‘The Party Was Like Our Family’: An Interview With Nick Southall (Part 1)

Image 3
Nick’s CPA Membership Card

On Thursday 24 March 2016 I interviewed my friend and comrade Nick Southall about some of his experiences as a young activist in the Communist Party of Australia in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In the interview we touch on a number of themes including Nick’s early involvement in the Young Communist Movement, his years as a full-time party cadre, tensions within the party between the national leadership and the South Coast District and the party’s relationship with international communist and resistance movements and domestic social movements. Where many histories of the CPA which focus on machinations at the national level, Nick’s story reveals a living organisation with deep roots in the Wollongong labour movement and community that functioned as a family, if at times a dysfunctional one.

I have edited the transcript for clarity and length with Nick’s approval.

Continue reading “‘The Party Was Like Our Family’: An Interview With Nick Southall (Part 1)”

Advertisements

Living The Dream with the Anti-Poverty Network Queensland

29541375_548678105502965_4209979352512356627_n

In this episode Dave (@withsobersenses) chats with Andrew(@fernandre3000) and Feargal(@feargal89) from the Anti-Poverty Network Qld. We talk about what they have been up to, what their strategy is and how this has gone. APN Qld are one of the most exciting developments going on in Queensland right now with friends and comrades leaving old and stale forms of activism behind to experiment with organising based on where people are at and in ways that directly speak to lived conditions. It is exciting stuff.

APN have a conference coming up We Deserve A Living – Anti-Poverty Week Conference 2018

We talk about:

‘We had Marx, they had Pauline’: left organising in poor communities by Joanna Horton

Working for the class: The praxis of the Wollongong Out of Workers’ Unionby Nick Southall

Listen here: Download this episode (right click and save)

Or Subscribe:

Music by Gang of Four

What’s going on with Change the Rules? A report from the Melbourne Delegates Meeting 25th September

8349458979_c8d2d29ff3_o

(What’s going on with Change The Rules? There is a lot of hype out there but what is happening on the ground? Here is a report back from a friend and comrade of the Melbourne Delegates Meeting held on 25th September.)

Hey all, this is some notes I posted on my facebook page for friends and comrades about the delegates meeting held by the ACTU at Melbourne Convention Centre on September 25th. They weren’t meant for wider circulation but Dave suggested putting them on the blog, so please forgive the lack of formality and take them as an invitation to further discussion.

Continue reading “What’s going on with Change the Rules? A report from the Melbourne Delegates Meeting 25th September”

Living the Dream after the Plebiscite and amongst the Alt-Right

australia_begins_same-sex_marriage_vote

In this episode Dave (@withsobersenses) and Jon (@jonpiccini) catch up with Simon Copland (@SimonCopland) ‏ again. We talk about how despite the plebiscite being a fantastic victory the Left (for lack of a better term) seems determined to see it as a defeat and what the impact of this is. Simon also talks about going to, live tweeting from and then writing about a recent Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux talk and his thoughts about how the struggle against reaction can be renovated.

Things we mention include:

Simon Copland – Racists on speaking tour: rethinking our response

Alison Pennington – On the Plebiscite: Beyond Defeatism, Moralism and the Politics of Scarcity

Red Action – Declaration Of Independence

You can find Simon’s work here and our older episode with him here

Listen here Download this episode (right click and save)

or Subscribe

Music by Idles

Living The Dream with the National Disability Insurance Scheme Ep 2

Turnbull-NDIS_AAP-Images_2017

In this episode Dave (@withsobersenses) chats with friend of the show Michael. Michael talks about how the NDIS has changed the experience of those that work in care and community services, how it has impacted work conditions and how it has undermined the kind of care that those on the NDIS receive. We also talk about what does this mean for struggle around these issues? What are the unions doing? What are the workers doing? How does this impact with a larger question about the struggle against poverty in Australian society?

