What is it with Piers Akerman and barnyard animals?
Fresh from lamenting the fact that a man and a goat cannot express their love in holy matrimony, Big Piers is carrying on like a pork chop over Play School's reworking of the nursery rhyme Baa, Baa, Black Sheep.
According to Piers's intelligence, a song appeared on Play School with the lyrics: "Baa, Baa, Wooly Sheep, have you any wool?"
The problem for Australia's self-appointed Joe McCarthy is not that the question is redundant, but it's another example of the Marxist-Leninist agenda at the national broadcaster.
It's proof positive the ABC, in league with the ALP and the union movement, is using subversive means to undermine everything from ripping off kids to mom's apple pie.
Piers is onto something.
The Toolshed can reveal part of Greg Combet's morning routine is to phone Play School's producers and dictate which window will be looked through for that day.
In fact, the conspiracy goes much further - the rocket clock is straight from Pyongyang, Big Ted bears an uncanny resemblance to Joseph Stalin and when you play show's theme tune backwards you get the preamble to the Communist Manifesto.
But the smoking gun was discovered when Piers's investigation led him to the UnionTeach website.
How he managed to connect Play School's alternative lyrics with a resource designed for teachers in helping them deal with workplace issues was a work of genius - it still has The Toolshed baffled.
In fact, we're sure parents would welcome a man of Piers's intellect taking on board the role as director of children's programming on the ABC to protect their young from values such as tolerance and respect - just nursery rhymes as they should be.
At least then they wouldn't have to put up with his three bags full in the paper each week.
In a statement, sighted by Workers Online, a 46-year-old Korean says the employer refused to call an ambulance after four of his fingers were hacked off at work.
Cho Hyun Kwon said he didn't believe his employer had workers compensation cover, required by law.
Cho admitted he was working in Australia illegally but his predicament will spark union calls for rogue employers to face sanctions.
Legal Section 457 visas and illegal immigrants, in industries like building and construction, have been used to hold down Australian wages and conditions.
Evidence about the prevalence of illegal labour was presented to the Cole Royal Commission, as far back as 2002, but it chose to do nothing about it, while recommending harsh sanctions on unions who tried to prevent the workers comp and tax rorts it engendered.
The CFMEU has flagged a campaign for penalties on employers who use illegal workers as cheap labour.
It claims there are more than 50,000 illegal immigrants working in Australia without any protections.
Cho's statement gives a chilling insight into their lives.
He said he lived inside the Bankstown factory where he was required to labour for up to 120 hours a week. He said, for two years, he was paid a flat rate of $10 an hour, with no holidays, sick leave, or super.
"On May 19, this year, all my fingers on my hand were chopped off in a machine," Cho says.
"My boss has refused to pay any wages since the accident. He knew I was illegal but, when I had the accident, he decided to tell the Immigration Department to have me arrested.
"I am desperate."
Workers Online has changed the name of the worker, and omitted the company title, to protect his identity.
The NSW Government announced it would write the laws, pushed by unions, on the same day it was revealed Amber Oswald had been stood down without notice.
Amber won a case against Pulp Juice after the company attempted to use WorkChoices to scrap penalty rates and shift allowances, in a bid to cut her take home pay by more than 40 per cent.
Amber's example gave impetus to a union push for special laws preventing companies forcing workers aged under 18 onto Australian Workplace Agreements. That resolution was passed by the NSW ALP State Conference in May, becoming official policy.
While the company says the store is closed for 're-branding' it is also waiting for a case of under-paying workers that could lead it to being fined $400,000.
Within hours of the news of Amber's sacking breaking, NSW Premier Morris Iemma had called a press conference announcing the legislation, that would protect 150,000 young workers in NSW.,
Under the new laws, regardless of whether a young person is employed under a state or federal award:
* Wages and conditions will have to be at least at the level provided by NSW awards and legislation; and
* Young workers will not have to bargain individually to maintain their existing penalties, allowances, training pay and training leave.
They will also have access to the services provided by the NSW Office of Industrial Relations where they will have access to information about their employment rights and assistance to enforce their entitlements.
"Work Choices has dramatically altered the workplace for many people,": Iemma says.
"It allows the removal of protections and conditions that young workers were previously guaranteed - like meal allowances, training leave and penalty and overtime rates.
"Work Choices gives unscrupulous employers the right to force pay down and strip conditions from young workers, and compels good employers to follow suit if they want to remain competitive.
