Saturday’s socialist speak out
Five Australians died in Afghanistan the other day. It is time to bring the troops home now. Why wait till 2014? Nothing will have changed. If we cut and run now rather than in 2014 we will save Afghan and Australian lives.
These soldiers are dying for the ANZUS insurance policy.
We invade and occupy their country for over a decade, kill their kids and impose a puppet regime of warlords and drug thugs on them. Why on earth would they want to kill us?
Compare all the news and analsyis for these 5 deaths compared to the five building workers killed on site around Australia in the last month or so, and the campaign Governments of all persuasion are leading to make all building sites safe. You know, like sending the police in to enforce safety on site, prosecuting building companies for deaths on site, jailing directors.
No, I haven’t noticed it either. What I have noticed is a thousand cops in Melbourne stopping a union whose only crime is to want union representatives on site to enforce safety standards.
But that would cut into profit wouldn’t it? So Labor and Liberal politicians fall in behind those who profit from unsafe work sites.
Don’t believe me? Why then according the building company Leighton Holdings are deaths on site in Australia about twice the level of those in the UK? Could it be because in the UK they have building safety standards which are enforced?
That is what the dispute at Grocon is about – the union enforcing safety standards. Letting building companies do that is putting Dracula in charge of the building workers’ blood bank, a blood bank renewed daily from injured and dead building workers.
Building workers should remember that during the Waterside workers’ dispute in 1998 the Maritime Union won in the Courts, but the workers lost on the ports.
The bosses’ law won’t win this dispute for building workers – not that any Court is likely anyway to rule in favour of them. Workers’ strength lies in their ability to withhold their labour and stop the flow of profits to Grocon and others.
That’s why talk of a Victoria wide building industry strike is heartening. Unlike ‘big’ Bill Shorten who talks about the rule of law – the same rule of law that condemns a building worker to death every week – a strike across all of Victoria will send the bosses a very clear message.
If the bosses want the profits to keep flowing, then make building sites safer. Let union representatives enforce heath and safety standards on Grocon building sites. And drop all civil action against the unions, and any Fair Work action, fines and threats of jail too.
Let the bosses have their laws. We have our law. Without us you bosses don’t make any profits.
We will hear about the latest fatal shooting in the US. Will we hear about the fifty workers who die on Australian building sites each year? No.
In other news, the Gillard government has announced a new you beaut dental health care scheme. But, but, but…It looks like spin to me.
The Government has abolished the present Medicare chronic disease dental scheme with effect from November. That saves it almost $1 billion a year. One part of the new scheme starts in January 2014 (13 months later) and the other in July 2014 (19 months later) so the savings will be over $1 billion, less the one off $345 million carry over funding.
I understand the cost of the new scheme is $4 billion over the forward estimates, ie $1 billion a year, almost exactly what is being saved by abolishing the crisis scheme. Am I missing something?
It looks to me like Labor and the Greens are robbing Peter to pay Paul.
In Israel, an Israeli Court found that Rachel Corrie deserved to be killed for standing in the way of a bulldozer continuing the Zionist genocide of the Palestinian people.
In South Africa the economic apartheid state killed 34 mine workers fighting for better wages against the company, Lonmin and the ANC Government and its union allies COSATU, the National Union of Miners and the South African Communist Party.
Now the State (the ANC in cahoots with Lonmin and presumably their union arms and Stalinist hangers on) has charged the 270 miners who survived the Marikana massacre with the murder of their colleagues.
The reality is the miners were massacred by the police. The ANC Government is using an old law apartheid used to repress dissent – common purpose – under which to charge them.
The situation for most blacks has not improved at all under the ANC. The political struggle against apartheid got rid of the rotten regime but because it didn’t challenge the very structures of South African capitalism with a new democratic society in which production was organised to satisfy human need, the end result has been economic apartheid continues unabated. A few blacks and others have joined the white capitalists at their table and are gouging themselves while their people get crumbs.
A workers’ revolution in South Africa is the only way for the mass of people there to liberate themselves. That is true too of Tunisia where strikes have broken out demanding the revolution continue, demanding freedom and food, justice and jobs.
The revolution against Assad continues and all the while the imperialist powers jockey for influence.
Julian Assange remains in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, resisting extradition to Sweden to face questioning about rape allegations. Nothing is stopping the Swedish Government committing itself to not extraditing Assange to the US, and nothing prevents the US from announcing to the world it will not seek Assange’s extradition to the US.
Nothing prevents Sweden interviewing Assange in London.
Except that the US will seek Assange’s extradition if he goes to Sweden, and he will be imprisoned like Bradley Manning for years without trial, in manacles, for the crime of revealing America’s crimes. He could face the death penalty.
The Gillard government has done nothing to defend Australian citizen Julian Assange.
This is the same Labor government whose pacific Solution is in tatters already because the number of asylum seekers arriving by boat is and will be greater than either Nauru or Manus Island can cope with.
And still the refugees come and risk drowning and indefinite detention because that is better than Indonesia or Malaysia. The solution is to fly or ship asylum seekers from indonesia to Australia and process them quickly here while they are in community care.
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