Turkish fascism

I think comrade Conrad’s article on fascism fails to achieve all the sixfold intention he states (‘Misusing the F-word’, May 27). He’s certainly right to insist upon clear and historically rooted definitions and also on his remarks against broadening the scope of the term in an inflationary and only pejorative manner. However, he bends the stick too much on to the other side.

The main problem is that he’s too stuck in history and the ‘classical’ cases of fascism, to the extent that this leads him to ignore the obvious fascistic sides of current phenomena he investigates. He intends to evaluate it globally, but only touches on his own native British case. He seems to be right to assume that fascism is not a current threat in the UK. I’ll leave aside the internal strategic debates of the country’s leftist organisations and continue on Conrad’s passing remarks about Turkish leftists’ evaluations of the nature of Turkish regime.

There is a certain level of truth in Conrad’s satirical comment about Turkish “guerrillaist” left, which considers all Turkish governments since 1923 as “fascists”. Historically, the original Turkish Communist Party never used fascism as a description for the Turkish state (even for periods under military dictatorships). Kemalism has been considered as an historically progressive, national bourgeois regime. Analyses equating the country’s regime with some sort of fascism began in the 1970s with the rise of new groups influenced by the struggles in Latin America, Vietnam and the teachings of Mao. Some of them argued that semi-colonised countries similar to Turkey were under fascist regimes “of a colonial type” due to conditions of imperialism. Some Maoists claimed that the Turkish state has always been fascist, oppressing the working class, dissidents, Kurds and minorities. Certainly, this point has also been taken up by the Kurdish national movement, which has been involved in a bloody war for over 35 years.

Nowadays, descendants of these groups still argue that we live under a brutal fascist regime, with a facade of fake democracy. Legalist, reformist parties, on the other hand, carry the idea that the threshold hasn’t been crossed yet (though we are very close, especially after the auto-coup following 2016 and the rapid deterioration of the political climate and even basic civil liberties).

I have to note that Turkey is now being governed by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who has the crucial support of the fascist MHP (National Action Party - NAP). This party was founded as a counter-guerrilla organisation under the auspices of the CIA and the Turkish army/intelligence to suppress the rising leftist movement. It was a perfect example of the street fighting squads mentioned by Conrad. Thousands of Turkish leftists were murdered by them in the 1970s. Electorally they had only around 6% support in 1977, but by entering into rightwing coalition governments, they massively infiltrated the bureaucracy.

The 1980 military coup and the new constitution paved the way for the institutionalisation of the authoritarian, rightwing Turkish-Islam synthesis project. The Kurdish issue also allowed Turkish nationalists to gain a social base amongst the population - especially in rural, conservative regions like central Anatolia. Formerly the NAP had been more or less a fringe party under the shadow of much bigger centre-right parties. But, with the 1990s, we could see that it was becoming more and more mainstream (not that it abandoned its usual traits, but with the end of the cold war and the demise of the Turkish left, its services were less in demand and such operations were already handled by ‘official’ cadres.)

In 1999, it garnered 18% of the vote in the general election that followed the capture of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan. While it managed to keep its electoral support, after 2016 the NAP came to the rescue of the weakened Erdoğan regime. This turned into a win-win strategy for both sides. Now the NAP is believed by many to control much of the state security apparatus, and the coalition with Erdoğan has increased its influence. It has also deep connections with illegal, Mafia-like, narcotic structures, both in Turkey and among the Turkish diaspora in Europe (eg, you may remember that the man who tried to shoot Pope John Paul II in 1981 was one of its ‘Grey Wolves’.) For years, various European governments and institutions called attention to its activities and racist propaganda and a few days ago the European parliament agreed to add the Grey Wolves to the EU’s ‘terrorist’ list.

