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Australian Politics

Oh Do Shut Up! The Lib/Lab Duopoly is Bullshit!


Unionists Marched Under the Eureka Flag in 1891

To quote Crowded House “They come, they come, to build a wall between us.” Well, this wall already exists between us and it has existed for at least 125 years in Australia. This wall is the wall between the employer and the worker. The very existence of this wall explains why the so-called Lib/Lab Duopoly is Bullshit…..and I do wish that people would really just shut up about it.

The ABCC – A Blatant Attack on the Working Class

I am writing this article on the eve of the parliamentary sitting week where history will be marked by one of two things happening.

We will either see the worker-hating parties embrace each other in elation or we will see the workers rejoicing. In both cases there will be tears. Tears of bourgeoisie privilege from the right or tears of relief and freedom from the left. Whatever happens, this week marks a very special week in our Australian Industrial Relations History.

The ABCC Bill currently being debated in the Senate, if passed, by the guaranteed support of One Nation, and possible support of Xenophon, Liberal Democrats and Hinch will secure a dark stain in our history.  The balance of power will once again see a return to the Howard Years. The ABCC will tip power most dominantly to the power of the employer. The reintroduction of the ABCC bill will see worker’s deaths increase, workers jailed and fined for stopping work, even if there is a work death on site.



Effectively, every single person who claims to be a ‘true blue Aussie’ and votes for the ABCC will be trashing Waltzing Maltilda’s legacy. How bloody Australian is that, hey?

Hanson? Xenophon? Hinch? How Australian is that?

In Queensland in 1891 the Great Shearers’ Strike brought the colony close to civil war and was broken only after the Premier of Queensland, Samuel Griffith, called in the military. In September 1894, some shearers at Dagworth Station were again on strike. The situation turned violent with the striking shearers firing their rifles and pistols in the air and setting fire to the woolshed at Dagworth, killing dozens of sheep. The owner of Dagworth Station and three policemen gave chase to a man named Samuel Hoffmeister – also known as “French(y)”. Rather than be captured, Hoffmeister shot and killed himself at the Combo Waterhole.

When they Jail a Man for Striking

In 2016, 125 years after the Shearers Strike in 1891, the Liberals and the pathetic parties in cahoots with them on the ABCC bill, will see the return of workers jailed for striking.

“When they Jail a man for striking – It’s a Rich Man’s country yet!”

This song tells the story of the history of what the ABCC means. The words of the song detail the meaning and significance of demonizing and pushing the worker down to subordination and in the violent way they are prepared to do it.  Do not forget that the ABCC will increase worker deaths and workers can be jailed.

125 years later and those on the right are still trying their best to bring in laws to fight the worker “in times like these.”


Work is absolutely central to everything we do. Work gives us a quality of life. Politics and who we vote for has a huge impact on that quality of life.

There are two types of parties in politics. The wall divides them. These parties are not a Duopoly, far from it.  The Duopoly is an urban myth propagated by third parties in nothing but a strategic ploy to win votes. If you view the major parties through the lens of the worker, there is no starker contrast.

The right side of politics (Liberal/Libertarian/Family First/One Nation/National and Conservative Parties) view the labour of the worker as raw input material to be purchased for the lowest cost possible.

The left of politics (Labor/Greens/Socialist and Worker Parties) view the labour or a worker as valuable in the means of production. That is, it is respected and valued.

It is a very simple concept.  To put it in simple terms: Human versus not human. Pro-Worker versus anti-worker. The worker as a machine – a raw input material  versus valued human capital.

The ABCC Apologists – Some More History

The ABCC apologists will tell you that the ABCC is all about productivity. However, when the ABCC was in previously, productivity was down and worker deaths increased. This is about creating a sub-serviant workforce. It is about using a human being’s labour for capital gain for the lowest possible cost, in wages and in conditions.

The Liberal Party was formed in 1944 as a coaliation of 18 Anti-Worker parties to combat the workers/Labor parties.  The National Party have been in coalition with the Liberals in one form or another since the early 1920’s. The Liberals and Nationals are the primary force against workers in Australia. As a coalition, they are the major force to form Government to shut out the worker parties.

Pauline Hanson is an anti-worker Liberal at heart. Ejected from the party in the 1990’s for overt racism towards Indigenous people and Asians. John Howard found her an embarrassement to the campaign and Tim Fischer attributed her racism to putting exports and jobs at risk. Effectively she was disendorsed. Politicians do not flip flop over the wall that divides the worker and those who fight against the worker. It’s in your blood or it’s not. Hanson remains on the anti-workers side of politics. One Nation Senator Culleton has also admitted to being a Nationals voter for over 30 years. They are not the party of the ordinary worker, contrary to popular belief.

