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.