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tigtog (aka Viv) is the founder of this blog. She lives in Sydney, Australia: husband, 2 kids, cat, house, garden, just enough wine-racks and (sigh) far too few bookshelves.

This author has written 3449 posts for Hoyden About Town. Read more about tigtog »

36 responses to “Media Circus: do union officials really face no penalties for embezzlement, or is the Opposition wasting everybody’s time edition”

  1. Tom

    I’m not sure if this should go here but the modern Daily Mail suggests that the 1950s were the highpoint of civilization. Odd then that old copies of the Daily Mail from that era go on about cosh boys, Teddy boys, unruly kids in general, spiralling crime rates, teen pregnancy and how things were so much better in the 1930s.

  2. tigtog

    That’s a perfectly acceptable brickbat, Tom.

    Cartoonist Tom The Dancing Bug did a related look at some of these culture warrior complaints in Bill O’Reilly’s “Leave It To Beaver” Nightmare last week.

  3. tigtog

    An independent Defence taskforce has been announced to investigate and report on sexual and other abuse within the ADF, and determine how to improve procedures and transparency.

  4. Mindy
  5. Schmeedle

    According to Fox News, “the dearth of good men, and on-going battle of the sexes” is women’s fault.

    Also not impressed by the headline on ABC news this morning that the coalition are planning to go after Julia Gillard about the union fund. Haven’t watched her whole press conference, but apparently even after further explanation the Liberals still went after the Prime Minister in Question Time, which distracts somewhat from some of the more important issues, don’t you think?

  6. Mindy
  7. angharad

    I found this rather interesting, even if it is framed as ‘Oh, the kids these days!’

  8. Medivh

    Regarding that ADF taskforce mentioned in #3 by Tigtog; just watched Hamish McDonald and Paul Bongiorno exchange tut-tuttings over the potential cost of reparations and of the task force its self.

    There aren’t enough brickbats…

  9. Jo Tamar

    Today’s “NO SHIT, SHERLOCK” headline (thanks to the SMH on Gerard Henderson’s column – which I am neither going to read nor link to): “People will decide next federal election”.

    Um, yes. That’s the point of a democracy.

  10. Tee

    I just read this cracker of a post at News with Nipples. Her point about this kind of article being published on White Ribbon day is a good one.

    (Hope it’s OK to post links to other blog posts in these threads, but NWN does some great media analysis)

  11. tigtog

    Totally OK to link to other blogs in these threads, Tee – in fact that’s exactly the sort of “cogent analysis elsewhere” requested in the OP.

  12. Mindy

    Fail with lashings of Fail sauce.

    h/t to @awesomefrances on twitter.

  13. tigtog

    Federal Parliament Question Time has started with everybody wearing their stoush pants.

  14. David Irving (no relation)

    Bernard Keane’s AWU-gate piece is a cracker.

    I caught some of Outsiders on RN Sunday morning. One of the outsiders said something like “If this [AWU-gate] was happening in the US, it’d be in Wingnut Weekly. Here, it’s in our broadsheets.”

  15. tigtog

    Wondering why I haven’t been following Katherine Murphy’s The Pulse roundups more regularly. Here’s a taste of how she opened today’s Federal Parliament liveblogging:

    Do you reckon politics knows voters are all still here, watching? You feel like getting the fire hose out and turning it on the whole parliamentary precinct.

    Calm down people.

    Forty eight hours to go, but who is counting.

  16. Chris

    Media Circus: do union officials really face no penalties for embezzlement, or is the Opposition wasting everybody’s time edition

    There does appear to be a difference between the legal requirements of a director of a company and those who lead unions when it comes to handling shareholder or member funds (what the differences are is not clear to me). No doubt the Libs are introducing this legislation at a politically convenient time, but with unions controlling quite a bit of money these days and the lack of competition between unions (you can’t choose which union to represent you) there’s probably a good case of regulation for large unions as tight as is required for public companies.

    I caught some of Outsiders on RN Sunday morning. One of the outsiders said something like “If this [AWU-gate] was happening in the US, it’d be in Wingnut Weekly. Here, it’s in our broadsheets.”

    Its a bit like the whole birther conspiracy. It got enough traction that Obama had to eventually release his birth certificate. And the AWU issue has been bubbling away on blogs and facebook for a while.

  17. David Irving (no relation)

    Chris, the thing I found amusing was the clear implication that The Australian is, in fact, Wingnut Weekly, except it’s published every day except Sunday.

  18. Mindy
  19. Rebekka

    the lack of competition between unions (you can’t choose which union to represent you)

    Not quite true. Many people have a choice of unions. I personally can choose the MEAA or the CPSU, for example. In NSW, nurses have a choice between the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA)or the the Australian Nursing Federation. The ASU and the AWU overlap with each other and with various other unions. Etc, etc. There are some industries that only have one union – that doesn’t mean someone couldn’t set up another one – they’re not monopolies.

  20. tigtog

    AIUI Chris, old-fashioned closed-shop arrangements (no ticket, no start etc) have been illegal in Australia for quite some time. Workers not only don’t have to belong to one particular union only, they don’t have to necessarily belong to a union at all.

  21. Rebekka

    Yes, thanks tigtog, I should have made that clear – I can also decide not to be a union member.

