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The ALP is EVIL!!!

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  • Carl Kenner
    Just a quick reminder for those who have been sucked in by Labor party propaganda recently: The ALP is EVIL!!! Very evil. Unspeakably evil some might say.
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 22, 2004
      Just a quick reminder for those who have been sucked in by Labor party
      propaganda recently:

      The ALP is EVIL!!! Very evil. Unspeakably evil some might say.

      While this should be obvious to anyone in East Timor, anyone in Palestine,
      most other foreigners, anyone in refugee detention centres, and anyone in
      Australia who's black, some people on the Australian left may have missed
      it.

      Since the ALP controls all the state governments, some local governments,
      lots of unions, and some "political" "campaigning" organisations, a quick
      look at these bodies should help remind people. In case you can't remember
      what things are the state ALP's fault rather than Howard's, here is a brief
      list: Our tough-on-crime, racist police; transport; health; and education.
      What is the fault of corrupt union leaders should be obvious.

      Here are some things we can look forward to from our new federal leaders:

      Apartheid: Yes, apartheid is making a comeback. If you thought Israel was
      the last western apartheid regime, think again! Aboriginal oppression like
      you've never seen it before will be coming to our doorstep, thanks to the
      combined efforts of our state governments and our new Federal leader. The
      sure beat the Liberals to this policy.

      Impaling aborigines: Not content to simply strip aborigines of their rights,
      they can now be killed freely by the police.

      Environmental destruction: I'm not the most skilled environmentalist around,
      but I can tell when we're doomed. And with the ALP's environment policies,
      our world will not last.

      War: Has the Labor party ever not supported a war? I don't think so! We'll
      have lots of fun wars to take part in under Labor thanks to its commitment
      to the war on terrorism, and the Australia-USA alliance. It took the biggest
      protest in history to make the ALP backflip from whole-heartedly supporting
      the Iraq war, to theoretically opposing it. And that was with them in
      Opposition. With them in government and unable to backflip, we'll have our
      very own Tony Blair.

      Lies: When it comes to lies, nobody does it quite like the Labor party. I
      don't know about other people, but the dishonesty in our government is
      driving me mad. And it's all because of the ALP.

      Persecution of refugees: The people who brought us the White Australia
      Policy, immigration detention centres and the welfare waiting period, are at
      it again. With our new border guards the Labor party is promising, we can
      keep all oppressed people out of the country (except the people we are
      oppressing ourselves of course).

      Robbing other countries: The ALP makes no secret of its imperial ambitions,
      and would never in its wildest dreams think of providing foreigners with the
      same rights as Australians. Exploitation galore.

      Denial of civil rights: Indefinite detention for no crime is not just for
      refugees anymore.

      Tax cuts for the rich: There is nothing Mark Latham likes more than to make
      the rich richer. Which is why he is so keen on his tax cuts.

      There are many more terrible things we can look forward to if the ALP wins,
      but I can't be bothered to list them. But don't despair, people will
      eventually grow a brain and vote for someone else, so the ALP's days are
      numbered.

      Carl
    • chen9692000
      ... As far as I can recall evil is not a category of Marxist or left analysis. If you want to use theologically categories that s fine but try a list with
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 22, 2004
        --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "Carl Kenner"
        <carl_kenner@h...> wrote:
        >
        > The ALP is EVIL!!! Very evil. Unspeakably evil some might say.

        As far as I can recall 'evil' is not a category of Marxist or left
        analysis. If you want to use theologically categories that's fine but
        try a list with George Bush or some other kind of fundamentalist. I
        know you're being rhetorical and that labour politics is fucking
        frustrating but this sort of talk will get us no-where.

        > Here are some things we can look forward to from our new federal
        >leaders:

        This reads like you think fascism is imminent - brought to us by the ALP.

        > Environmental destruction: I'm not the most skilled environmentalist
        around...

        Why not?

        > War: Has the Labor party ever not supported a war? I don't think so!

