Re: The sales campaign for WorkChoices Lite begins ...
- By Bob Gould
I'm working on an overview of the Labor Party national conference and
the subsequent hysteria of the bourgeoisie about the new industrial
relations policy, and what it means.
These are contradictory developments that require careful description
The incorrigible Dave Riley belts out a nonsensical
better-worse-the-better position about Laborism in his inimitable way
claims for the 200th time that Laborism is totally finished and the
Socialist Alliance can arise from the ashes. He'll be a long time waiting.
Norm Dixon posts a leaflet signed by some trade union activists, in
the first instance Dean Mighell, titled an Open Letter to the ALP
Conference. The difficulty with that document is that despite its
sensible sentiments, I and others saw no evidence that it was
distributed to delegates at the conference. What I and others did see
was the ubiquitous Jacqueline on behalf of the Socialist Alliance
yelling aggressively hostile remarks at the delegates as they went in.
In the industrial relations debate there were 18 speakers, including
Michele O'Neil, Dean Mighell, Dave Noonan (Victorian CFMEU) and Dave
Oliver (AMWU), who the DSP is quite sensibly supporting in the current
Metalworkers Union election. These four, in particular, were properly
critical of the aspects of the IR proposals that were unacceptable to
Nevertheless, they all stressed that on balance they supported the IR
proposals despite reservations, as the best that was on offer. They
all voted for the resolution, which was carried unanimously.
Since the conference the media and many employer organisations have
gone ballistic, saying the Labor IR policy makes far too many
concessions to unions and workers.
The situation is clearly contradictory.
The four senior union officials I mentioned are important figures in
the broad labour movement and are often presented by the DSP
leadership as part of the militant trade union current. In they normal
course of events they have much more clout in the workers movement
than either Bob Gould or the DSP.
I strongly suggest to Norm Dixon and Green Left that they interview
these four militant ALP union leaders to get their views on the
current situation facing the workers movement, which ought inevitably
to include their views on why it was necessary to vote for the
resolution at the same time as being critical of it.
Sensible, in-depth interviews like that would be more use than
Potemkin village meanderings from Dave Riley or leaflets produced
after the event for the record that don't appear to have been widely
distributed to conference delegates.
- -Oh thankyou Bob Gould for your informative contribution. We will wait
with baited breath on your analysis of the bourgeoisie on this matter
while the working class is left to fend for themselves.
I will return to Potemkin on the next available bus and wait for your
missive on the matter...
But tell me this, Bob: is this a bourgeois party we are dealing with
here or a workers party? Is this party under discussion(that is IF we
are allowed to discusses it that is, as you have protested so often in
the past when we do) by default FOR the workers or FOR the bosses?
Or isn't that question not allowed?
And what, given your many years of experience as a loyal member of the
afore mentioned party, should the more progressive element within its
ranks be doing as a consequence of this rout?
I recall that Carmen Lawrence (remember her? she was somebody in the
ALP for a time)urged us all to "come back again and again" to each ALP
conference to win the change we seek.
(By the way, was Carmen there this year?}
So will you be advising all those who oppose this massive sellout of
working class interests to sign on with those like the letter you
mentioned -- as you did align yourself 25 years ago in your pristine
youth in response to the Prices & Incomes Accord --or merely shrug
your bookseller's shoulders and return to the everyday business as usual.
It is a conundrum, isn't it, Robert Gould? A mighty conundrum. Because
after a recent career dedicated absolutely to pouring shit on the
Socialist Alliance and all those who sail in her, falling back on DSP
or SA baiting aint going to be so easy now that the chickens, as it
were, have come home to pee.
(Maybe it was because we were so sectarian that the politics has
panned out so? What you reckon? Its' "our" fault?)
Opps..I'll have to continue this later, Robert. Excuse me. Here comes
PS:But when you work it all out, please let me know what the lie of
the land is.
