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Saturday, August 05, 2006

"Leninist" Len Backs "Class Traitor" Jill

Jill Ovens' recent election victory for the position of Northern Regional Secretary of the Service and Food Workers Union is causing some controversy on the left. She has been accused of being a "class traitor" for abandoning the Alliance Party she once led and joining the Labour in order to increase her chances of victory.


Writing on his Blog, Newsoc (New Society), Len Richards, Alliance Party Co-Leader and former Socialist Labour League Trotskyite explains that Ovens' move was simply good Leninism.

Jill’s victory over Darien Fenton’s anointed successor to the Northern region Service and Food Workers’ Union (SFWU) secretary’s position is an extremely important and historical achievement. A socialist in the political tradition of the early Labour Party and the theoretical tradition of Ralph Miliband is now the elected leader of the largest region of the SFWU.

The SFWU is the largest union of low-paid workers and the Left should get right in behind the project to make it an even more powerful and effective tool to fight for the interests of the most downtrodden workers in NZ. In the process SFWU members will be politicised in ways the current bureaucratic union methods prevent.

For those who condemn her for joining Labour, a little more reading of Lenin might convince you that this was not the actions of a traitor, but rather the actions of a courageous and politically savvy hero of the working class.

It was Jill’s own supporters among the delegates, those who were campaigning on her behalf, who urged her to join Labour. The opposition tactic was to raise the bogey that Jill was not Labour and that it was all an Alliance plot to take over the trade unions.

In her speech to the election conference Jill proudly ‘owned’ her role as the National Council representative on the Alliance caucus and her support for the scrapping of the ECA and the introduction of paid parental leave, both measures that the Alliance had a big hand in implementing. She also said in answer to the ‘Labour’ question from the floor: “I have joined Labour but I don’t want to make a big deal of it. It is of no greater relevance than whether I am Anglican or Catholic, they’re both on the side of God. The Alliance supports workers’ rights after all. The real question is who is the best person for the regional secretary’s job.”

The reason for joining Labour was to deflate the opposition tactic of turning the election into one about party affiliation, rather than who was the best person for the job. Lenin would have approved. As he wrote in “Left-wing” Communism, An Infantile Disorder: “One must use one’s own brains and be able to find one’s bearings in each particular instance. It is, in fact, one of the functions of ... leaders worthy of the name, to acquire ... the knowledge, experience and – in addition to knowledge and experience – the political flair necessary for the speedy and correct solution of complex political problems.”

Jill had good reasons to step back from the Alliance, and joining Labour does not mean she thinks there is no place for the Alliance. On the contrary the Alliance has a very important role to play as the socialist and left conscience of the wider labour movement. Many people who are Labour Party members and supporters acknowledge this, and the more the Left maintains a principled, ‘united front’ position with Labour and trade union people, the more credibility our left-of-Labour message will garner.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Len and Jill are good solid socialists who have contributed to their communities far more than greedy capitalists like you, Trevor.

Len as maths teacher in South Auckland, and Jill in various roles as a unionist and journalism academic.

The liberal capitalist Labour Party do not deserve to have the SFWU affiliated to them. I hope Jill's role as secretary will mean a far more militant SFWU - with mainly women and Maori/Pasifika members working long hours for a pittance.

Good one Jill! Ha Ha Darien Fenton and Eldret.

12:51 AM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

I take it then anon that you approve of the blatantly dishonest tactic of pledging allegiance to a party you have little respect for in order to win an election.

Do you believe that the end justifies the means?

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like all good commies, the knobspank above believes that the end justifies the means. This is the fundamental tenet of socialist "morality."

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Idiots making more idiotic comments hah. The bitch Jill's assumption to the role of Unionist leader in the SFWU means nothing of significance. She will merely put on a "left" face on the unions when she bows down another strike, another attack on wages against the workers, another concession which the bourgeoisie are endlessly clawing back! "extremely important and historical achievement" NONSENSE! In what sense? that a establishment pseudo-socialist has gained a footing in a union to fight against the workers!? No doubt!

Len forgets that the Labour party were formed in 1914-16 against Marxism, against the working class, as apart of the 2nd International which lead it's respective working classes into world war and trench SLAUGHTER! Labour was never founded on Marxist foundations but on psuedo-"socialist" reformism and rhetoric!

"The SFWU is the largest union of low-paid workers" and the bourgeoisie via globalisation will make sure they remain low paid, so long as they have work at all! refer to the recent OECD report idiots!

8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Left should get right in behind the project to make it an even more powerful and effective tool to fight for the interests of the most downtrodden workers in NZ. In the process SFWU members will be politicised in ways the current bureaucratic union methods prevent."
Only the opportunist tendencies will "get behind" such a fraudulent fetishtic unionist, who is no different to the american AFLCIO bureaucrats and scum! "powerful and effective tool to fight for the interests of the most downtrodden workers in NZ" Anyone who can write such words is NOT a Marxist, NOT a Trotskyist, and NOT a genuine Fighter of the Working Class.

