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					                      COMMUNIST PARTY OF AUSTRALIA                                 May 14 2003 No.1137 $1.50 THE WORKERS WEEKLY ISSN 1325-295X




 Majority say
NO nuke dump
One of the worst kept se-                for intermediate or high level
crets in Australia’s recent              waste.
history was finally made                      Democrats MLA Sandra Kanck
                                         spoke for the overwhelming major-
public last week. Site 40a               ity of South Australians last week
– a working sheep station                when she dismissed this promise
near Woomera in South                    as a device for easing in this first
Australia – has been                     stage of the Federal Government’s
chosen as the location                   plans.
                                              For its part, the Rann Labor
for the national low-level               Government is sounding very
radioactive waste dump.                  Churchillean about fighting the
                                         decision on a number of fronts.
            by Bob Briton                The SA Government is expected
    The previously favoured Site         to mount a legal challenge to the
52a was ruled out at a late stage        compulsory acquisition of the land
because of safety risks arising          and the granting of a licence to
from the military’s nearby Range         operate the dump.
E missile target area. Site 45a was           Several native title claims
another of the short listed locations.   will have to be overridden for the
It was unsuitable because mining         Commonwealth to press ahead with
transnational WMC Resources              its plans and unions affiliated to the
owns the property in question and        United Trades and Labor Council
doesn’t want a nuclear dump on its       will refuse to work on or provide
land – end of story.                     services to any dump project.
    Leean and Andrew Pobke, on                In spite of all these obstacles
the other hand, hold no hope of          – and polls showing the opposition
preventing the compulsory acquisi-       of 72 percent of South Australians
tion of land on their Arcoona station    – the Commonwealth is sounding
by the Commonwealth. Section 51          upbeat. Senator Minchin maintains
of the Constitution and the Lands        that the dump will not damage the
Acquisition Act allow the Federal        State’s image as a clean, green wine
Government to take over property         producer and points to the presence
on what are called “just terms”.         of a nuclear dump in France’s
    Finance and Administration           Champagne district in defence
Minister Nick Minchin and Science        of his argument. Apparently, the
Minister Peter McGauran have             dump at Centre de L’Aube has
gone to considerable lengths to          even become something of a tourist
sell the decision as a compromise.       attraction.                                  Catherine went as far as to        generations of some of the families    like to receive the little plastic
McGauran has given an undertaking             Catherine Hockley couldn’t          suggest a new slogan for the State:    of Australian servicemen from          bottles containing the ashes of the
that SA will not be expected to host     resist making the following sugges-      “Forget the Festival State. Our new    among the 17,000 who worked on         stolen remains.
the other proposed national dump         tion to tourists making their way to     slogan? South Australia – what a       the tests.                                 The Indigenous Advisory
                                         outback South Australia in a recent      waste.”                                    Some 1200 South Australians        Committee to the Federal
                                         column in The Advertiser:                                                       have received counselling during       Environment Minister also has fears
                                              “Visit the Barossa Valley, drop                                            the last 12 months about the taking    about the possible exclusion of the
                                                                                  Legacy of atomic tests
   Budget Coverage                       in on the Eden and Clare Valleys,                                               of bones from dead stillborn babies,   Kokatha people from the land being
                                         then head up the Stuart Highway              The consequences of the British    infants, toddlers and teenagers by     sought for the dump.
      Coverage of the                    towards Woomera, en route to             atomic weapons tests in the 1950s      Federal authorities right up to the        In an address by Mike Rann to
    Federal Budget will                  the nation’s first radioactive           and 1960s are again to the fore, and   1970s. Australia-wide, some 21,830     the Maralinga Tjarutja community
                                         waste dump. Why not detour to            such bitter experiences have had a     bodies had bones removed – mostly      at Oak Valley the Premier said that
   appear in next week’s                 Port Augusta to check out Baxter                                                without the consent of the parents.    before land used for the British
                                                                                  profound effect on the opposition of
  Guardian. The Treasurer                Detention Centre while you’re            South Australians to the dump.             The remains were then tested       atomic tests is handed back to
   had not delivered his                 there, and drop off for some pics            This includes the high number      in Commonwealth facilities in          its owners, the Commonwealth
  statement at the time of               for posterity of the mothballed          of stillbirths and other premature     Melbourne for the presence of          must be forced to accept financial
       going to press.                   Woomera centre… Then pop across          deaths of children in Woomera          strontium 90 and other residues of     liability for problems that might
                                         to the Maralinga lands to see the        in the years in question and the       the atomic tests. Families are now     arise from any shortcomings in
                                         legacy of British atomic testing.”       horrendous health problems of          being contacted to see if they would   their “cleanup” of the area.J

   Higher education                           Social inequality
                                                                                       The unravelling                         Halliburton :                            Salute to
 tailored to corporate                          continues for
                                                                                        of US power                        poised for the spoils                       Walter Sisulu
   needs & demands                            “ working poor ”
                                                                                            - p6                                   - p7                                    - p12
          - p3                                      - p4
                  The GUARDIAN
                                                                                   AUSTRALIA


      No 1137

              From invasion to
         occupation and colonisation
                                                   May 14,        2003

                                                                                   Johnno Johnson
                                                                                  John Godschall Johnson, affectionately known by many as The                       instruments but bestowed on the
    The visit of John Howard to the United States coincided with                  Violin Man, died on May 4 aged 91, after a long illness.                          new owners “custodianship” of his
the colonialist stage of the US, British, Polish and Australian                                                                                                     violins, violas, cellos and bows —
military occupation of Iraq. Howard reached a new nauseating                           As a young man in the 1930’s,        communist press. They illustrated       and engraved into the belly of each:
depth of toadyism while in the US, even deeper than Harold                        at the time of the Great Depression,      the demand for work by the jobless.     “This instrument may be freely
Holt’s “All the way with LBJ” during the Vietnam war. The                         his apprenticeship papers were can-            John also organised the first      given, never to be bought or sold”.
                                                                                  celled when the engineering firm of       booklet on the plans, hopes and             “John removed himself from the
dictionary is replete with words to describe Howard’s fawn-                       Dick Rye closed its doors forever.        aspirations of the Torres Strait        tyranny of the market place”, his
ing, servility, obsequiousness, slavishness, cringing, crawling,                       Johnno joined the Communist          Islander people.                        wife Phyllis said.
flunkeyism and grovelling, just to list a few.                                    Party in Townsville in 1934 and                As a member of the Seamen’s            In an interview in 1993, Johnno
    The mutual backslapping by Bush, Howard and Blair, the                        helped to produce and manage the          Union he joined the crew of the         said, “I don’t accept money. I’m
main parties to the criminal invasion of Iraq, will sicken many.                  North Queensland Guardian which           Elsana, which ran between Brisbane      interested in young people with
But it was not just an occasion for backslapping. The next                        was distributed from Rockhampton          and Thursday Island.                    talent who haven’t a chance to get
stage in the colonisation of Iraq is now underway. Howard and                     to Cairns. It was sold in the streets,         Johnno wrote in his diary, “On     a violin.
others representing Australian corporations and government                        factories and farms in Ingham,            each trip I sat with the leaders, and       “If I think they’ve got talent, I
agencies are putting in their claims to take part in thieving                     Innisfail and the North.                  they told me the problems of life       make them the custodian of a violin.
Iraq’s resources while compelling the Iraqi people to pay for                          He worked for the election of        as indigenous people. I wrote this      But my instruments have to be
                                                                                  Fred Paterson as the member for           up in simple language and when it       passed from one player to another.”
the reconstruction of their country.                                              the State seat of Bowen, the first        was approved, the pamphlet Let the          John experimented in the
    The first to land a contract is Chris Corrigan of waterfront                  and only Communist elected to an          Sun Shine was printed by the com-       woods and varnishes, and used his
infamy. He has been given a contract by the US Agency for                         Australian Parliament.                    munist press in 1954 in English         knowledge of chemistry to add the
International Development to assess Baghdad’s international                            In 1938, Johnno was sec-             and translated into two Island lan-     component parts, such as extracts
airport which has been turned into one of the US’s main mili-                     onded to Sydney to work with              guages.”                                from the Madden plant which he
tary bases.                                                                       Jack Simpson as manager of the                 He also became a maker of vio-     grew next to the letter box.
    The Australian Wheat Board (AWB) is not far behind. It                        Party’s national paper, the Workers’      lins, violas, cellos and bows and, in       Some makers can turn out a
is angling to get into the act of showing the Iraqi people how                    Weekly.                                   this respect, he was a legend.          violin within a week and use antique
to develop their agriculture. The AWB hopes to sell even more                          He became one of the                      In the 1950s John bought his       furniture varnish, but John worked
wheat to the Iraqi people who have been made hungry by the                        Communist Party’s speakers in             mother a violin and this marked the     and studied in the traditions of the
                                                                                  the Domain and at street meet-            start of his study into the science     old masters. He gouged out the
12 years of US and British imposed sanctions.                                     ings in Kings Cross, Darlinghurst,        of violin making in the tradition of    bellies and backs with 100-year-
    The Australian Financial Review (AFR) (2/5/03) published a                    Balmain, Paddington, Newtown and          Stradivarius, Cuarnari and Amati,       old tools, one as small as a man’s
plan laying out out the US’s objectives. These involve changing                   Bankstown.                                the old Italian violin makers of 300    thumb.
Iraq’s economy from one largely based on public ownership to                           Johnno made sure that the com-       years ago.                                  The sole electrical device per-
one where private property rules. State-owned enterprises are                     munist newspapers, leaflets, posters           Johnno made his first violin out   mitted in his workshop is a machine
to be privatised including Iraq’s oil resources. Exxon, Shell,                    and literature were available to an       of a wooden crate for a man who         which measures the frequencies of
BP, Mobil and many others are lining up to thieve and milk the                    audience long before the advent of        could not afford a violin, but wished   vibrations emitted from the timbers
property of the Iraqi people.                                                     television, talkback radio and the        to buy one.                             as they yield their characteristic
    The plan says that the “private sector is to be jump-started                  internet kept people behind closed             On his 88th birthday, Johnno       sounds.
by fresh credit and training” – no doubt provided by US,                          doors.                                    was honoured at a special lun-              John Godschall Johnson has
                                                                                       He saw the communist press           cheon to launch an exhibition at        passed on but his work as artist,
British and Australian taxpayers. The tax code is to be “re-                      as important in winning people to         Bankstown Library (Sydney) of his       sculptor, photographer, wood-
written” to protect the private corporations and their profits                    understand their role in the struggle     life’s work as an acclaimed painter     worker, chemist, acoustical engineer
in just the same way as both Bush and Howard have altered                         for socialism.                            and master craftsman — earning          and Communist activist will live on,
the tax schedules in the US and Australia, giving huge tax                             In his youth John painted por-       him an Order of Australia in 1989.      remembered by his many friends
breaks to the wealthy corporations. Iraq is to become a test                      traits and landscapes and became a             Bankstown Councillor Helen         and comrades and by those who
case for US-style free-market capitalism in the Arab world,                       very good photographer. Many of           Westwood said in her opening            continue to play his magnificent
says the AFR.                                                                     his photographs showed his concern        address at that time that musicians     violins and other instruments. Will
    While overseas, Howard continued his arrogant lecturing                       and compassion for the plight of the      have come from the four corners         they also become the Stradivarius of
to the world. He told members of the UN Security Council                          Aboriginal fringe dwellers. These         of the world to meet and work with      the future?
“not to argue the toss” over the coalition’s decision to remove                   prints highlight our shame, a period      Johnno.                                     John was married to wife Phyllis
                                                                                  not yet over.                                  Testifying to his global rec-      who is also a vibrant and dedicated
the regime of Saddam Hussein and that the coalition powers                             John’s photographs also showed       ognition, his instruments are on        member of the Communist Party.
were the effective administrating body in Iraq.                                   the thin and gaunt faces of the           display in the permanent Acoustical     They were married for 64 years.
    In Qatar, Howard told Australian troops that they had                         unemployed, queued up outside             Museum in Mexico and at the Power           The Communist Party and The
fought in a “just cause”. The truth is much different. The war                    soup kitchens and those receiving         House Museum in Sydney.                 Guardian extend their deepest
against Iraq was an invasion of another sovereign country.                        hand-me-downs of warm clothing                 Amsterdam is home to a 12-         sympathy to Phyllis, and children
It was a war of aggression. Its purpose was occupation and                        and blankets.                             piece Baroque orchestra and all the     Alice and Peter. We salute the life
colonisation. It was a violation of the UN Charter. It was illegal                     Many of those photographs            instruments were made by Johnno.        of Johnno, a great humanitarian
under international law. It was a war crime and those respon-                     were used to illustrate articles in the        Johnno never sold his              and man of the people. J
sible should be condemned and charged by the International
Criminal Court of the UN. Australian troops are accessories to
that war crime. They were sent there to kill Iraqis and those
engaged in the bombing and firing on Iraqi targets undoubt-
edly killed Iraqi citizens.
    It matters little that having killed or wounded others that a
drink of water is then offered to the suffering.
    There is only one war among many in which Australian
forces have been engaged that had a progressive objective.
That was WW 2 with its objective of stopping the Nazi ambi-
tion of world domination. The Iraq war is part of another drive
for world domination, this time on the part of the leaders of
the United States. This war is the most obvious and despicable
of all. In time there will be a heavy price to pay by those who
organised this crime and by those who were misled into taking
part. The Iraqi people will also take part in that retribution.


