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Re: Latham's Leichhardt meeting

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  • bobgould987
    By Bob Gould Michael Berrell is being a bit cute when he says the SEP didn t advocate an informal vote. At the SEP meeting that we both attended, I pressed
    Message 1 of 12 , Nov 24, 2004
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      By Bob Gould

      Michael Berrell is being a bit cute when he says the SEP didn't
      advocate an informal vote. At the SEP meeting that we both attended,
      I pressed Beams on the preference question, and he said that by law
      they were required to indicate a preference, and therefore because
      Liberal and Labor were equal capitalist parties, the SEP intended to
      lodge a split ticket, allocating half of their above the line vote to
      the conservatives and half to Labor. In anybody's language, that's an
      informal vote.

      What Berrell himself did, below the line, obviously with a slight fit
      of conscience, is irrelevant to the point that the SEP, which he
      supported and worked for, advocated an informal vote by this quite
      direct route. An informal vote doesn't count, and in this case the
      preferences of the SEP didn't count.

      By this route, half the SEP vote went to the Liberals. Did the
      presumably left-wing voters for the SEP know that?

      Pip Hinman seems to resent my description of her article as
      vituperative, etc. By any normal use of language, it was
      vituperative. I'm not overly concerned by the abuse thrown at me, or
      at Mark Latham for that matter. The DSP can abuse anyone, and its
      tone and motives often damage it more than the target of its abuse.

      What angers me mainly is Hinman's offensive tone towards the rank and
      file Labor and Green activists and supporters at the meeting. The
      whole tone of Hinman's report reeks of contempt for these people. The
      reference to them as a clan, the ridiculing of their courteous tone
      towards Latham, etc.

      Hinman can't come to terms with the fairly sharp leftism expressed
      courteously by about four-fifths of the speakers. She's quite
      unprepared to concede any autonomy to leftist sentiments,
      particularly if they come from ALP activists. She implies it's all
      fraudulent. What a foolish, sectarian posture to adopt towards a big
      slice of the active left-wing political people in the inner-west of
      Sydney.

      No wonder many of them are rather cautious about responding to DSP
      initiatives when all they get is contempt and abuse because of their
      Labor organisational allegiance.

      The striking thing about the Hinman-Boyle-Riley approach is that it
      concentrates entirely on the alleged role of Latham. They refuse to
      give any significance to the fact that he's being constantly
      challenged by forces to his right, and the Murdoch press in
      particular is campaigning for his removal.

      From the Murdoch camp's point of view, he's an unreliable Bonapartist
      who concedes too much to the left part of his Labor-Green
      constituency.

      The really offensive and stupid part of the DSP's approach, however,
      is the complete contempt for the leftist views of the Labor and Green
      activists and rank and file at the meeting.

      Hinman treats them as poor, benighted fools who will inevitably be
      betrayed by Latham. The reality is, however, that Latham is forced by
      political circumstances to take the sentiment of the Labor rank and
      file significantly into account, if he's to survive as leader. That's
      the nature of his Bonapartism.

      Hinman and company reduced mass politics simply to a formula about
      rotten Labor leaders who are continually conspiring to betray. They
      give no weight to the leftist sentiments of the rank and file in the
      workers movement. That's about as stupid as you can get.

      PAUL OBOOHOV'S SUBLIME COMPUTERISED MATHEMATICAL BULLSHIT

      Oboohov has just posted a mystifying, almost incomprehensible, piece
      in which he talks blithely about spreadsheets, etc, etc, and he
      treats politics as if it goes in a straight line, confidently
      predicting on the basis of his slightly lunatic spreadsheets that the
      Labor vote will go down more or less forever.

      Oboohov is a mechanical materialist and a mathematical mystic. The
      nature of electoral politics is that two-party preferred votes
      usually fluctuate, rather than going in a straight line. Malcolm
      Mackerras, who is much more coherent and informative than Oboohov,
      performed the useful exercise in The Australian of November 20-21 of
      providing the two-party preferred votes back to 1949.

      If you take 1993 as a starting point, the Labor two-party preferred
      vote was 51.4 per cent. In 1996 it dropped dramatically to 46.4 per
      cent. In 1998 it bounced back to 51.0. In 2001 it dropped back to
      49.1 per cent. In 2004 it dropped back a little more to 47.3 per
      cent -- still higher than 1996.

