>G’day, mate! Australia is the final stop on our “Red World” series on communist influences worldwide. We began these profiles in early 2006.
Pictured here: Australian Labor Party leader Kevin Rudd–then official opposition leader but now prime minister–with Chinese Tyrant Hu Jintao at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Sydney, in September 2007.
Commonwealth of Australia
Type of state: Constitutional monarchy with pro-Beijing government
Independence: January 1, 1901 (from United Kingdom)
Prime Minister of Australia: Kevin Rudd (Australian Labor Party, anti-Thatcherite Third Way market/interventionist advocate, opposes same-sex “marriage”): December 3, 2007-present
Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II
Political composition of national legislature: In the last election for the lower house of the Australian Parliament, known as the House of Representatives, which occurred on November 24, 2007, the seats were distributed in the following manner: Australian Labor Party (center left) 83, Liberal Party of Australia (center right) 55, National Party of Australia 10 (center right), and independents 2. On the same day an election was held for the upper house, known as the Senate, with the following results: The Coalition (center right, consisting of Liberal Party of Australia, National Party of Australia, and Country Liberal Party) 39, Australian Labor Party 28, Australian Greens (social progressivism) 4, Australian Democrats (social liberalism) 4, and Family First Party (social conservatism) 1.
Next general elections: Australia’s next general elections will probably be held in 2010.
Socialist International presence: Australian Labor Party (ALP)
Communist government: none
1) 1949 Australian Coal Strike: While Australia has never experienced an armed insurgency per se, communist influence in the labor unions during the 1940s was strong. Prior to the 1949 national coal strike, several other strikes set the stage for confrontation between labor and government. The 1946 Pilbara strike, for example was instigated by indigenous Australian pastoral workers in Western Australia’s Pilbara region for fair wages and working conditions. The strike was coordinated by Aboriginals Dooley Bin Bin and Clancy McKenna, as well as Don McLeod, a unionist and member of the Communist Party of Australia. The Pilbara strike was followed by the 1948 Queensland Railway strike. The 1949 Australian coal strike, however, was the first time that military force was used during peacetime to suppress a trade union strike. In June of that year 23,000 coal miners in New South Wales downed their tools for seven weeks until Labour Prime Minister Ben Chifley sent in troops to re-open the mines. The miner’s federation was “heavily influenced” at the time by the CPA and the strike is widely interpreted as the party’s attempt to execute Soviet policy in opposing Labor “reformism,” exacerbating class conflict, and promoting communist leadership at the expense of the Labor Party.
1) Australian Labor Party governments: In the wake of the First World War and the Russian Revolution, support for socialism grew in Australia’s trade unions. At the 1921 All-Australian Trades Union Congress a resolution was passed demanding “the socialisation of industry, production, distribution and exchange.” Consequently the ALP’s Federal Conference in 1922 adopted a similarly worded “socialist objective,” which remained official policy for many years. The resolution was immediately qualified, however, by the “Blackburn amendment,” which insisted that “socialization” was desirable only when was necessary to “eliminate exploitation and other anti-social features.” In practice the socialist objective was a dead letter and the ALP adopted a social democratic, even centrist, course that it holds today.
The only attempt by a federal Labor government to nationalize any industry occurred in 1947 when Prime Minister Ben Chifley attempted to nationalize the banking system. Australia’s High Court ruled the policy to be unconstitutional. Other Labor prime ministers have embraced socialism, like Billy Hughes (1915-1923) and John Curtin (1941-1945), but were ineffective in implementing constitutional reforms. PM Bob Hawke (1983-1991), who was a Rhodes Scholar, typified Labor’s centrist stance. On the one hand, Hawke refused the label “socialist” but was elected to the presidency of the Australian Council of Trade Unions in 1969 with the support of leftists in the union movement, including some associated with the old Communist Party of Australia. On the other hand, he opposed the Vietnam War but supported the US-Australian alliance, advocated Third Way economic rationalism, deregulated the financial system, dismantled the tariff system, privatized state sector industries, terminated the subsidization of unprofitable industries, and sold off the state-owned Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
ALP successors like Paul Keating and Kevin Rudd hold to a similar Third Way position. This is understandable since PM Rudd represents the Labor Right faction of the ALP. However, the Communist Party USA correctly predicted that union activists and far leftists will comprise three quarters of the federal cabinet. Special Minister of State John Faulkner, for example, leads the Socialist Left, a far-left faction in the ALP. The Socialist Left is also represented in Rudd’s cabinet by Minister for Finance and Deregulation Lindsay Tanner; Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Anthony Albanese; Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Christopher Evans; Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin (a self-avowed Marxist in her youth); and Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Kim Carr (“Kim Il-Carr).
