Iain Hall's SANDPIT

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Horses for courses

If an social institution is corrupt should a government not make every effort to expunge the vile puss that pervades its very core? If you are an ordinary person concerned about, for instance, clerical child abuse, you punch your fist in the air and say “Damn straight its about time!”  and in doing so you earn the admiration of every catholic hating minion of the left, however if the corruption being targeted is within the union movement….

ACTU boss Ged Kearney today rallied union members for a pre-emptive strike against the federal opposition to be launched next week.

In a candid address to a NSW Teacher’s Federation conference in Sydney, Ms Kearney indicated the ACTU was bracing for a coalition win on September 14 and a royal commission into union corruption.

“They are going to come for us,” she told the room of union members.

She said any coalition anti-union push would be “smarter than having dogs and men in balaclavas on the docks”, a reference to the 1998 waterfront dispute.

“The royal commission is coming – because of the HSU, because of the whole slush fund stuff, they will come at us with lawyers and barristers and queen’s counsels and they will try to send us broke,” she said.

The former nurse told the crowd the ACTU would launch a major campaign next week to warn Australians of a move towards Thatcher-style rhetoric and conservative UK “big society” policy under a Tony Abbott-led government.

Source

What I find so sadly amusing is the difference between the Church  response to its problems , namely it seeks to fix the corrupt practices of some of its clergy whereas the Union movement both denies that there is a problem and calls its members to the barricades…

I understand that some people will not like the parallel that I draw here but as I see it both entail a gross betrayal of trust of their respective congregations and a rather pernicious dedication to protecting their respective miscreants for the sake of the reputation of their organisation.Which leaves me to wonder if Unionists invoke the blessed Karl when they confess their sins and seek absolution or if they just thank Mammon for their ill gotten gains.

Cheers Comrades

The Blank Check

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55 Comments

  1. GD says:

    Ged said:

    “The royal commission is coming – because of the HSU, because of the whole slush fund stuff, they will come at us with lawyers and barristers and queen’s counsels and they will try to send us broke,” she said.

    I agree, Iain, isn’t it perverse that she won’t address the corruption issues and instead mounts a campaign, presumably paid for by the long suffering members, to fight any attempt at eradicating evidence of misuse of members’ funds.

    Yet somehow, we now also have a union dominated Federal Cabinet, even though union membership is at an all time low of 18%, not the optimistic 20% that Comrade Ged reckons.

    Something is out of whack here.

    However, you gotta love the ‘Solidarity’.

  2. Ray Dixon says:

    some people will not like the parallel that I draw here

    You guessesd it, Iain. The Royal Commission into child abuse is not limited to the RC Church or even to churches – it covers all instituions. And it has only come about after decades and decades of evidence of widespread abuse.

    Whereas you want a RC on the unions based on what? The HSU scandal? That’s like calling for a RC on all insurance companies following the HIH collapse and subsequent charging of directors.

    Extremely one-sided, Iain.

  3. Iain Hall says:

    Actually Ray I tend to think that a Royal commission into the way that unions are run is not that necessary because we already know that the problems are a lack of financial oversight into the way that union monies are spent by their officials. In political terms though I can understand why those seeking change to the status quo in the union movement would want a royal commission, it would allow those problems and shortcomings to be enunciated by the process and for the Coalition to then be able to say that they were acting on the results of the independent investigation rather than making their idealogical enemies suffer pursuant to pleasing their own business backers.
    On your point about Abuse royal commission not being just about the Catholic church I acknowledge the extent of the commission’s brief but I also note the significant omission of abuse in Indigenous communities which is sadly much more contemporary than the instances of abuse in the churches et al.

  4. GD says:

    The Royal Commission into child abuse is not limited to the RC Church or even to churches – it covers all institutions.

    Does it include the ‘Religion of Peace’, Islam, in Australia? Will there be investigations into the child abuse by Muslims with forced underage marriages and forced female genital mutilation?

