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25286Re: the left in the Labor Party

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  • bobgould987
    Jan 15, 2006
      By Bob Gould

      In response to Dale Mills, without the slightest intent of personal
      offensiveness, I agree with Alan Bradley that Dale should get out
      more, or when he does get out (and I've seen him in his useful role of
      legal monitor at a number of demonstrations) he might use some of his
      time talking to obvious Labor lefts, such as Darryl Melham, at the
      demonstration against the "anti-terror" laws at the demonstration
      before Christmas.

      In his personally aggrieved post, Dale shifts the goalposts
      significantly. He now wants not just identification of people who are
      left-wingers in the Labor Party, but a category he calls "members of
      the Labor left".

      In addition to this, he asks what makes them left. Of course, implied
      in this is how they measure up for his, and the DSP's, full Marxist
      program.

      Bradley's reply on this point was, in my view, quite adequate. He just
      describes the spheres of activity in which many of the people he knows
      in Toowoomba are active on the left.

      In my piece last night, I rattled off a miscellaneous list of some
      Labor leftists in a few states, including some leftists who are
      factionally aligned with the Labor right, but whose concrete
      activities on particular questions place them on the left. The most
      striking example is the federal member for a western suburbs seat in
      Sydney who constantly sticks up for the interests of the Palestinians
      and who comes under constant fire for that.

      All the people I listed are defined by taking generally principled and
      leftist positions in their various spheres of activity in and around
      the Labor Party, and there are tens of thousands more at all levels,
      particularly the rank and file.

      This may be a bit unfair to Dale Mills, and some others in DSP
      circles, but if he doubts this he should get out more and talk to some
      of these people. There are Labor activists like this on the left in
      virtually every locality, union and community and popular movement in
      the country.

      Without wanting to be too hard on Dale, the fact that he even asks the
      question underlines one of my general points, that a lot of people in
      the DSP tend to live in a kind of alternate universe create in their
      own heads.

      The question of how Marxists who choose to work in the Labor Party
      should organise, like the question of how Marxists who choose to work
      in the Greens should organise, is different, and I'll comment on that
      in due course, with the kind of discretion that I consider necessary.

      In response to Dave Riley on the Queensland Labor Party, he should
      look at http://members.optushome.com.au/spainter/Rednorth.html
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