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More questions on the theory of the labor aristocracy

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  • Gould's Book Arcade
    More questions on the theory of the labor aristocracy By Bob Gould Peter Boyle and Jon Strauss s responses to mine and Shane s questions have been very useful
    Message 1 of 12 , Jan 21, 2004
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      More questions on the theory of the labor aristocracy
      By Bob Gould

      Peter Boyle and Jon Strauss's responses to mine and Shane's questions have
      been very useful in beginning to lay the basis for a more informed and
      possibly constructive debate about this question. However, I've got a couple
      more.

      Firstly, is this leninist theory of the labour aristocracy a theory which
      you, yourselves, or the DSP school of marxism, derive directly from the
      writings of Lenin and Zinoviev? Are there intermediate developers of this
      theory, so to speak, on whom you also rely for interpretation and
      development? I'm thinking possibly of the later Zinoviev of the mid-1920s,
      and also of Eugene Varga. Obviously Max Elbaum's document is an influential
      text in this context, and both Peter Boyle and Jon Strauss speak confidently
      about a conception of an accomplished and complete construction they dub
      historical materialism, and I assume they are referring to the kind of
      constructions put forward by Doug Lorimer in his
      collection-of-extracts-come-book published by the DSP. Its not absolutely
      clear to me the intellectual influences at work in this particular book.
      Some parts of Lorimer's book seem to rely heavily on important Soviet
      marxist writers of 15 or so years ago, like Ilyenkov. I'm not looking for a
      long and elaborate intellectual history here, that would be a pain in the
      neck for all of us in this kind of discussion. I'm just looking for a few
      brush strokes to give me and others who may be interested some idea of the
      evolution of this school. In this context, I note that Peter boyle was
      influenced by discussion of theoretical questions by comrades in the
      Phillipines who he had discussions with, particularly in 1994. As these
      comrades were, at that stage, independently moving away from, and in the
      process of criticising the Maoist political training that they had had, I'd
      be interested to know what elements of their original Maoist training and
      development that they regard as still valid, and what they reject, and Peter
      might regard as still valid and useful to the development of the theory that
      he puts forward with such enthusiasm.

      The texts of Lenin and Zinoviev (which as they point out correcting me, I
      mistakenly conflated in memory, but which I have now dug out and read again)
      contain both generalising and theoretical constructions but that the
      starting point is, particularly in Zinoviev's pamphlet, but also in Lenin,
      some sociological observations for that place and time, which are then used
      in the development of the sweeping general thesis. So much so that these
      empirical observations seem to become part of the general theory. Are those
      empirical observations a significant part of the general theory, according
      to the DSP school?

      It would seem to me useful for John or Peter, or even Doug Lorimer or John
      Percy, to attempt to answer these questions so that we can get a somewhat
      more fleshed out framework for proceeding with the discussion of this
      important historical and political question.



      Gould's Book Arcade
      32 King St, Newtown, NSW
      Ph: 9519-8947
      Fax: 9550-5924
      Email: bob@...
      Web: www.gouldsbooks.com.au
    • Jonathan Strauss
      So many questions, Bob! On your question of sources of inspiration, which I guess indicates a desire for some direction in reading, I ll confess to being
      Message 2 of 12 , Jan 21, 2004
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        So many questions, Bob!

        On your question of sources of inspiration, which I
        guess indicates a desire for some direction in
        reading, I'll confess to being pretty (totally,
        really, but the name sounds familiar now) about Eugene
        Varga. So I did a quick google search and read
        <www.wesleyan.edu/css/readings/Barber/post5.htm>. From
        that (that is, my reading and immediate reaction) I
        would say this is not relevant. Of course capitalism's
        efforts to stablilise itself are relevant to
        reformism, but form no more at most than a context in
        which (as I've already indicated) the relationship
        between monopoly superprofits and opportunism in the
        working class movement develop.

