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A few articles from the west on UnionsWA

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  • Chris Latham
    Hi All As it looks that Bob has new whip to lash the sectarian DSP/SA with, I thought I would send through articles on events in WA around UnionsWA from the
    Message 1 of 22 , Dec 18, 2004
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      Hi All

      As it looks that Bob has new whip to lash the sectarian DSP/SA with, I
      thought I would send through articles on events in WA around UnionsWA
      from the West Australian. My opinion about the decision of a union
      should be affiliated to a peak body such as UnionsWA or the ACTU would
      be the extent to which that affiliation of the body actually extends the
      capacity of the union to defend and fight for interests own members and
      extend solidarity to other workers. Given this I would be interested to
      know Bob's thoughts on the historical experience of the rebel left-wing
      unions in Victoria who broke from the Trades Hall in the '60s due to the
      dominance of the right-wing and grouper unions?

      Appologies that these are all in full text. The articles are old and can
      only be accessed if you pay for them.

      Unions WA loses nurses
      12 November 2004
      The West Australian

      The State's nurses union has broken away from WA's peak union movement
      body, claiming it is just an extension of the Labor Party.

      Australian Nursing Federation secretary Mark Olson said yesterday 100
      delegates voted unanimously at the union's general meeting to
      disaffiliate with UnionsWA after a 16-year connection.

      Mr Olson said UnionsWA had not supported the ANF in its battles against
      the State Government over pay and other issues.

      He said it had also failed to take the fight up to the Government on key
      issues such as workers compensation.
    • bobgould987
      No serious response yet from the DSP leadership about the problems of the WA labour movement By Bob Gould Chris Latham responded to my last item on WA by
      Message 2 of 22 , Dec 20, 2004
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        No serious response yet from the DSP leadership about the problems of
        the WA labour movement

        By Bob Gould

        Chris Latham responded to my last item on WA by posting several
        articles from the WA press about recent issues in the labour movement
        there. I thank him for that because those articles, as far as they go,
        are useful and informative.

        I would be interested to know if there are other articles from other
        angles in the WA press that throw more light on some of these issues.

        Chris Latham makes a general statement about judging affiliations to
        peak bodies on the basis of how they serve the interests of union
        members. However, he does not go on to express a clear view as to
        whether the proposal to split Unions WA, endorsed at a Socialist
        Alliance meeting of 30 people, is a good proposal or not.

        It seems to me that it's incumbent on the DSP leadership, if it is
        advocating a course of action, as it seems to be, to explain why it's
        a useful course of action given the political and industrial
        relationship of forces.

        Chris Latham then asks me what I think of the split of the 26 rebel
        unions from the Victorian Trades Hall Council in the 1960s and 1970s.
        Well, I answered that question at length in my original article,
        saying that split was justified and the eventual outcome was useful
        and progressive, although the outcome took the form, ultimately, of a
        kind of compromise.

        The fact that Chris asks the question suggests that he may not even
        have read my original article, and perhaps someone rang him saying
        that pain-in-the-neck Gould has put up an article, and asking Chris to
        respond.

        The current situation in WA and the situation in Victoria in the late
        1960s and early 1970s are quite dissimilar. To quote Nicholas Bukharin
        from the useful little book, Lenin as A Marxist, published by the
        British Communist Party in October 1925: "I will remind you of a
        series of points and formulae which Vladimir Ilyich presented. One of
        common tactical formulae concerning experience, reads: 'A very great
        many errors occur through slogans and measures which were quite
        correct in a definite historical phase and in a definite state of
        affairs, being mechanically transferred to another historical setting,
        other correlation of forces and to other situations'."

        In my view, this applies with considerable force to making some kind
        of mechanical analogy between Victoria in the 1960s and 1970s and WA now.

        I repeat my request to the DSP leadership: will you make some clear
        statement on the strategic implications of the proposal to split the
        WA trade union movement in current circumstances.

        It seems to me that the proposal to split is unwise and unsound in the
        current conditions. Splitting Unions WA is a rather indirect way of
        getting at the hegemony of reformism in the Labor Party.

        The ETU leadership, for instance, which is supported by the DSP, has
        just reaffiliated to the Labor Party. The Maritime Union remains
        affiliated to the Labor Party (unless it has disaffiliated very recently).

        The grouping of unions around Kevin Reynolds remains entrenched in the
        Labor Party and runs its own centre-right ALP faction.

        None of those political relationships seem likely to be changed by
        splitting Unions WA, so why split with a very small number of unions
        rather than campaigning to improve Unions WA?

