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19013Re: Here's the basis for a united front: REFUGEE GROUPS CALL FOR LAURIE FERGUSON

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  • bobgould987
    Jun 21, 2005
      By Bob Gould

      Norm Dixon can't help himself in his desire to dismiss the ALP as a
      more or less undifferentiated reactionary mass.

      Dixon jumps in, taking as good coin Laurie Ferguson's spin on the
      predicament he has created for himself. Ferguson has dug himself into
      a deep hole with his reactionary statements about Peter Qasim.

      If it were true, as Dixon and Ferguson both claim, that the only
      protesting voice in caucus was Julia Irwin, how is it possible that
      the debate went on for an hour, according to the media reports?

      Also, why was it necessary for Beazley to say that Ferguson had
      changed his view?

      Dixon's sectarian blindness prevents him from having any clue about
      real political processes in mass organisations. His years in the DSP
      seem to have eroded his political faculties in that respect. He
      probably had a clearer political understanding of such matters when he
      was a member of Young Labor.

      Dixon refuses to even consider the pressure that's building up all
      over the country to dump Ferguson from the immigration role.

      That pressure is coming from the refugee movement in general and
      particularly from refugee supporters in the Labor Party, including
      some parliamentarians.

      Dixon demands to know exact details of how Labor for Refugees is
      proceeding, and if he was given those details he'd probably put a
      provocative spin on it, thereby playing into Ferguson's hands.

      It's really quite extraordinary for Dixon to take Ferguson's defensive
      story as good coin. He dismisses contemptuously the wide distribution
      without comment of the Rintoul document in Labor for Refugees circles,
      but that only shows Dixon's fundamental contempt for Labor for
      Refugees activists.

      Those emails, which are sent out by Labor for Refugees activists in
      NSW and Victoria and Jack Smit of Projectsafe.com in WA, get to
      thousands of labour movement activists all over the country.

      Incidentally, that network gets to a far wider audience in the labour
      movement than Green Left Weekly does, despite its considerable web
      presence.

      Dixon refuses to see a broad struggle going on in the ALP and the
      labour movement when it's right before his eyes. He instinctively
      falls back to treating the ALP and the broad labour movement as one
      reactionary mass when considerable evidence to the contrary is staring
      him in the face.

      Dixon's rhetoric is a perfect example of what I mean when I talk about
      the DSP's belligerent Third Period posture towards Labor.

      I recommend that he go away and read, and perhaps even have a little
      class among the DSP full-timers, on Ian Rintoul's press release, which
      is a very useful example of how to concretely apply the united front
      as a strategy. It appeals to the ranks of the labour movement to
      campaign for the disciplining of Ferguson on this matter and assumes
      that it may well get a response from the ranks of the labour movement.

      Contrast Rintoul's approach with the dead-endism of Dixon and the DSP
      leadership in condemning the whole of the labour movement and
      presuming the battle on the immediate question of Ferguson's role is
      already lost when it has really only just begun.

      For Dixon's information, Julia Irwin, the main caucus critic of
      Ferguson, is an important figure in the NSW Centre Unity faction, and
      she is well-known for her forthright defence of the right of the
      Palestinians to national self-determination, which often brings her
      into conflict with the likes of Michael Danby, the Victorian
      right-winger who often takes an ultra-Zionist stance.

      A bit of sensible comment on Julia Irwin's courageous role, rather
      than taking as good coin Ferguson's contemptuous spin on her
      intervention, would be more appropriate than Dixon's visceral
      sectarianism.

      Dixon makes a throwaway remark that Bob Gould should confine himself
      to ALP affairs rather than attacking the left outside the ALP. This is
      another example of the DSP leadership's delusions of its own royal status.

      Of late I've argued with the DSP leadership on these strategic
      questions. Many others on the left outside the ALP, such as Ian
      Rintoul, take a far more rational stand on these questions, so I don't
      argue with them.

      It's a bit rich of Dixon to talk about not attacking the left outside
      the ALP when the DSP leadership has just been engaged in a protracted
      period of trench warfare against almost every other group on the left
      outside the ALP.

      When Dixon implies that his group IS the left outside the ALP, that's
      just an extension of the DSP's royal delusions of grandeur, and it's
      really an extension of its attack in recent times on other left groups
      outside the ALP.

      The DSP leadership regards the other groups as insignificant. As the
      self-appointed leadership of the non-ALP left, the DSP leadership is
      the only force that matters in its eyes, and by definition like the
      king in olden times, it shouldn't be attacked or argued with.
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