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Different strokes for different folks – our non-egalitarian society

In his interim report into the banking Royal Commission, Commissioner Hayne pointed out that “Over the 10 years to 1 June 2018, ASIC’s infringement notices to the major banks have amounted to less than $1.3 million.”

Meanwhile, the other “tough cop on the beat”, the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), has imposed fines totalling over $15 million against the CFMEU since 2005, with around 80 officials still facing courts on some 44 matters.

In one case alone in September last year, the CFMEU were fined a record $2.4 million over an “unlawful blockade” at Lendlease’s Barangaroo site.  This ruling is currently under appeal.

In June, the CFMEU and an official were fined $51,300 for abusing and threatening construction workers on the Gorgon LNG project in Western Australia.  The ABCC took legal action against the union and official Brad Upton after a 2015 incident during which he abused workers for not being members of the union, calling them “f—–g dog c—s”.

“This is a f—–g union site, we have other union sites starting up next year and if you’re not in the union, you can f–k off too, you are not welcome.”

Federal Court of Australia Justice Michael Barker said the official’s behaviour and conduct at the meeting of employees on December 2015 was “appalling”.

“The language used was intended to intimidate employees into accepting that they must be
union members if they wanted work,” he said.  “It is common, it seems, for some members of unions to believe that any manner of foul language or intimidatory conduct is par for the course at a union meeting.”

Yet the intimidation used by some Liberal Party bovver boys during the recent leadership spill, threatening pre-selections and refusing to leave colleagues’ offices unless they signed a petition calling for a spill, is apparently just the nature of politics.

When the mayor of Katherine went to see Greg Hunt regarding contamination from fire-fighting foam in her region, he launched an expletive-ridden attack on her.

“He relocated his chair, pointing towards me and said ‘you need to fucking get over it, you need to fucking make Senator Scullion your best friend’,” Ms Miller said.

Ms Miller told ABC radio the next two sentences also contained the F-word.  “And then he sat back a little in his chair and said, ‘I’ve heard you’re feisty’,” she said.

When questioned by Labor, Hunt admitted he also had a “strong discussion” with the former secretary of his department, that had triggered a complaint to the secretary of the prime minister’s department.

Even the urbane Malcolm Turnbull is reported to have launched into then PM Tony Abbott on a flight home from The Australian newspaper’s 50th birthday party in 2014, calling Abbott a “disloyal c***”.

“It was Malcolm in full flight. Angry, bitter, (saying) you’re fucking hopeless, you’re a fucking cunt, you should resign. He got quite close to his face,” said one source who witnessed the tirade.

Then there was the time when the hapless Peter Dutton mistakenly sent a text to Samantha Maiden describing her as “a mad fucking witch” for having written about the sexual harassment allegations against Jamie Briggs who had then circulated photographs of his accuser.

Bad language from politicians is “strong discussion”. But if a construction union official swears, they will find themselves in court facing hefty fines.

Bullying and intimidation are a normal part of the “robust” rough and tumble of politics, a profession not suited to “snowflakes”.  But any insistence that construction workers show solidarity with union members is illegal thuggery.

Banks are forgiven for appalling behaviour which has destroyed people’s lives just by promising they won’t do it again.  But a union official who entered a construction site with an out-of-date right of entry permit was dragged before the courts and fined $74,000.

In response to Scott Morrison’s threat to de-register the CFMEU because of a tweet by one individual (which was quickly taken down and apologised for), Dave Noonan pointed out the inconsistencies.

“It’s disappointing but not surprising that a broken and divided Government is resurrecting the CFMEU bogeyman in an attempt to frighten voters.  It is in stark contrast to the green light Scott Morrison has given the banks, who we now know have criminally ripped off their own customers to the tune of $1 billion and counting.

Scott Morrison has nothing to say about the criminal behaviour of the banks. He has nothing to say about real problems like stagnant wages, sham contracting, or the death toll in the construction industry.  And now he wants to leave construction workers with no representation.”

And they pretend we have an egalitarian society.

 

 


16 comments

  1. New England Cocky

    “Scott Morrison has nothing to say about the criminal behaviour of the banks. He has nothing to say about real problems like stagnant wages, sham contracting, or the death toll in the construction industry. And now he wants to leave construction workers with no representation.”

    And they pretend we have an egalitarian society.”

    I predict that sadly, there will be no criminal charges against any bank official, especially senior managers responsible for implementing the disastrous policies that created the 2009 GFC.

    I mean, what is the use of a private school education, paid for mainly by the academically superior state school system, if you cannot rely upon the good ole boys network to protect you when your greed and corruption is flagrantly displayed for all to see.

  2. SteveFitz

    The Liberal Party, and the corporates they represent, must have a real laugh as they brain wash the masses and treat the electorate they feed off, with total and utter contempt. The Liberal Party have backed themselves into a corner and they are throwing everything they can at us in the lead up to the next election.

