Alan Bradley abradley1 at
Wed Jun 6 06:55:05 MDT 2001

> From: Gary MacLennan
> It is not the attitude that needs to be got rid of. It is the
> sectarianism. It is simply that I know Rintoul better than you do. Much
> better and believe me that particular leopard will not change his spots.
> He will have to be neutralised, and that will take a mass democratic
> movement.

I think I know Rintoul well enough.

None of the sectarian leopards have changed their spots.  That's not what
the SA is about.

Hopefully, part of what it is about is helping develop the necessary
organised left component of the mass democratic movement that you mention.
It may seem a little unlikely, but we have to grasp the nettle at some

> Two years ago I went to a meeting with the DSP and the ISO planning a
> rally and march for the East Timor.  It was a night of wonderful
> sterility.  The DSP were friendly to me but disagreed with my position on
> East Timor.  The cretins from ISO opposed me having a spot on the platform
> though we had the same line politically. But they had come to the meeting
> with their little caucused position and their leader at the meeting who
> was to decide which way the "cadres" would vote.  He alone was licensed to
> think, and he could not think in terms of having me as a speaker. In the
> end I got on the platform because the DSP voted for me.

>From my experience the ISO are actually more likely to split in meetings
than the DSP.  That is, the DSP are a more reliable voting bloc than the
ISO.  It's not enforced and it doesn't meet that DSP members are drones, but
it happens.  It happens for a bunch of reasons, not least of which is that
they see themselves as a team.

> Rintoul was one of those. Socialist Alliance or no Socialist Alliance he
> will be out for market share among those attracted to the Socialist
> Alliance.

Everyone will be trying to win market share in the SA.  That's part of the
point of it - it is a multi-tendency thing, and that means that its
political direction and who will lead it (these two questions are deeply
intertwined, of course) is up for grabs.  What hopefully might permit it to
work is if enough people see that its success will ensure a bigger crowd of
people to work among.

And, for what it is worth, any leftist with any talent and potential for
being or becoming a leader should be able to become a leader of the SA.  And
yes, that does include all the old sectarian leopards.  That's part of the
deal, I guess - the old leaders get to stay leaders, if they want, and have
at least a little bit of talent and energy left.

Finally - it really is the case that there is no alternative to an SA that
is built around the DSP & ISO.  Nobody else can be the backbone of such a
project in Australia at the present.  So there really isn't a choice other
than to relate to the SA or wait until something else comes along at some
indeterminate time in the future.  But even that something will probably
involve some configuration of the same old painfully familiar groups and

Alan Bradley
abradley1 at

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