5588NSW Council (setting the stort straight)
- Apr 4, 2004To start with, i am a bit pissed off at the nature of
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
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
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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