                             PRESS FUND
By the time they’d entered Baghdad, coalition forces had destroyed almost
all the major government buildings (including those housing the Ministries
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Photo: Power House Museum Sydney




for Education, Science and Agriculture). They didn’t bother to guard the
hospitals or museums, just the Ministry for Oil building, which (surprise, sur-
prise) was completely intact. Just goes to show, you have to get the priorities
right! We hope your priority lies in helping us bring you The Guardian each
week, and that you’ll send us a contribution for the next issue. This week our
heartfelt thanks go to the following, for their generous contributions:
$50 for Johnno the Violin Man
Donna in memory of Johnno $50
B Appleton $20, T Bartlett $100, C J and P J $11, “Round Figure” $10.50,
Stan $25
This week’s total: $266.50. Progressive total: $5005.
                                                                                  “If I think they’ve got talent, I make them the custodian of a violin.”

     2    THE GUARDIAN               May 14 2003
                                                                                                                                                                                AUSTRALIA




      Skewered & short-sighted
The de-funding and corporatisation of Australia’s universities is                  ing and anti-intellectual” and stated
the benchmark being set in this week’s Federal Budget. It is the                   that taking instructors away from
US model for higher education.                                                     the classroom for this sort of non-
The Howard Government is pushing the idea of five centres of                       sense can destroy a semester’s entire
higher learning where research would be based on the tailoring of                  schedule of learning for students and
the end product to global corporate needs and demands.                             faculty.
Promoting this agenda is Rupert Murdoch. In a book launched                             In fact, Martinez-Carrion
                                                                                   was once Dean of the School of
earlier this month by Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson,                   Biological Sciences (SBS). Gilliland
2020 Vision, Murdoch expounds his and the government’s ideal for                   forced him to resign last fall
higher education. “We ought to be ensuring that our universities                   because, in his words, he “refused to
have the money to buy the best brains in the world, the best teachers              be Blueprinted”. Professor Martinez-
and the best researchers, who in turn will attract the best students               Carrion, who created SBS in 1986,
in the world.”                                                                     was removed due to his resistance
Murdoch described as examples to be followed Stanford University                   to what he sees as an impending
in America’s Silicon Valley and Harvard, that academy for the                      corporate takeover of the School of
offspring of the rich and the ruling class.                                        Biological Sciences.
He also gave vent to his opinion of Australia’s public education                        The biggest threat levelled
system: “I think the education establishment with its insistence on                against the “uncooperative” mem-
tenure at tertiary level, and its power at primary and secondary                   bers of the SBS faculty, however,
level – setting bullshit syllabuses – is really doing the country an               has been privatisation. This form of
                                                                                   threat, biology professor Ed Gogol
immense disservice.”                                                               explains, is designed to quell aca-
It is just such a skewered and short-sighted vision, founded on                    demic freedom and free speech with
elitism and the holy grail of profit, that has spread like a virus                 the threat that faculty tenure will be
through the US higher education system.                                            stripped from academics in the pri-
Anthony Badgerow writing in Political Affairs, a journal published                 vate sector.
by the Communist Party, USA, gives some insight into how the                            Although such a process would
law of the corporate jungle is being imposed on America’s public                   take a number of years, this form
universities. Badgerow writes:                                                     of “reorganisation” throws the aims
                                                                                   of the university out of balance and
                                                                                   would transform it into a pure profit-
     On December 12, 2001, George              As a result of the low pay, most    generating machine.
W Bush appointed University of            instructors are forced to work at one    The full text of Anthony Badgerow’s
Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC)               or even two other local academic         article can be found at
Chancellor Martha Gilliland to the        institutions just to make ends meet.     www.politicalaffairs.net J
President’s Council of Advisors on             The sort of free speech one
Science and Technology (PCAST).           expects at a university is not present
There she joined a set of execu-
tives from industries such as Dell,
Microsoft and Lockheed Martin.
                                          on her campus. In 1997, Gilliland
                                          wrote that those who vocalise dis-
                                          sent are “terrorists” who should be
                                                                                                    Water privatisation
     The Council is designed to pro-      ignored or they “may ... need to be      Northern NSW agribusinesses recently celebrated the arrival of                   ment, inquiry commissioner Peter
vide a link between the White House       removed.”                                long-delayed rainwater for their vast rice and cotton floodplains.               McClellan concluded that: “Public
and representatives of the private             This form of rhetorical intimida-   However, their rejoicing spelt terrible news for people further                  need will generally require the
sector regarding a range of scien-        tion has been successful in shifting     down the once mighty Murray-Darling river network, which has                     provision of the highest reason-
tific issues. In an interview, UMKC       the blame from those who might           now ceased to flow.                                                              able quality of service. This may
biology professor Marino Martinez-        be at fault within the university’s                                                                                       be inconsistent with the profit
Carrion explained that, essentially,      administration to the dispossessed                   by Peter Mac                 bleeding hearts, for Christ’s sake.     motive and other commercial
the Council’s role is to “pretend that    themselves, who are often accused                                                 We’re here to make money.”              considerations. … The inevitable
the president has consulted experts”.     of being “unco-operative”. This is            Continued extraction by these           In the contract’s second year,      question is whether some essential
     Gilliland was herself selected for   what a “community of learners”           corporations of huge amounts of          Adelaide endured a widespread           government services should remain
the position on the council, which        consists of within the university        water from the upper reaches of the      and unbearable stench. Queensland       within the ownership and control of
overwhelmingly represents informa-        administration’s ideology.               Darling deprives those downstream        University investigators traced         government, with direct ministerial
tion technology, for her reputation as         In order to change the shape        of irrigation and drinking water,        this to raw sewage accidentally         responsibility.”
an academic highly involved in the        and ideology of the university itself,   and will soon render Adelaide’s          released into open treatment ponds          By 2001, some 25 percent of
life sciences.                            which makes corporatisation pos-         water undrinkable.                       at Adelaide’s Bolivar water treat-      Australia’s drinking water was
     Gilliland’s reputation with life     sible, Gilliland has created what she         Scientists and organisations        ment plant.                             supplied by private firms, mostly
sciences is owed not to credentials       calls a “Blueprint for the Future.”      around Australia have expressed              United Water’s monitoring was       foreign-owned.
within the field but her policy of             The primary agent of change         deep concerns that water must be         subsequently found to have been             The situation is not, of course,
favouring corporate interests over        propelling this Blueprint consists       seen as a shared resource under          inadequate. The University team’s       unique to Australia. Water supply
those of faculty and students at her      of what are called Transformation        strict, fair and rational government     head investigator concluded: “It        and services are now looming as a
own institution of learning.              Workshops, three-day sessions            control. The Howard government           was dollars driving everything.         huge international problem.
     It is not surprising to see          which all staff and faculty members      is now finalising a plan ostensibly      The big emphasis was on minimis-            Proposed new dams in Turkey
Gilliland alongside corporate heads       are encouraged (and sometimes            aimed at achieving a more ratio-         ing costs. The Bolivar incident is      would drastically cut water flows to
such as Gordon E Moore of the Intel       forced) to attend.                       nal and efficient use of our water       an illustration of what can happen      Iraq. A pan-American association
Corporation and Dell CEO Michael               An article in Kansas City’s         resources.                               when things like monitoring and         of scientists recently found that in
S Dell. Gilliland runs her university     Pitch Weekly compared the sessions            The government describes the        maintenance are cut to the bone.”       2000, 15 percent of Latin American
like any other corporation.               to brainwashing and found their          plan as a “national water rights             Such comments didn’t, how-          and Caribbean people had no drink-
                                          intellectual roots in the so-called      trading scheme”. It obviously sees       ever, deter the State Government        ing water supply and 21 percent
Corporatisation                           “EST” (Erhard Seminars Training)         the main issue relating to water as      from upgrading the plant. This cost     had no sanitation system.
     The actual process of corpo-         programs of the 1970s, demeaning,        the right to trade it as private prop-   SA taxpayers $27 million, but will          Privatisation of Bolivian water
ratisation has taken two forms: an        cult-like corporate integration exer-    erty.                                    considerably reduce United Water’s      supplies brought about a series
external form, characterised by the       cises now run by a business called            The quantity and distribution       maintenance bill over the life of the   of “water wars”. The Nicaraguan
exertion of corporate power over the      the “Landmark Forum.”                    of water are not the only problems.      plant.                                  government supports privatisa-
academy itself, and an internal form,          A former EST executive was          The quality of our drinking water,           Shortly afterwards, Sydney          tion of the state-owned Aqueducts
in which the university mimics the        Gordon Starr, whom Gilliland             and its safe disposal, are now           residents got a taste of “third         and Drainage Company, despite
nature and tendencies of any other        pulled out of unemployment in San        jeopardised by the privatisation of      world” conditions with the unwel-       the threat that privatisation poses
corporation.                              Francisco and who has since been         Australia’s water services.              come arrival of the parasites Crypto    to preventive health care of mil-
     Gilliland is highly involved         paid $750,000 to run UMKC’s                   For example, in 1995 the South      Sporidium and Giardia in their          lions. Privatised water services in
in spearheading corporatisation in        Transformation Workshops.                Australian Government signed a           drinking water.                         Argentina are now only supplied to
both of its forms. The very vision             At these sessions, one can          contract with an essentially French          Sydney’s newly opened               those who can afford them.
and purpose of the academy within         literally expect to join a round         and British conglomerate, United         Prospect water treatment plant,             And within 15 years the three
our society is called into question       of “Hokey Pokey”, and develop            Water International Consortium.          which supplies nearly 85 percent        largest water resource corporations
as learning and the posing of criti-      what, in an interview, Vice Provost           The contract, for the manage-       of the city’s water supply needs,       (Suez, Vivendi, and Thames Water)
cal questions become secondary to         Laurence Kaptain vaguely refers to       ment and operation of Adelaide’s         had been built and was operated         will probably control between
the University’s Board of Curators’       as “quantum organisations” within        entire water supply and disposal         by Australian Water Services, a         65 and 75 percent of the world’s
thirst for profit.                        the “commitment, vision and pos-         system, commenced in 1996. Water         French/American consortium.             waterworks.
     Staff and faculty voices at          sibility” of the “extended future.”      rates immediately rose, the first            During a subsequent inquiry,            Privatisation of water supply
UMKC are marginalised; exploited          Much like life in a fascist society,     136 kilolitres costing an extra 59       the NSW Government and the              and services is clearly not the solu-
part-time instructors are not provided    the rhetoric of community integra-       percent.                                 company bickered about their            tion to water problems. Indeed, it is
anything close to a living wage (they     tion masks the top-down imposition            A third of the water treatment      respective responsibilities, but both   actually at the root cause of most of
are typically paid roughly one third      of all decisions without the consent     workforce was retrenched. The            tried to prevent the airing of “com-    the problems along with the envi-
to one half of what the American          of the people.                           company’s chairman later stated          mercial-in-confidence” documents        ronmentally destructive practices
Association of University Professors           Professor Martinez-Carrion          bluntly: “We’re not here because         relating to the plant.                  that come with the profit-driven,
recommends).                              called the experience “very demean-      we love the state and we’ve got              With remarkable understate-         private sector. J

                                                                                                                                                    THE GUARDIAN             May 14 2003        3
LABOUR STRUGGLES


Social inequality virtually untouched
by Minimum Wage Decision
The Full Bench of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission                     A three-day Let’s Get Real
(AIRC) last week awarded a two-tier wage rise for the 1.7 million               conference involving 700 union
workers covered by federal awards. The decision grants a $17 a                  organisers, held in Sydney last
week, pre-tax increase to workers earning less than the full-time               week, took up these same themes.
equivalent of $731.80 per week and a $15 a week boost to those                       It is to be hoped that the union
receiving more than that amount. The Federal Minimum Wage                       representatives can hit upon a
                                                                                strategy for quickly injecting some
will increase to $448.40 per week, or $11.80 an hour.                           greater militancy and class con-
           by Bob Briton           lowest incomes should be helped to           sciousness – from the workers’ side
     Peak trade union bodies in the      the tune of $10 a week. Employer       – into the bleak industrial relations
States are set to claim the increases    groups consistently argue an inabil-   scene in Australia.
for workers covered by state awards.     ity to meet the modest pay claims           Federal Treasurer Peter Costello
Bureaucratic hurdles may delay the       put before them.                       warned last week that the economy
passing on of the increase by up to           Yet an analysis of the top 100    was beset by a number of “chal-
12 months for some workers.              CEO incomes (not counting retire-      lenges” such as the drought, the
     While every extra cent is           ment benefits) shows that they have    effect of SARS on tourism, the bill
welcome for those on low incomes,        swollen by 38 per cent on average      for the war on Iraq and the cost
the increase will hardly compensate      last year. That converts to an aver-   of strengthening domestic “secu-
for recent price rises, let alone        age pay rise of more than $10,000      rity”. As well as promising a tough
contribute to improving living           extra per week. Amazing what           budget, he foreshadowed a new
standards.                               industry can afford when it tries!     round of structural and industrial
     For the many workers trying              “There has been a massive         relations “reforms”.
to survive in casual and part-time       increase in inequality. The top 100         Costello is talking about a
work, it might only amount to a few      CEOs’ average income in 2001           renewed attack on the ability of
extra dollars a week.                    was 67 times the Federal Minimum       unions to defend workers.
     The ACTU has “cautiously            Wage. In just 12 months it has sky-         Over the last 20 years, the
welcomed” the decision. Their sub-       rocketed to 89 times the Federal       stripping of awards, their replace-
mission to the case was for a $24.80     Minimum Wage”, ACTU President          ment by enterprise agreements and
per week increase for the country’s      Sharon Burrow observed just prior      individual contracts, along with a
lowest paid workers.                     to the latest AIRC decision.           battery of laws restricting the right
     The case was primarily fought            The ACTU has calculated, for      to strike, have seriously weakened
in the Commission, using economic        example, that the combined earnings    the trade union movement.
and social arguments, with little        of the top five percent of income           National campaigns, national
mobilisation or action in the work-      earners exceeds the entire national    wage decisions and community
place by workers.                        spending on all social security and    standards have been replaced by
     The Commonwealth argued for a       family payments.                       a system where the majority of
$12 a week increase while employer            The ACTU highlighted the          workers have been left behind to
organisations were prepared to pay       growing inequality in Australian       become what is referred to as “the
– you guessed it – NOTHING or $0         society as part of a renewed drive     working poor”. The Minimum
per week extra to the working poor       for union membership. They have        Wage Decision is not enough on
in the community.                        released a new report entitled         its own.
     Only twice in the last five years   Future Strategies: Unions Working           So Let’s Get Real, and take on
have the bosses lowered their guard      for a Fairer Australia that under-     the Government and employers, by
before the AIRC and shown any            scores the need for more highly        organising and mobilising workers
willingness to open their wallets. In    skilled workplace delegates using      to defeat the anti-union legislation
2001 and 2002 they agreed with the       more modern communications and         and restore a centralised system of