Xenophon describes himself as a ‘centrist’ politician and primarily began as a single issue politician on gambling reform. He appears to be using the ABCC as a political football to progress his own agenda on water, rather than take genuine concern for attack on workers rights.

Hinch is a wildcard. He has flipped flopped on his position and it is still not clear. However, according to Sky-News he has ‘hinted at support for the ABCC’ and said his support will be a Christmas present for the coalition. Oh! How lovely the bloodshed of unionists all wrapped up nicely with a bow.

The Major Parties Have Lost Me – They Are All the Same

The popularity and the rise of the third party vote to the likes of Hanson and Xenophon is basically a slap in the face to the working class. So many are screaming about their ‘rights to their own facts’ and the ‘right to their own opinion’ whilst having the bejesus scared out of them by the rhetoric right about Muslims and Refugees.  After Brexit and Trump, this has been referred to as the “ME” vote. 

Whilst these voters sit idly by screaming me, me, me, and believe everything is about race in this country, they are ignoring the heart and soul of this country – the worker. That is a very sad fact indeed. There is only one worker party in Australia and that party is the Australian Labor Party.  It is an impossibility for a Worker Party to be exactly the same as an Anti-Worker Party. Please think on that.

A Political Strategy

I call this for what it is. The racism, the division, the deflection of blame onto minorities, the creation of fear in others, is just a strategic tool used by the right wing of politics. It is used simply to make so much noise about issues other than their hard and dedicated fight to attack the worker, destroy unions and to return to the master-servant slave era, that voters won’t notice. Work Choices – Never. Ever. Forget.

They say they are listening but it is all about the united right agenda of creating a sub-serviant workforce. The Hansons, the Xenophons, and others who vote with the Liberals to attack the workers are not listening. Voting for policy that makes life harder for the working class whilst stating they support the worker, is nothing but a contradictory, decietful lie. That is basic common sense. 

The Duopoly is Bullshit

The wall has been up between the two major parties for at least 125 years in this country. If you give a damn about the worker, I ask you to please consider today’s politics from the worker perspective. I ask you to look deeply at the parties who are supporting Anti-Worker policies. So far these parties are: the Liberals/Nationals/Hanson/Liberal Democrats/Family First and most likely Xenophon and Hinch.

The deep divide between Liberal/Nationals and Labor is the very reason why the Liberals formed a party – to combat and stand against the worker. That deep divide still exists to this day. Just like in 1891, policy to jail workers is being put forth by the Liberals as a mark of their continuous anti-worker stance.  Labor will stand up for the worker and vote it down. The Duopoly is bullshit. 

About trishcorry

I love to discuss Australian Politics. My key areas of interest are Welfare, Disadvantage, emotions in the workplace, organisational behaviour, stigma, leadership, women, unionism. I am pro-worker and anti-conservativism/Liberalism. You will find my blog posts written from a Laborist / Progressive Slant.


28 thoughts on “Oh Do Shut Up! The Lib/Lab Duopoly is Bullshit!

  1. Well said!..so bloody well said!…three cheers to that!..and a beer to boot , if I may!

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by freefall852 | November 28, 2016, 6:36 am
  2. Thank you for this excellent POV as it opens the veins on this propaganda especially the Greens here in Australia

    I know the Greens on the whole are far to the left of the LNP yet they`ve employed this “duopolist” tactic heavily since 2010 and in 2013/16 it became “blood dripping from their teeth ” clear they`re gunning for Labor moreso than the LNP

    After saying this they`re siding with Labor on the ABCC as well as Lambie shows workers who actually gives a shit for them here in Australia

    I have used the term Laboral myself when the ALP supports/supported dropping bombs on Iraq/Syria and just prior election 2016.di Natale announced a similar Greens support for Australia`s bombing involvement
    My well known anti-war stance means I now should use the word “Graboral”

    Oh Trish you do know where this duopolist emergence began?
    During Howard`s reign after Crean with Beazley and Latham

    Beazley a well known USophile and Latham,a well known madman

    Simon Crean gave a marvellous parliamentary address against Australia`s invasion of Iraq and why our military should not be there

    Rudd`s anti war stance on bringing our troops home was also a huge plus in Kevin 07

    Anyway,as you say there is no “duopoly” of Labor and LNP,
    And for those who don`t know where the union saying of being railroaded come from, well it comes right from the roots of the Union Movement and it`s political arm, the Australian Labor Party


    Posted by Bighead1883 | November 28, 2016, 6:59 am
    • I just loved your comment. You are also such a fountain of knowledge.

