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John Passant

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December 2015



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (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. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (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

Sick kids and paying upfront


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. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Police on building sites

CFMEU organiser John Lomax after the blackmail charges against him were dropped.

The question of the overzealous policing of unions on building sites is important (Ewin Hannan, Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker, ‘Burch defends meeting with police to discuss union worksite concerns’ The Canberra Times Tuesday 15 December, page 1.)

The CFMEU raised these concerns in April. Since then we have had not just Australian Federal Police over-zealousness but political policing with their outrageous blackmail charges against CFMEU organiser John Lomax for doing his job and winning a pay rise for members. Couple this with the invalid search warrant action in the political raid on the CFMEU headquarters , using the riot squad to prevent union officials from lawfully monitoring the raid, and the real question must be not just about over-zealousness but about the AFP abuse of the criminal processes for political purposes.

This is about destroying the CFMEU as a union because it stands up for its members for better wages and for safety on building sites. The fact the AFP is doing the Liberal governments’ dirty work should surprise no one since their main role is to protect the rich and powerful and their property and profits.

The police priority stands in stark contrast to the reality of unsafe work places including building sites. According to Safework Australia: ‘As at 1 December 2015, 173 Australian workers have been killed while at work.’ Twenty six of these were on building sites. Not one company director or senior manager has been charged with any criminal offence as a consequence of these deaths. Not one.

Unions like the CFMEU fight for better safety on building sites. Recently two of their leaders were charged with blackmail for doing just that. This is another example of the anti-working class and anti-union politicisation of the police and a dangerous precedent which if successful threatens every union leader with jail for the ‘crime’ of union organising.

How then can we improve safety on building sites? Give the CFMEU and other building unions the power to police safety standards. Police could also prosecute company directors for deaths and serious injuries at work instead of conducting political with hunts against unions. Deaths and serious injuries would fall.

This of course won’t happen because we live in a society which puts profit before people, which prioritises loot over lives.


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Comment from Mike
Time December 15, 2015 at 6:15 pm

If the CFMEU and other building unions are given the power to police safety standards, shouldn’t the unions then be charged if there is a workplace death?

Comment from John
Time December 15, 2015 at 7:23 pm

You mean like mining unions in NSW? The answer is no because deagths and serious injuries will fall and second because it is unions working to impose safety standards on the bosses. Those bosses shouldn’t be let off the hook if their attempts to avoid their safety requirements are what causes the deaths or serious injuries. But maybe we could extend your logic. Perhaps we should make police liable for any crimes that occur since they are clearly failing in their duties to protect ‘us.’

Comment from Lorikeet
Time December 17, 2015 at 3:28 pm

John, I was wondering if you could give me this quote again about how the parameters of discussion are limited and then vigorous debate is allowed.

I saw this quote on your blog, and am trying to explain to other people how it works.

Comment from John
Time December 17, 2015 at 4:28 pm

I have posted a meme with him saying it in a number of articles. Here is a link to one such article. The meme and quote is at the bottom of the article.

Pingback from Police on building sites – WRITTEN BY JOHN PASSANT | winstonclose
Time December 18, 2015 at 11:52 am

[…] Posted by John, December 15th, 2015 – under CFMEU, Australian Federal Police. Comments: 4 […]

Comment from Lorikeet
Time December 21, 2015 at 10:10 am

Thanks, John. The people are definitely waking up to the folly of voting for the major parties. The hip pocket nerve is very sensitive.

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