                                                                                                                                    Major banks
Commonwealth that workers on the         campaign methods.                      bargaining. J




Ground-breaking paid                                                                                                                exploit SARS
                                                                                                                        Using SARS as another excuse to bully workers, two major banks


maternity leave plan
                                                                                                                        – Westpac and ANZ – were exposed last week for punishing any
                                                                                                                        staff who travelled to a SARS affected area. Workers were to
                                                                                                                        be forced into a 10-day “quarantine” period, docked from their
                                                                                                                        sick leave.
Hotel workers employed by the multinational Starwood Hotel                          Talks involved the LHMU                 These extreme measures fly in       Secretary Tony Beck said occu-
chain are on the eve of signing a ground-breaking provision for                 Hotel Union negotiating team and        the face of advice from the NSW         pational health and safety laws
six weeks paid maternity leave. The proposed leave provisions                   Starwood Hotels which includes          Health Department which confirmed       meant it was the employer’s duty
are contained in an enterprise agreement being negotiated by the                the Sheraton Hotels in Brisbane,        that forced 10-day stand-downs of       to provide a healthy and safe work
Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union (LHMU).                             Noosa and Melbourne; the Westin         workers travelling to Asia were not     environment and staff should not
                                                                                Hotels in Melbourne and Sydney;         necessary.                              have to pay out of their own pocket.
     “If union members vote for
the enterprise agreement then the
                                         Maternity win                          Four Points in Port Macquarie and
                                                                                Geelong and the “W” in Sydney.
                                                                                                                            Chief Health officer Greg
                                                                                                                        Stewart told unions that only staff
                                                                                                                                                                    “Staff cannot be forced to take
                                                                                                                                                                their sick leave or recreation leave”,
proposed six weeks paid maternity        comes while Feds                                                               exhibiting flu-like symptoms return-    Mr Beck said. “Sick leave is for
leave will be a first for the hos-                                                                                      ing from high-risk areas should be      sickness and if someone returns, the
pitality industry, outside the Star      go back on promises Terms                                                      quarantined. He said general stand-     employer needs to take into account
City Casino”, Tim Ferrari, LHMU                                                                                         downs need only apply to health         the impact of SARS.”
Assistant National Secretary said.            The union notes that the win          The LHMU membership meet-           workers.                                    NSW Labor Council Secretary
     The agreement – which effects       by unionised workers comes at a        ings will be given feedback from            As soon as ANZ’s SARS policy        John Robertson said it is time for
2000 hotel workers – is also sig-        time that the Federal Government       the negotiating team about the          was exposed in the media it quickly     employers to take a reality check.
nificantly better than what the          has furiously back-pedaled             new three-year agreement which          rescinded the order.                        “We have health experts tell-
Industrial Relations Commission          on earlier promises to provide         includes:                                   Westpac remained resolute – all     ing us to be alert but not alarmed
has just awarded other low-wage          improved work-and-family               • A $62 a week increase in wages;       staff will take 10 days leave, and      – maybe these are the people who
workers in the hospitality industry      standards, including extending         • Six weeks paid maternity leave;       unless the workers has a “strong        should be setting the policy and not
who are either not unionised, or         maternity leave rights to ordinary     • Reclassification of room              personal reason” for travelling to      a bunch of SARS enthusiasts in the
have not achieved the collective         working Australians, in this             attendants who check room             Asia (to be judged by Westpac of        Human Resources Department.
power in the workplace to insist on      month’s budget.                          standards for guests;                 course), the absence will be at their       “The bottom line is that employ-
an enterprise agreement.                      “Our members believe              • An additional day of                  own expense.                            ers should be the ones to bear the
     While the Minimum Wage              this win shows what collective           bereavement leave;                        “If a person is going for a holi-   cost of any increased precautions
Decision handed down by the AIRC         action can do at a time when the       • New delegate rights to be             day they will have to use their sick    – not the workers.
underlined the crisis of low pay in      Howard Government is showing             involved in induction programs        leave on their return”, said Westpac        “Unions support precautions
this country the Starwood Hotel          no interest in such a vital issue”,      explaining the benefits of the        spokesperson David Lording.             against the SARS virus … but for a
agreement is a real demonstration        said Mr Ferrari.                         agreement to new workers.                 If the staff have no sick or        bank to impose an edict that work-
that it is possible for unionised             “Our members, in                      Mr Ferrari said the agreement       annual leave accrued then they are      ers must stand down for 10 days at
workers to challenge this crisis.        hotels in Victoria, NSW and            had come together after regular         on leave without pay.                   their own expense seems to be an
     “Unionised workers can win if       Queensland, will now discuss           negotiating meetings over four              Westpac’s policy was introduced     overreaction to the situation”, Mr
they act collectively and campaign       the new enterprise agreements at       months between union delegates,         the same week the bank announced        Robertson said.
and negotiate for an enterprise          workplace meetings being held          union officials and management          a half-year profit of $1.05 billion.    Acknowledgement to
agreement”, Tim Ferrari said.            over the next fortnight.”              representatives. J                          Finance Sector Union National       Workers Online J

      4    THE GUARDIAN              May 14 2003
                                                                                                                                                                      AUSTRALIA


“The war against
the Iraqi people
is not over”
The following is the text of the speech made by Dr Hannah Middleton                to win global domination, to seize
Co-convenor, Walk Against the War Coalition, at the May Day                        power so that it can privatise the
rally in Sydney.                                                                   economies of all countries and
                                                                                   inflict on people everywhere the
     The invasion and occupation of       of the spoils of war in Iraq between     blessings of ‘free market’ corporate
Iraq was and is wrong, illegal and        competing, mainly US, corpora-           capitalism.
immoral. The US-led invasion has          tions. It is called “reconstruction”          Bush and his advisers speak
killed and injured many thousands         but in reality it is nothing more than   of “endless war”. Iraq is an early
of Iraqi people. It has destroyed         colonial plunder.                        victim. The Palestinian people
basic services which were already              We demand: Iraqi control of         have been fighting and suffering
badly damaged by war and over a           Iraq’s resources!                        for decades. Who is next? Syria,
decade of punitive sanctions.                  There is evidence of weapons of     Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Russia,
     Today the Iraqi people face          mass destruction in Iraq – but they      Venezuela, Libya…
shortages of water and food, hos-         are not Iraqi weapons.                        We demand: No more wars of
pitals overflowing and without                 The US forces have been using       aggression!
medicines, water or electricity, and      depleted uranium munitions in the             We reject the Howard
the on-going danger of death and          invasion. These were also employed       Government’s support for the Bush’s
injury.                                   in the 1991 Gulf War, leaving a          doctrine of “preventive war”.
     War has brought US military          legacy of horrifying cancers among            We reject the Government’s
occupation, not stability and democ-      both Iraqi civilians and US troops.      support for the US spy base at Pine
racy. Occupation is not liberation        The Bush administration has taught       Gap which was so crucial for the US
– and this is an occupation in which      the world a terrible lesson – coun-      attack on Iraq.
US soldiers did not control the           tries must develop weapons of mass            And let’s not forget that
looters but do shoot political pro-       destruction as a deterrent to protect    Australian workers at Pine Gap
testers. The presence of hundreds         themselves from a US pre-emptive         have been on strike twice this year
of thousands of US troops is a huge       strike.                                  already because they are paid sub-
barrier to the Iraqi people’s right to         There will be a proliferation       stantially less than Americans at
decide their own future. Only the         of weapons of mass destruction,          Pine Gap who do exactly the same         The national scientific and research body, the CSIRO, has
Iraqi people can create democracy         a terrible new arms race which           job.                                     been hit with budget cuts over a long period of time. Now the
in Iraq.                                  will gobble up desperately needed             We condemn the Howard               CSIRO Staff Association has warned that unless there is a 10
                                                                                   Government for trampling on our
                                                                                   democratic rights by defying the
                                                                                                                            percent funding increase in this month’s federal budget, vital
                                                                                   will of the great majority of the        jobs and scientific expertise will be lost. “Staff in the CSIRO
                                                                                                                            are committed to delivering the best research outcomes for
    The presence of hundreds of thousands                                          people of this country who were
                                                                                   opposed to war against Iraq.             the people of Australia”, says the Staff Association’s Sandy
      of US troops is a huge barrier to the                                             We condemn the Government           Ross. “Every time funding priorities are changed, money is
                                                                                   for its attacks on our civil liberties   wasted and public investment in research is thrown away.”
    Iraqi people’s right to decide their own                                       under the guise of “security” and
    future. Only the Iraqi people can create                                       “fighting terrorism”.                    It’s a different story in the big end of town. Former federal
                                                                                        We will resist all moves by the
                                                                                                                            Health Minister Michael Wooldridge has sent clients of health
               democracy in Iraq.                                                  Howard Government to make us
                                                                                                                            consultancy Commercial Eyes invitations to a seminar at the
                                                                                   pay for this illegal, immoral and
                                                                                   barbaric war.                            Stanford Hotel in Sydney where he will speak on “how best
                                                                                        We will not permit our Medicare     to address issues that may be effecting your business at a
     The foreign troops also directly     resources and threaten the survival      cards to be taken from us, we will       federal level”. The cost of attending this talk fest is $984.50
threaten other Middle Eastern coun-       of this planet.                          not allow our public hospitals and       per head. It should be recalled that Wooldridge kept equip-
tries.                                        There are already more than          public schools to be starved of funds    ment from his office and retained his minister’s e-mail link
     The Walk Against the War             26,000 nuclear weapons in our            while the Federal Government’s war
Coalition demands: End the occupa-        world. The US military budget is         spending spirals into billions upon      four months after he’d resigned. Also that while he was Health
tion! Troops out now!                     now over $US437 billion every year.      billions of workers dollars.             Minister he redirected $5 million of funding meant for rural
     The “Coalition of the killing”       This is larger than the Australian            On May Day, we say: We don’t        health services and asthma research into construction of new
bombed Baghdad’s water supply.            economy. Yet global poverty and          need new wars and an arms race; we       offices for the Royal College of General Practitioners, where
It is not yet restored, but it is being   inequality are getting worse.            don’t need transnational corporation     he was employed as a consultant when he left Parliament.
privatised. A US corporation will             We demand the elimination of         dominance.
reap the profits from the Iraqi peo-      all weapons of mass destruction!              We need, we demand, we will         The dirt keeps flying out of the Pan Pharmaceuticals debacle.
ple’s need for water.                     The Bush administration is using         fight for workers rights, global jus-    Last week it was revealed that the family members of the
     There is a sickening carve up        its overwhelming military force          tice and peace. J
                                                                                                                            company’s general manager, John Brennan, sold all their
                                                                                                                            shares a week after the surprise audit of the company by

