All posts by Editor

Stop Morrison’s attack on working people and our unions

The following comes from Australian Unions and is about the Federal Government’s Integrity Bill, designed to be a major attack on the whole union movement in Australia, and as its authors claim, merely a means to deal with those who act unlawfully. If it was, there would not be a bill targeting only unions. It would target all those in important positions. Politicians and company directors for instance. This affects all workers, and it stands to flow onto the whole community. The statement has been reproduced in full. Continue reading Stop Morrison’s attack on working people and our unions

How America and Britain crushed the government of Australia

John Pilger reposted this article on 4 November. It first appeared in 2014 and might have been penned today, given the rise in global tensions and predatory American foreign policy. Australia is shifting to increasingly authoritarian government. What we don’t know yet, is the role in this played by the Anglo-American connection and the operations of the intelligence services. Given Australia’s track record, we know that they are there. We also know that much of the history of the Whitlam era has been buried – conveniently for some. Especially the details surrounding the coup that took place on 11 November 1975. A declassified telegram showed that media tycoon Rupert Murdoch communicatred with US Consul General Robert Brand about the prime minister. He informed the diplomat about his “kill Whitlam” order to editors. This article is a timely reminder of what is at stake.

Continue reading How America and Britain crushed the government of Australia

There is nothing right about the attack on John Setka

By Joe Montero

The concerted attack on the Victorian secretary of the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU) is a gross violation of some basic principles.

Yes. John Setka did have some arguments with his wife during the time they were separated. And he did plead guilty to inappropriate behaviour towards her during that time.

Anyone who has gone through this sort of traumatic experience, appreciates that it it brings emotional turmoil, that it complicated, and often generates with both men and women, responses that are out of character.

This in no way justifies bad behaviour towards women. But to use this as a vehicle to attack an individual to further an unrelated agenda, is a disgrace. It belongs in the gutter.

Continuing to peddle the allegation that Setka denigrated Rosie Batty at a meeting, when there are no credible witnesses, and others who were there say it didn’t happen, is not about seeking justice.

It is about carrying out a political vendetta. giving it quarter is to particpate in this political vendetta being driven by the enemies of the union movement.

When major developers and the Coalition ride on allegations like these, it makes a certain sense. The union has had a degree of success in defending jobs, pay and conditions that would be hard to match in any other industry.

Developers and the government they are so cosy with, hold that those who work in the industry take too much and the employers too little. They want to redivide the cake, and to do so, they must make the leadership more compliant and tame the union.

It is something different altogether, when leader of a political party that claims to stand up for the workers uses this as an opportunity to rebrand his party as more like the Liberals.

Saying this might make some people a little uncomfortable. It must be said anyway.

Anthony Albanese’s attack on John Setka is inseparable from the move to rebrand Labor to make it more acceptable to the big end of town, and to market that a range of policies important to Labor Party members and supporters must be reversed, as being the only way to win government.

What would be the point anyway, if it means being a government that imitates what the Coalition does when it’s in government?

It won’t work anyway, and is more likely to cause disillusionment.

Labor has the right to decide who its members and leaders are. The same right applies to other organisations, and this includes unions. Putting external pressure to remove someone is wrong, and a violation of the labour movement’s principle of democratic control.

Protecting each other has always been a pillar of the union movement, and has played a major part in delivering rights inside and outside the workplace.

Precisely when these rights are under greater threat than they have been for a long time, there are those who do not have the balls to stand up for them and are falling over themselves to surrender.

Just a few more words. The rise of gossip as a political weapon is causing considerable problems. The expansion of social media has provided a platform for scoundrels, who use gossip to manipulate others.

For example. Women are not always treated well by men. This must be taken on. But there can never be justification for using this principle to hoodwink people into believing the interests of women are being protected, when nothing could be further from the truth.

It is not John Setka but those who fail to stand for principle, who have paved the way for a serious attack on the ongoing existence of unions.

The Ensuring Integrity Bill is an important part of this attack. Unlike normal laws, which at the very least apply equally to all on paper, this one is deliberately directed towards only unions. It is not meant to be applied to those in business and politicians, where allegations of corruption and other forms of wrongdoing are rife.

The reality is that any union official or delegate properly representing his or her members and carrying out their wishes, must operate under the the difficult conditions of the Fair Work Australia Act, deliberately designed to be discriminatory against unions.

Inthe Act’s application, unions and their representatives are routinely charged and brought before the court. Employers, their organisations and representatives almost never are.

It means union officials and delegates who properly represent the members, will eventually be charged and found guilt of an offense. If it gets up, many will be barred form holding positions, and this could achieve the ambition of rendering the union movement totally ineffective.

Those who join in the John Setka bashing, whether they are conscious of it or not, are actually helping to bring this about.

An end to this bashing is needed, and this must be replaced by a willingness to stand to stand together against the real threat.


Videos: Rising discontent is the trend across the world

By Jim Hayes

Athough the following article and clips are a few weeks old, they still provide a good overview of the scale of the rebellion against austerity and loss of rights that is now being seen across the globe. It is still going on.

Looking about us today, we see the world moving into greater turmoil. This is not only about political leaders eyeballing each other. Something much more profound is going on. Continue reading Videos: Rising discontent is the trend across the world

Videos: Ecuador protests force president to leave capital and in Colombia students march against corruption and repression

Privileged can’t admit why most Australians distrust politicians and political institutions

By Joe Montero

It’s no big surprise, that that the study of the Museum of Australian Democracy and the University of Canberra have, after four years research, found that satisfaction with what is called Australian democracy, is at the lowest level than it has ever been since serial data has been available. Continue reading Privileged can’t admit why most Australians distrust politicians and political institutions