Labor frontbencher and ex Midnight Oil front man Peter Garret has said that he now fully supports the ALP’s endorsement of a new US military base planned for Western Australia. Liberal MPs hammered Garret in parliament this week after he refused to answer questions from the press about the issue.
Many people have previously looked to Garret as somewhat of a rebel and an anti authoritarian figure. To international acclaim Garret wrote many songs against US militarism including US Forces and When the Generals Talk.
Garret has now been quoted this week saying “I want to make it perfectly clear that when I joined the Labor Party I accepted and understood what the policy was for Australian joint facilities . . . and that is a policy I unreservedly accept.”
He said his position on the US military had changed from when he protested outside the Pine Gap base near Alice Springs in the 1980s. “Twenty-five and thirty years ago, like a lot of other Australians I was involved in actions and activities across this country, of course you change your mind about some things over time, no one listening to this interview would expect otherwise” Garrett said.
“There would be members on both frontbenchers of the parliament, many people sitting in their bedrooms, in their lounge rooms, in the pub today who have views . . . which have evolved over time, mine have.”
Obviously it is normal for people to change their views on certain issues over time and through discussion and debate. But fundamentally nothing has changed in regards to the position of US militarism and imperialism internationally over the past 30 years. In fact you would have to say that today with the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan the situation has gotten much worse.
Garret made a serious mistake in joining the Labor Party. He is now wedded to a capitalist party that is pro war and has absolutely so solutions to the problems facing the environment. On all fundamental points, Labor supports the Howard government’s position on Iraq and Kevin Rudd has made clear his support for the US alliance.
Garret has well and truly has left his activist past behind him. As a Labor front bencher he is now part of the problem that he once helped highlight to hundreds of thousands of people around the world.