Arise then, women of this day!
                                                                                                                            the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Brennan was
                                                                                                                            responsible for, among other things, the company complying
                                                                                                                            with the rules in its manufacturing licence, rules that were
                                                                                                                            ignored, resulting in the poisoning of who knows how many
Each year the US President issues a Mother’s Day Proclamation.                          As men have forsaken the plow
                                                                                                                            people using Pan products. A TGA spokesperson said Bren-
In his 2003 Proclamation last week, George W Bush focused on the                   and the anvil at the summons of war,
“dedicated and caring women who are devoted to their families”,                    let women now leave all that may be      nan was “very agitated” while attending the audit. Of course.
that it is a day to “to honour the role of women in the family”. The               left of home for a great and earnest     At that point he hadn’t sold the family’s company shares,
original Mother’s Day Proclamation was made in 1870 by Julia                       day of counsel. Let them meet first      which he knew would be worth zilch when the dirt hit the fan.
Ward Howe, who is perhaps best known today for having written                      as women, to bewail and commem-
the words to The Battle Hymn of the Republic in 1862 when she was                  orate the dead. Let them solemnly        CAPITALIST HOG OF THE WEEK: is that pathetic herd of
                                                                                   take counsel with each other as to       swine in Hollywood who are campaigning to bring Iraqi child
an anti-slavery activist. Howe’s Proclamation was an impassioned                   the means whereby the great human
call for peace and disarmament. In the years following the Civil War                                                        victim of the US-led invasion of Iraq, Ali Ismail Abbas, to
                                                                                   family can live in peace, each bear-
her political activism increased, as did her condemnation of war.                  ing after his time the sacred impress
                                                                                                                            America. Ali was the sole survivor of a US missile that hit his
Here are the words to the original Mother’s Day Proclamation:                      not of Caesar, but of God.               home, killing 20 people, including his parents and his broth-
                                                                                        In the name of womanhood            ers and sisters. He had to have both his arms amputated.
    Arise then, women of this day!        to teach them of charity, mercy,         and humanity, I earnestly ask that a     Ali was also the subject of a cruelly opportunist media cam-
Arise all women who have hearts,          and patience. We women of one            general congress of women without        paign headed by the warmongering Murdoch empire. Now
whether your baptism be of water          country will be too tender to those      limit of nationality be appointed        the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Angelina Jolie are
or of tears!                              of another country to allow our sons     and held at some place deemed            pushing to have him brought to the US for treatment. From
    Say firmly: “We will not have         to be trained to injure theirs. From     most convenient and at the earliest
questions decided by irrelevant           the bosom of a devastated Earth a        period consistent with its objects,      an embarrassment of riches to expose such hypocrisy, let
agencies. Our husbands shall not          voice goes up with our own, it says      to promote the alliance of the dif-      us simply recall that since last July the US, backed by Brit-
come to us reeking of carnage             ‘Disarm! Disarm!’; The sword of          ferent nationalities, the amicable       ain and Australia, blocked humanitarian supplies to Iraq,
for caresses and applause. Our            murder is not the balance of justice.    settlement of international ques-        including vaccines, plasma and pain killers, all of which Iraq
sons shall not be taken from us to        Blood does not wipe out dishonour,       tions, the great and general interests   had paid for and the UN Security Council had approved.
unlearn all that we have been able        nor violence indicate possession.”       of peace. J

                                                                                                                                               THE GUARDIAN         May 14 2003      5
MAGAZINE




               The great unravelling
                  US global power
Centuries of lording it over slaves, butchering Indians,
and pushing aside Mexicans have ill-prepared white
America to live in civilised company, much less to act as
maestro for the globe. As Johnny Cochran could tell them,
those gloves don’t fit.
     by The Black Commentator            imaginations, white Americans
                                         “learned” that they were admired by
     Easy victories over weak, cap-      the survivors among the people they
tive or Stone Age adversaries served     preyed upon and enslaved.
to teach all the wrong lessons, cre-          They gained this knowledge
ating a perverse set of American         from each other, the only people
family values. Unlimited resources,      whose opinions counted. Their
right there for the stealing; fertile    overwhelming arsenals brooked no
fields, awaiting unpaid labour; frag-    objection to the self-evident fact
ile southern neighbours available        of their innate superiority and ...
to be mauled for sport and profit        goodness. Who would disagree?
– heady brew swilled sloppily, on             In this closed, continental con-
a mean drunken binge of four hun-        versation a worldview was refined
dred years.                              that has grown so fundamental to
     Entitlement is a word the Bush      white American methods of thought,
men abhor. Nevertheless, it is the       so perfect in its affirmation of
essence of their distilled, white        self-serving assumptions, so auto-
American sense of themselves as          matically corrective of unwanted
entitled to each bloody slab of meat     information, that the social organ-
they can gouge from the baggage or       ism is all but impermeable to
body of the unwary.                      disagreeable facts. Outside of the
     Ever since there has been such a    centuries-old American cocoon,
thing as American popular culture,       much of reality simply does not
predation has been celebrated. Killer    compute.
cowboys, killer soldiers, killer cops,        Propelled by very special cir-
killer business tycoons.                 cumstances resulting from World
     John Wayne played all of these      War II, the United States stepped        but it has become too volatile. “One     common well of trust – or at least,     been a fit guardian of capitalism,
roles, which is why he is the quint-     to the centre of the world stage         thing is for sure, the adoption of the   some measure of predictability          prior to the Pirate’s ascension to
essential white American actor. The      with all of its previous advantages,     euro as an alternative means of pay-     – among nations.                        power, January 2000. As rulers
parts he played, the ease with which     plus nuclear weapons and the only        ments could be an effective solution                                             of an entitled nation, American
he dominated, reverberate through        intact economy on the planet. (See       to speculative dollar-oriented deal-     Tectonic shifts                         Governments abused their world
centuries of cultural memory and         Conspiracy Theories, April 17.)          ings”, Indonesia’s Vice President            There is even more happening        currency trusteeship for short-term
idealisation, a birthright bequeathed         By default, the dollar became       Hamzah Haz said last month.              below the surface than is indicated     political and economic ends, oblivi-
in full to the children of more recent   the global currency. Newly tapped             What if, for example, the US        by the public statements of Prime       ous to the interconnected fortunes
white immigrants.                        oil, priced in dollars, fuelled a        began setting the stage for another      Ministers. The American problem         of other countries, including allied
     People die all around white         world of post-war growth, much of        pre-emptive attack in the Middle         is not a case of bad manners, but of    elites.
Americans, an historical fact that is    it to the direct benefit of the United   East or East Asia?                       unfitness.                                   Washington derides Malaysia’s
also reflected in exaggerated popu-      States. By the ’50s, pundits had              Even so, there is no ignoring           No sensible people, of any          Prime Minister as “unstable”, when
lar cultural forms. White Americans      declared the 20th Century to be the      Asia’s desire to reduce US influence     social sector, will place their trea-   the opposite is true. Pesek continues:
are entitled to live, and live well.     American Century.                        in the region. Leaders here wonder       sure and futures in the hands of a      One reason leaders like Mahathir
Others are not. Others means non-             Fifty years later, the Bloomberg    if scrapping the dollar might expe-      nation formed of people who see no      Mohamad of Malaysia favour the
whites, in the nation that invented      financial service’s Tokyo bureau         dite the process.                        reality other than their own. Much      euro: It lacks a domestic agenda.
whiteness to subsume into a melting      reports: Pertamina, Indonesia’s state         Last September, Asian and           of the world has already decided        Washington has proven quite adept
pot “all the races of Europe” while      oil company dropped a bombshell          European leaders formed a task-          that the dollar is the umbilical that   at steering the dollar up and down
separating out the Others as non-        recently. It is considering dropping     force to help Asia boost euro            has become a potential noose, and       depending on economic needs.
entitled, nonwhites.                     the US dollar for the euro in its oil    currency reserves, issue more euro-      must be severed.                             In the early 1990s, a lower dollar
     It was only yesterday that          and gas trades.                          denominated debt and use the single          Bloomberg’s founder is the          was favoured to boost growth. Later
these social relationships consti-            With war unfolding in Iraq and      currency to settle trade bills.          Mayor of New York, the financial        in the decade, the White House
tuted the inviolable laws of the land    a mysterious pneumonia spreading              The news from Tokyo, Jakarta        capital of the world. The last thing    favoured a rising currency to attract
– capital punishment was instan-         around Asia, few noticed. News that      and Kuala Lumpur is no flash in          on Bloomberg’s institutional mind       foreign capital. Since 12 countries
taneously imposed on those who           Indonesian government officials          the pan, not a temporary case of         is to rattle financial markets. If      use Europe’s single currency, it may
offended the birthright privileges of    favour the euro also fell through        the jitters, but dramatic evidence of    anything, it is American analysts       be less susceptible to unpredictable
white Americans.                         the cracks. Yet it could have major      the growing, global recoil from the      who slept the “tectonic shifts”, as     political agendas. In addition, the
                                         implications for the world’s biggest     United States, a nation that learned     reporter William Pesek put it, that     European Central Bank, not politi-
Privilege and Predation                  economy.                                 nothing from its half century at the     may be at work.                         cians, manages it.
     Like advantageous traits in bio-         Indonesia’s rationale: The dollar   top except that which reinforced             The great irony is that the              Federal Reserve Board chairman
logical evolution, the human social      may be the world’s reserve currency      its own delusions. It has fouled the     Bush men launched their attack on       Alan Greenspan regularly huddles
organism – through culture – retains                                                                                       a world order that had privileged       with the political honchos of which-
those behaviours and worldviews                                                                                            the United States for generations in    ever administration is in charge,
that work. Aggression against                                                                                              order to pre-empt a politically moti-   fiddling with the world’s currency
Native Americans worked for the                                                                                            vated switch to the euro by angry       to make the occupants of the White
European settlers – it brought them
free land.                                     “Every plan and project                                                     Arab oil producers, or rebellious
                                                                                                                           Venezuela.
                                                                                                                                                                   House look good to the American
                                                                                                                                                                   elite and electorate.
     Slavery made them kings and                                                                                               Instead, their bald, openly              US behaviour, consistently self-
queens and princes and princesses,
and rich. Foreign conquests of
                                              of individuals and nations                                                   declared policy of global hegemony
                                                                                                                           has accelerated a trend that might
                                                                                                                                                                   consumed, has long bedevilled the
                                                                                                                                                                   global trading system. However,
weaker, darker people made them
respected among Europeans.
                                               will be shaped by having                                                    have taken decades to unfold. Shock
                                                                                                                           and Awe, in the form of threats to
                                                                                                                                                                   national planners and central banks
                                                                                                                                                                   crave stability most of all.
     Except in the Civil War that
they wished they had not fought               witnessed a racist America                                                   global stability, has caused nations
                                                                                                                           to seek safety from, rather than safe
                                                                                                                                                                        No one relished the disloca-
                                                                                                                                                                   tions that even a modest break
and treated until just yesterday as a
great tragedy, relatively few white            raining fire on a weaker                                                    haven in, America.
                                                                                                                               As we wrote in, They Have
                                                                                                                                                                   with the dollar might bring, much
                                                                                                                                                                   less the prospect of American
Americans were killed in these con-                                                                                        Reached Too Far: Bush’s road to         retaliation – the US is known as a
flicts. Predation was a good trait. It
worked.
                                                people – and revelling                                                     ruin, for himself and his Pirates,
                                                                                                                           March 13: “Every plan and project
                                                                                                                                                                   nation that kills simply to eliminate
                                                                                                                                                                   inconveniences.
     Armed and extremely danger-
ous from the day they set foot on
                                                      in the crime.”                                                       of individuals and nations will be
                                                                                                                           shaped by having witnessed a racist
                                                                                                                                                                        Inertia became increasingly
                                                                                                                                                                   untenable as it dawned upon the
North American shores for the                                                                                              America raining fire on a weaker        world that the Bush men were really
express purpose of claiming title                                                                                          people – and revelling in the crime.”   serious about The New American
to everything within range of their                                                                                            It is not as though the US had      Century, that the Bush-Cheney-

      6    THE GUARDIAN              May 14 2003
                                                                                                                                                                                      MAGAZINE




