Uni staff fight for rights by nyut545e2

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									                     COMMUNIST PARTY OF AUSTRALIA                                October 1 2003 No.1157 $1.50 THE WORKERS’ WEEKLY ISSN 1325-295X




Funding blackmail
             Uni staff fight for rights
Australia’s universities are seething with anger at the
Howard Government’s latest industrial blackmail
concerning university industrial relations. The
government has notified universities that their access
to an extra $414 million in funding will be conditional
on them introducing harsh new industrial relations
practices.

             by Peter Mac                The agreement included provision
     Under the government’s              for a limit to the number of casual
proposed new conditions for              positions, and the introduction of
universities to qualify for funding      36 weeks of paid maternity leave,
increases, all university employees      both of which are in excess of
would have to be notified individu-      “community standards”.
ally that they have “the option” of           Because of the government’s
entering into individual workplace       move,       Sydney       University
agreements. In practice, this            authorities have postponed signing
would take the form of pressuring        the collective agreement, and the
employees to abandon collective          University’s employees have voted
union agreements.                        to take industrial action in protest,
     Universities would not be           including a strike on October 6, the
allowed to remind employees of           first day of the new term.
the other option, i.e. entering into          The agreement was widely
collective bargaining agreements.        expected to have been the fore-         forced to comply with these regula-     tive bargaining. The government is        alone), and to drastically cut the
Nor would they be permitted to           runner for negotiations on similar      tions, is not worth the money.”         using standover tactics to force its      level of student services provided.
provide union membership forms           agreements at other universities. As         The executive Director of          extremist policies onto university            These services include health
or facilities for union offices,         a result of the government’s move       the Australian Vice-Chancellors         staff and management.                     and counselling services, child care,
including student unions.                and the university’s response,          Committee, John Mulharvey                   “Mr Abbott has failed to get          sports and entertainment. However,
     The terms of individual agree-      all such negotiations are now in        last week expressed doubts as to        his industrial legislation through        the Liberal Party’s student offshoot,
ments would override those of any        jeopardy.                               whether such iron constraints were      the parliament and is now trying          the Australian Liberal Students
collective agreement.                         A number of universities previ-    consistent with the government’s        to bully universities to adopt his        Federation, has actually defended
     Universities would not be           ously caved in to pressure from the     own aim of fostering “flexible and      policies by threatening them with         the government’s move.
permitted to place any limits on         Howard Government over other            responsive” work practices. He          massive funding cuts.                         Tanya Skelpic, the Federation’s
the number of casual employment          issues. The most notable case was       stated that: “We don’t believe that         “These changes will do nothing        President, pointed out with airy
positions.                               that of Sydney University, whose        university operating grants should      to solve real workplace problems          disdain that students with limited
     And in perhaps the most             conservative senate voted recently      be tied to such provisions”.            in universities, such as high levels      means now have to get part-time
outrageous move of all, univers-         to accept in principle the raising           ACTU President Sharan              of job insecurity and excessive           jobs to get through uni courses,
ities would not be allowed to enter      of student fees by a maximum            Burrow said the union movement          student-to-staff ratios.”                 and therefore “The ones that need
into any agreement that included         of 30 percent, in the event that        would back the National Tertiary                                                  to work and put themselves through
arrangements in excess of “com-          the government managed to get           Education Union and other unions                                                  uni don’t have time to enjoy the
munity standards”, i.e. anything         the necessary legislation through       covering university employees, in                                                 (union) services”.
better than a current agreement in       Parliament.                             opposing the government’s attack
                                                                                                                         Student unions                                Ms Skelpic ignores the fact that
widespread use. For example, the              However, even the most             on university unionism.                 under attack                              the very reason why students with
requirement would prevent ac-            conservative university authori-             She declared that: “The require-       The government’s anti-union           limited means have to work to sup-
ceptance by university authorities       ties have expressed shock at the        ments are unfair, discriminatory and    position extends beyond the em-           port themselves is the imposition of
of improvements in redundancy            government’s latest require-            extremist. The regulations spe-         ployee industrial relations arena to      huge student fees by the Howard
payments.                                ments, and opposition to their          cifically aim to erode long-standing    student unionism. The association         Government, which she defends.
     If carried to its logical conclu-   introduction. Sydney University’s       benefits like redundancy pay, and to    representing student unions, the              She overlooks the stress that
sion, this requirement would             Vice-Chancellor, Professor Gavin        promote the use of casual labour.       Australian Campus Union Managers          this situation causes, and also
eliminate any future improvements        Brown, said that he was taken by        Collective agreements would             Association (ACUMA) said that the         the fact that child-care services
in working conditions for university     surprise at the extremity of the        become worthless for any staff          legislation “has the ability to cripple   are vital for student mothers to
employees.                               government’s new policies. He           forced onto individual contracts,       student organisations at Australian       complete courses. She also ignores
     The government’s new                commented grimly:                       which would override existing           universities.”                            the importance of entertainment
edict was timed to forestall the              “I have a fairly strong feeling    arrangements.                               The abolition of compulsory           as a crucial element in relieving
introduction of a new collective         that there will be universities that         “The changes would contravene      student unionism has the potential        the stress of study, which has now
industrial relations agreement for       will say that impact on the quality     internationally recognised rights to    to eliminate 600 jobs, (including         been compounded by the financial
Sydney University employees.             of education we can offer, if we are    freedom of association and collec-      115 positions at Deakin University        worries over the student fees. J


       Stolen Wages                           Making enemies                            Afghanistan -                      You made the mess,                           Interview with
         campaign                            of our neighbours                         two years after                          you fix it!                            President of CPA
            - p3                                     - p6                              “liberation”- p7                           - p12                                      - p12
                The GUARDIAN
                                                                              AUSTRALIA


     No 1157                                 October 1,       2003           The Venezuelan revolution:
   Are the ALP leaders determined
      to lose the next election?
                                                                             a process that belongs to the world
                                                                             In a recent visit to Perth Alvaro Guzman, President of the Bolivarian                Education has been declared a
    Recent statements by several leaders of the Labor Party give             Federation of Students in Venezuela, spoke to the 70 people who                  national priority. It is starting to bear
the impression that they are determined to lose the next election            attended a public meeting organised by the Committees in Solidarity              fruit with more than a million people
despite the lying of the Howard Government and its concerted                 with Latin America and the Caribbean (CISLAC). He also addressed                 between the ages of 10 and 65 now
attacks on education, health care and every other aspect of                  another gathering of several people last Friday.                                 having been taught how to read and
social security and welfare.                                                                                                                                  write. This has been achieved with
    The ALP still refuses to make a commitment to abolish the                          by Vinnie Molina                                                       the co-operation of Cuba and the
private health insurance subsidy by which billions of taxpay-                                                         revolutionary change. The demo-         aim is to expand this effort to all
ers’ money is being ploughed into the pockets of the private                     With his contribution, Alvaro        cratic government is struggling to      Latin American countries in which
insurance companies and used to prop up private hospitals.                   exposed the role of right-wing           transform Venezuela from a neo-         a large proportion of the population
The rebate could and should be redirected to the public health               groupings acting against elected         liberal state that has condemned the    suffer from illiteracy.
                                                                             president Hugo Chavez. Particularly      majority of the Venezuelan people           Australia was fortunate to have
system.
                                                                             instructive was his report of the        to misery into a democratic state       heard from Alvaro Guzman at all.
    Then only last week Simon Crean ruled out an increase in                 events that led to the defeat of a       with social justice.                    His visit was delayed for a week
the Medicare levy – another means by which funding could be                  right-wing military coup staged in           The rich oil industry is one        after he was kidnapped and held
found so that bulk-billing and the whole basis of Medicare as a              April. Millions of people took to        example of the changes being            for two hours by right-wingers in
universal health care system could be preserved.                             the streets to defend the country’s      made. Venezuela has the fifth larg-     Venezuela.
    The ALP has quietly dropped its opposition to the GST                    democratic constitution. Those           est oil reserves in the world. These        The incident made him miss
which signals that it has no intention of removing the iniquitous            actions gave a voice to all sectors of   should be capable of providing          his flight to Australia. His tour was
GST but would continue its operation. No single piece of legisla-            society including those who had for      the entire population with better       the first by a delegate from the
tion has so severely discriminated against the working people                too long been forgotten.                 living standards but are instead cur-   social movement in Venezuela to
of Australia, imposed such a massive increase in the tax burden                  President Chavez has rescued         rently producing huge profits for US    an English speaking country and it
on low and middle income earners and resulted in substantially               the ideas of American Liberator          corporations.                           is hoped that an exchange program
increased prices.                                                            Simon Bolivar who promoted the               Venezuela is rich in natural        can be develop next year with the
    Mark Latham has added to the perception that there is prac-              ideal of a united Latin America (the     resources but the country has to        assistance of the solidarity move-
tically no difference between the economic and social policies of            “big homeland”), fought for inde-        import 80 percent of its foodstuffs.    ment in Australia.
the ALP and the Liberal/National Party Coalition by parading                 pendence against the colonisers and      To help overcome this problem, the          Next year a series of visits will
an economic policy based on “the rigour of private sector com-               believed in the freedom of individ-      Bolivarian revolution has given         begin with the arrival of a delegate
petition and the demands of corporate social responsibility”.                uals and their right to be citizens.     land and credits to the peasantry       from the Bolivarian Trade Union
Latham’s policy prescription is called “A Strong Economy for                     In closed societies – such           with the aim of reducing the impor-     movement who will report on their
a Fair Society”.                                                             as those of Latin America – any          tation of foods by 30 percent in the    efforts to build an independent trade
    To talk about “private sector competition” and “corporate                change in the power structure is a       next 10 years.                          union movement in the country. J
social responsibility” is plain nonsense. “Competition policy”
was introduced at least a decade ago by Paul Keating but what
has actually been achieved by this policy apart from deregula-
tion and privatisation?
    The Commonwealth Bank was privatised. It has since sacked
many thousands of workers, imposed a multitude of ever-rising
fees, closed branches and massively reduced services to custom-
ers. These are the “achievements” of this policy.
    In what way has the privatisation of Australian airports,
water supplies, rail transport, etc. increased competition?
And how did the sackings and higher fees benefit customers?
Where is the “corporate social responsibility” of Ansett towards
its workers who are still waiting for their entitlements after
almost two years. Many other workers have also been stripped
of their long service leave, superannuation, holiday and sick
leave entitlements by employers who have conveniently become
insolvent?
    Mark Latham is totally committed to private enterprise and




                                                                                                                                                                                                      Photo: Vinnie Molina
merely mouths off about a “Fair Society” aiming to deceive the
Australian people into believing such catch-cries have some
meaning when, in practice, they mean nothing.
    Latham declares that a market economy, (meaning a capi-
talist economy), is here to stay. He and almost all other Labor
Party parliamentarians have given up all pretence of putting
forward a socialist or even progressive alternative as the found-            Alvaro Guzman and Fred Fuentes
ers of the Labor Party once did.
    To top it all the Labor Party cannot find the means to offload
Simon Crean as its leader when all the evidence shows that he is
the most unpopular Labor Party leader ever. The reality is that              ATSIC says “Thankyou” to union movement
the Labor Party is bereft of a leadership that is capable of really          The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission has given                   over stolen wages and savings and
standing up for the working people of Australia. Even the Labor              warm thanks to the Australian union movement for assistance in                   the campaign to prevent dumping of
Party Left has become almost indistinguishable from the right-               past struggles, and has announced it is seeking closer ties to help              nuclear waste on Aboriginal ground
wing factions and fails to enunciate or stand up consistently and            improve the living standards of Indigenous people.                               in South Australia.
forthrightly for people friendly policies.                                                                                                                        The Queensland Government’s
    A left and progressive alternative must be found and built                   ATSIC Acting Chairman Lionel         MUA and its predecessors for            compensation offer of $55 million
if there is to be any worthwhile solutions to the many economic              Quartermaine told the Maritime           supporting Aboriginal and Torres        to Aboriginal people who had had
and social problems that are piling up. This alternative is not a            Union of Australia’s National            Strait Islander people by provid-       their wages and savings taken off
pipe-dream. The people of South Africa, Venezuela and Brazil                 Council that the union movement,         ing funding, medical aid and food,      them between 1897 and 1972 was
have already put their feet firmly on the path of serious change             and particularly the MUA and its pre-    supporting Aboriginal artists and       “nowhere near good enough” and a
in the interests of the working people and the poor in society               decessors, have had a long and proud     athletes, and by winning jobs for       denial of natural justice.
                                                                             history of support for Aboriginal and    Aboriginal people on the wharves.           Late last week ATSIC signed
and the working farmers who are also facing very serious eco-
                                                                             Torres Strait Islander people.               The MUA was also a foundation       a Memorandum of Understanding
nomic and environmental problems that cannot be overcome by                      “Our shared history should           member of the Tranby Aboriginal         with the 55,000-member Inde-pen-
mere band-aids.                                                              be the foundation for even closer        College in Sydney in 1958 and           dent Education Union of Australia,
    This is the path for the Australian people to take, and the              working partnerships between             the union continues to financially      aimed at increased Aboriginal and
sooner the better.                                                           trade unions and our people”, Mr         support the College to this day, pro-   Torres Strait Islander participation
                                                                             Quartermaine said.                       viding funding for scholarships for     in non-government schools.
                           PRESS FUND                                            During his address to the MUA,       Indigenous students.                        The Memorandum committed
Bush’s isolation is growing as the world says “No” to further aggres-        Mr Quartermaine acknowledged                 Mr Quartermaine also acknowl-       both parties to developing an action
sions. He received a cold reception at the United Nations and his            the MUA’s active support for             edged the support of the ACTU           plan which achieves better edu-
backers suffered a humiliating defeat at the WTO. Differences within         Indigenous people during indus-          and praised its incorporation of        cational outcomes for Indigenous
the Bush administration are widening as his corporate backers become         trial disputes, in particular the        Indigenous issues into all of its       students, increased numbers of
concerned of the wider ramifications of their actions. In Australia little   historical disputes including the        policies at the ACTU Congress           Indigenous students and teachers,
Johnnie seems oblivious to the fact that the tide is changing. The Bush      Pilbara pastoral strike of 1947, the     in August. The ACTU also has a          and the incorporation of Indigenous
visit to Australia this month gives us an excellent opportunity to show      Wave Hill walk off of 1966 and the       dedicated Indigenous seat on its        history and culturally appropriate
both Bush and little Johnnie what we think of them and their policies.       Noonkanbah dispute of 1979.              executive and conducts annual           teaching into school curricula.
So join the actions and in the meantime send a contribution to the Press         The Pilbara and Wave Hill            conferences of Indigenous union             ATSIC is now seeking similar
Fund. Our warmest thanks to those who contributed this week:                 strikes started over low wages but       delegates.                              agreements with other education
Bert Appleton $20, June Ayres $50, N H $5.                                   developed into successful landmark           He also welcomed the support of     unions as well as in other sectors
                                                                             land rights claims.                      the ACTU and unions in the dispute      including health and the public
This week’s total $75. Progressive total: $8610.
                                                                                 Mr Quartermaine praised the          with the Queensland Government          service. J