  22. Chris

    tigtog/Rebecca – ah I knew that you didn’t have to belong to a union but I didn’t realise that the old demarcation rules had been removed (who did that?).

    There are some industries that only have one union – that doesn’t mean someone couldn’t set up another one – they’re not monopolies.

    If in practice there is only one union for a given industry then it is a monopoly even if competitors could potentially start up. From the consumer’s point of view you have no choice (except to just not join).

  23. tigtog

    The political year in pictures by Andrew Meares and Alex Ellinghausen photogallery to accompany The Pulse’s round-up of today’s end-of-year session in Parliament (it’s a daily live-blog, so scroll to the end of the page and then page back up if you want to see the day in chronological order).

  24. Tom

    Chris:

    After reading Wikipedia i found this (paraphrased):

    Compelling union membership is illegal in Australia. After protests from people who were opposed to being compelled to be part of student unions that conducted partisan, rather left-wing campaigns (such as road trips to detention centers), compelling student union membership was abolished and has not been revived by the Labor government.

  25. Li

    Tom, that’s the funniest thing I’ve read in a while. Though I’m glad the young libs are keeping up the culture wars through wikipedia edits. Always have to respect commitment.

  26. Rebekka

    If in practice there is only one union for a given industry then it is a monopoly even if competitors could potentially start up. From the consumer’s point of view you have no choice (except to just not join).

    Careless wording on my part. I meant they’re not statutory monopolies, so competition is allowed, even if it doesn’t yet exist in some industries. A “consumer” (as you call people who might want to join a union – worker would be the term I’d use, what exactly is it they’re consuming?) can always (at least in theory – I do realise there are obvious barriers to doing so, both on an individual and social level) start a new union if they don’t like the one they’ve got.

    And as always, people have the option of getting involved and changing the things they don’t like.

    Some unions don’t like that other unions can compete for the workers they see as theirs – but Fair Work Australia has ruled that they can compete.

  27. Tom

    Congratulations to the Palestinians on the UN vote. Boo to the United States and the apartheid state.

  28. tigtog

    Bernard Keane’s having fun on Twitter today:

    1/2

    Dennis Shanahan on the misogyny speech 10 Oct: “fell well short of an acceptable political strategy and risked only alienating more voters”

    2/2

    Dennis Shanahan on the misogyny speech 30 Nov: “inspired the backbench, fired the imagination and put Abbott in a bind.”

    also

    1/3

    Despite dozens of criminal charges and ongoing investigations, Visa and Mastercard will still let you use them to pay News Corp.

    2/3

    WikiLeaks hasn’t attracted a single charge anywhere, and is blockaded by Visa and Mastercard.

    3/3

    This is despite Visa and Mastercard explicitly saying the blockade is because of concern about the legality of WikiLeaks’s actions.

     

     

     

     

  29. Chris

    I do realise there are obvious barriers to doing so, both on an individual and social level) start a new union if they don’t like the one they’ve got.

    In practice I think that’s about as likely as someone starting a new newspaper in a one newspaper town. It theoretically could happen, but its highly unlikely. Not that monopolies are illegal, its just that you want regulators to keep a close eye on them so they don’t abuse their monopolistic powers.

    Congratulations to the Palestinians on the UN vote. Boo to the United States and the apartheid state.

    And why did Australia abstain (let alone vote no as Gillard wanted to do) rather than voting for it? The two-state endpoint seems to be the most widely accepted solution even if no one seems to know how to get there – so observer status for Palestine seems to be a fairly logical step in that process.

  30. Mindy

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4401340.html

    via Kerryn G on FB. Oh please oh please oh please.

  31. angharad

    There have been two articles on domestic violence on the Drum this week, and both times the comments swamped with ‘But what about the menz…?’ *sigh*

    For reference:
    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4401082.html
    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4391852.html

    Also this about the total statistical fail at Fox News is gobsmacking.

  32. tigtog

    @Mindy

    By handing to the crossbenches the crucial policy negotiations required of minority government, the Opposition is at risk of appearing irrelevant.

    How extraordinary that those same media that had repeatedly demanded that the Prime Minister explain actions and recall meetings from 20 years ago had been unable to correctly describe a document that was right there in front of them.

    In the end, it was clear that Abbott had declared Gillard’s behaviour criminal on the basis of nothing more than the single erroneous Fairfax report. For his preparedness to so readily claim criminality and yet fail to substantiate it when given the opportunity, serious questions must now be asked of Abbott’s position.

    An allegation of criminality is the most serious charge that can be levelled against the Prime Minister and is not one that should be advanced lightly. That it was so readily exposed has left Tony Abbott’s position untenable.

    Indeed.

  33. Tom

    Abbott must be glad his MPs and Senators have dispersed for the year. By the time they come back in February, he’ll be counting on no one in the media wanting “to dig up a corpse” from nearly three months earlier.

  34. tigtog

    Still reckon it’s time to place your bets on when exactly #spillmonk will happen.

  35. tigtog

    The #fakewalkleys hashtag has its moments, but it’s uneven

  36. Helen

    That TTDB cartoon is really excellent, Tigtog. I was going to post a link to it when I saw you’d already done so.

    The capitalist / paleoconservative paradise imagined by Tea party types was actually quite a hotbed of socialism by their standards!

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