      The most likely variant, if you discount Oboohov's self-interested
      mechanical materialist DSP computer bullshit, is that in the next
      election the ALP two-party preferred vote will bounce back a bit.

      That's certainly what has happened over the past 10 years and over
      the past 50 years, notwithstanding Oboohov's psuedo-science in the
      service of the DSP's hopeful self-fulfilling prophecy about the
      terminal decline of Labor.
    • Nick Fredman
      ... Oh really? Let s see what the sum total of Hinman s comments about the nature of and comments from this audience were: In the end Latham was let off
      Message 2 of 12 , Nov 24, 2004
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        >By Bob Gould
        ...
        >What angers me mainly is Hinman's offensive tone towards the rank and
        >file Labor and Green activists and supporters at the meeting. The
        >whole tone of Hinman's report reeks of contempt for these people. The
        >reference to them as a clan, the ridiculing of their courteous tone
        >towards Latham, etc
        >http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GreenLeft_discussion/message/10978

        Oh really? Let's see what the sum total of Hinman's comments about
        the nature of and comments from this audience were:

        "In the end Latham was let off lightly. The majority of questions and
        comments, while critical of many of Labor's policy, were polite. This
        was essentially a meeting of the clan, and while Latham got heaps of
        applause, and a standing ovation at the end, not all were happy ...

        "A passionate, but considered plea from a once-ALP stalwart ...

        "There was clear concern about Labor's preference deals with the
        far-right religious party ...

        "... a concern about young people being sucked into the new
        evangelicalism, and a call for Labor to set up a left youth movement
        ...

        "While there were many true believers at the Leichhardt Town Hall
        last night, there were many others who had come for a look-see to
        find out of Latham had a fight-back plan. They were left disappointed"

        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GreenLeft_discussion/message/10928

        I think that's all. Ridicule? Contempt? Pissing on? What a load of
        hyperbolic rubbish. More like a sense that this was a politically
        mixed group, some apparently uncritical of Latham, many asking very
        pertinent questions, and many critical of Labor's positions and
        looking for something more progressive. Bob manages over 3000 words
        in 2 posts about this meeting, a lot of it about Pip's post, without
        a single solitary word that she used quoted. This is simply shoddy
        argumentation, and I suggest to Bob if he's going to continue
        long-winded deconstructions of what other people supposedly wrote,
        then referring to a quote or 2 would be a more honest approach. Even
        more honest and relevant would be to not only endlessly repeat
        comments along the lines of ...

        >>The belligerent, unrepentant, mean-spirited sectarianism of the DSP
        towards the members of the ALP who are pushing for a more leftist
        outcome is an obstacle to the creation of a class-struggle left wing
        in the workers movement<<

        ... but also cite an actual example or 2 - where are all these trade
        unionists and activists, Labor, Green or otherwise, refusing to work
        with the DSP and/or Socialist Alliance after being shocked by GLW
        articles or whatever? You've said something about the free Craig
        Johnston campaign ...

        >>The Defend Craig Johnson Committee, in a statement that the DSP quotes
        in Green Left Weekly without comment, says there are many more ALP
        trade unionist members of the committee than there are members of the
        Socialist Alliance [last 2 quotes
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GreenLeft_discussion/message/10965 ]

        ... which merely shows the DSP is involved in a rather effective
        united front (the point about the lack of comment is entirely
        unclear, perhaps you're trying to show that GLW is being
        inconsistent, if so the only inconsistency is with Bob's dishonest
        caricature of the DSP's position on and tactics towards Labor).
        Rather rather endless repetitions of the same arguments, let's have
        some evidence from the real world. Where's all this hostility,
        suspicion etc among decent Labor activists, what campaigns and
        struggles has it wrecked? Doug Cameron? You're welcome to that
        example.
        --
      • bobgould987
        By Bob Gould Michael Berrell s response to my posts on the Labor Party border on the eccentric. It s an eccentricity common on both the far left and the far
        Message 3 of 12 , Nov 24, 2004
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          By Bob Gould

          Michael Berrell's response to my posts on the Labor Party border on
          the eccentric. It's an eccentricity common on both the far left and
          the far right, and one to which, to be entirely honest, most of us
          sometimes fall victim.

