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Letters to the Editor:
Ruffled the feathers
I was one of the school students that visited your office a number of weeks ago to procure a hammer and sickle flag. We managed to erect the red and yellow up the flagpole of our very conservative middle class public school on our 'muck up' day. We also further ruffled the feathers of our ultra conservative hierarchy by displaying images of Vladiimir Ilyich Lenin all around the school inciting a healthy fear of revolution. May I also register my dismay at last weekend's election disaster. I have tried on several occasions to write to my local newspaper but the Murdoch controlled local gas continually refuse to publish my "controversial" perspective. (Note: I live in the incredibly benighted electorate of Phillip Ruddock.) I was dumbstruck even during the campaign at the ignorance of the major parties regarding the core issues that will determine the direction this country will pursue in this polarised world. Neither addressed the appalling state of Aboriginal health, neither addressed the ridiculous state of Australia's foreign aid budget, refugees and their rights, the Iraq war, the ecology and sustainability of the earth's resources. All of these core issues took a back seat to the seemingly greedy worry of interest rates. The results were even more worrying and a reflection of the ignorant, benighted society we have become as a result of our nation's prosperity. Clearly prosperity breeds ignorance -- the more we have the more we want. We need a constructive and critical TRUE left in this nation, rather than the conformist, compromising labor party. Greed beat conscience! A moral defeat for Australia! Justin Morris
OK, OK, so we have lost a battle. That does not mean we have lost the war. We do not stand around wringing our hands and crying woe. Things will get tougher yet, but we too will get tougher. To use an old working class saying -- we will spit on our hands, hitch up our trousers and get right back into it with redoubled effort. Another old (but oh so true) saying is that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Such a prospect faces the Australian people even if the majority do not realise it. They have to experience it first hand before it is driven home. Fascism could never happen in Australia. No! Watch events over the next few years. It is unfortunate that so many good people will have to die before the proletariat wake up. Bert Appleton
Woy Woy NSW
We saw in the Federal election the Australian public being divided by ideologies. It is my view that Labor divides -- straight/gay, /public/private schools, jails/hospitals, public service/private sector, Medicare/private, etc. The Labor state governments are now dividing smoker vs non smoker in all the states which, of course, are Labor in pubs and clubs where their traditional voting base congregates. My dear departed Dad used to say that Labor isn't for the working man anymore. This might be helpful to their navel gazing exercise as the old stalwarts desert the sinking ship federally. In the ACT, 2 elections ago, "Smokers are Voters" took out 3 sitting Labor members by not giving preferences to any group. Perhaps the Labor states should take note. Brigitte Ballard
The article "Where to after Howard" (The Guardian 6/10/04) fails to deal with the key role of the Communist Party in bringing about a People's Government and hence the need to build the Party particularly in the working class. The Communist Party's Program makes it clear that a People's Government is part of the revolutionary process that leads to socialism and that the Communist Party, as the revolutionary working class Party, must play a leading role in such a struggle which will be opposed vigorously by the capitalist class enemy. However, The Guardian article gives one the impression that the Party is no different to any other community organisation. Somehow or other a whole lot of other community organisations will get together to form a People's Government to tackle the power of monopoly capitalism. It's as simple as that. Part of the article reads: "Many more left and progressive parliamentarians are needed at all levels of government. Respected, knowledgeable and active participants from left and progressive political parties, trade unions, environmental, peace, educational, Indigenous and community organisations, health and democratic rights bodies, all should be encouraged to stand for office -- not contesting against one another but working for the common good." This presentation ignores the reality that classes form political parties and the class struggle takes place through the clash of such parties. To suggest that a People's Government made up mainly of non-class organisations can carry out the task of challenging the rule of the big corporations is a plunge into the most extreme form of idealism. It smacks of a non-class approach which can only mislead the working class. It is true that just to talk about the leading role of the Communist Party won't make it happen. A lot of work needs to be done by the Party to build living connections with the working class and to educate workers to reach out to the middle classes to join the struggle against corporate power. One of the tasks of the Communist Party is to reveal the nature of the capitalist state machine which inevitably will be used against the People's Government. An understanding of how to combat such a force is essential if the People's Government is to be established. Not to do these things would create illusions about an easy path ahead. The Guardian article creates just such illusions. Alan MillerBack to index page