        Come on, Carl. Even if you don't read Australian history as much you
        should at least look over some of the discussion on the list. In WW1
        the ALP split over the issue.

        I have no particular love for the ALP but it doesn't help to make
        polemics like this. Its frustrating but the enemy is CAPITAL - its
        influence is evident in the ALP as in everything else. This kind of
        talk reveals that as a revolutionary you don't know your history as
        well as you should and by talking this way you simply isolate yourself
        from the vast mass of people who have illusions in the ALP.

        > There are many more terrible things we can look forward to if the
        >ALP wins

        So perhaps we need to vote for the Liberals?

        Shane
      • dave_r_riley
        ... so! ... I suggest that Shane should attend to the question of history a bit more carefully before dismissing a claim such as this one. If Shane can name a
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 22, 2004
          --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "chen9692000"
          <s.hopkinson@c...> wrote:
          >> > War: Has the Labor party ever not supported a war? I don't think
          so!
          >
          > Come on, Carl. Even if you don't read Australian history as much you
          > should at least look over some of the discussion on the list. In WW1
          > the ALP split over the issue.

          I suggest that Shane should attend to the question of history a bit
          more carefully before dismissing a claim such as this one. If Shane
          can name a war that the ALP did not support in part or in whole or
          from the beginning of it -- I'll be duly humbled. To say it split
          over the issue says nothing at all relative to the claim. To say that
          it had reservations -- as in the case of Iraq -- doesn't qualify
          either --since by default it supported the war. Nor does Vietnam
          count as it had several different positions through the period of
          that conflict. Half hearted positions such as Whitlams' "withdraw to
          holding areas" is still support for the (Vietnam) war as is
          the "support our troops" line we were offered during this current
          invasion.

          As for the question primarily of conscription and WWI -- you need to
          note who was advocating the conscripting -- it wasn't a died in the
          wool Tory but a Labor man, a Labor "rat" -- Billy Hughes.

          The other tangent in Shane's supposition is that there is supposed to
          be something succinctly "un evil" in the ALP's nature that precludes
          it from supporting all imperialist wars. I'd like to know what that
          is. I've never found the ALP to be that way at all.

          I go elsewhere looking for my saints and don't expect to find it in
          the ALP.

          Is the ALP evil..? Well, the system it represents certainly is. You
          figure.

          dave riley
        • ozleft
          ... more carefully before dismissing a claim such as this one. If Shane can name a war that the ALP did not support in part or in whole or from the beginning
          Message 4 of 4 , Apr 26, 2004
            Dave Riley wrote:

            >>I suggest that Shane should attend to the question of history a bit
            more carefully before dismissing a claim such as this one. If Shane
            can name a war that the ALP did not support in part or in whole or
            from the beginning of it -- I'll be duly humbled. To say it split
            over the issue says nothing at all relative to the claim. To say that
            it had reservations -- as in the case of Iraq -- doesn't qualify
            either --since by default it supported the war. Nor does Vietnam
            count as it had several different positions through the period of that
            conflict. Half hearted positions such as Whitlams' "withdraw to
            holding areas" is still support for the (Vietnam) war as is the
            "support our troops" line we were offered during this current invasion.

            >>As for the question primarily of conscription and WWI -- you need to
            note who was advocating the conscripting -- it wasn't a died in the
            wool Tory but a Labor man, a Labor "rat" -- Billy Hughes.

            >>The other tangent in Shane's supposition is that there is supposed
            to be something succinctly "un evil" in the ALP's nature that
            precludes it from supporting all imperialist wars. I'd like to know
            what that is. I've never found the ALP to be that way at all.

            >>I go elsewhere looking for my saints and don't expect to find it in
            the ALP.

            >>Is the ALP evil..? Well, the system it represents certainly is. You
            figure.>>

            Politically speaking, Dave Riley asserts that black is white, the
            world is flat and the moon is made of green cheese

            By Bob Gould

            Responding to Carl Kenner's eccentric post carrying on about the Labor
            Party being "evil", Dave Riley has posted some opinions that are
            essentially as bizarre as Kenner's.

