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Worried about agents of foreign influence? Just look at who owns Australia’s biggest companies

This article was first published on The Conversation website

by Clinton Fernandes

Clinton Fernandes - professor of international and political studies. Author of several books including "What Uncle Sam Wants - US Foreign Policy objectives in Australia and Beyond" and "Island Off the Coast of Asia". He will be one of the main speakers at the Spirit of Eureka's annual dinner in Melbourne, November 28.

The attention being given to possible covert influence being exercised by China in Australia shouldn’t distract us from recognising that very overt foreign influence now occurs through investment.

Right now US corporations eclipse everyone else in their ability to influence our politics, through their investments in Australian stocks.

Using company ownership data from Bloomberg, I analysed the ownership of Australia’s 20 biggest companies a few days after the 2019 federal election in May. Of those 20, 15 were majority-owned by US-based investors. Three more were at least 25% US-owned.

Read more: Worried about agents of foreign influence? Just look at who owns Australia’s biggest companies

Parent Category: Spirit Content

Stop the political repressions in the Philippines! Stop the attacks!

Solidarity with the people of the Philippines fighting political repression and attacks against the progressive people's movement.

Human Rights in the PhilippinesUrgent call for solidarity with the people of the Philippines to stop widespread political repression and attacks.  Sunday 10 November 4.30 pm Federation Square.

In the last few days, the US/Duterte government has escalated violent attacks and repression against the progressive people's movement in the Philippines.  More than 62 progressive activists have been arrested and their organisations raided.

Shirley Winton
Spirit of Eureka (Vic.)

See below for the recently released statement by the International League of People's Struggles (ILPS). Spirit of Eureka is an affiliate of ILPS.

Read more: Stop the political repressions in the Philippines! Stop the attacks!

Parent Category: Spirit Content

Celebrate the 165th Anniversary of the Eureka Rebellion! - Melbourne

Celebrate the 165th anniversary of the Eureka Rebellion with a fantastic night of dinner, drinks, and thought provoking speakers!

Join Spirit of Eureka (Victoria) as we celebrate the continuing struggle for Australian Independence and the fight for workers' and democratic rights!


Venue: MUA Hall, 46-54 Ireland St, West Melbourne
(3-minute walk from North Melbourne station)

Doors Open 6.00pm
Dinner - Buffet style meal; vegetarian available
Speakers Start 7.00pm

$20 waged, $10 unwaged/concession
Beer, wine, soft drink - purchase from the bar (CASH ONLY!)

Bookings for dinner are ESSENTIAL!

1) Book and pay online thru Eventbrite:

2) Contact us directly to book your ticket and pay at the door on the night
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
call or text: 0476 234 232 (Dirk), 0400 077 563 (Kevin), 0417 456 001 (Shirley)

Please book as early as possible. Table bookings (10 ppl) available – contact directly to book

Read more: Celebrate the 165th Anniversary of the Eureka Rebellion! - Melbourne

Parent Category: Spirit Content

‘When is Our Day?’

by Humphrey McQueen

Posted with permission of the author

(First published in Arena Magazine, no. 161, September 2019, pp. 17-18.)

Anzac TaserTo headline Barry Morris’s comments (Arena, May 2019) on the Frontier-Wars contingent at the Canberra Anzac Day parades with the police sergeant’s ‘This is Not a Day for You’ is to silence the indigenous ex-serviceman who shot back: ‘When is our day?’

That omission is a microcosm of how becoming fixated on massacres can marginalise the ways by which first peoples continue to defend country. If the Right denies what the invaders did to them, segments of the Left do not care to hear what they did to the un-settlers. The map of massacre sites across Eastern Australia compiled by Lyndall Ryan’s group is one more weapon against depicting ‘settlement’ as sweetness and light. To present even more of the truth, the map needs to be overlain by one locating the multiplicity of actions undertaken by first peoples – from assaults on explorers to driving flocks over cliffs. James Scott reminds us why Weapons of the Weak (1987) are not necessarily weak in their impact on their oppressors.

Read more: ‘When is Our Day?’

Parent Category: Spirit Content

U.S. military industries in Australia

Raytheon and Australia - Raytheon Kills

RaytheonRaytheon with its current merger with United Technologies becomes the 2nd biggest arms manufacturer globally - and is the biggest in Australia. Their influence - like that of other military-industrials - is increased by the "revolving door" of generals and government bureaucrats into and out of their doors.

New US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper was recently and for 7 years a chief lobbyist for Raytheon. In 2018 alone, 645 senior government officials went to work at arms dealers.

This isn't new to Trump's US - it goes back decades and happens in Australia too (think Chris Pyne). When your only customers are governments, influence-peddling is critical. This is why excuses for the Yemen war slaughter like Raytheon's "we're only following government policy" don't wash - they shape policy all the time. And always in favor of preparing for and of going to war - it's good business.

Read more: U.S. military industries in Australia

Parent Category: Spirit Content