Gossip, and real information

by

Green Left Weekly discussion list, January 21, 2006

All these goodbyes seem to me a bit like the rumours of Oscar Wilde’s death, a bit premature. I have no intention of going anywhere, and I plan, as Kim Bullimore has reluctantly conceded, to try to keep within the reasonable guidelines set by the moderator, who I thank for her fair-mindedness so far.

All of this tit-for-tat abuse is getting boring, so I don’t intend to take it any further after tonight unless something really outrageous is said by others. I think I’m reasonably entitled to one further response considering I’ve been accused all day of telling lies, without any specific lies or errors being referred to, other than by Kim Bullimore.

Bullimore says my information about the DSP conference is incorrect because I got the voting numbers wrong, etc, etc, and she implies that I was wrong in the other key things that I talked about, one of which was the formation of the Leninist Faction as a permanent entity. Within an hour or two of Bullimore’s post, the new DSP general secretary, Peter Boyle, posted his version of the voting pattern at the conference, and if you examine it carefully, his version is one vote different to mine. Big deal!

He also says the proper name of the Percy-Lorimer group is the Leninist Party Faction, not the Leninist Faction. Boyle adds, however, another error to my list, he reckons I got it wrong about the weather. Well, we all react to weather in different ways. That weekend was a bit cooler than the previous couple of days, but it was still stifling and muggy. It’s all in your point of view, particularly the weather.

All the orthodox DSP posters today, pretty well, have implied that I tell lies. The reader is in a position to judge whether this is true. I certain wasn’t telling lies about the general voting pattern at the conference and that the Percy group is now a permanent faction in the DSP. This was new information to many of the participants on the Green Left list.

The DSP leadership supporters whip themselves into a lather about me being a gossip. Well, one person’s gossip is someone else’s useful information. What they really object to is me giving as accurate an account as I can manager of developments in the DSP. I contend that these developments are of real and legitimate interest to others on the left whose political lives are affected by the DSP’s actions.

It’s eccentric hypocrisy to accuse me of gossip when quite a significant part of the reports, documents and contributions in the DSP internal bulletin consist of microscopic discussion of the internal affairs of other socialist groups and labour movement formations.

In the real world, how can the DSP expect to be exempt from other people discussing its internal affairs in the same way that it discusses the internal affairs of other socialist groups?

What the DSP critics of my socialist journalism really object to is not the occasional error that may creep in, which I will happily correct if it’s proven to me, but the general accuracy of most of what I report.

I seem to have driven Dale (Bye Bye Bob) Mills totally off his tree, as he keeps repeating a totally unspecific allegation that I tell untruths about him, and he won’t allow me to even consider correcting what he says are untruths because he won’t tell me what they are, which is obviously ridiculous.

Mills is obviously deeply stung by the way Alan Bradley and I drew attention to the fact that the naive posture he initially adopted, about having never met a Labor leftist, was obvious demagogy. I guess I’ve lost a friend for life. C’est la vie.
I don’t intend to test the moderator’s patience by having any more bites at this topic, unless someone says something totally outrageous about me that requires reply.
I do intend in due course to take up the thread initiated by Nick Fredman and Norm Dixon on the Third Period and the united front. Those are at least political questions into which we can get our teeth.

I note in passing that Dale Mills would dearly love to bounce me off the list and replace me with some, presumably naive, young person from NOLS. In my view, Mills would clearly like to make such a person a kind of Aunt Sally. Again, c’est la vie. That’s unlikely to happen. Sorry, Dale.

Discussion, Discussion, Discussion

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