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36 responses to “Workers BushTelegraph

  1. On the eve of Climate Emergency Rally the upcoming Victorian AMWU State Conference is to consider what role for itself and unionists?

    Coal miners mmbers of the CFMEU will speak at the Climate Change camp in Newcastle later this month, when civil disobedience is expected to stop the coal trains trip to Port for a day. What do transport workers, rail, truck, port and ship reckon to this carbon trading etc scams by Capitalism ?

    Anyone know ?

    We just need to remember that electricity and hydrogen both need energy to make them. If that energy does not come from renewable sources then we are just removing the problem from one place to another.

    For what it’s worth this is what I think unions and workers can do now.

    1. Elect an environmental officer/rep in each workplace and force management to recognise their position. They run along the same lines as an OH&S rep. They identify environmentally unsound practices and restructure or shut them down.

    2. EBA / log of claims contain environmental concerns. A classic could be “you want us to come to work, give us all free public transport tickets”, “buy bikes for those who live close to work”, “provide an electric bus to pick us up from the station”. Employ an apprentice to repair the bikes. etc.

    3. Start restructuring the plant and insist on producing environmental friendly products. Eg Car workers refuse to continue to produce petrol cars and insist on a timeline to procure electric cars.

    ps. If car unions do start doing this they’ll be out of a job soon anyway. The day a cheap and viable electric or hydrogen rolls onto the peer at Port Melbourne is day the local car industry is finished. And just think the Mitisbishi plant in SA is just sitting there and so will be Ford’s engine making plant in Geelong, what a waste.

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  2. apologies for over long posts readers and host of bush telegraph

    This Saturday in melbourne are two local/global events

    protest at Starbucks (sacking Spanish CNT & IWW unionists about to close 600 stores across USA)
    http://www.StarbucksUnion.org

    climate emergency rally more info:
    http://climaterally.blogspot.com/

    The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union Victoria has been considering climae change for its State Conference.

    Like

  3. Joh Bjelke “no protests in my town” Petersen has risen from the dead – like a vampire – and walks with zombies in Sydney town ?

    Thou shalt not annoy on Youth Day

    Jano Gibson, Linda Morris and Joel Gibson
    July 1, 2008

    EXTRAORDINARY new powers will allow police to arrest and fine people for "causing annoyance" to World Youth Day participants and permit partial strip searches at hundreds of Sydney sites, beginning today.

    The laws, which operate until the end of July, have the potential to make a crime of wearing a T-shirt with a message on it, undertaking a Chaser-style stunt, handing out condoms at protests, riding a skateboard or even playing music, critics say.

    Police and volunteers from the State Emergency Service and Rural Fire
    Service will be able to direct people to cease engaging in conduct that "causes annoyance or inconvenience to participants in a World Youth Day event".

    People who fail to comply will be subject to a $5500 fine.

    The president of the NSW Bar Association, Anna Katzmann, SC, described the regulations as "unnecessary and repugnant".

    The Greens MP Lee Rhiannon said if someone exposed themselves in public, they faced a fine of only $1100 or six months' jail under the Summary Offences Act.

    "So if someone flashes a WYD participant they will face a $1100 penalty but if they wear an anti-Catholic T-shirt they could face a $5500 penalty," she said.

    A police source said causing an "annoyance or inconvenience" was a highly subjective offence. A police lawyer would define it in layman's terms for operational use by officers.

    Civil libertarians said they had never seen anything like the new powers and believed they are more extreme and broader in scope than those used during last year's APEC summit and the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

    But the State Government said "World Youth Day is a happy and positive celebration of youth" and "no additional or 'APEC-like' police powers have been granted under the World Youth Day regulations".

    The Catholic Church denied it had called for such powers.

    The regulations were quietly gazetted by the Deputy Premier, John Watkins, on Friday afternoon and apply to more than 40 city locations, including museums, galleries and cinemas, as well as Darling Harbour, the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, Randwick Racecourse and parklands.

    More than 500 schools across Sydney and 35 train and bus stations have also been listed as "declared areas". People entering them will be subject to vehicle and baggage searches that require them to remove jackets, gloves, shoes and headwear if requested. "Reasonable force may be used to effect the person's
    exclusion" if they do not permit the search, the regulations stipulate.

    The Government's World Youth Day spokeswoman, Kristina Keneally, said "bag checks are a sensible safety precaution which any young person who is going to a major event in Australia . would expect". Everyone had the right to protest so long as it was "peaceful and lawful".

    The president of the NSW Council of Civil Liberties, Cameron Murphy, said the broad meaning of "causes annoyance" had the potential to encompass any activity.
    "This sort of amendment is extreme, unnecessary and is likely to escalate conflict when officers issue directions," he said. "People are going to be unaware that they have the power to do this and will find themselves in court facing an enormous fine."

    Ms Katzmann said: "The mere presence in the vicinity of a person wearing the apparel or insignia of another religion might be annoying or inconvenient to a participant in a World Youth Day event."

    Ms Rhiannon said the regulations were about "shutting down protests and quarantining the Pope and visiting Catholics away from messages World Youth Day authorities don't approve of".

    http://www.smh.com.au/text/articles/2008/06/30/1214677946009.html

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  4. We only ever have the ‘choice’ of voting for one manic pro-growth party or the other…We apparently can’t expect any party to convert our ever-increasing collective wealth into real improvements in health, education and overall quality of life. So with this reality, the nature of government relations with certain unions, or of them upholding or not upholding “core principles” therein, really doesn’t seem to amount to a molehill.

    Perhaps more disaffiliations need to be encouraged & a reorganisation of the unions to support each other across the working class
    & keep independent of ALL Partys ? Such a project is more worthy of the time and energy and resources given to the Alternative Liberal Party
    which has kept Howard’s ABCC to hassle construction workers !

    By James Sinnamon – posted Tuesday, 1 July 2008

    http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=7563&page=0

    In recent months the Queensland branch of Electrical Trades Union (ETU) has rightly conducted publicity campaigns against policies of the Queensland Labor Government’s which have been harmful to its members’ interests.

    These include the corporatisation and privatisation of its power generation assets and the consequent neglect of vital infrastructure. The ETU has also conducted an industrial campaign for wage justice for its members and has been critical of the Rudd Labor Government’s delays in the repeal of the Howard government’s anti-worker “WorkChoices” legislation.