        These are big and important questions and they require a more serious
        response than a few press cuttings.
      • Peter Boyle
        ... Why doesn t the DSP seriously answer the charges raised by Bob Gould? Perhaps if the charges were serious, they would merit a serious response. The DSP
        Message 3 of 22 , Dec 20, 2004
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          --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "bobgould987"
          <bobgould987@y...> wrote:
          >
          > No serious response yet from the DSP leadership about the problems of
          > the WA labour movement
          >
          >

          Why doesn't the DSP seriously answer the charges raised by Bob Gould?

          Perhaps if the charges were serious, they would merit a serious
          response. The DSP comrades would drop more urgent tasks like Xmas
          shopping and rush to answer.

          But consider how manufactured the whole drama is.

          1. Dave Riley, a non-DSP member of the Socialist Alliance, posts a
          link to a blog describing a recent Socialist Alliance seminar in
          Perth. But Riley is a former DSP member and because he (like the
          majority of Socialist Alliance members) supports progressing the
          Alliance into a multi-tendency socialist party he is branded
          effectively a DSP member.

          2. Two sentences in this blog catch the eye of obsessive DSP-watcher
          and bagger Gould:
          "Cain also put forward the proposal to disband the lifeless UnionsWA
          and get the more militant unions into an alliance. He received a great
          ovation."
          Chris Cain is WA secretary of the MUA and a member of the Socialist
          Alliance national executive. He is not a member of the DSP.

          3. Gould determines that the anonymous blogger (identified only as
          "Gramscian") must be a DSP member. Actually, he is not.

          4. Gould deduces from this that the Perth Socialist Alliance seminar
          decided to split Unions WA (the state's peak union body) and that this
          is a plot by the evil DSP or of WA CFMEU leader Kevin Reynolds (a
          member of the ALP, NOT the DSP) and that this move was being suported
          by the DSP. He demands that this course be justified to the rest of
          the Alliance.

          5. Chris Latham, a DSP member in Perth, then posts some articles from
          the Perth newspapers to this list, indicating why militant unionists
          in that state are pissed off with Unions WA, and that the Nurses union
          has left Unions WA. He observes briefly that there is no principle
          unions should support a peak body no matter what.

          Now what facts have we here?

          1. Chris Cain is reported by an anonymous blogger to have advocated
          the disbanding of Unions WA. What he said exactly at this seminar, I
          don't know.

          2. But the articles that Chris Latham indicate a certain context to
          anger at Unions WA on the part of militant unionists.

          There is no decision by the Perth Socialist Alliance to split Unions
          WA. There is no campaign by the DSP to split Unions WA. There is no
          DSP policy to split Unions WA. Probably there is no campaign to split
          Unions WA by any union leadership or any faction in the WA ALP.
          Probably some unionists and union officials in WA are legitimately
          asking what good is Unions WA doing right now.

          But Bob Gould never lets facts get in the way of an anti-DSP tirade,
          does he?

          In the unlikely event that his pathological lying onthis matter causes
          any trouble for the WA union militants you can be sure we'll let them
          know who to blame.

          There is a lesson here for chronic Socialist Alliance baggers on this
          list: if you assume or assert that Socialist Alliance = DSP, then you
          will put yourself offside with a lot of people. No amount of insincere
          declarations of respect for any of the trade unionists is going to
          ameliorate that.

          Season's Greetings to all on the list.

          Peter Boyle
        • bryansketchley
          There are a number ... and...
          Message 4 of 22 , Dec 21, 2004
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            There are a number

            --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "Peter Boyle" <ppz@g...> wrote:

            > 1. Dave Riley, a non-DSP member of the Socialist Alliance, posts a
            > link to a blog describing a recent Socialist Alliance seminar in
            > Perth. But Riley is a former DSP member and because he (like the
            > majority of Socialist Alliance members) supports progressing the
            > Alliance into a multi-tendency socialist party he is branded
            > effectively a DSP member.

            and...
            >
            > There is a lesson here for chronic Socialist Alliance baggers on this
            > list: if you assume or assert that Socialist Alliance = DSP, then you
            > will put yourself offside with a lot of people. No amount of insincere
            > declarations of respect for any of the trade unionists is going to
            > ameliorate that.
            >
            > Season's Greetings to all on the list.
            >
            > Peter Boyle
          • bryansketchley
            There are a number of things that deserve a response here, but I ll pick just one. Peter Boyle writes... ... and... ... Rileys membership, or not, of DSP
            Message 5 of 22 , Dec 21, 2004
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              There are a number of things that deserve a response here, but I'll pick just one. Peter
              Boyle writes...

