More Australian Socialist Alliance

Steve Painter and Rose McCann spainter at
Sun Nov 17 17:55:59 MST 2002

Peter Boyle wrote:

A comprehensive list of contributions to the Socialist Alliance discussion
can be found at

If an interested reader checks the Socialist Alliance site, the DSP site
<> and  the Green Left Weekly site
<> you will get far more than the deliberately
biased selection found in Steve Painter and Bob Gould's site.

Steve Painter responds:

Plod, plod, plod. Is that the complaint of a man (no, it seems to be an
entire closed caucus) reluctantly and hesitantly travelling the weary road
from "semi-sectarian existence" (your tendency's self-description a few
years ago) to genuine socialist democracy?

What you have there in those links, Peter, is a good start, but it's still
not enough. It's just the beginnings of the necessary discussion.

Of course Ozleft is a bit different to the sites of your organisation.
That's why myself and Bob and a few others created it and keep working on
it. We hope to make the pot of socialist democracy bubble a bit more

Another reason for the difference between the sites, as you've so
"generously" (or should that be boastfully) pointed out in the past few
weeks, is that you have quite a few resources, quite a few more than Ozleft,
in particular. Still, the feedback we get tells us that Ozleft is an
effective tool of democratic discussion, if not as polished as your sites.

The internal bulletins of all the major currents circulate around the left
and have done for quite a long time. For several years The Activist has
reprinted all the major material from the internal bulletins of the ISO, so
you obviously see nothing wrong with such activity, or at least you can
hardly complain if something similar happens to you.

Why not formalise the whole farce and make your discussion bulletin public,
and supplement your branch preconference discussions (often, although not
always, dreary affairs, in my experience) with a series of public forums,
with speakers from the various currents, on the central strategic and
theoretical issues?

Your discussion is already public for those with the persistence and
interest to get hold of the bulletins. Why not let everyone who's interested
in on the secret? Wouldn't that be more democratic? It seems a bit
undemocratic just to keep it to those with the initiative to get hold of
your bulletins. Or do we have to keep formatting up key documents into HTML
to help you keep moving reluctantly along that weary democratic socialist

Going public might even have a useful effect on your discussions by making
them a bit more thoughtful, less complacent and far better informed.

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