"This new legislation will prevent this from happening."
Iemma says that Work Choices makes it clear that laws regarding child employment are the responsibility of State and Territory governments.
In a blow to the Howard Government's anti-worker agenda, shopping centre chain Westfield has become the first non-state owned company to use NSW law to dodge WorkChoices.
The NSW Industrial Relations Commission last week approved a project award that will see 400 construction workers at a Newcastle site receive an average $80 a week productivity payment, as well as industry standard super and redundancy.
Project agreements, banned under the Howard Government's industrial relations laws, are allowed in NSW if the employer and employees agree.
"This sends the message to other companies they can be good employers if they really want to," Newcastle Trades Hall Secretary Gary Kennedy said. "There is no longer an excuse to hide behind WorkChoices."
Kennedy said the incentive for Westfield to agree to a site award was "continued industrial stability" at the $140 million Kotara project.
In handing down the decision Commission deputy president Rod Harrison said the award provided "a formula for success of the project".
Kennedy said he did not expect a challenge from the Feds.
"The ABCC (Australian Building and Construction Commission) had a look at it, and they may not be happy, but this is NSW law."
The award was made under a recent addition to the NSW Industrial Relations Act -section 146A - which allows corporations to fall under NSW Industrial Relations Commission, if the corporation and the employees agree.
The section was placed in the act in response to WorkChoices.
Kennedy said unions would work towards similar site agreements in Newcastle at shopping centre Charlestown Square and the waterside Honeysuckle development, as well as state-owned corporation Hunter Water.
Steel Maker Refuses to Steal
Meanwhile, steel giant Smorgon has refused to employ workers on Australian Workplace Agreements since the introduction of Work Choices' no-disadvantage test in March.
The $3 billion company which employs 6,000 workers has made the deliberate decision not to offer any new AWAs on the grounds they would undermine trust in the workplace.
While workers are currently employed on a range of AWAs, union collective agreements and non-union collective agreements, no new AWAs had been offered since the removal of the no-disadvantage test under Work Choices, said Sandra McDiarmad, Smorgon's general manager of HR.
"We have made an absolute decision to stand by what we have committed to," she told the Fair Go From Here national IR forum put on by state and territory government ministers.
Work Choices had made no positive contribution to Australian industrial relations, McDiarmad said.
"I haven't detected anything positive yet. I'm not holding my breath ... I don't think large companies are doing a lot with Work Choices," she said.
Workers Online understands some of the 107 construction workers charged with striking illegally, in support of a sacked delegate, recognised two Building Industry Commission officers, at the rally, dressed in “Howard Out” t-shirts.
WA CFMEU secretary, Kevin Reynolds, said his union was investigating the claims.
"We have heard those reports but we are not making any comments," Reynolds said. "They may have been there to support us, although it seems doubtful.
"We wouldn't be surprised by anything these people did. However, we believe you should have hard evidence before make you make allegations against people."
The Commission has been given sweeping coercive powers and a multi-million budget to push Canberra's anti-building worker campaign.
Its predecessor, the Building Industry Taskforce, secretly recorded people at work and its methods were criticised by judges in the Supreme and Federal courts.
Former Taskforce boss and Commission 2-I-C, former federal policeman Nigel Hadgkiss, laid charges that could result in $28,600 fines against 107 rank and file workers from the Perth-Mandurah rail project.
The Taskforce asked the court to force all defence summaries to be filed within a fortnight and for the ability to undertake substituted services. It claims it still can't find more than 30 of the people it wants to charge.
Justice Nicholson adjourned the case until November 1.
Last Tuesday's court appearances sparked widespread defiance of federal anti-strike laws.
Between 2000-3000 supporters rallied in Perth while thousands more marched in Sydney, Melbourne, Wollongong and Newcastle.
Internet solidarity campaigns have been overwhelmed by supporters from Australia and overseas.
The UK-based LabourStart website reported 3800 messages of support for the Perth 107 within 72 hours. Site operators said large numbers of messages were being received from Norway, Canada, Ireland, the UK, US and New Zealand.
Meanwhile, a solidarity site being operated by the ACTU achieved its target of 5000 messages within 48 hours of going online. The ACTU extended its target to 6000 and had recorded 5450 message, complete with email addresses, last Thursday.
To add your name, visit:
Bankers Trust, the Westpac investment arm, has told 77 Adelaide based staff in the retail administration processes area their jobs will go to lower cost Indian labour.