          Leaving aside Berrell's convenient amnesia about SEP preferences, the
          eccentricity of his approach lies in his fully fledged conspiracy
          theory of politics, particularly Labor politics.

          He advances a conspiracy theory of a curious entity he creates in his
          own mind called the Labor Party, an all-encompassing phenomenon
          that's constantly conspiring to move its own politics to the right.

          In the real world, the creaking Labor-trade union continuum is a
          heterogeneous mass formation of competing groups, forces and
          interests, containing a range of ideological positions, which are
          often in conflict with each other.

          This is obvious, particularly at a moment such as the present, when
          there is conflict about which way the Labor and trade union movements
          should move.

          It may be comfortable for Berrell and other Marxist sectarians to
          create this overarching conspiracy theory of Laborism, but it's
          absolutely useless and counterproductive in developing ideas about
          how to proceed in the current crisis of the labour movement.

          In Berrell's mindset, all that's possible is to predict gloom and
          doom and further shifts of the mass movement to the right until the
          masses wake up and support the socialist sect of one's choice.

          In the real world, of course, that won't happen.

          This conspiracy view of labour movement politics is associated with a
          similar left view of the bourgeois side of politics, which many
          Marxists often treat as if there's some executive committee of the
          ruling class somewhere deciding on broad policy and immediate moves.

          In reality the bourgeois side of politics is a collection of
          competing interests and forces, although a dominant view of strategy
          and immediate needs often emerges. Conflicts among the ruling class
          are usually conducted in greater privacy than those in the labour
          movement.

          I am constantly amazed at the conspiracy view of the labour side of
          politics advanced by Berrell, the Socialist Equality Party and Pip
          Hinman and the DSP, when the conflicts within the broad labour and
          workers movement are often so public and so clearly associated with
          different broad political interests and views.
        • Peter Boyle
          ... Well said, Nick. We are with the workers and the trade union leaders who are in struggle (see
          Message 4 of 12 , Nov 24, 2004
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            --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, Nick Fredman <sra@s...>
            wrote:
            >
            > >>The Defend Craig Johnson Committee, in a statement that the DSP quotes
            > in Green Left Weekly without comment, says there are many more ALP
            > trade unionist members of the committee than there are members of the
            > Socialist Alliance [last 2 quotes
            > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GreenLeft_discussion/message/10965 ]
            >
            > ... which merely shows the DSP is involved in a rather effective
            > united front (the point about the lack of comment is entirely
            > unclear, perhaps you're trying to show that GLW is being
            > inconsistent, if so the only inconsistency is with Bob's dishonest
            > caricature of the DSP's position on and tactics towards Labor).
            > Rather rather endless repetitions of the same arguments, let's have
            > some evidence from the real world. Where's all this hostility,
            > suspicion etc among decent Labor activists, what campaigns and
            > struggles has it wrecked? Doug Cameron? You're welcome to that
            > example.
            > --

            Well said, Nick. We are with the workers and the trade union leaders
            who are in struggle (see
            <http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Unionists-march-for-jailed-leader/2004/11/25/1101219656719.html>)
            and we understand and implement united front tactics pretty
            effectively in the conditions we face.

            Bob Gould has tried also outrageously to sort to put the DSP and the
            Socialist Alliance in the same boat as that classical Trotskyist sect,
            the Socialist Equality Party (which Gould once joined when it was the
            Socialist Labour League)and hopes that someone on the list has not
            enough context to spot this cheap shot. But a rally like the one in
            Melbourne today shows the difference between serious socialists and
            opinioniated sectarians.

            And Gould should know about the left and eccentricity...because he IS
            an icon in that category and seems to enjoy that role. Folks and
            strokes...

            Gould has no recent significant involvement in building any effective
            united front but has a propensity for writing severely
            fact-challenged, bombastic, self-noting (do an "I" count on his
            article on the Leichhardt meeting), theoretically dubious posts but
            when he is straining to convinnce us that it's fine when it is raining
            (the ALP is going to the left!) he really has to heap on the abuse.
            That is to be expected.

