Unions refuse to learn the lesson of defeat

If you tilt your head far enough to the left, it might look like you didn’t lose.

Any hopes that the Australian Labor party, and the labor movement as a whole, might actually learn something from its devastating defeat are rapidly fading. Rather than engage in deep soul-searching, the movement is simply shifting blame to Bill Shorten, and to a lesser extent shadow treasurer Chris Bowen. The ALP is preparing to elect another leader who panders to the far left and is doubling down on its broad policy agenda.

It’s a lot easier than confronting the fact that working Australians have walked away from the so-called “worker’s party”.

The union movement is in even deeper denial. Rather than wonder why fewer than one in six working Australians joins a union, the unions are scapegoating, which is the same dark art they have perfected for years. quote.

Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Sally McManus has called for tougher rules on social media to prevent “subterranean” political campaigns from influencing voters with false claims and scare campaigns. end quote.

Mediscare, anyone? In 2016, the Labor movement blatantly lied that the Coalition was planning to axe Medicare. Other barefaced lies peddled in massive advertising campaigns funded with union members’ money include that the Coalition “slashed” education and health spending. (Both have gone steadily up under both governments).

But it seems that campaigns of outright lies are okay for the left. What’s apparently not okay is for their opponents to make even exaggerated claims about what are, in fact, union policy platforms. quote.

Shocked at Labor’s defeat in last Saturday’s election, the union leader likened the falsehoods on Facebook about a “death tax” to the fake claims seen during the United States election three years ago…

While the ACTU has put forward the idea of an “inheritance tax on the wealthiest citizens” in public documents in the past, it was not advocating this in the election campaign and found it had to fight an anonymous social media campaign. end quote.

Inheritance taxes are ACTU policy: “Consideration should be given to taxing inheritances in the hands of the beneficiary”, an ACTU policy statement said in July 2018. The unions claimed that these “death taxes” would “restore fairness to our tax system”. There is nothing to suggest that the unions had in fact rejected the policy rather than just quietly putting it aside for the election campaign. While the Labor party officially denied it was considering inheritance taxes, its shadow assistant treasurer has long talked up death taxes.

Certainly the social media campaign was at least an exaggeration, but it seems hard to deny that inheritance taxes were at least at the back of Labor’s mind, or that the ACTU would have quickly brought the policy out of hiding if Labor had won.

Voters would also have borne in mind Julia Gillard’s solemn promise that, “There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead” just days before the 2010 election.

Sally McManus also refuses to concede that the antics of unionists and the likes of GetUp just ended up grating on voters. quote.

Ms McManus defended the union campaign against claims it had hurt Labor in some seats, where its volunteers were regarded as “blow-ins” rather than local constituents, and she blamed campaign tactics rather than policy flaws for the defeat. end quote.

Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, as the saying goes.

McManus is also peddling more of the idiotic tropes that are dooming the American left to political oblivion. quote.

“If we have to be the resistance we’ll be the resistance,” she said.


Democratically elected governments don’t have a “resistance”, they have saboteurs.