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Re: [GreenLeft_discussion] Re: Australia: Power workers oppose NSW Labor government's privatisation bid

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  • Michael Berrell
    Well I finally caught Bob s attention. Bob tries to establish a link between myself and Mark Aarons. Well I certainly have no time for Aarons. As I understand
    Message 1 of 13 , Feb 28, 2008
      Well I finally caught Bob's attention.

      Bob tries to establish a link between myself and Mark Aarons. Well I certainly have no time for Aarons. As I understand it Aarons is ex-CPA who following the demise of the USSR has moved rapidly to the right and now advocates Neo-Liberalism and is actively hostile to Marxism. Aarons wrote a number of articles last year attacking Fretilin in East Timor for its so called links to Marxism. If aything there are clear parallels between Aarons and Michael Costa both of whom have moved from the far left to the right.

      All I've said is that it's all very well to move motions opposing the privatisation of electricity in NSW I should imagine every ALP branch in the state has done so. I think a figure was given in 1997 that 95% of all branches in NSW opposed privatisation. I'm just wondering who the 5% of branches were who supported it!

      Push will come to shove of course if and when Iemma and Costa push ahead with privatisation in defiance of the will of nearly all rank and file members of the ALP and the party platform. Then we will have a situation analogous to the situation in Queensland where the Premier Vince Gair was ultimately expelled from the party.

      That question will arise when and if the privatisation proceeds in defiance of the party platform. Bob and I seem to be in agreement on that.

      Bob seems to be resorting to a bit of 'red baiting' by ridiculing my association with the World Socialist Web Site. Listmembers would be well aware that while I support many positions of the WSWS I also have some profound political differences with the WSWS and I'm not shy in putting those differences forward on this list or elsewhere when the need arises.


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: bobgould987
      To: GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Friday, February 29, 2008 12:09 AM
      Subject: [GreenLeft_discussion] Re: Australia: Power workers oppose NSW Labor government's privatisation bid


      Pseudo-leftists join the anti-union chorus

      Michael Berrell keeps asking his idiot question, on the Green Left
      discussion list, demanding some kind statement from me as to whether
      members of the Labor Party should campaign for the expulsion of Costa
      and Iemma if they don't carry out policy.

      More...This is humbug and pure demagogy from Berrell, who makes no
      secret of his sympathy for the right-wing, twilight zone,
      ex-Trotskyists of the World Socialist Web Site. The WSWS says people
      in the trade unions and the Labor Party campaigning to defeat the
      electricity privatisation are in some secret way fighting to defend it.

      Berrell's oh-so-leftist contribution to the struggle against
      electricity privatisation is to demand that we move more or less
      immediately to demand the expulsion of Costa and the premier. At this
      stage of the battle, that pseudo-demand from Berrell is a diversion
      and a disruption, insofar as anyone takes any notice of a chameleon
      who support the twilight zone ex-Trotskyists at the same time as
      distancing himself from them a bit.

      Full: http://ozleft.wordpress.com/2008/02/29/antiunionchorus/






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    • Ed Lewis
      Norm Dixon, the Green Left cut-and-paster, seems to be a bit slow off the mark this morning. I would have thought this article in the Sydney Morning Herald
      Message 2 of 13 , Feb 28, 2008
        Norm Dixon, the Green Left cut-and-paster, seems to be a bit slow off
        the mark this morning.

        I would have thought this article in the Sydney Morning Herald would
        be of considerable interest. http://tinyurl.com/39deww

        ALP Left ready to fight Costa

        Andrew West
        February 29, 2008
        Advertisement

        IEMMA Government MPs are on the brink of rebellion after one of the
        Labor Party's most senior figures endorsed the right of ALP
        politicians to vote in Parliament against the planned privatisation of
        the state's electricity industry.

        Luke Foley, the party's assistant general secretary who leads the Left
        faction, has told his MPs that if the Treasurer, Michael Costa,
        introduced privatisation bills before the issue is debated at the ALP
        conference in May, the Government would be breaching an agreement with
        unions.