            And his self-appointed attorneys shouldn't bother whining that this is
            too personal or "beneath me". It is demonstrably not the latter and as
            always a couple of lines in response to a Gould-size tirade is totally
            justified on the excellent principle that those who give on the list
            have to be prepared to take some back.

            The totally Philistine references by Shane Hopkinson to "scolding
            scoundrels", and Bob Gould to "sectarianism" and "united front" or
            "united front from below" amaze me. Please study what that great
            socialist said before you throw about ideas you obviously don't
            understand.

            They should read "Letter to Members of the Politbureau of the C.C.,
            R.C.P.(B.) with Remarks to The Draft Resolution for the First Extended
            Plenary Meeting of the Comintern Executive on Participation in a
            Conference of the Three Internationals"
            <http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1922/feb/23.htm> before
            saying "scolding scoundrels" again. At least they should realise that
            there is no political cost whatsoever in "scolding" certain scoundrels
            and "scolding" ANY scoundrels in certain circumstances, in Lenin's view!

            Then they should try and understand Lenin's perfectly sound criticism
            of "left-wing communism" in his famous book. And after that, hopefully
            they won't confuse "scolding" and "exposing" and will understand that
            the latter is a neccesary part of (though obviously not all of) the
            permanent work of any serious socialist.

            Then, maybe, there will be the basis of some serious discussion about
            these important political concepts and lessons.

            Peter Boyle
          • Peter Boyle
            ... Bob Gould s slanders can be laughed off as sectarian eccentricity but somewhat more effective use of the same slanders (some of them may have been selected
            Message 5 of 12 , Nov 24, 2004
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              --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "bobgould987"
              <bobgould987@y...> wrote:

              >
              > Hinman and company reduced mass politics simply to a formula about
              > rotten Labor leaders who are continually conspiring to betray. They
              > give no weight to the leftist sentiments of the rank and file in the
              > workers movement. That's about as stupid as you can get.


              Bob Gould's slanders can be laughed off as sectarian eccentricity but
              somewhat more effective use of the same slanders (some of them may
              have been selected from his diatribes) are being used by conservative
              trade union bureaucrats and other nasties in the "workers party" to
              attack militant trade union leaders like jailed Socialist Alliance
              member Craig Johnston.

              Have a look, for example, at the cleverly-worded, but poisonous and
              reactionary anonymous slander sheet currently being circulated in the
              trade union movement.

              Read it carefully. Then ask yourself: which side are you on?

              Peter Boyle

              ***

              Craig Johnston Campaign - Separating Fact from Fiction

              In December, 2003, the ACTU Executive, which represents 46 unions and
              1.8 million trade unionists, carried the following resolution:

              "This meeting unequivocally condemns the use of criminal, violent and
              intimidatory conduct in industrial and political activity as
              anti-worker and anti-union.

              "Unions uphold the important right of working people and their unions
              to engage in industrial action to protect job security and to improve
              pay and conditions of employment. Union members must also have the
              right to protest and express political views. These are essential
              rights in a democratic society.

              "This meeting recognises that attacks by some employers and
              governments on these essential rights in recent years have generated
              frustration and anger. Workers, unions and union officials have been
              subjected to extreme pressure.

              "However, it is vital that the long standing opposition of the labour
              movement to the use of violence, thuggery and intimidation in any form
              and from any source is upheld. Such activity in fact undermines
              democratic and union rights.

              "Criminal, violent and intimidatory conduct is therefore condemned.

              "There is a collective responsibility to uphold this stance throughout
              the union movement. Those failing to respect this collective
              responsibility by engaging in criminal, violent and intimidatory
              conduct must therefore be denied the support, access to resources, or
              collective protection of unions."

              The ACTU Executive made this decision so their could be no
              misunderstanding of their position following the Johnston Tiles,
              Skilled Engineering, and other incidents involving violence bullying
              and intimidation.

              The campaign to "Free Craig Johnston" is deceptive. It uses lies,
              deception and misinformation in an attempt to have progressive
              Australians support a misguided, politically-driven agenda.

              This is the wrong direction in a period when the union movement has to
              prepare to fight against another series of attacks by the Howard
              government on workers' basic rights to organise and to collectively
              bargain.

              Please read the background and political issues we set out here when
              you are considering your response to requests for support from the
              Socialist
              Alliance.