- One ironic aspect of the ACTU's cheerleading is that, I think, even from a
narrow ALP-electoralist perspective a little mild criticism would have been
preferable, in that it might have undercut the increasingly absurd "union
dinosaurs control the ALP" theme in some sections of the establishment
media. Murdoch has decided this is the script, and his chief Aussie
mouthpiece Paul Kelly dutifully follows http://tinyurl.com/2cwkzo
As posted earlier (glparramatta 11.06am) the 7.30 Report is following the
same script, by featuring Dean Mighell's suggestion that the implementation
of the ALP policy would lead to "fun", rather than his criticisms of the
attacks on the right to strike as expressed in the 'open letter' posted and
presumably at the conference. It would be interesting to know if the 7.30
Report clip of Mighell was incomplete or out of context.
The editorial line of the Fairfax group is BTW fairly hostile to
WorkChoices, judging by the number of articles in the SMH about the bad
impacts, the government covering up the data about this, etc, and their much
more balanced lead on the ALP conf http://tinyurl.com/yr6jcb. Why I don't
know, perhaps the bourgeoisie isn't as united in anti-ALP hysteria as as Bob
Gould always thinks they are, taking as he always does the Murdoch media for
their class as a whole.
On 1/5/07 2:16 PM, "bobgould987" <bobgould987@...> wrote:
> subsequent hysteria of the bourgeoisie... Norm Dixon posts a leaflet signed by
> some trade union activists...
> Sensible, in-depth interviews like that would be more use than
> Potemkin village meanderings from Dave Riley or leaflets produced
> after the event for the record that don't appear to have been widely
> distributed to conference delegates.
Actually it was me who posted the open letter Bob. Your absence from us
doesn't seem to have improved your inability to reference anything properly.
I don't know how well or if at all it was distributed, though I don't assume
like Bob seems to that something I haven't seen doesn't exist. It was
obviously circulated and signed before the conference anyway.
I'll be interested in observations on the conference by Bob, or anyone with
half a militant bone in their body. I'd be interested to know if David
Bradbury's attempts to lobby delegates and get them to watch a preview
version of his new anti-nuclear film A Hard Rain had any effect on the
uranium debate. I've been encouraging people to get this film and organise
screenings, in the new context of Howard's crazed plan to turn every
Australian town into a Springfield and the ALP's uranium sell-out.
Do you and your soy latte socialist buddies want to defeat the Howard
government this year or not?
Your idiotic tirades against Kevin Rudd's industrial changes are
laughable. I and most unionists would prefer "WorkChoices Lite"
to "WorkChoices Plus" that Howard would introduce if re-elected.
Unless it is proven otherwise one can only assume that Green Left
Weekly and the Socialist Alliance want Howard re-elected.
- "rolandsrudebox" wrote:
>It looks like the troll is back again... again... again...
> Do you and your soy latte socialist buddies want to defeat the Howard
> government this year or not?
You would think he had something better to do.
As always, don't feed him.
- On 3/5/07 9:56 AM, "rolandsrudebox" <rolandsrudebox@...> wrote:
>I shouldn't bother feeding him but I'd be happy to offer him some of the
> Do you and your soy latte socialist buddies want to defeat the Howard
> government this year or not?
yummy chai rooibos tea with warmed rice milk I'm having at work right now.
Rolandtedioustroll is clearly immune to facts and logic but I'll point out
for the benefit of others who are actually interested in the issue and
discussion without abuse and caricature that, I'm told, a Sydney teachers
association voted nearly unanimously yesterday, on the motion of 2 Socialist
Alliance members, to defend the right to strike and call for another
national day of action. I think it may have been Canterbury-Bankstown TA
(maybe someone could clarify?), where I'm sure there's fierce factional
struggle between the advocates of latte, chai, stewed Tetly tea and
- --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "rolandsrudebox"
> laughable. I and most unionists would prefer "WorkChoices Lite"Back in days gone by this sort of carte blanche gung ho support
> to "WorkChoices Plus" that Howard would introduce if re-elected.
> Unless it is proven otherwise one can only assume that Green Left
> Weekly and the Socialist Alliance want Howard re-elected.
regardless was backed up with physical violence or the threat thereof.
Similarly labelling critics as members of the Santamaria's National
Civic Council was also embraced as a shush-ing tactic. Roland may be a
troll but he poses the issue squarely from the POV that has been fostered.
