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51610Re: [GreenLeft_discussion] Re: Australia: Power workers oppose NSW Labor government's privatisation bid

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  • Michael Berrell
    Feb 28, 2008
      First let's cut the name calling.

      It's undignified to repeatedly refer to the WSWS as "Twilight Zoners" that's puerile.

      Its bizarre to refer to them as in any way "Right Wing". Their errors stem from an uncompromising ultra left wing ant-capitalism. In fact this uncompromising stand is one of the things that attracts me to the outfit.

      Bob you of all people are well aware that I have significant political differences with the WSWS on a wide range of issues. I've argued with you about Stalinism, I supported and still do the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, my understanding of why the Soviet Union ultimately failed is quite different. I wrote a lengthy piece on the list last week on my attitude towards Castro and Cuba which again was quite different to the WSWS attitude.

      You were present at the public meeting where I questioned Nick Beams from the floor about SEP preferencing. I wrote to Peter Boyle verify it with him after the Federal Election and told him that I voted for the Socialist Alliance in the Senate because I couldn't be bothered numbering all the squares. If I were to vote for a SEP candidate I would number all the squares because I disagree with the preferencing policy.

      So to depict me as an uncritical propagandist for the WSWS is quite wrong.

      The difference over Fretilin by the way was not with the WSWS but with Mark Aarons.

      I have never advocated drumming the unions out of the ALP.

      To the question at hand. Passing a motion opposing the privatisation of the state's electricity assets at a public meeting deserves no special kudos. Such a motion would have been passed at every branch of the ALP in the state as the first order of business after this matter came up. I know it was passed unanimously at the Harbord branch of the ALP. Its no secret that the privatisation of electricity is opposed by an overwhelming majority of rank and file ALP members. Probably in the order of over 85% perhaps even well over 90%.

      That's not in question. What is in question is what will happen if Iemma and Costa push ahead with the privatisation in the face of the overwhelming opposition of the rank and file of the ALP and in direct violation of the party platform. Since we know that there is overwhelming opposition to the privatisation within the rank and file we know that any move to ratify it at the conference in May will be a stitch up. In any case Costa has expressly stated that he will ignore any decision made at the May conference. Isn't this in itself a violation of the party platform.

      In any case if the party doesn't move on Iemma and Costa then the electorate certainly will. The lesson of history has demostrated that when the ALP is out of step with the wishes of its rank and file it is inevitably flogged at the polls. This was the lesson from the debacle in NSW in 1988, Federally in 1996 and will be again in 2011 if this is allowed to proceed.

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: bobgould987
      To: GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Friday, February 29, 2008 12:53 PM
      Subject: [GreenLeft_discussion] Re: Australia: Power workers oppose NSW Labor government's privatisation bid

      Brother Berrell,

      Now that we've got each other's attention, I would raise a number of
      important questions with you.

      You say it's unfair of me to lump you with the twilight zoners of the
      WSWS despite the fact that you constantly tout their website on the
      Green Left list. You say you have some serious differences with the
      WSWS and you cite a disagreement about Fretilin.

      What I attacked the WSWS about wasn't Fretilin, as you well know. I
      discussed at length the WSWS's increasingly right-wing standpoint on
      the organised workers movement.

      In particular, do you disagree with the WSWS's now longstanding
      proposition that workers should leave the trade unions and that the
      unions are now reactionary institutions?

      Do you disagree with the WSWS's proposition that Labor, the Liberals
      and the Greens are all equal instruments of the bourgeoisie and
      therefore it is appropriate to advocate an equal distribution of
      preferences to these parties? In my view that involves crossing the
      class line to support the Liberals.

      Do you disagree with the WSWS's proposition, in the right-wing leaflet
      that they distributed at the mass protest against privatisation, that
      privatisation will inevitably be victorious on this occasion?

      Do you disagree with the WSWS's constant, and unexplained, proposition
      that all the forces struggling against the privatisation are in some
      mysterious way actually doing Costa's work to sell the privatisation?

      Do you agree that the union officials who mobilised their members and
      organised buses to bring them to the protest actually doing that to
      support the privatisation, as the twilight zone right-wing cranks say?

      Full response:



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