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5588NSW Council (setting the stort straight)

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  • kieran latty
    Apr 4, 2004
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      To start with, i am a bit pissed off at the nature of
      this exchange.

      As Bob often does, he has taken a few anecdotes and
      extrapolated way too far.

      And as usual, certain people reply to what I see as
      Bob's timeless application of somewhat sound theory (i
      obviosly disagree with much, but not all, of what he
      say;s) with equally timeless and sectarian
      denunciations of labor.

      Am I wrong in thinking no one is really engaging with
      the theoretical questions at hand ?

      First to clear up a few facts.

      I was initially against the preferencing of Moore over

      The reasons for this initial position was based on our
      future audience. People who vote Labor or who are in
      the party are more likely to end up in the Socialist
      Alliance than those in Moore's camp.

      This still, in my mind, was a very good reason for
      considering the preference in Lees.

      On the other hand, it could be argued that the key
      campaigns we were involved in had better chance of
      getting a reception under a Moore mayoralship.

      It could also be argued that the ALP needed to be
      punished for its recent shenanigans.

      Furthermore, whilst Moore was set to get a better vote
      in richer areas, there was a degree of anecdotal
      evidence that she would pick up significant votes in
      depressed areas on a left wing basis.

      For example, while leafleting in redfern a group of
      older pensioners in the large public housing estates
      all said that they were voting for Moore because she
      listened to them and because she would defend public
      housing from the developers.

      Now, the ALP did do better than Moore in these areas,
      but even in south redfern and Waterloo Moore got alot
      of votes- near or over 35% of the primary vote (more
      than the 25% that Bob thought she would get).

      Clearly, the decision was not an easy one to make.
      Those who seem to fall too easily on one side seem to
      me to be not engaging with the issues.

      Anyway, back to the facts.

      The first meeting of the Alliance to decide on the
      topic voted overwhelmingly to preference Moore.

      I argued against this proposal, arguing for an SA,
      Greens, then ALP preference run.

      The meeting did, however, empower the branch executive
      to be able to revisit the question on the grounds of
      new evidence- for example, if we found out that Moore
      had some anti-union plan up her sleeve.

      After the meeting, i discussed the issue with a number
      of people, including in the DSP.

      At this stage, I was still very hard in favour of the
      ALP ocer Moore.

      By the time of the next executive meeting, some people
      had swung closer to my position.

      We discussed the issues, amd decided to get more
      evidence about Moore. To this end Susan Price
      contacted Moore and the ASU to discuss the issues.

      As the issue was now quite a contentious one, and as a
      member of the ISO, I raised this issue with other
      members of the Newtown branch of the ISO, to try and
      get a better feel for the issue. I have also talked to
      people in the ALP and even Jack Mundey about the issue
      (who is hard in favour of Moore.)

      At that meeting of the ISO, there was a strong view in
      favour of preferencing Moore over the ALP.

      I am a comitted member of the ISO, and respect other
      members ideas and views. By the end of that meeting, i
      still thought we needed better discussion, and was not
      clear either way- however, i was not going to advocate
      a position which was contrary to the ISO caucus.

      At the next Alliance meeting, we discussed the issue,
      where most people advocated preferencing Moore.

      This was on the basis of evidence that Moore had
      supported unions against Carr's attack on workers
      compensation, was against contracting out services and
      supported the last teachers pay claim.

      One ISO member, who was not at the previouse ISO
      meeting, strongly opposed the majority decision.

      I abstained, as i felt the ISO needed to have a better
      discussion of the issue before we made a formal

      I stand by the Alliance's decision. Some time down the
      track we may think it was the wrong thing to do,
      maybey not- but we were operating on a limited time
      frame and had to make a decision.

      I do think we need to discuss this issue further, but
      to be honest, the current debate has been
      characterised by too much misinformation, too many
      attempts to create scandals and too much defenciveness
      and fire.

      So Bob, argue your case, but give up on trying to look
      for "Zinoviest conspiracies"

      And everyone else, give up the timeless "denounce the
      ALP" and engage with the issues.

      Lastly, to put my case on class- I think it is still
      right to see the ALP as a capitalist workers party-

      By this, I mean that it attempts to make workers lives
      a little better under capitalism, and to this end
      supports capitalism.

      But it is also a party of the class, in that most
      workers still vote ALP.

      If we want to build a party of socialist workers, the
      socialists (i.e. us) need to be in some way with those
      workers in order to relate to them.

      Not tailing them, but also not a million miles away
      from them either.

      So when the workers cheer Latham's victory, we cheer
      to, but we also need to criticise the ALP and point to
      a better alternative.

      Now, with this theory, we should be looking at how
      workers, particularily the most advanced sections,
      view Moore's victory.

      If they think it is a step backwards, then maybe we
      did do the wrong thing.

      The proof will really be in the pudding though.

      After a full term of Moore's mayoralship, lets see
      what she has done and how those same workers view her.

      Comradely, Kieran Latty.

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