New pamphlet from Mehring Books in Australia

5 April 2008

Mehring Books is proud to announce the publication of a 64-page pamphlet on the Rudd Labor government’s military intervention against Aborigines in remote Australia and the political agenda behind Rudd’s apology to the Aboriginal Stolen Generations. The Northern Territory intervention and Rudd’s apology: the real agenda is now available from Mehring Books. Below, we reprint the pamphlet’s introduction.

This pamphlet is made up of articles that were published on the World Socialist Web Site between May 2006 and March 2008.

It is divided into two parts. The first begins with an article by Susan Allan on sensationalised media reports of child sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities that suddenly appeared in mid-2006. Allan makes clear their purpose: to provide a pretext for the new assault on indigenous communities that the Howard government was already preparing. In the next article, Nick Beams, the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party, and member of the International Editorial Board of the WSWS, exposes how these child abuse reports were seized upon by various right-wing ideologues to invert reality and blame the victims for the crimes committed by successive representatives of Australian capitalism.

The remainder of Part 1 is taken up with statements and articles on the Howard government’s military intervention into the Northern Territory (NT), launched on June 21, 2007, and the real agenda behind it: to slash welfare payments for Aboriginal people as the precursor to winding back them back universally, to force Aboriginal workers into cheap labour, and to break up Aboriginal communities and townships.

Part 2 of the pamphlet deals with one of the first acts of the new Labor government of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, which came to power after the Howard government was swept out of office on November 24, 2007.

On February 13, 2008, Rudd made an “apology” to members of the Aboriginal stolen generations. Several of the articles assess different aspects of the apology—its underlying purpose; the reaction to it in the media and among various “lefts”; the positions brought forward to justify it and the attempts to cast the Rudd government as “progressive”. One reveals how, at the same time as providing blanket coverage of Rudd’s “sorry”, the media virtually blacked out any mention of a Canberra demonstration against the NT intervention. Others deal with Labor’s extension of the intervention, and the “quarantining” of welfare, into new communities—both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal. The second part ends with a sharp warning of the right-wing policies being prepared by the Rudd government in response to demands by the ruling elite, under conditions of deepening global economic crisis.

The articles contained in this pamphlet advance the political perspective of the Socialist Equality Party, the Australian section of the International Committee of the Fourth International, and its Internet centre, the World Socialist Web Site: that workers and young people—Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal alike—must turn to the building and development of the Socialist Equality Party as the new political leadership of the working class, grounded on the principles and program of socialist internationalism. Only through the complete reorganisation of society on socialist foundations can the two centuries of discrimination and oppression of Australia’s indigenous population be overcome.

Now available from Mehring Books for $5.00 plus $2.00 postage and handling. To order phone 02-9790-3221 or send a cheque or money order to Mehring Books, P.O. Box 367, Bankstown, NSW, Australia, 1885.