However, I would like to ask comrade Conrad if there are any other examples like this. A fascist party (don’t qualify it with the ‘neo’ or ‘post’ prefixes) working with an Islamic party with its own fascistic traits, winning about half of the total votes together, changing the already authoritarian constitutional structure into a ‘Turkish-type’ autocratic presidency (read sultanate), engaging in militaristic adventures in nearly all its neighbouring areas, suspending the basic rights of its citizens, and starting to withdraw from international legal agreements, etc. Looking at all these, I would hesitate to criticise people who define the regime as fascist. Rather than dismissing claims of ‘fascism’ in a hasty manner by arguing that they don’t fit the ‘classical’/’historical’ cases I’d take them seriously.

Conrad concludes that “fascist groups, movements and parties form counterrevolutionary fighting squads separate from the state - this is the essential and defining characteristic of fascism”. The NAP doesn’t even need to show its street presence constantly - after all, who needs gangs, when you control the police, the public prosecutor and the judges?

Hasan Keser


When Jack Conrad is so dismissive of even the merest possibility that emotional and often also unconscious aspects of human experience - in this particular instance, those seemingly peculiar regions of psycho-sexuality - can play a part in political phenomena or historical events, he demeans both Marxism and himself as an otherwise highly cogent exponent of it.

He tells us that the Freudian, Raymond de Saussure, was peddling “obvious crap and nonsense” by suggesting that “Hitler exhibited a strong Oedipus complex and needed to channel his sexual energies in order to conceal his impotence from the public: the German Reich was a penis substitute”. However, what the comrade seems to miss is, firstly, that one factor doesn’t necessarily preclude another - Hitler’s make-up of personality may not be either a sole or primary factor involved in the ‘rise’ of fascism, but it still can be amongst them (being the ‘internal aspect’, so to speak). Secondly, as the external side of things, those psycho-sexual traits of Hitler’s character - certainly as then either expressed quite openly or more obscurely ’sublimated’ through general attitudes to life, etc - may well have played a part in determining why he as a particular individual was, as it were, deemed a good horse to back over and above any others around at the time (ie, by the ruling elites of German capitalism, when it came to developing their fascist strategies).

Going a bit further, what are we human beings if not that extremely complex organism - as such a rather mysterious formation? In the approximate/slightly expanded words of Hermann Hesse’s Steppenwolf, the human psyche (and so maybe also the inescapable design for our lives?) is “less like a singular planet orbiting around one lone sun, but far more of an intriguing constellation - itself even within a spinning galaxy”. The fact that all such matters humanitarian are inherently so complex is exemplified by our strong disinclination to admit to ‘emotions’ over and above a need to project ‘rationality’. Strange stuff indeed - all of which can lead to miscalculations, errors of judgment, dodgy analysis: QED, in this context of Jack Conrad’s article and its particular focus, the ‘misuse’ or other such confusions around the F-word can apply with equal measure to ‘Freud’/‘Freudianism’ as to ‘fascist’/‘fascism’!

Incidentally, everything here has its equivalence in that mainstream and bourgeois analysis of “cometh the hour, cometh the man” - (aka a person with the most appropriate/best utilisable, unconscious desires or sublimated motivations.) Of course, given the almost infinite variations in human experience and consequently of perception, matters such as these can be expressed very differently again: for instance, by pointing out how for a period of time BB King had that ‘electric blues-music thing’ all to himself, but then the British white boys, the Spencer Davis Group, with lead singer Stevie Winwood, boosted it to new ‘anguish-filled’ heights with ‘Gimme some lovin’. Or how Bob Dylan thought he was the most poignant iteration of ‘protest’ music conceivable, but then along came not only Marvin Gaye with ‘What’s going on?’, but also Electric Avenue from Eddy Grant. How some fantastic Saturday-night dance music was gifted by Fats Domino and Chuck Berry, but then we got über-funkster James Brown! Not for a moment to forget those lessons to be shared by George Clinton’s parliament with our modern-day Marxism: “One nation under a groove, no-one can stop us now ... we’re gonna dance, dance away all constrictions!”

