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Saturday, February 04, 2012

Peter Boyle:Left-Green unity is an objective necessity

Greens MLC David Shoebridge giving greetings to the Socialist Alliance conference on January 22. Photo by Peter Boyle.
[Submitted for publication in Green Left Weekly]

Rupert Murdoch’s flagship newspaper, The Australian, has been on a campaign to destroy the Greens because it is a major – and growing – electoral break from the “Lib-Lab”, two-parties-for-capitalism, system that has dominated politics in this country for more than a century. In the last two weeks this campaign has hyped into McCarthyite Cold War hysteria.
Lurid headlines like “Secret past of Greens senator Lee Rhiannon”“Rhiannon’s secret rendezvous with ‘agent-running KGB officers’” and “NSW Greens ‘riven by branch warfare’” sought to vilify progressive Greens MPs.

Senator Rhiannon has answered the latest red-baiting attacks on herself, noting the Australian appeared to have been given access to material that had been blacked out from her released ASIO files on a trip she made to England as an 18 year old. The Australian‘s Christian Kerr “attempt to associate my departure on a Russian cruise ship to potential spy activities is ridiculous. I left on the MS Shota Rustaveli as at that time it was the cheapest way to get to England, and unfortunately quite boring as we were at sea for six weeks.”

Then on February 2, progressive NSW Greens MLC David Shoebridge was attacked for giving greeting to the recent national conference of the Socialist Alliance in another Cold War-style piece, “MP’s visit to far-left meeting roils Greens”.

Shoebridge’s “cameo appearance” at a “meeting of a far-left group” was said to have “raised eyebrows” in the Greens.

Shoebridge has nothing to be ashamed of. His greetings to the Socialist Alliance conference were open, frank and delivered with humour, as readers can see for themselves on the Socialist Alliance website.

He joked “I haven’t come here to join the Socialist Alliance but I have come here to give you a sign of enormous goodwill for what you are doing here over these two days as a political project.”

It is a strong call unity in progressive politics,” said Shoebridge. “We do face challenging times. I think many people in the broader populace see the market ascendancy as inevitable, total, complete and absolutely hegemonic. I personally don’t believe that.

We are seeing a globe where market hegemony in other parts of the world , in Europe and the United States is being seriously questioned. We see it here in the streets with Occupy Sydney. We are seeing a market economy facing extreme pressures and partial collapse. That gives progressive politics an enormously broad space to start talking over a couple of years about what can replace it, what can empower individuals and communities, how we can re-order our society and our economy in order to deliver for people, in order to deliver for the environment.

I know that is what you are talking about and I wish you well in your discussion from myself as a Greens MP. Good luck, goodwill and let’s strive to work together as we can to get those progressive outcomes.”

Shoebridge summed up the situation well. Capitalism has taken the world to an unprecedented crisis point. The global climate change crisis, which The Australian regularly denies, and the new global economic crisis means that there is an objective necessity for the left and the Greens to work together against the powerful forces that oppose the real changes that are urgently needed in our society.

Every genuine capital “G” or small “g” green knows this is an objective necessity – if we are to rescue our common future from corporate greed.

At its latest conference, the Socialist Alliance reaffirmed that it “seeks the greatest possible political collaboration with the Greens”. The powerful enemies of political change have an equally strong resolve to destroy the left-Green cooperation that saving the future requires. Sadly, it is clear, that right-wingers in the Greens are helping the corporate media.

Peter Boyle and Susan Price were elected national co-convenors of Socialist Alliance at its 8th national conference on January 21-22, 2012.

 from 4-2-12
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