the end of time.   While Bob continues to predict and bluster, the DSP and the Socialist Alliance will get on with the job at hand, building a real fight back to Howard’s anti-worker agenda.

      cheers, Kim

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