    In the Brisbane Times article “Electricity, rail workers to picket Labor conference”, ETU spokesman Peter Simpson complained of “over 12 months of frustrated negotiations” in which “the excesses of WorkChoices were used against state government employees”.

    At a protest outside the Queensland Labor Party’s conference on the Gold Coast on Saturday, June 21, the Brisbane Times, in its story “QLD Labor stung by protests, poll”, reported:

    (ETU assistant secretary Peter Simpson) said the unions had received a slap in the face after supporting Labor through the November federal election.
    “How have we been repaid? We have been screwed over and it is a dead-set disgrace,” Mr Simpson said.

    However, while Simpson is correct to point this out, it would have been clearly suicidal for the union movement not to have backed Rudd against the anti-trade union Howard government. Whatever can be critically said of the record of the Rudd Labor Government, it was absolutely necessary for the ETU to have campaigned with the rest of the trade union movement to have the Coalition government removed from office.

    Peter Simpson continued:

    “This may be the last ALP conference that we attend, because I don’t think we’ll be affiliated with them for much longer.”

    While their treatment at the hands of Labor governments is indefensible and the ETU’s outrage is entirely justified, their threat to disaffiliate from the Labor Party begs the question of exactly how the ETU can expect better treatment at the hands of any alternative government. Clearly, it would be ludicrous for ETU to hold out hope for better treatment at the hands of a Coalition government whether at the state or federal level.

    This conflict calls into question the whole purpose of the Labor Party.

    The Labor Party was originally formed in the 1890’s to be the political representative of the trade union movement. Its purpose was to form government to enact legislation in favour of the workers upon whose vote it relied to obtain a majority in Parliament.

    The conduct of the Bligh Government, particularly in its dispute with the ETU, is only the latest of almost countless illustrations of how far the Labor Party has drifted from this original propose. Far from representing workers or, indeed, any other ordinary members of the community, the Bligh Government, instead, seems to serve a small minority of corporations, land speculators and developers.

    Unions such as the ETU need to consider how to rectify this unsatisfactory situation.

    One way or another, unions such as the ETU should assert their right to have representatives, who are prepared to act in the interests of members, elected to Parliament. If the ETU sees no prospect of this being achieved by using its voice within the Labor Party, then it should seek to initiate the formation of such a party outside the Labor Party.

    However to simply disaffiliate, but do nothing else, is likely to do little to dissuade the Bligh Government from pursuing its current course.

    As much as Labor politicians enjoy the fruits of office, many act as if they consider losing office a lesser evil to actually representing the Labor Party’s constituency and standing up to corporate interests. They seem to act as if confident that other at least equally lucrative careers will be offered to them by a grateful corporate sector should they lose government. So even the threat of damaging Labor’s electoral prospects may do little to change the mind of Rudd and Bligh and, in fact, could backfire on the ETU if it were to result in the election of Coalition governments in the mould of the former Howard government.

    The ETU and other unions, such as the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU), who are disaffected by the government’s policies should loudly demand that the Bligh Government begin to act to serve its electoral constituency. If they did, it is hard to conceive how their voices would not resonate with the rank and file of the Labor Party and other trade unions.

    If some of the other unions, who are currently not affiliated to the Labor Party, including teachers’ unions and various public sector unions, were to affiliate there would be every reason to hope that the forces in the Labor Party who are prepared to insist that Labor govern in accord with its original purpose, would prevail.

    Whether or not this course is pursued, an effective political voice for the trade union movement, whether it comes from within the current Labor Party or without, needs to be re-established.

    COMMENTS

    “Clearly, it would be ludicrous for ETU to hold out hope for better treatment at the hands of a Coalition government whether at the state or federal level.”

    As someone who has worked in the energy industry in Queensland for almost 30 years including during the Joh years and as an ETU member (forced) during the campaigns of the 80’s the previous statement says more to me about the authors politcal leanings than the realities of how workers have been treated by ALP and Coalition governments in Qld.

    In my view treatment of workers has been far more destructive under the ALP than under the Coalition. Maybe the need for a union with party political agenda’s and loyalties which all to often have been placed ahead of workers well being is lessened when the Coalition is in power so if the issue is how the ETU is treated rather than how workers are treated there may be some truth to the claim.

    Where was the ETU during the Maddock years when workers were having careers trashed and seeing the network run down for the sake of cash flow to George St? Where was the ETU when Beatty was claiming he knew nothing about what happening to the network during that period? If he did know nothing then why had the ETU not briefed him?

    During the last round of EBA negotiations the ETU was happy to take a large pay gain for it’s members and aid in quashing the concerns of members of other smaller and less powerfull unions.

    It’s time unions started representing their members rather than the government. Breaking affiliation with the ALP would be a good start.

    R0bert
    Posted by R0bert, Tuesday, 1 July 2008 12:59:37 PM

    As I hoped to make clear from the article I am not necessarily against the ETU disaffiliating from the Labor Party, but mere disaffiliation, without taking other positive steps towards achieving effective politcal representation in our state and Federal parliaments will achieve little for the ETU.

    Lev, it’s hard to be able to prescribe the best democratic structure for the Labor Party. Whether more weight is given to unions or party branches, there will still be problems in the current circumstances. The problem will never be fully solved until the rank-and-file party members and union members become more active and remind their officebearers and parliamentary representatives that they are there to serve them instead of things being the other way round.

    Ludwig,

    I totally with your point that sustainability and population stability are the critical issues of our epoch. On my blog (http://candobetter.org/blog/3)
    I make this clear.

    However, it will be extremely difficult to fix that if we don’t fix the current situation where our democratic institutions are nearly always manipulated in order to frustrate the best interests (and even clear stated will of the public in the case of the current attempts to privatise NSW’s electricity – see http://candobetter.org/node/630).

    The corruption of the Labor Party to turn it into yet another party that governs, without consulting either the electorate or its own constituency, in the interests of our selfish elites is a major facet of this problem.

    When we fix that, then we stand a much better chance of confronting the dire threats we face.

    One path towards fixing that is for unions like the ETU to insist that Labor Parliamentarians represent their members instead of land speculators, mining companies, financiers and other corporations.

