My prediction that the Labor Party conference would be received with a round of ritual moaning and whingeing on the far left has been largely confirmed, although a couple of people have accused me of dishonesty in saying that.
Posts Tagged ‘Greens’
Geraldine Brooks delivered her first Boyer Lecture yesterday.
In it she said something Bob Brown and the Greens federal politicians should have considered before encouraging Greens to warmly welcome Barack Obama on his visit to Australia:
“When President Obama took office … he made a speech that promised his inauguration would mark the day ‘the rise of the oceans starts to slow and the planet begins to heal’. If only. Of all the disappointments of the past three years, highest on my personal list is Barack Obama’s silence — his failure to use his gifts of eloquence to explain our predicament and the necessity for urgent action. Instead, Obama greenlights Shell’s drilling in the Arctic, even as the toxins from BP’s blown-out well swirl in the Gulf of Mexico. He fails to act against a tar sands pipeline that would run from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and that has been described as the fuse on a carbon bomb.”
By Ed Lewis
A few days ago, Bob Brown said he was looking forward to joining the welcome for US President Barack Obama on his visit to Australia. He said Obama’s visit was “a much happier prospect” than the visit of George W Bush on the eve of the second Iraq war, and he would like to meet Obama.
Bob Brown said Obama would get a great welcome from Australians “and that will include Greens”. Brown should speak for himself on this, as there are plenty of Greens who will not be welcoming Obama. I have worked for the Greens on many election campaigns and in other activities, but I have been politically active for much longer opposing great-power aggression against small nations.
A momentous NSW Labor Party conference
The courageous English communist poet John Cornford, who had been moving away from Stalinism, sent his companion Margot Heinemann a moving poem from the Spanish Civil War, which began: “On a quiet sector of a quiet front”, and a few weeks later he was killed in battle.
An open letter to my fellow ALP members about the deeply misguided Senate preference manoeuvres in the 2004 federal election campaign. A cry from the heart and an expression of bitter anger
As it happens, in March this year I notched up my 50th year of ALP membership. I joined the Labor Party in 1954 as a youth of 17, in the middle of the battle with the Groupers.
Labor sectarianism and Green sectarianism gives Liberal minorities the balance of power in inner-Sydney municipal politics
Green Left discussion list, April 21, 2004
The wash-up from the municipal elections in inner-Sydney municipalities has had unfortunate results from the point of view of the left in the labour movement and the left in the Greens.
In four municipalities, Marrickville, Leichhardt, Waverly and Randwick, the electoral results gave an overwhelming majority of council seats to Laborites and Greens. The logic of the situation should have dictated a united front between the two mass organisations on the left of society, the ALP and the Greens.
Unfortunately this only happened in Waverly municipality. In the other three municipalities the Laborites and the Greens conducted a kind of political war to the death, in which both groups wooed minority Liberal Party councilors and/or conservative independents, thereby inflating the importance of these conservative groups well beyond their numerical strength.
In Marrickville, a conservative independent-Green combination beat the Laborites. In Randwick an outright Liberal and Green combination beat Labor by one vote, electing that city’s first Green mayor, Murray Matson, and a Liberal deputy. In Leichhardt the Laborites outmanoeuvred an overconfident Green group and Labor’s Alice Murphy was elected mayor and the Liberals got the deputy mayor.
In the City of Sydney the conservative populist Clover Moore and her ticket held out the three Labor councilors from all but one important position on the committees, with the support of the one Green councillor.
The net effect of the sectarianism of most Labor representatives in most of those municipalities, and the Green representatives in most of those municipalities (except Waverly) has materially contributed to the re-emergence of the Liberal Party as a force in inner-Sydney municipal politics.
As a 50-year veteran of ALP politics, I’ve distributed a fairly sharp letter to my fellow ALP members around the inner city, making the general point that Labor should have no enemies on the left and the natural alliance for Labor people, particularly for serious socialists in the Labor Party, should be with the Greens.
Clearly the Greens in Waverly have a similar view, and they should take up that view sharply with their Green colleagues just down the road in Randwick, for instance. In the run-up to the federal elections, the deep-rooted sentiment of the overwhelming majority on the left of society is for the removal of the Howard Liberal government, and the election of a Latham Labor government, with probably a large contingent of Greens holding the balance of power in the Senate.
Socialists in both the ALP and the Greens should fight very hard for the necessary unity between Labor and the Greens, including unity in municipal politics. Labor and the Greens should both tear up their deals with the Liberals and start negotiating with each other in a sensible way.
Words of wisdom from the Socialist Alliance
At the rather tumultuous meeting in Leichhardt at which the Greens came unstuck, the Socialist Alliance conducted a picket on the theme of praising the Greens as a break from what the Socialist Alliance called the “two capitalist parties, Labor and the Liberals”.
The DSP leadership obviously thinks this kind of intervention is serious mass politics. Whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad, as the saying goes.
The real issue for socialists is to campaign for the necessary unity between the mass workers’ formation, the ALP-trade union continuum and the substantial leftist political party, the Greens, in opposition to the outright representatives of the ruling class in Australia, the Liberal-National coalition.
Inane prattle about the Greens being something totally distinct from the DSP’s metaphysical invention, “the two capitalist parties”, is confounded by the unfortunate bloc between the Greens and the Liberals in Randwick, and the bloc between the Greens and the conservative independents in Marrickville.
The key question for socialists in the next period, whether operating independently, in the ALP, or in the Greens, is to campaign strenuously for the united front to remove the hated Liberal government.
Anything else is a diversion from the current strategic necessities facing socialists and the labour and Green movements.
After the 2004 local government elections in NSW
It seems appropriate for me to identify myself, for those who may not know me, although many do. I joined the Bondi Branch of the ALP about 50 years ago, in February 1954 in the middle of the big Labor split. I was a foot-soldier on the left during the split. Later on, I was one of the main organisers of the Vietnam Action Committee (VAC) during the campaign against the Vietnam War. I have been a delegate to about 30 ALP state conferences from the 1950s through to the early 1980s, and I was a delegate to the smaller 1971 ALP Federal Conference, before Whitlam was elected. I have been a bookseller with a substantial range of material on the Labor and working class movements for over 30 years. So I’ve seen a lot, and been an active participant in a number of political events. More recently I’ve been active in Labor for Refugees, and I always work for the ALP on the booths on election day, as I did most recently in the Sydney Council elections. I believe I’ve earned the right to speak freely, and sharply if necessary, to fellow members of the ALP.
The results of the 2004 NSW local government elections contain sharply contradictory elements. The first thing must be noted is the rapid rise of the Greens as a distinct political force on the left of society. Running through the results outside Sydney, and in outer suburban Sydney, a very noticeable phenomenon was one or two successful Greens candidates popping up, even in very conservative country areas, alongside the rural Laborites, who also dot country areas, either as Country Labor, or as labor independents.
Green Left discussion list, March 22, 2004
The non-class, populist politics practiced by the leaderships of the International Socialist Organisation (ISO) and Democratic Socialist Perspective (DSP), has produced quite a major and unprincipled shift to the right by the Socialist Alliance in municipal elections in the City of Sydney.