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34446Re: ALP's Tree of Knowledge officially dead

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  • bobgould987
    Oct 6, 2006
      The Tree of Knowledge

      By Bob Gould

      Alan Bradley, whose reasonably rational contributions in recent times
      are a breath of fresh air on the Green Left list, takes me for task
      for placing what he says is an unreasonable construction on Duroyan
      Fertl's post about the death of the Tree of Knowledge.

      On the basis of the general line of the DSP on these matters, I think
      my interpretation is reasonable.

      Alan Bradley's point isn't helped at all by Riley's latest comment. He
      does a search on Wikipedia and comes up with four demands of the
      shearers at the start of the dispute, one of which was the exclusion
      of Chinese labour, as if that was the last word on the explosive class
      struggles in western Queensland in the 1890s, and the foundation of
      the Labor Party.

      Riley throws in an incoherent anecdote about Bob Hawke visiting
      Barcaldine and tosses in that the tree had been maintained in recent
      times by prison labour, as if that was somehow relevant.

      Riley's curious contribution underlines the DSP leadership's attitude
      to past Australian class struggles because of their contradictory
      character, which included a certain amount of racism.

      Like a lot of people these days, Riley seems to rely on Wikipedia as
      the last word. He should read a book occasionally. I'd recommend
      Stewart Svendsen's two books on the Queensland strikes, and
      particularly The Shearers' War, which describes the recurrent strikes
      of the bush workers, the semi-military shearers' camps at Barcaldine
      and other places, and the brutal crushing of the shearers by ruthless
      use of the military and legal power of the ruling class.

      A large number of the strike's leaders were framed up by a notoriously
      reactionary judge and collectively served many years in prison for
      their participation in the dispute. On release from jail a number of
      them remained active in the labour movement and one of them ended up a
      Labor MP in WA.

      Riley's obvious contempt for the class struggles of the shearers in
      western Queensland in the 1890s is itself beneath contempt, but it
      certainly reflects the outlook of the current DSP leadership, of which
      Riley is a part.

      In the light of Riley's contribution I don't my interpretation of
      Fertl's post is unreasonable.
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