Finance Sector Union national secretary, Paul Schroder, says the BT workers who had been offered the cash to train their replacements were placed in a difficult position, with the incentive payment an 'insidious device'.
The announcement came as Westpac employees at the Concord Services area in Sydney protested the potential loss of 480 jobs to off-shoring.
Rallying this week, the Concord workers have endorsed a campaign to pressure the bank, which is reviewing the Transactions and Unsecured Lending Operations (TULO).
The unit handles sensitive information including dishonoured cheques, deceased estates, subpoenas, electronic payrolls and some electronic and internet banking operations.
Mr Shroder has accused Westpac of entering a race to the bottom on labour costs that shows scant regard for loyal Australian employees or for the long term future of the Australian finance sector."
"It's not about genuine investment in India, it's not about passing savings to customers (since when have banks passed savings to their customers), it's not about Australia not having enough skills - it's just about reducing costs by exploiting cheaper labour markets," Shroder says
"We know the public wants Australian companies, especially Australian banks who are given a license to print money by our government, to invest in Australian jobs and skills.
"We know that Australian companies don't want their personal financial details sent offshore, and we know that the Australian public wants their government to act on these matters now."
"The danger for Westpac and others going down the same track is they will ruin their reputations with employees, customers and other stakeholders. Not to mention the damage they will do to the Australian finance industry."
BT also announced further outsourcing of its Sydney based IT functions resulting in 40 more jobs lost.
Working Families for Wal-Mart member and prominent businessman, Herman Cain, lashed out at “Hezbocrats” - including Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton - for disagreeing with the company's policies.
In an opinion article for townhall.com, the Godfather's Pizza restaurant owner refers to Democrats as "a roaming band of militant guerrillas".
Clinton, a former Wal-Mart director, returned a $5000 political donation from the company earlier this year citing "differences with current company practices".
Wal-Mart, which has admitted to partially funding Working Families for Wal-Mart, was forced to release a statement saying Cain did not speak for the retail chain.
Cain's outburst follows the resignation of the group's spokesman Andrew Young for racist remarks.
Young claimed Wal-Mart was good for communities because smaller grocery stores were ripping people off.
"First it was Jews, then it was Koreans and now it's Arabs," Young said.
Working Families for Wal-Mart's advisory board is made up of conservative businesspeople and politicians.
Their campaign is reportedly overseen by Republican-connected spin-doctors, the Herald Group.
Astroturfing, setting up public relations front groups to give the impression of grassroots support for conservative causes, is used in Australia through groups such as the Independent Contractors of Australia and the Australian Environment Foundation.
Workers Online revealed last month the Independent Contractors of Australia, which has close links to conservative think tanks, is supported by 0.1 per cent of its potential members.
The International transport Federation is hailing its deal with Leonhart and Blumberg as a new approach to arresting the decline of conditions due to globalisation.
ITF coordinator Dean Summers says the deal, covering 45 vessels, locks the employer into a total crew cost and gives access to ITF inspectors to monitor wages and conditions.
Summers says the deal is a world first and significant in that the company owner Frank Leonhardt is also the head of the German shipowners association.
The ITF has been developing the global CBA strategy as a response to the downward spiral of wages and conditions under Flag of Convenience shipping, where companies register under third world flags and apply thi8rd world labour laws to their crews.
"We are taking the approach that if we can't force the ship back to its home flag, at least we can bring decent conditions to the ship," Summers says.
He says the agreement is a model that will now be served on other shipowners around the globe.
PSA members continued to make their absence known throughout the week in protest against NSW Treasurer Michael Costa's announcement of a ten per cent cut to the House's budget.
Following a noisy rally outside Parliament on Tuesday, House was forced to wrap up before 5:00pm due to overtime bans covering Hansard.
Continuing through this week MPs will have to survive without their hand-delivered morning newspapers, deliveries from the library and mail room, room service from Food and beverage, room set ups, cleaning services and staff facilitation of interstate and overseas travel for committees.
The terrified immigrant approached the AMWU which is demanding answers from Immigration Minister, Amanda Vanstone.
The sacked worker went into hiding after meeting AMWU officials in the city, last week.
AMWU official, Jim Reid, said he understood the man had been imported to Australia on a Section 457 visa that Vanstone admits were introduced to hold down Australian wages.