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  5. I don’t think it is sexist in the context of a graphic depicting a nun masturbating, though its capacity to offend some is clear.

    In context of the graphic it is a proper use of the word cunt, not taking into account the roman corruption of the english language as Ciaron correctly asserts. Although some may have concerns about the gendering of the cunt as male as the slogan does, I believe it enjoys a level of satirical license to excuse this.

    The association of Jesus with the nuns cunt, perhaps as a source of bliss or as representation of the marriage to God, is not a derogatory representation of cunts, and therefore your honour, I submit, cannot be construed as to be sexist.

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  6. I know Viola well and they are great people. They put me and my brother up in a Brixton suqat in the ’70’s and in Melbourne more recently. Although my brother and I are faithbased and they are athiests we have enormous respect for each other and each other’s political work.

    I also know the posting is about the limits on free speech. I, like them, believe there should be no limits…even in this case when the speech might be an adolescent tantrum nonsense. This is the position I, and many Brisbane anarchists, argued during the free expression V civil liberties V Joh struggles of the ’70’s & ’80’s.

    By the by, an anarchist athiest punkrocker in Dublin once told me that “cunt” comes from the Latin describing the sheathe (sp?) for a Roman soldier’s sword. If this is the case Jesus had nothing todo withswords or sheathes – that’s whychristianity was illegal under the Roman Empire for the first 3 centuries. It wouldalso reveal the original misogyny of the term, the role of systematic rape in warfare etc (See the excellent “Against Our Will” -a rare English book that I stumbled across in the Spanish language dominated library of a Texas jail. My effort then was to read it, to circulate amongst prisoners, to take the porn down from the bunk I was assigned and put up a fold out cardof a koala bear in its place. This had a lot of prisoners questioning my orientation!

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  7. Hello Ciaron,

    This is regarding comments following Viola Wilkins’s reference to “Jesus is a Cunt”.

    In case you have not already guessed ‘Viola Wilkins’ is a pseudonym.

    S(he) is actually two anarchists living in Melbourne (one male, the other female).

    Also, you may not have realised that ‘Viola’ is not the author of that remark or others related to it. S(he) is merely quoting someone else (called ‘Cradle of Filth’).

    Actually I was tempted to take this “Jesus is a Cunt” stuff down, on the ground (among others) that it is sexist.

    Also, I have been concerned that very few women make comment on political blogs like BT.

    I wonder what is the ratio of male to female political bloggers? And what does it say about the world of blogging?

    In solidarity
    Ian

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  8. “Jesus is a Cunt”
    Doesn’t tell us much about Jesus or cunts, more about the author who doesn’t seem to have a positive attitude to either. Further explanation on negative attitudes to either subjects would be helpful.

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  9. Re Cradle of Filth as I’m unfamiliar with such music-noise asked a friend who commented:

    The “Jesus Is A Cunt” shirt has caused issues before in England and elsewhere. It’s actually one of their older designs, back when COF really where an “extreme” band and not the mall goths they are these days. They haven’t done a good album since “Midian”.

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  10. The owner of Video Dogs in Carlton, John Mallalieu, has been forced to admit he has in fact paid workers with DVD hire instead of wages.

    After telling the media that “No one had been hired under the DVDs-for-work scheme” the Workplace Ombudsman has revealed that several other workers have not been paid in the past. Mallalieu has now paid these workers up to $100 for two hours work in an attempt to resolve the issue.

    The Workplace ombudsman has now interviewed Mallalieu and retrieved the past six month’s employment records. They have found that on top of the DVD-for-work scam, Mallalieu has also underpaid some of his other workers by not paying proper weekend penalty rates. This is also now being rectified.

    The Ombudsman is now endeavouring to contact all past employees of Video Dogs to ensure they have all been paid properly.

    Despite the fact that Mallalieu has broken many laws it is highly unlikely that he will face fines or any other punishment. It is common practice that if an employer cooperates with the Ombudsman, and fixes the problem quickly, they can escape penalties. In other words ignorance is a legitimate defence for dodgy bosses!

    Unfortunately this means that there is no incentive for other bosses to do the right thing. Once again this shows that young workers need to do more than just rely on the Workplace Ombudsman if they want to protect their rights at work. The only solution is to build a fighting union in fast food and retail where the majority of young people work.

    If you are not being paid properly or want more information about how to organise your workplace contact UNITE on 93281555.

    http://www.unite.org.au/

    Activists call for citizen’s arrest of Pope
    June 25, 2008 06:23pm

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23921443-421,00.html

    A SOCIALIST youth organisation has called for a citizen’s arrest of the Pope when he arrives in Sydney for World Youth Day (WYD) next month.
    Resistance, a member of the NoToPope Coalition, is advocating the pontiff’s arrest on the basis of his continued stand against contraception.

    Resistance spokeswoman Lauren Carroll Harris said the Pope’s view constituted a conspiracy to murder, because the church’s opposition to condoms leads to more people becoming infected with HIV.

    Under Australian law, anyone can make a citizens arrest if they believe, on reasonable grounds, a person is committing or has just committed an offence.

    “This short-sighted and dogmatic stance towards both contraception use and education has placed millions of people around the world in great danger of contracting the deadly HIV virus,” she said in a statement.

    “Without access to contraception many more lives will be lost needlessly every day around the globe.”

    Counter Terrorism and Emergency Command public information coordinator Kevin Daley would not comment, saying only that security planning for the visit was continuing.

    “NSW Police will not be discussing specific security arrangements relating to World Youth Day 2008,” he said.

    The NoToPope Coalition, which includes members of Sydney’s atheist, gay and environmental communities, plans to hand out condoms to pilgrims during the event, which runs from July 15 to 20.

    Pope Benedict XVI is due to arrive in Sydney on July 13 for his first visit to Australia.

    http://www.notopope.com/

    Meanwhile:
    Didn’t two building workers just die falling 26 stories on the Goldcoast and building sites topped work to protest health & safety ?
    Guess the readers need to be outraged by blasphemous youths instead ! (see below)

    http://goldcoaststage.arkcms.com/article/2008/06/25/12892_gold-coast-top-story.html

    Band T-shirt draws charge
    Ben Dillaway 25Jun08

    IT is blasphemous, will get you arrested and has sparked debate about Australia’s lack of a Bill of Rights.
    Meet Cradle of Filth, an extreme metal band from England. Their offensive shirt that claims ‘Jesus is a (expletive deleted)’ and depicts a nun masturbating.
    A 16-year-old was arrested on Monday for wearing the shirt and was charged with offensive behaviour under the Summary Offences Act 2005 for public nuisance.

