Alex Mitchell and Peter Fryer. A tale of two journalists

November 13, 2011 by

Come the Revolution, a Memoir
Alex Mitchell
New South Press, 2011
Reviewed by Ed Lewis

Alex Mitchell’s memoir covers a big chunk of history, from the late 1950s up to a few months ago. Mitchell is a skilled and entertaining writer and the book is worthwhile alone for its vignettes of the 1961 Mount Isa strike, the early stages of the Vietnam antiwar movement in Australia and London, the Canberra press gallery, Rupert Murdoch as a rising young mogul challenging entrenched media interests in Australia, Mitchell’s training in tabloid journalism on Murdoch’s afternoon Sydney daily, The Mirror, his later experience in investigative reporting with the Insight team on London’s Sunday Times, his traumatic few days as a reporter in Biafra, his reporting from Idi Amin’s Uganda, in Ireland during “the troubles” and much more.

But Mitchell makes it clear the passion of his life was left politics, and the high point of his involvement in the left was his time in Gerry Healy’s Workers Revolutionary Party, for a few years probably the most successful Trotskyist organisation in Britain, with a daily newspaper, an extensive publishing program, numerous real estate assets, an active membership of probably several hundred and a constellation of celebrities surrounding it, including Vanessa and Corin Redgrave.

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An open letter to members of the Socialist Labour League and other Marxists

November 13, 2011 by

Peter Fryer

November 14, 1959

Dear Comrades,

The explanation given in The Newsletter for my resignation as editor was true as far as it went. But it did not say what had made me ill. Nor did it tell the members about the quite improper pressure that was put on me, through persons close to me, to try to compel me to return to a post that it had become impossible for me to fill. The methods used by the general secretary both before and after I left The Newsletter have nothing in common with Marxism, with socialist principles, or with the relationships that should prevail among comrades inside a revolutionary working-class organization.

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Bob Gould on Marxists Internet Archive

August 31, 2011 by

A Bob Gould archive has been set up on Marxists Internet Archive and a start has been made on making Bob’s writing available there.

Ozleft will continue to host Bob’s writing, but MIA is a better organised site that will make it easier to browse his archive and find works.

Dark clouds on the mountain

June 27, 2011 by

Dark Clouds on the Mountain, John TullyReview

Dark clouds on the mountain

John Tully

Hybrid Publishers, Melbourne, 2010

ISBN 9781921665035

John Tully’s second novel dips into the history and sociology of the working class in Tasmania, weaving in Nazi war crimes and death camps in the Ukraine, leftist campaigners for Palestinian human rights, right-wing antisemitism, domestic violence and much more.

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A “political assessment” from the twilight zone

June 16, 2011 by

The cut-and-paste so-called news service, World Socialist Web Site, has published a purported “political assessment” of Bob Gould.

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Tribute in the House, Daryl Melham MP

June 16, 2011 by

House of Representatives Adjournment Debate – Chamber 14th June 2011

Mr Speaker, Bob Gould was a unique individual. He was born into a socialist family in 1937 and died, where he would have preferred to die, in his Newtown bookshop on May 22nd 2011.

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Windschuttle makes a fool of himself over Chomsky − again

June 4, 2011 by

This site has been getting quite a few search engine hits for Bob Gould’s writing about Keith Windschuttle, following the latter’s outburst against Noam Chomsky being awarded the Sydney Peace Prize, so see below for a collection of the links.

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Tribute to Bob in federal parliament

June 2, 2011 by


Bob Gould, House of Representatives, 30 May 2011

I rise to pay tribute to Newtown bookseller Bob Gould, who passed away on 22 May 2011 aged 74. Bob was part of the progressive left in Australia for the better part of the post-war era. From the Vietnam War to asylum seekers, he has marched and argued for what he believed in. As former New South Wales MLC Meredith Burgmann noted, “He was involved in most of the great political protest movements of the time.”

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Trotskyist never gave up quest for socialist society

June 2, 2011 by

Obituary to Bob Gould, 1937-2011

Hall Greenland.  June 2, 2011 , Sydney Morning Herald

Founder of the anti-Vietnam War movement in Australia. Lifelong member of the Labor Party and Trotskyist. Bookseller. Bibliophile. Historian. Union agitator. Anti-censorship battler. Bohemian. Irish Catholic. Polemicist.

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Prophet and enabler of the 1960s

May 28, 2011 by

Bob Gould, 1966Eulogy for Bob Gould

By Hall Greenland

Bob Gould was my old comrade and sparring partner. My relationship with him fell into three periods … the 60s which I will return to in a moment … but then in the 70s and 80s we went our separate ways looking for paths to or beyond what Bob liked to call the socialist project to which he devoted his life … and then there was a growing reconciliation in the late 90s when Bob’s wisdom flowered and his historical writing took off and I once again learned to listen and take on board the words of a master.

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A book trade salute

May 28, 2011 by

Bugden's Bookshop, Kings CrossBugden’s Bookshop in King’s Cross marks the passing of Bob Gould.

Farewell Bob, my old friend

May 28, 2011 by

(This is the speech delivered by John Percy, national secretary of the Revolutionary Socialist Party, and editor of its paper Direct Action, to the funeral of Bob Gould in Sydney, May 26, 2011. Other speakers were: Mairi Petersen; Janet Bonser; Hall Greenland; Jenny Haines; Nick Martin; Meredith Burgmann; Ian Rintoul; Phil Sandford; Natalie Gould. The service finished with the singing of the International, led by an Alistair Hulett recording.)

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TRIBUTE TO BOB by Jenny Haines

May 28, 2011 by

Bob GouldBOB’S FUNERAL – 26.5.11

Thank you all for coming today. Bob would have been really pleased to see friends and foes, Labor, Green and Far Left supporters all in the same room and he would have been trying to figure in his head how it could all be turned in to a political force and not just a gathering at his funeral. One thing he wanted to see in his lifetime was a resurgence of the Left and he could only see it ever happening through supporters of all the parties and groups putting aside their differences and working on the commonalities.

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Tribute to Robert (Bob) Gould

May 28, 2011 by

John RobertsonOn May 27, John Robertson, parliamentary leader of the NSW Labor Party, paid tribute to Bob Gould in state parliament. The Hansard record follows.

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Rousing send-off for an old agitator

May 27, 2011 by

Bob Gould, 1937-2011

By Ed Lewis

Bruce Petty's 70th birthday message to Bob Gould (detail)Bob Gould’s funeral, like his life, promised to be interesting, and it didn’t disappoint. About 500 people crowded into the Palm Chapel at Macquarie Park, North Ryde, to hear nine speakers, with Mairi Petersen, Bob’s former wife, making some introductory remarks and running the ceremony.

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