"It's difficult because this man doesn't speak English," Reid said. "I met him with a Chinese woman from our office who translated for him.
"Someone told him to ring our number but he had no idea who he was speaking to. He didn't know if we were a government agency or not.
"It was a big step but he was worried and frightened."
The man said he had paid an immigration agent, in China, $10,000 to obtain a visa but when he arrived in Melbourne his employer told him he owed the company another $10,000.
He was required to work 60 hours a week in a print shop and received $752 a week, gross.
The employer deducted $200 a week to cover his expenses and another $120 a week for rent.
After tax, the man was left with less than $300 a week.
After one year's service, when the employer had extracted his $10,000, the worker was sacked and told he would be deported.
"By our reckoning, in the last year, he has paid out $26,000 to get the job and received less than $15,000 for working 60 hours a week," Reid said.
"It's a disgrace."
Reid said the union had tried to contact DIMIA but had given up after failing to be connected to a human being in its Melbourne office.
He said the federal government needed to come clean on widespread abuse of its Section 457 visas.
"On one hand, we have a man who has been exploited. On the other, we have a system that rewards ruthless employers at the expense of honest ones who play by Australian rules.
"Nobody opposes these migrants, Australia was built on the back of migrants," Reid said. "Our problem is the way they are exploited and the undermining of everybody else's wages and conditions.
"Even when these employers are sprung the government takes no action. There are no penalties for this sort of behaviour and every incentive.
"It's a human rights issue and we are asking the government to address it."
In a move that will bring Telstra's total number of regional NSW sackings this year to 255, the telco has decided to punt network design planners from local areas.
Responsibility for designing the bush telephone network will be centralised in locations such as Newcastle and Brisbane from later this year.
CEPU NSW secretary Jim Metcher predicted delays for customers waiting for new phone installations or broadband connections.
"The ongoing promises by Telstra of providing fast speed internet and next generation cables for rural communities is now a myth," Metcher said.
CEPU organiser Steve Dodd said the design planning positions were highly specialised and required intimate knowledge of local areas.
"This will lead to mistakes and in three years time they will be turning around and saying what a stupid mistake it was to get rid of these guys," Dodd said.
The North Coast will be the heaviest hit by the job cuts, with 14 job losses, followed by the Riverina and the Illawarra with eight losses apiece.
The job losses follow the sacking of 207 Telstra technicians from regional NSW in July this year.
The boy called police after appeals to his employer over the assault failed to bring any action.
Rather than help, the proprietor of Network Kitchens Pty Ltd withdrew the boy's apprenticeship, claiming the police visit bought shame on his business.
Several months earlier, the proprietor told the boy - employed as a labourer - he couldn't afford to pay him if he made a workers compensation claim over an accident where the tops of his fingers were skimmed off.
The New South Wales Industrial Commission recently ordered Network Kitchens to compensate the boy for unfair dismissal, benefits lost as a result of victimisation, underpayment and unpaid super.
In another recent case, the Commission ordered a transport company to re-employ a worker who'd been sacked after raising safety concerns.
The worker had complained about risks from overfilling sugarcane bins.
When a new company took over the contract he was denied employment, despite a high score in recruitment tests for the job.
The Transport Workers Union won an employment order on his behalf after successfully arguing he'd been victimised for complaining about potential workplace safety risks.
In both cases the Commission applied section 210 of the NSW IR Act, designed to protect workers who raise safety issues.
As 107 workers were hauled before the courts in Western Australia, the Australian Building & Construction Commission (ABCC) was sabotaging bargaining claims and legal industrial action in two separate Victorian workplaces.
AMWU members' campaign at Metlabs hit a speed bump when ABCC lawyers intervened to oppose the union's application to hold a secret ballot.
In a similar move, Kevin Andrew's department supported an ABCC move to overturn a secret ballot among ETU members working for Wormald at the Laverton gas turbine power station.
ETU spokesperson Troy Gray described the ABCC move as signalling "the Government's clear intention to outlaw industrial action by any means possible."
The moves make a mockery of Kevin Andrew's claim the new laws "would not take away the right to strike."
The ETU's Gray sees it as "more of a Clayton's right to strike."
"Even if you do clear all the hurdles placed in front of you - secret ballots, appeals from the employer and government departments like the ABCC, delays in the timeframe- the minister has the ultimate power to call off the action if he so wishes," he said.