      Liked by 1 person

      Posted by trishcorry | November 28, 2016, 8:18 am
      • Thanks Trish but HA! if you want THE fount of Labor knowledge then I tip my hat to the ” Cornlegend”
        ________________The Eureka Flag__________________________

        A Union of Miners at Ballarat standing up to the tyranny of Colonial thuggery

        Then being taken up again in 1891 by the striking shearers in Queensland this time

        Finally in the latter 20th Century by the CFMEU bearing this union organising flag

        Reclaimers/TrueBlueCrew/One Nation have no hope of besmirching this honourable flag

        Liked by 1 person

        Posted by Bighead1883 | November 28, 2016, 9:18 am
  3. Last sentence should read
    And for those who don`t know where the union saying of being railroaded come from,well it comes right from the roots of the Union Movement and it`s political arm,the Australian Labor Party


    Posted by Bighead1883 | November 28, 2016, 7:02 am
  4. Yes there is much corruption construction industry, ABCC doesn’t address the issue. CFMEU only minor offender. What we are now getting it seems, weakened version of Howard’s ABCC. Why do they bother.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Florence nee Fedup | November 28, 2016, 7:43 am
  5. Trish I agree wholeheartedly with your point of view in this story and it reminds me of Ark Tribe the only bloke in Australia to stand up to the ABCC. Sadly he has paid the price of standing up to be counted, he can no longer gain employment, but he is a true blue Aussie, I’m not sure whether or not they make them like him anymore, a great Australian.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by townsvilleblog | November 28, 2016, 11:21 am
  6. Trish, A wonderful article comrade and the thing that pleases me most with all your articles is- you get it.
    I was a long time member of the CPA and a convert to the ALP in recent years.
    A mate drummed into me the importance of my Union heritage and the unbreakable link of Labor and Labour and you get that.
    There is too much history to have ripped away by the ABCC .
    If you would indulge me a mate mentioned earlier by Bighead 1883, every May Day for the past decade has sent me a song or verse to celebrate the History of Labor and the significance of the Union movement
    As you are a QLDer you may appreciate this
    Electioneering Scene (1899)

    The following are selections from the topical songs sang at Mr Hoolan’s
    successful entertainment in the Centennial Hall, on Thursday night:–

    There is going to be a stir, and its one you’ll all prefer,
    There’ll be speeches that will galvanise the line ;
    All the candidates will pull, and the papers will be full
    Of the happiness that comes at such a time.

    For the contract has been made in the interests of trade.
    Not free trade, but political tirade ;
    And the bogie soon will call, both the stumpy and the tall.
    To the music of the blattering brigade.


    There’s the Labor party,
    Whose case we hear ex parte,
    That party with the forty planks,
    And noisy hullabaloo.
    With its programme nice and tarty.
    And its tongue so long and smarty ;
    With its A.L.F. and W.O.P.
    Well soon see who is who.

    Jas. R. Dickson is the crack, but they say he wont get back ;
    Harry Turley, too, is going to the wall ;
    And the forty-one plank push is coming with a rush,
    And Higgs will give old Mac a wondrous fall.
    For the Valley goes to Higgs, and sweet Login goes to Briggs,

    And Sydes will cop Bundamba sure as fate ;
    Sammy Grimes he smells the times,
    When the National Anthem chimes,
    For he knows that Culpin’s got his loyal sale.
    Have you heard the Labor team copped the Federation scheme,
    Its as true as gospel I tell to you,
    It is added to the planks, and Tom Glassey gets the thanks,

    So instead of forty-one there’s forty two.
    But be jabers they’re no good, not the kind of solid wood
    That’s required by railway lines like Chillagoe ;
    Faith, I would not be surprised to hear they were demised,
    And Mat Battersby made King Incognito.
    Dear Walter Bentley Begg, hung his lantern on a peg,
    And is chasing Justin Foxton for Carnary.

    The electioneering scene, through the magic lantern screen,
    Reminds you of Lane’s Paraguayan starve.
    Better, Walter, on your part, for your pocket and your heart,
    if you lave the gallant major quite alone ;
    When, the numbers are put up you will want a little sup,
    For to cheer you on your dreary journey home.

    There’s two parties in the State, we learn from Dickson’s pate,
    With policies and planks and schemes galore :–
    Well, faith I won’t dispute these words of solemn truth.
    But, begorra I’m convinced there’s twenty-four.

    For Jack Hoolan’s on his own, and Danny Keogh goes alone ;
    John Fogarty no longer follows Bell,
    And its said that Daddy Groom knocks Johnny out of tune,
    But the old one’s game you never can foretell.

    From the Queensland Newspaper the Northern Miner Feb 1899


    Posted by Redned | November 28, 2016, 7:11 pm
  7. And it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the tireless effort Bighead 1883 makes for Labor the Trade Union Movement and the working class men and women of our land
    Stick To The Union (1889)

    Stick to the Union lads, its principles are just;
    Stick to tbe Union lads, ’twill help yon earn a crust;
    It has helped us out of trouble, ’twill help as out again.
    So stick to the Union lads, and always act as men.

