Monthly Archives: November 2009


From: Samuel Watson Sent: Saturday, 21 November 2009 6:43 AM URGENT NOTICE FOR  ON WEDNESDAY THE 25TH. OF NOVEMBER TO START AT 7 PM SHARP – NO MURRI TIME,  7 PM SHARP !!! Brisbane City Hall There has been a … Continue reading


“There must be some way out of here,” Said the aboriginal elder to the thief, “There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief. Rich men, they drink my wine, miners take my earth, None of them along the line … Continue reading


Many Ships to Mt Isa — an autobiography of Pat Mackie

This gallery contains 1 photos.

by Greg Mallory He (Pat Mackie) sees his own needs very simply, voices them fearlessly and becomes a phenomenally effective workers’ spokesman and trade union organiser, a power to be reckoned with in the industrial world. His strength lies in … Continue reading

Vale Pat Mackie

I have just read in the morning paper that Pat Mackie has died at the age of 95.

Pat Mackie carries a chair down the aisle of a mass meeting of workers during the Mt Isa Mines Dispute. Pat had snuck through a police cordon around the town in order to attend the union meeting. Miners stood and applauded when they saw Pat arrive.

Pat was a great wobbly and to pay tribute to Pat Mackie’s life I have found this story ‘Red Cap’ about Pat written by Lachlan Hurse. It was previously posted on WBT in 2007.

I remember the Mt Isa Mines dispute and the effect it had on Queensland at the time. It must count as a watershed workers struggle In Queensland along with the 1912 General Strike, 1948 Railway Strike, the 1954 Wharfies Strike, the 1957 Palm Island wages strike, the early 1970s Miners Strikes and the 1985 SEQEB dispute — all uniquely Queensland workers struggles.

As a boy I knew of Pat Mackie and heard of the role he played in the dispute. Any school kid who read their Social Studies textbook knew the significance of My Isa to the Australian economy. Copper, lead, zinc mining was exploited by Mt Isa Mines Pty Ltd (MIM). MIM has disclosed large profits and a market value of £230 million (worth billions of $ today) and was more than 50% foreigned owned by the Guggenheim group of the USA. Continue reading


The world’s largest mining company  – BHP Billiton – will be having its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Brisbane on  November 26 (Thurs). Traditional Owners from South Autstralia, Colombia – and people from other affected areas – will be gathering … Continue reading

How a union survives

“There are plenty of examples of socialists who are not Marxists; but to be a Marxist, you have to be a socialist” — H. McQueen


Introduction by Humphrey McQueen

1991 Victorian Branch Report [Builders Labourers Federation] by John Cummins





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Capital refined

by Humphrey McQueen

Developing policies in the interests of working people calls for the precision about our enemy that Marx offered throughout Capital. For Marx, the practice of science required penetrating beyond appearances to specify the structured dynamics in the accumulation of capital. His critique isolated the forms and stages through which capital expands.

This sequence on ‘Capital refined’ introduces most of the distinctions that Marx drew. The material will be split into eight items:

1. capital-in-general and capital-within-capitalism;

2. individual capitals and their aggregation;

3. individual, aggregate and social;

4. competitive, yet monopolising, and 4a. Lenin’s Imperialism;

5. money-capital, production-capital, and commodity-capital;

5a. lessons from their different mobilities;

6. variable and constant;

7. fixed and fluid;

8. production and productive. Continue reading

A ‘two-state solution’ to the Israel-Palestine conflict?


Map of Palestine.   Labels show 2009 borders. (click to magnify – makes for a very good topographical map)

The following is a report of an ALP/Union Forum titled A two state solution to the Israel Palestine conflict held at Qld parliament on Remembrance Day, 11th November 2009.

The forum was well attended by about 100 people from unions and by ALP members and people from the community.

There were current and former ALP MLAs and councillors and union officials present. The forum was sponsored by various unions including the Construction, Forestry, Mining & Energy Union (CFMEU), Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU), Communications Electrical Plumbing Union, Qld Branch (CEPU) and the Plumbers Union.

There were several community and other groups and associations represented including the Qld Palestinian Association (QPA), Just Peace, Justice for Palestine. Members of the National Union of Students and people from the Jewish community and the Foreign Affairs editor of the Courier Mail were also present.

This report was prepared from notes written by the author at the forum. I made a written request well in advance of the forum to record it (on film) but this was refused on the basis that it was a private meeting of ALP and Union members.

I noticed that the foreign editor of the Courier Mail was present and took notes (but not as many as I did). I have tried to faithfully document what was said at the forum. I take responsibility for errors, omissions or misunderstandings. I ask that anyone who has evidence of error to please let me know and I will try to correct them.

The forum discussion was on the following set issues:

• What do we mean by a two state solution?

• How best to achieve it and what are the obstacles?

• What are the consequences if a two state solution fails? Continue reading


by Ian Curr “Job and me and Jesus sittin’ Underneath the Indooroopilly bridge Watchin’ that blazin’ sun go down Behind the tall tree’d mountain ridge The land’s our heritage and spirit Here the rightful culture’s Black and we sittin’ here … Continue reading