Chapter Eight:
"Supreme Summit Smashes Creaky Constitution": Pravda

Professor David Flint, AM


This satirical address was inspired by the 2020 Summit, and much of what appears here is based on news reports about the Summit.

The most reported decision at the Summit was the support of its Governance panel for some unspecified republic. This was decided by a vote of 98:1, with one abstention. This vote was taken with almost no discussion, no research, and no details of what was being proposed.

The decision was then reported as one to hold a referendum preceded by a first stage in which links with the UK would be ended. As links had been ended years before, the announcement was ridiculed in reports in the media. Ten days later the decision was changed surreptitiously, to read that the first stage was to be a plebiscite, and not two---which is favoured by one republican faction, but strongly opposed by another.

In almost every respect---selection, appointment, transparency and fairness, respect for privacy, management, process, the procedure for arriving at, recording and reporting decisions---the Summit not only compares unfavourably with the Conventions which drafted the Australian Constitution, but also with the 1998 Convention from which the republican model that was the basis of the 1999 referendum emerged.

Never before in the history of this nation has the government of the Commonwealth presided over such a travesty. As one ardent republican at the Summit, Professor Robert Manne put it, it came to resemble a Mad Hatter's Party.

The 2020 Summit was a mismanaged attempt to indicate support for substantial constitutional change. That several prominent members of the media actually participated indicates the extent to which that institution has become seriously compromised.

*******************

A collection of highly confidential documents has come into my hands.

They are in a file entitled "Supreme Summit Smashes Creaky Constitution", and consist of a series of emails. They are principally from one address, vyacheslavmikahailovich@bolshe vikwatch.com.

While I cannot definitely conclude this is a pseudonym, it is possible that it is taken from the first two names of the leading Soviet functionary, Vyacheslav Mikahailovich Molotov. He had famously been a signatory to the Molotov- von Ribbentrop Pact on the division of Poland between Hitler and Stalin. He is also well known in Australia for authorising the celebrated reply to an inquiry by Dr H V Evatt during the Petrov Royal Commission as to whether Soviet espionage existed in Australia.

The Soviet reply advised that there was no such espionage. On this, a file note reads:

"The Molotov letter was, as you know, of inestimable value in proving beyond any reasonable doubt that Beria's placeman in Canberra, Vladimir Petrov, was lying when he alleged there was a Soviet spy ring in Australia.
"And of course the fact, subsequently revealed, that the CPSU [Communist Party of the Soviety Union] had advanced funds to Comrades Sharkey and Aarons when they came to Moscow for their regular medical checkups in the workers' and peasants' paradise revealed no more than some meagre funding to float the Eureka Youth League raffles".

All of the emails are addressed to a person whose identity I am still trying to establish. His or her address is tovarich.lukewen@comradwatch.com.au. Because of time constraints I shall only read a few of these:

 

1. From Comrade Vyacheslav Mikahailovich to Comrade Lu Kewen, February 2008:

"Dear Comrade Lu Kewen,
As you know, the next stage of the struggle is to consolidate all power in an Australian peoples' or soviet republic---just as the great comrade academician, Katherine Susannah Prichard, predicted.
It is crucial that the process to achieve this, the 2020 Summit, have an effective and loyal co-chairman to work with you.
The candidate you mention already heads an Australian university, so he ought to be all right. He was once Queensland Commissioner of Public Sector Equity, which to my ears recalls the Committee of Public Safety in the French Revolution.
But we need to be certain that he definitely manifests no bourgeois tendencies, for example in tolerating deviation or dissent.
Yours, in marching through the institutions,
Comrade Vyacheslav Mikahailovich".

 