        As for your remarks that "both Peter Boyle and Jon
        Strauss speak confidently about a conception of an
        accomplished and complete construction they dub
        historical materialism, and I assume they are
        referring to the kind of constructions put forward by
        Doug Lorimer in his collection-of-extracts-come-book
        published by the DSP ... I'm just looking for a few
        brush strokes to give me and others who may be
        interested some idea of the evolution of this school",
        I would, if being defensive, take them as another
        attempted barb, but to be fair, you didn't use any
        overt invective here.

        So I'll just say your perception and assumption are
        wrong. There is no (DSP?) "school" with a special
        construction of historical materialism. I don't recall
        that I've ever had any thorough discussion of
        methodological questions with Peter Boyle (or Doug
        Lorimer, for that matter). My key influence in
        methodological thinking, through reading, other than
        the writings of Marx and Engels, is not Lorimer's book
        - which I confess I've not read in full(!) - but E.P.
        Thompson's The Poverty of Theory, because of its
        suggestions about how to "read" Marx and Engels.

        Lenin's writings are significant as a revolutionary
        application of the same method. I'm not sure his
        "observations [of his own] place and time ... become
        part of the general theory" as you claim. You'll need
        to say which empirical observations you believe follow
        this course

        Jonathan Strauss


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      • Peter Boyle
        About methodology, can t we simply agree that the general marxist method is to understand things in their development and their interactions/interconnections?
        Message 3 of 12 , Jan 21, 2004
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          About methodology, can't we simply agree that the general
          marxist method is to understand things in their development
          and their interactions/interconnections? This is where
          Marx's method (which Lenin follows) contrasts with
          empiricism, which prioritises immediately observable facts.

          I also don't think there is any real disagreeement about the
          relevance of class structure today. Shane is manufacturing a
          difference. We should be interested in an investigation not
          only of the theory of labour aristocracy, as laid out by
          Lenin, but also in the actual evidence of the existence,
          composition (which has been shifting) and role of labour
          aristocracy in Australia in the past (at least from the end
          of the 19th century) and in the present. This is a big task
          and I'm not sure if our humble efforts will be up to it, but
          let's give it a go. I'm happy to put, over the next couple
          of days, a few starting observations about the labour
          aristocracy in Australia at the beginning of the era of
          monopoly capitalism, and some major shifts since then.

          Peter Boyle
        • chen9692000
          ... I am not trying to manufacture a difference, it was Jonathan who said that current situation was not relevent. I was just trying to figure out what he
          Message 4 of 12 , Jan 21, 2004
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            --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, Peter Boyle
            <peterb@g...> wrote:

            > I also don't think there is any real disagreeement about the
            > relevance of class structure today. Shane is manufacturing a
            > difference.

            I am not trying to manufacture a difference, it was Jonathan
            who said that current situation was not relevent. I was just
            trying to figure out what he could have meant by it.

            >We should be interested in an investigation not
            > only of the theory of labour aristocracy, as laid out by
            > Lenin, but also in the actual evidence of the existence,
            > composition (which has been shifting) and role of labour
            > aristocracy in Australia in the past (at least from the end
            > of the 19th century) and in the present.

            Fine - I am particularly interested in the application to
            Australia.

            Cheers

            Shane
          • Jonathan Strauss
            I agree with Peter Boyle s presentation of the problem at this point. In fact, I will leave such methodological questions there until we have material to
            Message 5 of 12 , Jan 21, 2004
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              I agree with Peter Boyle's presentation of the problem
              at this point. In fact, I will leave such
              methodological questions there until we have material
              to consider with them, because with every posting the
              distortions seem to grow exponentially.

              Shane, did I write the "current situation was not
              relevant". No, I said it must be studied in a certain
              way.

              Bob, did I claim Thompson's book was (directly)
              relevant to a discussion of the theory of the labour
              aristocracy. No. You raised the question of a
              definitive conception of historical materialism - a
              theoretical perspective - which you suggested might be
              inspired by a book by Doug Lorimer. I would only claim
              to have my own, developing, conception of historical
              materialism: I wrote Thompson was a significant
              influence on that.

