a “model letter” from Jan


Richard Moore

Jan sent in a "letter to the editor" of "The Citizen" in Southam, Canada,
and shared it with a few friends on the net.  I find it to be a
well-written statement, more enduring than the "air show" issue it
nominally addresses.  Especially incisive is her pithy summary: "Just as in
earlier times it was important to separate church and state, it is
essential now that we separate Big Business and government."


Date: Wed, 3 Jun 1998
To: •••@••.••• and others
From: •••@••.••• (Jan Slakov)
Subject: my letter

Here's my letter-to-the-ed.

As you will see, almost no chance of being printed. (We must remember that
the Citizen is a Southam paper & Southam is owned by Conrad Black and I end
my letter with a call to limit corporate control of the media!)

All the best, Jan

to: •••@••.•••

Dear Editor,   June 3

The op ed "Air show celebrates tools of oppression" printed on May 29 helped
bring the reality of what weapons are really used for home to me.

Now I learn that furture air shows will likely be cancelled because of lack
of funds. (See the article in the Sunday _Citizen_.)

Why must we wait until we run out of money to stop the "air show" (more
accurately called a "war show")? On a larger scale, why must we destroy the
earth's resources before we stop wasting them on useless consumer "goods"
and militarism?

Perhaps one sentence from the op ed piece (a sentence which was edited out
of the article as it was printed I believe) gives us a clue:

Reflecting on a long military career involving action in
several countries, retired marine General Smedley Butler in
1935 commented: "I spent most of my time being a high-class
muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the

Our democracies have been hijacked by Big Business, transnational companies
so big they have economies bigger than those of many nations. We elect
governments which seem incapable of acting in our interests. They talk about
jobs but keep favouring companies and technologies which require fewer and
fewer workers to transform more and more of nature into things that end up
in landfills or worse.

Just as in earlier times it was important to separate church and state, it
is essential now that we separate Big Business and government. We, the
people, must get in there and govern ourselves. We must not allow corporate
contributions to political parties or candidates. We must stop patronizing
the big multinationals and instead patronize small, responsibly managed
businesses and set up co-ops to free ourselves from dependence on the big

We must limit corporate control of wealth and of the institutions necessary
for the functioning of healthy democracies (such as the media).


Jan Slakov, Secretary, Enviro-Clare, Weymouth, Nova Scotia B0W 3T0.