Iemma jeered at ALP conference
- But was there a vote? Any reports from participants?
Iemma jeered at ALP conference
Premier Morris Iemma arrived to a standing ovation, but the goodwill rapidly
New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma has faced open revolt to his plans to
privatise the electricity sector at the State Labor conference.
Ahead of the Premier's arrival, the Party's state president Bernie Riordan
warned conference delegates to watch their manners.
"This is not a zoo," he said.
"If you want to boo and hiss go outside."
The Premier arrived to a standing ovation, but the goodwill rapidly
deteriorated as he outlined his case for reform of the energy sector.
"The Government on its own can fund electricity, or fund services - with
private sector help we can do both. That's the deal I put before you today,"
But the applause did not drown out loud calls for no deal.
Mr Iemma told the conference he knows he faces an uphill battle, but he
urged delegates to rise above nostalgia and fear and do what is right.
"Let history record on this day, May 3, 2008, the New South Wales branch of
this great party found its courage, rose above nostalgia and fear and did
what was right," he said.
- --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, Nick Fredman
>I just heard that the vote was taken and the Iemma Labor government's
> But was there a vote? Any reports from participants?
plan to privatise NSW electricity industry was voted down 702 to 105
by delegates at the NSW ALP conference.
Here are some pictures of the May Day rally held this morning outside
the ALP conference held Sydney's Darling Harbour Convention Centre
instead of the customary Sydney Town Hall:
- Bob Gould's report on the Labor conference.
- Now would be a good time for NSW residents to send an email to your
local Labor MP urging them to accept the conference decision. The vote
is on Tuesday.
This morning I wrote something along the lines of the following to my
As a trade unionist I urge you to accept the NSW Labor Party
conference decision on electricity privatisation.
I am not a member of the Labor Party, but of the Greens, but in recent
elections I have directed my ultimate preference to the Labor Party
and urged others to do likewise.
The Labor Party's mass conferences are one of the important
institutions of Australian democracy and as my representative in the
NSW parliament I urge you to respect the decisions of this body by
voting for the conference decision on privatisation at the next
meeting of the Labor caucus.
Email addresses for lower house MPs: http://tinyurl.com/4knpv9
Email addresses for upper house: http://tinyurl.com/483wu3
- Will the OzLeft site be willing to permanently display a list
of Labor MPs who vote for the power flog-off?
What about urging ALP supporters to punish Labor MPs for any
breach of the Conference decision (e.g. refusing to volunteer,
campaign, donate, or invite such an MP to Branch functions?
It is fascinating to see how Right-wing the ALP has become.
Until the mid-80s, Labor and many Coalition people believed in
strategic government ownership, with the use of government
business enterprises as development stimulators.
Now, according to Carr, such people are believers in a "Soviet-
style model of a government electricity monopoly", which
presumably is intended to smear the opponents of the Labor-
supported capitalist elite as "Stalinists".
- Roger Raven, in his usual reactionary and ignorant way, is talking
bullshit. This man know knows almost nothing about the workers'
movement. A split is looming that would make any list of recalcitrants
redundant because if it happens everyone will know who we're fighting
against. Raven also slanders the Labor ranks who are moving to the
left in reaction to the crisis, and he hasn't even noticed.
Politically speaking what a fool!
- Maybe not in those exact words of course -- but the message is loud
Is this upping the anti or what?
"Mr Iemma says even though his party's state conference has voted
against privatisation, the Government will proceed with it plans."
Obviously in terms of capitalism in Australia a lot is riding on this
commitment from NSW Labor to sell off the industry.
The battle lines are clearly and sharply drawn. I cannot recall such a
very clear and polarized difference in the ALP given the party's
standard penchant for pragmatism and manoevreing.
And within the NSW branch too..Who woulda thought?
It seems from where I'm sitting that either the ALP ranks fight to win
and actually do win OR if they DON'T fight or if they LOSE then the
NSW ALP as a home for anything remotely progressive goes profoundly
and publicly down the toilet.
There doesn't seem much middle ground or many options as the
corporatist (and I'd add "class")divide is crudely drawn.