              Finally, I wouldn't claim to have Lenin's theory of
              the labour aristocracy. I've got mine. Lenin, among
              others, is only an inspiration for it. If others wish
              they about whether my views are those of "the Lenin of
              today". My concern is that they are an effective guide
              for revolutionary action today.

              I'm rushing to get home. Think about what the
              intention of the above is before bothering to take up
              any weak formulation there, please.

              Jonathan Strauss



              --- chen9692000 <s.hopkinson@...> wrote: > ---
              In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, Peter
              > Boyle
              > <peterb@g...> wrote:
              >
              > > I also don't think there is any real disagreeement
              > about the
              > > relevance of class structure today. Shane is
              > manufacturing a
              > > difference.
              >
              > I am not trying to manufacture a difference, it was
              > Jonathan
              > who said that . I
              > was just
              > trying to figure out what he could have meant by it.
              >
              > >We should be interested in an investigation not
              > > only of the theory of labour aristocracy, as laid
              > out by
              > > Lenin, but also in the actual evidence of the
              > existence,
              > > composition (which has been shifting) and role of
              > labour
              > > aristocracy in Australia in the past (at least
              > from the end
              > > of the 19th century) and in the present.
              >
              > Fine - I am particularly interested in the
              > application to
              > Australia.
              >
              > Cheers
              >
              > Shane
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Visit http://www.greenleft.org.au
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
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              >

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            • ozleft
              Guy Rundle s essay on the 40th anniversary of Arena is worth a read, although some will find bits of it heretical. ... journal, the record of an individual s
              Message 6 of 12 , Jan 21, 2004
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                Guy Rundle's essay on the 40th anniversary of Arena is worth a read,
                although some will find bits of it heretical.

                >>In the seventeenth century, a magazine was a store of ammunition, a
                journal, the record of an individual's travels, perceptions or
                memories in situ. By the nineteenth, these original definitions had
                been added to. The journal was now a record of meetings and
                meanderings in a new situation, that of networks of writers and
                thinkers now independent of all ties to religion or court; and the
                magazine, in an era when differing parties purported to have
                abandoned arms for parliament and debate, became a store of ideas.

                >>For two centuries, magazines and journals have been at the centre
                of revolution and reform, from the Rambler to the Edinburgh Review to
                the Nineteenth Century to the Bulletin, the New Statesman and right
                up to Meanjin, Private Eye, the Nation Review and the one you are now
                reading. Their purpose has been not only to advocate a way into the
                future, but also to record the pathways taken that have become the
                past. With their letters and replies, they imitate a conversation,
                but they are not one — they either begin or approach the condition of
                permanence, an argument about how things were, or were understood at
                the time. They preserve gestures and acts as effectively as a shower
                of volcanic ash on a city.

                ...

                >>However, that does not mean there will not be radical changes
                brought about by these new forces, especially in intermediate forms.
                Will the magazine be a casualty of the electronic word media? Will
                the authority of the book and its assumptions — the single author,
                the delimited individual consciousness — cease to be? Will the idea
                of a party, as the dominant mode of political activity — not merely
                the tightly-defined Leninist type, but also the more general idea of
                a large common and hierachically ordered group based on a set of
                common principles — survive this revolution? Or is it merely a
                particular form of close human association, which has a more general
                nature and can be expressed in other ways — as, for example, the
                manner of mixing manual and mental labour, ongoing association and
                work in the world — that this group has sought to achieve? It is easy
                to become confused by this transformation. Does the internet fragment
                the public sphere, the global social movement? The answer is that it
                allows for and facilitates the creation of multiple forms of social
                self-identification which make old style party politics impossible —
                but it also facilitates the transcending of the fragments when the
                situation challenges our values at a universal level, such as
                occurred in the mobilisation of the global anti-war movement. What we
                can say is that for every gain there is loss, but that this process
                itself is not unchanging — it can be transformed by memory.>>