              --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "Peter Boyle" <ppz@g...> wrote:

              >
              > 1. Dave Riley, a non-DSP member of the Socialist Alliance, posts a
              > link to a blog describing a recent Socialist Alliance seminar in
              > Perth. But Riley is a former DSP member and because he (like the
              > majority of Socialist Alliance members) supports progressing the
              > Alliance into a multi-tendency socialist party he is branded
              > effectively a DSP member.
              >
              and...
              >
              > There is a lesson here for chronic Socialist Alliance baggers on this
              > list: if you assume or assert that Socialist Alliance = DSP, then you
              > will put yourself offside with a lot of people. No amount of insincere
              > declarations of respect for any of the trade unionists is going to
              > ameliorate that.
              >
              Rileys membership, or not, of DSP misses the point. I am on the GLW-SA editorial board
              and can only note that not only has Dave engertically pursued the DSP line on the board,
              in the past 12 months he has not put anything BUT the DSP line.So what you ask? Your
              right, its no big deal, but the nexus becomes a little blurry where we see Dave prepares
              written resolutions that are word for word what Peter Boyle presented to the board as
              written 'discussion starters' some months earlier. (See Peters app. 2 discussion starter on
              progress on the SA-GLW trial, 6 August 2004 and Dave Rileys GLW draft resolution
              November document, 22 November 2004). There are further examples. Dave may not be a
              DSP member now, but he is certainly working in close quarters with them. It should also
              be noted that there are other folks in SA positions where similar arrangements appear to
              have been struck. I suspect that it is these type of arrangements that are increasingly
              leading some to assume or assert that the SA = DSP, and that is unfortunate. I don't count
              myself as a SA bagger, but any honest assessment of the current trajectory of SA would
              indicate that the move towards a meaningful MULTI tendency socialist party is on the
              wane.

              Regards
              Bryan Sketchley
            • bobgould987
              Boyle s bluster about the proposal to split Unions WA avoids the questions that I raised By Bob Gould For the DSP leadership, Peter Boyle is obviously the
              Message 6 of 22 , Dec 21, 2004
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                Boyle's bluster about the proposal to split Unions WA avoids the
                questions that I raised

                By Bob Gould

                For the DSP leadership, Peter Boyle is obviously the verbal brawler
                who heats up the atmosphere with abuse to avoid serious political
                discussion. With Boyle, this is a systematic approach.

                He accuses me of lying and then he makes threats that seem to imply
                that he'll blacken my name among WA trade unionists. Big deal!

                If I'm accused of lying I can reasonably ask, what's the lie? I simply
                reported an account by a Socialist Alliance blogger of a meeting in
                Perth and drew out what seemed to be the political implications of
                that report.

                Boyle now talks about an anonymous blogger, but he clearly knows who
                the blogger is, even if I don't. If there are any lies being told
                about that meeting, as he seems to imply, it must be the blogger who
                is telling untruths. I just repeated what the blogger said.

                Is Boyle saying that the blogger's account of the event is inaccurate?
                If that's the case, shouldn't Boyle correct the blogger's account,
                rather than accusing Bob Gould of lying? Or did the blogger
                misinterpret what was said?

                I'm inclined to believe that the blogger was telling the truth about
                the meeting. It may have been indiscreet of him to put an account of
                the meeting on the web, but a meeting of that sort is, after all, a
                public event, and people who say things at such public meetings should
                be prepared to have their views discussed.

                Boyle's nasty bombast is a smokescreen to avoid serious discussion of
                whether it's a good idea for the Socialist Alliance to endorse a
                proposal to split Unions WA.

                I'm still of the view that, to be taken seriously by the socialist
                public, such as it is, Boyle and his associates need to spell out in
                more detail what they're proposing in relation to Unions WA.

                This all may appear a bit arcane, but the reason I raise this matter
                is that it has important implications generally in the labour and
                trade union movements.

                Is it sound in the current defensive conditions facing the union
                movement to advocate organisational splits over episodic tactical
                differences, however sharp they may be?

                Unless the blogger Gramscian was lying, Joe McDonald attacked the
                secretary of the ACTU, Combet, by name at this smallish meeting. I'm
                no particular fan of Greg Combet or the ACTU leadership, but what's at
                issue is the contradictory role often played by the trade union
                bureaucracy.

                The same Combet who regrettably won't support Craig Johnson, on the
                other hand has just completed a spectacularly successful trade union
                campaign of a traditional sort, to squeeze an enormous corporation to
                pay a large amount of damages to victims of asbestosis. This relative
                victory in a quite defensive situation underlines the contradictory
                character of the trade union bureaucracy.

                That's important to keep in mind when considering strategic questions
                in the labour movement.