Obviously people like Bob Gould have a fight on their hands as it's
clear that he is committed to the opposition movement --and I'd assume
this is one big fight he'll be fighting. So we wish him well INSIDE
Of course I'm tempted to ask: "what if you loose?" -- but I won't do
that because that would be rude of me.
The key question is : how can we win?
Well there you go...the ball's in the court of the NSW unions , party
ranks, and communities....
But it does seem to me that there's a lot of motion afoot on the
Laborism front. Rudd Labor is really a very broad church that
accommodates a congregation of aficionadoes in each state and what
we're up against is a very spacious front dedicated to an aggressive
new wave of restructuring, absolutely committed to the coal and mining
industries and keen to junk any semblance of passe welfare state ism.
That for the sake of Work Choices Lite we're in for a major
restructuring agenda in step with Hawke's and Keatings. The wave is
rising here in Qld as the whole business of "state infrastructure' is
given the once over.
And each time the argument will be exactly as Iemma has advanced -- we
cannot afford it (eg:an electricity industry). So there'll be a wave
of state and private enterprise partership projects like our coal
loader and our new city tunnels.
And it will happen without our immediate ability -- Greens included --
of us to mount an electoral challenge to Labor's agenda or that of the
Coalition governments that will surely follow. So this restructuring
may in fact proceed state by state very quickly indeed as perhaps
these governments deploy Howard style wedge politics like in Tasmanian
I can imagine the sort of pressures that will come down on unions like
What I'm seeing is that in this desire to tell us to get stuffed they
are confident that they have nothing much to fear. Street protests?
Why they can march to their legs drop off -- we're still going to
proceed. We went ahead in Iraq didn't we and are still there. Strikes?
You're joking -- we squashed that malarkey under Hawke and bought in
the big stick under Howard. Punish us electorally? The Greens can only
muster a 8% average and are contained in the inner city ghettoes.
So you gotta sometimes see the other side's POV...
- Bob Gould's report on the second day of the Labor conference
- Gould, in his usual reactionary and ignorant way, has
repeatedly been embarrassed by his pretence that Labor
powerbrokers' systematic and deliberate betrayal of their
party's professed values could be resolved with backroom chats
and discreet petitions. Politically speaking what a fool
Ed by Gould's standards is presumably another political fool,
for suggesting that emails of support for the Conference
position would be useful.
Dave Riley is quite right in his summary that "Iemma tells ALP
members to get stuffed".
My position, having been correct all along, remains
unchanged. Comrade Gould appears a stranger to the notion
that if one has the correct position, one does not need to
change it. But perhaps it isn't something Comrade Gould has
ever tried. On past performance, Gould's suggestions are
guaranteed only to fail.
After all, the existing union bosses, powerbrokers, and ALP
workers now face the ultimate logic of their own contempt for
performance, conduct and procedure. It was they who put Costa
et al where they are, and then supported them knowing perfectly
well what they were like. To imagine that such power-obsessed
characters would change if one was nice to them was the purest
self-delusion, which deserves no praise. But then, to talk
of the NSW ALP as though it were some sort of workers' movement
is the purest self-delusion.
Within the ALP, the only effective outcome ([a]) is a clear
determination by the NSW ALP executive to instantly expel any
MP (Iemma and Costa included) who backs the flog-off, expel any
ALP members who support them, and with an additional resolution
that they are expelled for life. Anything less amounts to
outcome [d] below.
Let us assume that Iemma et al resign or are expelled (outcome
[b]). It is possible that given their big business support,
they could gather enough numbers from the ALP, Coalition and
Independents to pass the flog-off legislation then form a
caretaker government until an election. Iemma et al could
move over to the DLP or suchlike as a bloc, taking many union
affiliates with them.
I'd presume that the top ALP decisionmaking bodies are
controlled by Iemma's mates.
Let us assume that the anti-flog-off ALP membership resigns
(outcome [c]). The powerbrokers will close some branches and
stack others to make up some of the numbers. So the party
will remain under the control of Iemma et al, though it may
merge with the DLP as part of the process of becoming a truly
reactionary religious Right organisation.
Let us assume that the anti-flog-off ALP membership decides to
stay and work from within rather than resign (outcome [d]).
