||Issue No. 216||16 April 2004|
Joining the Dots
Interview: Terror Australis
Unions: Graeme Beard's Second Dig
Industrial: The Hell of Troy
Organising: Miners Strike Gold
Economics: The Accepted Wisdom
History: Vicious Old Lady
International: Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Review: War Unfogged
The Locker Room
Tom’s A Furphy
Rolling in Clover
More War And Peace
Joining the Dots
On one level Workers Online's revelations about the lawyer who penned the report dismissing a senior security officer's claims that Australia's military intelligence had become fatally politicised, is nothing more than a bit of insider gossip.
We don't know Army Reservist Colonel Richard Tracey (aka Dick Tracey, QC) and we cast no aspersions over his objectivity as a lawyer or integrity as a human being.
So he made a motza hammering the CFMEU at the Cole Royal Commission, so he has been an honoured guest of the HR Nichols Society - everyone is entitled to earn a living.
But we do make the observation that links between Colonel Tracey's work on the Cole Commission, speeches to the HR Nichols Society and work for the military create some intriguing lines of connection to the Howard Administration.
What we find intriguing is that the Howard Government would look to the man it paid to try to demolish its trade union enemies to deal with what can only be described as a national security crisis.
This speaks to a larger story - John Howard's slavish support for an ultra-conservative president and his determination to do anything to justify that position.
His version of the US-Australia Alliance is about more than military adventurism - it is about two political soul mates doing all they can to shape their nations in their own images.
You only have to look at Bush's domestic agenda to see the attraction of his politics to Howard - abolition of overtime as a legal right for eight million workers, actively promoting outsourcing and contracting out of jobs and placing onerous new financial disclosure requirements on unions. It makes Howard's waves of IR reform look like the work of a rank amateur.
Government as a tool for securing control of cheap oil whatever the cost is consistent with government as tool for driving down the rights of the worker - it's all in the name of the ultimate ideal: the profit motive.
And this is the real dynamic that binds current US-Australia Alliance: a closed circle of elite interests, whose tentacles of influence run deep into government, the public service, the legal profession and even the media.
It's only when you join the dots with names like Tracey's that the picture becomes coherent.
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