                Full:
                http://www.arena.org.au/archives/Mag_Archive/issue_68/editorial_68.htm
              • Pip, Peter & Zoe
                ... Is this another cheap fit up of the DSP (as Stalinist ) coming on? I do not think it would be fair to blame the Filipino comrades for the views on labour
                Message 7 of 12 , Jan 22, 2004
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                  Gould's Book Arcade wrote:

                   In this context, I note that Peter boyle was
                  influenced by discussion of theoretical questions by comrades in the
                  Phillipines who he had discussions with, particularly in 1994. As these
                  comrades were, at that stage, independently moving away from, and in the
                  process of criticising the Maoist political training that they had had, I'd
                  be interested to know what elements of their original Maoist training and
                  development that they regard as still valid, and what they reject, and Peter
                  might regard as still valid and useful to the development of the theory that
                  he puts forward with such enthusiasm.
                  Is this another cheap fit up of the DSP (as Stalinist>) coming on? I do not think it would be fair to blame the Filipino comrades for the views on labour aristocracy I have expressed on this list. The notes from which I extracted a few key points and references, in response to a request from Bob Gould, were prepared in Australia before we left for the Philippines. The character of the seminar was an exchange on a few aspects of Marxism as we saw it from our different perspectives. We took part in three sets of seminars during that trip. The first was with the Visayas regional committee of the CPP, a group of about eight comrades, the second with about 60 members of district committees of the Manila-Rizal section, and the third, a much bigger a broader one involving other MR activists and some young activists from the BISIG group (a sort of Christian-radical left group with significant involvement in unions, rural cooperatives and progressive NGOs). All three had to be conducted in clandestinely. In the second, for instance, our rather superficial cover was that we were discussing pig farming methods! Some of the comrades leaned more towards Maoist politics (a few in the MR group), but others had begun to try and pull together an anti-Stalinist Marxism based on whatever readings they had come across, including Gramsci, Trotsky and a range of “Western Marxist” writers.

                  This was just one small episode in a broad process of political exchange, debate and cross-fertilisation that DSP comrades have actively pursued right through the 1990s with socialists overseas coming from a variety of political backgrounds. It well and truly took our politics out of the confines of the Trotskyism movement. It is only partially reflected in Links magazine articles. A wide range of DSP comrades were involved in these exchanges and visits and we are still trying to absorb and share these various experiences.

                  While in recent times it might appear that much of the focus of these exchanges has been with groups in Europe, like the SSP (for obvious reasons), for me, to date comrades from two mass revolutionary movements in Asia (from the Philippines and India) have had the most marked ideological influence. Some of these comrades have simply put Marxist ideas more to the test than any socialist group has been able to do so in the West in the last three decades. Their experience (and not Maoism) convinces me that socialists all around the world should more carefully study the political ideas of Lenin.

                  Lenin was clearly the best Marxist of the 20th century. He absorbed the method of Marx and applied it effectively to the conditions the Bolsheviks faced, including the new development of monopoly capitalism. There is a sharpness (and unity as Lukac's noted in later life) of his thought. Quite a bit of effort will be needed to prove one major part of his theory right while the rest is left intact. Of course reality can prove the ideas of the smartest cookie inthe socialist movement wrong. But that has to be demonstrated with a little more than the shallow, dismissive single sentences that Shane Hopkinson has come up with so far in this discussion.

                  But this puts a heavy challenge to all side sof this argument because anyone who claims to the method of Marx, Engels and Lenin today should study not just  Marxist theory but also understand our specific history and today’s conditions. But we do this best while building an independent socialist alternative -- we don’t wait for a more complete theoretical clarification before acting on our convictions. That is why the establishment of Socialist Alliance, Seeing Red magazine, the broad socialist education and discussion seminars, the greater opening up of Green Left Weekly are all good steps forward to meet the challenge. To be sure there will be initiatives by others outside the Socialist Alliance and that too is good.