              We urge you to reject the misinformation and support the deeper
              traditions of democracy and solidarity of Australia's labour movement.

              Background

              The Socialist Alliance and a small group of unionists are attempting
              to rewrite history and portray the conviction and jailing of Craig
              Johnston on serious criminal charges as a political conspiracy
              involving governments, the courts, the ACTU, the AMWU, the police and
              employers.

              It really is time to separate fact from fiction.

              Johnston is not in jail because of his activities as a union official,
              he is in jail because he led a mindless rampage at Johnson Tiles and
              Skilled Engineering in June 2001, which left many employees of these
              companies traumatised, fearful, and confused.

              The attempt to "spin" acts of violence, intimidation and industrial
              lunacy as some kind of heroic defence of working people defies belief.

              By donning a balaclava and leading the so called "run-throughs",
              Johnston handed the enemies of the trade union movement a massive
              political weapon to use against it.

              Craig Johnston's politically and industrially inept approach to the
              Johnson Tiles dispute meant that the real issue of the maintenance
              workers' job security was sidelined and inevitably their fight was
              abandoned as resources were diverted to defend criminal charges
              against individual Unionists.

              This Workers First action involved mindless damage to property and
              threats to individuals as a substitute for collective action. This is
              the opposite of traditional union militancy. It fails to develop the
              political understanding of workers; it isolates workers and leaves
              them as spectators in their own struggles.

              Johnston was the leader of a faction within the Victorian Branch of
              the AMWU called Workers First.

              The original militant and successful campaigns supported by Workers
              First in Victoria quickly degenerated into an orgy of self-indulgence
              and self-promotion.

              The faction's divisive tactic was to portray itself as ultra-militant,
              aggressive and uncompromising, to create a myth that the union had
              failed the members but Workers First had saved them.

              The reality behind this myth was a lack of strategic leadership and a
              lack of political understanding combined with a "bully boy" approach
              to anyone who questioned their tactics. The Victorian AMWU became
              isolated from the majority of its members and was the focus of
              political and employer calls for new laws to deal with the overt
              aggression promoted by Workers First.

              Craig Johnston and Workers First misconceived and overestimated the
              value of direct action. They came to believe that they were
              invincible and
              untouchable.

              They underestimated the value of political strategy to win the support
              of workers and the public with reasoned argument and strategic,
              sustainable, industrial action.

              The coercive power of the State was underestimated. Working-class
              principles were reduced to putting the faction first. Militancy and
              politics were separated.

              The dispute with Johnson Tiles was so badly handled by Craig Johnston
              that it resulted in:

              1. Unionists and activists being manipulated into violent incidents.
              2. CFMEU members working at Johnson Tiles being terrorised.
              3. Indiscriminate property damage at Johnson Tiles and Skilled
              Engineering.
              4. Workers and their families threatened with retribution and even
              death. The so-called 'scabs' at Johnson Tiles were members of the
              AMWU, as were the employees at Skilled Engineering.
              5. A pregnant Skilled Engineering clerical worker fearing for her
              unborn child's health as a result of breathing fumes from a fire
              extinguisher deliberately activated during the rampage.
              6. Offices trashed and clerical workers terrorised by balaclava clad
              thugs.
              7. Union leaders and Unionists diverted from defending their
              membership as a result of lengthy legal proceedings,

              Johnston's union, the AMWU, has long understood that violence,
              bullying, and intimidation has no place in a successful union. On
              this basis, the AMWU National Council called on those involved in the
              'run-throughs' at Johnston Tiles and Skilled Engineering to cooperate
              with the police and resolve the matter as quickly as possible.

              Every unionist involved, except Craig Johnston, determined to plead
              guilty to charges associated with the 'run-throughs'.

              On July 30, 2003, 16 AMWU officers and activists pleaded guilty in the
              Melbourne County Court to charges of unlawful assembly at Johnson
              Tiles and Skilled Engineering on June 15, 2001. They were put on good
              behaviour bonds of between 12 months to 3 years and fined between
              $1,000 and $3,000.

              Craig Johnston was charged with the most serious offences of threat to
              kill, unlawful assault, unlawful imprisonment, affray, riot and
              riotous assembly.