    Our cause has been a just one, as all true men admit.
    It shows that Wallaroo miners are made of pluck and grit;
    It shows unto the public that we can act up square,
    And come what may, or come what Willi treat everybody fair.

    We’re loyal to our masters, and to ourselves as well;
    And go to work with lighter hearts than outsiders can tell;
    And though we may have trials in future yet to come,
    Stick to the Union lads, and never from it run.

    John Tamblyn now has shown that he can change his mind,
    And in the ranks of true men will not be left behind ;
    Twas a sad misunderstanding ‘twixt us and him indeed.
    But tbe motive was a pure one and not induced by greed.

    John Visick now has joined us, we’ll hononr him for it too,
    And show the world that we can still believe him
    And may those men who still may think that be did not act right.
    Bring forth their accusations into tbe broad day light.

    Our local member, David Bews, is with as we all know,
    And at the next election, we mast give him a show.
    And Mr France our Mayor has shown that in his heart,
    There lies a place for miners from saleyards kept apart.

    Most of Kadina public who depend on as for trade.
    No doubt will show their judgment and be honorary members made,
    We’ve shown them we are temperate, we’ve shown them we are strong,
    And let as trust for evermore with them we’ll get along.

    James Waters and Tom Bawden I’m sure our thanks have got,
    For the manner they have spoken and for our cause have fought.
    And when we’ve need of reason we have not far to go;
    While these two men are with ns and that I think we know.

    In little Mr Nieholls, our worthy leader here.
    We have a man who from wrong will ever steer,
    A man who always shows what manliness can do,
    May be never have a cause his line of thought to rue.

    Then stick to the Union lads, aye stick to it forever.
    Stick to it through thick and thin, tho’ other ties we sever;
    It stood by you, then stand by it, though suffering you may stand,
    And Kadina men as true men will be known throughout the land.


    June 11, 1889.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Redned | November 28, 2016, 7:14 pm
  8. Trish Corry there within you beats a true Labor heart
    Great articles Trish
    Ned don’t encourage them with poems there are box loads as you well know

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Pauline- nurses1968 | November 28, 2016, 7:44 pm
  9. dont both the ALP and LNP constript to capitalism fully and ignore real economics ..this to me makes them 2 sides of the same coin

    Liked by 2 people

    Posted by Lawrence Corry | January 29, 2017, 5:07 pm
    • No. There is a difference. The Libs support a free market and aim to keep all inputs into business as low as possible including Workers labour. The Libs do not believe in Govt intervention to create jobs. The Libs only provide semi support to a welfare. The Labor party supports a mixed market with Govt intervention and support a welfare state. That’s a big difference. If you are alluding to MMT I suggest you inbox James. He can explain what the MMT advocates don’t. Just remember there is political motivation as these people are involved in the “employment party”. Keep an open mind.


      Posted by trishcorry | January 29, 2017, 7:44 pm
  10. The MMT cultists seem to surface when they can find little else to bag the ALP about.
    I am over the “I support Labor BUT” and then the ALP tirade begins.
    I do note however some Left/progressive MMT cultists are on social media applauding Trump for his “the U.S. can’t default, because it prints money” statement.
    Maybe the MMT cult have a true believer in Trump?

    Liked by 2 people

    Posted by Pauline nurses1968 | January 31, 2017, 9:42 pm
  11. Trish, more and more I hear the term “Rusted on Labor voters. rusted ons, or Rusted on Labor” and from past experience, it seems to come from closet Greens. I have no problem being branded a “rusted on” and actually now accept it as a compliment as it shows I am totally opposed to LNP and as you know the only Party out there with the ability to dethrone the LNP is Labor. All the others are sideshow attractions and their leaks in preferences actually assist the LNP in staying in power.
    Rusted on Nurses 1968

    Liked by 2 people

    Posted by Pauline nurses1968 | February 1, 2017, 5:44 am
    • Yes that is so true. After watching Bill’s National press club address, I’m extremely glad to be a rusted on. Whether it is MMT or Nationalism, these populist leanings be they left or right, are nothing but tools to win votes. They only need a small amount to get some decent cash. Labor formed to stand up for the working class. The Liberals formed to stop the party of the worker. That in itself should make it easy to decide who people should vote for. Any party who sees Labor as the enemy stands with the collective that formed to stop the workers party being in power. That collective is now known as the Liberal National coalition.


      Posted by trishcorry | February 1, 2017, 6:41 am


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Trish Corry



I love to discuss Australian Politics. My key areas of interest are Welfare, Disadvantage, emotions in the workplace, organisational behaviour, stigma, leadership, women, unionism. I am pro-worker and anti-conservativism/Liberalism. You will find my blog posts written from a Laborist / Progressive Slant.

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