Gary's pessimism

Ken Howard kenhow at
Thu Jun 20 07:39:48 MDT 1996

gary, I think that you are a tad peeimistic about the working class in Australia
and its ability and willingness to fight against the assault that has been
unleashed by the liberals. It was your mate Jim Percy who once said that capital
has to continually inflict defeat on the working class time after time, but
we only have to defeat them once, ( he also if I remember correctly invited
you to come up and see him some time.)
Last night in Melbourne over 70 people from left organisations spanning
 ex CPA,SPA, DSP, Militant, Fourth International,Maoists, Communist
Intervention, as well as militant delegates from Latrobe Valley and union
officials from ETU and other unions met to begin the launching of a
community/union campaign againstthe attacks upon industrial rights
and social protection. It was the most positive gathering for many
years, and represented not just the organisations but many community based
groups and struggles as well as a number of strikers,
i.e. the EP Robinson strike and picket line which has now been going
for 19 weekes. What was clear is that Howard's IR legislation and
other attacks are not just nasty actions but are a deliberate action by
capitalism, the way for which has been paved by 13 years of labour and
the accord, which caused demoralisation and disorganisation within the
 working class.
This week Bill Deller a revolutionary is set to win back through election
the leadership of the SPSF( state public services union) on a clear radical
program with a voting return of neally 45% of members. It seems too easy
for the left to continually moan about how hard it all is,( class struggle
has always been hard) more relevant is whether the old secterian habits of
trying to build the party at the expense of building the movement can be
overcome. It was interesting that neither IS nor the breakaway group SA,nor
the many  sects were present last night. What I believe is increasingly
realised is that the only worthwhile objective is to build a multi tendency
communist party and that the only way to do it is through grasping the
nettle of re-groupment. Only a re-grouped marxist left makes sense to the
working class and the many thousands who want to fight.
And that is no cause for pessimism.
Ken Howard.

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