    That would include: Playing the religious card – vote Liberal or burn in hell. Climate change is a hoax – we love our coal. Ripping us off makes the banks so much stronger. National one-sided censorship is less confusing for people. Casualising the workforce gives everyone a job. All Labour leaders are stupid and, the old faithful: Fear the unions or, fear of the workforce and fear working families. Kaye Lee, thanks for the eye opener.

  3. Diannaart

    NEC

    Apart from an entry into the Old boys(mostly) network, private school offers an ideology based around Entitlement and the means to use Christianity as both a defence and weapon.

  4. Kaye Lee

    I should add that when the Federal Court found that the head of the ABCC had contravened the Fair Work Act by instructing staff not to publish legal changes to right-of-entry rules for unions, he was fined $8,500 and we paid for his legal bill.

    Justice Collier said Mr Hadgkiss’ conduct exhibited “a degree of carelessness and, indeed, somewhat arrogant ignorance in respect of the truth of information concerning the right of entry of industry participants in an often charged industrial environment”. Mr Hadgkiss’ conduct was “at the higher end of the scale of seriousness” in terms of breaching section 503 of the Fair Work Act, she said.

    Compare the fines……

    I should also add that when the Liberal Party shut down parliament to hold their own stop-work meeting, there was no talk of fines.

  5. Zathras

    Christianity is not used so much as a defence or a weapon by the Reich Wing but as a convenient excuse to justify anything they want to implement or attack. It also empowers them with an unflappable feeling of self-righteousness.

    I’m betting that, like post-GFC, nobody in the Financial Sector will end up serving prison time as a result of the Banking Royal Commission or individually pursued by the media like errant Union leaders.

    Perhaps one day, workers will notice a link between the decline in Unionism and the subsequent stagnation of wages and working conditions.

  6. David Bruce

    I guess the electorate is the only Authority which can penalize and punish the LNP. Unfortunately, the electorate is managed by the media, and Murdoch distributes the scripts from the City Of London, the Vatican and Washington DC.

  7. David Bruce

    Perhaps a Royal Commission into the regulations, operations and funding of political parties maybe the next step. The fallout from the banking Royal Commission should include funding and donations to political parties by the banking and financial services sector? Trump went after the Clinton Foundation donors in Saudi Arabia and effectively cut off their money supply.

  8. David Evans

    Simple really. murdoch and his muppets in “government” hate Unions, all Unions. Remember Wapping? murdoch virtually killed the English trade Unions. and he, the ipa and morosames muppets are desperately trying to regain the lost cred’s, and support from the last few years of COALition fiasco. “Bring It On”, you tried and failed, now just p… off into oblivion. It really is a disgrace the way this once great country has failed recently.

  9. king1394

    Goodness, swearing on a building site? Those gently-nurtured construction workers probably went home in tears.

  10. Kronomex

    On a side note: Strange that Rupert’s rags are the only papers to make mention of this –

    https://www.news.com.au/finance/work/leaders/the-white-house-all-but-clears-supreme-court-nominee-brett-kavanaugh-after-fbi-briefing/news-story/717a67973ecad7d3e2db46c6d92df093

    Then you read the article that Murdoch’s bullshit (shades of “Bush Wins. Bush Wins” from many years ago) borrows from –

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/white-house-finds-no-corroboration-of-sexual-misconduct-allegations-against-kavanaugh-in-fbi-report-1538625927?mod=trending_now_1

    And, gosh, wow, and gee whiz, it suddenly reads that the White House has decided that Kavanaugh is innocent.

  11. ChristopherJ

    thank you Kaye, at least we got a RC, even if it will now hand out the wet lettuce. And, the LNP have seriously damaged themselves, so we get to have a breather, until we realise that the other guys, aren’t much different.

    Come on everyone, it’s always been like this, just getting a bit extreme of late, to the point where we are thinking of going, we just don’t know where…

  12. Pete Petrass

    Same thing when a politician has an indiscretion of some sort and they want to hound them to the ends of the earth and exact maximum punishment and publicity. However, should a Lieberal politician have a similar or even worse indiscretion it is nothing to see here, it was an oversight, it was Labor’s fault, a fake news witch hunt, blah, blah, blah. Minister Cash anyone?

  13. Kaye Lee

    Pete and Kronomex,

    Compare how Sam Dastyari was treated to how Stuart Robert has been treated for arguably much greater and persistent transgressions. How dare he charge us over $2000 a month for his home internet connection!

  14. Kronomex

    Kaye Lee, the difference is that Sam is LABOR and they are enemas…oops, enemies of the gold pedestal sitters and born to ruin…damn it…rule party and their puppet masters The Rupert and corporations. Excuse me, I have teach a cat to fly, she won’t stop banging on my bedroom door.

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