                I make a very serious appeal the DSP leadership and the bellicose
                Boyle to drop their belligerent bullshit and start discussing these
                strategic questions seriously.
              • glparramatta
                ... Here is the main one: ``A proposal [to split with UnionsWA], obviously supported by the Socialist Alliance, and presumably by the DSP, slithers through the
                Message 7 of 22 , Dec 21, 2004
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                  --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "bobgould987"
                  <bobgould987@y...> wrote:
                  >
                  > If I'm accused of lying I can reasonably ask, what's the lie?

                  Here is the main one: ``A proposal [to split with UnionsWA], obviously
                  supported by the Socialist
                  Alliance, and presumably by the DSP, slithers through the door,
                  apparently without serious discussion, and is endorsed by a meeting of
                  about 30 people, about half of them members of the DSP.''

                  Norm.
                • Peter Boyle
                  ... them. It should also ... arrangements appear to ... that are increasingly ... unfortunate. Dave can speak for himself when he is back on the list. But
                  Message 8 of 22 , Dec 21, 2004
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                    --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "bryansketchley"
                    <bryansketchley@y...> wrote:

                    >Dave may not be a
                    > DSP member now, but he is certainly working in close quarters with
                    them. It should also
                    > be noted that there are other folks in SA positions where similar
                    arrangements appear to
                    > have been struck. I suspect that it is these type of arrangements
                    that are increasingly
                    > leading some to assume or assert that the SA = DSP, and that is
                    unfortunate.

                    Dave can speak for himself when he is back on the list. But Bryan has
                    offended more than Dave, here. The large majority of non-affiliate
                    members of the Socialist Alliance, along with the DSP, the largest
                    affiliate, agree with the perspective of building the Alliance into a
                    multi-tendency socialist party. Naturally, those who agree with this
                    perpective tend to work closely with each other to advance this
                    perspective. This does not mean that they agree on everything with the
                    DSP or with each other and it is an insult to them to suggest that
                    they are following the DSP line, as Bob Gould does serially on this
                    list and elsewhere. Gould couldn't be more politically isolated than
                    he already is but anyone wants to push this slander openly in
                    Socialist Alliance they do so at the risk further isolating themselves
                    from the non-affiliate majority.

                    Further, anyone who believes that the DSP is the devil really should,
                    like Gould, never have supported the Socialist Alliance. It was doomed
                    from the start, the noisy bookshop owner will tell you. Much better
                    for the left to remain divided and better still tailing the
                    neo-liberal ALP.

                    Peter Boyle
                  • watermelonjack21
                    ... obviously supported by the Socialist Alliance, and presumably by the DSP, slithers through the door, apparently without serious discussion, and is endorsed
                    Message 9 of 22 , Dec 21, 2004
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                      <glparramatta@g...> wrote:

                      >>Here is the main one: ``A proposal [to split with UnionsWA],
                      obviously supported by the Socialist Alliance, and presumably by the
                      DSP, slithers through the door, apparently without serious
                      discussion, and is endorsed by a meeting of about 30 people, about
                      half of them members of the DSP.''>>

                      That doesn't look like a lie to me, Norm.

                      Here's what the blog says:

                      "Cain also put forward the proposal to disband the lifeless UnionsWA
                      and get the more militant unions into an alliance. He received a
                      great ovation." http://gramscian.tblog.com/

                      What does it mean when someone gets a great ovation at a Socialist
                      Alliance meeting: that everyone disagrees?

                      And if most of those present agreed, which is how it looks, what is
                      the Socialist Alliance going to do about it? Or was that "great
                      ovation" really just polite applause?

                      Is the problem that the DSP leadership really doesn't agree with
                      Chris Cain, but doesn't know how to break the news to him? You can
                      hardly blame Bob Gould for that.

                      Jack
                    • glparramatta
                      Please Watermelon, Don t descend to such inane games with comrades. Chris Cain spoke, people clapped. That s about it. ALP loyalist Gould s post is a sectarian
                      Message 10 of 22 , Dec 21, 2004
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                        Please Watermelon,

                        Don't descend to such inane games with comrades. Chris Cain spoke,
                        people clapped. That's about it. ALP loyalist Gould's post is a
                        sectarian beat-up. Decisions in SA are not taken by acclamation, and
                        they are taken at elected decision-making bodies. The anonymously
                        reported events do not constitute a ``proposal'' and the act of
                        clapping, ``great'' or otherwise, does not constitute endorsement by
                        the Socialist Alliance or the DSP.

                        Norm.

