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Bob's at it again

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  • Nick Fredman
    I m not going to comment on Bob Gould s views of the line-up in the WA union movement, or his crsystal ball divinations about the motives of the DSP in union
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 17, 2003
      Bob's at it again
      I'm not going to comment on Bob Gould's views of the line-up in the WA union movement, or his crsystal ball divinations about the motives of the DSP in union affairs, but on what may seem a side point but is in fact a telling and typical factual error in his original post  on this issue. He wrote:

      I have previously noted, in one of my documents, that the main
      personality in the new militant leadership of the MUA, voted at a
      recent Socialist Conference in favour of a more cautious approach to the question of ALP affiliation, than the DSP,

      Bob has previously claimed that at the May Socialist Alliance an ISO-sponsored motion on relations with the ALP was voted down. This, as pointed out by myself and others in response, is false: the motion was in fact amended, in a way that did not affect the tactical orientation prescribed in the motion, which is broadly accepted in SA, but to remove from the motion an analysis of the nature of those breaking from Labor, which is contentious in SA (see below). Bob not only failed to acknnowledge his error, he did it again. Neither that motion nor any other at the conference mentioned affliation to Labor. I think Bob's even contradicting himself writing that he mentioned affiliation previously. The agreed upon approach within SA to union affliation to the ALP (I haven't time to hunt down the exact wording) is that there should be democratic discussion on it. The DSP does support disaffiliation, but is happy to prioritise raising the agreed upon SA demand, in the context of a fairly detailed SA approach, with very wide consensus in SA, of rebuilding democratic. militant unionism.

      Bob's relentless obsession with "exposing" the supposed sectarian approach of the DSP towards the ALP (and in the WA issue supposed sectarianism towards some left unionists) leads him to repeatedly distort if  not falsify events and documents, which surely does not encorage anyone to listen to his tactical prescriptions. It also gets a bit boring having to point this out all the time.                                                                     

      All the conference decisions are available in the Socialist Alliance Discussion Bulletin vol3, no 8, at http://www.socialist-alliance.org/idbpage.shtml


      The following was adopted by the conference:                                                                                                                                                                   

      Labor's current leadership crisis highlights the ALP's continuing shift to the right. Kim Beazley was the leader who surrendered to the Liberals' racism over refugees, Simon Crean is the leader who failed the test of war. Neither offers an alternative to the pro-market policies Labor leaderships have supported for 20 years.

      Socialists want to channel this dissatisfaction with Labor in an anti-capitalist, pro-working class and explicitly socialist direction.

      This cannot be done simply by denouncing Labor; we also need to find ways to work alongside those still in Labor's orbit, including many union activists, community leaders and even those who voted against Labor at recent elections. The Socialist Alliance needs to demonstrate in both electoral terms and in practice through campaigns that it can offer a genuine alternative to Labor.

      Socialist Alliance will therefore seek to work with Labor leaders and members over issues which affect the lives of working class people. Concretely, this will typically mean inviting dissident and/or leftwing ALP members to share platforms on questions of common concern, like opposing the war budget or defending the CFMEU.

      This was amended from the following:

      Labor's current leadership crisis highlights the ALP's continuing shift to the right. Kim Beazley was the leader who surrendered to the Liberals' racism over refugees, Simon Crean is the leader who failed the test of war. Neither offers an alternative to the pro-market policies Labor leaderships have supported for 20 years.

      The result is that even more ALP members will resign, and hundreds of thousands more previously rusted on Labor voters will be prepared to vote to the left of Labor in defence of values Labor has abandoned.

      Such people are breaking with the reformism of Labor on a reformist basis-in the overwhelming number of cases they are looking for a new electoral home to express their working class and socialist values, rather than for revolutionary organisation. The evidence for this is the Greens vote in recent elections.

      Socialists want to channel this dissatisfaction with Labor in an anti-capitalist, pro-working class and explicitly socialist direction.

      This cannot be done simply by denouncing Labor; we also need to find ways to work alongside those still in Labor's orbit, including many union activists, community leaders and even those who voted against Labor at recent elections. The Socialist Alliance needs to demonstrate in both electoral terms and in practice through campaigns that it can offer a genuine alternative to Labor.

      Socialist Alliance will therefore seek to work with Labor leaders and members over issues which affect the lives of working class people. Concretely, this will typically mean inviting dissident and/or leftwing ALP members to share platforms on questions of common concern, like opposing the war budget or defending the CFMEU.



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      Nick Fredman
      Student Rights Advocate
      Southern Cross University (Lismore)
      Student Representative Council

      Shop 9 Plaza, SCU Lismore

      Ph: 6620 3044
      Email: sra@...
      web: http://www.lismoresrc.org.au/

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