The Australian Fabian Society also extends its tentacles of influence into the ALP. ALP deputy leader and Deputy Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard is a “proud Fabian socialist,” reports the New Zeal blog. In an August 31, 2007 address to the Fabian Society, posted at the ALP website, Gillard states: “No address to the Fabian Society would of course be complete without acknowledging the lifetime commitment to the Fabian cause of Race Matthews – someone who played such a big role in helping elect the Society’s National Patron, [former Prime Minister] Gough Whitlam.” She continues: “Today the Fabian Society boasts contributions from some of the Labor movement’s leading figures – people of the stature of John Faulkner – and we’re going to need it to be a forum for new ideas regardless of the outcome of this year’s election.” Gillard belongs to the Ferguson Left, a faction in the ALP known for its “soft left” policies and which is considered more moderate than the Socialist Left faction.
The Socialist Appeal operates as an internal Trotskyist tendency within the ALP and affiliates with the International Marxist Tendency. The ALP has at times been infiltrated by the pro-Chavez Trotskyist Democratic Socialist Perspective (DSP). ALP member and rock singer Peter Garrett (Midnight Oil) holds a seat in the House. Garrett was appointed Minister for Environment, Heritage and Arts. In April 1985 Garrett and more than 30 other members resigned from the Nuclear Disarmament Party, claiming that the party had been taken over by the Socialist Workers’ Party, now known as the DSP.
1) Committee for a Revolutionary Communist Party in Australia (CRCPA): This Maoist party associates with the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, which includes the Revolutionary Communist Party USA.
2) Communist League (CL): This Trotskyist organization split from the Socialist Workers’ Party in 1986.
3) Communist Left Discussion Circle (CLDC): This left communist group associates with the International Communist Current.
4) Communist Party Advocates: This group is radical left in orientation.
5) Communist Party of Australia (CPA): Founded as the Socialist Party of Australia (SPA) in 1971 when dissident members of the original CPA, which was then moving toward social democracy, were expelled for holding to the Marxist-Leninist line. The old CPA leadership opposed the Soviet Union decision in 1968 to lead the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. The old CPA was dissolved in 1991 but the SPA, believing itself to be the true successor to the first CPA formed in 1920, amended its name to Communist Party of Australia at its 8th National Congress in 1996. The party organ is The Guardian. Peter Symon is the party’s General Secretary, while Hannah Middleton is its National President is. The party’s youth branch, the Communist Youth of Australia, is active only in Sydney, the state capital of New South Wales. The new CPA remains a minor, unregistered party with a few hundred members. In the 1998 and 2001 House of Representative elections Michael Perth contested the seat of Port Adelaide, but attracted less than 1% of the vote in both cases. Despite the (fake) collapse of the Soviet Union, the CPA continues to defend the historical legacy of the Russian Revolution.
6) Democratic Socialist Perspective (DSP): The DSP is a Marxist political group that operates as the largest component of Australia’s Socialist Alliance. The DSP is actually a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist organization that is not affiliated with the Socialist International. The DSP began its life as the Socialist Workers’ League (SWL), an orthodox Trotsksyist group founded in 1972 by members of the Socialist Youth Alliance, which developed from the radicalization of Australian students during the Vietnam War. The SWL affiliated with the reunified Fourth International and under the influence of that organization adopted the name Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP). In 1986 the SWP disaffiliated from the Fourth International and in the early 1990s rebranded itself as the Democratic Socialist Party. The DSP contested the 1998 federal election under the umbrella of the Democratic Socialist Electoral League. In 2001 the DSP joined several other socialist parties to form the Socialist Alliance. Two years later the DSP became the first and only affiliate of the Socialist Alliance to become an internal tendency within the Alliance. At that time, the DSP assumed its current name, the Democratic Socialist Perspective. The DSP has maintained a membership of no more than a few hundred members, but it is still one of the largest far-left groups in Australia. The SWP and the DSP frequently contested Australian federal elections, seldom obtaining more than a few votes. Occasionally the DSP and its predecessors practised entryism into the Australian Labor Party and the Nuclear Disarmament Party, but with little success. The DSP was part of the political and activist alliance that led to the formation of the Australian Greens. The DSP’s youth section is Resistance and its newspaper is called Green Left Weekly. The DSP is an observer at the reunified Fourth International’s international committee meetings, maintains links with the Cuban Communist Party and the neo-communist government of Venezulean dictator Hugo Chavez. The DSP sponsors the annual “Asia-Pacific International Solidarity Conference.”
7) Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) (CPA(ML)): This Maoist party split from the old Communist Party of Australia in 1964.
8) National Preparatory Committee of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Australia (NPC-MLCPA): This party is Maoist in orientation.
9) New Era Communist Party of Australia (NECPA): No information.
10) October Seventh Socialist Movement (O7SM): This Stalinist party split from the new Communist Party of Australia in 2003.
11) Progressive Labour Party (PLP): This minor political party was organized in 1996 by dissident former members of the Australian Labor Party, who allege that ALP has abandoned its traditional working-class supporters in favor of a rightward political shift. The Marxist Initiative operates as an internal tendency within the PLP, even though it was actually founded in 1992 by the Association for Communist Unity four years before the formation of the PLP.
12) Socialist Action Group (SAG): This Trotskyist party was formed in 2004 as a split from the Socialist Alliance.
13) Socialist Alliance: Organized in 2001, this coalition of Trotskyist parties is dominated by the Democratic Socialist Perspective and the International Socialist Organization. Other members include Freedom Socialist Party, Socialist Democracy, Workers’ League, Workers’ Power, and Workers’ Liberty.
14) Socialist Alternative: This Trotskyist party is a split from the International Socialist Organization.
15) Socialist Equality Party (SEP): The SEP espouses a broad left-wing position, but refuses to align itself with any other party, including the Socialist Alliance, which includes the Democratic Socialist Perspective.
16) Socialist Labor Party (SLP): Founded in 1972 this Trotskyist party associates with the International Committee of the Fourth International.
17) Socialist Party (SP): Founded in 1985 as an internal tendency within the Australian Labor Party, this small Trotskyist political party broke away from the ALP in the early 1990s. The SP is now affiliated with the Committee for a Workers’ International, and participates in anti-war and anti-globalization protests. The SP refused to join the Socialist Alliance in 2001. In 2004 Socialist candidate Stephen Jolly was elected to Yarra City Council, near Melbourne. The party operates branches in Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle, and Perth and attracts supporters in all other states. Its bi-monthly newspaper is The Socialist. The SP is not related to the Socialist Party of Australia, which existed from 1971 to 1996 and is currently known as the Communist Party of Australia.
18) Solidarity: Founded in 2003 as a split from the International Socialist Organization, Solidarity is led by Ian Rintoul.
19) Spartacist League of Australia (SLA): This party affiliates with the International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist).
20) World Socialist Party of Australia (WSPA): Founded in 1996 this party associates with the World Socialist Movement.
Communist Bloc memberships: United Nations
Moscow-Beijing-Havana-Caracas Axis political/economic/military presence: In 1978 Canberra established the Australia-China Council “to promote mutual understanding and foster people-to-people relations between Australia and China.” In 2005 Australia and China commenced negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) following the publication of the joint FTA Feasibility Study. The study “concluded that there would be significant economic benefits for both Australia and China through the negotiation of an FTA.” Australia and New Zealand are also engaging in joint military exercises with China, the Kuwaiti media reported in September 2007, since Canberra and Auckland (mistakenly) regard China as a “friendly” country.
SYDNEY, Sept 28 (KUNA) — Australia will hold more joint military exercises with China following next week’s search and rescue exercises in the Tasman Sea, said Australian Defense Minister Brendan Nelson on Friday.
He expressed Australia’s desire to enhance defense exchanges and joint military exercises with China in the future.
Nelson made the remarks on the occasion of the arrival of the two Chinese warships Haibin and Hungzhu at Garden Island Naval Base in Sydney.
The two warships will take part in the joint Australia-China-New Zealand naval military exercises.
Beside the naval exercises, Australia and China mull the possibility of enhancing cooperation between their air and ground forces, the minister disclosed.
The minister said that despite the differences between the two countries, Australia embarked on these exercises with China because it considered it a friendly country.
He asserted the necessity of putting differences aside while working together to enhance regional security.