                        --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "watermelonjack21"
                        <watemelon321@y...> wrote:
                        >
                        > <glparramatta@g...> wrote:
                        >
                        > >>Here is the main one: ``A proposal [to split with UnionsWA],
                        > obviously supported by the Socialist Alliance, and presumably by the
                        > DSP, slithers through the door, apparently without serious
                        > discussion, and is endorsed by a meeting of about 30 people, about
                        > half of them members of the DSP.''>>
                        >
                        > That doesn't look like a lie to me, Norm.
                        >
                        > Here's what the blog says:
                        >
                        > "Cain also put forward the proposal to disband the lifeless UnionsWA
                        > and get the more militant unions into an alliance. He received a
                        > great ovation." http://gramscian.tblog.com/
                        >
                        > What does it mean when someone gets a great ovation at a Socialist
                        > Alliance meeting: that everyone disagrees?
                        >
                        > And if most of those present agreed, which is how it looks, what is
                        > the Socialist Alliance going to do about it? Or was that "great
                        > ovation" really just polite applause?
                        >
                        > Is the problem that the DSP leadership really doesn't agree with
                        > Chris Cain, but doesn't know how to break the news to him? You can
                        > hardly blame Bob Gould for that.
                        >
                        > Jack
                      • alex888andra
                        But does the DSP think it a good proposal or a bad one, and why. Is a little clarity and honesty too much too ask?. Down with prevarication! ... and ... by ...
                        Message 11 of 22 , Dec 21, 2004
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                          But does the DSP think it a good proposal or a bad one, and why.

                          Is a little clarity and honesty too much too ask?.

                          Down with prevarication!


                          --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "glparramatta"
                          <glparramatta@g...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Please Watermelon,
                          >
                          > Don't descend to such inane games with comrades. Chris Cain spoke,
                          > people clapped. That's about it. ALP loyalist Gould's post is a
                          > sectarian beat-up. Decisions in SA are not taken by acclamation,
                          and
                          > they are taken at elected decision-making bodies. The anonymously
                          > reported events do not constitute a ``proposal'' and the act of
                          > clapping, ``great'' or otherwise, does not constitute endorsement
                          by
                          > the Socialist Alliance or the DSP.
                          >
                          > Norm.
                          >
                          > --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "watermelonjack21"
                          > <watemelon321@y...> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > <glparramatta@g...> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > >>Here is the main one: ``A proposal [to split with UnionsWA],
                          > > obviously supported by the Socialist Alliance, and presumably by
                          the
                          > > DSP, slithers through the door, apparently without serious
                          > > discussion, and is endorsed by a meeting of about 30 people,
                          about
                          > > half of them members of the DSP.''>>
                          > >
                          > > That doesn't look like a lie to me, Norm.
                          > >
                          > > Here's what the blog says:
                          > >
                          > > "Cain also put forward the proposal to disband the lifeless
                          UnionsWA
                          > > and get the more militant unions into an alliance. He received a
                          > > great ovation." http://gramscian.tblog.com/
                          > >
                          > > What does it mean when someone gets a great ovation at a
                          Socialist
                          > > Alliance meeting: that everyone disagrees?
                          > >
                          > > And if most of those present agreed, which is how it looks, what
                          is
                          > > the Socialist Alliance going to do about it? Or was that "great
                          > > ovation" really just polite applause?
                          > >
                          > > Is the problem that the DSP leadership really doesn't agree with
                          > > Chris Cain, but doesn't know how to break the news to him? You
                          can
                          > > hardly blame Bob Gould for that.
                          > >
                          > > Jack
                        • alex888andra
                          Mr Seasons Greetings Boyle, who assures us XMAS shopping is pre- occupying most DSP members who otherwise might be tempted to say something meaningful in
                          Message 12 of 22 , Dec 22, 2004
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                            Mr "Seasons Greetings" Boyle, who assures us XMAS shopping is pre-
                            occupying most DSP members who otherwise might be tempted to say
                            something meaningful in this discussion, also raises a few
                            religious-inspired bogeymen. Now it is the "devil", aka DSP
                            allegedly. And a sign-off about the "neo-liberal" ALP. Just like the
                            Libs, right? Phew great to make things so simple. So comforting.


