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Issue No. 174 11 April 2003  

Might Does Not Mean Right
So the Americans have removed the dictator Hussein, the right wing press are firing more pot-shots than the Republican Guard and George W. Bush can ride into the sunset having liberated the Middle East. Game over – or is it?


Interview: Picking Up The Peaces
Walk Against the War Coalition convenor Bruce Childs outlines the challenge for the peace movement in the lead up to Palm Sunday.

Unions: The Royal Con
Jim Marr argues the Cole Commission can only be taken seriously by people kept ignorant of the way it actually operated.

National Focus: Around the Grounds
Unions maintain the pressure for peace as the upcoming organising conference takes on added significance, reports Noel Hester.

Economics: The Secret War on Trade
Overseas-based multi-nationals are coming after our film industry, electricity, water, pharmaceutical benefits and even childcare. Or are they? Nobody knows, as Jim Marr reports.

International: United Front
Workers and their unions around the world have possibly never been as united in their commitment to campaign together against the War in Iraq, writes Andrew Casey

History: Confessions of a Badge Collector
Bill Pirie has one of the largest collections of trade union badges in the world. After 20 years the collection now numbers some 6,000 badges.

Politics: Stalin’s Legacy
Fifty years ago last month Josef Stalin died. How could it be that a democratic and socialist revolution produced one of the monsters of the twentieth century, asks Leonie Bronstein.

Review: Such Was Not Ned’s Life
The life of Ned Kelly is what we in the world of journalism term a “ball tearing yarn” so why have writers of the movie adaptation felt so impelled to dress it up with fiction, asks Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: Osama's Top Recruiter
Through our extensive intelligence networks, we have managed to track down the top recruiter for the global terror network of Osama bin Laden.

Satire: Woolworths CEO Denied Bonus After Company Posts Profit
Woolworths chief executive Roger Corbett was devastated today to report an 18.3% rise in profit under his management over the last year.


 Carr: Workers Won It For Me

 Nursing Crisis Bites Elderly

 Judge Puts ‘Predator’ Before Workers

 WA Court Undermines Cole

 Mexican Chain Gangs Win NSW Work

 Della Muscles Up to Abbott

 STOP PRESS - Brewery Goes Flat

 ACCC Urged to Consider Jobs

 Unions Stats Track Armageddon

 Cameron: Feds More Interested in Iraq

 SARS Lays Jobs Low

 Working Hours Benefit Millions

 Journos Urge War Crimes Prosecutions

 Unions Support Displaced in Iraq


The Soapbox
Factional Free-For-All
Chris Christodoulou looks at the fallout from the selection of the new Carr Ministry and what it means to the factional warlords.

The Locker Room
The Best Season Since Last Year
Phil Doyle goes trudging through the mud in search of the heart of the matter beneath the corporate biffo

Books on Bombs
In times like these, reading inevitably turns to America and war. Chris White wades through Pilger, Chomsky, Eco, Moore and Vidal.

Postcard from Harvard
Labor Council's Michael Gadiel was elected to give the valedictory speech to this year's Harvard Trade Union Program.

 Taking Stalin's Crimes Seriously
 Unfair Dismissals
 More Angry Trots
 Tom's Tirade
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Letters to the Editor

Taking Stalin's Crimes Seriously

I read Leonie Bronstein's fascinating article "Stalin's Legacy" with great interest.

We do not take Stalin's crimes seriously in this country. While Le Monde publishes a pull-out supplement and the anniversary features on the front pages of most Eastern European papers, here there is a distracted silence save for a SBS documentary. While some readers may find a comparison with Hitler offensive, Stalin actually killed more than 8 times as many people as Hitler's concentration camps. Alexander Yakovlev, an expert on Stalin's crimes, estimates that his victims totalled more than 130 million. To give some idea of the scale of this: Stalin's body count is the equivalent 35,000 11 Septembers. Yes, Stalin played a very minor role in defeating Nazism, but so would any Russian leader who had been attacked by the Reich.

One anecdote will have to suffice to give some sense of Stalin's contempt for human life. His wife Nadezhda began in the early 1930s to teach courses in textile production in an attempt to escape the misery of life in the Kremlin. She and her students carried out assignments in the Russian countryside, where she witnessed the degeneration of the peasantry because of Stalin's policy of forced seizures. According to the revered Marxist and Trotskyite historian Robert Conquest, 35 million people starved to death, and cannibalism became rife. Nadezhda's students were so shocked that they insisted on reporting back to the great leader Stalin. They did, and Stalin had them all arrested and executed for "sedition". Stalin had his wife murdered not long afterwards.

I don't raise this only in order to provide a diverting history lesson. I raise it because Stalinism lives. Nazism is now a movement confined to the outer fringes of politics, yet Stalinists still control several countries and rule over a greater population than George Bush. Even after 50 years, the malign ideology of "Uncle Joe" has yet to join him in the grave.

Peter Hartnell


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