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19654Re: What Bob Gould fails to mention

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  • Peter Boyle
    Jul 6, 2005
      --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "Ed Lewis" <ozleft@o...>

      > Are you telling me there's argy bargy at Unions NSW, Nick, and there
      > were different opinions on how to organise the protests, whether
      > there should be stopworks, etc? And here I was thinking Labour
      > Council heavies sat around holding hands and sipping cups of herbal
      > tea.
      > Of course there were differences of opinion. That's not evidence of
      > any lack of democracy, but of reasonably democratic (although far
      > from perfect) processes at work. I might not agreee with exactly how
      > all those discussions turned out, but that's no reason to demonise
      > people who in the end led a pretty effective beginning to a long
      > campaign and who for better or worse will probably be there
      > throughout the campaign.
      > It looks to me like you've picked up a bit of static from a few
      > people who were involved in those discussions and you've blown that
      > out of all proportion. I'd be taking more notice if some of the
      > people who were involved in the rough and tumble were going public
      > with their views, but I haven't noticed anything like that. The
      > whining on this list a few days ago struck me as very short-sighted,
      > although the coverage in Green Left was slightly more balanced.
      > Finally, I noticed someone or other whinging about the protests in
      > NSW being held at indoor venues and some workers being angry that the
      > venues were too small and they couldn't get in. A leadership that
      > organised outdoor meetings in the middle of winter during a week of
      > heavy rain also would have copped some flak. Of course, the day of
      > the meetings turned out to be the first dry day for a week, but no
      > one could predict that with any confidence.

      "More weeks of industrial action like the one just past are obviously
      essential, as the legislation is drafted and makes it way through the
      Parliament. But this sort of action has a law of diminishing returns -
      as those who participated in the war protests learned - if having
      established the benchmark, the movement is defined by how the numbers
      on the street are maintained. And there is always the danger of
      alienating the public if demonstration becomes obstruction

      "More constructive is community activity aimed at hitting coalition
      MPs a where they hurt - their local electorates. This is the phase the
      campaign is now moving into - mobilising communities to ask their
      representatives where they stand on this most basic of issues."

      - Unions NSW's Workers Online editorial

      Your over-eagerness to expose the DSP seems to be blinding you to the
      obvious fact that the Unions NSW leadership has an extremely
      conservative and defeatist approach to this campaign. July 1 was meant
      to be a series of meetings in which the union rank and file endorsed
      the Unions NSW leadership resolution without discussion or the right
      to raise any alternatives. It only became a sort of
      rally/demonstration because of (a) the pressure built up from the June
      30 mass strikes and rallies in Victoria, WA and Qld (in the first two
      states decided by mass delegates meetings where discussion was
      allowed); and (b)the broad enthusiasm in the union ranks in NSW for
      mass industrial action (expressed in bigger than expected turnouts to
      the July 1 meetings but also expressed in the Unions NSW Sky Channel
      delegate meetings on May 27.)

      Now the Workers Online editorial tells us that further mass
      industrial/political action will bring diminishing... and we should
      look forward to bringing Howard to account the next federal elections.
      That gets the Workers Online editor talking really tough:

      "When the time comes to pass judgment at the ballot box we can not
      allow this leader to pull another rabbit from the hat.

      "We need to wedge him between the family values he uses as a crutch
      and the cold hard free market ideology that he espouses.

      "We need to have the Australian workforce waiting for him with the
      proverbial baseball bat - the same one they used on Keating when he
      over-stepped the line and put the economy ahead of people."
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