Posts Tagged ‘Labor Party’

Agonising about organising

December 13, 2011

A response to Max Lane

Max responded to my observations about the Labor Party conference, and particularly the decision on marriage equality, with two fairly long and thoughtful comments on organisation and the left that require a thoughtful response, which I will provide to the best of my ability.

But firstly, because this discussion began on the matter of Labor’s decision to support marriage equality, it is clear that this will now be an issue in the next federal election and it will be important to support any candidates, particularly Labor Party candidates, who come under attack because of their democratic stance.

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The Labor left and its role

December 11, 2011

A response to Doug Jordan

Doug Jordan responds on the Green Left discussion list to my post, Left reaction to the Labor conference.

DJ: “Almost implict in Ed’s comments seems to be the idea that any sharp criticism of the ALP is sectarian.”

What does “almost implicit” mean? Perhaps an implication that Doug would like to be able to point to but can’t find? There’s no justification for Doug trying to read implications into my writing. I try to write precisely and avoid ambiguity, which I hope Doug as a historical writer might appreciate. Doug doesn’t indicate which part of my analysis might be ambiguous on this point, which I’m sure wouldn’t pass muster in historical circles.

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Left reaction to the Labor conference

December 9, 2011

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.

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Tribute to Robert (Bob) Gould

May 28, 2011

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

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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The world is in deep strife

February 19, 2009

And the Labor left is at its biggest turning point ever

Bob Gould

Starting at the top with national issues

The current economic crisis is rapidly shaping up to be the greatest economic explosion in the history of the capitalist system. All serious commentators including most governments agree on that.

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Trench warfare on privatisation

May 13, 2008

Ed Lewis

The struggle against electricity privatisation in NSW has disappeared from the headlines as the two sides, the pro-privatisation Labor government and the anti-privatisation Labor-affiliated unions and Labor Party branch members, settle into trench warfare.

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Outsiders in their own party

May 9, 2008

The Labor Party ranks according to Michael Egan

Ed Lewis

The public discussion over electricity privatisation in NSW is increasingly becoming a traditional union bash in the media. Today, Michael Egan, another former Labor Party official and politician, steps forward to read a lecture to the party’s ranks about a properly respectful attitude towards politicians.

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Another banker joins the Iemma cheer squad

May 8, 2008

Ed Lewis

Another banker weighs in on the Iemma-Costa side of the NSW electricity privatisation battle today, although it’s obvious Babcock and Brown’s Stephen Loosley is a bit better informed about the present state of the Labor Party than either Paul Keating or Bob Carr.

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The charge of the corporate heavy brigade

May 7, 2008

Ed Lewis

After last weekend’s revolt of the NSW Labor Party ranks on electricity privatisation, the media are suddenly full of praise for Morris Iemma, previously execrated by the very same media as an incompetent leader of a bungling and corruption ridden government. Iemma is urged play the strongman in opposing the Labor ranks and offered the carrot that this might his improve his dismal opinion poll figures, never mind the fact that he’s going against the opinions of something like 80 per cent of the state.

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Michael, get the blunderbuss that’s hidden in the thatch

May 5, 2008

Bob Gould

In her important and warm-hearted novel, Ride on Stranger, Kylie Tennant describes labour movement battles in Sydney in the 1930s:

The strange turbulence of the city, its careless ferocity, was perhaps due to the large strain of Scots and Irish in the population, but it seemed that if anyone wanted to start a fight, there were always plenty of strangers ready and willing to join in. If the thing had a political flavour, the unions would take up the case, the Labour Leagues [the old name for Labor Party branches] would take it up. Part of the duty of the UCDL was to be out addressing meetings of Labour supporters night after night in little drafty and dusty halls all over the suburbs, putting the case for this or that protest. It was as though Sydney was encompassed with a network of separate spider webs, the spiders might be suspicious and ready to eat each other; they might be connected by a single thread, yet if you touched a strand of that network, 100 spiders leapt and danced indignantly in their webs … The Sydney of the UCDL was a network of lawyer’s offices, of bare wooden meeting halls, of committee meetings, annual conventions.

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Costa says the labour movement is a joke. We’ll see who laughs last

May 5, 2008

Bob Gould

In a spectacular, bulging eyed, shrill-voiced, fist-shaking display of contempt for the Labor Party at the NSW party conference on Saturday, government Treasurer Mick Costa lashed out in a vituperative way at his old associates in the trade union movement and virtually the whole of the organised labour movement, who went on to vote him down on electricity privatisation by 702 votes to 107, about seven to one.

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A lot of high ground won in a continuing battle

May 3, 2008

NSW Labor conference overwhelmingly rejects electricity privatisation

Bob Gould

11pm, Saturday evening.

I’ve just returned, very tired, from the traditional left dinner at the Labor conference. I arrived at it late because the privatisation debate went on into the early evening. I’ve been on the go since 7am, and myself and a couple of comrades have given out 1800 copies of my leaflet.

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Crunch time for the Labor Party as a force for progress

May 1, 2008

The issues involved in, and the consequences of, electricity privatisation

Bob Gould

The economic arguments advanced for electricity privatisation by Mick Costa, Morris Iemma and Ian Macdonald are completely unsound. They’ve been thoroughly refuted by the veteran public infrastructure economists, Bob and Betty Con Walker.

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Crunch time for the future of Labor

April 11, 2008

The coming NSW Labor Party conference

Bob Gould

A number of issues are rapidly coming together that will define the future of the Labor Party, the trade unions and the labour movement for many years to come.

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