              Johnston maintained the deception and lie that he was not guilty for
              almost three years. During that period a massive amount of money -
              estimated to be around $300,000 - was raised for the defence of the so
              called Skilled Six, mainly from building workers in Victoria.

              Many workers sacrificed wages to attend stop work meetings and the
              rally outside the court on May 10, where Johnston again declared that
              he was innocent and the victim of a political witch hunt.

              Johnston left the rally, went into court, and amazingly did a huge
              back flip and pleaded guilty to the charges he faced.

              He was sentenced to 12 months jail, fully suspended, along with
              substantial fines. Workers who had been deceived by Johnston's claim
              of innocence for almost three years felt betrayed at his plea of
              guilty and real support amongst building workers disappeared.

              The Director of Public Prosecutions appealed the sentence as too
              lenient and, at the end of August, the Victorian Appeal Court
              sentenced Johnston to nine months jail, which he is now serving.

              For your further information, the Appeal Court judgement can be found
              at:: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VSCA/2004/150.html

              The Political Issues

              The symbolism of that day at Johnston Tiles cannot be overstated.

              Three years after Howard and Reith made the balaclava-masked security
              guard at Patricks an icon of their anti-worker policy, Johnston donned
              the symbol of union busting, a balaclava, and led the violent
              'run-through' at Johnson Tiles and Skilled Engineering.

              Johnston handed Howard a huge weapon with which to isolate and vilify
              the union movement.

              The new Howard government, will no doubt, use the example of Skilled
              Engineering and Johnston Tiles as a justification for further
              anti-union legislation and increased penal powers.

              Despite Johnston's belated plea of guilty in May, a new campaign has
              commenced demanding the immediate release of Craig Johnston the
              "political prisoner".

              A small minority within the union movement supports this campaign
              because they endorse Johnston's mindless militancy and lack of
              working-class politics. This continues the ethos of Norm Gallagher's
              Builders Labourers Federation which ended in the disaster of
              deregistration in 1986.

              The Socialist Alliance is leading this campaign because Johnston is a
              prominent member of the Alliance. It uses the campaign to attack the
              Left leadership of the AMWU and, more broadly, to attack the ALP.

              Socialist Alliance asserts that the ALP and the Left in the unions
              always sell out or mislead workers and so must be exposed and smashed.
              John Howard couldn't agree more!

              While Socialist Alliance calls Craig Johnston a militant working-class
              hero, they also claim that they are for democracy, unity, and women's
              rights.

              They ignore the rights of innocent workers and pregnant office workers
              to come to work and not be terrorised by balaclava wearing thugs or
              so-called Union leaders misusing their position of power.

              Following the Johnston Tiles disaster, Craig Johnston was accused by
              one of his own women organisers of sexual assault, a matter recently
              resolved in the Federal Magistrates Court. The young woman gave
              evidence against Johnston at an AMWU National Council hearing.
              Johnston, despite being given every opportunity, did not appear in his
              own defence.

              Socialist Alliance is not credible when they assert Johnston is a
              working class hero.

              The Free Craig Johnston Campaign cannot be disentangled from the
              destructive and enormously damaging methods of Workers First.

              Workers First, led by Johnston have:

              1. Attempted to justify violence, bullying and intimidation as
              legitimate union tactics
              2. Led a number of disputes that have resulted In "glorious defeats",
              such as Johnston Tiles
              3. Played a destructive, sectarian and factional role within the AMWU
              4. Sacrificed workers to their concept of uncompromising antagonism.
              5. Blockaded the AMWU offices in Victoria for a month.
              6. Intimidated and marginalised anyone who opposed their tactics.
              7. Created unprecedented and massive financial deficits in the
              Victorian Branch of the AMWU.
              8. Destroyed the AMWU Victorian Branches proud reputation of being
              tough and smart.
              9. Ignored and trampled over the rights of individuals including female
              employees of the AMWU.

              The Way Forward

              Support for the Free Craig Johnston Campaign is not a take it or leave
              it issue. The Howard government is determined to destroy the
              Australian trade union movement. It has already used the findings of
              the Cole Royal Commission into the Building industry to expose the
              vulnerability of the building unions in Victoria. The Free Craig
              Johnston Campaign is a free kick for Howard because it equates
              militant trade unionism to bullying, violence, intimidation and death
              threats.