2. From Comrade Lu Kewen to Comrade Vyacheslav Mikahailovich, February 2008:

"Dear Comrade Vyacheslav Mikahailovich,
I must say that the proposed co-chairman seems to have performed very well in the Queensland nomenklatura.
For example, he is a master of the current usage, 'management speak'.
Because it suggests that what is being undertaken is a bourgeois operation, 'management speak' has proved particularly helpful in such matters as camouflaging the insertion of the universities into the command economy, just as we did with the doctors.
The Vice-Chancellors took to 'management speak' like ducks to water, ensuring that the most dangerous academics would be tied up working out inane and entirely useless mission and vision statements, 'SWOT' analyses, central planning and the like, and would thus have no time to object to collectivisation and the subsequent reductions in their pay.
This has allowed the universities to employ large numbers of party cadres as managers, thus increasing our influence.
So I think we will be safe with him as co-chairperson. Be assured that he will denounce the imperialist constitutional system which the British imposed on us, as Paul Keating so cogently taught the masses.
As co-chairman he will no doubt invoke the standard Pavlovian response we have successfully inculcated into the media and universities, that is, that ours is no more than a 'horse and buggy Constitution' imposed by the imperialist British.
Because our policy of 'dumbing down' education has been so successful, few in the media or the academy are able to point out the obvious riposte---that the American Constitution is twice as old.
To date he has a good record of revolutionary compliance. He accepted appointment to the Republic Advisory Committee in 1994, where of course Comrade Paul would tolerate no opposition whatsoever.
While Vice-Chancellor, he held a conference on 'constitutional futures' at Griffith University where he delivered a revolutionary call in his paper Republicans will rise again.
Once again he did not make the bourgeois error of allowing any dissenting voices at all.
Fortunately the files have been removed from the university's site.
You should have heard Greg Barns get stuck into the Royal Family.
It was as if Vladimir llyich were with us again.
He denounced them---as he should have---as 'rancid' and 'a menace to democracy'.
The imperialist monarchy was, he rightly said, a 'corrupt institution ... prepared to subvert the rule of law... and allow criminal activity to go unchecked within its walls'.
It has 'little interest in anything other than self-preservation and ...it will ride roughshod over the rule of law, if necessary, to achieve that aim'.
Good stuff that.
In anticipation of the advent of peoples' republican power,
Comrade Lu Kewen".

 

3. From Comrade Vyacheslav Mikahailovich to Comrade Lu Kewen, March 2008:

"Dear Comrade Lu Kewen,
When you said of the 2020 Summit, 'Let a hundred flowers bloom', you correctly predicted what we will do, as did the Great Helmsman.
As soon as the hundred flowers bloom, we shall cut off their rotten bourgeois heads.
But let me offer a word of friendly warning.
Most in the media, being educated in schools now almost totally under party control, would not have understood the allusion.
But a few may have---Alan Jones, Piers Akerman, Paul Sheehan, Andrew Bolt, Gerard Henderson, Jim Ball, David Oldfield---for example.
So it would be unwise to show your Maoist determination.
At least at this stage.
Yours with Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao,
Comrade Vyacheslav Mikahailovich".

 

4. From Comrade Lu Kewen to Comrade Vyacheslav Mikahailovich, March 2008:

"Dear Comrade Vyacheslav Mikahailovich,
I have exciting news. As you know, the central aim is, as dear Vladimir Ilyitch said, 'All power to the Soviets'.
He also said something along the lines that Communism is Soviet Power plus the electrification of the country.
Well, with the NSW situation I'm not so sure about electrification.
But the good news is I have a man, from the media, to chair the core Governance panel.
He's the chairman here of Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd.
Now don't worry one minute about Murdoch---he wants to get his empire into the People's Republic, doesn't he?
Dangling that over his head has been quite effective, as that imperialist reactionary, Chris Patten, soon learned.
I always remember what Vladimir Ilyitch would say about the bourgeoisie: 'They would willingly sell us the rope which we would use to hang them'.
And as dear Manning used to say, Vladimir Ilyich was truly Christ-like in his compassion.
We also have placed some key media people at the Summit, including David Marr and Robert Manne.
True, both are getting on, and at their age may become confused if things go too fast.
But their presence will help to send a signal to the other journalists that the Summit is on side.
With hope of the early foundation of a workers' and peasants' paradise in Australia,
Comrade Lu Kewen".

 