        Mr Foley declined to comment to the Herald, but three MPs, two union
        leaders and several delegates present at the Left's annual general
        meeting on Monday night have confirmed he made the statement.

        Mr Foley reportedly told the meeting: "A commitment was given that no
        legislation would be introduced prior to the party conference. If
        privatisation legislation is introduced prior to the conference, then
        MPs would be within the their rights to tell caucus that they would
        not vote for it when it came before Parliament."

        Mr Foley was responding to a question from the Sydney bookseller Bob
        Gould, one of 250 members at the gathering in the Haymarket auditorium
        of the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union. Another
        Left member, the Sydney solicitor James Shaw, said Mr Foley was even
        more explicit, arguing that loyalty to party policy, which opposes
        power privatisation, was more important than the rule demanding caucus
        members vote together in Parliament.

        etc
      • glparramatta
        Clearly, not as quick as our resident ``Green Laborite troll!
        Message 3 of 13 , Feb 28, 2008
          Clearly, not as quick as our resident ``Green'' Laborite troll!

          --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "Ed Lewis" <ozleft@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Norm Dixon, the Green Left cut-and-paster, seems to be a bit slow off
          > the mark this morning.
          >
        • bobgould987
          Brother Berrell, Now that we ve got each other s attention, I would raise a number of important questions with you. You say it s unfair of me to lump you with
          Message 4 of 13 , Feb 28, 2008
            Brother Berrell,

            Now that we've got each other's attention, I would raise a number of
            important questions with you.

            You say it's unfair of me to lump you with the twilight zoners of the
            WSWS despite the fact that you constantly tout their website on the
            Green Left list. You say you have some serious differences with the
            WSWS and you cite a disagreement about Fretilin.

            What I attacked the WSWS about wasn't Fretilin, as you well know. I
            discussed at length the WSWS's increasingly right-wing standpoint on
            the organised workers movement.

            In particular, do you disagree with the WSWS's now longstanding
            proposition that workers should leave the trade unions and that the
            unions are now reactionary institutions?

            Do you disagree with the WSWS's proposition that Labor, the Liberals
            and the Greens are all equal instruments of the bourgeoisie and
            therefore it is appropriate to advocate an equal distribution of
            preferences to these parties? In my view that involves crossing the
            class line to support the Liberals.

            Do you disagree with the WSWS's proposition, in the right-wing leaflet
            that they distributed at the mass protest against privatisation, that
            privatisation will inevitably be victorious on this occasion?

            Do you disagree with the WSWS's constant, and unexplained, proposition
            that all the forces struggling against the privatisation are in some
            mysterious way actually doing Costa's work to sell the privatisation?

            Do you agree that the union officials who mobilised their members and
            organised buses to bring them to the protest actually doing that to
            support the privatisation, as the twilight zone right-wing cranks say?

            Full response:

            http://ozleft.wordpress.com/2008/02/29/antiunionchorus/#comment-264
          • Michael Berrell
            First let s cut the name calling. It s undignified to repeatedly refer to the WSWS as Twilight Zoners that s puerile. Its bizarre to refer to them as in any
            Message 5 of 13 , Feb 28, 2008
              First let's cut the name calling.

              It's undignified to repeatedly refer to the WSWS as "Twilight Zoners" that's puerile.

              Its bizarre to refer to them as in any way "Right Wing". Their errors stem from an uncompromising ultra left wing ant-capitalism. In fact this uncompromising stand is one of the things that attracts me to the outfit.

              Bob you of all people are well aware that I have significant political differences with the WSWS on a wide range of issues. I've argued with you about Stalinism, I supported and still do the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, my understanding of why the Soviet Union ultimately failed is quite different. I wrote a lengthy piece on the list last week on my attitude towards Castro and Cuba which again was quite different to the WSWS attitude.

              You were present at the public meeting where I questioned Nick Beams from the floor about SEP preferencing. I wrote to Peter Boyle verify it with him after the Federal Election and told him that I voted for the Socialist Alliance in the Senate because I couldn't be bothered numbering all the squares. If I were to vote for a SEP candidate I would number all the squares because I disagree with the preferencing policy.