              We do not support, and we are not asking you to support, the jailing
              of Craig Johnston. We are not supporting the sentencing actions of the
              criminal courts in this, or other, particular cases. What we are
              asking you to do is to understand that the Free Craig Johnston
              Campaign is a vehicle of the Socialist Alliance to attack the
              leadership of left unions in Australia and to divert us from the unity
              required to combat the attacks of the Howard
              Government.

              Australian working people need strong militant unions. Genuine
              militant unions are based on the solidarity of men and women members,
              and their families, taking well informed and democratic decisions
              which the public can understand.

              The union movement will only win the coming battle through its own
              solidarity, its determination to fight back, and its credibility with
              the Australian people.

              We urge you to take on board this information about the Free Craig
              Johnston Campaign as you, or your union or community organisation, is
              challenged on this issue in the coming weeks.

              We urge you to discuss the impending attack on workers' rights in your
              own organisation, network and community, and to join in a
              broadly-based campaign against Howard's industrial policy. The
              Australian people can win this important fight if we unite on the
              fundamental principles of democracy, equality and solidarity and we
              are not diverted on the basis of lies, misinformation and political
              stupidity.

              Drafted by Unionists Against Violence
              November, 2004
            • bobgould987
              By Bob Gould Nick Fredman and Peter Boyl, react very sharply to my account of Mark Latham s meeting at Leichhardt Town Hall. Boyle attacks me for recounting
              Message 6 of 12 , Nov 25, 2004
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                By Bob Gould

                Nick Fredman and Peter Boyl, react very sharply to my account of Mark
                Latham's meeting at Leichhardt Town Hall.

                Boyle attacks me for recounting the events in the first person. It
                would have been difficult for me not to give an account in the first
                person because I attended the meeting and spoke at it. Apparently
                it's all right for Pip Hinman to lie about what I said, mainly by
                omission, but if I correct the record of what I said, which
                inevitably has to be in the first person, I'm accused of some kind of
                megalomania.

                The difficulty Boyle has, is that he's a puffed-up example of the
                species Lenin used to describe as the "committee men". He spends all
                his time in the DSP building, bossing around people in a small circle
                and he's obviously rather resentful of my activities as an old
                agitator. As he says, to each his own.

                The rather more sinister aspect of Boyle's and Fredman's posts is
                their unashamed use of the amalgam method of polemic used so
                notoriously by the Stalinists in the 1930s.

                Because I make a detailed critique of the DSP's political activities,
                they both imply that I'm in some way in league with Doug Cameron.
                Apparently, if someone can find some words in what they say is a
                Cameronite leaflet that are similar to my critique of the DSP, that's
                sufficient to tar me by implication as a Cameronite. What a nasty,
                Stalinist kind of argumentation that is.

                I demand that if Fredman and Boyle make such implications that I'm
                somehow in league with supporters of Cameron, they produce evidence
                to that effect, rather than ugly, Stalinist innuendo.
              • Nick Fredman
                ... Freakin hell Bob, calm down. I hereby retract any suggestion or implication that you are or have ever been in league in any Cameronites, or ever consorted
                Message 7 of 12 , Nov 25, 2004
                • 0 Attachment
                  Bob Gould sternly demands:

                  > I demand that if Fredman and Boyle make such implications that I'm
                  > somehow in league with supporters of Cameron, they produce evidence
                  > to that effect, rather than ugly, Stalinist innuendo.

                  Freakin hell Bob, calm down. I hereby retract any suggestion or
                  implication that you are or have ever been in league in any
                  Cameronites, or ever consorted with any other forces of darkness.
                  Happy?

                  Now how about you follow my suggestion and produce some actual evidence
                  next time you want to go on and on and on about the shocking effect on
                  the class conscious activists of DSP's supposed nasty, spiteful,
                  brainless etc etc sectarianism? The only person who seems to be
                  publicly attacking Socialist Alliance and GLW at the moment is Doug
                  Cameron, and this is in fact a good thing. That's the point I was
                  making. Where's all the decent or even half-decent Laborites hostile to
                  or suspicious of the DSP because of this supposed sectarianism? That's
                  the real question - and one you seem to be now avoiding.
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