                  Peter Boyle
                   
                   

                • ozleft
                  By Bob Gould I did not mean any disrespect at all to the comrades of broadly Maoist background in the Philippines and India, who have been rethinking Marxism
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jan 22, 2004
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                    By Bob Gould

                    I did not mean any disrespect at all to the comrades of broadly
                    Maoist background in the Philippines and India, who have been
                    rethinking Marxism and Leninism, obviously starting with the previous
                    framework of their views.

                    I've met several of these comrades, particularly those from the
                    Philippines, and they seem to be extremely serious and I don't
                    dismiss their contribution to the development of Marxist theory.

                    Nevertheless, their training and initial development was in a
                    political school in which the work of Lenin tended to be addressed in
                    a rather Talmudic, big-L Leninist way, about which I'm rather uneasy.

                    I'm genuinely anxious to discuss, in a careful way, the "Leninist
                    theory of the aristocracy of labour" in imperialist countries as a
                    central political focus, but I'm very anxious to start this
                    discussion within a framework that we all will understand.

                    Neither Peter nor Jon have really answered my core question about the
                    methodological framework, so I'll repeat it.

                    I understand it's a fairly complex question, even if the asking of it
                    may appear simple, and I don't ask either comrade to over-simplify or
                    crudify their response, if they try to answer the question. They can,
                    and no doubt will, answer in any way they choose, but my question is
                    still this: what is the Leninist theory of the labour aristocracy?

                    Peter Boyle, in particular, has indicated certain texts: the
                    introduction to Lenin's theory of imperialism, the Lenin and Zinoviev
                    pamphlets of 1915-1916, which we have now satisfactorily established
                    are separate works, and a large part of "Left-Wing Communism, an
                    Infantile Disorder". These Lenin and Zinoviev extracts contain both
                    global analysis and
                    observation, but they also have an element of empirical description
                    of the nature and causes of the bureaucratisation of the labour
                    movement in imperialist countries.

                    Are the empirical parts -- the analysis and description of the
                    bureaucratisation of the Western labour movements, and the causes of
                    this bureaucratisation -- part of what Jon and Peter understand by
                    Lenin's theory of the aristocracy of labour? Are they an integral
                    part of it, and is the theory partly based on these empirical
                    observations?

                    Obviously, Lenin and Zinoviev both extend their empirical
                    observations into a general analysis.

                    Do the empirical observations on which the analysis seems to be based
                    form part of what Jon and Peter understand to be the Leninist theory
                    of the aristocracy of labour in imperialist countries?

                    It seems important, to me, to try to clarify this before we can carry
                    the discussion further.
                  • Shane Hopkinson
                    ... Good - lets move on. ... Indeed I know what you mean - after quoting you twice I lapse into a paraphrase on the basis that we all know ... No you said:
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jan 22, 2004
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                      --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, Jonathan Strauss
                      <jonathanstrauss11@y...> wrote:

                      > I agree with Peter Boyle's presentation of the problem
                      > at this point.

                      Good - lets move on.

                      >In fact, I will leave such
                      > methodological questions there until we have material
                      > to consider with them, because with every posting the
                      > distortions seem to grow exponentially.

                      Indeed I know what you mean - after quoting you twice I
                      lapse into a paraphrase on the basis that we all know
                      what we are saying but you say:

                      >Shane, did I write the "current situation was not
                      >relevant". No, I said it must be studied in a certain
                      >way.

                      No you said:

                      "Empirical investigation of the current state of
                      the class structure and the current circumstances in
                      the workers' movement in Australia" can't be relevant
                      to, or come into, any Marxist analysis, IMO, unless it
                      is historical, rather than sociological"

                      and I asked what the hell you meant. So if you think
                      I have distorted you I apologise.

