Cllr Stephen Jolly and the new “socialist alliance”


Tim Blair, the opinion editor for the Sydney Daily Telegraph is one of the few people honoured by having a law named after them, even if only in the vernacular rather than legislative sense.

Blair’s Law is as follows:

“The ongoing process by which the world’s multiple idiocies are becoming one giant, useless force.”

In related news three of the largest Trotskyist groups in Melbourne have decided to form an alliance to contest the upcoming Victorian State elections later this year.

Some days the world can get you down, then you get a piece of news like this and everything seems just that little bit brighter.

The last “Alliance” formed by “Socialists” was imaginatively called the Socialist Alliance and it almost finished off organised Marxist politics in Australia for good.

Trotskyists typically do not play nicely together.

Imagine a sack full of cats. Now imagine those cats have all been recently shaved, scratched until they bled and covered in rubbing alcohol.

Now imagine the cats are drunk.

That’s usually a fair analogy of what happens when Trotskyists anywhere in the world try to form an electoral alliance.

To understand why, you have to know that the only reason most of them became Trotskyists in the first place, is because they got sucked into a sort of cult that filled their mind with utter certainties about how everything in the world worked and then taught them to react with extreme aggression, hostility and suspicion to anyone who questioned a single word of what they had assimilated.

The reason why today in Australia we have about six Trotskyist groups of some description (Socialist Alternative, Socialist Alliance, Solidarity, Freedom Socialist Party, Socialist party, The Socialists) and about another half dozen other tiny sects as well, is that they all consider each other heretical scum standing as misguided obstacles in the path of the revolution.

So seeing them try to work together is usually freaking hilarious.

Almost two decades ago in the wake of the S11 riots and the upsurge in anti-globalisation protests around the world, the various Trotskyist groups in this country decided that the Working Class of Australia had forgotten about the failures of the Soviet Union and were ready to vote their particular brand of “True” Communism into power.

So they decided to form an “Alliance” of “Socialists”.

The International Socialist Organisation and the Democratic Socialist Party were the two biggest groups and formed the majority of the membership. The much smaller Freedom Socialist Party joined in for the ride but Stephen Jolly’s Socialist Party and the tiny yet fanatical Socialist Equality Party did not.

The Socialist Alternative, then still quite small and almost entirely confined to Melbourne, began negotiations to join but then backed out at the last second when they realised just what a tiny fish they would be in the new organisation. What’s the fun of being in a club if you can’t be the leader?

With the addition of a few minnows like Worker-Communist Party of Iraq in Australia, the Workers League and Workers Liberty (can you see a pattern?) the Socialist Alliance was ready to go. Fame, fortune and revolution was in the air! The early 2000s would be the point where Trotskyism finally made its electoral impact known and would begin to lead the workers out of the wilderness of neo-liberalism!

But of course it didn’t. The best result they ever received federally was in the Senate for the 2010 election where they garnered 0.26% of the vote with a total of 32,580 votes nationwide. The best they ever received at a State level was the NSW 2007 election with 0.4% and 15,142 votes. At local council level they had more luck electing Sam Hilton in the West Australian lefty bastion of Fremantle in 2009 and long-time Marxist activist Sue Bolton in the inner city Melbourne Moreland Council.

Needless to say 2 councillors from 20 years work was not what the members of the Alliance were expecting when they set up the project. The ISO and the DSP never stopped fighting and the constant electoral failure only made it worse. The former splintered into pieces eventually reforming in Sydney under long time extremist activist Ian Rintoul as the “Solidarity” group. The latter doubled down, dissolving itself into the Alliance completely while a splinter group left and eventually joined the Socialist Alternative.

In the meantime the Socialist Alternative had managed to claw its way to the top of this bucket of crabs not by co-operating with their fellow fanatical followers of Lev Bronstein but primarily by indoctrinating every single new recruit they got with an unwavering and fiery hatred of all other Trotskyist groups.

So when the news came out this week that Socialist Alternative, Socialist Alliance and Yarra Councillor Stephen Jolly’s “Socialists” group were joining together in a new “Alliance” of “Socialists” in Victoria imaginatively named “The Victorian Socialists”, you can see why I checked my popcorn supplies.

Stephen Jolly. From

The new group is centred on Councillor Jolly and getting him into the Victorian upper house. To the uninitiated this might seem strange. Jolly’s group split from the older “Socialist Party” in 2016 after it emerged that one of that groups’ most prominent members had been sexually assaulting quite a few of his female “Comrades”. As a result Stephen’s merry band is tiny; he started his new group with only about ten people. So why are the much larger groups deferring to him?

The answer lies in his electoral success and his community links. While all the other Trotskyist groups were stabbing each other in the back and slitting each other’s throats to recruit the most impressionable university undergraduates and sell the most mind-numbing magazines, Jolly went out and performed the much more tedious task of building a profile and a support base amongst the residents of Melbourne’s inner north.

He went door to door listening to complaints about street lights and bin nights and as a result people in and around the area actually began to recognise his face. After a long slog of effort he managed to get elected to the Langridge Ward of Yarra council at the 2004 council elections. Due to the very strange electoral system of that council Jolly won with a first preference count of only 12.34%. But again he worked harder than his Greens and ALP opposition so that in subsequent elections he increased his vote to over 30% and solidified his position.

Almost every other Trotskyist group spent the same period screaming at each other, attacking police, attacking political opponents, splitting, reforming and inciting riots. None of which improved their chances of ever winning an elected office.

Marxists traditionally do very, very badly in elections. The threat of Marxism comes less from elected seats and more from their Gramscian march through the institutions. The success of Jolly shows what can be accomplished by anyone who games the system and puts in the hard effort to keep himself in a position of influence, even a Commie.

After all, Jolly, despite being more level headed than the usual foul-smelling, lank-haired nutjob shrieking at bystanders through a megaphone while trying to beat them with a placard, is still freaking insane.

This is the man after all with delusions of grandeur so intense that despite zero evidence he still claims in 1989 to have made a key speech in Tiananmen Square to a crowd of over half a million protesters just before the tanks rolled in. This stunning event supposedly occurred despite the considerable handicap of him not speaking Mandarin and the protesters not speaking a word of English.

Must have been a great speech.

Corey Oakley, one of the more prominent leaders of the Socialist Alternative believes that with about 5% or 6% of the vote Cllr Jolly can be made into an upper house MP. Ben Eltham, lecturer at Monash University and National Affairs Correspondent for the terrorist supporting publication New Matilda thinks so as well.

They may be right but personally I doubt it. Most left-of-Labor protest votes in Australia go to the Greens and for the foreseeable future will continue to do so. The name recognition of Jolly and the fact that Fiona Patten’s “Sex Party” has collapsed into irrelevance might get them close, but if the history of previous Trotskyist attempts at State politics are any guide this campaign will not succeed.

In the meantime the new Victorian Socialists Party is going to need to get 500 members to register. With all three groups working together they should accomplish this, but if they don’t the recriminations are going to be delightful.

And if they fail as miserably at the voting booth as the Socialist Alliance usually does, the cats-in-a-sack outpouring of hate and blame will be on for young and old.

The extreme-left are indeed the cancer of our civilisation, but when they’re tearing strips off each other it can be utterly hilarious.

My popcorn is ready.

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