    2    THE GUARDIAN              October 1 2003
                                                                                                                                                                    AUSTRALIA


Support the Stolen Wages campaign
Henry Jackson was 13-years old when he was taken from his                        of claimants. He took part in a claim
grandfather and sent to work as a stockman on a remote Queensland                back in 1994, relating to under-
cattle station.                                                                  award wages, which was settled
                                                                                 with a payment of $7000.
     For 13 years he worked on cattle    pay slips that indicates he was paid
stations, cane farms and saw mills       eight shillings but he never received
without receiving any wages. Henry       any money.                              What do you hope
only received board and lodgings in
return for his labour.
                                             My father was born in 1928 and
                                         started work in 1941 when he was
                                                                                 to achieve with the
     Successive          Queensland      only 13 years old. It wasn’t until      postcard campaign?
Governments stole Henry Jackson’s        1954 that he actually got a job with
wages for the first 13 years of          Queensland railways and received            I am hoping that the postcards
his working life. The Queensland         wages for that job.                     will generate a lot of attention
Government is currently offering a           I am here to deliver these post-    around the issue. We feel the
miserly $4000 as compensation for        cards because my father is not well     Queensland campaign could set
all of those years of lost income.       enough to be very active in the         a precedent for other States in
     Henry’s daughter, Lenore            campaign. He did come to the ral-       Australia.
Jackson, was in Melbourne last           lies and meetings earlier on but he         It is important to make the
week to deliver the Stolen Wages         has become more fragile so I am         public aware of what has happened
postcards. The postcards are avail-      campaigning for him.                    because a lot of people in the
able from the Victorian Trades Hall                                              community don’t know the facts.
and union members are encouraged                                                 They might think we are asking for
to send them to Queensland Premier,      What do you think                       a hand out but that is not the case
Peter Beattie, and Queensland
Council of Unions Secretary Grace
                                         of the Government’s                     at all. I can’t see anyone working
                                                                                 for nothing these days. Everyone
Grace, to help these workers receive     compensation offer?                     expects to receive their pay at the
a fair and just outcome.                                                         end of the week. This is a wage
     In the following interview              It is an insult, absolutely dis-    claim and the people involved           Stolen Wages postcard campaign
Lenore Jackson tells of the injus-       gusting. It doesn’t come anywhere       should be adequately compensated.
tice inflicted on generations of         near compensating Dad, not only for         Handing over the postcards          You can help by supporting the national postcard
Aboriginal workers from the 1890s        the loss of wages but the emotional     here in Victoria has been a fantastic   campaign. Three postcards have been produced. They
until the 1970s in Queensland. Her       trauma he suffered. Not knowing his     experience. We have been pleas-         tell the story of forced, unpaid and underpaid labour of
father Henry’s story is just one of      parents and being separated from        antly surprised with the interest and   Aboriginal people over the past century.
thousands.                               his grandfather and not even told of    support for the campaign. A visit-      One card supports the unions’ backing of the campaign, one
                                         his death.                              ing delegation of Korean unionists      for sending to Queensland Premier Peter Beattie and the
                                             Dad’s grandfather took the chil-    took hundreds back to Korea.            third has details of a fighting fund to be set up for a longer
Why are you                              dren to Palm Island to try to keep          We met with Dave Cushion and        term campaign.
                                         the family together. Palm Island        Kevin Braken from the Victorian
involved in the                          was a penal colony back in those        branch of the Maritime Union of
                                                                                                                         The postcards call for the return of the stolen wages to the
                                                                                                                         workers and their families.
Stolen Wages                             days. They were originally sent to
                                         Mornington Island but they weren’t
                                                                                 Australia. They explained that they
                                                                                 never understood the issues but now
                                                                                                                         From the 1890s until the 1970s the wages and savings
                                                                                                                         of Aboriginal workers were controlled by successive
Campaign?                                given enough rations to feed the        both of them feel it is a wage and      governments under compulsory labour contracts. In
                                         children.                               therefore union issue and should be     Queensland wages and other monies belonging to these
    My father was taken away from            As my father gets older he          treated as such.                        workers were kept in government-held “trust” accounts.
his home on Palm Island at 13 years      breaks down a lot. As a young               We have support from the            Since the 1980s these workers have waited in good faith for
of age and sent to work as a stock-      person he kept all of the pain inside   ACTU and met with [ACTU                 their wage claims, which records show could amount to as
man on a station called Dover.           and wasn’t able to deal with the        President] Sharan Burrow also. It       much as $500 million. In May 2002 the Government offered
He was there for a year and never        trauma he had been through – now        is great that these people are taking   just $55.6 million as a “take it or leave it” deal.
received any wages. All he received      the memories keep coming up and         notice and supporting us.
                                                                                                                         Support these workers in their fight for what they are really
was food and lodgings. While he          he finds it very difficult.
                                                                                                                         owed in missing, unpaid and underpaid wages. Support their
was there his grandfather died. They         This campaign is not just
didn’t inform my father and he only      about money. Dad lost his family,       Where to from                           claim for all their stolen wages.
                                                                                                                         • Postcards are now available from 4US in Rockhampton,
found out when he returned to the
mission. Dad’s grandfather was very
                                         his culture and his language. The
                                         Beattie Government is trying to get
                                                                                 here?                                     4K1G in Townsville, 4C1M in Cairns, the Woorabinda
important to him because he kept         most of the claimants to accept the         My involvement has been on a          BRACs and council offices and the Mackay CDEP offices.
the family together.                     lousy $4000. Beattie knows that         personal level so far but after this    • Aboriginal Co-ordinating Council (07 4044 2999)
    I have got all the records that      most of these claimants are very old    trip I feel even more committed. I      • FAIRA (07 3391 4677) and 4AAA (07 3892 01100)
prove my father worked at various        and that some of them are taking        am not going to back off. This cam-     • Queensland Council of Unions (07 3846 2468)
places. The Government claim that        the money because they don’t            paign is urgent because these people    • ANTaR Qld (07 3844 9800)
they have pay slips that indicate that   understand the law and they feel        are getting old. I would personally     • ANTaR National in NSW (02 9555 6138)
he was supposed to be paid, but he       intimidated.                            like to see my father benefit from      • Australia Asia Worker Links in Victoria (03 9663 7277)
never received anything in his hand.         My dad won’t be accepting the       the compensation. He is still strug-    • Victorian Trades Hall Council (03 9662 3511)
The money went to the government.        money being offered. He just wants      gling to make ends meet and he will     • ACTU (03 9663 5266)
I remember looking at one of the         his make sure his name is on the list   be 75 in December. J


Protest in Fremantle at arrival of USS Higgins                                                                                                                          Sydney
                                                                                                                                                             For Heaven’s Sake
Over a hundred people demonstrated against                                                                                                                       Speak Out
the “Sea Swap” of crews of USS Higgins at                                                                                                                       on the US’s
Fremantle harbour on September 28. The protest
was organised by the Fremantle Anti-Nuclear
                                                                                                                                                             missile defence &
Group (FANG) and was part of a campaign                                                                                                                    weaponisation of space
against Federal and WA State Government                                                                                                                          programs
plans for the establishment of a de-facto US                                                                                                                 SAT 11 OCT 2 – 4 PM
naval base in Cockburn Sound.
                                                                                                                                                              NSW Teachers’ Club
    The Sea Swap plans include flying thousands                                                                                                            23-33 Mary Street, Surry Hills
of US military personnel in and out of Western                                                                                                              (5 minutes from Central Station)
Australia to meet US warships in Cockburn Sound.
                                                                                                                                                                      SPEAKERS:
Under the proposal, the US navy would use WA
                                                                                                                                                                Dr Michael McKinley
as a swap over point for the 7th fleet. Navy crew
                                                                                                                                                               Senior Lecturer, Global
coming in and out of theatres of war would go                                                                                                              Politics,Department of Political
straight to WA instead of US bases in San Diego                                                                                                              Science and International
or Hawaii. If Sea Swap is given the go-ahead,                                                                                                                       Relations, ANU
it will mean a dramatic escalation of Australia’s
involvement with the US military.                                                                                                                                  Dr Bob Hunter
    The USS Higgins was arriving fresh from war                                                                                                            National President of Scientists
service in the Persian Gulf and the protest took up the                                                                                                    for Global Responsibility (SGR)
                                                                                                                                                                      (Australia).
issue of the occupation of Iraq. Anthony Benbow of
the No War Alliance pointed out that the Americans                                                                                                                Nibbles provided
were now in a quagmire in that country and that the                                                                                                                 Drinks at bar
Iraqi people were paying the price of the war.                                                                                                                    Entry by donation
    He called for action to get the troops out of                                                                                                                Organised by Australian
Iraq now. “We must protest when Bush comes to                                                                                                                 Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition
                                                                                                                                                                    Ph: (02) 9212 0800.
Australia for he is only coming to get more support                                                                                                           Email: aabcc@zipworld.com.au
from Australia”. J

                                                                                                                                        THE GUARDIAN           October 1 2003          3
LABOUR STRUGGLES



WA public servants set to
escalate industrial action
More than 2000 public servants rallied in Perth, Albany and Bunbury             Secretary of the CPSU/CSA Toni                Members unanimously passed           mation, including Business Activity
on September 17 in support of the Community and Public Sector                   Walkington said that the union was        resolutions:                             Statements;
Union/Civil Service Association’s (CPSU/CSA) rejection of the State             not seeking a predetermined out-              1) Expressing deep concern                d) refuse to process revenue
Government’s three percent across-the-board pay proposal.                       come from the government, but a           that the Government’s wages policy       payments;
                                                                                genuine response to their claim.          does not deliver equal pay in the             e) refuse to collect payments
by Michèle Cohen & Richard Titelius                                                 The nine percent over three           sector, and fails to deliver a fair      for services to the public and com-
                                        union is demanding a wage increase      years being offered in reality costs      wages outcome for all members.           munity;
    Unions WA Secretary Stephanie       comprising a 12 per cent parity pay-    the government only six percent,              2) Setting a deadline of                  f) decline to process Ministerial
Mayman and Assistant Secretary          ment and $5502 on January 1, 2004,      as one percent from each year is          Thursday September 25 for the State      correspondence;
Dave Robinson were amongst those        10 per cent on January 1, 2005 and      funded by savings from the budgets        Government to provide an offer                g) call workplace, regional and
who offered their support to the        $6680 on January 1, 2006.               of government agencies themselves.        to the Union that properly address       sector wide stoppages, stop work
CPSU/CSA membership at a mass               The claim also seeks to address         Funding of pay increases in           wages and conditions issues.             meetings;
meeting at the Perth Concert Hall on    issues of workloads and working         this manner will inevitably lead to           3) Calling on the Government              h) call rolling stoppages;
September 17.                           hours through the establishment of      further cuts to members’ jobs and         to honour its pre-election com-               i) any other action.
    They were joined by the State       processes to establish the param-       services. It will force remaining staff   mitment to restore members’                   5) Authorising members not to
School Teachers of WA (SSTUWA)          eters of a reasonable workload.         to work harder and longer hours.          industrial rights and welcoming the      take action against other members,
General Secretary David Kelly,              Other demands include:                  Given that average weekly earn-       government’s decision to announce        that any action taken against an
Senior Vice President Mike Keely,           • restoration of members’           ings in Australia rose by 6.3 per         a review of the Public Sector            individual member by an agency or
and Vice President Anne Gisborne.       access to the Industrial Relations      cent in 2002/2003 the CPSU/CSA’s          Management Act.                          Government be seen as an action by
The teachers’ officials had come        Commission;                             claim of approximately 27 per cent            4) Authorising the “CPSU/CSA         Government against the Union and
from a half-day work stoppage and           • reinstatement of selection pro-   is not an unrealistic one.                Wages Campaign Committee”                all its members.
mass rally of members earlier that      cesses based on merit;                      Ms Walkington warned that fail-       to issue directions to members                In the meantime, Premier
day.                                        • enhanced shift, study leave       ure to adequately fund government         to engage in any or all of the fol-      Gallop has intervened in nego-
    Liquor,     Hospitality     and     and parental leave provisions;          infrastructure and employees would        lowing activities if the deadline is     tiations with the police who are
Miscellaneous Workers’ Union                • a review of the methodologies     result in more strain being placed on     not met or if any offer made is not      believed to have won their 15
Secretary Dave Kelly, and Dan Hill      used to define classification levels;   the community, in further environ-        satisfactory:                            percent pay rise over three years.
from the Hospital Salaried Officers         • defining and limiting the cir-    mental mishaps such as Brookdale              a) ban unpaid overtime and           Gallop may well need the police in
Association also offered their sup-     cumstances where jobs can be filled     and Bellevue, longer queues for the       time beyond ordinary hours;              the months ahead as public servants
port at the CPSU/CSA meeting.           on contract;                            sick and injured at public hospitals,         b) ban all overtime (both paid       and teachers are set to escalate
    The General Agreement for West          • transmission of business and      a higher number of prison escapes         and unpaid);                             industrial action.
Australia’s 29,000 public servants      outsourcing protocols.                  and the revolving door syndrome in            c) decline to submit statist-             Teachers are seeking a 30 per-
expires on January 1, 2004. The             Addressing the meeting, State       the criminal justice system.              ical and management infor-               cent pay rise over three years. J




      LABOUR NOTES
 Fifty-four Telstra workers in the telco’s sales office in Wollon-
 gong will lose their jobs come November. The announcement
 came on the back of employment statistics showing that the
 South Coast of NSW has a youth unemployment rate of 34.6
 per cent, the highest in NSW and the third highest in Australia.

