Simon says 'stand up', socialists say 'Stop Bush!'

Issue 

BY PIP HINMAN

Federal Labor leader Simon Crean has told Labor MPs that they should give US President George Bush a standing ovation when he finishes his address to the joint sitting of parliament on October 23.

Tim Gooden, assistant secretary of Geelong Trades Hall Council and a spokesperson for the Socialist Alliance, disagrees. "This shows how gutless Crean's ALP is. It also reflects why Labor has been spectacularly unsuccessful in making Prime Minister John Howard pay in the opinion polls for telling lies about Iraq's weapons, lies which justified an illegal war that has killed thousands of Iraqi civilians."

However, Gooden said there are some ALP MPs who should be commended for their efforts to organise protest against Bush. "Harry Quick, who has urged his colleagues to turn their backs during the joint sitting and wear a white armband, should be supported. And all anti-war MPs should join the anti-Bush protest outside parliament to signal their opposition to the war on Iraq and the US-led occupation."

Gooden noted that Socialist Alliance members have played a central role in organising the protests against Bush around Australia. The Socialist Alliance is calling on the Howard government to pay war reparations to the Iraqi people, and to redirect its military spending to expand Medicare, and fund better public education and welfare services.

From Green Left Weekly, October 22, 2003.
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