This is the second show we have done on the NDIS. Our first episode can be found here

Listen here
Download this episode (right click and save)

or subscribe

Living The Dream with The Maritime Defence Committee during the 1998 Wharf Dispute

swan26
A Banner on the Main Gate of Patrick Stevedores East Swanson Dock in Melbourne.
© Takver. http://www.takver.com/

It has been twenty years since the Wharf Dispute between Patrick Stevedores and the Coalition Government on one side and the Maritime Union of Australia, the Trade Unions and supporters on the other. This was the last set piece national confrontation between Capital and Labour over a specific industrial dispute to happen in Australia. In this episode Dave (@withsobersenses) chats with Nick Southall about the Maritime Defence Committee. The latter was formed by comrades outside of the industry to provide meaningful support for the struggle. What happened during the dispute and are there implications for class struggle today?

Articles mention include

Nick Southall   Getting the Gong – A Tale of Two Cities

Shane Reside  Rules made for breaking: beyond ‘Change the Rules’

Music by Rage Against The Machine

Listen here:Download this episode (right click and save)

Or Subscribe:

Living The Dream at Labour Day 2018

labour day
Image by Collective Action ‘a revolutionary anarchist group based in so-called Melbourne, Australia.’ http://www.collectiveaction.org.au

In this episode Dave (@withsobersenses) grabs a recorder and heads to the Labour Day rally. He interviews friends and comrades about the rally, what they think the impact of #ChangeTheRules has been, and if there is any opportunity to broaden and open up struggle? Due to a moments hestitation he didn’t try to interview Sally McManus as she walked past.

Music by Alistair Hulet

Listen here Download this episode (right click and save)

or Subscribe 

Living The Dream with the National Disability Insurance Scheme

behind closed doors

In this episode Dave (@withsobersenses) chats with Vanamali Hermans (@VChristabel) about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Whilst billed as ‘the most significant economic and social reform since the introduction of Medicare in the 1970s’ Vanamali shows how the NDIS often means the reduction in services for those with disabilities and bureaucratic hellishness. We discuss why this is so, the compounding issue of inequality in regional health delivery and the struggles and strategies both developing and possible. This is the first of possibly a few episodes on the NDIS.

Due to incurable idiocy Dave’s levels are still too low. (Sorry)

Listen here: Download this episode (right click and save)

or subscribe

 

Articles mentioned incomed:

Vanamali Hermans

Tim Lyons:

 

Precarias a la Deriva

Living The Dream antipolitically

15m

In this episode of Living the Dream Jon (@jonpiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) talk with Tad Tietze (@Dr_Tad) about the idea of antipolitics he developed with Elizabeth Humphrys(@liz_beths). We talk about what politics is and how it relates to capitalism and the state. Tad argues that politics is increasingly detached from society and what this means and how communism as ‘the real movement’ can and should related to politics. Tad argues that this analysis has serious and devastating implications for what we call The Left and Activism. We debate if there is any role, before the emergence of social movements, for the agency of anticapitalists.

 

You can listen here Download this episode (right click and save)

 

Or Subscribe

 

We are currently trying to raise some cash to improve our recording capabilities. You can donate here

 

Tad provided the following reading list

On anti-politics in general (with Liz Humphrys): https://left-flank.org/2013/10/31/anti-politics-elephant-room/

On anti-politics and neoliberalism (with Liz Humphrys): https://oxfordleftreview.com/olr-issue-14/tad-tietze-and-elizabeth-hymphreys-anti-politics-and-the-illusions-of-neoliberalism/

On Greece: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/08/syriza-referendum-podemos-austerity/

On Australia: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/09/labor-tony-abbott-rudd-gillard-shorten/

On Trump: https://left-flank.org/2016/01/25/the-trump-paradox-a-rough-guide-for-the-left/

On recuperating politics: https://left-flank.org/2017/02/03/why-better-politics-cant-make-anti-politics-go-away/

The Piping Shrike on Corbyn: http://www.pipingshrike.com/2017/06/the-confusions-of-anti-politics-uk-edition-an-update.html

 

We also mention a debate between Plan C and Angry Workers of the World over Directional Demands

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