Notwithstanding diplomatic niceties, commercial friendships, and token combined military exercises, both China and Russia are actively engaged in espionage in Australia. In 2005 the Christian Science Monitor reported about two Chinese officials who sought asylum “down under.” One defector created an international “stir” when he claimed that Beijing was currently fielding 1,000 spies in Australia.
Claims by Chinese officials that Beijing runs an extensive spy ring in Australia have captured headlines worldwide and could prove to be a sticky issue at an important time for relations between the two countries.
Just days after diplomat Chen Yonglin announced he had applied for asylum in Australia, a second Chinese official Tuesday announced his bid for refuge and backed Mr. Chen’s claims that China has 1,000 spies operating in the country, reports the BBC.
The Age of Melbourne, Australia reports that Hao Fengjun “claimed he was the man in charge of collating and analyzing information gathered by Chinese spies in Australia.”
Voice of America reports that Mr. Hao claims his “primary responsibility was monitoring the activities of the Falun Gong meditation movement and [Hao] claims to have seen members of the group tortured.”
The Age also reports that he said he has direct evidence of China’s persecution of minority groups and gave it to Australia’s immigration department months ago. Hao says the top-secret documents detailing the activities of Chinese spies in Australia was ignored by the immigration department, reports The Australian.
Chen, who quit his work as first secretary at the Chinese consulate-general in Sydney on May 26, says he faces persecution if he goes back to China. He has said he quit because he could no longer support China’s crackdowns on dissidents. Chen reportedly has gone into hiding.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao denied Chen’s claims on Tuesday. “The rumours spread by [Chen] are total slander and hopefully you will not take it in easily,” he said. China insists he will be treated fairly if he returns to Beijing.
Not to be outdone, Russia is maintaining a spy ring in Australia with numbers approaching “Cold War levels. In 2007 The Australian reported “that Russia and China pose the most serious espionage threat to Australia’s national interests since the days of the Cold War.” The new generation of Russian and Chinese spies in Australia, the same source states, “are focusing on military, scientific and industrial espionage.”
Russian spies in Australia at ‘near Cold War level’
By Cameron Stewart
July 23, 2007 12:00 am
RUSSIA has boosted the number of spies in Australia to near Cold War levels, forcing ASIO to respond by training a new generation of counter-espionage officers.
The growing Russian threat comes on top of an even larger rise in the number of Chinese agents operating in Australia in recent years, as a booming economy and record defence spending provide a wealth of new opportunities for traditional espionage.
Russia and China’s increased espionage activity has been made easier by the overwhelming focus of Western intelligence agencies, including ASIO, on al-Qa’ida and other Muslim extremist groups.
It comes at a time of growing tensions between the West and Russia over spies, with London and Moscow embroiled in a deepening diplomatic row over the fatal radioactive poisoning of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in Britain.
Sources have told The Australian that Russia and China pose the most serious espionage threat to Australia’s national interests since the days of the Cold War.
ASIO has responded to the challenge by urgently boosting the ranks of its counter-espionage team and allocating more money and resources for 2007-08 to its new Counter-Espionage and Interference Division.
The threat posed by foreign agents is such that ASIO chief Paul O’Sullivan plans to lift ASIO’s spending on traditional counter-espionage activities each year until 2011.
A spokeswoman for the Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, yesterday confirmed that ASIO had recently boosted its resources dedicated to counter-espionage but declined to comment on the nature of the threat or identify specific countries.
“The establishment of a division dedicated to counter-espionage, foreign interference and foreign intelligence collection has permitted a closer and more intensive focus by senior managers on these particular functions,” the spokeswoman said. “The additional staffing will allow ASIO to broaden the scope and reach of its counter-espionage and foreign interference investigations, and to expand its outreach activity to government departments and agencies.”
However, ASIO – in a submission to the parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security in February this year – said it needed to use experienced officers to provide “effective mentoring and training” to its younger officers learning the ancient spy craft of counter-espionage for the first time.
The new ranks of Russian and Chinese spies in Australia are focusing on military, scientific and industrial espionage at a time of prolific defence spending and the commodities boom.
The story above observes that “Russia and China’s increased espionage activity has been made easier by the overwhelming focus of Western intelligence agencies, including ASIO, on al-Qa’ida and other Muslim extremist groups.” Without question, distracting Western intelligence agencies with the hunt for (Soviet-backed) Islamic terrorist cells is one collateral benefit for Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).