            Included in Riley's assorted historical falsifications is a barefaced
            distortion of the political events in Australia surrounding the Iraq war.

            Riley makes the extraordinary assertion that, in effect, Labor
            supported the Iraq war. The problem with this weird falsification is
            that everybody in Australia who reads this list is aware that the
            opposite is the case. At the time of the Iraq invasion last year,
            Labor voted unanimously in the federal parliament against sending
            troops to Iraq without UN authorisation, and stuck to that position.

            Just about every ALP member in the country, including many
            parliamentary politicians, state and federal, marched in the
            demonstrations against the war. The deputy premier of NSW and the
            current federal president of the ALP, Carmen Lawrence, were among the
            more prominent protesters.

            Since the election of the new federal leadership, Mark Latham, his
            deputy Jenny Macklin, Carmen Lawrence, and many other Labor
            politicians, have defiantly said they opposed sending the troops and
            the Australian troops will be withdrawn shortly after the election of
            a federal Labor government. Troops home by Christmas, as Latham puts it.

            It's true that the opposition of Labor to the war is couched in
            traditional Social Democratic lingo, what would you expect? But to
            assert, as Riley does in his eccentric way, that the ALP did not
            oppose the Iraq war is the kind of moralising sectarianism that
            contributes to the isolation of "Marxists" who talk like that.

            Riley insults Labor supporters who oppose the Iraq involvement. If he
            makes that kind of assertion to them face to fact, they're very likely
            to react to him as if he's a Martian for trying, in his arrogant way,
            to tell them what they really think. It's particularly insulting to
            many hundreds of Laborites who are resisting the chauvinism being
            whipped up in support of the Iraq war to be told by someone that
            they're not really opposed to the war because they don't formulate
            their opposition the same way he does.

            People normally react very badly to being accused of holding opinions
            opposite to the ones that they actually hold.

            The only people in Australia who don't believe that the Labor Party
            opposed, and still opposes, the Iraq war are a tiny minority of
            socialist sectarians such as Riley. Everyone else in the leftist half
            of Australian society -- the Labor supporters, the Greens supporters,
            the members of trade unions, etc -- know that what Riley is saying is
            wrong.

            All the opinion leaders on the right of Australian society know he's
            wrong too, because they're frantically whipping up as much hysteria as
            possible to attack Latham and Labor for allegedly "cutting and
            running" from the Iraq involvement.

            I'm writing this after Anzac Day, which this year has been the
            occasion for an even more than usually extraordinary media binge in
            which the bourgeois press have tried to use the commemoration of past
            wars to justify the Iraq involvement. Sunday's Telegraph, a Murdoch
            paper, had a long-winded, almost pleading editorial directed at Mark
            Latham, demanding peremptorily that he drop Labor's opposition to the
            Iraq involvement "in the national interest".

            Yesterday we had the repellent image of "the little digger", Prime
            Minister Howard, imitating Billy Hughes with a lightning visit to Iraq
            for the Anzac commemoration. Front page pictures everywhere of Howard
            in a flak jacket being brave, we are told.

            Despite all this media hysteria, Latham as late as Monday morning
            reasserted, again in traditional Social Democratic terms, that a
            Latham Labor government, if elected, would withdraw Australian troops
            by Christmas.

            This is in the face of all the militarist hysteria associated with
            Anzac Day and Howard's visit to Iraq.

            Despite all this, Riley continues to insist that Labor doesn't oppose
            the Iraq war. What a clown!

            Someone who goes around saying that the Labor Party is not really
            opposed to the Iraq war cuts themselves off, by that posture, from any
            means of connecting with the consciousness of the half of Australian
            society that opposes the Iraq war. All that Riley can say to the
            masses of Labor supporters who oppose the war is a sneering "you're
            not really opposed to the war".

