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43482Re: Media Monitors and information gathering

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  • socfem59
    Jun 6, 2007

      As a millionaire boss, as a long time apologist for the ALP, as a defender of the
      indefensible; as a figleaf for that travesty of a travesty, the NSW Right, I'd be the last to
      accuse anybody of any hint of political impropriety, if I were you.

      What who have just written is a vicious, unconscionable slander.

      A vicious unconscionable slander of an employee ( I believe you understand the term,
      "worker?") of a media company who was on assignment, with his ID, with other media

      At some point, the meeting went from public to private. It was not made clear when, but
      the ETU is mistaken in its claim that the was not open to the media. It was a triumphant
      celebration of a a successful EB in the face of the lying rodent's WorkSlavery laws. It's just
      that someone, probably Dean himself, forget to do the bit, we're all familiar with: "now it's
      time for the brothers and sisters of the media to leave," accompanied by the usual half
      derisive, half supportive applause. You'd know that, if you'd not forgotten what it was to
      be a rank and file unionist. Sorry, that's wrong forgive me.

      I don't know that you were ever a rank and file unionist. Can't forget what you didn't know!

      This deranged essay, this completely unhinged, paranoid "analysis" does no credit to you,
      and no credit to the ALP.

      The ABCC bought this tape from Media monitors on the day before it was leaked. Ring
      them and ask!

      They bought it after the ETU voted $50,000 to the Greens. It gave an opportunity for
      Phillip Rudd. um? Kevin Ruddock, I get so confused about these interchangeable moralist
      bougeois shits. (I'm Kevin, from Queensland, I'm here to crush dissent.) Anyhow, it gave an
      opportunity for YOUR MAN to seem to be "tough on unions." How utterly convenient for
      the Australian Labor Party!

      Counter argument, the obvious one: ALP payback. Your party knifed Mighell. The local ALP
      functionaries tipped off the ABCC.

      That's my thesis, and it's a lot more principled than yours.

      In case you haven't noticed, Sue, as a member of the DSP and myself, as a critic of the DSP,
      do not come to this question from the same direction.

      There has been some vigorous debate about the Socialist Alliance recently. Did you not

      Or did you just jump in when you thought that you could trash the reputation of a person
      who might or might not be still be a member of SA (I don't know which), who did argue a
      position contrary to me, on the basis that you'd be permitted to get away with this filth?

      Sorry Mr Gould. Working class activists will always defend our own against the enemy class
      - and its apologists.

      Anybody who who write a piece such as this to justify his sell out of class politics,
      well"some jobs are clearly excluded for socialists, and for class-conscious workers.

      Your apologies for the ALP have descended into the long drop.

      You obviously know nothing about the case except what you've read in the papers. But
      you're prepared to trash someone's reputation on that basis.

      Ah well, it's an important day.

      The day that Bob Gould's credibility on the Left "far" or otherwise, was consigned to the
      dustbin of history.

      I think all of the explanation has to be done by you.


      Peter Murray.