                      Then Peter wades in after 3-4 posts with:

                      >Lenin was clearly the best Marxist of the 20th century. <snip>
                      >Of course reality can prove the ideas of the smartest cookie
                      >in the socialist movement wrong. But that has to be demonstrated
                      >with a little more than the shallow, dismissive single sentences
                      >that Shane Hopkinson has come up with so far in this discussion.

                      Its kinda strange since I haven't mentioned Lenin at all.
                      Most of the 4-5 exchanges have been about clarifying Jon's
                      comment. My first post doesn't mention Lenin either - its
                      just about saying that I'd like the debate to be focused on
                      Australia.

                      >But this puts a heavy challenge to all sides of this argument

                      Indeed, and trying to work, and run a Greens election campaign keeps
                      me busy as well. Bob obviously has a lot more textual knowledge and
                      can mix it with you on that score.

                      I hope we can get on with the
                      discussion of how the theory applies to Australia.

                      Cheers

                      Shane
                    • Peter Boyle
                      Bob Gould wrote: Obviously, Lenin and Zinoviev both extend their empirical observations into a general analysis. Do the empirical observations on which the
                      Message 10 of 12 , Jan 22, 2004
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                        Bob Gould wrote:
                         Obviously, Lenin and Zinoviev both extend their empirical
                        observations into a general analysis.

                        Do the empirical observations on which the analysis seems to be based
                        form part of what Jon and Peter understand to be the Leninist theory
                        of the aristocracy of labour in imperialist countries?

                        It seems important, to me, to try to clarify this before we can carry
                        the discussion further.
                         

                        Of course. But let's go back to your earlier request for some sort of summary of Lenin's theory of labour aristocracy.

                        “[England's] exclusive position [between 1852 and 1892] led to the emergence, from the 'masses,' of a semi-petty-bourgeois, opportunist 'labour aristocracy.' The leaders of this labour aristocracy were constantly going over to the bourgeoisie, and were directly or indirectly on its payroll.... Present-day (twentieth-century) imperialism has given a few advanced countries an exceptionally privileged position, which, everywhere in the Second International, has produced a certain type of traitor, opportunist, and social-chauvinist leaders, who champion the interests of their own craft, their own section of the labour aristocracy.”

                        - Lenin in Left-wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder

                        Lenin’s theory of labour aristocracy was an integral part of his analysis of the development of monopoly capitalism. This is why the discussion of this question on this and other lists intersects with discussions about imperialism (and the qtn of national self-determination), social democracy, the labour movement, racism, etc.

                        Of course the theory falls if these trends of an economic split in the working class have not persisted.

                        The actual material divide in the working peoples in the world is one of the biggest realities of our world today. It is summed up by today’s equivalent of Lenin’s privileged less than one-tenth of the world:

                        “North America and Western Europe - representing 12 percent of the world's population - account for 60 percent of this consumption. By contrast, the one third of humanity who live in South Asia and sub Saharan Africa account for only 3.2 percent of this consumption.” ("State of the World 2004" report by Worldwatch Institute)

                        This cleavage, reinforced by now more than 100 years of monopoly capitalism, is the major reality check for socialists today. In this 100 years capitalism has created the biggest global army of wage slaves in history, so socialists are posed a number  of challenges

                        1. How can the workers of the world unite in the face of such institutionalised disparity in their own ranks?

                        2. How can socialism develop when distorted economic and social development spurs political upheaval most in the parts of the world where there is the poorest material basis for displacing capitalist relations of production and exchange? Especially as:

                        a) In the semi-colonial countries there is, as a result, a material basis in economic backwardness persistent and powerful pressures bureaucratism even on revolutionary regimes pressures (as Trotsky and others identified)?

                        b) In the advanced capitalist countries, there is a material basis, for a persistent class collaborationist and opportunist tedencies to persist in the labour movements, i.e. these are not just the result of the conservativism of particular labour leaderships but that labour bureaucracy has a strong social base. Lenin believed that it was not possible for monopoly capitalism to indefinitely deliver material security to all of the working class even in the advanced capitalist countries.