Their craven policy of capitulation and self-delusion has come
to its end. Their views count for nothing. They will be
permitted only to work for the re-election of Iemma et al, and
will be instantly and ruthlessly expelled if they visibly
For the Left, effective action may involve a different and more
Humiliation, for instance.
Whether one is an ALP member or supporter or not, or even if
one has no opinion on the power flog-off , the point can be
made that Iemma et al are treating a long-established well-
defined democratic process with contempt. That is an attack
on democracy itself. It is an attack on democracy in any
organisation, and by the most powerful NSW politicians.
It is open to ordinary people and the Left to write to every
organisation in the State urging that they not invite any
offending politician/Iemma et al supporter to their functions,
should refuse to attend said functions, and should oppose every
efforts to publicise or fund-raise for them. Be assured that
the targets will notice.
Similarly, one can consistently and quickly reply in the media
to appearances or items from those blacklisted, criticising
Obviously to do so, one needs a blacklist to work from (which
should include Iemma et al's ALP backers). Obviously Gould is
opposed to such a list, presumably because it risks being
effective. It may also include some of his ALP mates.
The difficulty is that many people not just ALP members are
strangers to principle. But the point can be made that this
conference is a classic example of the ultimate consequences of
Such a process will be slow. Selling-out is so much easier,
which is why so many people prefer it. But as we presumably
now all agree, there is nothing more to sell-out. The
cupboard is utterly bare. Iemma and his predecessors have
long stripped it.
- Lets stop the name calling fellas
I recon that there are two things honourable that Iemma and Costa should
consider - neither of which
I expect that they will do
1. Tell the public, although they support selling the family silver to
foreign multinationals is in the
best interest of all NSW residents, they will abide by the party decision
2. Prepare for two bi-elections - those of Costa and Ieema.
.... Well perhaps they could do a third
3. Declare NSW an absolute monarchy under the reign of Morris I
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Michael, get the blunderbuss that's hidden in the thatch
- Roger Ravin':
>My position, having been correct all along, remains unchanged.>I usually don't read Roger Ravin's self-important waffle, but now that
I realise I'm in the presence of political genius I'll be more respectful.
>as we presumably now all agree, there is nothing more to sell-out.The cupboard is utterly bare. Iemma and his predecessors have long
Not quite. Adele Ferguson in Monday's Australian lists a few other
plums that the merchant bankers and corporate raiders have their eyes on.
"If energy reform proceeds, Iemma is expected to next raise money for
infrastructure reform by targeting ferries, followed by the sale of
State Transit Authority, NSW Lotto (which runs Lotto, Powerball and
Instant Scratchies), and Forests NSW (which is responsible for
managing 2.4 million hectares of native and planted forests in the
With the greatest respect, your lordship, a man who never gets things
wrong ought to do a bit more research.
- Bob Gould on propagandism and the electricity privatisation struggle.
- --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "bobgould987"
>Bob's analysis of SAlt is correct. Will they rise to defend themselves
> Bob Gould on propagandism and the electricity privatisation struggle.
(not their habit of course a sthey prefer to ignore debates like this)
...Watch this space:
on the SAlty blog, Leftwrites....
"The problem with all this in current Australian conditions is that
you create a group, you give it a sort of in-group very tight esprit
de corps, you fence the members off from real interaction with the
political world of the working class, you give them an entirely
literary education in selected Marxist texts, and worst of all you
discourage them from listening to anyone else by christening them the
knowledgeable revolutionary vanguard to which the masses will
inevitably turn if you preach at them enough....When you construct a
closed system and call it Leninism, you're insulting Lenin's memory in
the worst possible way.
"What's worse, you create an outfit in which you christen
semi-educated youth and students as some sort of automatic
revolutionary vanguard to which the masses will turn. You never turn
them towards the mass movement to listen and learn and to try to offer
some leadership in concrete struggles outside the student movement.
"You create a bunch of know-alls with a sort of cult reverence for a
few leaders ..."
- Charge of the corporate heavy brigade:
- Another banker joins the Costa-Iemma cheer squad
- Outsiders in their own party: the Labor Party ranks according to
- Trench warfare on electricity privatisation:
- Latest in electricity privatisation struggle. Upper house Labor MPs
say they'll cross the floor to support Greens bill, upper house
deadlocked, Labor stalls.