    I doubt it. This Labor government is more interested in destroying the Catholic Church, throwing out the good with the bad.

    And as Iain said:

    I also note the significant omission of abuse in Indigenous communities which is sadly much more contemporary than the instances of abuse in the churches

    It’s an abomination that current indigenous communities are struggling to come to terms with child abuse in their communities while Labor reckons it’s better ferret out old men with one foot in the grave. Rather than deal with issues that actually could stem the tide of this abuse in the future, Labor prefers to chase ghosts and skeletons.

    Another day, another Labor failure.

  5. Iain Hall says:

    It’s an abomination that current indigenous communities are struggling to come to terms with child abuse in their communities while Labor reckons it’s better ferret out old men with one foot in the grave. Rather than deal with issues that actually could stem the tide of this abuse in the future, Labor prefers to chase ghosts and skeletons.

    That is very well put GD

  6. Ray Dixon says:

    So let’s get this straight, GD: You oppose the Royal Commission into the child abuses of the the RC Church, other churches and other such institutions (like Boy Scouts etc)? You oppose those matters being brought out under oath? Is that right?

  7. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    just because GD and I have reservations about the focus of the royal commission does not mean that we don’t want to see justice done it just means that we can see that the government is skewing the direction of this inquiry to suit its own political purposes and that it could do my social good with a slightly different focus that looks less at crimes of the past where guilty are either long or nearly dead to the present where the perps still have their hands into the pants of children.

  8. Ray Dixon says:

    the government is skewing the direction of this inquiry to suit its own political purposes

    Huh? The Commission sets its own parameters, Iain. And it can widen the inquiry into any institution it sees fit. Do you seriously believe the government would (any govt be it Labor or Liberal) interfere with a judical enquiry?

  9. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    Questioning the focus of the Royal commission does not imply any wish to see the guilty go free or that their crimes should not be punished.

  10. Ray Dixon says:

    It sounds very much like GD is saying it’s only out to get “old men with one foot in the grave”, Iain, and that suggests he very much wants to see them go unpunished. But the cover ups of such abuses go to more contemporary times and if they are not exposed they will continue. As for his question of will it extended to Islamic Church abuses, well, quite clearly, if any victims of institutional Islamic abuse exist they (or those with knowledge of it) are able to make submissions, give evidence or come forward. It’s not a muslim-free-zone like GD seems to be implying … maybe GD should make a submission and present what evidence he has of Islamic child abuse in Australia. He could download his archive from here and take it with him!!

  11. GD says:

    So let’s get this straight, GD: You oppose the Royal Commission into the child abuses of the the RC Church, other churches and other such institutions (like Boy Scouts etc)? You oppose those matters being brought out under oath? Is that right?

    Well, actually, I didn’t say that did I?

    Please don’t misinterpret my words to suit your feeble argument.

    What I said was:

    Does it include the ‘Religion of Peace’, Islam, in Australia? Will there be investigations into the child abuse by Muslims with forced underage marriages and forced female genital mutilation? I doubt it. This Labor government is more interested in destroying the Catholic Church, throwing out the good with the bad.

    It’s an abomination that current indigenous communities are struggling to come to terms with child abuse in their communities while Labor reckons it’s better ferret out old men with one foot in the grave. Rather than deal with issues that actually could stem the tide of this abuse in the future, Labor prefers to chase ghosts and skeletons.

    Apportioning blame and retribution to old men is not addressing the current issue. Child abuse is still rife in many communities. Perhaps addressing the current causes would be more beneficial than merely ‘hanging out to dry’ pedophile priests of a former era. By all means prosecute the guilty, but don’t waste this costly Royal Commission chasing ghosts and skeletons.

  12. rjryan says:

    Vacancies: Pedophile Hunters required.

  13. rjryan says:

    Off Comment: Rejoice working class of Britain, Thatcher is dead, she might have survived an IRA bomb, but she did not excape death. Did she suffer a slow,painful, agonising death,? that her polices did to the working class of Britain.