Bruno Kretzschmar

Israel liability

Although I agree with Moshé Machover in relation to the reactionary nature of Hamas, I cannot agree that Israel’s murderous onslaught against Gaza “was driven by Netanyahu’s narrow personal interests” (‘End Zionist oppression’, May 27). There is no evidence for this.

It is arguable whether Binyamin Netanyahu even benefited from the attack on Gaza, given that he was in negotiations with Mansour Abbas’s Ra’am (United Arab List) to support his coalition-building attempts. The causes of the attack on Gaza lie in Israel’s ongoing colonisation and ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem in particular. As Moshé accepts, Hamas’s firing of rockets into Israel was unexpected, since Netanyahu believed that Hamas was sufficiently cowed by Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

The closure of the area around the Damascus Gate was reversed as a result of the protests. If the aim was to attack Gaza, it is doubtful whether this decision would have been reversed. I doubt whether Netanyahu was involved in what was a police decision. Likewise the attack on worshippers in Al Aqsa mosque was a consequence of the ongoing attacks on the Palestinian presence and control of the Temple Mount.

What triggered recent events was the continuing attempts to evict Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrar. It is the Israeli courts, not Netanyahu, that has responsibility for the timing of events here. It is the Judaisation of East Jerusalem, not Netanyahu’s attempts to avoid prison.

I make this point because we should not, unlike the Zionist ‘left’, see all the problems of Israeli apartheid residing in the lap of Netanyahu. This logic leads the Zionist ‘left’ into supporting a government of Naftali Bennett, Gideon Saar and Avigdor Liebermann. As Nathan Thrall says in a recent interview with Jacobin, “the conditions for Palestinian revolt are not made by the unique circumstances of the Israeli prime minister’s narrow coalitional interests. The conditions for Palestinian revolt are ever present.”

What we are seeing is a new stage in the Zionist-Palestinian struggle and one which is likely to be extremely bloody. Palestinians have united as they never have before and Israel is presently conducting a reign of terror against Israeli Palestinians, in addition to increased repression in the West Bank.

What is the backdrop to this? Under previous Israeli Labor governments and even under Likud, Israel sought to hide the apartheid system within Israel and East Jerusalem. Today they no longer care who sees what they do. The Jewish National Fund - a vehicle for land confiscation - has been taken over by the far right and is now openly engaging in settlement activities in the West Bank. It doesn’t bother with subterfuge, hiding behind a shell company, Himnuta.

In 2010 the Reut Report highlighted Israel’s greatest fear - delegitimisation. By this they meant that, whilst Israel can always live with criticisms of individual policies, given the support of the west, they recognise that the charge of apartheid and Jewish supremacy would be much more difficult to deal with and possibly threaten political support in the west.

The two reports from B’Tselem, Israel’s main human rights group, and Human Rights Watch, accusing Israel of being guilty of the crime of apartheid and Jewish supremacism (with a third report expected from Amnesty International), represent a far greater threat, when taken in conjunction with the increase in solidarity activism, to western political support.

We already have the situation in the west whereby the elites and capitalist interests support the Israeli state, whereas public opinion supports the Palestinians. This has not only increased as a result of Israel’s attack on Gaza, but it has also found an echo in the political echelon. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the popular Democratic Socialists of America congresswoman from New York, who only weeks before was trying to build relations with American Zionists, came out and declared that Israel is an apartheid state. AOC is rumoured to be thinking of challenging the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, Chuck Schumer. And not only AOC, but even pro-Israeli Democrats, have been highly critical of Netanyahu and the Zionists. Chuck Schumer himself, who is ardently pro-Zionist, kept uncharacteristically silent.