    Senior Sergeant Arron Ottaway said the teen was walking along Hollywell Road, in Biggera Waters, when a officer saw him.
    “I’m not religious but that’s just offensive,” said Sen Sgt Ottaway,

    Police conducted inquiries at Australia Fair, where the teen said he bought the shirt, to find any shops selling it.

    The Reverend Matt Hunt of the Helensvale Baptist Church said it was sad people spoke about the Lord in such a way.
    “It’s fairly common language these days to express sadness, anger or hurt,” he said. “It’s a degrading word to use and Jesus is anything but that. It’s like calling white black.”
    Mr Hunt said using the Lord’s name in vain was a serious sin.
    “When someone comes to the point of saying Jesus is the devil or Jesus is ‘expletive’, the Bible does say be very careful because you’re on thin ice.”

    Gold Coast lawyer Bill Potts said the arrest highlighted Australia’s need for a Bill of Rights.
    “One of the great problems with our country is that we talk about rights such as privacy and freedom of speech and the like but they are not enshrined or protected in any way as they are in America,” he said.
    “While there are always limits on freedom of speech, you can’t incite violence or anything like that, it seems to be now more than ever that our rights to freedom of speech and freedom of expression should be protected.
    “A Bill of Rights which enshrines that protection is long overdue in this country.”
    Mr Potts said charging the teen was ‘ludicrous’ and brought the law into disrepute.
    “A shirt might offend some and might be amusing to others,” he said.
    “If a person was wearing the shirt in a church or a religious rally where it was specifically intended to offend or cause disruption, then perhaps the prosecution might stand a chance.
    “However, to criminalise juvenile or boorish messages is to bring the law into disrepute. The police are acting like the thought police and censors.”

    Molendinar residents Hayley and Arron, who are big Cradle of Filth fans, bought the shirts from Carrara Markets six months ago but said they had never, and would never, wear them in public.
    “I’m not a fan of the T-shirt. I’m only wearing it because it’s a band T-shirt and it’s rare,” said Arron. “I don’t actually believe the stuff. I’m not satanic or anything like that. I hate that stuff. I just wear it around the house.”
    Not surprisingly, this is not the first time the shirt has had a run-in with the law.

    In 2005, 19-year-old Adam Shepherd was fined £40 and sentenced to 80 hours community for wearing the shirt in England.
    In an interview with Kerrang! magazine, Cradle of Filth frontman Dani Filth bizarrely suggested God was working through the band.
    “Defaming organised religion openly in public is now a crime? What is wrong with England? Still, the litter problem on our city streets should improve dramatically if they keep handing out 80-odd hour community punishment orders willy-nilly,” he said.
    “The country will be spotless in no time, a sure sign that God works in mysterious ways, even through us!”

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  11. Truck charges for company boss
    Article from: Herald Sun
    http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,23911633-2862,00.html

    June 24, 2008 12:00am

    A UNION worker clung for his life to the bullbar of a truck driven by a company boss as it drove through a picket line and headed erratically down the road, a court heard yesterday.

    Meatworkers Union organiser Laurie Burley said he repeatedly begged the driver to stop, fearing he was going to fall off and get squashed beneath the truck.

    Police allege Elliot Engineering boss Anthony Elliot was behind the wheel of the truck when it hit a police car and charged through about 20 picketers protesting outside his Kilsyth factory in May last year.

    Mr Elliot, 34, of Jumping Creek Rd, Wonga Park, has pleaded not guilty to 15 charges, including three counts of conduct endangering death. The case before magistrate Brian Clifford continues today.

    more see http://www.unionsolidarity.org

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  12. UNITE has exposed a video shop owner who offered young workers DVD hire instead of wages. A UNITE member who had enquired about an advertisement in the window of Video Dogs in Carlton alerted the union to the sign and UNITE blew up the story in the media yesterday.

    The story made the nightly news on every channel as well as popular current affairs program ‘Today Tonight’. UNITE Secretary Anthony Main also did live interviews on radio stations throughout the day.

    The timing of the incident was important as it happened only days after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced his New Employment Standards (NES). These standards, while being slighter better than those under the Howard government, are still largely inadequate. Because of the recent announcement, and the fact that the incident made national headlines, both Rudd and the Workplace Ombudsman were under some pressure to prove that the standards and the IR regime were adequate.

    Subsequently representatives of the Workplace Ombudsman were forced to initiate an immediate investigation. At 11am UNITE organisers and many media outlets were at the store to meet the owner at opening time.

    The owner did himself no favours by initially telling the press that he had never advertised for young people to work for free. He claimed this while being filmed standing right next to the sign in the window!

    He then went on to explain that it was OK to get people to work for free as many Non Government Organisations and charities do the same. UNITE smashed all of his arguments in the press and there is no doubt his trading reputation has been seriously damaged.

    A spokesperson for the Workplace Ombudsman said that it would seek employment records and examine wage records and payslips from the past six months. They also said the employer could face fines of up to $33,000. While having no faith in the Workplace Ombudsman as a neutral body (who is currently investigating workers for simply defending jobs), this investigation is to be welcomed.

    On this occasion media publicity and putting pressure on the Ombudsman has achieved a positive result, but it should be noted that the Ombudsman can not be relied on to solve the problems young workers face.

    As UNITE have made clear, the solution to stopping the super-exploitation of young workers is to build fighting unions. As Anthony Main said today “we need to be organised in every workplace and not just in some city office. What the bosses fear the most is not just bad publicity but a fighting and well organised union in fast food and retail.”

    If you want to join UNITE or know someone in fast food or retail who is being underpaid contact us on 93281555 or email or office.

    http://www.unite.org.au/

    Like

  13. Hmm OK Bush Tele will use pseudonym. What are the likely consequences of asio monitoring?

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  14. The idea if this blog is great, though many of its information looks a bit randomized.

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  15. Iraqi Solidarity Community

    Many thanks to Mr Ray. You did your best by these articals which help people having a close understanding on the issue of water fluoridation.