g of                                           Halliburton: poised for the spoils
                                          One of the biggest beneficiaries of the recent US invasion
                                          and occupation of Iraq is a corporation called Halliburton.
                                          While the Abrams tanks were rolling across the desert
                                          and good old Aussie “special forces” were risking their
                                          lives for “democracy”, the political leaders knew what
                                          they were after. They allowed Iraqi culture, history and
                                          government infrastructure to be looted and burnt while
 Rumsfeld crew were not just              the oil ministry was protected. Halliburton provides oil
 another brand of bullying, oafish        drilling, construction and military support and is ideally
 American cowboys, and that the
 frenzied American behaviour fol-         situated to have a triple-header of wartime spoils.
 lowing September 11 was more like
 civilised inhibitions giving way than              by Denis Doherty                employees in 100 countries, a
 a cry of national pain.                       Anti-globalisation activists have    resource no doubt utilised by
     Euro-talk became more common-        been active in exposing the greed         the many branches of the US
 place after Bush’s growling “with us     of corporations like Halliburton.         Government Halliburton is entwined
 or against us” speech in November        The corporation is also a particu-        with.
 2001, followed by the war declara-       larly potent target for peace activists
 tion-like “axis of evil” 2002 State of   opposed to the invasion and occupa-       Oil and war
 the Union address.                       tion of Iraq.                                 Wherever there is oil, there
     International bankers who con-            In Sydney on May 1, for              is Kellogg, Brown, and Root
 sidered themselves reasonable and        example, activists protested outside      (Halliburton).
 cautious spoke of oil transactions       Halliburton’s office in a prestigious         Everywhere there is war or
 in a “market basket” of currencies.      building in Kent Street in Sydney’s       insurrection there is Kellogg,
 But the US was intent on enshrining      central business district.                Brown, and Root.
 the dollar as a monopoly currency             Halliburton has dubious connec-          From Bosnia and Kosovo,
 – forever.                               tions with the Bush administration,       to Chechnya, Rwanda, Burma,
     The Pirates believed that seizure    particularly with Vice President          Pakistan, Laos, Vietnam, Iran,
 of Middle Eastern oil fields would       Dick Cheney.                              Libya, Mexico and Colombia, KBR
 ensure continued denomination of              No one in the US Government          operates.
 oil in dollars, and that the ritual      is concerned about conflict of inter-         Since KBR supplies the US
 mauling of Iraq would teach the          est. In fact, the opposite is true. The   military with provisions, it is rea-
 world not to mess with the dollar.       Bush administration is driven by the      sonable to assume that wherever the
                                          interests of the oil conglomerates,       company sets up huge warehouse
 Shouting out reality                     the arms corporations and the IT          capability war will soon erupt. In
     The Pirates were wrong.              industry.                                 Colombia, KBR has nearly one mil-
 World revulsion is near univer-               On the administration’s Defense      lion square feet of covered space.
 sal, beyond emotion, and fast            Committee of 30, there are at least           In the ultra crook world of               The 1200 infrastructure staff        cost as much as US$120 billion, the
 translating into concerted action        nine members who have close ties          big business, Halliburton has a           based in the Asia Pacific region         prospect for Australian companies is
 in collective defence against the        with major arms manufacturing             reputation for dishonesty. The com-       include engineering (civil, struc-       less rosy.
 madman. Indonesia and Malaysia           corporations.                             pany has a dirty history, littered with   tural, water, mechanical, electrical,        An Australian delegation led
 are simply speaking more frankly              US Vice President Dick Cheney        shady deals and highly questionable       mining, process, municipal), project     by Trade Minister Mark Vaile and
 than other nations.                      and Halliburton have a particularly       business practices. These include:        management and construction.             including major Australian compa-
     The Bush men cannot com-             cosy relationship. Cheney was CEO             Government blank cheques:                 KBR has links to the Australian      nies such BHP and Multiplex went
 prehend that their systematic,           of the company prior to becoming          The US Army came under fire               military as well big infrastructure      to the US to try to grab their share
 transparent assault on international     the Vice President. He still receives     from the Government’s General             jobs in Australia.                       of the spoils of war. The Sydney
 stability is unpardonable. And they      a retainer and is a major shareholder     Accounting Office over a US$2.2               The company’s highest pro-           Morning Herald (30/4/03) reported
 do not know what it feels like to        with US$45 million in shares.             billion contract it signed with           file work in Australia is the Alice      that they travelled to Houston to
 be hurt. This, too, will come as a            “Not bothering to call for ten-      Halliburton. The army was found           Springs to Darwin railway. The           visit Halliburton.
 surprise – their Shock and Awe.          ders the Pentagon has granted a           to “frequently have simply accepted       railway is being built at enormous           Halliburton is not simply a
     “Punish        France,    ignore     Halliburton subsidiary, the delight-      the level of services the contrac-        expense but experts suggest that it is   major capitalist corporation but an
 Germany and forgive Russia”, urges       fully named Kellogg, Brown, and           tor provided without questioning          not economically viable.                 arm of the Bush administration’s
 Condoleezza Rice, thereby guaran-        Root (KBR), a US$7 billion ($11.5         whether they could be provided                An influential US policy docu-       greedy larceny of the heritage of the
 teeing that these potent powers will     billion Aust) contract to clean up        more efficiently or less frequently at    ment, Project for the New American       Iraqi people.
 deepen their conspiracy to facilitate    Iraq’s oil industry”, wrote Mike          lower cost”.                              Century, suggests that the US needs
 the isolation of the US.                 Carlton in the Sydney Morning                 Questionable accounting:              another base in Australia. This could    Further Reading:
     Use “psychological leverage”         Herald (18/4/2003).                       Government agencies are investi-          possibly be an aircraft carrier base     • Bush-Cheney Drug Empire by
 in the breathing space before the             “Cheney’s income tax declara-        gating allegations that Halliburton       along with a marine detachment. Is       Michael Ruppert, published on
 next armed assaults, barks Founding      tion reported in The New York Times       artificially boosted earnings by          the railway a precursor to a new US      www.fromthewilderness.com
 Pirate William Kristol. Keep up          reveals that he earned $162,392           US$234 million over four years.           base in Darwin?                          • Halliburton, Dick Cheney, and
 the “political attack” on Syria and      in ‘deferred compensation’ from           These were the years when Cheney              While US corporations are get-       Wartime Spoils by Lee Drutman
 Iran, screams Michael Ledeen,            Halliburton last year. As President       was CEO of Halliburton.                   ting a free ride in the reconstruction   and Charlie Cray. published on
 of the Pirate incubator American         Bush said, ‘These are great days in           Business with “The Axis”:             of Iraq, an operation estimated to       www.commondreams.org J
 Enterprise Institute.                    the history of freedom’”, said Mr         Halliburton has not been affected

                                                                                                                              Appeal for signatures for Cuba
     The Bush men think this is           Carlton.                                  by moves to restrict commerce with
 diplomacy, a gift that the world                                                   so-called “axis of evil” regimes.
 should appreciate as a respite from      Political influence and                   The company made profits out
 Washington’s wrath. The interna-
 tional community – in which the
 US is no longer a true member
                                          economic growth
                                               Halliburton began its days as
                                          a construction company, build-
                                                                                    of business with Libya, Iran and
                                                                                    Saddam Hussein, avoiding govern-
                                                                                    ment embargoes on trade with these
                                                                                                                              To the conscience of the world
 but, rather, a dangerous presence        ing dams. Generously donating             countries with the assistance of Dick     The international order has been violated as a conse-
 – struggles to work around the           to Lyndon Johnson’s political             Cheney.                                   quence of the invasion against Iraq. A single power is
 Americans as new structures of           campaigns, it gained a contract to            As Cheney once said: “The             inflicting grave damage to the norms of understanding,
 trade and co-operation are created.      become a major company.                   good Lord didn’t see fit to put oil       debate and mediation amongst countries. This power
     The Pirates believe they hold             The company now builds oil           and gas only where there are demo-        has invoked a series of unverified reasons in order to
 the trump card: half the world’s         platforms, military bases, ports,         cratic regimes friendly to the US”.
 military under one, super-tech com-      nuclear facilities, harbours and              Off-shore subsidiaries: Under
                                                                                                                              justify its invasion. Unilateral action has led to massive
 mand. It is a blunt instrument, with     tunnels.                                  Cheney’s tenure, the number of            loss of civilian life and devastation of one of the cultural
 a narrow range of uses. The real              It also provides logistics support   Halliburton subsidiaries in offshore      patrimonies of humanity.
 bomb ticks under America’s porch,        to the military. There are no longer      tax havens rose from nine to 44.               We only possess our moral           of national sovereignty, respect of
 and will devastate the dollar in a       quartermasters in the US military             The tax paid by Halliburton           authority, with which we appeal          territorial integrity and self-
 spasm of millions of individual and      – Halliburton does it all. Halliburton    went from US$302 million company          to world conscience in order to          determination, essential to just
 institutional decisions to run in the    is so large and so diverse it can train   taxes paid in 1998 to a US$85 mil-        avoid a new violation of the prin-       and peaceful co-existence among
 other direction.                         armies, arm, feed, supply and house       lion refund in 1999. (Halliburton,        ciples, which inform and guide the       nations.
     Stability is what attracted          them.                                     Dick Cheney and Wartime Spoils)           global community of nations. At               Please circulate the above state-
 the world’s capital to the United             Firstly by the shrewd manipula-                                                this very moment, a strong cam-          ment to as many people as possible.
 States. Now, the Bush men have           tion of political influence under LBJ     Halliburton in Australia                  paign of destabilization against a
 transformed the US into a dreadful       and now with Cheney’s patronage,              KBR’s global infrastructure           Latin American nation has been           To sign on, it is necessary to visit –
 engine of instability. The Pirates       this huge corporation has grown           division, headquartered in Adelaide,      unleashed. The harassment against        http://www.porcuba.cult.cu
 scream threats at the snow bank on       rich at the expense of the misery         has some 2500 staff based in 44           Cuba could serve as a pretext for        At the top, on the right, you will
 top of the mountain. Delusional,         and desperation of the poor around        offices operating in three regions        an invasion. Therefore, we call          find the word “English” in very small
 they will be amazed when it comes        the world.                                – the Americas, Europe/Africa and         upon citizens and policy makers          print. Click on it and then complete
 down on top of us. J                          Halliburton has over 20,000          Asia-Pacific.                             to uphold the universal principles       details and click on “Signature”. J

                                                                                                                                                       THE GUARDIAN             May 14 2003         7
INTERNATIONAL


 Fidel’s message to the US people
     “We do not want war”
On behalf of the one million people gathered in José Martí Revolution
Square on May Day, Cuban President Fidel Castro sent a message
to the world and to the US people at the end of his speech marking
the international workers’ day:
          by Joaquin Oramas             inhabitants has more than 10 million
    “We do not want Cuban or US         heads of cattle.
blood to be shed in a war, we do             Juan José Gerroti, Peruvian
not want an incalculable number         trade union leader, emphasised that
of lives of persons who could be        it is precisely human rights that are
friends lost in any battle. But never   respected in Cuba, and mentioned,
did a people have such sacred things    among others, education, health,
to defend, or such profound convic-     work, dignity and independence.
tions for which to fight.                    Mexican researcher and sociolo-
    “In any case, Cuba would prefer     gist Pablo González Casanova read
to vanish off the face of the Earth     out a statement signed by 96 aca-
rather than renounce the noble and      demics, artists and scientists from
generous work for which many            Latin America and other regions
generations of Cubans have paid         ratifying their support for Cuba
the elevated cost of the many lives     and denouncing the generalised
of their finest sons and daughters.     US media campaign that is part of
We are accompanied by the most          its preparation for an attack on the
profound conviction that ideas can      Caribbean island.
do more than weapons, however                The declaration affirmed that the
sophisticated and powerful they         aggression against Iraq has resulted
might be.                               in a breakdown of international
    “Let us say it like Che when he     order and called on the conscience
bade us farewell: ‘Ever onwards to      of the world to avert a new outrage
victory.’”                              of the principles that govern us.
    Students, trade union leaders            “As opposed to this we put           “We do not want Cuban or US blood shed in war”
and academics from Uruguay, Costa       forward the universal principles of
Rica, Spain, Argentina, the United      national sovereignty, respect for         friends. We have been with you in         Prime Minister, with NATO’s geno-
States, Peru, Mexico, Germany and
Cuba spoke at the rally.
    Pedro Ross, General Secretary
                                        territorial integrity and the right to
                                        self-determination, all indispensable
                                        for the just coexistence of nations”,
                                                                                  the past, we are with you in the pres-
                                                                                  ent moment of crisis and aggression
                                                                                  by our government and we shall be
                                                                                                                            cidal escalation against Yugoslavia,
                                                                                                                            and that of the former Prime
                                                                                                                            Minister of that country, Felipe
                                                                                                                                                                     Dien Bien
of the Central Organisation of
Cuban Trade Unions, ratified the
support of its more than 3.5 million
                                        it said.
                                             On behalf of the Pastors for
                                        Peace, Reverend Lucius Walker
                                                                                  with you in the future, whatever the
                                                                                  consequences might be.”
                                                                                       Cuban writer Miguel Barnet
                                                                                                                            González with the execution of ETA
                                                                                                                            members. Surprisingly, these rev-
                                                                                                                            elations have been silenced, while
                                                                                                                                                                     Phu victory
members for the measures adopted
by the revolutionary government
in defence of its sovereignty and
                                        affirmed that he had come to join
                                        his brothers and sisters in Cuba in
                                        the midst of the worst provocation
                                                                                  affirmed that in these times of mili-
                                                                                  tary threat the unity of all Cubans of
                                                                                  good will and genuine friendship is
                                                                                                                            attacks on Cuba are escalating daily.
                                                                                                                                Hans Dieter Stefan, a German
                                                                                                                            sociologist, speaking on behalf of
                                                                                                                                                                     celebrated
security in the face of US gov-         in history by a US administration.        essential.                                the old Europe and all upstanding        A grand ceremony to mark the
ernment plans against the Cuban              “But I come to state that you             It is about closing ranks against    Europeans, stated that the neo-Nazis     49th anniversary of the Dien
Revolution.                             are loved, you are respected, you         the evil forces of fascism that are       would not pass.                          Bien Phu victory against the
    Uruguayan student Fernando          are appreciated and you are sup-          destroying human beings, oppress-             Argentine Claudia Camba cited        French occupiers (May 7) was
Sosa Tais exposed the submis-           ported by part of the millions of US      ing them and alienating them, he          the charges of an illegal trial meted    held on Wednesday morning
sive policy of Jorge Battle, the        citizens who are opposed to the hos-      warned, noting the distortion of          out in the United States to the five     last week in the town of Dien
Uruguayan President, in exchange        tility, provocation and violation of      information by the media at the ser-      Cuban heroes sentenced to lengthy
for begged crumbs from the Bush         diplomatic norms of the government        vice of the forces of reaction.           prison terms there for defending the
                                                                                                                                                                     Bien, northwestern Lai Chau
regime. He affirmed that five chil-     of the United States.”                         As one recent example, he            Cuban people and US citizens from        province.
dren died of hunger in his country           He continued: “Your US friends       quoted Fidel’s exposés linking José       acts of terrorism committed by the            Trinh Long Bien, Secretary of
while that nation of three million      are real friends, not just fair-weather   María Aznar, the current Spanish          Miami mafia. J                           the provincial Party Committee,
                                                                                                                                                                     spoke about the province’s achieve-
                                                                                                                                                                     ments recorded over the past five
West Papua                                                                                                                                                           years, including a GDP growth of
                                                                                                                                                                     7-8 percent a year and the formula-


