Wednesday 31 March 2021

Worker’s Mail (Updated)

Resistance Hero [A]
During the four Trump years, nothing beyond getting rid of the Pussy-Grabber in Chief mattered. So gazillionaire Jeff Bezos, owner of openly anti-Trump The Washington Post, became a hero of the identitarian Leftist Resistance (Ed B, that’s you, among others).

Conclusive proof that capitalists – especially the really filthy rich ones – are really top blokes/sheilas and a force for progress, the guy could do no wrong.

Now US President Joe Biden – the main beneficiary of Bezos’ journalism – seems to be repaying Bezos’ support … supporting the unionisation drive in the Amazon Bessemer warehouse (in Sweet Home Alabama). Strange, uh?

Tuesday 23 March 2021

Wednesday 17 March 2021

BREAKING NEWS: Gutted IR Omnibus Bill Passes in Senate.


A heavily amended IR Relations Bill just passed in the Senate, 35 votes (COALition, One Nation and Centre Alliance) to 33 (Labor, the Greens, Rex Patrick and Jacqui Lambie).

The Bill (minus the scrapping of the BOOT, which had been withdrawn earlier) still contained a number of measures intended to screw workers. As a sweetener, the COALition had included watered-down provisions to criminalise wage-theft … with a sting in the tail: if this was passed at Commonwealth level it would have superseded stronger state legislation already in application in QLD and VIC.

Faced with opposition to most of their measures (of all the anti-worker measures included, only the so-called anti-double-dipping provision was passed) the COALition decided to vote against their own sweetener (see above)!! So the COALition is giving green light to wage theft. Call me misogynistic as much as you like (I am looking at you both, Albo and Laura Tingle), but Michaelia Cash (acting Minister for Industrial Relations in charge of the Bill) is a mean, terrible, petty creature.

Senator Griff Stirling (Centre Alliance), who had called that “shameful and spiteful”, still voted for the Bill. Aussie pollies are something, uh?


Because of all the amendments, the Bill will have to go back to the Lower House. I don’t know how Rebekha Sharkie, MP for Centre Alliance, will vote now, as she, unlike her colleague Stirling, had voted against the Bill.

A visibly upset Josh Frydenberg, in interview with Patricia Karvelas, threatens to double down on the bright idea of extra-long greenfields enterprise bargaining agreements without bargaining and without agreement.

You have to hand the COALition this: they really know what they stand for. As long as workers have a drop of blood in their veins, they will keep sucking.



ACTU President Michele O’Neil and ACTU Secretary Sally McManus
address the media in Canberra (credit: ACTU)

Australian workers, like myself, are indebted to those whose efforts made this result, however qualified, possible. On my own behalf (although I am sure many others would agree) my sincere thanks to comrades Michele O’Neil and Sally McManus and all the folks at ACTU and all the unions who contributed to this.

Join your union. There is strength in union.

Monday 15 March 2021

Matt Taibbi or the Boy who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest.

Last month Matt Taibbi (author, journalist, and podcaster) sent the hornets into a fit of fury with “Marcuse-Anon: Cult of The Pseudo-Intellectual” an angry piece on Herbert Marcuse, a (or the) sacred cow of the identitarian Left.

And no one was more evidently furious than Jonathan Feldman (docent at the Department of Economic History, Stockholm University), who replied with “Matt Taibbi, Herbert Marcuse and the Journalistic Appropriation of Philosophy”.

Although I sympathise with Taibbi (yes, I ain’t no fan of Marcuse and I’m even less favorably disposed to educated, relatively affluent, upwardly mobile identitarian Leftists – which Feldman seems to champion) I am sorry to say neither side covered itself in glory in this brouhaha.

By coincidence, however, current Australian affairs offer a good opportunity to illustrate where Marcuse has valuable things to say and to start my comment on that controversy.

Sunday 14 March 2021

IR Omnibus Bill goes to the Senate.

Unless something unexpected happens, the IR Omnibus Bill should be discussed in the Senate this week. This is the official ACTU ad explaining why the Bill should be stopped. 

There are good reasons to expect the bill will not be passed, at least in its current form (see here) and, indeed, the crossbench has already proposed a number of amendments to the bill.

This optimism, however, must be qualified. Amendments are a double-edged sword: parliamentarians frequently trade their vote for some concession for their constituencies -- so-called "horse trading". That way they get the bill passed, while pretending that they did their best to defeat it (only succeeding in improving it).

Ideally, therefore, the bill should be defeated outright. Readers can also send the senators an email

Tuesday 9 March 2021

Beware of Duttons Bearing Gifts.


Last week ABC reported on federal Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton’s intention to officially declare the neo-Nazi Sonnenkrieg Division a terrorist organisation. Currently, the official list of terrorist organisations contains 27 groups, all of them apparently fundamentalist Islamic in ideological orientation.