            Riley hangs all this on the rhetoric frequently used by Latham and
            also used in a slightly different way by many antiwar protesters,
            about "supporting the troops" by bringing them back from Iraq. It's
            nonsensically sectarian to equate this position with supporting the war.

            Riley doesn't appear to have noticed the antiwar movement developing
            in the US among families of US service personnel who want their family
            members brought home. He seems to have forgotten the experience of the
            Vietnam antiwar movement, which in Australia on the left side with
            which I was associated, placed its main emphasis on "bring the troops
            home now". In constructing a mass antiwar movement it's political
            realism to avoid making crude and direct attacks on service personnel,
            who are in the final analysis put in harm's ways and sent to do bad
            things by their political masters.

            Of course Latham and other ALP right-wingers put a slightly
            conservative spin on "supporting the troops", but it's vicious and
            stupid to equate this with support for the war, if it is, as it is in
            Latham's case, associated with the proposition that "supporting the
            troops" means bringing them home.

            Dave Riley's sectarianism towards the Laborites brings him more or
            less into the position occupied by Albert Langer and other Maoists
            during the Vietnam War, who attacked us all because they said the only
            honourable policy was to support the NLF and that concern for the
            welfare of Australian troops was a betrayal.

            Riley's account of the Vietnam antiwar movement is just as mad as his
            comments on the Iraq war. In Australian conditions, the decisive
            factor that made it possible to mobilise a substantial independent
            antiwar movement in the early stages of the Vietnam war, when that war
            was very popular, was the fact that Arthur Calwell, the then Labor
            leader, took a courageous and belligerent stand in opposition to the war.

            Most independent socialist antiwar activists, many of us also in the
            ALP, threw themselves into the agitational space opened by Calwell,
            and built a mass antiwar movement comparatively rapidly.

            It's true that the new Labor leader after Calwell, Gough Whitlam, with
            the full support of the then still powerful Stalinist apparatus in the
            labour movement, watered down the withdrawal policy, but he didn't do
            it without very substantial opposition. At the NSW ALP conference in
            1967, I rallied about 40 per cent of the delegates behind a motion
            reasserting the Calwell policy of withdrawal, and defying Whitlam (for
            which impudence I was expelled from the official left caucus, the
            Steering Committee). Similarly, the leftist Victorian state executive
            also stuck to the withdrawal policy, and an independent and vigorous
            antiwar agitation, including most Labor Party members nationally,
            continued during the first 18 months of Whitlam's leadership.

            By the 1969 elections, the combined impact of the worsening of the war
            and the continued antiwar agitation caused Whitlam to reverse his
            stance and effectively revert to the withdrawal policy.

            When the mass Moratoriums were organised in 1970, the ALP in every
            state was a central part of those protests, which took place around
            the demand of immediate withdrawal.

            Taken as a whole, Riley's assertion that the ALP supported the Vietnam
            War is political nonsense.

            Riley is like a caricature of an old-style Jesuit, trying to find a
            way of saying black is white. He uses the victory of Whitlam in 1967
            in watering down the withdrawal policy of the ALP somewhat, to trying
            to make a case that Labor didn't oppose the Vietnam War. This ignores
            the mass politics of the Vietnam agitation. In the relatively short
            period from mid-1967 to mid-1969 we militants continued to put
            pressure on the Labor leadership, and by late 1969 Whitlam
            somersaulted under the pressure of the worsening military situation
            and the antiwar agitation, and in practice reverted to the withdrawal
            position.

            No one in Australia that I know, other than Riley and one or two
            others, remembers the events of the Vietnam struggle in the way that
            Riley claims to now. Everywhere I go in society at large, and in the
            workers' movement, what people remember is our relative success in
            keeping Labor honest on the Vietnam War. People remember the mass
            mobilizations against the war in which many Laborites played a leading
            role, and they also remember that the new Labor government of Whitlam
            in 1972 withdrew the last troops, released the draft resisters and
            wound up conscription.

