53394Re: The NSW Labor conference
- May 1, 2008Michael Berrell can't see the wood for the trees
Some people seem to be almost born sectarians, and Berrell is one. I
produce a leaftlet, which I'll be giving out in the next two or three
days, providing a bit of a balance sheet on the battle in the labour
movement about electricity privatisation, and Berrell, like his mates
at the World Socialist Web Site, isn't the slightest bit interested in
any of that sort of strategic analysis. All he can think to say is
that Mick Costa's shift to the right is further evidence of the
degeneration of the Labor Party.
Berrell is so pious, like a Presbyterian parson denouncing sin.
The important thing about the current struggle is not that there's an
ideological right wing, of which Costa is the most extreme example in
the Labor Party at the moment. There has always been a right wing in
What is important, in the material world that I inhabit, is that the
rather battered Labor ranks have been mobilised by the struggle
against electricity privatisation into a substantial fightback against
a right-wing Labor government. It's also extraordinarily important
that the overwhelming majority of trade unions in NSW, both left and
right, have stuck to their guns despite hysterical pressure from the
majority of Labor politicians and, particularly in the last week, from
the bourgeois media.
The Financial Review, in particular, has babbled this week about
"union enforcers" etc. This has increased the noise from other
right-wing pundits, some of whom used to be on the left, about pushing
the unions out of the Labor Party.
We're in the midst of a political, industrial and community struggle,
Brother Berrell, or hadn't you noticed? The outcome of this struggle
is of very considerable importance. Of course, it's not won yet, and
there could still be some twists and turns.
Nevertheless, the ranks of the Labor Party, the unions, Green
activists and community activists have made considerable progress in
I spelled out, in my leaflet, my ideas about how to proceed at this
stage of the struggle and every Labor Party conference delegate that I
can reach, and every demonstrator outside the conference, will get
one. I expect to distribute my whole print run without too much trouble.
Mike Berrell, you've seen my ideas on how to proceed expressed in a
limited way. What are your ideas on how to proceed, or do you believe
that we're doomed to fail because of the Labor Party and trade union
aspect of the struggle?
That's the view of your mentors at the WSWS. What are your views on
how to proceed in this struggle?
--- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "michael berrell"
> Interesting that Bob cites the Imre Saluzinsky profile of Michael
> Costa that appeared in The Australian a couple of weeks ago.
> As well as claiming Hayek and Milton Friedman as heroes, Costa also
> cited Ronald Reagan as a politcal hero and inspiration. There was a
> time when such revelations would be grounds for expulsion from the
> ALP. It is perhaps indicative of the general degeneration of the ALP,
> that admiration for reactionary figures such as Hayek, Friedman,
> Reagan and Thatcher is probably not all that uncommon among figures
> within the NSW Right.
> Interesting to note that Costa cited the Soviet invasion of
> Afghanistan as being the catalyst for his conversion from the far left
> to the far right.
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