 More than 240 jobs have been lost in Mudgee NSW after the
 local government-run Mudgee meat works went into liquida-
 tion. Both Federal and State Governments are passing the
 buck about workers’ entitlements. The NSW Government
 says that the Commonwealth is responsible for footing the
 bill. Deputy Prime Minister and local federal MP John An-
 derson says that, seeing it was run by a local government
 authority, it is a state government responsibility. While both
 governments are buck-passing, the workers are left waiting!

 CFMEU Assistant Secretary, Brian Parker, has accused

                                                                                Grocon sacks MCG workers
 Leightons Contractors of stand over tactics in its dealings
 with more than a dozen sub-contractors involved in the Hil-
 ton Hotel redevelopment. WorkCover closed the site down
 when asbestos, synthetic mineral fibres, carcinogenic tim-                     The Construction Division of the CFMEU in Victoria has condemned                   time for the Commonwealth Games
 ber and silicone dust were discovered and questions over                       the developer Grocon for sacking workers and effectively sabotaging                or not? It doesn’t look like it.”
 structural integrity, formwork and scaffolding were raised.                    the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) project.                                            Mr Kingham said the union had
                                                                                                                                                                   already tolerated nine months of
 Mr Parker claims Leightons has threatened legal action                             CFMEU Secretary, Martin                   “Are these the thanks work-          stalling from Grocon over negotia-
 against sub-contractors if they pay the hundreds of work-                      Kingham, said 30 form workers             ers get for taking on extra shifts to    tions for an MCG site agreement.
 ers affected by the closure. The CFMEU has made an                             were being sacked and another 25          get extra seats ready for the AFL            The union had held off taking
 application to the Industrial Relations Commission for lost                    were expected to lose their jobs.         finals?” Mr Kingham said.                action over the stalled negotiations
 time payments. Meanwhile, Tony Abbott’s much-hyped                             There had been no discussions with            “This is unbelievable action on      to prevent any disruption to the AFL
                                                                                unions about labour needs on the          a project with a strict deadline. Does   finals matches.
 Building Industry Taskforce hasn’t been seen at the Hilton.                    project.                                  Grocon want to get the ‘G’ rebuilt in        “Union members, and all
                                                                                                                                                                   Victorians, are being taken for a ride
 “Live sheep exports have had their day”, said Australian                                                                                                          by this mob”, Mr Kingham said.
 Meat Industry Employees Union (AMIEU) Federal Secre-                                                            Brisbane                                              “It’s now obvious that Grocon
                                                                                                               Public Meeting                                      see nothing special about the MCG,
 tary Tom Hannan. As well as wiping out an estimated 4000
 jobs for local meat workers, the union believes that “the                                 Hear Nidia Diaz from El Salvador                                        the people of Victoria who want to
                                                                                                                                                                   host a great Commonwealth Games
 torment, cruelty and inhuman practices are just not worth                                 Monday 13th October 7pm                                                 in 2006, or the fans who want to see
 it”. Mr. Hannan’s comments were made in response to the                             Communications, Electrical & Plumbing Union                                   their footy and cricket over the next
 horrendous spectacle of the foreign-flagged Cormo Ex-                                      41 Peel St, South Brisbane                                             couple of years.
 press, adrift in the Persian Gulf with its cargo of 53,000                                                                                                            “It’s time we all told Grocon
                                                                                                           Suggested donation $5                                   we’re calling them to account.”
 unwanted and distressed Australian sheep. Reports have
                                                                                         Nidia Diaz (a founding member of the Farabundo Marti                          The union believes the State
 it that the Australian Government has intervened in the                            National Liberation Front) will bring information from El Salvador             Government should intervene as
 crisis, secretly offering a $10 million sweetener for Iraq to                             where the FMLN has the real possibility of winning                      Grocon’s client to pull the company
 take the sheep. Meanwhile, the New Zealand Government                                                  the presidential elections.                                into line before they make it impos-
 is moving towards a moratorium on live sheep exports.                                      Australian Solidarity with Latin America – ASLA                        sible for the MCG to be ready by
                                                                                                                                                                   the 2006 deadline. J

      4    THE GUARDIAN               October 1 2003
                                                                                                                                                                                AUSTRALIA



Demagogues on the denial bandwagon
                                                                                 A recent article in the Australian newspaper by its foreign editor Greg            Casterton in western Victoria. In
                  The Hunter of the Black*                                       Sheridan was yet another to be hauled onto the denial bandwagon                    1908 she began to edit the Women’s
                                                                                 currently doing the rounds. The denial – basically a history re-write              Page of the Sydney Worker, which
                           by Mary Gilmore                                       by right-wing demagogues – is that the genocide of Indigenous                      she continued to do until 1931. In
                                                                                 Australians by the white ruling powers never took place.                           1912, her husband joined his broth-
   Softly footed as a myall, silently he walked,                                                                                                                    er on the land in north Queensland,
   All the methods of his calling learned from men he stalked;                             by Jo Dunleavy              to pull this lying propaganda to             and she and her son moved back to
   Tall he was, and deeply chested, eagle-eyed and still,                            Mr Sheridan goes on about a            pieces. As a contribution I offer the   Sydney.
   Every muscle in his body subject to his will.                                 “genocide debate”, accusing those          following poem by Mary Gilmore,             Her life span of nearly a cen-
                                                                                 who raise it of “emotional manipu-         one of Australia’s most calm and        tury joined pioneering Australia to
   Dark and swarthy was his colour; somewhere Hampshire born;                    lative use of so exaggerated a term        resolute political activists.           the modern Commonwealth, just
   Knew no pity for the hunted – weakness all his scorn;                         as genocide”. He dismisses it as               Mary Jean Cameron (1864-            as her verse projects some of the
   Asked no friendship, shunned no meetings, took what life might bring;         a “jargon word” and even warns:            1962) was born at Cotta Walla           basic elements of the Australian
   Came and went among his fellows something like a king.                        “Once you use a term such as geno-         near Goulburn, New South Wales,         ethos into 20th century literature. In
                                                                                 cide, you inspire manic extremism          and was a school teacher before         1937 she was made a Dame of the
   Paid each debt with strict exactness, what the debt might be;                 in your supporters”.                       she joined William Lane’s New           British Empire for her services to
   Called no man employed him master; master’s equal, he;                            This claims Mr Sheridan, threat-       Australia experiment in Paraguay.       Australian literature.
   Yet there was not one who sought him, none who held his hand,                 ens “one of the finest features of         In Paraguay she married William             Mary Gilmore is one of two
   Never father, calling, bid him join the family band.                          Australia’s political culture” i.e. “its   Gilmore in 1897.                        Australian writers (AB Paterson is
                                                                                 resolute calmness”. And so on.                 They returned to Australia in       the other) featured on the 1993 ten-
   Tales and tales were told about him, how, from dawn till dark,                    There are any number of ways           1902 and settled on a farm near         dollar note. J
   Noiselessly he trailed his quarry, never missed a mark,
   How the twigs beneath his footstep “moved but never broke”,
   How the very fires he kindled “never made a smoke”.

   Men would tell, with puzzled wonder marked on voice and brow,
   How he’d stand a moment talking, leave, and none knew how;
   “He was there! …” and then had vanished, going as he came,
   Like a passing of a shadow, like a falling flame.

   Once (I heard it when it happened) word was sent, to him,
   Of a lone black on Mamoosa – O, the hunting grim!
   Through three days and nights he tracked him, never asking sleep;
   Shot, for him who stole the country, him who killed a sheep.                                                               Government-commissioned reports almost always get the
                                                                                                                              thumbs up because they inevitably find what the govern-
   Tomahawk in belt, as only adult needed shot,                                                                               ment wants them to. The rule in Parliament is: if you don’t
   No man knew how many notches totalled up his lot;                                                                          like the findings of a report attack its authors. Such as the
   But old stockman striking tallies, rough and ready made,
   Reckoned on at least a thousand, naming camps decayed.                                                                     findings of the Senate Medicare inquiry which reported that
                                                                                                                              under the Howard Government’s plans to destroy Medicare
   Time passed on, and years forgotten whitened with the dust;                                                                only half of GP consultations would be bulk billed and that
   He whose hands were red with slaughter sat among the just,                                                                 patients would pay more to see their doctor. Health Minis-
   Kissed the children of his children, honoured in his place,                                                                ter Kay Patterson said the authors of the report had “made
   Turned and laid him down in quiet, asking God His grace.                                                                   up their minds” before doing their research and that it was
                                                                                                                              based on the “false assumption” that doctors are motivated
                                                                                                                              by money. What Patterson doesn’t say, of course, is that the
   * Called those days a sharp-shooter; today he would be a sniper. I                     Mary Gilmore                        Government’s refusal to properly fund the system has forced
   remember the man well. I met one of his daughters lately, but did not                                                      doctors to abandon bulk billing, most of them reluctantly.
   mention that I had known her father or knew what he had been. He had
   a large family and many grandchildren, and as a paid killer of the black,                                                  Visiting PNG Foreign Affairs Minister Sir John Kaputin told a
   he was but one of many.                                                                                                    forum at the University of Wollongong last week that Australia
                                                                                                                              should clean up the corruption in its own back yard before
                                                                                                                              dictating to others about governance. The Howard Govern-
   The Queen vs David Burgess & Will Saunders                                                                                 ment has successfully bullied PNG into allowing Australian
                                                                                                                              police and bureaucrats to oversee the operation of PNG’s

     Charge: Malicious Damage to Property                                                                                     public servants and members of government on the assump-
                                                                                                                              tion they are corrupt. “Treat your own people fairly first before
                                                                                                                              you can start talking about other people elsewhere”, said
This week, David Burgess & Will Saunders are due to appear                       have been through six Local Court            Sir John. “I am not saying that there are no problems in our
before the Sydney District Court on charges of malicious damage                  appearances, the last of which saw
                                                                                                                              country, but there are problems everywhere. You have prob-
arising out of the painting of “NO WAR” on one of the sails of the               us plead not guilty to the more seri-
                                                                                 ous charge and committed for trial           lems with your own police down here. You have problems
Opera House. They state their case:
                                                                                 in the District Court from September         with your own politicians down here in terms of corruption”.
     On February 16th 2003, about        didn’t know Australia was actually      29 to October 1. The case will now
a million people (that’s 1:19 of         involved.                               be heard before a jury. Dave’s case          And we were given a prime example last week when former
Australia’s whole population)                The action also exposed (coinci-    will be heard first and Will’s case          Health Minister Michael Wooldridge was appointed as head
marched against the upcoming             dentally from our point of view) the    second. Will is representing himself         of the Government’s National Council on AIDS, Hepatitis C
war in Iraq. Mainstream newspolls        lack of promised security measures      in court.                                    and Sexual Health. In his brief but highly controversial po-
showed consistently that opposition      around a building supposedly on              As we did on March 18th, we
to this war was running at about 70      high alert for terrorist attacks.       still believe Australia’s involve-           litical career Wooldridge: allegedly leaked (or his office did)
per cent. Later that week our Prime          After our arrests we were taken     ment in the war on Iraq was illegal          information to his mates running private clinics that MRI ma-
Minister referred to these people as     to The Rocks Police Station and         and immoral. If anything, this belief        chines would be subsidised in the budget if purchased before
a “mob”. A month later, he took us       charged with the criminal offence       has been strengthened by events              a certain date, sparking a rash of MRI purchases; diverted $5
to war.                                  of Malicious Damage and the sum-        that continue to unfold around the           million of funding meant for rural health services and asthma
     On March 18th 2003, after it        mary offence of Wilfully Marking        world.                                       research to the Royal Australian College of General Prac-
became apparent our Government           a Building With Chalk/Paint etc. If          We believe we did not act out
                                                                                                                              titioners to pay for a new building at their headquarters in
was going to go to war illegally and     found guilty, the charges carry pen-    of malice towards anybody. It was
against the wishes of its own people,    alties of up to five years jail and a   an extraordinary day on which                Canberra; soon after resigned from Parliament and became
we climbed up the outside of the         $440 fine respectively.                 Australia became an aggressor in             a consultant for the same College of General Practitioners;
Sydney Opera House and painted               Along with these, we are            conflict for the first time in its his-      when the College was forced to return the ill-gotten gains
“NO WAR” on its highest sail.            facing a compensation claim of          tory without voting on the matter in         they terminated Wooldridge’s contract, whereupon he sued
     While we were painting, the         A$166,000 or US$106,000. The            Parliament.                                  them and was paid out $382,500. The really interesting part
“Coalition of the Willing” (USA,         bills have been paid by the Opera            Given the total collapse of             will be to see what he manages to do with HIV services.
UK & Australia) announced the            House so the matter, it appears, is     democracy applied by the Australian
(official) commencement of hostili-      now in the hands of their insurance     Government, we felt that what
                                                                                                                              CAPITALIST HOG OF THE WEEK: is Telstra chief
ties against Iraq.                       company.                                we did required an extra-ordinary
     The action received coverage            Our attempts to enter into talks    response…                                    executive Ziggy Switkowski. Australia’s national telecom-
across the world. To this extent, we     with the Opera House over the com-      For more information on                      munications provider is a real cash cow for the Government
were successful in drawing world         pensation issue were unsuccessful.      the court case and fund                      appointed privateers running it into the ground and con-
attention to the opposition of the       Our bail conditions still prohibit us   raising for the cleaning of                  tracting out and selling it off piecemeal. Ziggy was thus
Australian people to any non-UN-         from entering a large section of the    the Opera House, visit                       rewarded for services rendered in preparing Telstra for pri-
sanctioned Australian involvement        CBD.                                    www.sydneyoperahousenowarcle                 vatisation with a cash package for 2003 of $2.113 million.
in the invasion. Many people                 In the six months since, we         anupfund.org J

