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  • Dick Nichols (private)
    To: DSP Political Committee Security Status: Very high (read and delete from hard disk) Re: Risk of Bob G s exposing our plans for Unions WA Dear comrades, The
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 21 2:12 PM
      To: DSP Political Committee
      Security Status: Very high (read and delete from hard disk)
      Re: Risk of Bob G's exposing our plans for Unions WA
      Dear comrades,
      The purpose of this circular is to organise our countermeasures against the risk of exposure of our plans to have Socialist Alliance set up a Red Trades and Labor Council in opposition to the rightist Unions WA. I scarcely need to remind comrades of the threat posed to our plans to take over the entire Australian union movement if this project becomes public.
      In organising our security countermeasures against the possibility of leaks we have to be guided by one overarching consideration, namely that Bob G is a serious political opponent with the capacity to do us great damage.
      If the measures outlined below are to have any chance of working we need above all to eliminate the tendency within our own ranks to underestimate G. For a long time many of our comrades--and not just our newer, more inexperienced, members--have tended to regard G as an eccentric individual, a sort of evil-smelling barnacle on the Titanic of Labourism. This complacent attitude is greatly mistaken and will do us great damage if it spreads any further. Instead we need to proceed on the following, coolly objective, assessment of G.
      1. G's wide reading not only of the Marxist classics and contemporary Marxist literature but in particular of the history of the Australian labour movement gives him an enviable capacity to deduce the right tactic to apply in any conjuncture;
      2. Through his own long history within the Trotskyist movement G has developed a striking ability to detect from even the slightest evidence what all other tendencies are thinking at any point in time. G's capacity to understand what our decisions are even before we make them ourselves makes him an extremely dangerous operator;
      3. G's long years in the ALP give him a unique grasp of the moods and concerns of all the different layers within the working class and its allies. This equips him to undermine our revolutionary Marxist strategy of basing ourselves on the fighting spirit of the minority, that vital 0.3% that has escaped bourgeois ideological and political hegemony.
      In particular we should be on guard against arguments from comrades that G. is "only an individual" and "has no organisation". Not only is this not strictly true (a visit to G's web page reveals a highly structured political mind), it dangerously underestimates the role of the individual in history. All comrades need reminding of Trotsky's comment on Lenin's role in the Russian Revolution--that without his clear-sighted grasp of the political dynamic and his iron will a majority of the Bolsheviks would not have been won over to the idea of insurrection. It was Lenin's intimate connection with the revolutionary spirit of the masses that enabled him to defeat his opponents within the ranks of the Bolshevik Party.
      While there is room for dispute over whether G. is yet in the category of Lenin we must not underestimate his capacity to link up with the broad masses of workers in WA. G. could well tap into their passionate but still disorganised support for Unions WA secretary Stephanie Maynard's plan to move to arbitration commissioner. If G. and his allies in WA succeed in organising this mood within the ranks, not only of right-wing unions but especially over those run by our agents, it could have disastrous consequences. We should sober up any comrades who are overcomplacent about our chances of easy success by asking them what they would do if surrounded by 1000s of workers chanting "Hands off Stephanie! Hands off our unions!".
      However, while imparting this message to comrades it is important not to fall into alarmism--our plan is still intact and can still be implemented if we adopt the following measures:
      1. Maintain a smoke screen of obfuscation. The PC will continue to deny that we have any plans to split Unions WA. We will continue to react to every demand from G. and his allies that we "come clean" by denying any knowledge of our plan. In particular, we wll rely on the useful illusion that the Socialist Alliance is separate from the DSP and makes its own decisions. The more we can arrange to have this message come from the mouths of "independents" the better;
      2. Arrange to have G. removed from the Green Left Discussion list. We are getting worrying information that G. is beginning to disorient increasing numbers of our comrades, especially younger comrades. In particular, they feel disarmed before his expertise in Australian labour history, especially when compared with our own weak grasp. The longer G. is allowed to remain on the list the more we will be undermined. Instruct the moderator to find grounds for removing him from the list;
      3. Organise a commercial boycott of G's bookstore. We should organise a 24-hour picket of his Newtown bookstore in the name of "People Against Pornography" and apparently tied to the Christian right. This will attract media attention, distract G from his dangerous ideological and political work and allow us to continue our plotting in peace.
      If any PC members require clarification on any of these points please do not hesitate to get in touch.
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