Fear for safety of detainees
                                                                                                                                                                     tion of concentrated industrial crop
                                                                                                                                                                     areas in Phong Tho, Tua Chua and
                                                                                                                                                                     Tuan Giao districts.
                                                                                                                                                                          The province has focused on
A security crackdown by Indonesian authorities in West Papua                      burnt down and inhabitants fleeing        you urge the Government to take          the construction of socio-economic
has left international agencies fearing for the safety of numerous                to the forest.                            immediate measures, in accor-            infrastructures, especially the trans-
detainees. Reports of torture and a suspicious death in custody have                   Nine members of Kodim 1702           dance with its obligations under         port network, schools, hospitals and
led to calls for Indonesian Police and Military to honour human                   have also been arrested in connec-        the UN Convention against Torture        other public utilities.
rights obligations in the occupied territory.                                     tion with the attack and are now          and Other Cruel and Inhuman or                A number of key projects,
                                                                                  detained at the Headquarters of the       Degrading Treatment or Punishment        including hydro-power and irriga-
    Indonesian forces have long his-    in an armed attack on the Indonesian      Military Police in Jayapura.              which it has ratified, to undertake an   tion stations, airport, paper and
tory in West Papua of serious human     Military District Command (Kodim               There is no information about        immediate, effective and impartial       cement plants, are under construc-
rights violations, including extraju-   1702) in Wamena on April 4.               the treatment of the nine, but there      investigation of the allegations of      tion, thus helping improve ethnic
dicial executions, “disappearances”,         All of the detainees are reported    are concerns for their safety. Two of     torture, including of Mikael Heselo      minority people’s living conditions,
torture and arbitrary detentions.       to be badly bruised as a result of        them have been charged with direct        and the other six detainees and of       Mr Bien stressed.
    West Papua (formerly called         beatings and torture that occurred        involvement in the attack and may         the death of Yapenas Murib which              He added that the province also
“Irian Jaya” and now “Papua” by         whilst in custody.                        face the death penalty.                   is alleged to have resulted from         paid attention to building the Party
Indonesia) was transferred from              One of the detainees, Mikael                                                   torture.                                 and other people’s organisations.
Dutch to Indonesian colonialisation     Heselo, reportedly had a thumbnail                                                                                                In preparation for the 50th
during 1962-63, after eight years       torn out, his fingers were placed         Call for urgent action                    Please send your appeals to:
                                                                                                                                                                     victory anniversary next year, Lai
of failed negotiations in the United    under the legs of a table and his             Amnesty International is call-        Chief of Police                          Chau worked out five tasks for
Nations.                                shins kicked.                             ing for appeals to be sent to the         Insp. Gen. Budi Utomo                    political and socio-economic devel-
    Under the 1963 agreement,                Yapenus Murib, who was               Indonesian Chief of Police and the        Head of Regional Police Papua            opment, focusing on a program on
Indonesia promised to hold a refer-     arrested in connection with the           National Human Rights Commission          Jl. Sam Ratulangie No. 8                 socio-economic development in
endum of the Papuan people on the       attack, died in military custody on       as quickly as possible.                   Jayapura, Papua, Indonesia               500 specially difficult villages and
independence issue.                     April 14 or 15, allegedly as a result         You can express your concerns         Fax: +62 967 531717                      the resettlement of people from the
    No referendum was ever held.        of torture.                               at reports that Mikael Heselo and                                                  construction site of Son La hydro-
Instead, in 1969, Indonesia hand-            They are among at least 22           the six other civilian detainees          The Chairman                             power plant.
picked a council of 1026 members        people who are known to have been         named above have been subjected           National Human Rights                         On this occasion, activities to
to represent all the Papuan people.     arrested during joint police and          to torture and call on the authorities    Commission (Komnas HAM)                  celebrate the victory were organised
When a vote was held the council,       military operations to find those         to provide guarantees that they, and      Abdul Hakim Garuda Nusantara             in the province, including the inau-
not surprisingly, chose unanimously     responsible for the attack.               the nine military detainees, will not     Jl Latuharhary No. 4B                    guration of a 9300 kW hydro-power
to remain under Indonesian control.          Security force operations are        be subjected to further torture or ill-   Menteng, Jakarta Pusat 10310             plant and the launch of a website
    Seven civilians have been           still continuing in the Wamena area       treatment.                                Indonesia                                on provincial rural and agricultural
detained, accused of being involved     and have resulted in houses being             Amnesty is also asking that           Fax: + 62 21 3925227 J                   development. (VNA) J

      8     THE GUARDIAN            May 14 2003
                                                                                                                                                           INTERNATIONAL


European CPs to discuss
program of actions to save the world
A meeting of ten European Communist Parties held at the end of                 movement and the trade union
April discussed the international situation following the US and               movement on the basis of social
British war and the occupation of Iraq.                                        demands and the movements oppos-
                                                                               ing NATO and the militarisation of
     They concluded that the aggres-   strategy of safeguarding not only       the EU.
siveness of the USA is growing.        US interests but especially, Israeli        Some participants expressed the
“Efforts to colonise strategic         interests in the Arab world.            view that there was a need for a new
regions of our world are taking on          Some speakers stressed that the    European political subject (move-
an open and in no way hidden form.     peoples of Europe are facing new        ment, organisation?) capable of
The USA ignores international          threats in the form of militarisa-      promoting these demands and social
organisations, international law,      tion of the European Union (EU),        movements providing alternatives.
Geneva Conventions and public          increased military expenditure,             Through demonstrations and
opinion”, said a statement issued by   intensification of inter-imperialist    strikes and the blocking of US
the Parties.                           rivalries and NATO’s expanded           “transports of death”, these move-
     The statement went on: The        role.                                   ments had overwhelmingly con-
war in Iraq represented a dangerous         The lying campaign conducted       demned the direct involvement,
blow to the legitimacy of the inter-   by the US before the attack on Iraq,    support or acceptance by European
national institutions which emerged    especially regarding weapons of         governments and the EU of the
after World War II and a dangerous     mass destruction, will now be used      war and “facilities” provided to the
precedent which can be repeated at     against Iraq’s neighbours, or they      USA despite general opposition
any time and in any place.             may even think up another pretext.      to the war, with or without a UN
     Leaders of the US administra-          The strategic aims of the          resolution.
tion have made threats against Syria   USA remain to impose its hege-              In a situation in which world
and Iran, and it is only a question    mony, secure strategic raw material     peace and humanity’s security are
of time before they act on these       resources and remove its economic       threatened, the communists will
threats.                               rivals from other centres of world      have a big role to play, a role that
     Some speakers stressed the        business.                               cannot be played without a desir-
opinion that the war against Iraq
showed that the different attitudes
of certain imperialist big powers
                                            If, during the period of the bi-
                                       polar world, the US used the whip
                                       and sugar to pursue its interests,
                                                                               able level of co-ordination. In this
                                                                               direction many specific possibilities
                                                                               for joint projects open to the parties
                                                                                                                                           Global briefs
before the war reflected the differ-   today it has begun to use the whip      were discussed.
ent interests of these big powers      more than the sugar.                    The parties taking part were:
both in Iraq and throughout the             The US can occupy Iraq, unleash                                             SYRIA: Syrian Foreign Minister Faruk al-Shara warned that
                                                                               • Communist Party of Bohemia and         the invasion and occupation of Iraq was a “catastrophic war
Middle East.                           civil war, divide Iraq and appoint            Moravia,
     When the war became a fact, the   a collaborationist government, but                                               that will lead to chaos”, in an interview published by the Ital-
                                                                               • Georgi Dimitrov Bulgarian
attitudes of the big powers began to   such moves will never be acceptable           Communist Party,
                                                                                                                        ian daily Corriere della Sera. “The war was badly planned,
change [as they attempted] to main-    to the Iraqi people and the world’s                                              the opinions of the countries in the region were ignored,
tain their friendship with the US      democratic and progressive public.      • Party of Democratic Socialism,
                                                                                     Germany,                           mediation was not sought, nor the passive acceptance of
administration in order to protect     Demonstrations by thousands of                                                   neighbouring countries (Turkey, Syria and Iran), but the
as many of their interests as they     Iraqis show that the Iraqi people       • Communist Party of Greece,
                                                                                                                        United States allowed itself to be carried away by hatred,
could.                                 have already begun their resistance     • Refoundation Communist Party,
                                                                                                                        prejudice and a desire for revenge”, the Foreign Minister said.
     The war showed the great gap      to the US occupation.                         Italy,
which exists between the Arab               The participants stressed the      • Portuguese Communist Party,
nation and the Arab regimes. It        paramount importance of the new                                                  IRAQ: The USA construction corporation Fluor is tipped to
                                                                               • Communist Party of Russian             land a massive reconstruction deal in Iraq. The company
can be expected that major politi-     elements characterised by the                 Federation,
cal changes will take place in this    European and world-wide anti-war                                                 is currently facing a multi-million dollar lawsuit alleging that
region.                                movement, the imperative need to        • Communist Party of Slovakia,           it exploited and brutalised Black workers in apartheid-
     With this war the USA opened      strengthen it and establish stable      • Communist Party of Spain               era South Africa. Lawyers acting for thousands of victims
a new phase of its geopolitical        relations with the anti-globalisation   • United People’s Party, Spain J         of the racist regime are to file a detailed suit in the USA.
                                                                                                                        One of the charges is that Fluor hired security guards
                                                                                                                        dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes to attack unarmed work-
Canada                                                                                                                  ers who were protesting about poor pay and conditions.



Health workers under attack
                                                                                                                        IRAQ: The US military has banned the anti-war and solidar-
                                                                                                                        ity organisation Voices in the Wilderness from meeting with
                                                                                                                        military personnel or international journalists working out of
                                                                                                                        the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad after the group criticised the
At the end of another dismal rainy season, it’s still open season on           the deal in balloting that will be       lack of humanitarian intervention in Iraq. The ban came less
organised labour in British Columbia. Thousands of workers are                 completed by mid-May. Allnutt            than 24 hours after the organisation issued a press release
facing new employer threats on the west coast, including hospital              expects that the tentative agreement     charging that rubbish removal in Baghdad hasn’t occurred
employees and workers in the retail and forestry sectors.                      will be controversial.                   for a month, seriously damaged electricity, sanitation and
                                                                                   “After all”, he said, “these         communications services have not been restored in the Iraqi
         by Kimball Cariou             government has agreed to cap the        workers already ratified a collec-       capital, outbreaks of cholera have been reported in the cities
    One of the biggest blows           number of positions that can be         tive agreement with the expectation
since the election of the Campbell     contracted out”, said Chris Allnutt,    that government would respect it.        of Basra and Hilla and damaged health centres lacking es-
Liberals in 2001 has been directed     HEU secretary-business manager.         Instead, the BC Liberals shredded        sential medicines and quality control equipment could lead
at the Hospital Employees Union            “At the same time, we’ve also       those contracts to pave the way          to epidemics resulting from contaminated blood products.
(HEU). Premier Campbell told           gained access to better severance       for their reckless agenda of cuts,
the union before the election that     provisions and more bumping             closures and privatisation. And          PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Members of the Kananam com-
he would not rip up their collec-      options for laid off workers.”          thousands of skilled, experienced        munity (Madang, PNG) have formed the Idawad Association
tive agreements, only to break             Achieved through “intense and       health care workers – most of them       to protest against the development of a huge tuna cannery
that promise and virtually declare     difficult negotiations”, the agree-     women who’ve made valuable con-          on their land. The wholly Filipino owned company R D Tuna
the HEU his government’s main          ment “is not our ideal outcome”,        tributions to our health care system     has gained access to a wharf facility on Kananam land after
enemy.                                 said Allnutt, speaking for the multi-   – may still lose their jobs.”            a deal with the Catholic Church and the Madang Provincial
    Now, facing a massive privatisa-   union Health Services and Support           Savings from the agreement           Government. The Kananam landowners are furious at the
tion drive which could wipe out as     Facilities Bargaining Association.      are estimated at about $500 million
many as 20,000 jobs, the HEU has           “But it is a practical solution     over three years. Allnutt said health    deal struck behind their backs and point out that the cannery
reluctantly agreed to $1 an hour pay   that provides our members and the       authorities should weigh these gains     presents a serious pollution threat to their lagoon, wetlands,
cuts for some of its 46,000 mem-       public with a measure of stability      against the considerable risks of con-   water and air. Workers are paid very low wages (less than
bers, a longer work week (with no      and certainty in the face of govern-    tracting out critical services. Legal    US$2 a day) and unions are banned. RD Tuna ships are
increase in pay), cancelled wage       ment policies that are causing chaos    efforts by health care unions to have    encouraging prostitution trade in the Kananam commu-
increases, and other concessions.      in health care.”                        Campbell’s contract-breaking Bill        nity; all senior managers are Filipino and all profits are sent
    A tentative framework agree-           The deal would extend the cur-      29 declared unconstitutional will        to the Philippines; RD Tuna does not pay any tax in PNG.
ment reached with the government       rent collective agreement by two        continue.
in mid-April will mitigate the         years to March 31, 2006, and cap            Allnutt said the framework           It is for these reasons that the Kananam community is
impact of contracting out on union     contracting out at 3500 full-time       agreement forms part of the unions’      launching an international campaign to boycott the RD
members and the public, according      equivalents, or 5000 jobs, much         strategy to mitigate the impact of
                                                                                                                        Tuna products. They are traded under the names: Ome-
to HEU leaders.                        less than the government’s original     contracting out on health care work-
    “In exchange for forgone wage      target of 20,000 jobs.                  ers while the case works its way         ga, Tovos, Loreley, Goddess, Cana, La Miranda, Adria,
and pay equity increases, longer           The unions have recommended         through the courts.                      Everday, Diana, Le Pecheur, Les Doris, La Perla, and Osprey.
hours of work and wage reductions,     that their members vote to approve      People’s Voice   J