              So to depict me as an uncritical propagandist for the WSWS is quite wrong.

              The difference over Fretilin by the way was not with the WSWS but with Mark Aarons.

              I have never advocated drumming the unions out of the ALP.

              To the question at hand. Passing a motion opposing the privatisation of the state's electricity assets at a public meeting deserves no special kudos. Such a motion would have been passed at every branch of the ALP in the state as the first order of business after this matter came up. I know it was passed unanimously at the Harbord branch of the ALP. Its no secret that the privatisation of electricity is opposed by an overwhelming majority of rank and file ALP members. Probably in the order of over 85% perhaps even well over 90%.

              That's not in question. What is in question is what will happen if Iemma and Costa push ahead with the privatisation in the face of the overwhelming opposition of the rank and file of the ALP and in direct violation of the party platform. Since we know that there is overwhelming opposition to the privatisation within the rank and file we know that any move to ratify it at the conference in May will be a stitch up. In any case Costa has expressly stated that he will ignore any decision made at the May conference. Isn't this in itself a violation of the party platform.

              In any case if the party doesn't move on Iemma and Costa then the electorate certainly will. The lesson of history has demostrated that when the ALP is out of step with the wishes of its rank and file it is inevitably flogged at the polls. This was the lesson from the debacle in NSW in 1988, Federally in 1996 and will be again in 2011 if this is allowed to proceed.







              ----- Original Message -----
              From: bobgould987
              To: GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Friday, February 29, 2008 12:53 PM
              Subject: [GreenLeft_discussion] Re: Australia: Power workers oppose NSW Labor government's privatisation bid


              Brother Berrell,

              Now that we've got each other's attention, I would raise a number of
              important questions with you.

              You say it's unfair of me to lump you with the twilight zoners of the
              WSWS despite the fact that you constantly tout their website on the
              Green Left list. You say you have some serious differences with the
              WSWS and you cite a disagreement about Fretilin.

              What I attacked the WSWS about wasn't Fretilin, as you well know. I
              discussed at length the WSWS's increasingly right-wing standpoint on
              the organised workers movement.

              In particular, do you disagree with the WSWS's now longstanding
              proposition that workers should leave the trade unions and that the
              unions are now reactionary institutions?

              Do you disagree with the WSWS's proposition that Labor, the Liberals
              and the Greens are all equal instruments of the bourgeoisie and
              therefore it is appropriate to advocate an equal distribution of
              preferences to these parties? In my view that involves crossing the
              class line to support the Liberals.

              Do you disagree with the WSWS's proposition, in the right-wing leaflet
              that they distributed at the mass protest against privatisation, that
              privatisation will inevitably be victorious on this occasion?

              Do you disagree with the WSWS's constant, and unexplained, proposition
              that all the forces struggling against the privatisation are in some
              mysterious way actually doing Costa's work to sell the privatisation?

              Do you agree that the union officials who mobilised their members and
              organised buses to bring them to the protest actually doing that to
              support the privatisation, as the twilight zone right-wing cranks say?

              Full response:

              http://ozleft.wordpress.com/2008/02/29/antiunionchorus/#comment-264






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            • bobgould987
              Why I have absolutely no intention of getting out a leaflet calling for the expulsion of Costa and Iemma at this stage in the struggle against electricity
              Message 6 of 13 , Mar 1 8:31 PM
                Why I have absolutely no intention of getting out a leaflet calling
                for the expulsion of Costa and Iemma at this stage in the struggle
                against electricity privatisation

                The web is a stamping ground for adventurers, trolls and demagogues
                who hide behind their anonymity. Some people have sound reasons for
                choosing pseudonyms on the web, like job considerations etc. It would
                be bad web etiquette to out people indiscriminately for this kind of
                reason. Having said that, I don't take terribly seriously people on
                the web who strike demagogic poses sheltering behind anonymity.

                http://ozleft.wordpress.com/2008/03/01/leafletsdemandsand/
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