                            --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "Peter Boyle"
                            <ppz@g...> wrote:
                            >
                            > --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "bryansketchley"
                            > <bryansketchley@y...> wrote:
                            >
                            > >Dave may not be a
                            > > DSP member now, but he is certainly working in close quarters
                            with
                            > them. It should also
                            > > be noted that there are other folks in SA positions where similar
                            > arrangements appear to
                            > > have been struck. I suspect that it is these type of arrangements
                            > that are increasingly
                            > > leading some to assume or assert that the SA = DSP, and that is
                            > unfortunate.
                            >
                            > Dave can speak for himself when he is back on the list. But Bryan
                            has
                            > offended more than Dave, here. The large majority of non-affiliate
                            > members of the Socialist Alliance, along with the DSP, the largest
                            > affiliate, agree with the perspective of building the Alliance
                            into a
                            > multi-tendency socialist party. Naturally, those who agree with
                            this
                            > perpective tend to work closely with each other to advance this
                            > perspective. This does not mean that they agree on everything with
                            the
                            > DSP or with each other and it is an insult to them to suggest that
                            > they are following the DSP line, as Bob Gould does serially on this
                            > list and elsewhere. Gould couldn't be more politically isolated
                            than
                            > he already is but anyone wants to push this slander openly in
                            > Socialist Alliance they do so at the risk further isolating
                            themselves
                            > from the non-affiliate majority.
                            >
                            > Further, anyone who believes that the DSP is the devil really
                            should,
                            > like Gould, never have supported the Socialist Alliance. It was
                            doomed
                            > from the start, the noisy bookshop owner will tell you. Much better
                            > for the left to remain divided and better still tailing the
                            > neo-liberal ALP.
                            >
                            > Peter Boyle
                          • Alex Bainbridge
                            ... Peter Boyle has already written There is no decision by the Perth Socialist Alliance to split Unions WA. There is no campaign by the DSP to split Unions
                            Message 13 of 22 , Dec 22, 2004
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                              >But does the DSP think it a good proposal or a bad one, and why.

                              Peter Boyle has already written "There is no decision by the Perth Socialist
                              Alliance to split Unions WA. There is no campaign by the DSP to split Unions
                              WA. There is no DSP policy to split Unions WA."

                              >Is a little clarity and honesty too much too ask?.

                              It is dishonest to continue the beat-up of this issue as Bob Gould did in
                              his last post. Perhaps you should ask him this question.

                              Alex B
                            • watermelonjack21
                              Sectarian beat-up, Norm? One of the most prominent unionists in the Socialist Alliance calls for a split in Unions WA, Bob Gould asks what others in the
                              Message 14 of 22 , Dec 22, 2004
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                                Sectarian beat-up, Norm?

                                One of the most prominent unionists in the Socialist Alliance calls
                                for a split in Unions WA, Bob Gould asks what others in the Socialist
                                Alliance think of that, including the DSP (the dominant force in the
                                alliance), and that's sectarian and a beat-up?

                                So far, no one in this discussion, except Bob Gould, has said what
                                they think of Chris Cain's "proposal" (Gramscian's description).

                                Chris Latham, in his selection of items from the WA press, seemed to
                                lean towards supporting Cain's proposal, but didn't commit himself.
                                Neither have you, Norm, or Peter Boyle.

                                Don't you have an opinion, or are you on the dodge?

                                Jack
                              • alex888andra
                                That does not answer the question as to what is the DSP view on this question. Do you think it is wrong to aim for such an outcome, in the current context, and
                                Message 15 of 22 , Dec 22, 2004
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                                  That does not answer the question as to what is the DSP view on this
                                  question. Do you think it is wrong to aim for such an outcome, in
                                  the current context, and if so why?


                                  --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "Alex Bainbridge"
                                  <alexb@d...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > >But does the DSP think it a good proposal or a bad one, and why.
                                  >
                                  > Peter Boyle has already written "There is no decision by the Perth
                                  Socialist
                                  > Alliance to split Unions WA. There is no campaign by the DSP to
                                  split Unions
                                  > WA. There is no DSP policy to split Unions WA."
                                  >
                                  > >Is a little clarity and honesty too much too ask?.
                                  >
                                  > It is dishonest to continue the beat-up of this issue as Bob Gould
                                  did in
                                  > his last post. Perhaps you should ask him this question.
                                  >
                                  > Alex B
                                • glparramatta
                                  Comrades Alex888andra and Watermelon, The DSP does not have a view on that tactical question. Perhaps you can tell us your views on it instead of continually
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Dec 22, 2004
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                                    Comrades Alex888andra and Watermelon,

                                    The DSP does not have a view on that tactical question. Perhaps you
                                    can tell us your views on it instead of continually raising ``I heard
                                    you want to poison the neighbour's cat and anyway do you think it's a
                                    good idea''-type questions, then we can discuss that.

                                    Can I suggest some of your, and Bob's, ideological energy should be
                                    directed to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/alp/, where ALP members
                                    cannot even bring themselves to support jailed trade unionist Craig
                                    Johnston.

