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Some historical insight into Royal Commissions
05-01-2018, 05:05 PM
Post: #1
Some historical insight into Royal Commissions
We're all old enough to remember the Costigan RC, aren't we?

Here is a reminder

Quote:Aside from the usual motivations of political partisanship, it would appear the Coalition has, ironically, learned the lessons of history and sought to put them into practice. This attempt, unsuccessful though it may have been, nonetheless reveals something important about the impact of historical memory.

In the present context, it is often — and suggestively — recalled that Malcolm Turnbull was once a merchant banker. However, what is less frequently recalled is that Turnbull was also once a lawyer — specifically, the lawyer for Australia's then richest individual, Kerry Packer.

It was in this capacity that Turnbull called for the Costigan Royal Commission to be shut down. The Costigan commission, which began life investigating criminality within the Ship Painters and Dockers Union, ended up exposing criminality within corporate Australia's boardrooms.

This exposure demonstrated not only that corruption was endemic within the corporate sector, but that this corruption often arose out of the links between criminally-minded business people and criminally-minded union officials.

The historical lesson of the Costigan commission is this: corruption within the union movement does not occur in a vacuum — it occurs within the context of, and often in partnership with, corruption in the corporate sector.

Tellingly, Turnbull's call for the Costigan inquiry to be shut down occurred, not while it was exposing the criminal activities of the SPDU, but once it started asking awkward questions about what was going on in the big end of town. Turnbull was no doubt acting under instruction from his client; but the historical lesson of the inquiry would nonetheless have remained with him once he entered politics.

The narrow, union-focused terms of the Heydon Royal Commission can be put down to former prime minister Tony Abbott's ideological determination to destroy unions as a feature of Australia's economic landscape.

But the fact that the resistance to a commission of inquiry into the finance industry has been so marked under Turnbull's watch as PM is undoubtedly a product of the historical memory shared by Turnbull and many of his Coalition colleagues: recalling what Costigan exposed about the corporate sector, the last thing they wanted was another royal commission doing just the same.

There is no suggestion that Turnbull — or anyone else — is seeking to protect corrupt individuals. Rather, what the present situation demonstrates is the capacity for historical memory to facilitate partisan politics and thereby distort public policy.

There is more to read here for anyone interested : https://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=55282
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05-01-2018, 05:51 PM
Post: #2
RE: Some historical insight into Royal Commissions
I still harbour doubts about the Costigan enquiry. Cool

Tailoring the world economy around the climate cult's demands is akin to demolishing your house to avoid the risk of it catching fire one day.
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05-01-2018, 08:18 PM
Post: #3
RE: Some historical insight into Royal Commissions
I remember the 'goanna' . He was the drug kingpin or sumpin wasn't he?
What happened about that?
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05-01-2018, 08:19 PM
Post: #4
RE: Some historical insight into Royal Commissions
(05-01-2018 08:18 PM)maxhr54 Wrote:  I remember the 'goanna' . He was the drug kingpin or sumpin wasn't he?
What happened about that?

Kerry Packer was supposed to be the 'goanna', AFAICR.

Tailoring the world economy around the climate cult's demands is akin to demolishing your house to avoid the risk of it catching fire one day.
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05-01-2018, 09:42 PM
Post: #5
RE: Some historical insight into Royal Commissions
Costigan is a long way back and didn't accomplish much other than to endear Kezza Packer to me more than ever.
But, it was a pointer to the way things were going that wasn't heeded.

Quote:This exposure demonstrated not only that corruption was endemic within the corporate sector, but that this corruption often arose out of the links between criminally-minded business people and criminally-minded union officials.

The historical lesson of the Costigan commission is this: corruption within the union movement does not occur in a vacuum — it occurs within the context of, and often in partnership with, corruption in the corporate sector.

The highlighted statement is one that needs to be learned by those who argue politics along ideological divides.

There are no divides in how society actually works other than in the minds of those not doing very well at it.

There are divides in outcomes but not in the way civilization operates. Each part is dependent upon another and to argue the toss over who is 'big end' and who is 'working poor' addresses the result of the operation, or 'system of government' not the way the operation works.

The arguments rotating around how to better balance the way it operates are okay, but that's not what most of the forum fights are about.

People take a stance on one side or other and argue that theirs is 'best' when really neither can exist without the other.

I'm pretty far from being a Socialist/Commo but I can see that the current speeding up of corporate 'arrogance' for want of better word lies in the weakness of the unions.

They are not new, unions in some form have been around a long time but they were very exclusively trade/artisan focused e.g. the Stone Masons which are still going.
The serfs had to make their own arrangements, so there is certainly a place for unions, but as they were decades ago, not as they are now.
They been hijacked from the workers and now represent their own managers.

The corruption in the unions was the last barrier to corporate greed's expansion so both sides are dripping the same mud. Let's not pretend that one smells better than the other.

What the unions are supposed to be is not what they actually are. The unions have become the very people they were formed to protect the workers from.

Until they can clear out every thug and standover man and slush fund magician in their ranks then they will never regain either the faith, nor the membership of the workers they betrayed.

McMannus seems to have an inkling of how to start the rebuilding process. Her style of earnestness rings of how the best of the union negotiators used to be before it got more about showbiz and personalities, starting with the 'Greenbans' and dams protests era.
That was when unions stepped beyond protecting workers and supporting the Labor Party to be their political arm, and made themselves a part of the political process. It all went to hell from there and turned from being an advocacy into an extortion racket.

