And Social Justice For All

Speaking at the ASIC annual forum, the Chairman of Australia’s corporate, credit and markets regulator ASIC, Greg Medcraft said:

It’s not necessarily just complying with the law, it’s about what is the right thing,”

And ACTU Secretary Sally McManus does not see a problem with workers breaking laws when the laws are unjust.

So in addition to having among the highest corporate tax rates in the developed world, possibly the second most complex tax regimes in the developed world and possibly the highest minimum wages in the developed world, if you run a business in Australia, compliance with the law is not sufficient.  But union compliance with the law is optional.

Howz that jobsey-growthy stuff going then?

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23 Responses to And Social Justice For All

  1. BrettW

    Regarding Sally I guess the ACTU and Unions in general are proud to now have a leader whose CV includes setting up a group called “Destroy the Joint”. Now that is a true mission statement for lefty Union members.

  2. Lem

    Sally’s only talking about ignoring the law if your a union organiser. She hasn’t got the balls for general breakdown in law and order.

  3. Atoms for Peace

    The liberal left has been smashing social mores for years, but want us to do what is right. Said definition would be good until some SJW takes offense.

  4. Snoopy

    How can you be so sure, Lem?

  5. stackja

    Left wants things their way as always.

  6. Atoms for Peace

    Let’s see a company do right by traditional families based on a judeo Christian ethos.

  7. Lem

    To be sure Snoopy, since you have taken me literally, she might like to talk the talk, but I doubt she has the swagger to match the rhetoric (it’s a visual thing, to continue your theme).

    Anyway, witness how quickly, with the merest of bitch slaps in the media from various blogs she crab walked away from her original words.

    Not only that, but the makeup department took her from white shirt and mannish grey suit to something more indefinable in the matter of two photoshoots.

    It’s a subtle makeover. Pretty soon they’ll be putting red lipstick on her, and getting her knitting.

  8. Shy Ted

    Fancy having a son and naming him Sally. Shame on you Mr and Mrs McManus.

  9. Rogie

    ‘if you run a business in Australia, compliance with the law is not sufficient’ be prepared to be treated by regulators & goverment like a criminal or an ATM.

  10. Boambee John

    Shy Ted

    “A Boy Named Sue”?

    “My name is Sue how do you do.”

  11. Andrew M.

    Indeed. The same principle finds all sorts of applications. Take the Energy Social Justice urged in the ABC earlier today, beginning with the astonishing headline:

    How the free market failed Australia and priced us out of our own gas supply

    For years, electricity and gas operated independently. But the two have become intertwined as the shift towards a cleaner environment and lower emissions has thrust gas firmly into the box seat as the transition fuel to generate electricity.

    Really, so then the climate fever to blacklist coal plants and the promotion of the RET, which have both led to greater reliance on non-coal backups for unreliables, have actually been the cause of higher artificial domestic demand for natural gas.

    This is a public policy fail of epic proportions.

    But you just said it was a market failure!

    And it’s worth getting a handle on how it all came about and the shenanigans employed by the gas majors that have deliberately created this crisis and the supposed shortage which is a total con.

    But you just told us the political climate change policies started it all!

    … First, however, consider this: the gas we are exporting does not belong to the energy giants. It belongs to us. Companies like Woodside, Origin and Santos and their foreign partners merely have bought the right to exploit those gas reserves, which was supposed to lead to massive benefits for ordinary Australians.

    Ownership: something only the State can do!

    Prepare now to be outraged. Global prices have more than halved to $10 and under. Domestic prices, meanwhile, have soared, to well above $10 because of the domestic shortage.

    Cheaper energy for the world? What an outrage! You see what happens when you let the market forces reign! Now if only we had a more short sighted, self-serving, xenophobic energy policy that could ensure energy justice for rich inner city latte sippers instead of Korean and Chinese people.

    By putting the domestic market under pressure, they deliberately pushed local prices higher.

    It was the RET and the carbon pricing regulations!

    When oh when can we get energy social justice for Australians instead of letting the free market use cheap energy to reduce inequality between rich and poor countries… oh err hang on…

  12. H B Bear

    ASIC has a pretty ordinary track record of litigating black letter law. No wonder they would much rather deal with the vibe of the thing.

  13. Leo G

    Howz that jobsey-growthy stuff going then?

    Trussed and effixed.

  14. Senile Old Guy

    McManus could have a point. On the ABC, we read this:

    Given this, it’s surprising there’s been so little analysis on where Australia’s laws on industrial action sit compared to international norms. And on that score, Ms McManus has a point. Under international law, the right to strike is recognised as a fundamental human right. The United Nations (UN) declared “strike action to be a right” and “one of the principal means by which workers and their associations may legitimately promote and defend their economic and social interests” from its early days soon after World War II.

    Of course, these days, everything is a ‘fundamental human right’. But this is the UN! Oh, no wait.

