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4553Re: Green Left Weekly,the Democratic Socialist Party and the Socialist Alliance

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  • Nick Fredman
    Feb 15, 2004
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      Bob Gould

      >Being a sensible man with an almost impossible case to argue, Nick
      >wisely doesn't take up the general thrust of my argument, but singles
      >out one small example of the very new regime in which Brian Webb of
      >the ISO had an article in GLW about the ALP national conference.

      More a sensible person with little time on Friday night but a few
      more minutes now. To go back a bit, I posed two replies from
      Socialist Alliance members active in the NTEU to Michael Thompson's
      resignation, not because I agreed with them to the letter (though I
      do largely), but because I felt they were a useful counterpoint to
      Michael's claims, and I was more immediately concerned with their
      counter-evidence to Michael's rosy-coloured view of the current
      situation of the NTEU, as one of them put it, than about GLW. I don't
      exactly agree with Austin Whitten's characterisation of GLW's past,
      as it's always been fairly clear that the DSP has played the major
      role in it, but there have also always been significant differences
      with traditional party-line papers as well. And I agree much less
      with Bob's claim that the DSP always tried to keep it's role in the
      paper a state secret and convince others of this. For many years it
      said quite clearly on page 2 what GLW was, that is was "initiated by
      the DSP and Resistance" etc. By-lines and ads etc also made it pretty
      clear. In the first "Common Cause" column in GLW, stating the paper's
      new trial relationship with Socialist Alliance, John van der Velden
      was probably more accurate than Austin when he stated "GLW already
      represents a successful 12-year broad-left project initiated and led
      by members of Resistance and the DSP".

      The main point now however is the current trajectory of GLW, which is
      why I had hoped to make my point succinctly by mentioning Brian
      Webb's article, which would have been an unthinkable thing 10 years
      ago. It's obviously early days, but one could also point to a number
      of articles by ISO and Workers Liberty members about struggles
      they're involved in, and an extensive discussion about a year ago
      around the future of Socialist Alliance. If Bob agrees that GLW is
      the last left paper still standing, then the obvious corollary is
      that the significant readership and infrastrucure around GLW will be
      a vital part of building a bigger and broader paper. Perhaps then the
      creation of a Socialist Alliance appointed editorial board to oversee
      GLW is a genuine attempt to develop the paper and not a sneaky trick
      by the DSP to force all their leftist opponents to drop all their
      political positions by writing in the same paper. Perhaps Austin and
      other members of the non-DSP majority of this board aren't such such
      stupid fellow-travellers as Bob seems to think they are, but are
      quite capable of asserting what they think GLW should be.

      >I notice that neither he nor anyone from the staff of GLW or the DSP
      >leadership have even deigned to comment on my very serious list of
      >six possible topics for discussion, with divergent points of view, in
      >future issues of GLW.

      Believe it or not Bob, GLW staff or DSP members shouldn't really be
      expected to immediately answer all your fairly frequent demands for
      comment, analysis and justifications for our existence. IMO the
      topics mentioned for discussion are probably good ones for GLW or
      maybe the upcoming Socialist Alliance magazine. The actual format,
      timing etc of discussions would probably depend on a whole lot of
      political and practical factors. In any case all the proposalss for
      Socialist Alliance publications have been clear that a regular SA
      paper would have space for discussion and debate. Maybe you should
      send your suggestions to the GLW editorial board. Maybe you'd have
      more chance of them considering and adopting your suggestions if you
      joined Socialist Alliance :)


      Nick Fredman
      Student Rights Advocate
      Southern Cross University (Lismore)
      Student Representative Council

      Shop 9 Plaza, SCU Lismore

      Ph: 6620 3044
      Email: sra@...
      web: http://www.lismoresrc.org.au/

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