[Marxism] Paul Le Blanc on the SWP crisis

Nick Fredman nick.fredman at optusnet.com.au
Sat Feb 2 23:31:32 MST 2013


On 2/02/13 10:33 AM, "Louis Proyect" <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:

> [Coey Oakley's article]  seems to be close in spirit to what Le Blanc has
> said, which 
> of course is an advance over Mick Armstrong's "From Little Acorns"
> article that I critiqued a few years ago. It would seem that the ISO and
> SAlt are moving away from the old-school "Leninism" of those days. We
> shall see.

Incidentally the Mick Armstrong article was titled, 'From little things big
things grow', presumably after the Kev Carmody/Paul Kelly song of the same
name. I.e. While it presented a rather timeless "Leninism", it referenced a
special moment in Australian labour history, the late 60s stock workers
strike and land rights struggle of the Gurindji people - and the solidarity
movement with it, in which the CPA and and unions they led or influenced on
this played a leading role (see e.g. http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/11021
or a longer treatment Terry Townsend's book on The Aboriginal Struggle and
the Left not online but available from
http://www.resistancebooks.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=809)

The song goes:

Gather round people let me tell you're a story
An eight year long story of power and pride
British Lord Vestey and Vincent Lingiarri
Were opposite men on opposite sides

Vestey was fat with money and muscle
Beef was his business, broad was his door
Vincent was lean and spoke very little
He had no bank balance, hard dirt was his floor

>From little things big things grow
>From little things big things grow

Gurindji were working for nothing but rations
Where once they had gathered the wealth of the land
Daily the pressure got tighter and tighter
Gurindju decided they must make a stand

They picked up their swags and started off walking
At Wattie Creek they sat themselves down
Now it don't sound like much but it sure got tongues talking
Back at the homestead and then in the town

>From little things big things grow
>From little things big things grow

Vestey man said I'll double your wages
Seven quid a week you'll have in your hand
Vincent said uhuh we're not talking about wages
We're sitting right here till we get our land
Vestey man roared and Vestey man thundered
You don't stand the chance of a cinder in snow
Vince said if we fall others are rising

>From little things big things grow
>From little things big things grow

Then Vincent Lingiarri boarded an aeroplane
Landed in Sydney, big city of lights
And daily he went round softly speaking his story
To all kinds of men from all walks of life

And Vincent sat down with big politicians
This affair they told him is a matter of state
Let us sort it out, your people are hungry
Vincent said no thanks, we know how to wait

>From little things big things grow
>From little things big things grow

Then Vincent Lingiarri returned in an aeroplane
Back to his country once more to sit down
And he told his people let the stars keep on turning
We have friends in the south, in the cities and towns

Eight years went by, eight long years of waiting
Till one day a tall stranger appeared in the land
And he came with lawyers and he came with great ceremony
And through Vincent's fingers poured a handful of sand

>From little things big things grow
>From little things big things grow

That was the story of Vincent Lingairri
But this is the story of something much more
How power and privilege can not move a people
Who know where they stand and stand in the law

>From little things big things grow
>From little things big things grow
>From little things big things grow
>From little things big things grow







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