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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.


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

Julia Gillard and the problem left too long to cure

I tend to think that the age union movement has made itself largely redundant and it has certainly earned the disdain and distrust that most people express at the mention of  its exemplars Like Craig Thompson. Its redundancy stems from the changes in the workplace that has seen so much work becoming casualised or based upon fixed term contracts. Employers too have long realised that its expensive to select and train its workers so they are awake to the advantage of paying valued workers above the going rate to retain them. All of these factors have led to a very marked decline in union membership during the course of my lifetime and now the unions are in a decline that is likely to be terminal.

Sadly for those who still believe in unionism there must be great disappointment in the news that the ACTU is to finally move to stop the endemic corruption and and a very cavalier attitude to the funds gathered from union members that is so evident from the FWA investigation of the HSU (east).

click for source

“The claims of misconduct, including kickbacks and rorting, had tarnished the entire union movement,”

Well Yes Prime minister  that is true but I tend to think that no amount of stating the obvious  is going to make any difference now and coming from a woman who has such a flexible view of telling the truth such claims have well, just about no credibility. Its rather sad for those who value the notion of a workers collective organisation that it has taken until now when the whole union concept is in serious decline for them to realise that integrity and good governance is important because the disease of corruption is probably too far advanced now  for meaningful redemption.

Cheers Comrades

Whipping boys and the spending game

I make no claim to being a powerhouse of knowledge about the black art of economics (beyond being able to balance the family budget , which I am able to do well enough to pay the bills and keep us in surplus financially) but all of this talk about inflation since the rise of Brother Number One strikes me as one of the greatest con jobs of recent times.
Just for a minute lets take a step back and consider what are the commodities that, when measured by the ABS have increased enough to give us the increases that have had the effect of fuelling both the reserve bank’s rate rises and the ALP”s propaganda machine. The two indicators of note are the price of oil and the cost of groceries.

We have of course seen the price of oil reach record levels over the last few months and that is driven both by the speculators in the trading markets and the fact that the rising giants of both India and China wanting to buy more of this to fuel their own burgeoning transport requirements. Australian consumers are powerless to do anything other than just pay the extra at the browser and try to drive our cars in a more economic manner, or to drive them less. We realise that the cost of fuel adds to the cost of just about every commodity or service that we buy. However it is also clear that our spending behaviour in buying these commodities or services has not all of a sudden become reckless we just have to pay more for the things that we need.

The other major rise has been in the groceries that we buy to feed our families and of that part of our budget no rise has been more significant that the rise in the prices of fruit and vegetables . Once again those rises are not due to any economic sins by consumers but natural causes beyond our control. Namely we are just emerging from one of the most severe droughts for many years and a serries of natural disasters that sent some commodities like bananas to stratospheric prices ( Bananas reached $14 per kg where as previously they were $3 per kg) All of these rises are part of the ABS stats and they are used to tell us that we are all committing grave sins just by doing the weekly shopping.

We are told that the reasons interest rates must rise are simply that we are spending too much and feeding the mythical inflation beast, so to remedy that our disposable income can be fed into the coffers of the banks. But as the actual reasons that the statistics for inflation have increased have nothing to do with what we as people have been doing with our money I personally think that we are all being conned here. If The sin that caused this problem was as they like to suggest too many Plasma TV’s being bought by Aussie consumers the why do home buyers have to pay the price in the form of a higher rate for their mortgage?

With the fall of the Howard government The Ruddites faced a simple problem of who to blame for the nation’s woes. Simply they needed a whipping boy whom they could chastise often enough to distract from the things that they are actually doing. The Howard era left us with a legacy of a fundamentally sound economy but what is better than taking something that we all notice like the rising cost of the energy we use and the groceries we buy, to stimulate collective guilt chips and prepare us for a diet of economic double talk and political bullshit that we are being offered now.

Personally I own my own home and I do not have to dance to the tune called by the holder of a mortgage but plenty of my fellow Australians are sailing very much closer to the wind than I am so they feel the pain of every rate rise in a way that I can only imagine. Like gimps in latex they will take the blows delivered by Mister Swan and sadly too many of them will never realise that they have been conned here and the pain they endure has been part of a performance piece that is not about their behaviour as consumers but it is all about Brother Number One keeping the national conversation off what his government is actually doing to this country and to provide the rationale to distance his government from his union masters who are beginning to make noises to the effect that they want repayment for their investment in the form of pay rises and it is the avoidance of the debt owed to the ACTU that is really feeding this obsession with “inflation” from Brother Number one. Only time will tell if they get their pound of flesh.

Cheers Comrades


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