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

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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 1 of 13 , Feb 28, 2008
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      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 2 of 13 , Feb 28, 2008
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        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 3 of 13 , Feb 28, 2008
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          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 4 of 13 , Feb 28, 2008
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            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 5 of 13 , Mar 1, 2008
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              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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