He Forget that unions have in every country betrayed the working class systematically; keeping workers focused on the "bread and butter" issues and not political facts, economics,etc which Lenin stressed in "What is to be Done?" Those who want an alternative require a genuine socialist party with the Trotskyist heritage and not a anti-class struggle unionist gowing with the opportunist flow!

"For those who condemn her for joining Labour, a little more reading of Lenin might convince you that this was not the actions of a traitor, but rather the actions of a courageous and politically savvy hero of the working class" What a load of Bullshit! coming from such an opportunist not surprising! Labour 1984-90 and the 99-2008 govt are responsible for a massive transfer of wealth from the working class to the ruling elite, to an increase in social inequality, massive assault of the working class all in the name of NZ Labour and capitalist "market reforms." The callings of "heros" is such a pathetic joke. Joining Labour in such a way makes it out that there is some kind of progressive "militant tendency" in the British fashion; but he forgets that Grant and his antiTrotskyist herd failed miserably.., and what? kicked out of the Labour by the antisocialist Labourite witchhunters right? yes! Forget that Len you wacko goose!
As for Alliance they are an bourgeoisie Safety valve, like the Greens who pose no alternative for the working class except parliamentary politics and subordination towards the ruling elite masters! "opposition tactic" no, more like Opportunist-tactic!

8:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"National Council representative on the Alliance caucus and her support for the scrapping of the ECA and the introduction of paid parental leave, both measures that the Alliance had a big hand in implementing" Heck this is pseudo-reformist self-ridicule, propagating delusions in politically unconscious workers! it is no surprise that tendencies like Alliance speak not of a daily analysis of the world economic crisis on a daily basis, except like another brilliant webpage, which does exactly this, but a nonsocialist like Jill wouldn't be interested in this!

“I have joined Labour but I don’t want to make a big deal of it. It is of no greater relevance than whether I am Anglican or Catholic, they’re both on the side of God. The Alliance supports workers’ rights after all. The real question is who is the best person for the regional secretary’s job.”

What a fucking load of treachous shit! It's NOT A BIG DEAL AE!? BECAUSE YOU ARE A LACKEY of the Ruling elite you silly bitch! You are not an Historical-Dialectical Materialist you are an ignorant backward unionist-Labourite who offers the working class nothing except delusions and 'faith' in ... Obama. The best person to represent the ruling elite against the workers you mean! Say things how they are!

"The reason for joining Labour was to deflate the opposition tactic of turning the election into one about party affiliation, rather than who was the best person for the job. Lenin would have approved" What another load of falsified SHIT! Lenin would have spat on you and her! She has no allegiance to Alliance because this is party is rank; a safety valve, this party is a exiled offspring of LABOUR! Funny hah! Jill supports thus the "lesser evil" argument and thus will be responsible for her role inevitably which will go against the workers most of whom are not in the Unions! Down with Jill and Labour and Alliance/Progressives!

“One must use one’s own brains and be able to find one’s bearings in each particular instance. It is, in fact, one of the functions of ... leaders worthy of the name, to acquire ... the knowledge, experience and – in addition to knowledge and experience – the political flair necessary for the speedy and correct solution of complex political problems.” The Opportunist's "bearing" is to stick with the opportunist and antiworking class party ie. Labour so there is a 'logic' at work which Lenin would not support, the line of supporting an openly bourgeois party! A genuine socialist party speaks for the Political Independence of the Working Class! "Knowledge and experience" for Jill i.e antiSocialism, procapitalism and capitulation cowardly that is her "thought" and "knowledge." Who does she stand for? Not the workers thats for sure! But for the Middle class radical losing his way and finding his antimarxist path into Labour.
"speedy and correct solution of complex political problems"

"Jill had good reasons to step back from the Alliance",[because Alliance is no different to Labour except for policy differences; they speak for the class interests of the capitalists!] "and joining Labour does not mean she thinks there is no place for the Alliance." [Ever the opportunist imbecile!] On the contrary the Alliance has a very important role to play as the socialist and left conscience of the wider labour movement.[Disorienting those socialistminded youth and left inclined intellectuals and drawing them into Labour and thus disarming themselves! Trotsky would spit on you both as well! Alliance, Progressive, Labour, etc they are the "left" pawns of the bourgeoisie whom have had 3 decades to wreck havoc on the proletariat via these antiworking class "parties" decaying with pragmatism, postmodernism, and bourgeois thought in general!] "Many people who are Labour Party members and supporters acknowledge this, and the more the Left maintains a principled, ‘united front’ position with Labour and trade union people, the more credibility our left-of-Labour message will garner." [A load of rubbish again; this "united front" rubbish has seen many a defeat of the working class, like the Spanish revolution of whom Trotsky deploured against these centrist fools! Those Labour party members and supporters certainly do not know any better because of this political diseducation that Labour can offer! No principles whatsoever eh! Labour and Alliance!

9:21 PM  
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7:32 PM  

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