    The restrictions Australia has placed on that right place us at odds with international conventions — a point made repeatedly by the UN agency that oversees labour standards, the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

    How surprising! An international Labour organisation is unhappy with us.

    I remember the days when the ‘fundamental human right’ to strike was more frequently exercised in Australia and it was chaos. This was before the Hawke-Keating accord and workers in every essential industry, and sundry others, would down tools on the smallest pretext. Public transport was often cancelled with little notice, leaving people trying to do their own jobs, or get to school, completely stuffed.

    And ‘secondary strikes’ and ‘strikes for policy’ are utterly and completely immoral. You want to strike for some political purpose? Fine. Just don’t expect to get paid. Or have a job to go back to.

  15. Tel

    The problem is that the law has been reduced to such a confusing pile of criss-crossing regulations (many of which never went anywhere close to Parliament, written by arbitrary government employees who don’t put their name on their work, nor with any skin in the game whatsoever).

    As a consequence, no one can be 100% confident of compliance, so people kind of do what seems roughly right and there is enormous cynicism as to whether the law still means anything. That means, simply by necessity everyone is somewhat selective in the laws we obey.

    The Gillard government passed approx 500 pieces of legislation, let’s call them typically 10 pages each (probably an underestimate) and maybe it takes 1 hour to read each page, along with time to think about it, properly understand it, maybe check some references. That’s 5000 hours of unpaid labour per adult Australian just to come to grips with what exactly Gillard has imposed on them… did you bother to read it all? I know I didn’t.

    That’s not even looking at state legislation, local council brain farts, stupid arbitrary traffic regulations, environmental compliance, whatever the tax office has come up with this week, and so on.

  16. Tel

    Under international law, the right to strike is recognised as a fundamental human right.

    If you don’t support slavery then automatically people have the right to withdraw their labour.

    That doesn’t guarantee they have a right to keep their jobs though. Nor is there a right to block other people’s economic activity with pickets, standover tactics, invading private property, etc.

  17. Craig

    “It’s not necessarily just complying with the law, it’s about what is the right thing,”

    Ok, so Greg is ok with behaving like any common criminal law breaker?

  18. Senile Old Guy

    If you don’t support slavery then automatically people have the right to withdraw their labour.

    Of course.

    That doesn’t guarantee they have a right to keep their jobs though. Nor is there a right to block other people’s economic activity with pickets, standover tactics, invading private property, etc.

    Exactly.

  19. Crossie

    “It’s not necessarily just complying with the law, it’s about what is the right thing,”

    I thought complying with law is doing the right thing. The ‘right thing’ in this context could mean acting charitably and not just in your own self interest however, if charity is forced then it is not charity. We keep coming back to the same concept that you will be made to care.

  20. struth

    It’s not necessarily just complying with the law, it’s about what is the right thing,”

    And his opinion is the right thing!!
    And his name has never been on a ballot paper.
    The right thing is actually for Greg to shut the f up.
    The law is your guideline while you are employed by the taxpayer. Greg baby.
    In my opinion, as the taxpayer, you should be sacked for overstepping your authority and pelted with rotten tomatoes in the stocks.
    That would be righteous and fair.
    After that, you will be required to pay back the money you have been paid from the moment it can be identified that you went beyond the law in true dictator style, and try to enforce your public service socialism on the market.
    And sally is the closest thing to an alpha male the left could find.

  21. Rabz

    workers in every essential industry, and sundry others, would down tools on the smallest pretext

    A classic example were the holiday beer and petrol strikes, that would take place every Easter and Christmas. Then of course there were the train and bus strikes, blackouts, etc.

    Good times.

  22. duncanm

    Are we really that surprised that the marxists that agitated in the University Unions have grown up and now run the unions ?

    I think the workers / members realised they were dudded some time back, but much of the general population hasn’t caught up yet, and still believe the Unions represent the worker.

  23. Rayvic

    The following extracts from Brad Norington’s article in today’s The Australian newspaper do not augur well for constructive industrial relations:

    “New ACTU secretary Sally McManus told the Greens mayor of a Sydney inner-west council that she vigorously supported the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel, a stand directly at odds with Labor policy and local federal MP ­Anthony ­Albanese. …

    Ms McManus hails from the hard Left of the union movement, and was elected unopposed with support from Left unions that dominate the ACTU after the sudden resignation of Dave Oliver. She has identified herself as a socialist activist in the past, and her amicable relations with hardline Greens such as senator Lee Rhiannon stretch back over a decade.

    Ms McManus was also instrumental in helping establish the “Wreck the Joint” campaign in ­response to conservative attacks on former Labor prime minister Julia Gillard and other women.

    Some observers believe Ms McManus could be amenable to using the Greens and their political ­influence to push Labor further to the left in backing pro-union workplace laws.”

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