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24704Re: from John/Togs Tognolini-In reply to Bob Gould

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  • bobgould987
    Dec 29, 2005
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      Tognolini's slander of Bob Gould not credible

      By Bob Gould

      John Tognolini only takes up in a very summary way the strategic and
      tactical questions that I raised about the workers' movement. He does
      say that even if the Liberal government loses the High Court case it's
      of little importance.

      That shows he, and the Boyle faction DSP leadership, who he echos in
      this, can't see the wood for the trees on strategic questions.

      The main thrust of his post, however, is to reiterate his slander that
      I called him a scab in some argument about 20 years ago, and he uses a
      very big font to make his point.

      He makes the time more specific, that it was after the DSP had changed
      its line on the Labor Party, which puts it somewhere around 1985-87.
      To gild the lily even more he has me frothing at the mouth and
      disrupting DSP forums and he claims I do much the same thing now on
      the Green Left list.

      His accusation lacks all credibility. The fact is, at the time he is
      talking about my relations with the DSP and its leadership were fairly
      good, despite differences we had about the Labor Party.

      An example of this is that Jim Percy sought my participation, along
      with a lot of others on the independent left, in meetings held at Phil
      Lee's house in Annandale, to create a diverse left pole of attraction
      at the CPA-organised Broad Left conference in 1986.

      At the end of that conference, which involved a stormy argument
      between the whole of the far left, including the then SPA, the DSP, a
      number of left Labor Party people, some Maoists and Frank Hardy, there
      was a meeting at Glebe Town Hall attended by about 300 people.

      The speakers at that meeting were Jim Percy, Harry Black of the SPA,
      myself and Frank Hardy. A totally comradely atmosphere prevailed at
      the meeting.

      A few years later, when Jim Percy died, John Percy asked me to speak
      at the memorial meeting, also at Glebe Town Hall. A couple of years
      later, when Ernest Mandel died, John Percy asked me to speak at the
      memorial meeting for Mandel, which I did.

      Tognolini's picture of rather crazed Bob Gould frothing at the mouth,
      disrupting DSP forums, is a figment of his own fevered imagination,
      which is put to the service of slandering me basically because of
      current disagreements about strategy.

      Doug Jordan has thrown into the pot something previously unknown to
      me, that at some point the DSP withdrew and pulped an issue of Direct
      Action because it contained something that slandered me (if any old
      hand remembers that event, or even perchance has kept a copy of the
      slanderous bit of Direct Action, I'd love to see it, just to know what
      it was about).

      Accusing someone of being a scab is about the worst thing you can say
      about anyone in the labour movement. If Tognolini says I called him a
      scab, were there witnesses? Did he take it up with anyone to get me to
      withdraw or apologise? Did he publish some protest to me to get me to
      with draw it, or anything like that?

      In addition, Tognolini is well known for a rather vociferous
      temperament. What did he do at the time? Did he sit calmly, while as
      he alleges, I called him a scab?

      In my sporadic experience of Tognolini over the years he's a rather
      volcanic individual, and he's about the last person I would call a
      scab unless I had become unhinged.

      I repeat my assertion. I have never called Tognolini a scab, and in
      the absence of him providing some more concrete evidence of his
      allegation, he the one engaged in gratuitous personal slander for
      current political purposes, probably egged on by others.

      I resent this slander intensely, although there's not a great deal I
      can do about it, or intend to do about it. This unpleasant slander of
      me simply underlines the political method of Tognolini, and possibly
      some of his associates.
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