The Communists have been vanquished! The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) confirmed yesterday that the Communist Party of Australia had been deregistered as a political party for the second time in 90 years.
The reds are gone. The Punch discovered this morning they’re not even under the bed. We called five Communist contacts on the CPA’s website and not a single comrade answered the phone. And the AEC told The Australian yesterday the party was deregistered because they didn’t respond to a notice querying whether they met the required membership threshold.
While your natural reaction might be: hoorah! The Glorious Bourgeois Capitalist Machine has won! The Resistance is dead!!! The reality is, it’s a bittersweet victory. The end of communism means the end of all kinds of cultural touchstones we hold dearly.
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Body language experts would have a field day with this photo. Could there be anymore hand-gesturing going on? And didn’t they both have long fingers? It’s President Nixon and Prime Minister Brezhnev, taken in Moscow on this day in 1974.
That was right smack bang in the middle of the Détente; a fancy name for the period during the cold war, when the big powers decided to try and act like adults, and lay their nukes on the table. Instead of just blowing stuff up. Or threatening to blow stuff up. The whole thing lost momentum in 1979 when the Soviets decided to invade Afghanistan. But it was a start - of sorts.
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George Bush and Boris Yeltsin signed a joint statement that symbolised the end of the Cold War today in 1992.
It’s Tuesday at The Punch. What’s on your mind? Share it here.
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I remember the jokes. They were usually about one of two things: hardship or fear.
It’s been strange, this week, to reflect that most people will never know, as I did (albeit as a visitor) what it was really like in the old Soviet Bloc. But the jokes used to tell the story.
An American dog, a Polish dog and a Russian dog are talking. The American dog says “Where I live it’s good. You bark loudly enough, and they give you meat”. The Polish dog says” What’s meat?” The Russian dog says “What’s bark?”
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It’s Tuesday @ The Punch
Today in 1959 in the middle of the Cold War and at the invitation of President Eisenhower Nikita Krushchev became the first Soviet leader to visit America.
Details of the ten-day trip were said to have dominated news headlines across the world but many Eastern European immigrants protested against his arrival.
Although reported to have been fairly “un-impressed” by the American way of life Krushchev said hotdogs and the lockers in Washington’s Union Station were among the few things he did enjoy.
You can read a transcript of his opening speech here.
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