34446Re: ALP's Tree of Knowledge officially dead
- Oct 6, 2006The 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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