An ABCC spokesperson denied the commission was seeking to have its cake and eat it too by prosecuting individuals participating in unprotected action while challenging legal moves to strike.
His feat has pushed Australia into fifth place on a global table of government advertising spends.
Figures released, last week, show Canberra has spent $1.1 on advertising since John Howard became Prime Minister in 1996. The figures excludes advertising by Defence and the Australian Electoral Commission.
The figures were collated by the federal ALP's Waste Watch Committee and are published on its website at www.alp.org.au/download/now/wastewatch
The staggering growth in federal government advertising has pushed it ahead of Telstra and all the corporates as the country's biggest advertiser.
Big individual outlays have included heavily party-political campaigns, including the $118 million "Unchain My Heart" tax system plugs, $55 million on WorkChoices and $20 million for Medicare Plus.
Federal Labor has promised to reign in the tax spend if it wins next year's election. Opposition leader, Kim Beazley, says money will be restricted to "legitimate community information" such as the anti-smoking campaign.
Labor is pledging to prune the advertising budget back to around $30m a year.
The film-makers of the ABC mini-series on the 1998 waterfront war, Bastard Boys, will be filming in Sydney this month. And they are now calling for volunteers to help recreate the Patrick 'peaceful assembly' on September 16.
MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin who has already put his hand up to make a cameo on the day is especially calling on all 1998 veterans of the dispute to make the set, thereby ensuring the film is as authentic as possible.
Especially welcome are our comrades from other unions and community groups who helped win the war on the ground - nurses, teachers, firemen, entertainers, singers, sportsmen, artists, writers, construction and transport workers, miners and manufacturing workers to name a few.
"Without the widespread support from fellow unionists and community groups, we would not have been able to hold the line or win the hearts and minds of the public," said Paddy Crumlin. "We want to ensure the role you played in making history is there for all to see."
All unionists, family and friends are invited.
Listen to John Coombs (Colin Friels, Black Jack, Water Rats) addressing the troops.
Witness the re-enactment of union friendly Derek Corrigan (Kevin Harrington), joining workers on the picket and infuriating his brother, corporate villain Chris Corrigan, (Geoff Morrell).
Filming of the picket is scheduled for 2.30 pm to allow any waterside workers rostered on the day shift at P&O and Patrick to join the shoot after work.
Food and drinks will be provided as this is voluntary and people will not be paid for attending. But those coming for the 1.30 lunch should contact the union ([email protected]) or Associate Producer Louisa Kors ([email protected]) so they can cater for everyone.
Beer and a sausage sizzle will be put on at a venue to be announced after the shoot, with one of the MUA T-shirts printed for the series and autographed by the entire cast of actors auctioned off afterwards.
Buses will be made available from the MUA union rooms next to Trades Hall at midday for veterans and others coming into Sydney by public transport. Again contact the Sydney Branch rooms ([email protected]) if you are going to need transport.
Parking down at the docks will be off Penrhyn Rd, Port Botany, with a shuttle from there to the location.
The cast of Bastard Boys includes Jack Thompson (Melbourne wharfie) Daniel Frederiksen (Greg Combet), Anthony Hayes (Melbourne wharfie/official), Justine Smith (union lawyer Josh Bornstein) Daniel Wyllie (wharfie's wife) Justine Clarke (wharfie's wife) Lucy Bell (Petra Combet) Debra Kennedy (Gwen Coombs) Rhys Muldoon (Julian Burnside)
Make Life Fair Everywhere
September 20, Wednesday,
Union-Aid Abroad APHEDA Annual Dinner
6.30pm for 7pm start
Petersham RSL (7 Regent St)
More info: 02 9264 6343 or [email protected]
Rekindling the Flames of Discontent: How the Labour and Folk Movements Work Together
A Conference - Dinner - Concert
The Brisbane Labour History Association is holding a Conference/Dinner/Concert on Saturday 23 September. This event will explore the historical relationship between the labour movement and the folk movement in Australia with a particular emphasis on Queensland.
Why? To celebrate the history of the interaction between the Folk and Labour movements, and promote its longevity.
When? Saturday 23 September. Conference from 1pm. Concert from 7pm.
