Gary's pessimism

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at
Thu Jun 20 22:32:41 MDT 1996

At 11:39 PM 6/20/96 +1000, Ken wrote:
>gary, I think that you are a tad peeimistic about the working class in
>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
>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.)

He did.  But I remember Jim Percy as a gross fat figure. (No chance. I was
then in my arrogant thirties as compared with my current desperate and
dateless 50s.)  Still de mortuis nihil nisi bonum.

>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,
>>nettle of re-groupment.

This is excellent news, Ken, very heartening. I have always argued that the
Australian revolution will be decided along the Melbourne-Sydney axis. But
Brisbane seems not to have a direct line to  Melbourne.  We are much more
influenced by Sydney;  that means that our dominant strategy is still being
laid down by the Aaoronsites. As a consequence the main game in town seems
to be a regroupment of the Left which is based on the Green Party
(ex-anarchists who have moved to the Right), the Women's Party, who have
imploded and the Democrats who are apart from being centre-rightists are not
interested in any link with the Left. In other words the drive is to link up
not with the working-class but with the "progressive" middle class. I
honestly see no hope at all in this movement.  But I might be wrong.  What
do you think?

The Socialist Left here have their own little squabbles which have to do
basically with whose snout is in the trough and has certainly not got
anything to do  with building the struggle against Howard.  The Brisbane
Socialist Left paper is an atrocious rag that is almost totally taken up
with intra-party manoeuvres.

But we are planning a rally here in Brisbane which will hopefully link up
the students with the waterfront workers.  At this stage it looks like being
a small affair, but you never know.

BTW I did try and organise the  kind of meeting you described in Melbourne.
But it turned out to be a disastrous bunfight between the Maoist and the
Anarchist. They refought the battles of the Vietnam War protests with a fury
which the years had not wearied. It was just the kind of  performance that
the Monty Python team caricatured in "The Life Of Brian".

However the advent of the Howard govt may have changed attitudes.  Anyway
best of luck with the regroupment and do keep me informed if you have the time.



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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