                                                                                                                                                 THE GUARDIAN             October 1 2003         5
MAGAZINE




                  Making enemies
                 of our neighbours
Ever since the theory of the “failed states” was put
forward in 2002 and George Bush announced the policy
of “pre-emptive strike”, the Australian Government has
been planning to apply these theories against the Pacific
Island nations.
        by Peter Symon        “Inappropriate economic policies
    The various “think-tanks” set        have failed to deal with the hard
up by the Government and corp-           tasks of development and with the
orations together with a gaggle of       negative effects of aid and mineral
academics who serve the interests of     income flows. That is why Pacific
the corporations and their colonialist   governments are failing their
interests, were set to work.             people.”
    There is the Centre for                   Her touching concern for the
Independent Studies, the Australian      people of the Pacific Island states
Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI),       would ring truer if her solution was
and another in which the new             really intended to help the people of
Governor-General, Michael Jeffery        the Pacific.
was a leading figure. Then came the           Her solution is basically the
Senate Inquiry into Australian rela-     promotion of private enterprise. She
tions with Papua New Guinea and          writes, “Pacific societies have to
Pacific Island nations.                  adopt policies that establish secure,
    All these bodies are singing         free economic environments…”, and
virtually the same tune – the Pacific    rails against the public sector and, of
Island states are “failed states” and    course,6 against aid. She goes so far
big brother, Australia, has to inter-    as to suggest that Australia should
vene with police, military forces,       “suspend all aid and thus provide
financial mandarins to run their         the catalyst for change” – her own
economies, retired judges to show        contribution to “shock therapy”!
them how to mete out “justice” and,           Helen Hughes claims that aid
of course, private investors who         flows “bias an economy against
alone are capable of getting their       the private sector, they undercut
economies going, providing jobs          employment and growth and lead to
and bringing “development”.              corruption. Super-profits from rich
                                         mineral deposits similarly create         Islands are disintegrating and           profits are exported to shareholders    developed neighbour, principal
                                         economic rents that also have nega-       Papua New Guinea’s problems are          in South Africa and do little to help   source of trade, aid and invest-
Pre-emptive                              tive economic effects, leading to         acute”.                                  the living standards of the people of   ment, defence partner, and former
intervention                             public waste.”
                                              To Hughes the communal own-
                                                                                       Nauru was rich in phos-
                                                                                   phates but the British Phosphate
                                                                                                                            Papua New Guinea.
                                                                                                                                 The      mine     management
                                                                                                                                                                    administering power – will take
                                                                                                                                                                    prime responsibility for resolving
    The policy of “pre-emptive           ership of land is a big barrier to        Commission ripped this resource          immediately dismissed any respon-       any problem should something
intervention” has already been           the building of a private enterprise      out of the Island and little of this     sibility for the deaths claiming that   go wrong. Failure to do so would
imposed on the Solomon Islands           economy. “Communal land own-              wealth was put back into lifting the     the charge was “outrageous”. BHP’s      undermine Australia’s aspirations
and is planned for Papua New             ership has held back indigenous           prosperity of the people of Nauru        Ok Tedi mine also poured mine           to regional leadership”.
Guinea. This was the objective of        entrepreneurship.”                        or providing alternative economic        tailings into the Fly River and poi-          So it is all about Australia’s
Alexander Downer’s recent visit                                                    opportunities once the phosphate         soned both the river and those living   “prime responsibility” and its
to Port Moresby where he signed                                                    was worked out.                          downstream who were dependent           “aspirations to regional leader-
an agreement “in principle” with         Communal land                                 More recently the Australian         on it.                                  ship”. There is nothing about the
the Foreign Minister of Papua New
Guinea.
                                         ownership                                 government found no better use for
                                                                                   Nauru than to establish a concentra-
                                                                                                                                 The timber companies logging
                                                                                                                            the rich Papua New Guinea timber
                                                                                                                                                                    sovereignty of the island states or an
                                                                                                                                                                    attitude of equality, let alone giving
    The agreement opened dis-                But while damning communal            tion camp for refugees.                  resources are mostly controlled by      Pacific Islanders control over their
cussion on the placing of at least       land ownership she admits that                                                     foreign capital and it is they who      own affairs.
200 Australian police into Papua         “Communal land ownership and                                                       skim off the profits.                         In these circumstances talk of
New Guinea and the dispatch of           clan loyalty provide security and         Foreign ownership                             Helen Hughes does admit that       “mutual obligations” means that the
Australian “financial experts” who       ensure that in traditional societies           Papua New Guinea is also rich       “the private sector is dominated by     economic and political policies and
would show their counterparts            no-one goes hungry”.                      in minerals and timber but these         expatriate investors”, but fails to     interests of the larger power will be
in various Papua New Guinea                  It appears that in the eyes of        industries are owned by foreign          say that the profits reaped by these    imposed.
Government departments how to            Helen Hughes the fact that no-one         corporations – OK Tedi Gold,             expatriates will mostly be exported           Helen Hughes says that, “Re-
do it.                                   goes hungry as a result of com-           owned by BHP, is one example.            out of the country.                     colonisation in any form is not
    “Papua New Guinea on the             munal ownership is, none-the-less,        How much of the wealth ripped out                                                a solution”. It’s a nice sentiment
Brink” is the title of one paper put     not a sufficient reason not to destroy    by BHP went to the people of Papua                                               but the reality of the policies
out by the Centre for Independent
Studies”. Another of its publications
                                         it by introducing private land
                                         ownership.
                                                                                   New Guinea by way of social ser-
                                                                                   vices, schools, health services, jobs,
                                                                                                                            Mutual obligation                       being already implemented by the
                                                                                                                                                                    Australian Government is, in prac-
runs the line that “Aid Has Failed           The fact that millions upon mil-      etc? Instead the Papua New Guinea        or mutual benefit                       tice, a form of neo-colonialism.
the Pacific”.                            lions of people across the world go       people and Government have been                                                        The Australian Government
    The ASPI report justifying           hungry every day in private enter-        left with an enormous environmen-            Failing the suspension of aid       would do well to think carefully
Australia’s invasion of the Solomon      prise economies is ignored when           tal problem.                             completely, which Helen Hughes          about the fate of the former colon-
Islands is entitled “Our Failing         propagating the alleged splendours             The management of the               obviously favours, she proposes that    ial empires and the quagmire into
Neighbour”. The Senate Inquiry           of capitalism.                            Tolukuma Gold Mine in Papua New          a system of “mutual obligation” be      which the United States is sinking
report published in August is a little       The fact that the economic poli-      Guinea has recently been charged         imposed, thereby taking a leaf out of   in Iraq where all the talk of “libera-
blander and is entitled “A Pacific       cies imposed on the former colonies       with the unexplained deaths of 19        the Howard Government’s approach        tion”, “freedom”, “helping”, etc. is
Engaged” although its recommen-          of the Pacific are directly responsi-     Papua New Guinea citizens who live       to those receiving unemployment         false and is being rejected by the
dations have the same objectives as      ble for the economic consequences         downstream on the river into which       benefits in Australia.                  Iraqi people who do not wish to be
the others.                              that are now being felt across the        the gold mine management pours               She goes on: “Aid should            recolonised.
    Emeritus Professor Helen             region is also ignored.                   its tailings. This mine is owned by      only be spent on mutually agreed              Opposition to any form of
Hughes in her paper “Aid Has                 For example, Helen Hughes             South African mining giant, Durban       development projects and programs       colonisation is already apparent,
Failed the Pacific” claims that          says that “Nauru and the Solomon          Roodeport Deep. Undoubtedly its          designed and monitored by teams         particularly in Papua New Guinea.
                                                                                                                            nominated by the sovereign recip-       It will grow stronger as the reality
                                                                                                                            ients and donors…”                      of the new forms of colonial domin-
                                                                                                                                Such mutual arrangements how-       ation become apparent. The current
                                                                                                                            ever, can only work where there is a    policies are a continuation of those
        Our relationship must be based on genuine                                                                           relationship of equality between the
                                                                                                                            donor and the recipient. But that is
                                                                                                                                                                    that have already caused such havoc
                                                                                                                                                                    to our Pacific neighbours.
         friendship and equality with the objective                                                                         not what is intended.
                                                                                                                                Another paper put out by the
                                                                                                                                                                          Our relationship with our neigh-
                                                                                                                                                                    bours must be based on genuine
                of achieving mutual benefit.                                                                                Centre for Independent Studies
                                                                                                                            says: “Both the Australian public
                                                                                                                                                                    friendship and equality with the
                                                                                                                                                                    objective of achieving mutual bene-
                                                                                                                            and the international commu-            fit. It cannot work on the basis of the
                                                                                                                            nity expect that Australia – as a       strong dominating the weak. J

      6    THE GUARDIAN              October 1 2003
                                                                                                                                                                                      MAGAZINE




     Afghanistan – two years
        after “liberation”
On October 7, 2001, the US began bombing Afghanistan
in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Afghanistan was the country headed by a reactionary
government called the Taliban, which also was allegedly
giving aid and comfort to terrorist Al Qaida boss Osama
bin Laden. The bombing of Afghanistan and routing of the
Taliban from power was supposed to bring liberation to
a terribly impoverished people and war-torn country. US
occupation and military operations continue two years
later.
     Promises made by both                and as many as 20,000 more have
President George W Bush and               died “as an indirect consequence
British Prime Minister Tony Blair         of Bush’s invasion, including those
that Afghanistan will not be forgot-      who fled their homes and were
ten and human rights, economic            denied emergency relief in the
vitality and other necessities of a       middle of a drought”.
democratic society will be restored,           Four US soldiers have been
have not been fulfilled.                  killed in the last two weeks. In all,
     Reports paint a dismal picture of    35 US soldiers have been killed
life for people in Afghanistan.           in action in Afghanistan, and 162
     In a devastating account called      wounded.
“What Good Friends Left Behind”,               On September 7 Bush requested
journalist and film maker John            $11 billion more for military opera-
Pilger wrote about Afghanistan            tions in Afghanistan and a mere
– two years later, in the September       US$800 million for reconstruction,
20 British Guardian.                      half of which is for Afghan mili-
     Pilger, who travelled to             tary and police. More than US$10
Afghanistan recently, describes the       billion has already been spent on
daily horrors: “It was my first visit.    Afghanistan since October 7, 2001,
In a lifetime of making my way            according to Pilger.
through places of upheaval, I had              “More than 80 percent of this
not seen anything like it. Kabul is       has paid for bombing the country          Forgotten – homeless Afgahni children queue for food
a glimpse of Dresden post-1945,           and paying the warlords, the former
with contours of rubble rather than       mujahedin who called themselves           other into the shadows. They are              They rule “by fear, extortion        ransom in unofficial prisons; the
streets, where people live in col-        the ‘Northern Alliance’”, Pilger          watched by a teenage boy with a           and monopolising the opium poppy         widespread rape of women, girls
lapsed buildings, like earthquake         wrote.                                    stump and part of his face miss-          trade that supplies Britain with 90      and boys; routine extortion, robbery
victims waiting for rescue.                    No one knows what more               ing. In the countryside, people still     percent of its street heroin”, Pilger    and arbitrary murder.
     “They have no light and heat;        misery this US$11.8 billion more          confuse the cluster canisters with        said.                                        “Girls’ schools are burned
their apocalyptic fires burn through      will buy. Pilger describes another        the yellow relief packages that were          Pilger continues, “In a series of    down. ‘Because the soldiers are tar-
the night. Hardly a wall stands that      daily horror – land mines. “A hun-        dropped by American planes almost         extraordinary reports, the latest pub-   geting women and girls’, the report
does not bear the pock-marks of           dred yards away, men in blue move         two years ago, during the war,            lished in July, Human Rights Watch       says, ‘many are staying indoors,
almost every calibre of weapon.           stiffly in single file: mine-clearers.    after Bush had prevented interna-         has documented atrocities ‘commit-       making it impossible for them to
Cars lie upended at roundabouts.          Mines are like litter here, killing and   tional relief convoys crossing from       ted by gunmen and warlords who           attend school [or] go to work.’”
Power poles built for a modern            maiming, it is calculated, every hour     Pakistan.”                                were propelled into power by the             All of which leads to the ques-
fleet of trolley buses are twisted like   of every day.                                 The post-Taliban government is        United States and its coalition part-    tion: If Iraq is a quagmire, what is
paperclips. The buses are stacked on           “Opposite what was Kabul’s           non-existent. US-approved, Afghan         ners after the Taliban fell in 2001’     Afghanistan?
top of each other, reminiscent of the     main cinema and is today an art           President Hamid Karzai cannot go          and who have ‘essentially hijacked       People’s Weekly World J
pyramids of machines erected by the       deco shell, there is a busy round-        anywhere without his US Special           the country.’
Khmer Rouge to mark Year Zero.”           about with posters warning that           Forces bodyguards. The country is             “The report describes army                 To read Pilger’s
     Pilger quotes earlier Guardian       unexploded cluster bombs ‘yellow          run by “Mafiosi” or organised crime       and police troops controlled by the             full story go to
reports that up to 8000 Afghans           and from USA’ are in the vicinity.        bosses, often termed warlords,            warlords kidnapping villagers with
have been killed by US bombs              Children play here, chasing each          placed in power by the US.                impunity and holding them for                 www.guardian.co.uk