                                                                                                                                           THE GUARDIAN          May 14 2003      9
LETTERS
Workers of                                period of indefinite war – of which      Best documentary                          images and the words, the won-             Traineeships
the world …                               the already planned invasions of         ever                                      derful achievements of the Soviet          exposed
                                          Afghanistan and Iraq were but the                                                  Party, now so widely and cheaply
It seems to be the general opinion        opening stages.                          I have just seen what seems to            denigrated, emerge with startling          I have always been a bit
that the conflict grows sharper                The working class responded         me to be, with the benefit of my          and still inspiring clarity.               suspicious of these so-called
and the battle lines ever more            – demonstrating in their millions        personal knowledge of world                                     Max Whisson          traineeships. Now, I have had
clearly defined.                          throughout the world – they not          events in the last 60 odd years,                                Subiaco, WA          my suspicions confirmed by
                                          only rejected the first stages – they    the best documentary film ever                                                       what I have heard of the abuse
    No, I am not talking about the        rejected the concept of war totally.     shown on television: The Children                                                    of traineeships reported to a
war on Iraq – that is only a part of           NO MORE WAR.                        of Russia, shown on SBS.                  Reclaiming                                 Senate Committee.
the conflict. I am thinking of, with           These demonstrations on their                                                 the Future
all due respect to the Iraqi people       own will not halt the capitalist war-         It is long and much of it is in                                                     If I didn’t know capitalism any
and the death and destruction they        mongers – but there is a healthy sign    Spanish, with English subtitles, but      Like many Australians I am                 better, I would say it was beyond
have endured, that is only a “prelim”     that the communist parties through-      if you ever get a chance to see it, do    deeply concerned at the way the            belief. But, on second thoughts,
– a curtain raiser – a time for trying    out the world are leading the charge     so. It is the story of the children of    PM appears to be giving away               what else would you expect!
out new tactics and new weapons.          to organise and co-ordinate these        Spanish communists.                       our national sovereignty in the                Apparently a clothing company
    No the conflict I am referring        mass demonstrations into a uni-               As Franco advanced, with the         name of free trade.                        has helped itself to nearly half a
to has been racing for decades            fied whole which then becomes the        aid of the German blitzkrieg, the             The past decade of legislation         million taxpayer dollars for signing
sometimes very openly but mainly          super superpower and will run the        parents made an extremely painful         has damaged work, health care,             existing staff over to traineeships in
silently but deeply.                      world for the benefit of humanity.       decision to send their children to the    education, welfare programs and            skills they already possessed.
    It was never declared and never            No system can operate without       Soviet Union to save their lives.         Human Rights. It has created huge              An airline ticketing operation
openly acknowledged – in fact there       its workers. The more workers come            The Soviet people cared for          underemployment and public inse-           took off with $60,000 after employ-
have been occasions when some             in contact in the demonstrations         them, educated them and loved             curity for many citizens who are           ing 44 staff as trainees and sacked
(from both sides too) have declared       with the better informed com-            them in a way which is difficult          robbed of a living wage.                   the lot before their 13-week trainee-
it doesn’t exist, that it is not hap-     munists and regular readers of           to imagine in any country today,              The working poor is a reality          ships expired
pening!                                   communist papers, the more and           except possibly Cuba.                     in Australia today. We need to save            A fast food franchise which
    I am referring of course to the       more will they unite.                         Then the fascists entered the        ourselves from the global economy.         helped itself to $1375 for a trainee,
class war – between the exploiter              Forward the revolution!             Soviet Union and the children again       Global Trade will not save the             who received no training and was
and the exploited – the capitalist and    Workers of the world you are ready       suffered hardship, but many were          Australian way of life, it will kill it.   sacked just prior to the end of the
the worker.                               to unite and take your rightful place    now old enough to help defeat the             Australians have always been           training contract.
    The capitalists threw down            as runners of the earth.                 fascists.                                 proud of their work ethic. Today               Does the government moni-
the gauntlet – raised the ante with                             B Appleton              They later (1963) returned to        too many chains bind us to the US.         tor what happens to handouts to
their declaration of the coming of a                     Killcare Hts, NSW         Spain but were oppressed by the           Where is the advantage to Australian       industry? How many other bogus
                                                                                   CIA and could not find work.              farmers, steel workers, and the com-       schemes are there? And how many
                                   Sydney                                               Some later returned to what was      munity at large when all services are      unemployed are there who would
                     Auburn Peace Picnic                                           left of Russia and were appalled to       privatised?                                appreciate an opportunity to be
                                                                                   find that it had been corrupted and           This Americanisation of                trained and gain work experience?
                       Sunday 25 May 11am – 4 pm
                       Auburn Botanical Gardens
                                                                                   destroyed, with people begging in         Australia must be stopped. While                              June Hamilton
               Corner of Chisholm and Chiswick Rds, Auburn
                                                                                   the streets.                              the US Senate discusses Australia’s                           Melbourne, Vic
                                                                                        Some later went to Cuba, some        economy why is it not being dis-
                         Bring a picnic lunch and join us
                    for an afternoon of fun and entertainment
                                                                                   again back to Spain. It is a story of     cussed in our Parliament? Have we
                                                                                   love for humanity and love for life,      no say in the matter?                           Got something to say?
                Organised by Auburn Community Peace Group
             Enquiries Ph: Edward 0414 761618 or Tony 9649 7768                    beautifully and honestly recorded.                              Mary Jenkins                Up to 400 words preferred.
                                                                                        Through it all, behind the                                 UPU WA Inc




  Culture
   & Life
“Liberation”
The Bush administration and
its compliant media sought
from the beginning to portray
the US invasion of Iraq as
“liberation”. The Iraqis were
supposedly going to rise up
and welcome the US and British
(and Australian) liberators with
garlands of flowers and tears in
their eyes.                               ers, Pentagon media manipulation         the US solders shot two Sudanese          have developed considerable exper-         other precious artefacts is of little
         by Rob Gowland                   swung into overdrive. How they did       guards posted in front of a local         tise over the last few decades or          concern to imperialism.
                                          it is recounted by Khaled Bayomi.        administrative building on the other      so in manipulating the poor and                In fact, there is plenty of evi-
    Well, there were tears in their            Bayomi lives in Sweden but          side of the Haifa Avenue.                 especially the very poor in coun-          dence that the looting of the Iraqi
eyes all right, but they were not         went to Baghdad as a volunteer                “I was just 300 meters away          tries as diverse as Chile, Somalia,        National Museum, an act that
tears of joy. Desperate for footage       “human shield”, arriving on the          when the guards where murdered.           Yugoslavia, Zimbabwe and El                appalled the world, was in fact well
of “liberated” Iraqis during the US       same day the fighting began. He          Then they shot the building               Salvador – to name only some.              organised by a group from the USA.
advance on Baghdad, the Yank mili-        subsequently told the Swedish paper      entrance to pieces, and their Arabic          Nothing helps imperialism sell         It seems there were two waves of
tary staged “joyous looting of food       Dagens Nyheter how he watched as         translators in the tanks told the         its policies to its own people so          looting of the Museum.
consignments” for the embedded            “the US forces told people to com-       people to run ‘for grabs’ inside the      well as images of “the wrath of the            The first was by a well-organ-
TV journalists to film.                   mence looting”.                          building.                                 people” being visited upon some            ised, well armed criminal gang, who
    Eager young men were shown                 “I had visited a few friends             “Word spread rapidly, and the        hapless government that is imperial-       knew where in the museum the real
pillaging the contents of large           that live in a worn-down area just       offices were cleaned out. Moments         ism’s current target.                      treasures had been stored for safe-
vans and containers. No attempt           beyond Haifa Avenue, on the west         later tanks broke down the doors to           It has other advantages for            keeping. They knew who had the
was made to stop them or even to          bank of the Tigris River. It was         the Justice Department, which was         imperialism, too. It absolves the          keys, and most importantly, they
make the distribution of the goods        April 8, and the fighting was so         located in a neighbouring building,       invading power from any charge of          knew what they wanted.
orderly.                                  heavy I couldn’t make it over to the     and the looting was carried forward       “making war on civilians”, since the           They took only authentic pieces
    The US army, armed to the             other side of the river.                 into there as well.                       destruction is ostensibly the work of      and ignored replicas. Some were
teeth, was right there and could               “In the afternoon, though, it            “I was standing in a big crowd       the local population.                      well-dressed with mobile phones
easily have done it. A single burst       became perfectly quiet, and four         of civilians that saw all this together       In Yugoslavia, the people who          and radios and communicated with
of machine-gun fire from a US             American tanks pulled up into posi-      with me. They did not take any part       led the “spontaneous” attacks on           persons unknown about what to
tank would have scattered the             tion on the outskirts of the slum        in the looting, but were too afraid       the offices of the Socialist Party         “secure”. Their loot was taken away
“looters” and turned them into            area. From these tanks we heard          to take any action against it. Many       of Serbia in the various towns and         in a convoy of waiting vehicles.
a meek group willing to receive           anxious calls in Arabic, which told      of them had tears of shame in their       cities all had the well-muscled                Only after they had left did the
whatever the US soldiers wanted           the population to come closer.           eyes.                                     build and carriage of out-of-uniform       “mob” appear, getting away with
to distribute.                                 “During the morning, everyone            “The next morning, the looting       soldiers – but in which particular         whatever they could carry.
    But there was no such action          who tried to cross the streets had       spread to the Museum of Modern            country’s army, one wonders.                   The National Museum had been
from the US military, because they        been fired upon. But during this         Art, which lies another 500 metres            This kind of looting destroys          made the safe repository for the
needed those shots of “looting”           strange silence people eventually        to the north. There as well, two          the ability of the “enemy adminis-         most important relics from the other
Iraqis.                                   became curious.                          crowds were present – one that was        tration” to organise the people to         museums in the country, so the
    When the “Allied” armies                   “After three-quarters of an hour,   looting, and another one that saw         resist. That it also destroys historical   spoils were remarkably rich.
entered Baghdad itself and still          the first Baghdad citizens dared         this disgrace happen.”                    records, torches historic buildings,           So what was this US group? Tell
there were no garlands of flow-           to come forward. At that moment               The US and its acolyte Britain       and cloaks the theft of cultural and       you next week. J

      10     THE GUARDIAN                May 14 2003
                                                                                                                                                                              WORTH WATCHING