  14. Ray Dixon says:

    GD, this is about addressing institutionalised child abuse in organisations (such as the churches) where there has been a systemic culture of denial and of covering it up. Child abuse in the general community, including in indigenous ones, also goes on, but the victims are not facing the same obstacles in seeking justice down the track.

  15. GD says:

    Ray said:

    Child abuse in the general community, including in indigenous ones, also goes on, but the victims are not facing the same obstacles in seeking justice down the track.

    Really, and you have proof of that?

    Do indigenous kids in 2013 face less obstacles seeking justice than an adult abused by a priest forty years ago?

    It’s obvious that you would rather the Royal Commission chase priests from a bygone era, priests with one foot in the grave, while turning a blind eye to the abuse that is happening today.

    I would have thought that abuse happening today would be the first focus of such a commission.

    Apparently not, it seems the lefties hate Catholics more than they hate pedophilia.

    I had hoped that this Royal Commission would be focused on the larger picture and not just a witch-hunt for Catholicism.

  16. Richard Ryan says:

    Not all pedophiles are Catholics, but a lot of Catholics are pedophiles, if I use GD’s thesis not all Muslims are terrorists, but a lot of terrorists are Muslim. So no Catholics on the Royal Commission, like we don’t want pedophiles in child care.

  17. Ray Dixon says:

    If you want the Royal Commission to be widened to include abuses in the general wider community (including indigenous AND white communities) then start lobbying for it, GD. I don’t hear anyone else screaming these type of objections, not even some of your more loony right wing coalition members.

    This is glass half full/glass half empty stuff. At least we’re looking into a big part of child abuse, but what you’re really advocating for is no Royal Commission into the child abuses in the church whatsoever. And that puts you in a pretty small minority of paedophilia sympathisers.

  18. Richard Ryan says:

    I would like to see Abbott called before the Royal Commission, to find out what he knew about pedophilia when he was training to be a priest.

  19. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    there is an obvious logistical problem in pursuing the child abuse in indigenous communities and that is there is no record keeping on the subject to speak of because such entities do not have the formal structures and processes that we take for granted. However there is clearly a very lax (and well known) attitude to what we would consider aberrant sexual behaviours in indigenous communities as is evident in the way that so much latitude is given in cases of child rape and issues like forced marriage of young girls to old men, and so called initiation rites.

  20. Iain Hall says:

    Richard how is that essay coming along?

  21. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, you may well be right about sexual abuse in indigenous communities. But how does that mean we shouldn’t proceed with a Royal Commission into the obviously widespread abuse across the much broader established institutions like the churches etc? It doesn’t. As I understand it, indigenous communities make up only 1.6% of the population – are you suggesting that because the RComm is not looking into this small sector it should not therefore proceed with an inquiry into the remainder, being 98.4% of the population? That doesn’t make any sense.

  22. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    I have never seen it as an either or thing and frankly I don’t think that GD does either.

  23. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, it’s quite clear that GD wants the RComm to let “the old men” of the church (as he puts it) off the hook.

  24. Iain Hall says:

    Ray if he meant that he would have said that. He is clearly suggesting that more children could be rescued form their current abusers with a different focus. This does not mean that old perps will or should be ignored.

  25. Ray Dixon says:

    He is clearly suggesting that more children could be rescued form their current abusers with a different focus

    Come off it, Iain, he’s only suggesting it be widened to include indigenous child abuse – i.e. among 1.6% of the population, who just happen to be his pet hate. If GD were genuine about wanting it widened he wouldn’t just single them out, he’d include all communities.

  26. GD says:

    So let’s get this straight, GD: You oppose the Royal Commission into the child abuses of the the RC Church, other churches and other such institutions (like Boy Scouts etc)? You oppose those matters being brought out under oath? Is that right?

    I didn’t say that Ray, you’re suggesting it.

