Friday, July 23, 2010

John Pilger on the rise of Julie Gillard

Australian filmmaker and journalist John Pilger is at his incendiary best in his latest piece on the rise of Julie Gillard.

In a piece titled The New Order of Oz John Pilger writes of the unity between the agendas of Bob Hawke and Jullie Gillard.

Writing about the launch of Bob Hawke's new biography (written by his wife) Pilger has this to say
" The Order of Mates celebrated beside Sydney Harbour the other day. This is a venerable masonry in Australian political life that unites the Labor Party with the rich elite known as the big end of town........

A highlight of the occasion was the arrival of the brand new prime minister, Julia Gillard, who proclaimed Hawke her “role model” and the “gold standard” for running Australia."
On Julie Gillard he writes:
" This may help explain the extraordinary and brutal rise of Gillard. In 48 hours in June, she and Mates in Labor’s parliamnetary caucus got rid of the elected prime minister, Kevin Rudd. Her weapons were Rudd’s slide in the opinion polls and the power and prize of Australia’s vast trove of minerals. To pay off the national debt, Rudd had decreed a modest special tax on the profits of giants like BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. The response was a vicious advertising campaign against the government and a threat to shut down mines.

Within days of her coup, Gillard, who was Rudd’s deputy, had reduced the new tax; and the companies’ campaign was called off. It was a repeat of Hawke’s capitulation to the mining companies in the 1980s when they threatened to bring down a state Labor government in Western Australia. Like her predecessors, Gillard is pursuing a landgrab of the one region of Australia, the Northern Territory, where Aboriginal Australians have land and mineral rights. The deceit is spectacular and historical. The government claims it is “protecting” black Australian children from “abuse” and “neglect” within their communities. Official statistics show that the incidence of child abuse is no different from that of white Australia and the true cause of Aboriginal suffering is a systemic colonial racism that denies housing, water, roads, adequate health care and schools to indigenous people and harasses and imprisons them at a rate greater than in South Africa under apartheid.

Since her coup, Gillard has reaffirmed this racism at the heart of policy-making. Australia takes fewer refugees than almost any country, yet Gillard is using their “threat” to outdo the hysterics of an especially primitive parliamentary opposition led by Tony Abbot, known as the “mad monk”.

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