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The Unions; Are They being Driven to Drink?

The Unions; Are They being Driven to Drink?

Friday 8 January, 2016
Fred Plodge, Australia’s most celebrated purveyor of public bar politics, ponders this week about whether the future of the union movement in Australia lies in rehabilitation or organised crime.
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Public Bar Politics - a FridayMash satirical series

Some of my best mates are members of unions and I’m so relieved that none of them were called to appear before the Royal Commission.

But as for the rest of them I can’t help thinking that their ultimate goal is electing federal governments through union ballots.

Look I know the Royal Commission was an Abbott atrocity on a par with the knighthood for Philip but I feel sure that the Prince will understand if I rate it higher on the scale of Captain’s Picks.

The other day I heard Dave Oliver, the Secretary of the ACTU, claim that the Royal Commission had merely uncovered isolated instances of union misbehaviour. Well hopefully he’s right and the government is successful in keeping them isolated in the union movement and away from the rest of society.

Bill Shorten says he’s absolutely committed to wiping out corruption wherever it may be. As things stand that’s the biggest threat the union movement has ever faced.

I bow to no-one in my admiration for what unions have achieved for workers’ rights but I’m very concerned that the next stage of their campaign which appears to be based on taking over the federal government will almost certainly fall foul of the Peter Principle.

What really worries me is the prospect of a future Royal Commission into the Labor Party. In view of the fact that more than seventy percent of the federal parliamentary party are union graduates it may well come up with the same findings as the one into the unions even if the Commissioner doesn’t accept an invitation to speak at a Liberal Party fundraiser.

I’ve discussed the situation with my union mates and they’re just as concerned about the situation as I am so we’ve evolved a inspirational plan to restructure the union movement around pubs which are of course currently recognised as the prime sources of sensible political commentary in Australia.

Pubs would become union HQs. They already have a strong union clientele so it would enable a virtually seamless transition. Further it would be good for pub business and there would be no problems in getting members to attend meetings.

And it would be a doddle putting the bite on breweries to come up with all the sponsorship money we’d need.

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About this Series
Fred Plodge is widely acclaimed as Australia’s premier pub commentator on politics and international affairs. Pub patrons throughout Sydney look to Fred as their most unfailingly reliable source of current affairs commentary. Fred’s insight seems to reach full potential after around six schooners and this has led to a feeling amongst patrons that by comparison the commentary from most politicians falls a few schooners short.

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