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Keep socialist blog En Passant going - donate now
If you want to keep a blog that makes the arguments every day against the ravages of capitalism going and keeps alive the flame of democracy and community, make a donation to help cover my costs. And of course keep reading the blog. To donate click here. Keep socialist blog En Passant going. More... (4)

Sprouting sh*t for almost nothing
You can prove my 2 ex-comrades wrong by donating to my blog En Passant at BSB: 062914 Account: 1067 5257, the Commonwealth Bank in Tuggeranong, ACT. More... (12)

My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/18-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-g20-meeting-age-of-enttilement-engineers-attack-of-austerity-hardship-on-civilians.mp3 (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2014/02/11/john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-2/ (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/4-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-end-of-the-age-of-entitlement-for-the-needy-but-pandering-to-the-lusts-of-the-greedy.mp3 (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole
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Sick kids and paying upfront

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Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2013/12/03/john-passant-australian-national-university-8/ (0)

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In defence of the CFMEU

This is a letter I have just sent to the Canberra Times in response to two items they ran. John Nikolic is the in-house legal counsel for the Master Builders Association of the ACT.

John

John Nikolic’s self serving article linking the CFMEU to increased workplace accidents is wrong. (‘The safety myth that is propagated by the CFMEU’ The Canberra Times Comment, Thursday October 1, page 5). Nikolic relies on a Master Builders Association survey of its own members and ‘anecdotal evidence’. These are hardly independent or unbiased.

Independent analysis in other countries shows that unionised worksites have fewer deaths and serious injuries than non-union sites. In Australia workplace deaths on building sites increased after the introduction of the Australian Building and Construction Commission. The reason is pretty simple. The ABCC hamstrung the CFMEU in its ability to campaign for and police in any effective way safety on site.

Nikolic claims there is no silver bullet on safety. I disagree. Put the building unions in complete control of safety on building sites. Removing safety from the grasp of the greedy and rapacious building companies, companies whose only interest is profit, and giving it to the building unions, the one group that have workers’ safety as their major concern, would be a step forward in reducing deaths and serious accident on site.

The real agenda of the MBA becomes clear in light of the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions to drop blackmail charges against CFMEU organiser John Lomax. (‘Lomax blackmail charge dropped’ The Canberra Times, Friday October 2, page 1.) Those political charges arose as a consequence of the thoroughly discredited Royal Commission witch hunt in trade unions.

The CFMEU is a major target of that witch hunt precisely because it is one of the few unions left in Australia today that actually stands up for and fights for its members. The MBA’s safety smear campaign and the clearly anti-union and political nature of the charges against Lomax show that the building industry bosses and their state apparatchiks will stop at nothing in their quest to put profit before people.

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Comments

Comment from Chris Warren
Time October 3, 2015 at 9:11 am

The Lomax affair also points to the politicisation of the AFP if only as the cats-paw for the forces behind the Royal Commission.

Is it normal to arrest everyone accused of blackmail or do you seek to interview them first?

Is it normal to arrest everyone accused of blackmail or are they usually proceeded against by summons?

The AFP attack on Lomax appears to have exceeded whatever legitimate powers of arrest the AFP actually have.