                        Rather than simply deduce a) and b) this from evidence of the global economic split, we should also look at the specifics in imperialist countries.

                        To identify a material base for opportunism (or for bureaucratism) is not to argue that it is inevitable. This would be clearly over-deterministic. Actual political struggles that can be decisive (though for how long?) and ideology has a degree of independence from material conditions.

                        Does this help?

                        Peter Boyle

                      • Clinton
                        Just wondering whether there is an ALP email group where these questions are discussed? Thanks, CF
                        Message 11 of 12 , Jan 23, 2004
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                          Just wondering whether there is an ALP email group where these
                          questions are discussed?

                          Thanks,

                          CF
                        • dave_r_riley
                          Socialist Alliance demands Labor repeal draconian Abortion Laws For immediate release 25/01/04 Independent candidate for South Brisbane Lynda Hansen endorsed
                          Message 12 of 12 , Jan 25, 2004
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                            Socialist Alliance demands Labor repeal draconian Abortion Laws


                            For immediate release 25/01/04

                            Independent candidate for South Brisbane Lynda Hansen endorsed by the
                            Socialist Alliance stated ` the silence is thunderous, here you have
                            two other women candidates standing for election in South Brisbane
                            and not one has mentioned the reproductive rights issue. Labor
                            Premier Wayne Goss won a State Election in the past on a promise to
                            legalise abortion, with many women voting for Labor believing things
                            would change. Coming up to another State Election, little has
                            changed. Are Labor and Greens too afraid to mention Abortion as an
                            election issue?’

                            `As an active feminist and socialist I have been campaigning for
                            years to demand that women have a choice about their bodies. If I am
                            voted to office I will immediate campaign to repeal the abortion laws
                            and take abortion out of the criminal code. Women demand choices not
                            moralising and broken promises. As a representative of the Alliance I
                            will campaign for fully recognised and paid maternity leave and a big
                            increase in publicly funded child-care services. If women choose to
                            have families there should be extensive social and economic service
                            infrastructures to assist them. It’s to time to stop treating women
                            like second-class citizens!

                            ___________________


                            *Socialist Alliance to serve eviction notice on Labor Politician*


                            For immediate release 25/01/04


                            Big Pollie Eviction – One way to improve public housing in Brisbane

                            Independent candidate for South Brisbane endorsed by the Socialist
                            Alliance states `Socialist Alliance South Branch and supporters will
                            be picketing outside Labor MP Anna Bligh’s office on Saturday
                            January 31, at 11 am to serve Bligh with an eviction notice to
                            vacate her campaign office to make way for urgently needed
                            accommodation for homeless people in the local area’

                            Lynda Hansen states `Bligh made a cruel and careless comment made
                            last week in the Southside News that the homelessness matter was a
                            `difficult social issue’. Hansen states `what Bligh called a
                            difficult social issue is actually about people- human beings in our
                            community that need, as we all do – basic fundamental services such
                            as a roof over their heads.

                            Green candidate Juanita Wheeler sung gentle platitudes about
                            emergency shelters and affordable housing but did not put forward any
                            solutions.

                            Socialist Alliance housing policy is quite clear there are real
                            solutions:

                            Establish a large-scale building program to make good quality, energy
                            efficient affordable public housing available. Stop privatisation of
                            public housing. Expand funding to housing cooperatives. All rents to
                            be capped at 20% of income. Ensure fully funded refuges and other
                            secure emergency accommodation for women and children escaping
                            domestic violence.

                            Establish a publicly owned and controlled housing finance corporation
                            to provide low-interest home loans to those in need.

                            Join us to serve an eviction notice on Anna Bligh, and tell her what
                            you really think of Labor’s rotten record of funding for public
                            housing.
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