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  16. Readers may be interested in what happened at the meetings on 12 Feb 2008 of 4 Qld Anti Water Fluoridation delegates, first with Anna Bligh, Stephen Robertson, Jeannette Young, Michael Foley, and following that with Lawrence Springborg and Paul Turner. Here is a summary:

    QAWF delegates addressed known cases of damage caused by fluoride to individuals (affidavits were included in the briefing papers). They stressed the helplessness of the “fluoride refugees” from other states and Queenslanders who have been poisoned by fluoride, who will have nowhere to go. They also stressed that some common threads existed in all AFFIDAVITS –
    * with 1 exception, all the people said that neither their doctor nor dentist had any idea of any fluoride symptoms when they asked if their health problems may be due to fluoride poisoning. [So how would any Townsville medico know if they had any fluoride victims, they would just put it down to something else]. Even a neurosurgeon in Townsville had no idea about the subject.
    * ALL VICTIMS HAD TO DO THEIR OWN RESEARCH
    * THERE WERE SOME VICTIMS on the disability support pension because they were not able to work. Cost estimates were given by one victim. QAWF delegates mentioned one asthmatic victim who had reduced lung function after 1 glass of fluoridated water in Geelong hospital.

    We had asked Anna Bligh for a delay in Legislation , an unbiased evaluation and further meetings with her. An hour after our meeting with Anna Bligh and while we were having our meeting with Mr Springborg, Stephen Robertson introduced the Water Fluoridation Bill 2008 and did the first and second readings.

    When the Bill became available on the Qld Parliament website we find that there is a removal of all liabilty. It appears that no-one will ever be able to take a claim of harm from water fluoridation to the Courts.

    Lawrence wants a referendum and for there to be an education program. Lawrence said he believed the fluoridation proposal and other issues such as Traveston Dam and Council amalgamations were all part of a political ‘play’ to make AB look good (prepared to take tough decisions and follow them through).

    He says the best chance would be to:
    – Continue educating community as best we can via the media
    – Use an international expert to publicly criticise water fluoridation

    Like

  17. 16 January 2008

    Hon S Robertson MP
    Member for Stretton, Minister for Health

    Dear Minister,

    On 5th December 2007 the Premier Anna Bligh announced a decision to mandate water fluoridation in Queensland. Yet on the 20 April 2005, Anna Bligh and 38 current Labor Party MPs voted against Jean-Paul Langbroek’s Private Members Bill for mandated water fluoridation citing the 2005 survey on water fluoridation commissioned by the Local Government Association which found that:
    * 64% of people wanted a state-wide referendum to give the public the opportunity to re-examine both the pro-fluoridation and the anti- fluoridation arguments;

    * 56 % of people said a local referendum should be mandatory before fluoridation commenced locally.

    As constituents have shown they want a referendum on any proposal for mass involuntary medication and as Queensland Members of Parliament have been elected to represent their constituents, then MPs cannot in good conscience now vote for mandated fluoridation even if the Premier were to order them to vote for it.

    The Premier Anna Bligh also made claims that Queensland children had “the worst teeth in Australia” and that children from fluoridated “Townsville had up to 65% less decay than children from Brisbane”, indicating that someone advising the premier Anna Bligh lacks crucial up-to-date information! The 65% less decay in Townsville referred to is data from 1991. In actual fact, Queensland Children’s surveys published (data for the years 2000, 2001 and 2002) clearly show that Townsville children have more decay in their permanent teeth than children from North Brisbane, the Gold Coast and several other Qld Health Districts that do not have water fluoridation.

    The latest National Children’s Dental survey (2002 data) was just released on 17th Dec 2007. This survey shows that with less than 5% of the population drinking fluoridated water, children from Queensland have slightly less decay in their baby teeth than children from the Northern Territory which has 70% of its population drinking fluoridated water. This new survey also shows Queensland children have less decay in their permanent teeth than children from the ACT (100 % fluoridated) and they have an average of only a twentieth of a tooth more decay than children from Tasmania (83% fluoridated). Qld children and adults do not need or want fluoride in their water!

    The National Research Council USA 2006 (12 North American scientific experts on fluoride who met regularly over three years) concluded that communities with water fluoridation had increased rates of:

    • Hip fractures – fluoride can make bones more brittle and cause joint stiffness and pain.

    • Lowered IQ in children, even at low dose.

    • Decreased thyroid function.

    • Bone cancer – positive in animal studies and later to be seen positive in young boys by a 2006 study.

    • Dental fluorosis – staining and pitting of tooth enamel.

    The Centre for Disease Control acknowledged in 1999 and 2002 that where fluoride is effective, it is in the topical application to teeth. Consumption of artificially fluoridated water or fluoride from other sources is ineffective in preventing dental caries so there is no sense putting extra fluoride in our water? There is plenty of it about. All of us are absorbing significant amounts of fluoride from processed foods, tea, soft drink, medications, air and chemical pollution, fluoridated toothpaste and other dental products. Our intake depends on our lifestyle and where we live. If the total load is high enough then you could develop fluoride poisoning, whatever your age. But do the Australian Dentists Association, governments and health authorities have any concerns about measuring the background fluoride intake before communities are fluoridated? No? This is grossly irresponsible!

    Why is it that the agencies elected by our communities, instead of becoming fully and factually informed on fluoride, allow themselves to be hoodwinked by the promoters of this toxic waste, and become complicit in an endeavor to impose this fraud on their constituents. The majority of Queenslanders do not wish to be unscientifically mass medicated with this toxic waste. Why are the fluoride promoters so against community referenda? Why do the authorities not provide equal funding for the pro and the anti publicity? Why are they so against the democratic process? Queensland should remain the smart state and not forcibly mass medicate its population with such a dangerous industrial waste product.

    Yet the plan of Queensland Health is for every man, woman and child in the community, regardless of age, size or state of health, – or even whether or not they have teeth – to ingest fluorosilicic acid and hydrofluoric acid in daily, totally unmeasured doses by fluoridating the drinking water. The amount of water ingested by an individual can vary widely depending on such factors as climate, and whether they have a sedentary or active lifestyle. The passage of fluoride through the food chain has never been investigated, we are expected to wash ourselves and our clothes in fluoridated water – even though it is suspected that fluoride can be absorbed through the skin, and the fluoridated water is then carried away to accumulate in our environment. What gives the Premier the right to dictate that I will be forced to ingest fluoride irrespective of my wishes or medical (not just dental) concerns?