5. From Comrade Vyacheslav Mikahailovich to Comrade Lu Kewen, March 2008:

"Dear Comrade Lu Kewen,
The lady comrades---correction---I mean the comrade women---have really been in turmoil.
Your own dear 'trouble and strife' even asked mine how on earth did you forget about them?
By the way, as a comradely warning, she still doesn't fully believe that the CIA spiked your drinks in New York.
Incidentally, you should be careful about your tax to stop girls---whoops, I mean young women---'binge' drinking.
I fear the publicans---who are worse than the most reactionary kulaks, even the ones who cruelly threw my mother and me onto the streets where I lived in an old tractor---will try to draw attention to that incident in New York, and worse---that it was all taxpayer funded.
I mean---if John Howard had done that it would have been on the 7.30 Report and Lateline very night.
Do be careful. And just on the ABC, you should appoint an ABC personality as co-chair to that Murdoch man.
As you know, we've well and truly marched through that particular institution.
But it still irks me that they even allow one nominal bourgeois, once a week, usually the Ackerman---Bolt -Henderson revisionist clique.
Haven't the ABC heard of balance?
The ideal will be to have 100 per cent of all presenters and commentators towing the party line.
I told Comrade Conroy that's the way he has to apply the Charter.
Then there was a hiccup when the Zionists complained the Summit coincided with Passover. The reaction was typical.
Comrade Joseph Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili had their measure, didn't he?
Telling the Politburo in 1952 that 'Every Jewish nationalist is the agent of the American intelligence service' was spot on.
But this brings me to something which really irritates me.
Sometimes the effective abolition of the teaching of history---and just about anything else---does work against us.
Talk about marching through the institutions.
Now I'm all for keeping the people ignorant.
As the Irish revolutionary Oscar Wilde said, before the imperialist British purged him:
'Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone. The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever'.
So don't burden the people with useless detail.
But the cadres are different. They're supposed to be informed. We have hundreds of people working on this 2020 Summit, but no one knows anything.
We saw this during the 1999 referendum when Senator Stott Despoja was launching a book on advancing republicanism.
She said, 'Why can't Australia become a republic..after all, Canada is'.
You could have heard a pin drop in the public library. Fortunately the journalists were on side.
But for the Summit, missing the Passover was bad enough. They followed this with a note on the Summit website saying no referendum had been passed in 40 years.
The monarchists pointed out we'd missed three.
Fortunately the media are on side or, more likely, they're just as ignorant as we planned to make the next generation.
Orwell's 1984 has been such a godsend, although he did not intend it.
If you gradually reduce the number of words in the language---as he does with Newspeak---you reduce the people's capacity to think.
As you know, Newspeak is the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year.
This makes any alternative thinking or speech---'thought crime'---impossible, by removing any words or constructs which describe the ideas of freedom, rebellion and so on.
As one of the comrades said: 'It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words'.
The brilliant discovery of the education comrades here was not limited to just language reduction, but the reduction of all knowledge. That's the reason for giving everyone computers---I can't think of a better way to distract them.
I wasn't too happy, though, when I went to a doctor who asked me where my heart was. I'm afraid we went too far when we ran down anatomy teaching in the medical schools.
Fortunately we control the history departments, whatever the Trotsyite renegade Keith Windschuttle thinks. Why learn facts, when you can do things like three months projects to discuss a day in the life of a convict laundress, or the Dreaming?
What we'll have to do is consult with a few old time bourgeois intellectuals---I hate to say it, people like the Winsdchuttles and the Pauls.
Even after we take full power, we can seal them up in the outback with a library and make sure we are not embarrassed internationally with the facts.
The truth is far too precious and dangerous to waste on ordinary people---only people like us should know.
Yours dialectically and materially,
Comrade Vyacheslav Mikahailovich".

 

6. From Comrade Lu Kewen to Comrade Vyacheslav Mikahailovich, April 2008:

"Dear Comrade Vyacheslav Mikahailovich,
Having the media run the session will be ideal. They are typical of Chesterton's adage that when a man stops believing in God, it's not that he believes in nothing. He'll believe in anything.
By the way, and as this is a private communication, I don't feel obliged to use feminist speak. Being old fashioned, I find that too jarring---you know the sort of thing, 'If any Comrade wishes to criticise the leader they must engage in self criticism'.
Provided it doesn't come from the right, and it fits in with some New Age belief with the right buzz word---republic, multicultural, indigenous, refugee, the UN---the typical political journalist will eat out of your hands. They'll even do our job.
A warning---this doesn't always work---remember 1999.
(By the way, when it comes to economic control, forget nationalisations, they're old hat. We'll use the ETS. One of the cheekier apparatchiks calls it the Energy Tax Swindle, but of course we'll sell it as an Emissions Trading Scheme.)
Give the journalists a buzz. They are all republicans.
The other thing about our two journalist co-chairmen (I'd better get used to saying co-chairpersons)---neither has any experience in running meetings, just chat shows.
So no one will know what is decided. And as you know, we've already written the decisions.
Howard was too clever by half in appointing republicans Ian Sinclair and Barry Jones to chair the 1998 Convention.
The trouble is they ran it properly, so we lost the vote. Howard then looked magnanimous when he still put the model which the republican delegates preferred to a referendum.
As we agreed, this time there will be nothing like Hansard there, so no one will know what they have decided.
Comradely regards,
Lu Kewen
PS It reminds me of old times. Remember the fellow travellers---well I don't really, but Gough tells me about them.
Well, they used to have peace conferences, where there would be plenty of clergymen. including one the bourgeois press christened the 'Red Dean'. You know the line---'I've seen the future and it works'.
Well this particular clergyman went into the church after being a politician. We may have done it by sending him to the Vatican.
His Easter Message was actually about our becoming a republic. He seems to think we can cut off The Queen as an interim measure. If that's true, why didn't Keating do it? I've got the lawyers on to that, so I probably won't hear the answer until after the Summit.
Anyway, we've got a clergyman for the Summit".