The stench of corruption
The stench of corruption permeates the occupation of                                     Halliburton has emerged as           wells were torched by the Iraqis.            Inevitably reliance on private
Iraq as huge US corporations are awarded enormously                                 the biggest single government                 The practice of delegating a         corporations suffers from a lack of
profitable contracts by the US Army and other government                            contractor in Iraq. Others making         vast array of logistics operations       accountability and transparency on
agencies. Heading the list is Halliburton which was                                 big windfalls include Bechtel, a          to a single contractor dates to the      the part of private military firms and
                                                                                    California-based engineering firm         aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War and       questionable billing practices.
formerly headed by Dick Cheney who is now Bush’s Vice                               that has won hundreds of mil-             a study commissioned on military             Furthermore, neither these
President.                                                                          lions of dollars in US Agency for         outsourcing when Dick Cheney was         private corporations nor their
    The company has won contracts              It is estimated that as much as      International Development recon-          Defence Secretary.                       employees are bound by military
worth more than US$1.7 billion            one-third of the monthly US$3.9           struction contracts, and DynCorp,             The Pentagon chose Brown             justice, and it is up to them whether
under “Operation Iraqi Freedom”           billion cost of keeping US troops in      which is training the new Iraqi           and Root to carry out the study          they show up or not. This has result-
and stands to make hundreds of mil-       Iraq is going to private contractors.     police force.                             and subsequently selected the com-       ed in delays in providing services
lions more dollars under a no-bid              Services      performed        by         Indicating that wars have been       pany to implement its own plan.          for troops such as showering facili-
contract awarded by the US Army           Halliburton, through its Brown            planned well in advance, Daniel           Cheney served as chief executive of      ties and even getting their cooked
Corps of Engineers.                       and Root subsidiary, include build-       Carlson, a spokesman for the              Brown and Root’s parent company,         meals.
    “The amount of money [going           ing and managing military bases,          Army’s Joint Munitions Command,           Halliburton, from 1995 to 2000,              Another consequence is the
to Halliburton] is quite staggering,      logistical support for the 1200 intel-    said Brown and Root won a com-            when he stepped aside to run for the     rising cost of hiring contract
far more than we were originally          ligence officers on a fruitless hunt      petitive bidding process in 2001 to       vice presidency.                         workers because of skyrocketing
led to believe”, said Democrat rep-       for Iraqi weapons of mass destruc-        provide a wide range of “contin-              The new Defence Secretary,           insurance premiums. One cor-
resentative for California, Henry         tion, delivering mail and producing       gency” services to the military in        Donald Rumsfeld is another cham-         respondent says that insurance
Waxman. “This is clearly a trend          millions of hot meals.                    the event of the deployment of US         pion of outsourcing.                     premiums have increased by 300
under this administration, and it              Often dressed in Army fatigues       troops overseas.                              It is estimated that the number of   percent to 400 percent this year.
concerns me because often the pri-        with civilian patches on their shoul-          Halliburton was awarded a no-        contract workers in Iraq is 20,000,      All these costs are passed on to
vatisation of government services         ders, Halliburton employees and           bid contract in March with a US$7         or about one for every 10 soldiers.      American taxpayers.
ends up costing the taxpayers more        contract personnel have become an         billion limit to put out fires at Iraqi   During the first Gulf War, the pro-      Acknowledgement to CorpWatch
money rather than less.”                  integral part of Army life in Iraq.       oil wells. In the event, very few oil     portion was about one in 100.            http://www.corpwatch.org J

                                                                                                                                                   THE GUARDIAN              October 1 2003         7
INTERNATIONAL


You made the mess, you fix it!
President Bush’s plea to the United Nations General Assembly to
come to the aid of the United States with money and troops was
received coldly, even with hostility, by many other members of the
UN General Assembly.
     In what can only be regarded        Transfer of
as yet another display of hypocrisy,
double standards and outright lying      sovereignty
Bush claimed that “The primary               Chirac called for the early
goal of our coalition (US, Britain       transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqi
and Australia) in Iraq is self-          people, a call that was promptly
government for the people of Iraq,       rejected by the United States.
reached by orderly and democratic            The President of Brazil, Lula
means…”.                                 da Silva said that “An everlasting
     “As in the aftermath of other       peace cannot be built without the
conflicts, the UN should assist in       participation of all people”. He said
developing a constitution, training      that the main task of the UN is to
civil servants and conducting free       protect nations from wars and foster
and fair elections”, said Bush.          negotiations to avoid conflicts. He
     Some of the strongest criticisms    called for a fight, “which we can
of US actions were made by Kofi          win”, against poverty and hunger
Annan, UN Secretary-General. He          and urged the UN to act resolutely
said, “My concern is that it could set   against starvation.
precedents resulting in a prolifer-
ation of the unilateral and lawless
use of force, with or without cred-      Resurgence of
ible justification”.                     imperialism
     He continued: “No one should
be able to accord himself the right          The Prime Minister of Malaysia
to use force unilaterally and pre-       Mahathir Mohamed declared that
ventatively. In an open world, no        “Today we are seeing the resurgence
one can isolate themselves”.             of European imperialism. Today we
     Bush warned, “This may be a         are actually faced by the old physi-
moment no less decisive than 1945        cal occupation by foreign forces,
itself, when the UN was founded…         puppet regimes are installed, danc-
It is not enough to denounce uni-        ing as puppets do”.                     Lawless use of force – US soldiers raid an Iraq home
lateralism, unless we also face up           He declared that the United
squarely to the concerns that make       Nations organs “have been cut out,      help pay for the occupation of Iraq’s   ness of going it alone. It is waiting    means to be together with the world
some states feel uniquely vulnerable     dissected and reshaped so that they     oil”, said Yehya Mahmoud a seller       for the French and the Germans to        community. To be a really strong
and thus drive them to take unilat-      may perform the way the puppet          of electronics on a Cairo street.       start feeling guilty about not helping   and influential state means to be
eral action”.                            masters want. This organisation is          A Yemeni student said much the      to extricate their old ally from the     able to see and address the problems
     French President, Jacques           collapsing on its clay feet, help-      same: “The Americans just don’t         increasingly sticky morass”.             of small nations and economically
Chirac said, “The war, launched          less to protect the weak and the        stop grudging any role for the rest          The United Arab Emirate’s           weak countries”.
without the authorization of the         poor”, said Dr Mahathir. The United     of the world after they went to war     al-lttihad wrote that “A US adminis-         As the meeting of the UN
Security Council, shook the multi-       Nations had become a tool of the        without international legitimacy”.      tration like this only knows military    General Assembly continues the UN
lateral system. The UN has just          colonisers, he said.                                                            plans to invade this or that country     has announced a further withdrawal
been through one of the gravest              In Middle Eastern countries,                                                using the pretext of freedom and         of its staff from Iraq following a
crises in its history. No one can act    people were just as unimpressed by      Sticky morass                           democracy and other slogans that no      second attack on the UN compound
alone in the name of all and no one      the Bush appeal.                            The Lebanese newspaper Daily        one believes any more”.                  in Baghdad.
can accept the anarchy of a society          “Bush’s words are just cover.       Star said, “The White House is still         There were some voices that,            The team of selected British
without rules”.                          America is looking for others to        refusing to recognise the hopeless-     not surprisingly, backed the US’s        and US personnel who have been
                                                                                                                         plans. The chief of the International    searching for the alleged weapons
                                                                                                                         Monetary Fund, Horst Koehler said        of mass destruction have come up
                                                                                                                         that “Leaders of the world should        with nothing. At the same time the
                                                                                                                         now really set aside their disputes”.    British and US administrations keep
     “Today we are seeing the resurgence of European imperialism.                                                             Russian President Vladimir          up the pretence that there are such
     Today we are actually faced by the old physical occupation by                                                       Putin’s comments were also mild          weapons.
     foreign forces, puppet regimes are installed, dancing as puppets do”                                                when compared with the denun-                The evidence continues to
                                                                                                                         ciation that the US invasion of          mount that Bush, Blair and Howard
                        The Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohamed                                                  Iraq warranted. He failed to insist      were blatantly lying when using the
                                                                                                                         on a rapid timetable or that the         pretext of weapons of mass destruc-
                                                                                                                         UN should take on the major role.        tion to invade Iraq. Despite this,
                                                                                                                         He did say: “To be a world power         they still peddle their lies. J




“Slaughter Every Night”
Robert Fisk Interviewed on Democracy Now                                         families were waiting that night for    at the mortuary. “This is because        spoke to, who did survive, he was
                                                                                 loved ones who would never come         there is no security. America doesn’t    a night watchman of a building,
The whole of Baghdad is full of gunfire. I went to one hospital where            home.                                   want us to have security. It wants       his factory was attacked by looters.
the mortuary attendant told me that almost 40 percent of the total                   Yesterday, the Baghdad city         to divide our society. We won’t          He fired back at the looters and the
dead that come into their mortuary are killed at US checkpoints                  morgue had 21 dead of whom 12           allow it. We will explode ourselves      Americans turned up and shot him
                                                                                 were killed by gunfire. This morn-      against the Americans”, said one         in the chest. He’s now just under-
by soldiers, either because the cars approached the checkpoints                  ing they had another five by 10 am.     of the men. He was talking about         gone his second operation to save
too quickly or because American troops come under fire and fire                  If you add that up, and you turn        suicide bombers.                         his life. But he hasn’t once been
back at the civilians in the area without making direct contact with             it into a month of killings, you             Among those Iraqis who don’t        visited by American forces. No one
whoever is their aggressor.                                                      remember that there’s 20 dead a         take such a conspiratorial view,         said sorry. No one says, “would you
                                                                                 day of gunfire being brought even       there is a milder, but in my opin-       like some compensation, we can
     On one occasion recently a          the car. When the car was burned        to the Najaf cemetery, which is         ion, quite devastating view that the     help you”.
woman and her child were brought         out, I counted around 23 bullet         about 200 miles south of Baghdad,       Americans don’t really care very              In some cases we do know,
dead to the hospital after they were     holes in it. The bullets caught fire    who are killed by violence, not just    much about the Iraqis. They might        especially in outlying and very
killed by US forces who opened fire      to the petrol, and I don’t know if      of course by the Americans but          talk about bringing democracy,           tough areas, the Americans and
at people who were shooting in the       they were still alive or not. They      family revenge killings, shootings      liberating them. But they care only      other Western forces have offered
air at a wedding party.                  were burned to death anyway.As the      by thieves, people trying to stop       about Western soldiers who are           and given money compensation to
     Over and over again this hap-       car was on fire, according to those     looters and get killed by accident      killed. They don’t really care about     families of those they killed.
pens. We had a case about six weeks      who saw it happen, the Americans        caught in crossfire, you’re talking     the lives of ordinary Iraqis.                 It’s this overall feeling, and
ago which I personally investigated,     packed up and abandoned their           at least 1000 Iraqis dying every             And over and over again, we’ve      I don’t go along with conspiracy
in which two men got too close,          checkpoint. I went to the mortuary      week.                                   had examples of people shot by the       theories, that the US wants a civil
drove up to a US checkpoint, it          again afterwards and found these            I had one case this morning,        Americans at checkpoints, and the        war, wants to divide people, wants
wasn’t a usual check point, just a       two skeletons with burned flesh,        a young man, only son of a Shiite       Americans have not even bothered         violence, no, because they also
piece of barbed wire thrown across       their identity papers long ago con-     from the very poorest area of           to find out who they shot down, who      become victims. But Americans just
the road in a very poor suburb of        sumed by the fire. The car itself       Baghdad had been killed in his door,    they killed, who they wounded.           don’t really care about Iraqis. And
Baghdad.                                 and the registration plate had melted   no one knew why. Four very, very             We had one very sad case the        that is the cancer that is eating into
     The Americans opened fire at        into the road. So again, two Iraqi      angry Shiites arrived with his body     other day of a man whose family I        this society now. J