    The substance added to water supplies as “fluoride” is usually fluorosilicic acid, a highly corrosive liquid that must be stored in specially designed containers able to resist fluorosilicic acid and hydrofluoric acid attack. It readily decomposes to produce a mixture of hydrofluoric acid, fluorosilicic acid and a complex of fluorosilicic acid and silicone tetrafluoride. This means that the intermediate products claimed to be present in the water only fleetingly after the acid is added at the water treatment plant, may already be present in commercial fluorosilicic acid before it is added to the water.

    Silicone tetrafluoride, a highly toxic, water-soluble gas, used in the production of fluoroslicic acid, is a waste product of the fertilizer industry. It is present in the industrial emissions into their chimney stacks, necessitating the installation of anti-pollution scrubbers in the chimney stacks, to prevent the release of the toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. Added to municipal water supplies, however, as less than 1% of water is actually consumed by humans, the other 99% of these toxic products end up being released into waterways from washing, sewerage, industry, etc.

    Could a less efficient, more wasteful and more ecologically damaging system of medication distribution ever be devised? There are significant issues concerning the damage to our ecology by the subsequent disposal of this known poison. Surely all Queenslanders are entitled to examine this information before they are compulsorily medicated for a lifetime.

    In a community forum in 2005, Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman said he would not support water fluoridation because a third of residents rejected mass medication, and the state government backed down on it again and again over the years when the public rejected it in over 90% of referenda, with votes as high as 98% against. At present, only about 5% of the Queensland population have consented to the fluoridation of their water. So why is the government now so keen to become unpopular? And so soon after the unsuccessful attempt to amalgamate councils without popular consultation?

    Forced mass medication can NEVER be justified. To try to justify it on the misleading claims put forward by the pro-fluoride lobby is extremely unethical. Wouldn’t it be better to put the money planned for fluoridation into improving the public dental services AND making sure that kids actually brush their teeth with toothpaste. Perhaps also addressing the Queensland diet which is high in soft-drinks (loaded with sugar). Or put the money into public education regarding oral health. That would be far better use of taxpayers’ money.

    “Fluoride” does harden tooth enamel, but at the expense of the underlying structure of the tooth, so that if decay does occur, the tooth is likely to crumble when drilling is attempted, is unable to be restored, and has to be extracted. Ingestion of “fluoride” in small quantities over long periods causes the bones to become brittle, increasing the likelihood of fractures, and making it more difficult, or even impossible, for them to mend. Hip fractures are likely to occur at a younger age than they normally would.

    Fluoridation is ineffective in reducing decay in permanent teeth, is harmful in the long term, and, as medication with an uncontrolled dose, is a violation of medical ethics. Of particular concern, is the likelihood that many people who have high intakes of fluoridated water over long periods of time are developing the bone disease skeletal fluorosis. In its early forms, skeletal fluorosis is manifest as arthritis, a set of diseases that is increasing in prevalence in Australia. There has never been a scientific study of skeletal fluorosis in Australia. However, the disease is common in naturally fluoridated regions of the world.

    Fluoride in water – in the concentration now recommended by the Australian Dentists Association for Queensland’s drinking water, causes human neurotoxicity according to the prestigious ////Lancet// medical journal. The American Dental Association warns on their website that fluoridated water should not be used for formula-fed babies.

    For obvious reasons, then, the following situation exists:

    • Only nine countries in the world have fluoridation of more than 50 per cent of their public water supplies. Thus Queensland is presently “in step” with most of the world.

    • Less than 2 per cent of Continental Europe’s drinking water is fluoridated. Europe has abandoned the discredited practice over the past 30 years and with no loss to dental health.

    • Japan, China, Scotland and Northern Ireland have rejected fluoridation. Israel has ceased expansion due to recent research exposing negative health effects.

    Modern health programs are supposed to be ‘evidence-based’. The biggest official review of water fluoridation was conducted by York University for the British Government in 2000. It concluded that the evidence on whether fluoridation helps teeth is weak and contradictory. We know that European countries, with no water fluoridation, often achieve better dental health that the home of fluoridation, USA. And this is before we even mention the likely and proven side-effects to bones, nervous system and important glands.

    177 pages out of the 296 pages of the ACT Legislative Assembly ‘Fluoridation Inquiry’ (1989-91) is the Dissenting Report by Legislative Assembly member Dennis Stevenson (now at 0405 914677, P.O. Box 109 Palm Beach, Qld 4221) presenting well-supported scientific evidence that water fluoridation causes disease and is environmentally destructive. Only 119 pages of ‘Fluoridation Inquiry’ (1989-91) gave the poorly supported pro-fluoridation arguments.

    It is not fluoride deficiency that causes caries, but the feeding of excessive sugar to our children. Anna Bligh should take a stand on sugar, and the promotion and advertising of sweets. She can then improve the health of Queenslanders, head off the diabetes and obesity epidemic, and reduce caries without medicating the water supply, which leaves only the rich able to afford to remove the fluoride from their water. Water is for drinking, not for covering up far deeper problems of nutrition and public health. It would be better for the Queensland government forget mandated fluoridation and instead implement proper, targeted, intelligent dental schemes. Let us save our state from being the dumpsite for tons and tons of toxic hazardous waste from the phosphate fertilizer industry.

    In Queensland, referendum guarantees the consent of the community under the Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies Act (1963). The Queensland Government must recognises that there is a division of opinion on the health and environmental impacts of fluoridation and it is a principle of ethical public health that mass, involuntary medication must never proceed without the express consent of the community.

    I urge every parliamentarian to respect and vote to retain the requirement for a referendum in the Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies Act (1963). Referendum gives the public the opportunity to examine both the pro-fluoridation and the anti- fluoridation arguments. Fluoridation is claimed to be safe, but so was Arsenic, DDT, Thalidomide, Dioxin, Asbestos, Agent Orange, the Dalkon Shield, Deildrin, Mercury, Lead and more recently, Vioxx, all shown later to harm or kill people. But at least they weren’t compulsory. Medication with fluoride should not be compulsory either.

