24704Re: from John/Togs Tognolini-In reply to Bob Gould
- Dec 29, 2005Tognolini'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
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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