Where? East Brisbane Bowls Club, Lytton Rd, East Brisbane, Next to Mowbray Park
It is still in the formative stages, but to date the following are confirmed:
1-5pm CONFERENCE (will include music with the presentations):
Doug Eaton on John Manifold & the Communist Arts Group in Brisbane, Brisbane Realists
Bob & Margaret Fagan on Sydney Realist Writers
Mark Gregory on trade union & labour songs/music, nationally/internationally
Lachlan & Sue on international perspectives
5 - 7pm Drinks followed by DINNER
7 - 11pm CONCERT
Combined Unions Choir
Bob and Margaret Fagan
Pope Talks IR
Monday 25 September 2006.
Brisbane Work and Industry Futures QUT, and the Department of Industrial Relations Griffith University are convening a one-day conference that explores Work, Industrial Relations and Popular Culture.
David Pope, the cartoonist behind the Heinrich Hinze cartoons will be Keynote Speaker with his presentation - "Is the pen mightier than s356? Cartoons and Work" (www.scratch.com.au)
We welcome any paper that explores the manner in which popular culture is used by unions, management or policy makers or alternatively, how work and industrial relations is represented within popular culture.
Sub-themes for the conference include: - Policy, Influence and Modern Mediums - Which is Reality, Work or TV? - Popular Music: Is it the End of the Working Class Man? - Working in the Movies: What do we see? - Popular Culture as a Teaching Tool. Call for Papers. Abstracts are due 14 July 2006 Full papers are due 11 September 2006 Location; Southbank, Brisbane.
The convenors would welcome participants to submit proposed titles earlier to assist in preparations. For further information please contact Keith Townsend ([email protected]) or David Peetz ([email protected])
Dear Greg Combet,
Please do not leave the union movement for politics. Your family is your love. Your union your aspiration.
Politics is too toxic in Australia for you to enjoy- you and your family will be destroyed by it.
Craig Forster, Vic
It's incredible that this husk of a human once passed himself off as a supporter of human rights and, quite possibly, even meant it when he took the decision to join Amnesty International.
Now Ruddock is the public face of ruthless state control. There he was again, last week, attempting to square off his government's decision to override the legal system and impose a control order on a citizen whose conviction had been quashed in a court of law.
The fact the control order, severely proscribing Jack Thomas' human rights, had been gained in secrecy, without Thomas or his representatives even being aware of the move or the claims behind it, only added to the abuse involved.
Ruddock made his name, at federal level, as the face of an inhumane immigration regime that blatantly violated Australia's international obligations.
Abuse of law, and fundamental human rights, also inform his pronouncements on terror suspect, David Hicks, the Australian who has been held for nearly five years in the legal limbo that is Gauntanamo Bay. American psychologists say it is a place where torture is routine.
Ruddock, on the other hand, supports the incarceration enthusiastically, without a bow to civil rights, due process, or international law.
Workers Online does not seek to glorify, or justify, the actions, alleged or admitted, of Thomas or Hicks. Far from it. It does, however, suggest that as human beings, and Australian citizens, they are entitled to core legal protections.
To deny them, so blatantly, is, arguably, a success for terrorism. After all, if we have a final response to terrorists, rogue states and their ilk it must be that, unlike them, we hold process and human rights paramount. We do not incarcerate, torture or kill just because we don't like, or disagree, with someone.
A potential terrorist, listening to Phillip Ruddock, is entitled to think "bollocks to that".
But it's not just Ruddock, he's simply the ugliest face in a gallery of lawyers who don't, at essence, respect the law.
Look at the top dogs in Canberra - John Howard, Peter Costello, Kevin Andrews and Ruddock - the leaders of this "Liberal" regime are all lawyers.
Ruddock is their front man on these issues but they're all in it up to their scaly necks.
And now we've got another advocate for torture, incarceration without trial, and other trappings of "democracy" stalking our land.
George Bush's new point man arrived in Canberra, last week, and lost no time in mimicking his master's voice, with a rousing defence of Guantanamo Bay and assurances that Hicks would enjoy a fair trial, even thought his own country's Supreme Court has a somewhat different view.
And, guess what? He's another lawyer.
The worrying thing is that abuse of process and civil rights don't end with terror suspects. Think global - the invasion of Iraq - or, think local, about the war on building workers - in both instances respect for evidence is non-existent, while process is cynically abused.
That's what happens when fundamental principles are jettisoned. The rot sets in.
It's no wonder the Liberal lawyers who dominate federal parliament get so worked up at the prospect of trade unionists joining them in Canberra.
They must be gob-smacked that some people won't sell out their beliefs, training and professional values for a seat at the cabinet table.