    Rob Gowland                                  A journalist as well as a nov-
                                            elist, he early became a social
            previews                        reformer. He regularly walked long
                                            distances through the streets of
 ABC & SBS public                           London, observing the hordes of
                                            homeless children huddled at night
 television programs                        in doorways, often within sight of
                                            the mansions of the well-to-do.
         Sun May 18 ~                            He saw poor people offering
                                            their daughters for sale to “fine
         ~ Sat May 24                       gentlemen”, people living on streets
When I was a boy, Charles                   piled high with human excrement,
Dickens was considered the                  people living amidst brutality and
greatest novelist in the English            appalling poverty who could still
language. He had been so                    find things to laugh at in their lives.
                                                 He was an unparalleled
considered for over 100 years.              observer, noting everything and (he
     Certainly he was the most popu-        claimed) forgetting nothing. The
lar. His books were read not only by        people and scenes that he witnessed
the intelligentsia but above all by         he incorporated into his books, with
the people.                                 a truth and a sympathy that his read-
     This was not only a tribute to         ers, especially his working class
his skill as a writer (although he          readers, could readily identify with.
was in Oscar Wilde’s memorable                   “There never was a writer
phrase “a lord of language”), it was        less inclined to lock himself up
also the recognition that, as well          in an ivory tower, or to profess
as the comic invention and the              the doctrine of ‘art for art’s sake’;
vivid, unforgettable characteris-           he wanted to be read by as many
ations, his novels stood boldly and         people as possible and, to that end,
unapologetically on the side of the         carefully arranged his fictions to
poor and oppressed in society.              appeal as much to the reading clubs
     His heroes as well as his inci-        of working-class men as to the soli-
dental characters had to work for           tary study of the bishop or doctor”
their living, just as his readers did       – Peter Ackroyd.
and as Dickens himself had had to                And it was not just Britain that
do from the age of 12.                      he observed. In 1842 he sailed to
     The industrial revolution had          the USA, expecting “to encounter               A passionate work with an unconventional heroine – Daniel Deronda
brought great wealth to the British         a young and optimistic republic”
ruling class, but it was paid for by        but “his visit to the ‘low’ areas of           a black overcoat imparting informa-      novels (and with David Copperfield             Like everything she did,
the British working class, confined         New York, and to its central prison,           tion and drawing unsubstantiated         to some extent it was).                   however, Daniel Deronda is a
in teeming, indescribably filthy
towns and cities, their children
fortunate if they could get a job
                                            known as the Tombs, convinced him
                                            that life for the poor was no differ-
                                            ent from, and in certain respects
                                                                                           conclusions in equal part. Someone
                                                                                           with a little more verve would have
                                                                                           helped enormously.
                                                                                                                                        T    he other major literary pro-
                                                                                                                                             gram this week is a BBC
                                                                                                                                    adaptation in four parts of George
                                                                                                                                                                              passionate work with an uncon-
                                                                                                                                                                              ventional heroine (a little like
                                                                                                                                                                              Eliot herself). The novel has been
working from dawn to dark in a fac-         a great deal worse than, that in                    The other conceit is more funda-    Eliot’s last novel, Daniel Deronda        adapted for television by Andrew
tory, mine or mill.                         London” – Peter Ackroyd.                       mental: the filmmakers have chosen       (ABC 8.30pm Sundays).                     Davies, who rose to fame with
     “The number of child prostitutes            He privately railed against               to present acted “interviews” with           George Eliot, as everyone             what I thought was a deeply flawed
in the streets, and of child labour-        slavery and publicly engaged in                Dickens (Anton Lesser), his wife         knows, was the pen name of the            adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride
ers in the mines and factories, was         vociferous attacks on the US prac-             (Miriam Margolyes), his friend and       19th century English writer Mary          and Prejudice.
a terrible indictment of Victorian          tice of pirating the works of foreign          biographer John Foster (Kenneth          Ann Evans (1819-1880). Originally              On the big screen, he had a
‘civilisation’, which seemed to have        authors, his own included. He had              Cranham) and several other friends       a pious Evangelical, she came             smash hit with Bridget Jones Diary
built upon the shuddering backs             been lionised on arrival in the US,            and family members.                      under the influence of the free-          (and has just written a sequel to it)
of oppressed innocents” – Peter             but his criticisms outraged the news-               Although these are all authentic,   thinkers but remained strongly            but I thought it a very poor effort.
Ackroyd, Dickens, Public Life and           paper barons who were among the                in that they are based on published      influenced by religious concepts of            I find it significant that the
Private Passion.                            worst literary bootleggers, happily            letters, reminiscences, etc, they are    love and duty.                            press, when dealing with Davies’
     Peter Ackroyd is the writer and        printing his works in unauthorised             presented as though television exist-        She translated Feuerbach’s            period adaptations usually talk
presenter of the three-part docudra-        editions and not paying Dickens (or            ed in Dickens’ time, giving them a       Essence of Christianity into English      about the costumes more than the
ma series Dickens (ABC 7.30pm               any other foreign author) a penny.             jarring unreality.                       and endorsed his view that religious      writing. And of course, the sets and
Sundays).                                        It is indeed a pity, then, that                Lesser is very good as Dickens,     belief is an imaginative necessity for    costumes in Daniel Deronda are all
     At a time when half the funerals       Dickens is such an unsatisfying pro-           but I found the early part of the        man and a projection of his interest      one could ask for.
in London were of children, the 12-         duction. This is due to two conceits           first episode tiresomely “pre-           in his own species.                            Understanding of the theme,
year-old Dickens was sent to work           in its making: the first, the decision         cious”. However, bear with it, for           Her beliefs underlie the sub-         comprehension of the characters
in a blacking factory. Although he          to have Peter Ackroyd as on-screen             it improves as Dickens’ own story        stance of her novels, although her        and their motivation is, for Davies,
was to escape this environment of           presenter of the program.                      carries you along.                       readers were usually only vaguely         as much of a hit and miss affair as it
noxious fumes and relentless toil                Ackroyd is a stolid, stiff figure              As someone said, his life could     aware of them. I readily confess that     was in Pride and Prejudice. But it is
relatively soon, he never forgot it.        who stumps through the program in              well have been one of his own            I am not a fan of Eliot.                  still quite worth watching. J


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                                                                                                                                                           THE GUARDIAN               May 14 2003         11
                                                                                                                                           THE WORKERS’ WEEKLY
                                                                                                                                       COMMUNIST PARTY OF AUSTRALIA




                              Salute to Walter Sisulu
In a moving tribute to Walter Sisulu who died on May 5, just                        apartheid regime in the killing fields
days before his 91st birthday, the General Secretary of the South                   of KwaZulu Natal.
African Communist Party Blade Nzaminde said, “A giant has left                           The gravity of the situation
us”. Blade continued:                                                               threw up very sharp tactical differ-
                                                                                    ences within the ANC itself in that
     In his life and personality,          and working together with commu-         province in the late 1980s and early
in his easy-going non-racialism,           nist giants like Moses Kotane, JB        1990s. How much emphasis should
unpretentious humility and passion         Marks, Yusuf Dadoo and Michael           be placed on trying to talk peace
for justice, Walter Sisulu embodied        Harmel, he gradually changed his         with the Inkatha Freedom Party and
the core values of the struggle that       attitude.                                the police? Or should the empha-
liberated our country.                          In his last year, comrade Walter    sis be on building self-defence
     Comrade Walter is synonymous          chose to reveal his longstanding         structures?
with more than half a century of           association with the Communist                The two options were not neces-
ANC-led mass struggles. He was a           Party. He was recruited to Party         sarily in contradiction, but there was
rural boy, son of a domestic worker,       membership in 1955 and later             a great deal of disagreement on how
later an urban worker, nurtured            became a member of the Central           to combine the two and on the rela-
within the ranks of the ANC, and           Committee.                               tive weight to be placed on each.
became one of the foremost archi-               In 1960, he was centrally                Comrade Mandela and the
tects of a non-racial, non-sexist and      involved in the launching of the         National Executive Committee
revolutionary organisation.                armed struggle. Arrested, he joined      of the ANC sent Walter Sisulu on
     In 1949, when he assumed the          Comrade Mandela in making a              more than one occasion to assist.
position of ANC Secretary General          brave, defiant speech from the dock,     He patiently listened to all points of
on a full-time basis (he was the first     fully expecting to be sentenced          view and was a great facilitator in
to serve full-time in this post), there    to death. He was sentenced to life       trying to build a common strategic
were still strong reservations among       imprisonment and served, mostly on       and tactical approach in one of the
significant sections of the ANC            Robben Island, for 25 years.             most difficult moments in the his-
leadership about working with other             Together with his fellow-           tory of our revolution.
racial groups committed to change          inmates, he refused to be broken by           Some of us were fascinated by
in our country.                            the barbarism of the prison regime.      his ability to engage a militant like
     Walter Sisulu distinguished him-      With his comrades, he struggled to       the late Comrade Harry Gwala, we
self as a promoter and defender of         transform prison into what became        were impressed at how the latter
the revolutionary alliance between         known as the “people’s university”,      would sit and listen to his coun-
the national liberation movement,          conducting political classes and,        sel and views. That was Comrade
the Communist Party and the trade          later, teaching the younger cadres       Walter Sisulu at work!
union movement.                            about the ANC and what it stood               In the midst of all this, Sisulu
     He was in the thick of the major      for.                                     was a loving husband, father, and
struggles in the 1950s that forged              In honour of these traditions and   grandfather. Our hearts go out to
the Alliance into a fighting machine.      of this giant, the SACP pledges to       Mama Sisulu, a leader in her own
He helped to overcome a deeply             continue conducting political class-     right and a pillar of strength to
anti-communist sentiment found             es as an integral part of our struggle   younger activists, and to the Sisulu
within the ranks of our movement           to transform our country and build a     family.
at the time.                               better life for all.                          A thoroughly democratic South
     As a founding member of the                Comrade Walter Sisulu must          Africa is the best monument that
ANC Youth League, comrade                  surely rank as one of the greatest       we can build in honour of Comrade
Walter had shared the same origi-          unifiers in our movement, a patient      Walter. Let us honour him by deep-
nal anti-communist sentiments of           listener and a caring revolutionary.     ening the struggle for a better life for
the early leadership collective.           Some of us had the opportunity to        all, and most critically by tackling,
But, and sooner than some of the           work with him in the midst of the        collectively, the twin challenges of
others, through concrete struggles         bitterest violence unleashed by the      jobs and poverty eradication.” J           Comrade Walter Sisulu




   ABC: Howard’s latest political appointee
The Federal Government is determined to destroy our national                        the Stolen Generations. He has also            “In Australasia the largest think          “John Stone, a former Secretary
public broadcaster by whatever means it can. Budget cuts and                        written scathing criticisms of Mabo        tank is the Sydney-based Centre for        of the Treasury, is a consultant to
stacking the ABC Board with pro-privatisation Liberal Party                         and the Royal Commission into              Independent Studies (CIS), estab-          the IPA and Dame Leonie Kramer,
mates and other reactionaries have already eroded its ability to                    Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and           lished in 1976….                           Chancellor of the University of
provide an independent and quality service. So it is not surprising                 treated the “secret women’s busi-              “Another prominent Australian          Sydney, has headed one of the
that the newest appointment to the ABC Board is in keeping with                     ness” of the Ngarrindjeri women            conservative think tank, and the           IPA’s units. The IPA’s current units
                                                                                    during Hindmarsh Island struggle as        oldest, is the Institute of Public         are on Deregulation, Economic
this trend.                                                                         a fabrication.                             Affairs (IPA). The IPA describes           Policy, Indigenous Issues and
    The new man, Ron Brunton, has              “Ron Brunton is an ideological           He came to the defence of the          itself as ‘a political organisation in     Environmental Policy.
been named as the replacement for          zealot. He’s been put on the ABC         murdered Dutch neo-fascist politi-         the sense that it influences the politi-       “A number of Australian
Liberal Party hack Michael Kroeger         Board by John Howard to turn             cian Pim Fortuyn who called on             cal agenda’ but claims that it ‘avoids     think tanks are modelled on US
whose five-year term expired in            it into a propaganda arm of the          Muslim immigrants to assimilate to         political-party partisanship’.             think tanks and have close ties
February.                                  Howard Government”, Mr Tanner            Dutch society and culture.                     “It stands for, among other            with some of them, including
    Brunton’s appointment brought a        said.                                        Dr Brunton’s association with          things, ‘less regulation and smaller       the Heritage Foundation, the
strong reaction from the Community             As far as the Government is          IPA would be an asset from the point       government generally’ and ‘rational        Cato Institute and the American
and Public Sector Union (CPSU).            concerned Mr Brunton has a lot           of view of the Howard Government.          economic policies’.                        Enterprise Institute.
    Graeme Thomson, CPSU ABC               going for him.                                                                          “Almost one third of IPA’s $1.5            “The Institute of Public Policy,
section Secretary, pointed out that            Brunton, an anthropologist, is                                                  million annual budget comes from           now amalgamated with the IPA,
Ron Brunton “… has neither the             well-known for his virulent attacks      Australian Think Tanks                     mining and manufacturing compa-            modelled itself on the Heritage
broadcasting experience nor the            on Indigenous rights. He was a               Sharon Beder writing in the            nies. It has 700 corporate members         Foundation as well as the British
business and financial skills to jus-      senior fellow at the Institute of        Arena magazine (No 41, June/               and 3,000 individual members,              IEA …”
tify his seat on the Board. As part        Public Affairs (IPA) and the govern-     July 1999, pp 30-32) on the “The           some of whom are subscribers to its            As Graeme Thomson pointed
of the Institute of Public Affairs – a     ment intelligence agency, the Office     Intellectual Sorcery of Think Tanks”       various publications. Its council has      out his union has been calling for an
right wing think-tank – he has been        of National Assessments. He is cur-      said: “Think tanks are generally pri-      included Murdoch as well as other          end to the system of stacking of the
an unrelenting critic of the ABC.          rently the director of Encompass         vate, tax-exempt research institutes       conservative business leaders.             ABC Board and in its place a fair
    “He is on record as saying he          Research, a conservative organi-         which present themselves as provid-            “Like many of the US conserva-         and open selection process for those
has no sense of pride in the national      sation dealing with native title,        ing impartial disinterested expertise.     tive think tanks, the IPA has good         positions.
broadcaster and wants limits placed        immigration and environmental                “However, they are generally           connections in the media via right-            “It should be the best person for
on its editorial independence”, Mr         issues.                                  partisan, politically or ideologically     wing commentators with regular             the job, not just fixing up a mate to
Thomson said.                                  His articles have appeared in        motivated, and practice the art of         columns in major newspapers. It also       act as a propagandist for the party in
    Labor’s        Communications          the conservative Quadrant magazine       ‘directed conclusions’, tailoring          has good political connections. Its        power at the time”, he said.
spokesman Lindsay Tanner said that         where he has been highly critical of     their studies to suit their clients or     staff includes former senior public            The ABC is in trouble, that’s
the appointment was a disgrace.            the Bringing Them Home report on         donors.                                    officials and former politicians.          for sure. J

       12    THE GUARDIAN                 May 14 2003

				
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Description: Budget Coverage flu jitters