      --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "bobgould987" <bobgould987@...>
      > He was only doing his job, implied Sue Bolton and says Peter Murray
      > By Bob Gould
      > The unjustified pressure on Dean Mighell to resign from the Labor
      > Party, and the media witch-hunt against unions, attempting to
      > marginalise them in the Labor Party, bring into the light of day
      > questions that should alarm everyone in the workers', Labor and
      > socialist movements.
      > The clipping service, Media Monitors, whose clients include many trade
      > union and labour movement organisations, appears to have a second line
      > of business: recording meetings of workers' organisations with an eye
      > to selling critical material that may emerge at such meetings.
      > It appears, on the face of it, that the highest bidder in the case of
      > the Mighell recordings, and perhaps other material of significance,
      > was the government watchdog on the building industry, the ABCC.
      > A number of building union sources suggest that there is some
      > confusion as to whether the Mighell recording took place in a section
      > of the meeting in which the union leadership authorised a media presence.
      > The statements in the press of representatives of Media Monitors raise
      > the question was to whether its clients also include employer groups
      > and agencies of the Howard Government. It's clearly possible that
      > these agencies include ASIO, etc, which are obvious potential clients
      > for this sort of material.
      > In the past, workers' organisations were usually very careful about
      > the privacy of their deliberations. The ALP rules in NSW still contain
      > a provision that branch meetings cannot be attended by journalists in
      > a working capacity, and media statements can only be made by the
      > president and secretary after the meeting.
      > It seems obvious from the recent events that a certain lack of caution
      > has crept into the practices of some parts of the trade union movement
      > on these questions.
      > The Mighell business is a salutory lesson as to why that ALP rule
      > exists and why trade unions should be cautious about letting the media
      > into their decision-making meetings, particularly in the current
      > context, where the whole of the print media, and the bulk of the
      > electronic media, are frantically beating up every story to somehow
      > resurrect the Howard Government's re-election prospects.
      > It's also vital to consider the current context. For the past few
      > months the building unions, in particular, and militant unions in
      > general, have been under the most intense pressure and scrutiny by the
      > ruling class, with a particular focus on Victoria. It seems obvious
      > that any socialist in Victoria working the media has a deep-rooted
      > moral obligation to take such factors into account.
      > An important and difficult issue for serious socialists on these
      > events is something that has just jumped out of the media. The man who
      > actually recorded Mighell's comments, if reports in the media are to
      > be believed, is a minor figure on the far left, for some time and
      > possibly currently a member of the Victorian executive of the
      > Socialist Alliance, a bloke who has been around the left for a very
      > long time.
      > Coincidentally, he is one of two or three surviving independents in
      > the Socialist Alliance who doggedly defend the Boyle DSP leadership of
      > the Socialist Alliance and from time to time he makes the odd rabidly
      > anti-Labor speech at Alliance conferences.
      > It emerges that this bloke has been an employee of Media Monitors for
      > quite a while. On the face of it, he's not a journalist who writes a
      > lot of copy. His main value to MM seems to be his abilities with a
      > recorder, and possibly his practical access as a known member of the
      > far left to all kinds of meetings and events where other journalists
      > without such connections might find access somewhat more difficult.
      > For instance, I'm told by a delegate in the Victorian CFMEU that for
      > several years this bloke has regularly recorded delegates' meetings of
      > the Victorian CFMEU. These circumstances obviously suggest that he may
      > record delegates' meetings of other unions on behalf of his employer,
      > Media Monitors, which then onsells such material in a commercial way
      > to its clients. It's fairly obvious which clients may be interested in
      > recordings of this kind.
      > In the Financial Review of June 5, in an article on page 7, on another
      > matter, the following appears: "The tensions were fuelled by union
      > claims last week that the ABCC had 'secretly' recorded a mass meeting
      > at which Electrical Trades Union official Dean Mighell had bragged
      > about pressuring employers to win pattern pay rises. Criticism of Mr
      > Mighell's expletive-strewn speech saw him forced out of the Labor
      > Party by federal opposition leader Kevin Rudd.
      > "A commercial media monitoring firm, Media Monitors, has confirmed it
      > recorded Mr Mighell's speech last November, in its role of covering
      > events based on their saleability amongst 'existing clients and any
      > industry groups'. 'We turned up on spec', said Media Monitors
      > executive Gregg Aimes. 'I've got no comment as to who it was actually
      > sold to.'"
      > This report in the Financial Review extract reveals a large part of
      > the current Media Monitors story. In Melbourne, at least, it has a
      > lucrative sideline consisting of taping any significant meetings of
      > workers' organisations, into which they can get "on spec", and then
      > onselling the recordings to all interested parties.
      > The man who does this kind of the taping for Media Monitors is a
      > recognisable figure on the far left. The question arises, and must be
      > asked, whether this bloke also records public gatherings of the
      > Socialist Alliance and other organisations, including the couple of
      > big trade union gatherings that have been associated with the
      > Socialist Alliance? Are they of interest "on spec" to his employers?
      > Did he also record for his employer, Media Monitors, "on spec" major
      > events addressed by Craig Johnson, who fell foul of the capitalist
      > state? Such material would obviously be of some interest to employers
      > and other Media Monitors clients.
      > In a comment on these events, Sue Bolton naively asks if the recording
      > of workers' meetings routinely takes place in other states, as it
      > apparently does in Victoria. I've made some initial inquiries about
      > this in NSW in the past few days and Media Monitors doesn't appear to
      > record union delegates' meetings in NSW. Perhaps there isn't anyone
      > available to Media Monitors in NSW with the kind of practical access
      > to workers' meetings that Media Monitors appears to have in Victoria.
      > Under capitalism, workers and members of the middle class have to do
      > many things to make a living and the rational tradition in the
      > scientific socialist movement is not to moralise too much about how
      > people are forced to, or even choose to, earn a crust.
      > Nevertheless, some jobs are clearly excluded for socialists, and for
      > class-conscious workers. Most obviously, they shouldn't join the
      > police, work for ASIO and other secret police, etc. Another question
      > frequently arises in the labour movement, which is that of union
      > officials being offered jobs by major capitalist concerns and
      > employers as personnel officers, or human resources managers, as they
      > are now so-called.
      > Such crossovers are usually regarded in the labour movement as class
      > desertion and such people are usually regarded as having excluded
      > themselves from the workers' movement. A similar problem, in my view,
      > arises from a certain type of industrial relations journalism and
      > anti-Labor political journalism.
      > No matter what their past background, industrial relations and
      > political journalists who constantly attack the labour movement are
      > generally regarded as having excluded themselves from the workers
      > movement.
      > In my considered view, it isn't permissible from a socialist point of
      > view for an active socialist to work in the capacity of chief recorder
      > of workers' meetings for Media Monitors with the knowledge, which he
      > must have unless he deliberately closes his eyes, that delicate and
      > sensitive material he obtains will be onsold by his employer to
      > whoever pays the price, and the developments of the past week or so
      > underline the importance of this point.
      > The man, Raven, on the Green Left discussion list, who libeled me
      > without any evidence as an agent provocateur, in his comment on these
      > events, muddies the water even further. Objectively he joins the
      > witch-hunt against the trade unions in the Labor Party in repeating,
      > with apparent approval, the attacks of the ruling class on officials
      > of the ETU being selected as Labor candidates in Victoria and Queensland.
      > He also makes light of the activities of Media Monitors and Rehame in
      > recording sensitive parts of workers' meetings and onselling the
      > recordings to their clients.
      > The most recent comment on this question by Peter Murray seems to me a
      > bit of a diversion. He attacks the bosses of Media Monitors for
      > dropping one of its employees in it, as an invasion of his privacy.
      > That's as may be, Media Monitors is possibly making a bit of a
      > scapegoat of this bloke to cloud the issue of its routine information
      > gathering activities in the workers' movement. That, however, is not
      > the central point, although it is important.
      > There are two issues in this series of events. One is the revelation
      > of Media Monitors' activities, and the other is the revelation of the
      > apparent centrality to these activities of this bloke who has been
      > around the left for a very long time.
      > Painful though it may be, the fact that Media Monitors chose to drop
      > the bloke in it, so to speak, is objectively speaking, quite useful
      > because it gives us a dramatic insight into the new territory the
      > whole of the workers movement is being forced into by the increasingly
      > aggressive and barefaced information gathering activities of the
      > ruling class.
      > The leadership of the Socialist Alliance, and the bloke in question,
      > have a responsibility to the whole of the socialist and labour
      > movement to explain these events.
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