In the United States itself there have been massive demonstrations in support of the Palestinians - something unheard of 10 or 20 years ago. In other words, the tectonic plates of public opinion are finding a reflection in the political echelons. Moshé describes Biden’s four phone calls with Netanyahu as becoming increasingly angry. I suspect that Biden made it clear to Netanyahu that political support for Israel, which is vital to the survival of the settler state, was draining away and that it was in his interest to stop the attack.

Since the ceasefire we have seen a reign of terror being conducted by Israeli police in Palestinian Israeli towns and mixed cities. ‘Coexistence’ is in ruins and with it the Zionist myth of Jewish-Arab Israeli equality. I have no doubt that the Zionist state has suffered severe political damage by its ready resort to a blitzkrieg on Gaza. Coupled with the growing recognition that Israel is an apartheid state, it is my opinion that we have begun to see the end of Zionist rule in Palestine. If the stability of the Arab regimes, over whom Israel watches, were also being threatened, it is possible that the Israeli state could be seen by the west as a liability.

As regards Hamas, we should be quite clear. Hamas isn’t and cannot be other than, as Moshé says, a reactionary resistance movement. Further, because it is an Islamist group, it cannot claim to represent all Palestinians. It is by its nature a clerical group - a reflection of Zionism - and it is no surprise that the Israeli state played the part of midwife at its birth.

Socialists should be quite clear that Hamas, despite its achievements in resisting the Zionist barrage, can never be a national liberation movement. The goal of the Palestinians at this time should be to reflect on the South Africa struggle and to seek to create a Palestinian equivalent of the African National Congress. For all its faults the ANC did at least unite the black masses, but Hamas is incapable of uniting Palestinians.

Tony Greenstein

Boycott Puma

On Saturday May 29, the match in Ireland between Cliftonville FC and Linfield FC was interrupted by a small group of protestors carrying a Palestine flag and a banner that proclaimed to the world, “Boycott Puma”. This interruption was to highlight the ongoing commercial relationship between Cliftonville and Puma, a major global corporate sports brand and an official sponsor of the Israel Football Association.

Israel has been described as an apartheid state. According to Human Rights Watch (April 27), “On the basis of its research, Human Rights Watch concludes that the Israeli government has demonstrated an intent to maintain the domination of Jewish Israelis over Palestinians across Israel and the OPT [Occupied Palestinian Territory]. In the OPT, including East Jerusalem, that intent has been coupled with the systematic oppression of Palestinians and inhumane acts committed against them. When these three elements occur together, they amount to the crime of apartheid.”

How did a small club in the Irish FA become involved in a worldwide boycott movement? For Cliftonville - a promoter and champion of the slogan, ‘Give racism the boot’ - it seems hypocritical to call for an end to racism in local football here, while accepting sponsorship from a global company that stands accused of supporting an apartheid regime.

A change of kit sponsor will not materially affect Cliftonville and, unless its board puts the money it receives above the lives of Palestinian children, it would be unconscionable and immoral for them to continue with this sponsorship deal. Now is the time for the board to unequivocally and publicly state they will cease accepting money from companies that support apartheid states.

A statement from BDS global action and the Palestinian and Cultural Boycott of Israel reads: “Puma is the only international sponsor of the Israel Football Association (IFA), which includes teams in illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land. Puma’s endorsement gives legitimacy to Israel’s illegal settlements pushing Palestinian families off their land and its attacks on Palestinian sports. Israeli snipers ended the careers of dozens of Palestinian athletes in Gaza in 2018 alone. Palestinian teams and athletes are calling for a boycott of Puma until it ends its sponsorship of the IFA.”

There is a long and proud history globally, against injustice and apartheid states. During the 1969-70 South African rugby tour of Great Britain and Ireland, thousands protested in the streets and on the pitch, disrupting games and demanding an end to apartheid in South Africa. We are now revisiting history with the pitch invasion at Cliftonville’s ground last Saturday.

