||Issue No. 319||11 August 2006|
Good Versus Evil
Interview: A Life And Death Matter
Unions: Fighting Back
Industrial: What Cowra Means
Environment: Scrambling for Energy Security
Politics: Page Turner
Economics: The State of Labour
International: Workers Blood For Oil
History: Liberty in Spain
Review: Go Roys, Make A Noise
The Locker Room
The Cruellest Cut
Good Versus Evil
Even if they brush unions, they still won't get their coin unless they start running seminars to promote the federal government's new industrial relations policies.
While, over in the West, the reality of those policies will be on display on August 29 when 147 rank and file workers are dragged before the federal court.
Howard supporters at the Building Industry Commission, and amongst employers, are seeking fines of up to $28,600 from each person and, in at least 40 cases, unlimited damages.
Back when this jihad was launched with Tony Abbott's discredited Cole Royal Commission, a disbelieving journalist, from the Financial Review no less, hit the nail on the head.
It's about criminalising union activity, he said, and he was right.
We expect John Howard and Peter Costello to back business against workers, as a matter of course. Quite likely it's why they decided to join the Liberal Party.
What few expected was the extraordinary lengths, and the levels of repression they would use, to try and impose their will on a clearly resistant electorate.
The Australian workplace has become a mirror for a world in which a new breed of power-wielder is driven by a take-no-prisoners ideology.
The born-to-rule attitude of 'we're right and you can go to hell' is turning our world into a very dangerous place.
It is driven by a certitude that sees no room for debate, compromise or, even, commonsense.
George Bush is, perhaps, its foremost practitioner. He follows a line in which the world is, essentially, broken into two mutually exclusive camps - good and evil.
Millions of American workers, unionised and unionised, know what that means for their families but, for most, the evidence is starkest in his foreign policy.
Christians are good, Muslims are bad.
The US is pure, the UN is peurile.
Oil is great, global warming is rubbish.
Free trade, on our terms.
Nukes are terrific, but not for you buddy.
The upshot is a Middle East in turmoil; generations of new recruits to carry the terrorist flame; global warming out of control; an upsurge in rogue nuclear states; cripping Third World debt. And that's just for starters.
Hopefully, for all our sakes, Bush's successor will accept that dialogue, discussion and a level, at least, of respect are preconditions for a successful foreign policy.
Those virtues wouldn't go astray, as starting points, for a new-look Australian workplace regime, either.
- Jim Marr
|Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue|
© 1999-2002 Workers Online