 

7. From Comrade Vyacheslav Mikahailovich to Comrade Lu Kewen, April 2008:

"Dear Comrade Lu Kewen,
We have one problem with this Head of State business. Remember, we introduced this term in the nineties so we could talk about having an Australian as Head of State. As you know, the monarchists, David Smith and Philip Gibson neutralised that.
That Smith has been a real nuisance since he read the proclamation dissolving Parliament in 1975. A dangerous man, I think.
Now they've found a High Court case which supports them. You'll have to be careful in future appointments here.
Good that you appointed Robert Manne to the Summit. He's just called the monarchists liars. Says they are guilty of fraud on this. Manne is a real straight talker. He says that when The Queen comes to Australia the Constitution says the G-G has to 'push off'.
This proves she's Head of State. Former Chief Justice Anthony Mason argued this at the referendum. We got him onto the front pages on this---said the monarchists were speaking 'arrant nonsense'.
Pity that bourgeois revisionist knight David Smith found that press photograph of The Queen opening Parliament House, not only with the G-G behind her, but also with Sir Anthony Mason there in the front row!
That's why we need a 'Mintruth', Orwell's Ministry of Truth. We need people to continuously correct the record.
I remember when Lavrenti Beria, who headed the KGB, was 'outed' as a British spy. They executed him at a Politburo meeting.
Well, I used to subscribe to the Great Soviet Encyclopaedia.
After this I receive a lovely extra page on the Behring Sea, with instructions to pull out and destroy the page on Beria.
By the way, I have found the perfect Liberal to make the governance panel look balanced.
He's the shadow A-G and an SC. That's what QC's are now called thanks to a really great legal profession reform by John Fahey and the NSW Liberal government.
How they walked into Paul's republican trap. What a brilliant wedge that was.
Anyway, he has to be a republican. His name is Senator George Brandis, by the way. We can use him---and not just on this.
Comradely greetings,
Comrade Vyacheslav Mikahailovich
PS You'll love this. The comrades have succeeded in appointing no one at all who was in the 1999 No case, but we do have the head of the prostitutes' union. After all, why shouldn't the toiling workers and peasants have some fun? Andrew Bolt noticed it, but his time will be limited when we have full power".

 

8. From Comrade Lu Kewen to Comrade Vyacheslav Mikahailovich, April, 2008:

"Dear Vyacheslav Mikahailovich,
The Governance panel could not have gone better. We made sure that the GetUp! comrades were very well represented, and they ensured the question was raised.
Well, as we planned, it was all so confusing that poor old David Marr asked why they hadn't dealt with the big issue.
But to get a vote of 98: 1 was superb. The monarchists whinged that the gerrymander would have made Robert Mugabe envious. (Comrade Mugabe, incidentally, is doing such a great job in Zimbabwe, we've made sure he is getting the latest arms. He's been much more successful than Gough was in making the currency worthless, which is a tried and tested way to destroy the kulaks and the petty bourgeoisie).
Now it's true I wanted 100 per cent in favour of a republic.
Sir William Deane unfortunately nailed his colours to the fence, and as for that George Brandis! We were counting on him. I can tell you, heads will roll here.
'Rorting' the Summit is light years from our work in the elections.
I remember Albert Sloss upbraiding Joe Riordan when he lost Philip.
'Joe, Joe Joe', he said, 'how could anyone possibly lose an electorate that has two cemeteries in it?'.
The McGrath---Copeman---Kirkpatrick clique are still on to us, but the Coalition will only realise they are right when it's too late.
But it's all going through, and in the confusion and the euphoria tomorrow we'll get it through.
Yours fraternally,
Comrade Lu Kewen
PS Did you like the shots of me sitting on the floor? Real humility, don't you think?".