Cliftonville, please learn from our own history. Remember Belfast Celtic FC, forced out of the Irish league, and Derry FC, now playing in the Football Association of Ireland league. Most of all remember the 67 dead Palestinian children, their mothers and fathers. Remember the displacement of up to 58,000 people (UN figures), who are now homeless refugees, alongside the massive destruction to the infrastructure and health facilities. This in and of itself should be enough to dissuade you from continuing your links to Puma.

The Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign is a global movement. But the idea of a boycott was actually popularised in Ireland by Charles Stewart Parnell during the land agitation of 1880 to protest against high rents and land evictions. The term was coined after Irish tenants followed Parnell’s suggested code of conduct and effectively ostracised a British estate manager, Charles Cunningham Boycott, who collected exorbitant rents on behalf of an absentee landlord.

Fra Hughes

Alternative Forde

Leftwing activists plan to hold an alternative inquiry into the actions of Labour Party officials - including a sensational alleged attempt to undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s attempt to win the 2017 general election.

In May 2020 Keir Starmer asked the barrister, Martin Forde, to investigate a leaked report, which included allegations of racism, factionalism and electoral sabotage by party officials. But over a year later Forde still has not reported, which is why this Saturday leftwing activists plan to hold the ‘Not The Forde Inquiry’.

The event will give people the chance to say in public what they would have told the inquiry if they’d had the chance. This explosive leaked report appears to be a shocking exposé of an attack on democracy at the heart of the Labour Party. This is far too important for the inquiry to be delayed any longer. We have to get these things out into the open now.

The ‘Not The Forde Inquiry’ event is being held by the Labour In Exile Network, which includes members who claim to have been unfairly suspended or expelled from the party for supporting Jeremy Corbyn. For example, I was the chair of South Thanet Labour Party until I was suspended for allowing the local party to debate the taking of the whip from Corbyn.

I believe the Forde Inquiry’s findings are being suppressed because the party’s leadership simply wants to bury the truth. But we, the grassroots members, aren’t going to let that happen. We refuse to be silenced.

Testifying to the inquiry will be the ex-vice-chair of Momentum, Jackie Walker, and former Labour MP Chris Williamson, who are both named in the leaked report. Other speakers will include Graham Bash, Leah Levane, Tina Werkmann and Rebecca Massey. The inquiry will also hear a special message from film director Ken Loach.

Anyone who wants to put their point to our inquiry can email it to us on info@labour-in-exile.org or just put it in person on the day. We hope our event will help throw more light on the murky goings on in the Labour Party.

‘Not The Forde Inquiry’ is on Saturday June 5 at 7pm.

Norman Thomas
Labour in Exile Network

‘Go-to’ newspaper

I read the report of the recent joint CPGB/Labour Party Marxists aggregate with interest (‘Where next after May 6?’, May 27). I agree with Mike Macnair’s analysis that we are not witnessing the Pasokification of Britain’s Labour Party. Whilst 150,000 people have cancelled their membership direct debits, Labour does still have more than 400,000 members - most of them Corbyn supporters.

My experience of the Labour Party in Fenland over the last 11 years is instructive. I rejoined it in 2010 following a period in the political wilderness reaching back to when Blair became leader in 1994. I left in 2015 in protest against Ed Miliband’s famous ‘controls on immigration’ mug. I then rejoined again in September 2020. However, it is only very recently that I’ve become active in Fenland Labour Party, following discussions over Facebook with a former CLP secretary. I have discovered that a completely new generation of Corbyn-supporting activists have taken over from the old guard, who had controlled the local party for the last 35 years.

Regarding the aggregate discussion on artificial intelligence and its effects, I agree that AI will lead to a huge increase in unemployment. That is why we must campaign for retirement at 50 - if it’s good enough for the police and army officers to do that on a decent pension, it’s good enough for everyone. At the same time, we must campaign for the mass introduction of automation, so that the working week can be reduced to 20 hours with no loss of pay.

