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Friday, August 18, 2006

Investigate this ...

Ian Wishart continues his anti-Labour crusade in the latest edition (Issue 68, September 2006) of his Investigate rag with a story purporting to raise "allegations of Labour Government interference, and massive election spending" in connection with the Service and Food Workers’ Union (SFWU). Wishart uses an internal financial report of the SFWU to try and prove impropriety on the part of the SFWU in its spending around the General Election last year.
But, as his article concedes, unions can lawfully donate services in support of the Labour Party during an election campaign. The SFWU accounting of those services is not necessarily proof of anything other than just that: an internal accounting procedure. Only $20,000 is claimed to have been donated directly to the Labour Party campaign, despite Wishart’s inflammatory claims of "nearly $240,000 of members’ funds allegedly siphoned off to help Labour".
Caning a union for supporting Labour is like attacking the nails for supporting a house: the unions built the Labour Party and the SFWU, along with the engineers’, dairy workers’ and meat workers' unions are all affiliated to the Labour Party. That means every member of those unions can be considered to be a member of Labour through that affiliation. It is quite legitimate for these unions to give financial and other support to the Labour Party.
It is another matter altogether, however, when an extremist right-wing outfit like the Exclusive Brethren Church spends over a million dollars to attack Labour and the Greens in order to aid the election of the National Party. By thine friends shall thee be known. How about a full-scale investigation into that spending Mr Wishart!
Wishart’s support for the hard-done-by members of the SFWU rings hollow given his right-wing credentials. Wishart is hardly a friend of the workers.
That said, the 10-page article makes disquieting reading for anyone genuinely supportive of the trade union movement. The question that should perhaps be asked is why there is no worker-friendly forum for debate about the issues raised in this article.


Anonymous said...

I was also concerned about the anti-gay slant of the article. I support Jill as a unionist and an activist and have never heard her express any anti-lesbian views. It seems to me irrelevant to the issues.

Abdul el Razir said...

Its the wishart think-tank that drives this country into the ground....He has too much say in the governing of the country. I oppose wishartnomics as much as i oppose foreign ownership