    It sounds very much like GD is saying it’s only out to get “old men with one foot in the grave”

    ‘It sounds very much like’ – sounds like? are we playing charades here?

    what you’re really advocating for is no Royal Commission into the child abuses in the church whatsoever.

    Am I really? Where did I say that?

    As I understand it, indigenous communities make up only 1.6% of the population – are you suggesting that because the RComm is not looking into this small sector it should not therefore proceed with an inquiry into the remainder, being 98.4% of the population?

    I didn’t suggest that the RComm shouldn’t proceed with the inquiry.

    Come off it, Iain, he’s only suggesting it be widened to include indigenous child abuse – i.e. among 1.6% of the population, who just happen to be his pet hate.

    You really are a piece of work, Ray, stating that my pet hate is the indigenous population.

    Show me where I have ever intimated or said that.

  27. Ray Dixon says:

    GD, your hatred of aborigines (and muslims) is a hallmark of this blog. I stand by my statements and assertions above – the ones you have quoted (again).

  28. Craigy says:

    Of course John Howard ‘fixed’ the problem of abuse in Aboriginal communities, with the intervention, following after 11 years of no action at all…..

    http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/indigenous-intervention-a-costly-flop-20091008-gowf.html

    ….Oh no wait…..Well, maybe Tony can do better?

    http://www.tonyabbott.com.au/LatestNews/ArticleswrittenbyTony/tabid/87/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/7946/The-NT-intervention-worked-Now-lets-go-further.aspx

  29. Craigy says:

    Oops….Tony got it wrong again…oh dear, what a great prime minister he will make…..

  30. Iain Hall says:

    As we both know the real issue for most indigenous communities is that in terms of a modern society very few of them have any sort of viable economy or any prospect of one being created any time soon. That is the reason that such communities have such social and substance abuse problems and until that is both recognised and addressed the sore will continue to fester.

  31. Craigy says:

    So how will Tony Abbott help fix it Iain…..He will only make it worse, that seems clear.

  32. Iain Hall says:

    As you must recall from our many conversations on this topic I tend to think that in the long run indigenous people will have to move to places where they can become part of the economic mainstream, however short of that at least Tony Abbott has had some first hand experience working in indigenous communities and that must have given him some insight that is so sadly lacking in the current administration.

  33. Craigy says:

    Then what was Tony doing during his 11 years in Government…..?? He is full of piss and wind and a zero action man, it won’t be any different this time…

  34. Iain Hall says:

    Craigy

    I agree that Howard should have done more but then so to should have Hawke and Keating and every government since 1788. This is now and what the current and subsequent governments do is more important and more more amenable to positive change.

  35. Shelberight says:

    It sounds very much like Ray Dixon is saying the Royal Commission should ignore the over-representation of indigenous child abuse and the “Little Children are Sacred” report, available here…
    http://www.inquirysaac.nt.gov.au/pdf/bipacsa_final_report.pdf

    Good one Ray

  36. Ray Dixon says:

    Have a scroll up and find the part where I said that and put it here before you ascribe such views to me ‘Shelberight’. I didn’t say anything of the sort.

  37. shelberight says:

    But Ray, “it sounds very much like” 1.6% of contemporary Australia is not important enough to be included in the Royal Commission, despite the appalling reports and history. That doesn’t make any sense.

  38. Ray Dixon says:

    Tell the Commission then – anyone can make a submission . If you can be bothered telling me that then why can’t you tell them?

  39. shelberight says:

    I already have. Ray, it’s quite clear that you want the RComm to let “1.6% of the population” (as you put it) off the hook.