As research carried out by Oxford University points out, 50% of jobs will be replaced by robots and artificial intelligence. The professions will be badly hit by AI, as routine and repetitive work is replaced by computerisation and automation. At the same time, most factory and warehouse work will be replaced by robots - Amazon has plans to completely automate their warehouses. The only areas of employment in factories and warehouses will be robot and laser technicians.

Whilst there will always be solicitors, accountants and doctors, there will be fewer of them. You can see this in GP surgeries, where doctors are becoming supervisors of the work of nurses and nurse practitioners, who do most of the work. The elimination of most white-collar jobs will mean that manual jobs which cannot be replaced by robots, such as bin men and women and care workers, will become more respected. The demand for bin collection services to be brought in-house, along with a big increase in wages, will become a popular demand. Similarly, the demand for the nationalisation of all care homes and care work as part of a new National Care Service, together with a big increase in pay for care workers, will also be popular.

This brings me to my final point - the role of the Weekly Worker. Communists currently have limited resources - so the only weapon currently in our armoury is the Weekly Worker. All readers must endeavour to sell it to their contacts in the Labour Party, as well as to friends, relatives and workmates. Opinion polls show that there are four million people in Britain who see themselves as ‘far left’. This is equivalent to 6,000 per constituency - they must be our target audience.

The failure of the left can be put down to the failure of theory. Communists must have access to the most advanced theory. That is why the discussion about the Labour Party and AI at the recent aggregate is so important. All readers of the Weekly Worker should write reports of their activity within Labour branches and Constituency Labour Parties. Once face-to-face meetings start to replace Zoom, the Weekly Worker should be the ‘go-to’ newspaper for all Labour Party activists.

At the same time, activists must do all we can not to invite our suspension and expulsion from the party by the Starmer bureaucracy. This means avoiding all use of the word ‘Israel’ in Facebook discussions and Labour Party meetings and resolutions. We must get the Weekly Worker into the hands of all Corbyn-supporting activists who are now very open to an explanation of the failure of Corbynism and the tasks of socialists in the years ahead.

John Smithee

The Leninist

I am sure comrades will be delighted to hear that not only is the Weekly Worker coming back to print, but also that there is a brand new - and very much improved - online archive for The Leninist.

First published in 1981, The Leninist will have its 40th anniversary this year - what better way to celebrate this important chapter in British working class history than by giving it a new lease on life! That is why some very diligent comrades have spent the last six months working day and night to make it more accessible than ever.

Be sure to check it out and have a read. You can find our brand new archive on the CPGB website at: communistparty.co.uk/who-we-are/the-leninist-archive.

Ollie Hughes
Communist Party of Great Britain

White Australia

At the end of May, Australian media reported on a multinational company receiving a $121 million contract to keep asylum-seekers locked away for good on a remote island of Papua New Guinea.

Ever since Adam Smith’s Wealth of nations and even more so since Karl Marx’s Value, price and profits (1865), many have known that what drives private companies is profits. This is especially the case when such companies received lucrative government contracts. By scamming taxpayers, even better profits can be made than during normal business activities. Of course, neoliberal ideology demands that ‘everything needs to be privatised’ and so keeping refugees locked up for political (winning elections) and ideological (Australia White Policy) reasons continues.

To honour his Christian values, Australia’s Pentecostal prime minister, Scott Morrison (or ‘Scomo’), who once told a conference that he was called to do god’s work, has no problems with imprisoning little children. Perhaps the rotten teeth of the victims of Australia’s inhumane refugee policy reflect Christian values and god’s calling to become PM.

Imprisoned by Australia, refugees are watched over by private companies. But it gets even better for corporate profits, when the Australian government is billed $75 an hour for local workers it pays just $8 an hour to guard Australia’s refugees on remote Pacific islands. These families - men, women and children - are, in the hallucinations of Australia’s conservatives, a ‘danger to Australia’. But never mind: as long as Australia’s Murdoch press supports Scomo, all is fine. (Rupert Murdoch owns around 75% of Australia’s newspaper market.)

