Debates in the DSP 2005-2007

The Activist – Volume 17, Number 15, November 2007
By Doug Lorimer (Sydney Central branch)

The following is a slightly expanded version of the 7.5 minute LPF opening presentation to the November 20 Sydney Central branch oral PCD on trade union work. A motion to grant the LPF equal time for its opening presentation was rejected by the branch meeting.

In her report on Australian politics to the September NC plenum, Comrade Sue Bolton stated in regard to the fight against the Work Choices laws:

The Activist – Volume 17, Number 11, October 2007
By Doug Lorimer (Sydney Central branch)

In his PCD article “Are we really in 1954?” (Activist Vol 17. #10), Comrade Graham Matthews takes issue with my PCD article “On Comrade Dave Holmes’ ‘transitional approach to party building’“ (Activist Vol. 17, #9), stating that I poured “particular scorn on Dave’s argument wherein he drew a parallel to the situation in the US in 1938 and the situation we face in Australia today. Doug argues that, in fact, the situation we face is ‘a much more ‘striking parallel’ with 1954 in the US – a situation that he describes as a ‘slowdown in the class struggle’.

The Activist – Volume 17, Number 9, October 2007
By Doug Lorimer (Sydney central branch)

Comrade Dave Holmes’ October 2006 discussion article The transitional approach to party building (printed in Activist Vol. 16, #7) attempted to provide some theoretical grounding for the DSP majority leadership’s political line of building the Socialist Alliance as our “new party”. He did this by drawing a comparison between this line and the post-1938 policy of the US Socialist Workers Party of advocating that the US workers form their own political party based on their existing mass organisations, the trade unions-a “labour party”.

The Activist - Volume 16, Number 5, May 2006
By Doug Lorimer on behalf of the LPF

At its first meeting after the DSP congress (on February 1), the majority of the national executive adopted a statement on the formation on the last day of the congress of the Leninist Party Faction. The statement declared that the “fact that NE minority platform supporters met during the 22nd Congress as an exclusive caucus led the Congress delegates to pass the following motion:

The Activist – Volume 15, Number 15, November 2005
By Doug Lorimer, Sydney branch

As has become the pattern in PCD contributions by members and supporters of the NE majority, Comrade Paul Benedek ("From minority to majority support", The Activist Vol. 15, No. 14), defends the majority position in the debate on what party-building perspective the coming DSP Congress should vote for by misrepresenting the NE minority’s position. However, he takes misrepresentation to a new level by attributing a position to the whole party that it never had.

The Activist – Volume 15, Number 13, October 2005
By Doug Lorimer, Sydney branch

The August 15 national executive meeting unanimously adopted a draft resolution for vote at the 22nd DSP Congress in January 2006 that stated that the political “conditions to build the Socialist Alliance into a new party did not exist” at the time we embarked on this turn; that without a “regroupment with broader left forces that are generated by a new upturn of resistance to the capitalist neoliberal ‘reforms’” the SA cannot “take a significant step to creating a new socialist party”, and that, in the absence of the existence of these conditions, the DSP should build the SA, not as a

The Activist – Volume 15, Number 11, October 2005
By Doug Lorimer, Sydney branch

In her PCD article “Political divisions in the DSP and how to proceed” (The Activist Vol. 15, No. 10) Comrade Pat Brewer urges “comrades to read exactly what the documents are saying so the differences can be clearly expressed”. However, she completely ignores her own advice and bases her assessment of what the NE minority is saying not upon the documents we have written, but upon the assumption that we are engaged in a “cynical manoeuvre” to shut down the Socialist Alliance. Comrade Brewer is not alone in doing this.

The Activist – Volume 15, Number 10, October 2005
By Doug Lorimer, Sydney branch

In the last issue of The Activist (Vol. 15, No. 9), a number of NC comrades made contributions which do little to clarify the debate on the relations between the DSP and the Socialist Alliance because they do not take up the actual issues that are in dispute – I refer in particular to those by comrades Nikki Ulasowski, Jim McIlroy, Sue Bull and Graham Matthews.

The Activist – Volume 15, Number 9, October 2005
By Doug Lorimer, Sydney branch

At the September 26 national executive meeting comrades Max Lane, John Percy and I presented for a vote four amendments to the NE’s draft resolution on “The DSP and the Socialist Alliance” (see “Minutes from DSP national executive (extracts), September 26, 2005”, The Activist Vol. 15, No. 8). These amendments were motivated in the draft party-building report for the October 15-16 National Committee plenum presented by Comrade Percy to the NE meeting and in our PCD articles printed in the The Activist following the August 15 NE meeting.

The Activist – Volume 15, Number 4, August 2005
By Doug Lorimer and John Percy, Sydney Central branch

The National Executive’s draft resolution for the 22nd DSP Congress on “The DSP and the Socialist Alliance” provides the political motivation for a new party-building orientation in which the DSP ceases to operate as an internal tendency of the Socialist Alliance and returns to functioning as a public revolutionary socialist organisation that recruits members from within and outside the membership of the Socialist Alliance, while continuing to be affiliated to the Socialist Alliance, to build it as a campaigning alliance in the social movements (particularly the trade union movement) that s