Posts Tagged ‘labour history’

Susanna Short’s Laurie Short: A Political Life

May 21, 2005

A summary history

Shane Hopkinson


The following are summary notes to a longer piece I was planning to write some time ago about the early days of the Trotskyist movement in Australia, based on Susanna Short’s book on her father, Laurie, and Hall Greenland’s book on Nick Origlass, to tell the story of the early days of the movement in Australia.

As time has got the better of me I decided to simply post my summary of the relevant part of Susanna Short’s book, which is all I have been able to complete. I have tried to aviod editorialising over her comments but I will say a few words here that might clarify the story.



Afterword to the 1968 edition of A New Britannia

January 18, 2004

Humphrey McQueen

The argument in A New Britannia went like this: from the convicts of the 1780s through to the unionists of the 1890s, there had been a mounting experience in Australia of individual advancement and racial hatred. Those social forces combined in the Labor Party which, therefore, could never be a socialist organisation. In short, a hundred years of history had set the nature of the new body before its birth.


The DSP book of parables

January 1, 2002

The Red North: how not to write useful labour history from a Marxist standpoint

Bob Gould

In January 2001, Jim McIlroy gave some lectures on Queensland labour history at the Democratic Socialist Party national conference. These lectures have been published by the DSP as a pamphlet, and an effusive review of them appeared in Green Left Weekly. Jim McIlroy is one of the elders of the DSP, and the person most responsible for building a relatively successful branch of the organisation in Brisbane. He is a genial kind of bloke and he speaks and writes in a more careful tone than, say, Dick Nichols. Nevertheless, despite McIlroy’s low-key, pleasant writing style, his pamphlet is a vintage product of a peculiar DSP genre of labour history. The set of three parables selected by McIlroy throws into bold relief the un-Marxist, ahistorical features of the DSP brand of labour history.


Dumbing down Australian history

June 26, 2000

And its teaching

Bob Gould

The eminent person in current academic Australian history, Stuart Macintyre, is the keynote speaker at this Labor History Conference (held in June 2000), about Labor and Federation.