Abolish the Coronavirus Commission!
14-06-2020: The fake coronavirus pandemic has now spawned its own fake coronavirus government. Unfortunately, the entirely appointed National Covid-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC) is all too real. Unelected by anyone, and unaccountable to the federal (or any) parliament, the NCCC is yet another example of the blatant disregard for even a pretence of democracy that the ruling class exhibits from time to time, but especially during a manufactured crisis. Funded by taxpayers, but not required to report or answer to them, the NCCC could be a replica of the V for Vendetta storyline. Some who have been well within the establishment during their careers are raising serious concerns. Retired Justice Margaret White makes eminently valid criticisms, stating that the NCCC is not underpinned by legislation, there is no known work plan, and the make-up of the commission is a who’s who of corporate Australia. Aside from a few token representatives from “civil” society, the NCCC is stacked with million-dollar CEOs from the fossil fuel industry, many of whom have never been accountable to anyone except large shareholders.
Rule by CEO
The existence of the NCCC arguably negates the need to cast a vote in elections. Why go to the polls on election day, if the politicians elected can simply be overridden by an appointed body of corporate sector highfliers? Many working people already feel that capitalist democracy equates to rule by private corporations, and here is an egregious example. The NCCC’s Chairman is Nev Power, former CEO of Fortescue Metals. Deputy Chair is David Thodey, a former CEO of Telstra, and IBM in Australia and New Zealand. Commissioner Jane Halton is a board member of ANZ Bank, Clayton Utz and Crown Resorts. Paul Little is Chairman of the Little Group, and former long-term managing director of Toll Holdings. Catherine Tanna is managing director of Energy Australia, and board member of the Business Council of Australia. Yet Commissioner Andrew Liveris takes the cake. He is former Chairman of Dow Chemical and DowDuPont, and sits on the board of Saudi Aramco – a Saudi Arabian oil company!! This hand-picked Commission will “advise the Prime Minister and operate within his portfolio”. There is barely an attempt to conceal corporate domination of elite rule.
The only “Commissioner” who is not directly from the corporate sector is Greg Combet, the former head of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and Labor Party member of federal parliament. No doubt his presence will attempt to lay a veneer of legitimacy on the savage wave of attacks already launched on workers and their Unions with the excuse of a virus. To date, compromised Union officials have already worked with the government to enable changes to a collective agreement by employers would only require 24 hours’ notice. This essentially means that all wages and conditions won through struggle by workers and their Unions, and codified in enterprise or collective agreements, could be abolished overnight – regardless of what is written on paper. Wage rates, working hours, annual leave, sick leave – all could potentially be reduced or wiped at one stroke.
While most of us have been pre-occupied dealing with draconian rules imposed by a police state under the guise of a coronavirus, fossil fuel corporations have asked for, and received, 14 “exemptions” to environmental and corporate regulation, 11 requests for financial assistance and tax cuts, and 12 cases of fast-track approval for projects. As far as the government is concerned, the fake pandemic provides a convenient pretext for yet more handouts for the wealthiest and most environmentally destructive corporations in the hemisphere. In addition, the cover of the coronavirus is being used to once again open up the Narrabri in north east New South Wales (NSW) to coal seam gas. The Coronavirus Commission and the NSW government are literally lining up to give Santos free rein to plunder the earth with hydraulic fracturing – “fracking” – to obtain the methane laden gas which is extremely flammable. Needless to say, this will again escalate carbon emissions which are potentially past the “tipping point” of being able to maintain a safe climate.
Resist corporate takeover
It is critical that workers resist this flagrant disregard for even the pretence of elected government, and blatant environmental destruction under the guise of “getting Australia back to work”. The Covid-19 fraud was never about a virus. It was, and remains, vicious class struggle waged by finance capital against working people. The Coronavirus Commission is but one manifestation of the economic, political and ideological decay of Western imperialism. It is being used to sideline the threadbare trappings of capitalist parliamentary democracy, and to discharge outrageous attacks on working people and the natural environment which would otherwise spark a mass revolt.
Unfortunately, the very bodies that are supposed to defend workers against such an onslaught are the same ones which are leading the assault on the innocent masses. We refer to Union bureaucrats and the ostensible “left” parties – who have combined to repress workers who have the temerity to point out that lockdowns and social-distancing don’t even make logical sense. The lockdown left have prostrated themselves before the politicians and the government they feign to oppose and have gone on to act as police guards of a totalitarian order that would horrify the likes of George Orwell.
What is required is the building and extension of the anti-lockdown movement, for this is the only movement which has made a complete break with bourgeois ideology. The anti-lockdown movement does not accept the false rationale of a “threat” to society from a very mild pathogen, and rejects any authority deceitfully claimed by self-serving politicians, health czars and the corporate media. Workers must assist this movement to evolve in an anti-capitalist and pro-socialist direction, as difficult as that task presently appears. Key to this perspective is the forging of the first elements of a Marxist vanguard party, which can help lead masses in struggle against corona tyranny and for a world fit for human habitation. ABOLISH THE CORONAVIRUS COMMISSION!
PO Box 66 NUNDAH QLD 4012