    Yours sincerely,

    Ray Bergmann

    3/74 Eton Street,

    Nundah QLD 4012

    ************************************************

    According to a recent population study by Dawn Joyce BA BSc (Hons1) presented to the Doctor’s Reform Society the alarming rate of immunodeficiency cases in Townsville which is so endemic that the term Ross River virus has come into common use, not only for that population but also for people who do not live anywhere near Townsville and who appear to suffer chronic impairment to thyroid function.

    Fluoride and schizophrenia

    According to a study published by the US Department of Health and Human Services in 1991, the average person is overdosing on fluoride.

    Estimates of daily rates of fluoride ingestion from all sources range from 1.58 to 6.6 mg/day. This has resulted in an epidemic of hypothyroidism (underactivity of the thyroid gland), as fluorine displaces essential iodine.

    In the rare case of an overactive thyroid gland, fluoride is administered in doses ranging from 2.3 to 4.5 mg/day: thus the amounts being ingested unwittingly by many people are considerably in excess of the maximum recommended clinical dose for hyperthyroidism.

    In industrialised nations, increased levels of fluoride occur along with other environmental poisons and harmful stimulants that have negative implications for our physical and mental health.

    Despite a range of presentations, people with schizophrenia have a great deal in common, including a malfunctioning thyroid gland. Studies dating from the 1950s report excellent outcomes from treatments with high doses of desiccated thyroid in patients who had been ill for six months or less (Foster, 2003). Following the initiation of therapy, there is a slow onset of action after some weeks: similarly there is a long duration of action following discontinuance. Ask your doctor about trialing high doses of desiccated thyroid or thyroid extract to assist in optimising mental and physical functioning.

    It is up to individuals to avoid fluoride wherever possible. Non-fluoride toothpaste is available at most supermarkets and health food stores. Fortunately, at least for the present, the water in a number of municipalities does not contain added fluoride.

    Fluoride water ’causes cancer’

    Boys at risk from bone tumours, shock research reveals

    *Bob Woffinden
    Sunday June 12, 2005
    The Observer *

    Fluoride in tap water can cause bone cancer in boys, a disturbing new study indicates, although there is no evidence of a link for girls.

    New American research suggests that boys exposed to fluoride between the ages of five and 10 will suffer an increased rate of osteosarcoma – bone cancer – bet-ween the ages of 10 and 19.

    In the UK, fluoride is added to tap water on the advice of bodies such as the British Dental Association. The Department of Health maintains that it is a cost-effective public health measure that helps prevent tooth decay in children.

    About 10 per cent of the population, six million people, receive fluoridated water, mainly in the Midlands and north-east, and the government plans to extend this, with Manchester expected to be next. About 170 million Americans live in areas with fluoridated water.

    The increased cancer risks, identified in a newly available study conducted at the Harvard School of Dental Health, were found at fluoride exposure levels common in both the US and Britain. It was the first examination of the link between exposure to the chemical at the critical period of a child’s development and the age of onset of bone cancer.

    Although osteosarcoma is rare, accounting for only about 3 per cent of childhood cancers, it is especially dangerous. The mortality rate in the first five years is about 50 per cent, and nearly all survivors have limbs amputated, usually legs.

    The research has been made available by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a respected Washington-based research organisation. The group reports that it has assembled a ‘strong body of peer-reviewed evidence’ and has asked that fluoride in tap water be added to the US government’s classified list of substances known or anticipated to cause cancer in humans.

    ‘This is a very specific cancer in a defined population of children,’ said Richard Wiles, the group’s co-founder. ‘When you focus in and look for the incidence of tumours, you see the increase.

    ‘We recognise the potential benefits of fluoride to dental health,’ added Wiles, ‘but I’ve spent 20 years in public health, trying to protect kids from toxic exposure. Even with DDT, you don’t have the consistently strong data that the compound can cause cancer as you now have with fluoride.’

    Half of all fluoride ingested is stored in the body, accumulating in calcifying tissue such as teeth and bones and in the pineal gland in the brain, although more than 90 per cent is taken into the bones.

    MPs who have recently voted against fluoridation proposals in Parliament include Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, and Michael Howard, the Conservative leader.

    Anti-fluoride campaigners argue that the whole issue has become highly politically sensitive. If health scares about fluoride were to be recognised in the courts, the litigation, especially in the US, could be expected to run for decades. Consequently, scientists have been inhibited from publicising any adverse findings.

    The new evidence only emerged by a circuitous process. It was contained in a Harvard dissertation by Dr Elise Bassin at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. The dissertation, completed in April 2001, obviously had merit because Bassin was awarded her doctorate.

    However it has not been published. Environmental organisations were repeatedly denied access to it, and even bodies such as the US National Academy of Sciences could not get hold of a copy. Eventually two researchers from the Fluoride Action Network were allowed to read it in the rare books and special collections room at Harvard medical library.

    Bassin told The Observer her work was still going through the peer-review process, and she hopes that it will then be published.

    Dr Vyvyan Howard, senior lecturer in toxico-pathology at the University of Liverpool, has studied the new material.

    ‘At these ages the bones of boys are developing rapidly,’ he said, ‘so if the bones are being put together abnormally because fluoride is altering the bone structure, they’re more likely to get cancer. It’s biologically plausible, and the epidemiological evidence seems pretty strong – it looks as if there’s a definite effect.’

    There is at present no understanding as to why males should be affected rather than females.

    A Department of Health spokesman said that the latest evaluation of research in the UK had identified no ill effects of fluoride.

    ***********************************

    Excerpts from the Lord Mayor’s 1997 Brisbane Task Force on Fluoridation conclusion, page 88-5:

    “There was also concern about the lack of scientific research on the lifetime effects of an accumulation of fluoride in the body, in spite of the 1991 NHMRC Working Group statement that ‘it was imperative that public health recommendations in the future be based on accurate knowledge of the total fluoride intake of Australians (NHMRC 1991, Section 8.3).”

    “Many Taskforce members had doubts that the available evidence proved that the dental decay problem in Brisbane was serious enough to warrant water fluoridation: dental decay rates have been falling for three decades in both fluoridated and unfluoridated communities; there was a lack of contemporary dental evidence on the scale of the problem in Brisbane, particularly in relation to adults; research evidence showed the complexity of trying to separately identify the benefits of water fluoridation alone, as illustrated by the recent comparison study of children in Brisbane and Townsville (University of Adelaide); dental decay rates (DMFT for 12 year olds) amongst children in Queensland (1.37 in 1995) appear to be similar to the Australian average (1.01 in 1995), as illustrated in the tables …; the widespread availability and use of other sources of fluoride.”

