The following letter from Australian anti-war and Latin American solidarity activist Joan Coxsedge--who is also a former member of the Victoria state parliament--originally appeared in an Australian-Cuban solidarity group's newsletter.
“November 26, 2019
"Here we are again, surrounded by Christmas crap and messages of good will, but not for those at the bottom of the heap. Infuriating when you see what the top CEO mobsters are getting as they cream off the system. The average full-time wage-earner earns about $1,695 per week and pays exorbitant rent (can’t afford a house), the occasional meal out, rates that keep going up and up, and a heap of other things if she/he has children. Unemployment and under-employment are wickedly high - like wage theft - while worker’s pay checks remain stagnant. Australia’s top ten corporate thieves make 270 times the amount the average full-time Aussie worker earns and as for those Australians on Newstart and the pension.
“Leading the pack is Qantas chief Alan Joyce who pocketed a staggering $23,876,351 million last year. A half-head behind him is Macquarie Group CEO Nicholas Moore with $23.86 million in his kick. Some near the bottom of the ‘ten’ only managed to garner a mere $13,246,088 million. And then there’s the ‘bonuses’. For what? Sacking workers to increase the bottom line? To describe them as having ‘a sense of entitlement’ doesn’t even come close.
“Never have we needed a stronger, more vigorous trade union movement than we do now. Instead they’re about to be belted over the head with more appalling fascist-style legislation. The same huge divide exists between ‘public’ and ‘private’ schools, where inequality begins. A survey found that in four years, four private schools spent $100 million each on capital works, while in the same period 1300 state schools had been waiting for up to 15 years for urgent repairs to their buildings.
“Back in 1935, one of the most influential Marxist playwrights of the 20th century, Bertolt Brecht, described fascism as an integral part of capitalism. ‘Those who are against fascism without being against capitalism are like people who want to eat veal without slaughtering the calf,’ he said. ‘They’re happy to eat the calf but can’t stand the sight of blood.’ Fascism and war are not natural disasters but are launched by the ruling class to control everyone else. His plays were banned in the early 1930s, so he moved to California, attracting the attention of the House Un-American Activities Committee, and then on to Switzerland, and on to East Berlin in 1949 where he ran a theatre company, the Berliner Ensemble.
“The media here infuriate me. The whole bloody lot of them, and that includes ‘our’ ABC, a pale shadow of its former self. And yes, I’m sorry to hear that the ABC’s budget’s been cut yet again, so why allow so many coalition bastards on to their programs. And if they must, demand answers to their questions, when some interviewers don’t seem to know what questions to ask.
"The ABC reported that Sweden had dropped its rape allegation against Julian Assange, because of the ‘time factor’, when Sweden’s always been a stalking horse for the US government, and on three occasions was forced to shelve its investigation for lack of evidence, confirming that claims of ‘rape’ are a politically motivated fraud. Now that the US and Britain have Julian where they want him, on the cusp of being extradited to the US, they can say thank-you Sweden for smearing him and undermining support for his freedom, just bugger off because we no longer need you. Sweden has a nasty history of rendering people into the hands of the CIA, while in the ‘Land of the Free’, Trump has just pardoned three US soldiers convicted of serious war crimes.
“The corruption multiplies. The presiding judge in the extradition proceedings, Lady Emma Arbuthnot, is embroiled in a massive conflict of interest and will be turning over certain courtroom proceedings to another judge, while her husband, Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom - you couldn’t invent the name--is a former British Defense Minister with financial links to the British military establishment, including institutions and individuals named by WikiLeaks. And son. Alexander, is the vice-president (vice is the right word) of a firm heavily invested in a company founded by GCHQ (Britain’s secret electronic spy agency) and MI5 (equivalent to our ASIO) which is diametrically opposed to everything WikiLeaks stands for. To call this a conflict of interest is like calling Adolf Hitler a small-time crook. And our media haven’t reported one word of this shocking situation.
“In Bolivia, like nearly all of Latin America, is in turmoil after Evo Morales was forced into exile after a CIA-run coup. Politicians and journalists have been swiftly rounded up while the security services were given exoneration in advance for any crimes they might commit. The new self-declared president, Jeanine Anez, whose party only received 4% of the vote in last month’s election, has already expelled hundreds of Cuban doctors, broken ties with Venezuela, pulled Bolivia out of multiple international organizations and treaties and described the indigenous majority as ‘satanic’.
“And now we have a Chinese spy ring, a re-run of the Petrov Affair, the name of a married Russian couple who worked in the Soviet Embassy in Canberra in 1954. Vladimir, a nasty drunk, made a deal with ASIO without telling his wife, that he was part of a Russian Communist spy network and wanted protection to become an Australian citizen. A few days later, PM Menzies announced Petrov’s defection in parliament and won an unwinnable election. The Petrov Affair took place after the High Court’s rejection of the Communist Party Dissolution Act of 1950 and the people’s rejection of the 1951 proposal to ban the Communist Party. In 1954-55, the Petrov Commission failed to unearth one spy or traitor. If you substitute China for Russia it’s a case of here we go again!
“But it’s the end of the year and I reckon we all need a break, so spend time with your friends, share a bottle, read a book and take care on our crazy roads. Next year will be an important one and we need you, every single one of you. Viva!
“ Joan Coxsedge”