                                    Norm

                                    --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "alex888andra"
                                    <samuelp888@y...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > That does not answer the question as to what is the DSP view on this
                                    > question. Do you think it is wrong to aim for such an outcome, in
                                    > the current context, and if so why?
                                    >
                                  • alex888andra
                                    Norm Your response is pure sophistry, and so obviously so. You treat everyone with contempt -- no wonder you garner so little respect from the rest of the
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Dec 22, 2004
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                                      Norm

                                      Your response is pure sophistry, and so obviously so. You treat
                                      everyone with contempt -- no wonder you garner so little respect
                                      from the rest of the world, let alone the progressive left.

                                      --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "glparramatta"
                                      <glparramatta@g...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Comrades Alex888andra and Watermelon,
                                      >
                                      > The DSP does not have a view on that tactical question. Perhaps you
                                      > can tell us your views on it instead of continually raising ``I
                                      heard
                                      > you want to poison the neighbour's cat and anyway do you think
                                      it's a
                                      > good idea''-type questions, then we can discuss that.
                                      >
                                      > Can I suggest some of your, and Bob's, ideological energy should
                                      be
                                      > directed to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/alp/, where ALP members
                                      > cannot even bring themselves to support jailed trade unionist Craig
                                      > Johnston.
                                      >
                                      > Norm
                                      >
                                      > --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "alex888andra"
                                      > <samuelp888@y...> wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > That does not answer the question as to what is the DSP view on
                                      this
                                      > > question. Do you think it is wrong to aim for such an outcome,
                                      in
                                      > > the current context, and if so why?
                                      > >
                                    • bryansketchley
                                      ... should, ... doomed ... If you are trying to lump me with Gould in somehow being anti SA, you are entirely wrong. I am for an inclusive, democratic,
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Dec 22, 2004
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                                        --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "Peter Boyle" <ppz@g...>
                                        wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Further, anyone who believes that the DSP is the devil really
                                        should,
                                        > like Gould, never have supported the Socialist Alliance. It was
                                        doomed
                                        > from the start, the noisy bookshop owner will tell you. Much better
                                        > for the left to remain divided and better still tailing the
                                        > neo-liberal ALP.
                                        >
                                        > Peter Boyle

                                        If you are trying to lump me with Gould in somehow being anti SA, you
                                        are entirely wrong.
                                        I am for an inclusive, democratic, pluralistic Socialist Alliance, my
                                        record since SA
                                        inception, in two states, reflects this. There are a myriad of issues
                                        that need to be
                                        addressed in trying to sucessfully forge such an organisation, but as
                                        long as individuals in
                                        leading positions aren't prepared to acknowledge and address them,
                                        then the growing
                                        preception of SA = DSP will only continue to gain credence.
                                        Manouvre's like the 'Qld
                                        motion' are simply fuel to that fire. There are no shortage of such
                                        examples, where
                                        adminstrative solutions are developed in leiu of political debate,
                                        and their effect is
                                        cumulative, on non DSP SA members, and those not yet members of SA
                                        but looking to see
                                        how things fall out.

                                        About the only thing I agree with Gould on is his frustration trying
                                        to debate serious
                                        questions and getting content free responses.

                                        Regards
                                        Bryan Sketchley
                                      • Margaret A
                                        I ask list members to keep discussion and comment on this list to political questions, not personal attacks. This is not constructive in any way. comradely,
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Dec 22, 2004
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                                          I ask list members to keep discussion and comment on this list to
                                          political questions, not personal attacks.
                                          This is not constructive in any way.

                                          comradely,
                                          Margaret A
                                          moderator
                                          GL discussion list.


                                          +===================================================
                                          alex888andra wrote:

                                          >Norm
                                          >
                                          >Your response is pure sophistry, and so obviously so. You treat
                                          >everyone with contempt -- no wonder you garner so little respect
                                          >from the rest of the world, let alone the progressive left.
                                          >
                                          >--- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "glparramatta"
                                          ><glparramatta@g...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >>Comrades Alex888andra and Watermelon,
                                          >>
                                          >>The DSP does not have a view on that tactical question. Perhaps you
                                          >>can tell us your views on it instead of continually raising ``I
                                          >>
                                          >>
                                          >heard
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >>you want to poison the neighbour's cat and anyway do you think
                                          >>
                                          >>
                                          >it's a
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >>good idea''-type questions, then we can discuss that.
                                          >>
                                          >>Can I suggest some of your, and Bob's, ideological energy should
                                          >>
                                          >>
                                          >be
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >> <>directed to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/alp/, where ALP members
                                          >> cannot even bring themselves to support jailed trade unionist Craig
                                          >> Johnston.
                                          >>
                                          >> Norm
                                          >
                                        • watermelonjack21
                                          ... Okay Norm, as I suspected, the DSP is on the dodge, but why does finding out the DSP (non-)position on this issue have to be like pulling teeth? BTW, you
                                          Message 20 of 22 , Dec 22, 2004
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                                            >>The DSP does not have a view on that tactical question.>>

                                            Okay Norm, as I suspected, the DSP is on the dodge, but why does
                                            finding out the DSP (non-)position on this issue have to be like
                                            pulling teeth?

