A - I n f o s
a multi-lingual news service by, for, and about anarchists **

News in all languages
Last 40 posts (Homepage) Last two weeks' posts

The last 100 posts, according to language
Castellano_ Català_ Deutsch_ Nederlands_ English_ Français_ Italiano_ Polski_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Türkçe_ The.Supplement
First few lines of all posts of last 24 hours || of past 30 days | of 2002 | of 2003

Syndication Of A-Infos - including RDF | How to Syndicate A-Infos
Subscribe to the a-infos newsgroups
{Info on A-Infos}

(en) Australia, MEDIA, Abbott Uses Scaremongering to Split Medicare Defenders

From dr.woooo <dr.woooo@nomasters.org>
Date Sat, 6 Dec 2003 09:57:51 +0100 (CET)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
News about and of interest to anarchists
http://ainfos.ca/ http://ainfos.ca/index24.html

Abbott Uses Scaremongering to Split Medicare Defenders by Dimitrov Kyriakov
An internal report prepared by the ministerial officers responsible for
investigating Defend & Extend Medicare Group members and supporters has been
obtained by the Herald Sun, reported on December 5, which states that
anarchists and ‘extreme socialists’ have ‘hijacked’ the health debate.

An internal report prepared by the ministerial officers responsible for
investigating Defend & Extend Medicare Group members and supporters has been
obtained by the Herald Sun, reported on December 5, which states that
anarchists and ‘extreme socialists’ have ‘hijacked’ the health debate.

‘Several of the organisers are well-known to us as serial activists with
connections to anarchist groups and socialist organisations,’ an intelligence
source said. It also revealed that it has been attending DEMG rallies.

Among those members includes Melbourne anarchist Dr. Joe Toscano, a National
Convenor, who has been heavily involved with DEMG. As a Doctor, he is concerned
that about the Howard Government’s attack on Medicare, which was first set up
as a universal health system, which Health Minister Tony Abbot denies, saying
that it was always meant to be a safety net instead. Fortunately, their changes
will not be allowed to be pushed through at all this year due to their failed
negotiations with the Australian Democrats, whose support they need.

The release of this report should be of concern for all social activists, for
it confirms that the Government has been attempting to spy on its opponents.
But it also confirms that the Government is genuinely scared of the opposition
that has been mounted against it, and is now using the corporate media to
launch a scaremongering campaign to bolster the Government’s health agenda.
Tony Abbot may describe DEMG as ‘the dribs and drabs of the extreme Left’, but
they do not seem to be doing a bad job!

Abbott seems convinced that those involved in DEMG have hidden agendas. ‘It's
not fair to say you are interested in an issue if you are interested in the
issue as part of a broader agenda which you don't disclose,’ the Health
Minister told the corporate Herald Sun. ‘...it's not healthy debate if some try
to hide their real interests.’ ‘I think there needs to be full disclosure by
these people of their real political allegiances and their real political

Abbott is obviously lying or hasn’t done his research when he makes these
statements. Dr. Joe Toscano openly writes and publishes the Anarchist Age, and
has written some letters to the corporate media as a representative of the
Anarchist Media Institute. He has not hidden any agenda.

He further states that ‘these people are foisting a form of false advertising
on the Australian public by pretending to be grass-roots community activists
when they are the dribs and drabs of the extreme Left.’ It is absurd that he
states that their ideology decides whether they are grass roots or not. Those
participating in DEGM are members of the community, like the rest of us. They
cannot be anything but grass-roots activists if they are working, like Toscano
does as a Doctor.

The intelligence report also states similar to what Abbott has said, saying
that some of the activists attached to DEMG appeared to be concealing their
anarchist and socialist beliefs. But the DEMG is a united stance against the
health the Federal Government’s attacks on Medicare, and each individual member
should not be required to state their ideology everywhere they go. Besides,
like stated before, they are members of the community making a stand. Their
ideology should not get in the way of their arguments and stance.

Abbott even went as far as comparing anarchists and ‘extreme socialists’ to the
Mafia, in an erratic statement. ‘It's like the Mafia saying we're members of
the community and we are interested in protecting people and why can't we
campaign against police persecution or police harassment.’

He also took the opportunity to swipe at the Australian Labor Party, since some
members have given their support for DEMG. ‘The moderate Labor Party is getting
into bed with these people,’ he said. ‘I just think it is a sign of the Labor
Party's desperation that they are prepared to associate with these sorts of
people. I mean, one of the great marks of the revival of the Labor Party in the
60s and early 70s was their repudiation of the unity tickets with communists.’
This is a classic example of linking opposition under the same name, in order
to undermine it and split its ranks.

DEMG spokesman Stephen Jolly -- a long-time Socialist Party member -- said it
was ridiculous to suggest DEMG was a front for any group to the Herald Sun,
which is the truth, since it is a united front. "It is the oldest trick in the
book,’ he said. ‘If you can't defeat your opponents with political argument,
you try to undermine their credibility and that's what they [the Howard
Government] are trying to do with this group.’

Those named in the notes of the internal report were handed to the corporate
media. It includes Dr Joseph Toscano, Stephen Jolly, Jacob Grech, Pamela Curr,
Brendan Bride, Julie Jones, Stephen Reghenzani and Jordan Halkidis.

This latest attack must not go unnoticed. A stand, whether through the written
word, word of mouth or attending the next Defend & Extend Medicare rally in
Melbourne must be expressed. It is being held on Saturday December 13th at the
State library at 12PM.


****** The A-Infos News Service ******
News about and of interest to anarchists
INFO: http://ainfos.ca/org http://ainfos.ca/org/faq.html
HELP: a-infos-org@ainfos.ca
SUBSCRIPTION: send mail to lists@ainfos.ca with command in
body of mail "subscribe (or unsubscribe) listname your@address".

Full list of list options at http://www.ainfos.ca/options.html

A-Infos Information Center