      8    THE GUARDIAN              October 1 2003
                                                                                                                                                            INTERNATIONAL


Vanishing Act
It’s a shell game, with money, companies and corporate brands                  the bagmen behind the extrem-
switching in a blur of buyouts and bogus fronts. It’s a sinkhole, where        ist “Christian Reconstructionist”
mobbed-up operators, paid-off public servants, crazed Christian                movement, which openly advocates
fascists, CIA shadow-jobbers, war-pimping arms dealers ─ and                   a theocratic takeover of American
presidential family members ─ lie down together in the slime.                  democracy, placing the entire soci-
It’s a hacker’s dream, with pork-funded, half-finished, secretly               ety under the “dominion” of “Christ
programmed computer systems installed without basic security                   the King”. This “dominion” includes
                                                                               the death penalty for homosexuals,
standards by politically partisan private firms, and protected by              exclusion of citizenship for non-
law from public scrutiny.                                                      Christians, stoning of sinners and
           by Chris Floyd                                                      – we kid you not – slavery, “one
                                       former Vice President Walter            of the most beneficent of Biblical
     It’s how the United States, the   Mondale – a replacement for popu-       laws”.
“world’s greatest democracy”, casts    lar incumbent Paul Wellstone, who            Ahmanson also has major hold-
its votes. And it’s why George W.      died days before the vote – was also    ings in ES&S, whose former CEO is
Bush will almost certainly be the      defeated in a large last-second vote    Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of
next President of the United States    swing.                                  Nebraska.
– no matter what the people of the          Convenient “glitches” in Florida        When Hagel ran for office, his
United States might want.              saw an untold number of votes           own company counted the votes;
     The American vote-count is        intended for the Democrat candidate     needless to say, his initial vic-
controlled by three major corpo-       registering instead for Governor Jeb    tory was reported as “an amazing
rate players – Diebold, ES&S,          “L’il Brother” Bush.                    upset”. Hagel still has a million-
and Sequoia – with a fourth,                A Florida Democrat who lost a      dollar stake in the parent company
Science Applications International     similarly “glitched” local election     of ES&S.
Corporation, coming on strong.         went to court to have the comput-            In Florida, Jeb Bush’s first

                                                                                                                                            Global briefs
These companies – all of them hard-    ers examined – but the case was         choice for a running mate in his
wired into the Bushist Party power     thrown out by a judge who ruled         1998 gubernatorial race was ES&S
grid – have been given billions of     that the innards of America’s voting    lobbyist Sandra Mortham, who
dollars by the Bush Regime to com-     machines are the “trade secrets” of     made a mint installing the machines
plete a sweeping computerisation of    the private companies who make          that counted Jeb’s votes.
voting machines nationwide by the      them.                                        Sequoia also has a colourful        ISRAEL: A group of reserve pilots in the Israel Air Force is
2004 election.                              Who’s behind these private         history, most recently in Louisiana,
     These glitch-riddled systems      companies? It’s hard to tell: the       where it was the centre of a massive     planning to publicly announce their refusal to participate in
– many using “touch-screen”            corporate lines – even the blood-       corruption case that sent top state      attempts to assassinate senior officials in the Palestinian Au-
technology that leaves no paper        lines – of these “competitors” are so   officials to jail for bribery, most of   thority. The various refusal movements view the pilots’ planned
trail at all – are almost laughably    intricately mixed.                      it funnelled through Mob-connected       declaration as a big boost for their cause, due to the special
open to manipulation, according to          For example, at Diebold – whose    front firms. Sequoia executives were     status enjoyed by pilots in Israeli society, and hope that it will
corporate whistleblowers and com-      corporate chief, Wally O’Dell, a top    also indicted, but escaped trial after   shake up Israelis in a way that “ordinary” refusals have not.
puter scientists at Stanford, Johns    Bush fundraiser, has publicly com-      giving immunised testimony against
Hopkins and other universities.        mitted himself to “delivering” his      state officials.                         VENEZUELA: Security services have given reasons for the
     The technology had a trial run    home state’s votes to Bush next              The British-owned company’s         sudden decision to cancel President Hugo Chavez’s trip to
in the 2002 mid-term elections.        year – the election division is run     corporate parent is private equity       Washington and New York (to deliver a speech to the United
     In Georgia, serviced by           by Bob Urosevich. Bob’s brother,        firm Madison Dearborn – a partner
                                                                                                                        Nations). They say they have “overwhelming evidence” of a
new Diebold systems, a popu-           Todd, is a top executive at “rival”     of the Carlyle Group, where George
lar Democratic governor and            ES&S. The brothers were originally      Bush Snr makes millions trolling the     CIA-backed plan to “bring down” Chavez’s plane during the
senator were both unseated in what     staked in the vote-count business by    world for war pork, privatisations       scheduled flight to the United States from Caracas. “Presented
the media called “amazing” upsets,     Howard Ahmanson, a member of            and sweetheart deals with govern-        with overwhelming evidence of Washington’s planned attack
with results showing vote swings of    the Council for National Policy, a      ment insiders.                           on the Presidential flight, it was decided that the President’s
up to 16 percent from the last pre-    right-wing “steering group” stacked          Meanwhile, the shadowy              personal security was pre-eminent and he should not go”,
ballot polls.                          with Bushist faithful.                  defence contractor SAIC has jumped       Venezuela’s Military Intelligence Directorate (DIM) said.
     In computerised Minnesota,             Ahmanson is also one of            into the vote-counting game, both
                                                                               directly and through spin-offs by        UKRAINE: About 3000 Ukrainian war veterans protested
                                                                               its top brass, including Admiral Bill    against government plans to scrap free bus travel and
                                                                               Owens, former military aide to Dick      cheaper electricity and gas. Government plans to cut so-
                                                                               Cheney and Carlyle honcho Frank
                                                                                                                        cial spending are a big issue in Ukraine in the run-up to the
         When Hagel ran for office,                                            Carlucci, and ex-CIA chief Robert
                                                                               Gates.                                   presidential election which is due next year. Elderly men and
                                                                                                                        women, many wearing war medals, waved red flags and
       his own company counted the                                                  SAIC’s history of fraud
                                                                               charges and security lapses in its       shouted “Shame on you” in front of Ukraine’s government
         votes; needless to say, his                                           electronic systems hasn’t prevented
                                                                               it from becoming one of the larg-
                                                                                                                        building. War veterans and pensioners are entitled to pay lower
                                                                                                                        tariffs and travel free on public transport. The government
        initial victory was reported                                           est Pentagon and CIA contractors
                                                                               – and will doubtless pose little
                                                                                                                        plans to replace those privileges next year with a program
                                                                                                                        of means-tested benefits. War veterans vowed to hold more
           as “an amazing upset”.                                              obstacle to its entrance into election
                                                                               engineering.
                                                                                                                        demonstrations unless ministers satisfied their demands.
                                                                                    The mad rush to install unverifi-   BRITAIN: Public-sector unions in Britain accused the govern-
                                                                               able computer voting is driven by
                                                                               the Help America Vote Act, signed        ment of handing over the National Health Services (NHS) to
                                                                               by Bush last year.                       fat-cat privateers as the first wave of bidders for new diag-
                                                                                    The chief lobbying group push-      nostic and treatment centres were named – five international
                                                                                                                        and two British companies. The Health Secretary claims the
   London Leads Worldwide
                                                                               ing for the act was a consortium
                                                                               of arms dealers – those disinter-        new centres will specialise in non-urgent operations such as
                                                                               ested corporate citizens – including     eye cataracts and hip and knee replacements. NHS patients

      Anti-War Protests
                                                                               Northop-Grumman and Lockheed-            will be treated free with the state footing the bill, but private
                                                                               Martin.                                  centres will be paid more than a NHS hospital for the same
                                                                                    The Bill also mandates that         operation. These routine operations often subsidise the com-
Organisers of a demonstration held in London last weekend                      all states adopt the computerised
                                                                               “ineligible voter purge” system          plicated procedures that require more long-stay care in the
report that 100,000 people rallied in Trafalgar square to protest                                                       NHS. Without those operations, many NHS wards will close.
the occupation of Iraq and to demand freedom for Palestine.                    that Jeb used to eliminate 91,000
                                                                               eligible black voters from               Trade unions and NHS doctors have expressed opposition to
    The Campaign for Nuclear           should be controlled by a group of      the Florida rolls in 2000. The           this further privatisation and concerns about quality of care.
Disarmament, the Stop the              foreigners with blue helmets or a       Republican-run private company
War Coalition and the Muslim           group of foreigners with stars and      that accomplished this electoral         SOUTH AFRICA: Last month the South African Com-
Association of Britain provided        stripes. Foreign occupiers are not      miracle, ChoicePoint, is bagging         munist Party saluted the memory and contribution to the
the opportunity for the mass           the solution to Iraq’s problem, they    the lion’s share of the new Bush-        struggle of Steve Biko, on the 26th anniversary of his death.
outpouring of anger at the role        are Iraq’s problem”.                    ordered purge contracts.                 Biko was brutally murdered by apartheid police whilst in
of the British Government in                Anti-war protests also took             The unelected Bush Regime           custody. The apartheid regime ensured that there was no
the war on Iraq, its occupation        place in Dublin and Edinburgh           now controls the government, the         investigation, no court trial and conviction of the killers. The
of that country and the scandal        where 1500 demonstrators                military, the judiciary – and the
surrounding the “weapons of mass       marched. About 3000 protested in        machinery of democracy itself.           SACP supports the continuing search for full information
destruction” pretext for the UK’s      Paris and a similar number took the     Absent some unlikely great awaken-       about Biko’s murder and other apartheid murders of po-
entry into the war.                    anti-war message to the gates of        ing by the co-opted dullards of the      litical leaders and activists. The SACP called on all South
    At the rally, Labour MP            the US Embassy in Athens. More          corporate media, next November the       Africans to struggle against racism, gender inequality, pov-
George Galloway spoke of “…a           than 2000 marched to the centre of      last shreds of a genuine American        erty, neo-liberalism and capitalism. This means a struggle for
very dangerous diversion, a false      Seoul. There were also protests in      republic will disappear – at the push    nation-building, non-racism, non-sexism, economic growth
dichotomy which is emerging in         Vienna, Berlin, Madrid, New York        of a button.                             and development biased towards poor and working people.
this debate – whether or not Iraq      and San Francisco. J                    Moscow Times J

