Howard channels Pig-Iron Bob

March 29, 2006 Off By leigh

Howard’s desire to sell uranium to China has significant reminiscences of Robert “Pig-Iron Bob” Menzies selling iron-ore to the Japanese totalitarian empire while it was engaging in human rights abuses in Nanking, China in the 1933 invasion of Manchuria.

Menzies, the anglophilic autocrat who ruled Australia in the 1930’s and then after WWII until 1960 (being replaced by Harold Holt), also launched copycat McCarthyist attempts to stifle political debate in Australia by attempting to ban the Communist party and first entangled Australia in the Vietnam war. His animosity towards organised workers arose from their resistance to sales of iron-ore to imperial Japan. With the stevedore union strikes preventing loading ships with the pig-iron, Menzies ordered Australian troops to act as class police, and by force, loaded the ships.

Will the totalitarian Chinese state honour any agreement with Australia to use the uranium only for peaceful purposes, as soon as Australia “insults” China by protesting the eventual attempt to forcefully seize Taiwan? This is a country that seized and continues to persecute Tibet, continues to infiltrate Australia in order to harass and torture political and religious dissidents (the Falan Gong), refuses to meet International Labor Organisation standards for workers and presides over the curtailment of civil rights and democracy in Hong Kong, despite it’s promises of “one country, two systems”.

Of course, other than the threat posed to the rest of the world, there is the threat posed to Australia by uranium mining: the dispossession and destruction of the Aboriginal peoples lands, the potential for mining worker safety to be compromised in the interests of corporate profits, the creation of the same destructive influence of “black gold” corruption of the country as has happened to most of the Middle East and Nigeria with oil.