People, Labor voters in particular, seem to forget that it was Bob Hawke who launched the first barb into the unions.
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/hawke-cabine...-on-pilots

Hawkey got away with it 'cos Hawwwwwkey, and Labor fighting the unions was taken better than had it been a Coalition government doing it.

Howard's blow against them in the Patrick's waterfront dispute would never have succeeded a decade earlier. The Waterside Workers Union/s were rotten to the core long before then but the union movement overall was still held in high regard.

Not so by Howard's time. He wasn't wrong to stymie them, but the pity of it was that they deserved it.
Ad by then many more workers, including me, were becoming all too well aware of just how rotten and amenable to kick backs their union reps were getting.

By the time that the more recent RC into the unions was called it was evident just how symbiotic that "both ends of town" had become. Corrupt union officials facilitated the boom in building developments which boosted the bank accounts of the corporates and around it revolved, each playing their part in the 'game'.

And I won't bother to extol the virtues of those who run businesses to employ others, nobody seems to appreciate that not all of them are crooks and vultures, but enough are to sully the whole name of 'business'.

The 7/11 type predators who were underpaying and then taking more back as 'fees' could never have gotten away with it if the unions were still relevant.
But there's more to the mix than just the unions and corporates, I'll get to that if I can ramble long enough.

The fact remains that while we argue over whether the Liberal Leader in a harbourside mansion is better or worse than the Labor Leaders also living in harbourside mansions (Hawke and Keating) remember that both are supported by corrupt donors with basically the same aims. Profit. ... I'll just pause here to hum a mantra to Mammon .. there, that's better.

We've pretty much reached an impasse on politics, while the policies seem to be poles apart both (all) the sides are basically dependent on the same donors.

Every facet of civilization has it's scope for corruption and Royal Commissions only lift the rocks of what we should be well aware lurks beneath them.

But if we're playing Royal Commission games my pick would be one into the Health industry. Why is it a sacred cow?

If ever there was fat juicy supply of public money to feed on that would be best of them.
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05-02-2018, 11:49 AM (This post was last modified: 05-02-2018 11:50 AM by Warri the Wombat.)
Post: #6
RE: Some historical insight into Royal Commissions
Well said, Di. Since I don't have a lot of time right now I will just stick to this one statement.

Quote:I'm pretty far from being a Socialist/Commo but I can see that the current speeding up of corporate 'arrogance' for want of better word lies in the weakness of the unions.

The weakness of the unions is fundamentally down to the laziness of the members and the non members. Most of the non members are not joining because they don't want to pay the dues. They prefer to take the benefits without the pain. Some that do join are much the same. They don't attend meetings or vote on motions. They don't stand for office as local representatives or secretaries, or even read the newsletters. If a strike is called, they get huffy about the decision and refuse to join in. If they do take a day off work, they go shopping rather than attend a rally or a march. The idea of solidarity forever is as dead as the dodo.

The concept of unionism has been blighted in today's "everyone for himself" value system. This, more than anything else has killed its spirit.
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05-02-2018, 01:21 PM
Post: #7
RE: Some historical insight into Royal Commissions
I remember back in the day the beer strikes every Xmas. Bastards!
Train strikes, bus strikes, wharfies strikes, garbo strikes. fukn maggotts.
No wonder no wants to join .
We were on our way to being the poor white trash of Asia with the dollar worth less than 50 cents back in 2000.
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05-02-2018, 02:05 PM
Post: #8
RE: Some historical insight into Royal Commissions
....you forgot to include petrol tanker drivers strikes.
Empty petrol station tanks with motorist queues stretching down the road.... for a limit of five bucks worth of fuel.
Doesn't happen anymore !...
Why ?
'cos we don't have any refineries left in Oz.
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05-02-2018, 02:06 PM
Post: #9
RE: Some historical insight into Royal Commissions
True dat Max, remember it well.

Quote:The idea of solidarity forever is as dead as the dodo.

The concept of unionism has been blighted in today's "everyone for himself" value system. This, more than anything else has killed its spirit.

There is a layer to that statement that you're ignoring Warrie.
The reason for the apathy.

In my granddad's day there wasn't a miner in the town who didn't know every detail of exactly what was going on, none who didn't turn up to a meeting. They were 100% union backers. So what changed?

The union leaders did. They lost the trust of the members by their dealings and lies and betrayals over the years.
They stopped being highly respected fighters for workers rights and turned into Bill Shorten.

Who would maintain the faith in his kind of "Union Leadership"?

Any more questions? Cool
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05-02-2018, 03:10 PM
Post: #10
RE: Some historical insight into Royal Commissions
(05-02-2018 02:05 PM)terra Wrote:  ....you forgot to include petrol tanker drivers strikes.
Empty petrol station tanks with motorist queues stretching down the road.... for a limit of five bucks worth of fuel.
Doesn't happen anymore !...
Why ?
'cos we don't have any refineries left in Oz.

... and the ETU here in QLD holding everyone to ransom with power blackouts; Joh fixed that, like Reagan did the air traffic controllers and Hawke the pilots.

Tailoring the world economy around the climate cult's demands is akin to demolishing your house to avoid the risk of it catching fire one day.
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