            Riley's version is a rewrite of the events.

            When he gets back to World War I, Riley gets very Bolshie about the
            Labor rat, Hughes. The facts of that historical experience were that
            initially most Labor politicians and trade union leaders supported the
            war, but they always opposed conscription.

            When the conservative Labor prime minister, Hughes, tried to impose
            conscription, he was forced by ALP opposition to hold a referendum. He
            tried to persuade the ALP in the bigger states -- NSW, Victoria,
            Queensland and South Australia -- to support conscription, and he was
            resoundingly defeated by all those ALP state executives.

            All four of those state executives adopted a position that any Labor
            politician who supported conscription would be expelled from the ALP.
            Immediately after the first referendum, all the right-wing Labor
            politicians who supported conscription were expelled.

            This week, with much fanfare, the Labor Party is celebrating the 100th
            anniversary of the first national Labor government in the world, led
            by J.C. Watson, which lasted for about 10 weeks. In 1916, a relatively
            unsentimental Labor Party expelled Watson, along with all the other
            right-wing politicians who supported conscription.

            The defeat of the conscription referendum, by a narrow absolute
            majority, and narrowly in three of the six states, was largely a
            product of the organised opposition to conscription of the labour
            movement throughout the country, the Labor government of T.J. Ryan in
            Queensland, and the agitation of the radical Catholic bishop Daniel
            Mannix, who rallied the large Catholic population against conscription.

            Hughes tried again in a second referendum and was defeated by a wider
            margin. Despite the defection of the right wing, which amalgamated
            with the Tories, the ALP rapidly revived electorally and was elected
            to state government in NSW in 1921.

            In the conscription referendums, the two states with the strongest
            Labor political representation, NSW and Queensland, voted against
            conscription by the largest majority.

            The conscription split, the defeat of conscription in the referendums,
            and the impact of the Russian Revolution, shifted the ALP to the left
            for the next 20 years or so.

            The two forces that emerged as decisive influences in Labor politics
            for those 20 years were the Marxist left and radicalised Irish
            Catholics. It took a very long time to roll back the radicalisation of
            the Australian labour movement produced by the conscription campaigns.

            Anyone who disputes my account of these events should look at some of
            the historical material on Ozleft, which contains more detailed
            accounts of the conscription upheavals and the struggle over the
            Vietnam War.

            The DSP leadership, with which Riley is generally associated, used to
            know the history of all these events, and I find it fascinating that
            Riley can say these eccentric things on the Green Left discussion site
            and no one from the DSP leadership challenges his historical inaccuracies.

            Riley's barefaced attempt to rewrite the history of the Iraq war and
            the ALP's attitude to it, not just after the event, but as it's
            happening around us, is a really strange phenomenon. One would think
            that everyone, including Marxists, can see that what he's saying is
            nonsense. He's obviously relying on the peculiar mindset of most of
            many of his associates, to try to get away with saying black is white.

            In a way this throws new light on the way Stalin's historical
            falsifications proceeded. If Riley thinks he can rely on a peculiar
            mindset among some socialists to rewrite history as it's happening, it
            gives one a hint of how much easier it must have been for Stalin and
            his red professors to rewrite the history of the Russian Revolution,
            when they had a powerful emerging bureaucracy and an increasingly
            totalitarian state apparatus behind them.

            It may seem a bit over the top to reply to Dave Riley's short comments
            so extensively, but Riley, a long-time member of the DSP, now one of
            the key ostensible independents allied with the DSP in the Socialist
            Alliance. Clearly his views on these matters have a bearing on the
            battle that is currently going on in the Socialist Alliance between
            the DSP current and a number of the small affiliates, some
            independents and the ISO on Socialist Alliance strategy running up to
            the coming federal elections. Those interested in the far-reaching
            debate now going on in the Socialist Alliance should read the recent
            discussion bulletins of the Socialist Alliance, which are available at
            http://www.socialist-alliance.org/idbpage.php
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