As well as the ultra-conservative Murdoch, there are almost equally conservative TV channels. Combined, they maintain the ideology that refugees are a danger to Australia. Meanwhile, Scott Morrison is doing a good job. For Scomo and Murdoch, etc, all is fine - even the children kept in isolation in what are euphemistically called ‘detention centres’.

Receipts and bills from 2019 show that the company in charge of refugees billed Australia $1.3 million for labour and a further $1.1 million for so-called corporate overheads, such as water and electricity - of course, not for exquisite corporate lunches, first-class flights for its CEO and top-managers. Pay-slips of workers showed they were indeed receiving peanuts - $8 an hour. That would not even pay for a bottle of wine consumed during corporate lunches for the company’s CEO and top corporate apparatchiks. While $8 does not pay for lunch in Sydney, it is still relatively close to the average hourly wage in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Australia keeps refugees in unhygienic, hot, humid and vermin-infected barracks on remote islands throughout the Pacific. Many of these poverty-ridden countries are eager for jobs and economic support. Commonly, however, much of the money never reaches those islands. It is sifted off by private companies located in Australia. All the islands get is Australia’s problems and a few pennies for local workers.

It is almost self-evident that such truly Christian behaviour adheres to the White Australia Policy. Officially, this was gradually dismantled between 1949 and 1973, but Australian conservatives are carrying on in the same spirit today. This might explain why refugees are not allowed to leave PNG unless they are resettled in the US or another country, such as New Zealand. The White Australia Policy blocks the way to Australia for non-whites.

By February 2020, the Liberal Party-corporate scam became all too obvious. An auditor raised concerns about the gaping gulf between wages claimed by the private contractor and wages paid to workers. Australia’s Home Affairs was notified on behalf of about 30 local staff who were substantially underpaid. When refugee advocates found out all about the scam, they felt that Australians and local workers in PNG were cheated, exploited and used for the company’s benefit, while refugee families suffered even more. The only one not suffering is Scomo, with his approval ratings well above 50%.

On the basis of overwhelming media support, this refugee-imprisoning company has made millions at the expense of ordinary Australians taxpayers. The scam was engineered by the company through contracts with Home Affairs to provide so-called ‘services’ on the PNG island of Manus. With the financial support of Australia’s government, the company has repeatedly extended its unsavoury activities and has been paid $3.7 million a month.

At present there are about 130 asylum-seekers and refugees locked up in PNG for a ‘crime’ that is actually a human right. Some might remember the test of the Magna Carta Libertatum of 1215 - a founding document of Scomo’s beloved liberalism. Yet the refugee children are not criminals and they are not illegal - no child is illegal, ever - they are just children. Not so in the eyes of Australia’s Christian PM and his so-called ‘Liberal’ Party.

Australia’s deeply racist White Australia Policy encapsulated a set of policies that aimed to forbid people of non-European ethnic origin, especially Asians and Pacific Islanders, from immigrating to Australia. It started in 1901 and some say it never ended. Middle Eastern refugees aren’t white, and Pacific island prison guards aren’t white and hence can be mistreated. For some politicians, this is part of their DNA. Meanwhile a white-owned company has been paid $1.4 billion over five years to run the island of Nauru’s offshore processing scheme. Last financial year, the company pocketed a net profit of a whopping $100 million.

Media reports have found that the company has made substantial political donations to the Liberal Party. And some say corporate lobbying doesn’t work! Meanwhile, Australia’s Department of Home Affairs announced that the entire affair shows that it gets value for money and that price was not the only factor when assessing that. Of course, the price of a government contract is never a factor when handing out taxpayers’ money in a good cause.

The good cause of the Liberal Party is threefold: locking up families and children deemed to be unworthy, non-white refugees; underpaying off-shore prison guards on remote islands; and, foremost, keeping Australia white.

Thomas Klikauer