This is the great tragedy of Laborism. The bottom line is bullying and
coercion when the peer group pressure alone doesn't work. The main
game is to turn critics into pariahs.
And people go along with that. Take Roland as an example.
While I note that in the past -- especially in the lead up to the 1983
election that bought Bob Hawke to the Lodge -- there was a sort of
platform massaging in play that included some credits as the proposed
"Accord" had a few sweeteners and generally to a man and woman trade
unionists and especially the trade union left were enamoured by its
false promises. For the sake say of a 38 hour week -- many thought,
most in fact, that it was worth the horse trading.
38 hour week! What a laugh! What's the present average? 45? 47? So
where were the benefits of this "Accord" located in real time.
This time around, Roland tells it as it lays -- and he puts the issue
crudely and bluntly: ya either for Rudd's WCLite or ya for Howard!
But why should this current version of industrial relation the "it"
around which we are supposed to draw the line and rally? Why not some
other? Why not one that at least guaranteed the right to strike, did
not make it illegal to do so, and enshrined that right , like the
international conventions on human rights do. Why should trade
unionists campaign to make striking illegal? Because that's what the
ACTU is asking of them. Given the slogan -- Your Rights at Work /Worth
fighting/voting for" -- what rights are we defending with this package?
I cannot see a one.
Roland must think that as well as being laughable, I'm a fool. But I
can see a gaping hole in WC Lite that no amount of spin will be able
to patch up.
It is easy to forget that the bottom line of any industrial relations
package is the hip pocket. Thats' what Work Choices is about. Howard
isn't mean to workers for the sake of it -- the meanness has a price
tag and underpinning Work Choices is the business of moving billions
of dollars into corporate coffers. It';s about driving down wages;
slashing production costs and increasing the absolute level of
exploitation of workers by making them work harder and longer ...for
When we come to Rudd's version of Work Choices the same issues are in
play and the same prize is at stake. What Rudd brings to the board
room table is a compliant workforce held in check and made docile by
an engaged trade union bureaucracy which is nonetheless constrained by
such key elements as a no strike clause.
In the end which package will be more useful, and more profitable, to
corporate Australia, to the capitalist class here? That's what the
debate is about now as far as Labor is concerned because thats' where
the main sell is being pitched: to the board rooms of the land.
Roland says he prefers WCLite because it is a softer touch -- even
though we are still being taken(at least he should concede that). The
problem is that in the end that may not be the case. The Accord years
in Australia moved billions of dollars from wages to profits --
generating such largesse that Australia under Hawke and Keating was
more effective in driving down wages and conditions while upping
profits than Thatcher was able to do in the UK or Reagan and Bush
Senior could manage in the USA .
Under Labor's last turn in the saddle, profits jumped and trade union
membership collapsed while real wages nose dived and working hours
The brutal irony is that today the economy is more or less booming,
there's a labour shortage in many sectors -- but the peak bodies of
the trade union movement insist that we all should defer to a 21st
Capitalism that wants more.
And Roland says he prefers hammer "b" hitting him than hammer "c"..and
I should join him in his preference...
Excuse me if I bow out of that masochistic game.
- Corrupt and incestuous connections between the unions and the ALP are
best indicated by the Combet/Robertson/Lawrence jostling, based on
the experience that the ACTU President and/or secretary is pretty
well guaranteed a safe Labor seat. We have also seen unionist Doug
Cameron set to take over from George Campbell as an ALP Senator as a
result of similar machinations.
Perhaps a DSP/SA press release, including a table or diagramme (a
picture is worth a thousand words), listing the destinations of all
the ACTU officeholders over the last 25 years would do much to
demonstrate the consistency of the rewards for union bosses who sell
There is a striking contrast between the Hard Labor / Big Union
embrace of Rudd and his ideology and the deference shown by them to
business criticisms of Rudd's sweatshop laws for requiring a minimum
size for the sweatshop. Hard Labor's machine-men seem concerned not
whether they've moved too far to the Right, but whether they've not
moved Far Right enough.
DSP/SA is under no obligation to prefer either of the ALP or the
Coalition, or indeed any other political party.