  40. Iain Hall says:

    shelberight

    To be fair to Ray the problem with the Royal commission in relation to indigenous communities is that while the abuse is clearly more current that most of the instances of priestly abuse they generally far more shambolic and ad hoc in the way that they are run with very poor to negligible record keeping which means that all any enquiry would have to go on is oral testimony and remembrance to go on. Its a rather nasty can of worms within which to search for the truth and one which could be bottomless. On the other hand organisations like the church keep records of the decisions that they make and the things that they do which make them far more amenable to a judicial inquiry.On top of that the cynic in me thinks that ultimately it is going to be easier for the government to cite and blame the dead or nearly dead rather than to cite and pursue contemporary indigenous abusers who would undoubtedly claim that their behaviour is part of their culture.

  41. Ray Dixon says:

    I already have

    Well then ‘Shelberight’, would you care to share some of your submission here … if it exists at all? I doubt it.

    it’s quite clear that you want the RComm to let “1.6% of the population” (as you put it) off the hook.

    Once again, ‘Shelberight’, if it’s “quite clear” I want that, then find the part that suggests I want that and put it up here as a quote. You can’t find it because it doesn’t exist – just like your RC submission probably doesn’t exist. Now stop ascribing views to me that I don’t hold – if the RC thinks they should look into child abuse in the indigenous communities too it’s fine by me. You are making an argument where none exists.

  42. Iain Hall says:


    shelberight
    WE ARE NOT SO FOND OF THIS SORT OF ARGUMENT AROUND HERE…

  43. Ray Dixon says:

    Who’s the ‘Strawman’, Iain? Me or ‘Shesnotsobright’?

  44. Ray Dixon says:

    Oh, I missed your edit, Iain. It’s okay, I wouldn’t even qualify Shellshocked’s comments as being the work of a strawman – they’re not even up to that level.

  45. Iain Hall says:

    Definitely ‘Shesnotsobright’ Ray 😉

  46. Iain Hall says:

    Maybe our visitor needs to seek out the wizard…

  47. Ray Dixon says:

    Wally the Wizard of Wantirna?

  48. Richard Ryan says:

    Went to Church today, and the priest said let us remember the tragedy of Boston in our prayers, I said to myself, for f*ucks sake what about all those poor bastards in Iraq, no prayers for them. Will front him on this issue when I see him again.

  49. shelberight says:

    Thank Iain.

    Of course I haven’t made a submission. Ray was goading and I returned the compliment. Sorry about that. My apologies if it was misleading.

    However, the “Little Children are Sacred” report was tabled in April 2007. It is a litany of societal dysfunction and breakdown, judicial indifference, government ineptitude and an enormous number of well-paid agencies and groups that appear to accomplish nothing. An example from the report – “70% of all female Aboriginal prisoners in New South Wales jails had suffered from sexual abuse as children”.

    Yet here we are, 6 years later and bugger-all has happened. Please read the report and consider whether the victims in 1.6% of the population will ever get a fair go.

    This Royal Commission is a possible circuit breaker for the national shame of indigenous child-abuse. Time and resources are not unlimited so it makes sense to prioritize what will be achieved and the benefits.

    Then you have Ray Dixon who selectively misinterprets other commenters words and call them haters (GD April 11, 2013 at 4:01 am). It’s not very nice being on the receiving end Ray.

    Peace.

  50. Ray Dixon says:

    Being on the receiving end of your goading, ‘Shellshocked’, is like being beaten over the head …. with a limp lettuce leaf. Glad you admit there was no truth (or point) to your little attack.

  51. shelberight says:

    You’re right ‘Ray Dixon’. I’m no good at goading. You’re much better. btw it’s ‘shelberight’.
    ‘Shellshocked’ is a pawn shop for oyster remnants. Shucking fun.

  52. Ray Dixon says:

    Well, ‘Shesnotsobright’, if you’re no good at something why try it?

  53. Shelberight says:

    Well, ‘Ray Dicks On’, troll away. Get your off-topic jollies on.

  54. GD says:

    I’m not entering this ‘debate’, but thanks, shelberight, for recognising this tactic:

    Ray Dixon who selectively misinterprets other commenters words and call them haters (GD April 11, 2013 at 4:01 am).

    He’s good at that.

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