                                                                                                                                        THE GUARDIAN            October 1 2003      9
LETTERS
Lessons from the                          armed forces sufficiently trained       win the new, young forces emerg-             Blair is a liar. He will not            Part of this “technological
                                          and equipped to take care of emer-      ing to progressive and consistent        defeat the will of the Irish people,    consciousness” could well be
ultra-left and history                    gency situations” (Bush screaming       action.                                  though the price paid by the people     described as the result of advertis-
The letter on Adorno by Richard           for more troops and money!).                                 Vic Williams        in suffering is horrendous. We have     ing and the search for wider and
Titelius brings up a present day               “The critical theory of society                           Perth, WA         defeated British propaganda before      wider markets.
problem of how to bring the               possesses no concept to bridge                                                   and will do so in the future and            How many people are influ-
revolts of non-proletarian forces         the gap between the present and                                                  continue with our struggle.             enced by the use of largely
into continued and developing             its future; holding no promise and      The six counties                                                                 meaningless terms like “natural”,
action in the movements for               showing no success; it remains          of Ireland                                           Anne Duffy-Lindsay          “holistic”, “state of the art”, and
peace and socialism. The actions          negative.”                                                                                         Sydney, NSW           in contrast, in some fields of health
                                               Adorno is just as negative.        A few observations of the                                                        support of medical practices by
of students and youth focused             He saw it as impossible to view a       ongoing struggle in the six                                                      referring to their age old use!
around the slogan “Books not              contradiction as soluble, and that it   counties of Ireland:                     Source of                                   The growth of technology and
Bombs” were in protest at the
then impending war on Iraq and
                                          was wrong to envisage any definite          Prime Minister Tony Blair has        technological                           unwarranted reverence for it, or
                                          alternative. He regarded the modern     set about dismantling the Good                                                   at least some aspects of it, lies in
have not developed further.               world as a contradictory chaotic        Friday Agreement, including the          consciousness                           the development of the capitalist
    The same thing happened to            chain of events not arranged in any     suspension of the Northern Ireland       In his letter in The Guardian           economy – it is not due to some
the “New Left” culminating in the         integral system.                        Assembly at the request of the           (September 17) Richard                  mystical consciousness – and
student demonstrations in France               These and other writers con-       Unionists.                               Titelius suggests that the work         as far as it is planned today it is
in 1968 when Daniel Cohn-Bendit           fused and held up the political             Let it be recalled that the          of Theodore Adorno might                the bourgeoisie; the planning is
was one of the prominent leaders.         development of many of the pro-         Northern Ireland Assembly was            indicate some remedy for the            in their hands and those of their
    The New Left challenged bour-         testing people associated with the      founded by the United Ulster             disasters of recent years, or if        imitators.
geois society, the foreign policies       New Left. Their ideas have pen-         Unionist Council (UUUC) to                                                           Like some of the New Left, it
of imperialism and its economic           etrated communist parties.              advise Edward Heath before
                                                                                                                           not, make us feel better in spite       would seem that Adorno wished to
and political repression. They                 In 1968 Dubcek, Secretary          the Sunningdale Conference in            of them.                                purge “social, political and cultural
reacted against bourgeois culture.        of the Communist Party of               England in December 1973.                    Titelius suggests that what he      thought” of any interpretation in
They did not link up with the             Czechoslovakia, called for changes          This conference entrenched           calls, with some justification a        terms of the class structure of soci-
organised union movement or the           for a socialism with a human face       the power of Unionism, to uphold         “new kind of barbarism”, “is not        ety, and as a result in common with
communist parties who they called         – “the good life, true liberty and      a Protestant state, for a Protestant     inflicted by the ruling class elites,   the New Left, of the recognition of
the “old ideology”.                       a just society”. In the last Czech      people.                                  but by a new technological con-         the working class’s critical position
    Among their spokespersons             elections, the Czech Communist              Final result – the British           sciousness which has gripped mass       and responsibility for the changing
were those who set out to create          Party got 20 percent of the votes.      Government gave agreement to             society”.                               of society.
an up-to-date revolutionary theory,       Dubcek formed and led an anti-          the UUUC that the Six Counties               Where does Adorno think this            I am not clear as to the exact
with emphasis on spontaneous              communist pro-capitalist splinter       of Ulster would remain part of the       technological consciousness came        meaning of Titelius’s final sentence
actions with release of unconscious       party in those elections.               UK.                                      from and is this a proper descrip-      in which he concludes “… there is
forces. These writers said they                Under the banner of perestroi-         Thus the continual terror on the     tion of the situation?                  a persistence of Adorno’s thinking
were looking for the shaping of a         ka, Gorbachev confused and misled       streets by the UDA, UFF, UDR, the            Certainly, large numbers of         and ideas among those for whom
new culture and a new man.                the CPSU and the Soviet people,         abuse of school children, Sinn Féin      people in countries like Australia      the good life, true liberty, and a
    Marcuse, Sartre and Adorno            and was the chief internal factor in    councillors barred from entering         have been fascinated by the             just society are not just a utopian
were among the main ideological           destroying the Soviet Union. There      Council Chambers, are all part of        achievements of science and tech-       dream”.
leaders at that time. Marcuse saw         had been a close link between           this sabotage that includes the sus-     nology and benefited from them but          Does he mean that Adorno is
only a dead end. “The economic and        Dubcek and Gorbachev.                   pension of the Assembly, illegally       without having what one could call      speaking to those for whom these
technical capabilities of the estab-           We need to study the present-      preventing democratically elected        technological consciousness, i.e.,      things are no longer a dream (the
lished societies are sufficiently vast    day writers appealing to the youth,     Sinn Féin members from function-         they have very little appreciation      bourgeoisie?) and if not, to whom?
to allow for adjustments and con-         to understand their appeal and          ing. This has to be tested in the        of the scientific and technological                             Tom Gill
cessions to the underdog, and their       their weaknesses, so that we can        International Court.                     achievements.                                               Sydney, NSW

                                          for “Sesame Street News”, breath-       picking on black kids to hassle just

  Culture                                 lessly covering various spoofs of
                                          famous fairy tales.
                                               The series was originally made
                                                                                  because they are black? No, neither
                                                                                  have I.
                                                                                       Or seen the INS raid a Sesame

   & Life                                 for the most deprived sub-stratum of
                                          underprivileged America: the Black
                                          and Latino ghettos of New York and
                                                                                  Street store and rough up the Latino
                                                                                  customers for failing to produce
                                                                                  naturalisation papers fast enough?
                                          other large US cities. But the makers   No again.
                                          of the series never once questioned          But why not? After all, it’s
                                          the legitimacy of a system that made    everyday reality for the kids the pro-
Kids’ stuff                               their program necessary.                gram is trying to reach. But it’s not
                                               They wracked their brains for      reality that the series is preaching.
Sesame Street began in the USA            ways of using the attitude moulding          Sesame Street espouses a
in 1969. It was not long before           techniques of capitalist marketing      small-“l” liberal view of the USA
it was introduced to Australia            to reach children living in cultural    that says: “America is great.
                                          deprivation, without kids’ books,       Whatever little things are wrong
with a great fanfare about its            safe playing areas or a stable home-    with it are that way because people
supposed sensational educational          life, where rats gnawed at their        don’t try hard enough to make it
virtues.                                  bedding and the air was nightly         work.”
         by Rob Gowland                   rent by the sounds of violence. But          This is a middle-class view that
     Media and advertising gurus          they never publicly questioned the      was given expression by Michael
like Phillip Adams weighed in with        American Dream or what Bush             Douglas in The American President:
fulsome praise for the program’s          today is wont to call “American         “America is hard work. You’ve got
alleged success in teaching New           Values”.                                to want it bad.” (Here, “America”
York ghetto kids to read. It would             Instead, they embraced the         has become both a goal and an ide-
be an educational catastrophe, they       American Dream, presenting a            ology all its own.)
suggested, if the ABC did not take        seriously romanticised view of               Sesame Street is a program
up this “revolutionary” new pro-          urban living in the USA. There was      for poor children that never even
gram.                                     no racism on Sesame Street, no sir!     acknowledges the existence of
     In truth, they seemed overjoyed      Instead there was (and is) tolerance:   poverty, let alone the causes of it.     Oscar the small “l” liberal
at finding a series where the tech-       of people of colour, of people with     It visits Indian reservations to show
niques of advertising – a dirty word      disabilities, of monsters of every      Indian kids playing in the dirt or       of State for Public Diplomacy               Thanks to a combined market-
in anybody’s language – were being        hue.                                    admiring their mother’s baskets          (“newspeak” for Minister for            ing, media and diplomatic push,
used to capture the attention of               The program’s target audi-         (“encouraging tolerance”).               Propaganda) waxed ecstatic to           Sesame Street is now aired in no
children for the worthy purpose of        ence encounters racism every day             But it never comments on the        a Senate Committee about the            less than 120 countries! That’s a lot
education.                                of their lives. Even little kids can    fact that they live in squalor under     Egyptian version of the program:        of “American morality and culture”
     Sesame Street taught read-           understand and benefit from simple      the thumb of the FBI. The children       “The children are glued to the set.     being aired daily.
ing by teaching letter recognition.       explanations of the nature of racism,   on Sesame Street, unlike its audi-       They are learning English, they are         The BBC reported recently that
Australian teachers were at first         who benefits from it, what purpose      ence, never suffer hunger.               learning about American values”.        the Russian version, Ulitsa Sezam,
dismayed to discover that their more      does it serve.                               Many of the families that watch          Ms Beers, one need hardly add,     now has a new storyline about
sophisticated approach was sudden-             But that would call the capital-   it cannot afford books. At their inner   is a former advertising executive.      a lemonade stall. This has been
ly being berated as “old fashioned”.      ist system into question, and that      city schools they share pencils. (Is          The US is strenuously trying       included to show, that in a nation
     In the event, Sesame Street did      would never do. No, the makers of       that why the series spends so much       to secure bases in Bangladesh, and      where many people suspect all busi-
not revolutionise the teaching of         this much-vaunted series preferred      time lauding the virtues of sharing?     Sesame Street is part of the effort.    nesses of corruption (goodness, why
reading in Australia. Nevertheless,       to put the blame for racism on to the   They are certainly not advocating        The US Agency for International         would they think that?), someone
the series settled in for an apparent-    very people who were its victims.       sharing the wealth!)                     Development (USAID) is giving           “can make a profit and be a nice
ly permanent spot in pre-and-after        Ordinary people’s intolerance for            The relentless but clever pro-      the series’ producers US$6.26m to       person”.
school viewing.                           anyone a little bit different was at    establishment line of Sesame Street      produce a version for viewers in            And the BBC also reports that
     I was about 30 when Sesame           the bottom of it, and all we had to     and its popularity have endeared the     Bangladesh.                             back in the US, “the cute, squeaky-
Street started here, so it is perhaps     do was be more tolerant and there       program to the US State Department            One unnamed official told          voiced puppet Elmo has just been
understandable that I was not             would be no racism, like on Sesame      and other US government agencies         Britain’s Daily Telegraph that          sponsored by Wall Street firm
entranced by Big Bird. Bert and           Street.                                 charged with combating the “anti-        the project is “aiming to promote       Merrill Lynch to explain business
Ernie were much more fun, as was               Have you ever seen the police      Americanism” in the world.               greater understanding of American       to American pre-schoolers”. Of
Kermit in the guise of the reporter       come cruising down Sesame Street             Charlotte Beers, Undersecretary     morality and culture”. Yeah, right.     course. J

      10     THE GUARDIAN                October 1 2003
                                                                                                                                                                      WORTH WATCHING

    Rob Gowland                         horrific conditions of their existence
                                        and their uninhibited, distinctive
       previews                         personalities.
                                             It has won a number of Best
      ABC & SBS                         Documentary Awards, including
                                        the 2001 Sundance Festival Special
    public television                   Jury Prize for Best Documentary.
       programs                             A      fter WW2, it was in the
                                                   Soviet zone of occupation
                                        that filmmaking began again in
      Sun October 5 ~                   Germany. The DEFA film studios
      ~ Sat October 11                  were established and in 1946 their
                                        first feature film was released.
Who Killed Julius Caesar? (ABC               The Murderers Are Among Us
7.30pm Sunday) is a pretentious         (SBS 11.50pm Sunday) was direct-
waste of television space. Made         ed by Wolfgang Staudte and starred
for cable (the overated Discovery       Hildegard Knef as a former con-
Channel), it takes a serious            centration camp inmate and Ernst
historical subject – which              Wilhelm Borchert as a doctor trau-
historical forces conspired to          matised by witnessing the murder of
overthrow Julius Caesar and             an entire Polish village.
why – and turns it into a highly             The doctor discovers that the
                                        Nazi officer who ordered the mas-
problematic whodunnit.                  sacre is alive and living comfortably
    The program’s jazzed-up             in Berlin. Called “a serious and cou-
approach is based on the assump-        rageous film” by H H Wollenberg in
tion that its viewers not only know     his seminal 1948 book Fifty Years of
nothing about history or histori-       German Film, The Murderers Are
cal processes, but are incapable of     Among Us set the tone for GDR
taking a serious interest in such       filmmaking for the next 40 years.
a topic without lots of shots of             Hildegard Knef made such an           Set the tone or GDR filmmaking (The Murderers Are Among Us)
Caesar’s bloody corpse and porten-      impression she was immediately
tous intimations on the soundtrack      poached (with more money and               Mass Destruction in the shopping         38th parallel between the North              The program accepts the US
of startling revelations to come.       star status) for the emerging West         bags of bemused customers in a           and South. Probing attacks and           version of the War’s origin, but

   N      icolae Ceausescu was
          President of Romania
from 1964 to 1989. His growing
                                        German cinema.

                                            T     he trials and tribulations of
                                                  China’s attempt to estab-
                                                                                   shopping mall.
                                                                                       This episode at least seemed
                                                                                   less parochial and more consistently
                                                                                                                            “incidents” involving the army of
                                                                                                                            Syngman Rhee, the US-installed
                                                                                                                            dictator of South Korea, resulted
                                                                                                                                                                     does acknowledge that “evidence
                                                                                                                                                                     hidden for almost 50 years dem-
                                                                                                                                                                     onstrates that the United States
megalomania successfully derailed       lish socialism in a hostile capitalist     humorous than the last series. I par-    in several thousand soldiers             deployed biological warfare,
socialism there. When he was finally    world via a socialist market and cap-      ticularly liked the guy with the toffy   being killed between October             including bubonic plague, cholera,
shot by firing squad he left behind a   italist investment funds have obliged      accent collecting (from real passers     1949 (declaration of the People’s        anthrax and other deadly agents,
country wracked by extreme poverty      the Chinese Government and people          by in the street) on behalf of north-    Republic of China) and June 1950.        against North Korea and China
and ripe for counter-revolution.        to deal with such unwelcome phe-           erners – “people who have to travel          On June 25, according to             during the conflict”.
    Ceausescu’s record is used          nomena as mass unemployment and            by bus”.                                 the US, the Democratic People’s              The filmmakers were given the
to discredit socialism not only
in Romania but throughout the
world. One of his policies was to
                                        entrepreneurial thinking.
                                             Clearly there are many in China
                                        who echo the Western media’s cry
                                                                                       I  n 1950, the US was fresh from
                                                                                          successfully completing the
                                                                                   task the British had begun of rolling
                                                                                                                            Republic of Korea (DPRK) invaded
                                                                                                                            the South. According to the DPRK,
                                                                                                                            and initial Western news reports
                                                                                                                                                                     unprecedented opportunity to inter-
                                                                                                                                                                     view Chinese commanders. They
                                                                                                                                                                     were also granted access to new
ban abortion and most methods of        that “China is going capitalist”. I        the Communists back in Greece. US        would seem to support this, South        material from the former Soviet
contraception, leading to unwanted      suspect however that they are a little     forces had intervened not quite clan-    Korea had launched a pre-emptive         military and intelligence archives
pregnancies and unwanted children.      premature.                                 destinely in the civil war in China,     strike against the North but dis-        as well as to material emerging
    Some of those children now               Documentary maker Sue                 on behalf of Chiang Kai-chek’s Guo       covered that they had made a bad         from the archives of the United
constitute a feral underclass of        Williams certainly thinks the coun-        Min Dang (Kuomintang).                   miscalculation.                          Nations powers (US and its allies)
children living in the underground      try is going capitalist, and in her            The US Fleet and Air Force had           By June 28, DPRK forces had          that fought the war.
railway system and similar places.      two-part documentary China In              been used to prevent the Chinese         captured the South’s capital, Seoul.         In the first episode, the pro-
Their daily struggles against hunger,   The Red (SBS 7.30pm Tuesdays)              Red Army from pursuing the rem-          In the ensuing war, 33,269 US sol-       gram also claims that US forces
drug abuse and violence are shown       she has amassed a litany of horror         nants of Chiang’s forces to Taiwan.      diers were killed, as were 415,000       staged assaults on “civilian targets
in Children Underground (SBS            stories to show the dreadful effect of     Thousands of Guo Min Dang troops         South Korean soldiers and perhaps        and refugee columns” in an effort
8.35pm Sunday).                         all this on the people.                    had been flown by the US from            as many as 1,500,000 DPRK and            to halt the Northern advance.
    The film, by first-time director
Edet Belzberg allows the children
to speak for themselves with strik-
                                            I   n the new series of the BBC
                                                impersonation show Dead
                                        Ringers (ABC 9.30pm Thursdays)
                                                                                   Taiwan to Burma to prepare for an
                                                                                   imminent counter-attack on China.
                                                                                       In Korea, there were constant
                                                                                                                            Chinese soldiers.
                                                                                                                                As the four-part documen-
                                                                                                                            tary series Korea: The Unfinished
                                                                                                                                                                         I  watched John Cromwell’s
                                                                                                                                                                            1934 RKO film Spitfire
                                                                                                                                                                     (ABC 10.20pm Saturday) some
ing naturalness, revealing both the     Tony Blair searches for Weapons of         armed provocations along the             War, screening on As It Happened         years ago and found Katharine
                                                                                                                            (SBS 8.30pm Saturdays), tells            Hepburn’s fey “Ozark mountain
                                                                                                                            us, there are one hundred times          girl” irritating beyond sufferance.
Sydney
                                                                                                                            more books and films on the death            As the New Yorker observed
International Year of Fresh Water                                                                                           of Custer at the Little Big Horn,        at the time, “her artistry does not
ME NAM: RIVERS                                                                                                              where 225 US soldiers died, than         extend to the interpretation of the
Photograph exhibition exposing efforts to                                                                                   on the Korean War.                       primitive or the uncouth”. J
control our water resources, and a celebration of
waterways & community activism to protect them.
Launch: Tuesday 14th October 7.00pm (free)                                                                                                                    Sydney

