Russel Norman, probable future Green party co-leader was once a member of Australian Marxist-Leninist organisation, the Democratic Socialist Party. When I pointed out that other senior Greens had past links with the DSP, Norman claimed not to be aware of it.
His own Party leader Jeanette Fizsimons attended a DSP organised “Green Left” conference in Sydney at Easter 1994. To Russel, this was unimportant “Speaking to a conference of the Green left magazine (which is what i think Jeanette is being accused of) is hardly invovlement.”
Malik Miah, an American Trotskyite who’s political career spans the US Socialist Workers Party, Socialist Action, Committees of Correspondence, Solidarity and the US Green Party, filed a report on the International Green Left Conference.
The International Green Left Conference, held in Sydney, Australia, March 31-April 4, brought together a wide range of activists and concerned individuals to discuss and debate the ecological and social problems currently facing the world. The highly successful conference grew out of an initiative of the Democratic Socialist Party of Australia, the main left formation in that country. Carl Bloice, national co-chair of the Committees of Correspondence, Mike Wyman, editor of CrossRoads’ recent El Salvador Presente! issue, Peter Camejo, a member of Committees of Correspondence national executive and the board of the Environmental Federation of America, and I were among over 800 participants from all over Australia and around the world.
International guests spoke of political developments in their countries and how they are organizing in new parties and formations. Jeanette Fitzsimons, Green Party member and deputy co-leader of the New Zealand Alliance, described the Alliance’s improved electoral chances under the new, more democratic, proportional representation system in that country.
Ideas for dealing with the international environmental crisis were put forward by a diverse range of speakers. A lively discussion occurred on the different paths towards sustainable development and environmental justice. The panel, “How can we build a sustainable society,” was one of the best attended and included Peter Camejo, Jeanette Fitzsimons, Graham Mathews from the Australian Democratic Socialist Party, and Dr. Nguyen Khac Kinh, deputy director of Vietnam’s National Environment Agency. The broad and open views discussed highlighted the importance of linking green and socialist perspectives in reaching common strategies and goals.
Fitzsimons also spoke at a forum on Women in Politics. Three other women shared her panel, Dulce Maria Pereira (Brazilian Workers Party) Christabelle Chamarette, (Greens Senator, Western Australia) and Lucianna Castellina (Euro MP and directorate member, Party of Communist Refoundation, Italy.
Fitzsimons was under no illusions as to the nature of the conference, or the politics of her hosts. She told the DSP’s Green Left Weekly No 147 of June 1994,”if socialism is to survive as a relevant political movement in the 21st century, it must develop a response to the ecological crisis and a socialist strategy to build a sustainable future. Green Left Weekly provides the tools of information and analysis to make that possible.”
Clearly Fitzsimons was friendly to the idea of “the importance of linking green and socialist perspectives in reaching common strategies and goals.”
Clearly Fitzsimons was aware that the conference was organised by Marxist-Leninists and that virtually all of her fellow attendees were of similar outlook.
So the leader of NZ’s Green Party speaks very differently among her comrades than she does when dealing with NZ voters.
Yet to Russel Norman this is little cause for concern. Why is that Russel? Do you think voters have the right to know how their political leaders behave when out of the public eye?