||Issue No. 132||19 April 2002|
Interview: Generation Next
Legal: We’re All Terrorists Now
Unions: Holding the Baby
International: Taking It To The Streets
History: Off the Wall
Economics: Financing International Development
Satire: Queen Mum's Life Tragically Cut Short
Review: Return of The People’s Parliament
Poetry: Silent Night
The Locker Room
Week in Review
Where's the Silver Tail?
Letters to the Editor
Free Trade ???????????????
Dear Peter ,your editorial on free trade while clearly true and in no way is enhanced by hyperbole it has the same underestimation which has been the Achilles Heel of Trade Unionism for quite some time , the focus on the little picture.
For years now from the Hawke governments crushing of the Pilots governments have isolated areas of the workforce demonised them then crushed them with the blessing of the other Unions, and Union Officials have done the same to the rank and file activists. It is am immutable law, "That which ye sow, so shall ye reap".
Lets move on to this address :
What an interesting presentation* given by Mr. Gary Banks the Chairman of the productivity Commission.
Mr. Banks claims that our prosperity highly dependent on International Trade , or course our prosperity depends on trade , but we no longer have anything to trade , unless we participate in "Slave trading" this way we can get rid of all the excess unemployed at a profit. Silly me, sell yourself, that's' prostitution. No Australian would do that?
He also makes absurd claims that this International Trade has become a key to the performance of our manufacturing Industries. One must ponder on what industries he refers to, the ones that Hawke and Keating sent overseas, or the ones that Howard and Frazer sent overseas. I have nightmares of Comrade Doug Cameron having an aneryrism over absurd claims such as this, then where would our Manufacturing Industry be .Is the Comrade asleep?
(I recall many years ago a Scottish activists Betty McQuiggian#, putting a spoke in the wheels of a smaller version of this Globalism, (Europeanism) through mirroring the activities of the oppressor, and networking with other oppressed workers, much in the same way Ghandi gained empathy from the downtrodden mill workers of Bradford and Leeds, when he visited the UK., for talks on Indian Nationalism.
But listens here; Mr. Banks, still not satisfied with such ridiculous hyperbole, asserts that the service industry will also be saved from disaster by International Trade.
What utter crap has emanated from this source! Is it not jobs in our service industry that are at risk from that bastard child of the "WTO", the "GATS" agreement?
This is the agreement which has now all but circumvented the previous resistance against the "Multi Functional Polis ", where cities under foreign rule which were supported by the Hawke Keating governments, business centres had workers imported from the cheapest source of labor that could be found, while more Australians are forced onto rapidly shrinking , Welfare Payments. Methinks!
This "GATS agreement forces this migrationary labor transfer at all levels between joint signatories , and seals the fates of millions of Australians into lower living conditions.
That which we feared the most, has already come upon us! Are we the "Economic trash of Asia"?
I have suggested it before in many forms, and I suggest it again, the Trade Union movement should rather than fight to stay within this dysfunctional socialist family and continue to suffer what could be termed as child abuse, it must fly the coop, leave the nest and establish its own family.
But, back to Banks, and his crumbling defense of the WTO.
Lets' cut to the chase, "What's in it for Australia".
The claims that we have been able to enhance our economic interests, provide nothing of substance, rather just some good old fairground spruik and fairyfloss.
As for me, I'll have the boiled lollies; at least they take the bad taste away.
To quote Mr. Banks, he states Australia has long been able to
Och! Give us a fecken break, Mr. Banks , I for one am getting a bit tired of these Bloody Banks Ripping us Off ,first its Keating selling the Commonwealth Bank , and telling us it good for us , Then it's the NAB Bank , closing the branches and telling us its good for us , and then it's the Productivity Commission Banks , selling us, and telling us its good for us . More like Tales of the Riverbank? Without stereotyping (I'm fibbing , just look at these people) ,and fortunately for us, those powers that be, have never heard that old truism, from Mr. Toad , "Never hire a ferret to do a weasels job" Is it time for a bit of good old fashioned "Union Weasels Fight Back"? (No I don't mean Trotskyism and blood on the street)
The substantiated claim of a victory in getting America to back down on the Lamb, appears "kosher", until carefully examined, and that it is revealed, the only Lamb America will let in is us, and that is on a temporary visa and only until they can fleece us.
Hidden away in the middle of his address, is a part of the real issue for the WTO that is Domestic Industrial Reform.
Oh! I wonder what that means, surely not third world wages and conditions, with a large pool of unemployed as an insurance policy against a refusal to tug the forelock. This is reinforced by the repetitive mantra coming from the Liberal Government over the past few weeks, that Industrial (Domestic) Reform is the main course on the menu for the rest of their elected term. And through the alternative being spookier than the incumbents, with some gentle massaging of special interest groups they just might succeed.
Let's face it, the only foundation the ALP has left are a few disgruntled middle class public service employees.
Mr. Banks waffles on for page after page with the same un-substantiated blether, with as' a tiresome a' funeral drones that ever came out of a Campbells' windbag.
The fact is that with few exceptions, most Australians are worse off every year than the previous year for the past 40years, with the losses in the manufacturing over the past 20 years creating a debilitating atrophy in the Australian psyche of self reliance.
Creating a Welfare State Mentality, this has now matched the excess of the United Kingdom prior to their embrace of Thatcherism.
If Australia signs this GATS agreement , which is an agreement more along the lines of the European Union with free movement between countries I can't see our Trade Union Industrial Awards lasting any longer than the next negotiating date.
This did not affect the E.U., because most European countries have similar working conditions, whereas some of our potential partners in GATS, have conditions for workers below that of an Afro-American prior to their civil war, and they consistently use their military to attack their workers.
This "GATS" agreement has been described by many as "an anarchy of purchasing power", with large corporations swooping like Vultures on country to country , conquering these sovereign states by purchasing their essential services such as , Power , Gas , Water , Hospitals , Schools, and even in some cases governments departments.
But this is not some new idea as some would have you think , this is as old as Methuselah , just a new shiny sheen has been put on it , and like milk tops attracting magpies or a flicker attracting a moth , it attracts the daring and foolish.
In a willful praise of John Howard, if not all his collaborators, his return to the fifties has some merit, it was according to Kenneth Davidson from the Melbourne Age "Remember 1952, Welfare didn't exist. In its place Australia had "Keynesian", full employment and the generous, and needs based "basic wage".
Many disadvantaged Australians may agree with this statement and are still looking for the third way.
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