Green Left Weekly, the DSP and this week’s developments in the labour and indigenous movements
After a week of discussion and argument the issue of the DSP’s Green Left Weekly that went up on the web this evening is a breath of fresh air, up to a point, as is the linked Green Left discussion site.
Firstly, the main line article on the apology to indigenous Australians, written by Peter Robson, provides pretty sensible comprehensive coverage of the issues without any sanctimonious finger-wagging, etc.
As it’s my impression that Robson was one of the DSP bloggers early in the week who had a fairly negative approach to the then-projected apology, this marks a change for him and the DSP leadership, and I applaud them both for it.
Despite what they may say about their line having not changed (it’s de rigueur for them to continue to say that) this is an entirely healthy development.
The major factor in this change is probably a more sensible appraisal of the response of the vast majority indigenous people and the militants at the indigenous convergence in Canberra. A secondary factor is some sharp commentary on the initial posts on the web early in the week, not just by me, but also by others.
Whatever the reasons, I applaud the currently more sensible approach.
Another change in the DSP’s previous practice is Peter Boyle’s posting of Joe Holder’s secretary’s report on the Labor Party anti-privatisation meeting, linked to Jenny Haines’s more extensive account of the meeting.
One hopes photos of the meeting taken by the Green Left reporter might be published somewhere.
While discussing the meeting, I’d make the point that Jenny Haines’s estimate of 200 people attending the meeting seems to me correct, not the smaller number reported in the Sydney Sun-Herald. A meeting of this character is easier to count than a moving protest or a street meeting.
There are 290 seats in the refurbished Trades Hall auditorium and there were about 10 speakers and chairpersons on the platform and maybe 50 empty seats, so an attendance of 200 is a rather conservative estimate.
It’s a pity that there seems to be no provision in the GLW online set-up for last-minute news. As an outsider, I guess GLW is probably laid out on Saturday afternoon and Sunday, so it might be good journalistic practice to leave scope for last-minute news, such as the privatisation meeting on Saturday, which would provide more immediacy. Many protests happen on Saturday, for example.
I don’t mean any disrespect to the GLW staff in making these observations, but these days weekly publications have a great deal of difficulty retaining immediacy and some sort of arrangement for last-minute news could be useful.
In addition to this, once more, unless I’m a hopeless dummkopf, GLW still doesn’t seem to have solved the technical problems in putting the coming events listings online. As an assiduous reader of GLW who did and would use the coming events list extensively if it was on the web, I hope those technical difficulties are solved soon. (I’m told someone more technically au fait than myself that there might be a real difficulty in doing this because there’s a lot a more work in a list of coming events, than in straight journalism.)
The bottom line of all the above comments is that this week’s GLW and postings on the GLW discussion site represent a political improvement in the approach of the DSP majority and I hope it continues.