Labour Parties

Steve Painter and Rose McCann spainter at
Mon Sep 23 23:48:55 MDT 2002

Louis wrote:
<<I think that Bob Gould does write some very perceptive material, but I
would be loath myself to label tendencies in so free a fashion as he does.<<

Steve Painter responds:

Point taken Lou, I've discussed this with Bob and I believe he will try to
keep his contributions in this spirit. He will respond also on this point,
peripherally, in his next post and we both hope that procedural matters
won't get in the way of the rich discussion that already seems to be opening
up on the question of labour parties.

I use my email to forward Bob's participation in this discussion because Bob
doesn't have a web-enabled computer and hasn't yet mastered the intricacies
of the web and email. The fact that I forward his material doesn't mean I
agree with everything Bob writes, any more than Bob agrees with all of my
posts, although I find 90 per cent of his contributions useful and
informative. As I've pointed out before, Bob and I are in different parties,
he in Labor and I in the Greens, although we collaborate on the Ozleft
website along with comrades who are in the Socialist Alliance and not in any
organisation. I hope my posting of Bob's contributions is not too confusing
for comrades.

Bob's posts tend to be longer than most partly because he doesn't have
email, so he usually has several posts to respond to.

I value my participation in the discussion on this list greatly, and think
it's a very worthwhile contribution to socialist renewal worldwide, and I
respect the rules of the list, including the general principle that a rush
to characterisations such as paleo-Trot, ultraleft, Stalinist, etc, is
usually not useful. Bob's sin in this matter seems to have been that he
explained his use of these characterisations very fully and systematically.
It is certainly not that he was the only one using such characterisations.

I also think it is not useful to introduce the matter of comrades'
occupations, or personality, such as "bookshop proprietor" or "colourful
character", not to mention "old crank". If comrades willingly introduce
aspects of their own lives, that's a different matter.

I also agree with Louis that discussion with comrades from different
traditions is important, and should be conducted without epithets and abuse.

Steve Painter

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