The DSP and dirty laundry.

Nigel Irritable nigel_irritable at
Thu Dec 19 18:24:09 MST 2002

Ben Courtice wrote:
> Thanks for airing all that dirty laundry[...]

> 1. The DSP doesn't support murder, wife-bashing...
> or physical assault of other socialists.
> 2. Obviously the out-of-court settlements are
> nice... but I think we also support the right to
> seek legal redress for assault.
> 3. The DSP does not direct the legal affairs of our
> ex-members. Nor would we generally dictate whether
> or not a member can go to a friend's trial. That's
> their business.
> 4. The DSP never intended to snub Lucy May's family.
> But I don't think any of us knew Lucy. Why didn't
> someone from the SP send us an obituary? You should
> know that Green Left is quite open to such articles.

Let's get this straight:

A long time DSP cadre (who had apparantly recently
left) murders a member of the Socialist Party,
stabbing her dozens of times.

Nobody in or around the Socialist Party blames the DSP
for this. As the statement said nobody on the left
knew that Mizon was a murderer.

DSP members and people in their periphery attend the
trial of the killer, in solidarity with him although
the evidence against him is overwhelming. They also
visit him in jail.

They continue to attend in solidarity even as his
history of violence against women emerges and is
accepted by his defence.

During a break in the trial a former member of the DSP
and a present member of the DSP make some insensitive
remarks to the murdered comrade's family and to Steve
Jolly, a leading member of the Socialist Party.

An argument ensues. The present and former DSPer make
statements to the police that Steve Jolly struck one
of them. Charges are pressed.

For those unfamiliar with the Australian left, Steve
is an extremely well known activist who played an
important role in organising the Woomera protests.
Certainly he has earned the enmity of sections of the
Australian state.

The Socialist Party asked the DSP to ask their member
not to help the state to lock up Steve. The DSP

Up until this point the Socialist Party had done all
it could to keep the whole affair from boiling over.
No statements were issued. Nobody blamed the DSP for
the killing. The details were mostly kept out of the
right wing press. Even though the behaviour of DSP
members during the period of the trial was lamentable
and feelings were running very high.

The Socialist Party only allowed any of this to become
a political issue when a DSP member, with the
connivance of his party, was trying to help jail Steve
Jolly. In fact the only attempt to make the murder
itself a political issue was made by the murderer
himself in the early hearings.

Now I'm sure that Ben honestly would prefer that none
of these "sordid" details ever gained wider
circulation. But in the circumstances I suggest he
keep his stomach-churning lecturing to himself.

Is mise le meas
Brian Cahill

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