                                            BTW, you answered Alexandra's question, but not mine. I asked for
                                            your opinion and/or Peter Boyle's, but after the expulsion of LF
                                            earlier this year I guess DSP members have to be careful about
                                            expressing their opinions in public.

                                            For my part, I agree with Bob Gould: 26 rebel unions in the late
                                            1960s and early 1970s are a very different proposition than a handful
                                            in WA in 2005. The political circumstances are a lot less favourable
                                            and the forces involved are not as weighty.

                                            From the press items Chris Latham posted it seems like the nurses'
                                            withdrawal from Unions WA is more a protest against shabby treatment
                                            by the Labor government than any sort of strategy, and it's hard to
                                            see how being out on their own will help the nurses in future
                                            campaigns.

                                            As with disaffiliation of unions from the Labor Party, no doubt the
                                            nurses' disaffiliation from Unions WA is easily reversed, and it
                                            probably will be after a decent interval.

                                            Jack
                                          • glparramatta
                                            ... Judge for yourself: http://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=ush-groups&p=%22Norm+Dixon%22
                                            Message 21 of 22 , Dec 22, 2004
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                                              --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "alex888andra"
                                              <samuelp888@y...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              > Norm
                                              >
                                              > Your response is pure sophistry, and so obviously so. You treat
                                              > everyone with contempt -- no wonder you garner so little respect
                                              > from the rest of the world, let alone the progressive left.
                                              >

                                              Judge for yourself:

                                              http://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=ush-groups&p=%22Norm+Dixon%22
                                            • dave_r_riley
                                              ... them. It should also ... arrangements appear to ... It is not a crime to collaborate with the DSP although some elements among the SA affiliates have
                                              Message 22 of 22 , Dec 25, 2004
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                                                --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "bryansketchley"
                                                <bryansketchley@y...> wrote:

                                                > There are further examples. Dave may not be a
                                                > DSP member now, but he is certainly working in close quarters with
                                                them. It should also
                                                > be noted that there are other folks in SA positions where similar
                                                arrangements appear to
                                                > have been struck.

                                                It is not a crime to collaborate with the DSP although some
                                                elements among the SA affiliates have occasionally chosen to run
                                                McCarthyist style games like that in their hot pursuit of the DSP
                                                boogeyman. In my time in politics, it was often referred to as "red
                                                baiting". And you know what? inevitably it was trundled out when
                                                your opponents didn't have enough gumption to fight you
                                                politically...

                                                That's unfortunate as I have NEVER hidden my political position on
                                                any issue these last two years of my active involvement in the
                                                Alliance. On the GLW debate I have been the most active contributor
                                                in the pages of Alliance Voices and Brian could have challenged me
                                                at any time there just as he can challenge me on any issue me at any
                                                time on the board or within the SA. But make it to the point Bryan
                                                and let's focus on the politics. Running around saying Dave Riley's
                                                a DSP stooge won't get you very far because, to put it frankly, my
                                                credentials are high enough in the SA such that comrades may wonder
                                                how much spleen is driving you.

                                                It is worth noting that at the most recent meeting of the SA
                                                National Executive it was ONLY SA AFFILIATES who opposed the GLW
                                                resolution. Indeed, the actual level of support for the project
                                                seems to have increased in that body since the last conference as I
                                                know of one person, a NE member from Bryan's own branch, who now
                                                strongly supports the SA/GLW partnership when he did not six months
                                                ago. Is he now -- since he seems to share so many of my political
                                                attributes -- also a stooge of the DSP and warranting being
                                                blacklisted as a DSP fellow traveller?

                                                I admit to being actively committed to the MTSP trajectory. I also
                                                point out that the DSP also seems to be actively committed to the
                                                MTSP trajectory. I believe that all those committed to pursuing that
                                                end should be working together regardless of their membership
                                                status in the Alliance. As far as I am concerned that makes up a
                                                bona fide "Tendency" . It exists ipso facto and I'm a keen part of
                                                it regardless of who else has signed on.

                                                Anyway, the DSP has outlined its perspectives for the SA and the
                                                next stage in pursuit of a MTSP. This view has been published in the
                                                latest edition of Alliance Voices. I challenge all affiliates to
                                                similarly commit their perspectives to paper. I'll be writing a
                                                contribution for the next edition and I hope Bryan, given his
                                                unfortunate comments here, also follows my good example.

                                                dave riley
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