I last updated Trot Guide over a year ago, in May 2008. So, what’s happened between now and then? Not a lot, sadly. In summary, the following groupuscules are (relatively) active:
- *1. Communist Party of Australia (CPA)
Also : Communist Alliance
*2. Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) (CPA-ML) (Current site)
*3. Democratic Socialist Perspective (DSP)
Also : Resistance // Socialist Alliance (SA)
4. Freedom Socialist Party (FSP)
Also : Radical Women // Solidarity Salon
*5. Progressive Labour Party (PLP)
6. Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP)
7. Socialist Alternative (SAlt)
8. Socialist Equality Party (SEP)
9. Socialist Party (SP)
11. Spartacist League of Australia (SL)
12. Trotskyist Platform (TP)
13. Workers’ Liberty (AWL)
**13 1/2. World Socialist Party of Australia
*Leninist / Non-Trotskyist. **The PO Box in North Richmond is Marxist, but not Leninist.
As previously noted, in May 2008 the ‘Democratic Socialist Perspective’ split/a minority faction (the ‘Leninist Party Faction’) was expelled. The Faction, together with an even smaller mob variously known as Direct Action / Marxist Solidarity Network / Workers’ & Community First soon formed a new party: the ‘Revolutionary Socialist Party’. “The RSP held a very successful first national congress in Sydney June 6-8” 2009, apparently. On a spotterly note, the RSP has attracted the support of the artiste Van Thanh Rudd (PM KRudd’s nephew).
The DSP, on the other hand, continues to motor along, as does its electoral front, the Socialist Alliance. SA has participated in several electoral contests since the split. In September 2008, Julie Gray threw her red hat into the ‘North Metropolitan Region’ ring in WA and gained 576 votes (from a total of 280,235). In NSW local council elections, SA candidates also raised the red flag in Newcastle (Third Ward), in Blacktown (Third Ward) and in Marrickville Council (North Ward); the masses did not flock to its banner. Several months later, SA stood candidates in the Victorian local council elections: none of its candidates won. Finally, in March 2009, SA candidates also struggled for state power in Queensland, standing two candidates: Sam Watson and Mike Crook. Sam got 344 votes (1.36%); Mike 361 (1.33%).
Communist Party of Australia
In an extremely positive development for spotters, in January 2009 communists formed an Alliance named, appropriately enough, the ‘Communist Alliance’. It received the approval of the AEC on March 16, 2009. The Alliance was initiated by the ‘Communist Party of Australia’ (CPA). NB. Following the death of Peter Symon in December 2008, the CPA is now under the leadership of Hannah Middleton.
A small collection of ’60s radicals (Maoists), Last Superpower has gone all bloggy on Australia’s flabby capitalist arse, making for Strange Times.
Progressive Labour Party
In a blow to progressives, the AEC has refused the ‘Progressive Labour Party’ registration. Formed in November 1996, the party was recognised as a political party by the AEC during its previous registration between 1998 and 2006.
Spartacist League of Australia // Trotskyist Platform
The ‘Spartacist League of Australia’ is ace. The Autumn 2009 edition (#204) of Australasian Spartacist contains an angry denunciation of ‘Socialist Alternative: God Delusional Opportunists’. SAlt are also ‘Cheerleaders for Capitalist Counterrevolution’ according to the Winter 2008 edition (#201). I says: Defend China, North Korea, Vietnam and Cuba! Ignore the International Bolshevik Tendency and the renegade marriage celebrant Bill Logan!
… under the pressure of two decades of isolation and frustration, the SL itself has qualitatively degenerated into a grotesquely bureaucratic and overtly cultist group of political bandits which, despite a residual capacity for cynical “orthodox” literary posturing, has shown a consistent impulse to flinch under pressure. The “international Spartacist tendency” today is in no important sense politically superior to any of the dozen or more fake-Trotskyist “internationals” which lay claim to the mantle of the Fourth International.
‘Trotskyist Platform’ is busy kicking arse, taking names and waving red flags at its very own website, created in August 2008. Two editions of its publication — #9 (Feb-May 2008) and #10 (Sep-Oct 2008) — are available for your reading pleasure.
Committee for a Revolutionary Communist Party in Australia / Communist Left Discussion Circle / Communist Party Advocate(s) / Direct Action / International Socialist Organisation / Leninist Party Faction / Marxist Solidarity Network / National Preparatory Committee of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Australia / New Era Communist Party of Australia / October Seventh Socialist Movement / Revo Australia / Socialist Action Group / Socialist Appeal / Socialist Democracy / Socialist Labor Party of Australia / Workers’ League / Workers’ Power : all still dead or MIA.
Fightback! is ‘The Marxist Voice of Labour and Youth’. Sadly, its vocal chords have been under incredible strain since January 2008. On a more positive note, the Grantists are faring much better in New Zealand/Aotearoa. Also in those beleagured Islands, the ‘Residents Action Movement’ (RAM) continues to stumble along, undeterred by its embarrassing failure in 2008.