Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Bob Hawke – his allegiance to USA was geater than to the union movement

Secret embassy cables cast the Bob Hawke legend in a different light, Guardian,Jeff Sparrow 4 July 21,
Papers show Hawke as a unionist said one thing to his members, and something quite different to his US embassy friends….

The documents uncovered by Coventry date from 1973 to 1979, a period of bitter industrial and political conflict during which Hawke, as leading trade unionist, often featured in the press as a stalwart militant……..

In public, he backed an “independent non-aligned Australia” (a popular stance in the aftermath of the Vietnam war); in private, he told US officials he wanted the Anzus co-defence pact extended beyond a “purely military alliance”.

Coventry says the Americans valued their relationship with Hawke because he “helped protect [US] defence installations, provided information about union disputes and warned officials that installations could be targeted”…….

In 1973, the American Labour Attaché (a figure quite probably connected to the CIA) contacted Hawke about a potential union dispute at the joint American-Australian facility at North West Cape. The cables record that Hawke “volunteered to intervene informally”, saying he felt “concern and surprise at the militancy” of the workers.

The Americans particularly appreciated Hawke’s willingness to deradicalise the labour movement. As Coventry puts it: “Hawke proved useful in pre-empting and pacifying union disputes.”…………

 the context in which it has emerged makes the material particularly significant. The high court recently upheld the constitutional legitimacy of Australia’s new foreign interference laws.

One challenge came from John Shi Sheng Zhang, a political adviser to NSW Labor MP Shaoquett Moselmane. The second challenge, however, came from a rightwing US group called LibertyWorks, which objected to the new legally requirement to register a conference featuring Tony Abbott and Nigel Farage.

That’s because, on paper at least, the new laws criminalise the kind of meddling in which the Americans have gleefully engaged for decades………

Had today’s foreign interference laws been in place in the 1970s, Hawke’s conduct would certainly have invited legal investigation……. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jul/03/secret-embassy-cables-cast-the-bob-hawke-legend-in-a-different-light

July 5, 2021 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, politics international

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