    “The effectiveness of water fluoridation varies with the concentration of fluoride in the water supply. At the optimal concentration for a temperate climate of 1 ppm, effectiveness in decreasing dental decay would be greater than at the 0.7 ppm level recommended by USPHS for a sub-tropical climate. The majority of Taskforce members, however, agreed with the WHO recommendation that 0.5 ppm would be the appropriate level for a sub-tropical climate. This would further reduce the effectiveness of fluoride while also reducing the risk of dental fluorosis.”

    “There was considerable concern amongst many Taskforce members that water fluoridation could increase the total intake of fluoride in excess of a safe level for babies and young children.”

    “The evidence relating to what constituted a safe or a toxic dose of fluoride was uncertain and confusing. A majority of Taskforce members were concerned that the margin of safety between a safe and toxic dose may not be sufficiently wide.”

    “The majority of the Taskforce accepted the findings of Dr Miller’s limited study of the environmental impact of a fluoridated water supply on the Brisbane area. The majority agreed that the study had raised concerns about the possibility of adverse effects on some sensitive plant and marine species, and that further experimental studies and other biological assessments would be required to reach more definite conclusions.”

    “The Taskforce concluded from the evidence, and from correspondence with the Australian Dental Association and NHMRC, that the recommendations of the 1991 NHMRC Working Group for an immediate increase in Australian dental public health research, and for improved dental health monitoring, have not been implemented. The majority of Taskforce members would not support the introduction of water fluoridation to Brisbane until the recommended Australian research has been carried out.”

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  18. Pingback: Iraqi Icicle - Book Launch « Bush Telegraph

  19. I would like to see a continuation of the topic

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  20. Very nice this blog =)

    Like

  21. There is no “Aboriginal Question”. The problem is white people, the questions should be about white people.

    Like

  22. To Renegade Eye.

    This site is primarily designed to provide a forum and organisational resource to the people of South East Queensland.

    We have lost our voice in this part of the world.

    It is a response to capitalism that decides where we live, what we do, what we read and what news of the world we receive.

    Like

  23. I think it would increase your traffic if you would:

    1) Link to other blogs.

    2) Visit other blogs.

    Like

  24. nice work ian.

    Like

  25. Gidday Mates,
    I always get a laugh out of some people’s interpretation of “Communism”. They think it a ‘dirty’ word. I would not be afraid to call myself a Communist, but i am an Anarchist.

    Like

  26. Bush and the Republicans may lose power, they have already in the US congress, but will that end the unjust wars conducted by the US and their allies in the middle east?

    I think not.

    We have to oppose Bush; but we must also look beyond him and fight against the underlying cause of war and imperialism.

    Like

  27. Bush and the Republicans were not protecting us on 9-11, and we aren’t a lot safer now.

    We may be more afraid due to George Bush, but are we safer?

    Being fearful does not necessarily make one safer.

    Fear can cause people to hide and cower.

    What do you think? What is he doing to us, and what is he doing to the world?

    Are we safer today than we were before?

    The more people that the government puts in jails, the safer we are told to think we are.

    The real terrorists are wherever they are, but they aren’t living in a country with bars on the windows.

    We are.

    Like

  28. Thanks for the tip, David. I had read his piece on “Self Hating Liberals” before I responded to him

    Unfortunately BushTelegraph seems to attract its share of former special branch officers (see comment by Barry Krosch in response to the article Not Guilty) and CIA types like Brent Roos.

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  29. Don’t bother answering this Brent person. He is a red-baiter, and doesn’t even have the guts to let Marxists debate him on his site – even when his understanding of US law is completely wrong.

    Like

  30. You think I am too sensitive.

    Here in Queensland we had a Premier (head politician) named Bjelke Petersen who had a favorurite saying:

    “If you fly with the crows you will get shot with the crows”.

    He meant Communists.

    Workers, Blacks and women would get arrested and put in jail for doing things that Bjelke-Petersen regarded as communist. Things like marching in the street. Political Street marches were banned here.

    Times have not changed that much.

    Nowadays it is Muslims and Blacks who get thrown in jail.

    Police kill aborigines and then march on parliament when the first police officer in 200 years gets charged with manslaughter of our black brother.

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  31. Jeez man, cool down. I was only asking a simple yes or no question. I suppose I will assume that you are, since you seem to be afraid of answering. If you are not a communist, just say the word “no”.

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  32. US Senator Joe McCarthy asked similar questions of Americans. Do I ask you if you are in the pay of the CIA?

    To explain my position: It is workers who produce wealth — the material things that benefit society.

    Accordingly, it is workers who should control production and the workplace.

    We have just marked Invasion Day in Australia, the anniversary of the coming of the British military to Australia in 1788 and the formation of the colony of New South Wales by the British Monarch.

    Here settlers took the land from the indigenous people of Australia. Much material benefit was bestowed upon the wealthy settlers as a result of their invasion over 200 years ago.

    As a result there were many dispossessed, black and white.

    This situation must be rectified returning democratic rights to the dispossessed both black and white. This means control of the land by its aboriginal custodians and control of the means of production by workers.

    If you wish to know more you can read Manning Clark’s “A Short History of Australia” [See http://www.penguin.com.au/authors/author-title-details.cfm?found=1&startrow=1&formTitle=&formAuthor=&formKeyword=&formISBN=&formCategory=All&formImprint=All&formCountry=All&formAudience=All&formMedia=All&formOrigin=All&formOrderBy=Title&SBN=9780140166897&Author=Clark%20Manning

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  33. Are you a communist?
    http://brentroos.com

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  34. Brent,

    BushTelegraph is not an organisation.

    This is a website that supports Workers Political Organisation.

    It has input from workers in South East Queensland.

    We are concerned about two fundamental issues in Australia:

    1) Justice for Aboriginal People.

    2) The Master/Servant relationship.
    The boss controls the workplace and workers. We want workers to have control of the workplace.

    I hope this answers your question.

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  35. Would you consider yourself to be a communist organization?

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