                                                                                                                                Politics in the Pub
Speaker: Peter Garrett
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Exhibition runs October 7-17
NSW Parliament House                                                                                                             Every Friday night 6pm – 7.45pm
Weekdays 9.00am-4.30pm                                                                                                       Gaelic Club, 64 Devonshire St, Surry Hills
Artists include: Paul Blackmore, Gordon Undy,                                                                                (across from the Chalmers St exit and Devonshire St tunnel at Central Station)
Peter Solness, Ruby Davies, Vince Lovecchio,                                                                                         Dinner afterwards in the Royal Exhibition Hotel across the road
Maylei Hunt, Daniela Guerra, Japan’s Yoshiaki
Murayama and Taiwan’s Hong Tien-Jun.                              Water pipes, Bombay, India, 2001 - Paul Blackmore
                                                                                                                                                             October 3
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                                                                                                                                                THE GUARDIAN              October 1 2003         11
                                                                                                                                              THE WORKERS’ WEEKLY
                                                                                                                                          COMMUNIST PARTY OF AUSTRALIA




                   “Don’t Be Bush-Whacked”
It is just three weeks to George Bush’s visit to Australia. And                          I’m sure all those “security”
while the Howard Government is preparing to greet and grovel                        issues will come up.
at the feet of this international terrorist and warmongerer, peace                       I’m sure the establishment will
activists and other progressives are preparing a different sort of                  be fawning on him, and at the joint
reception. Jules Andrews spoke to Hannah Middleton, President of                    sitting of Parliament everybody will
the Communist Party of Australia and co-convenor of the Sydney                      cheer ─ which we hope at least the
Peace and Justice Coalition.                                                        Greens will boycott.
                                                                                         JA: And free trade?
     Jules Andrews: George Bush is        USA and the Bush Administration                HM: Well, whether they will let
coming to Australia ─ what kind of        and imperialism is doing to ordinary      Bush say anything about the Free
welcome are we planning for him?          people in the world, but do it in         Trade Agreement while he’s out
     Hannah Middleton: The situa-         ways that are satirical and abusive       here, well, we know he’s not that
tion is this ─ we know he is coming       and funny.                                bright…
to Australia sometime in the week             JA: And George W is certainly              I’m assuming that that’s going
beginning Monday the 20th, but we         a wide target!                            to be talked about those talks
don’t know which day or days.                 HM: Yes! There is already             are ongoing. It doesn’t look as if
     It is rumoured he is going to        that iconic one from February the         enough has been finalised for him to
go to Canberra and that there will        16th of Bush with a Howard-face           sign anything with a flourish along-
be a joint sitting of both houses of      dog moving along behind him and           side Howard. But they may be able
Parliament for him to address. It is      every now and then its nose would         to cook up some sort of preliminary
also rumoured that he may come to         touch Bush’s bottom, which every-         statement of intent or something
Sydney as well but we don’t know          one remembers. One or two of the          like that for a photo opportunity and
how long for, it could be possibly        people in the Coalition felt it was       some political gain.
only as short as two hours.               a bit rude about the institution of            But there’s a still a lot of work
     This is why we have decided          Prime Ministership. I didn’t agree        to do on that. There are still some
to organise the main protest ─            but we decided as a matter of con-        worries amongst sections of the
“Don’t Be Bush-Wacked” ─ on               sensus not to use it on the poster.       ruling class, even about the free
the Sunday before, which will give            JA: So what is Bush’s agenda          trade agreement and what it may
the maximum number of people              on this trip?                             do, apart from massive opposition           Hannah Middleton
the opportunity to come to Prince             HM: We’re assuming some               amongst large sections of the com-               Firstly, we need to bring about          sake speak out!” forum on the
Alfred Park and say what they want        things: certainly one will be to          munity.                                     an end ─ an immediate end ─ to the            United States missile defence and
to say.                                   strengthen the link between to our             But I’m sure he’ll have an             occupation of Iraq. Some form of              weaponisation of space, which will
     And what we are trying to use        two countries and drum up political       entourage with him who will carry           transitional authority must be organ-         have a couple of speakers informing
is satire, contempt and ridicule and      support.                                  out the economic discussions as             ised by the United Nations that will          us about what exactly the US will
other forms of humour to make our             It’s unlikely ─ but not impos-        well as the security/military.              very quickly ─ the speed is a very            be putting up in the sky.
political criticism. We’ll have two       sible ─ that the US will request               JA: October 25 is being publi-         important element ─ bring about                   Bob Hunter who is the National
serious speeches but the rest will be     that more Australian troops should        cised as another international day          full restoration of Iraqi sovereignty         President of Scientists for Global
fun activities, for example, the lon-     go to Iraq. Although the Howard           of action.                                  with democratic elections.                    Responsibility is a great speaker
gest protest line-dance in the world.     Government has already said it’s               HM: What happened initially is              JA: The USA has long said that           who doesn’t make the science too
     We are going to give prizes for      not going to do that, that it’s already   that some of the Trotskyist groups in       the long time-frame for holding               difficult. He’s quite scathing about
the best display for adult and school     stretched to the limit with our cur-      the USA called for the October 25           elections is necessary to enable an           the United States.
student category, and the best plac-      rent presence in Iraq, with the           action but there’s been quite a delay       extensive consultation process prior              And then Mike McKinley from
ard or banner.                            Solomons, (with Bougainville next),       on more groups coming on board in           to the drafting of a constitution.            ANU why the Americans are put-
     We are encouraging people to be      and our current commitment in East        the interim.                                     HM: One of the things that has           ting weapons systems up there.
creative but have a serious content       Timor and all the other things we’re           Some American groups were              come up in our meetings is that               And then we can all have a drink
to the fun, so it’s not just comedy,      involved in.                              worried because there was going             when the United States had “pony              and a talk about it. We are calling
it’s satire in that tradition.                But there are other ways I’m          to be a trade union conference on           express” mail they still managed to           the campaign “For heaven’s sake:
     I was watching on ABC televi-        sure John Howard is willing to help       peace held on that weekend too.             produce the American Constitution             against the weaponisation and
sion last night the program about         ─ with rolling out the so-called “war          The Peace and Justice Coalition        in a very short time, a matter of             militarisation of space”. (See ad on
Charlie Chaplin making the Great          against terrorism” in our region.         ─ to which the CPA is affiliated            weeks.                                        bottom of page 3).
Dictator and how that had an enor-            Bush will also want Australia to      ─ decided they wouldn’t take on                  Yet we are told it is going to               However there are lots of other
mously strengthening impact for           spend more on the military and that       October 25 at any early stage.              take many months to produce a con-            smaller peace campaigns going on
many people. I saw it when I was          will definitely include paying for             The Sydney Stop the War                stitution for Iraq, and the lead-up           all over the country at this time.
young and my parents took me, we          two new vessels which will be used        Coalition, which is the ultra-left          to elections must take even longer.           People have become much more
were in London.                           off West Australia for theatre mis-       coalition that came out of the peace        This is nonsense.                             optimistic about these local cam-
     People would go and see it           siles. And then of course there’s all     movement split here in Sydney,                   It is just the United States             paigns this year, they are excited
during the blitz and would come out       the further expansion of Pine Gap         thought they would go with it. It’s         making sure they have a complete              that they can build campaigns that
going “(gesture) to you, Mr Hitler!”,     for the US missile defence which of       my understanding now that they’ve           strangle-hold on the political pro-           will educate people and get them
because they really felt empowered        course is being called “astro-imperi-     instead decided to also protest             cess, who will get elected, which             into activity.
by this send up.                          alism” ─ a phrase I like ─ but what       against the Bush visit by calling a         parties and candidates they’ll fund               I think that what’s happened is
     So we are hoping we can do that,     is essentially the militarisation of      rally at 5pm at Town Hall Square on         and also control over the economic            that the strength of the campaign
that we can make people express           space in order to further dominate        the day that Bush comes to Sydney.          levers of that country.                       against the invasion and occupation
their anger and their criticism of the    the globe.                                     So rather than the international            And once they’ve got that all            of Iraq has actually regalvanised the
                                                                                    action on October 25 we will be             sown up ─ which they don’t seem to            peace movement. J
                                                                                    focusing in Sydney on October the           be doing very successfully ─ then of
                                           Say “NO” to Bush’s visit!                19th.                                       course they’ll allow a form of elec-
                                                                                         JA: What demands will be made          tions into which they’ll pour a great                  Continued next issue:
                               Muster at Prince Alfred Park                         on that day?                                deal of money into their candidates.                      Hannah discusses
                                                                                                                                                                                      the Sea-Swap campaign,
                                                                                         HM: We’ve been a little care-               JA: You mentioned Pine Gap
                                    (Walk south from Central down to Chalmers St)                                                                                                 the new campaign on land mines,
                                                                                    ful about that because we wanted            earlier, and Australia’s support for             the role of the United Nations, and
                                                                                    to emphasise the satire aspect, but         US “astro-imperialism”. What does                     tasks of Communist Party
                                    SUNDAY 19 OCTOBER 2-4pm                         the overtly stated political demands        that involve?                                            members within the
                                                                                    will be brought out through the two              HM: The Anti Bases Coalition                         peace movement
                                                                                    speakers.                                   is going to have a “For heaven’s
                                             !
                                        NTED                                           Communist Party of Australia
                                   T WA
                                 NO                                                    Central Committee:
                                                                                       General Secretary: Peter Symon
                                                                                       President: Hannah Middleton
                                                                                                                               Wollongong Branch:
                                                                                                                               Leanne Lindsay
                                                                                                                               PO Box 276 Corrimal 2518
                                                                                                                                                                         Brisbane Branch:
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                                                   Speakers & entertainment            Australian Marxist Review:              Riverina: Geoff Lawler                    Phone: (07) 3398 9623
                                              “Creative Ridicule” competition          Executive Editor: Hannah Middleton      PO Box 1016 Wagga 2650                    South Australian State Committee:
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                                               Rewards for best placard ($100)         Ph: (02) 9212 6855 Fax: (02) 92815795   Fax: (02) 6921 6873                       Room 5, 1st floor, 149 Flinders St,
                                                              and best display         Sydney District Committee:              Victorian State Committee:                Adelaide 5000 Ph: (08) 8232 8200
                                                                                       Rob Gowland, 65 Campbell St,            Andrew Irving                             West Australian Branch:
                                                                                       Surry Hills 2010 Phone (02) 9212 6855   PO Box 3 Room 0                           Vic Williams
                                                   Organised by the Sydney             Newcastle Branch: 303 Hunter St         Trades Hall Lygon St Carlton South 3053   5B Jemerson St Willagee Perth 6156
                                                 Peace and Justice Coalition           Phone: ah (02) 4926 1752                Ph: (03) 9639 1550 Fax: (03) 9639 4199    Phone: (08) 9337 1074
                                   For more info phone Hannah 0418 668 098                                 Website: http://www.cpa.org.au             Email: cpa@cpa.org.au


      12     THE GUARDIAN                October 1 2003

								
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