 

9. From Comrade Lu Kewen to Comrade Vyacheslav Mikahailovich, May 2008:

"Dear Comrade Vyacheslav Mikahailovich,
We shall have to do something about the Comrade Professor Manne. He will have to be disciplined.
He has written too honestly about the way we ensured that the meeting of the Governance panel would be confusing and the bourgeois delegates confused.
He writes that 'the level of chaos increased'.
Well, of course it did. That's why we used Maxine McKew and John Hartigan; they were sure to opt for the chat show format rather than, say, Joske's Law of Meetings.
But it was too much to reveal that, 'The meeting now more resembled a Mad Hatter's party than a symposium'.
'Often the loudest voices prevailed', he lamented. 'Sometimes it was not even clear what the vote was about'.
Of course that is how it happened, Comrade Robert. That was the plan.
Then he reveals that at the very end of the meeting, Fairfax and ABC commentator David Marr intervened 'with a dramatic plea that the republic be included'.
Well, we knew of the problems with Marr. He had written -openly---some time before that the ARM [Australian Republican Movement] was near comatose.
Of course it was. Once Malcolm Turnbull turned off the funds it wasn't going anywhere.
'He was told that the idea was actually at the top of our list', the Comrade Professor Manne writes.
He says there had been a 'near-complete consensus about a two-stage program for the creation of the republic'.
But he says, 'Marr's confusion was understandable. In our haste, no one could be certain what had been decided. I certainly was not'.
Manne then explains the way the Summit became a national laughing stock on the following Monday.
This was its decision 'to end ties with the UK'. Even the residual ties the States had insisted on keeping went in 1986.
Fortunately the good Professor redeemed himself---partially.
He says the report was 'written at heroic speed' over the Sunday lunch break, so 'the wording of our stream's republic idea, by far the most popular at the Summit, was botched'.
Yours fraternally,
Comrade Lu Kewen".

 

10. From Comrade Lu Kewen to Comrade Vyacheslav Mikahailovich, May 2008:

"Dear Comrade Vyacheslav Mikahailovich,
I shall never forget the elation and the standing ovation at the plenary.
You were absolutely brilliant to have them release the decoy decision about the breaking of non-existent links with Britain to the press.
Unfortunately, because of our triumph in removing all knowledge from the education system, few in the media noticed it. Only the monarchists did.
The press didn't realise it was to distract attention from your plan to hold one plebiscite, and defeat the Trotskyite republicans who wish the President to be popularly elected.
The Trotskyites say the President should be elected.
After all, we control elections, as the renegade Drs McGrath, Bruce KirkPatrick and Charles Copeman keep saying.
Just as well the Liberals changed the Minister when he finally understood what they were going on about.
But there is always the chance they will prevail and an election will be so clear we can't control it. Look what happened to Mugabe.
We can't have a presidential election. Professor Craven had to take Senator Marise Payne aside for hours to explain why a second plebiscite will produce that result.
Yes, it was embarrassing for her when she had to then dissent from part of her own proposal. Fortunately the journalists didn't notice.
So when we changed the record ten days later, the Trotskyites were too slow to notice we'd turned the tables on them too.
It was victory all the way. It couldn't have gone better.
But I had not realised that Dr Anne Twomey is too honest for her own good. I wasn't aware of her book, which shows The Queen and the system in too good a good light.
She refers to the plenary sessions as no more than TV 'chat shows', 'a complete waste of the time of the participants, who were press-ganged into constituting an audience. For the most part, they wallowed in the shallows of the superficial and puerile'.
She writes that when the chat show host asked his guests, 'What do you find embarrassing about Australia?', 'one prominent Minister sitting in my row muttered 'this', and led a walk out, which I gratefully joined'.
We'll have to put her on one of our hundreds of reviews so we can find out which Minister said that---he'll be in the gulag soon enough.
Hasn't she ever been to a party conference---or better, a launch of one of our election campaigns?
We learned a lot from Dear Comrade Joseph Vissarionivich.
The regular long standing ovations, the cries of 'Long live Comrade Stalin'.
That's how we ended the Summit---a standing ovation pour moi.
It has made the struggle worthwhile, the eviction from the farm by the evil Kulaks, the night sleeping in the tractor, the ambush in New York when the CIA spiked my drinks.
If only those Kulaks who threw us off our farm could see me now.
That is why we have decided to camouflage our real intentions by appearing to have become capitalists.
As you know, this has become party policy, with all former leaders taking on the appearance of being multi-millionaires.
Malcolm Mackerras will have to revise that assessment of me as No. 14 in the table of Prime Ministers. Number 14, really!
Reminds me of the time Comrade Gough appeared on the Tass endorsed 7.30 Report for something of a retrospective. When the Comrade presenter asked him who he thought were the three greatest Australian Prime Ministers, Gough just looked at him.
After a pause that went on until the presenter became nervous, Gough suddenly said: 'Kerry, I'm still trying to think of the other two'.
Yours in anticipation of the inevitable victory,
Lu Kewen
PS This is my farewell, Comrade, or should I say, vile enemy of the people.
We now know the truth. You were a plant by the Vatican to destabilise the party.
The bearer of this letter will immediately impose the supreme sentence of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet on you".