Grace Collier

Oct 31, 2011

The Australian on unions: “better not stop belting until there is none left alive”

You're not going to believe what slipped past

Pure Poison IconYou’re not going to believe what slipped past moderators at The Australian today. Check this deranged, violent anti-union hatred spewed by someone named Grace Collier:

IF you are going to take a baseball bat to a group of unions, you’d better not stop belting until there is none left alive. You had better finish them off once and for all because, like monsters in horror movies that just won’t die, unions rebound with renewed force and enraged retaliation.

Wait – that’s not an insane reader comment that snuck through, that’s an actual article? A real, published article – not a Cut & Paste Trophy “article”? Something with its own headline, URL etc? Jebus.

What next? Demanding that unionists swing from lamp-posts? (I guess we’ll have to wait for Miranda Devine’s column for that.)

No, seriously – I wonder why this article isn’t locked behind The Australian‘s paywall? Surely this is just the sort of premium quality content their readers expect to have to pay for.

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36 comments

36 thoughts on “The Australian on unions: “better not stop belting until there is none left alive”

  1. Bloods05

    Sometimes only the basest of expletives will do the job. Oscar would have applauded the eloquence and economy of it. It’s kind of the Reader’s Digest condensed edition of De Profundis.

  2. Howard,B.

    Ohhh! Looks like someone has had a bit too much at the Melbourne Cup festivities and has come back home a little tired, emotional and unable to respond with anything other than the basest of expletives. Not even one of your trademark Oscar Wilde quotes to fall back on, Bloodsy?
    There, there Bloodsy, have a few glasses of water and head off to bed, you’ll feel better tommorrow and I’ll still be here waiting for you.

  3. Bloods05

    Wilful blindness Howard. Fuck off.

  4. Howard,B.

    There’s no one-liner to be seen, Bloods05, only a succinct statement of reality which instead of replying to, you have chosen to sulk away from muttering something about ‘flippant juvenilia’.

  5. Bloods05

    This from the man who entered this conversation complaining about cheap one-liners. Challenge a conservative to contemplate a serious moral issue, and this kind of flippant juvenilia is what you get.

  6. Howard,B.

    Bloods05

    What a cosy world you inhabit, Howard.

    Not half as cosy as a world in which one can wilfully ignore the fact that in a globalized marketplace a business, and all the jobs it entails, must either compete or die.
    *Sunshine, lolliepops and rainbows*

  7. Bloods05

    [I don’t think it’s any more authoriatarian than any other employer-employee relationship. When you choose to work for someone it is understood that the employer has a degree of authority over you. Should you feel the employer is abusing that authority, or undervaluing your contributions to the organization, you are free to leave. Personally, I think such employers are ultimately only undermining their own business.]

    What a cosy world you inhabit, Howard. A world in which we are all “free to leave”, where we have all sorts of other options. A world in which bastard employers will just wither away as they undermine their own businesses, where there is no need for workers to resist their bastardry because it will just take care of itself.

  8. Tomus Barava

    Grace has an interesting past – these days she is a bit of a hero for the HR Nicholls society.

    Grace Collier
    At the age of 21, whilst an employee within Marketing at Telstra, Grace was identified by Officials within the Community and Public Sector Union as an individual with leadership talent for the organisation of labour and workplace activism. Inducted into the ACTU’s special training and development program, Grace began as a rookie Organiser with The Australian Services Union.

    Subsequently, rejected by the BLF and the CFMEU on the grounds of being “a girl and too small”, she eventually secured a position as Organiser with the Storeman and Packers Union; commonly referred to as ‘the Packers and Wackers’

    During the great dispute between Patrick and the MUA, Grace played an instrumental role in the Queensland section of the resistance movement and was one of the core group arrested and charged for her role in operations. However, upon the election of the Labor Government, all charges against Grace were dropped; for which Grace informs me she is now most grateful.

    The road travelled since her early days as a Union Official has been one of growth and challenge as Grace has navigated through several strategic career moves that have propelled her to her current role as a partner and advisor to boards and top-level executives.

    Grace formed Industrial Relations Consulting in 2003. Since then, each project Grace has undertaken has been stamped with her individual style; she conceives and steers strategic long-term visions for her clients while simultaneously micro managing the fine detail.

    http://www.hrnicholls.com.au/archives/vol28/vol28-profile.php

  9. liliwyt

    What is it with our current pre-occupation with baseball bats?

  10. Howard,B.

    Fractious

    Grace Collier is not a journalist writing journalism, she’s some IR consultant writing an opinion piece.

  11. Eponymous

    Howard seems to have found his hobby. Good on him.

  12. fractious

    @ Howard:

    Such hypebolic language diminishes the true nature of fascism and communism journalism and public discourse and makes the user journalist look like a wide-eyed hysteric.

    FTFY.

    PS thanks to all for reinstating the preview button and numbered threads.

  13. Howard,B.

    Bloods05

    I don’t think it’s any more authoriatarian than any other employer-employee relationship. When you choose to work for someone it is understood that the employer has a degree of authority over you. Should you feel the employer is abusing that authority, or undervaluing your contributions to the organization, you are free to leave. Personally, I think such employers are ultimately only undermining their own business.

    Cuppa

    There is no moral equivalence to be had here. Ms Collier wrote about how businesses can best go about protecting the competiveness of their businesses within the confines of the law with some throw away metaphor upon which you seized in the service of a godwin.
    If the author was actually calling for the violent repression of unions, you may have a point, but she’s not and hence you don’t.
    I agree with you regarding that Godwin’s Law is applicable when either side of the political spectrum tries and discredit the other through the actions of their totalitarian manifestations of the past, to that end you may have noted this statement:

    ..the idea that an employer is allowed to respond to union actions within the bounds of the law is no more ‘fascist’ than the idea of a union acting within the bounds of the law in the first place is ‘communist’.

    By this I mean both sentiments are misplaced.

    Tomus Barava

    Well, I suppose that would depend on the context of the statement: if it was an actual call to violence or an agressive metaphor. However, how ‘finishing off a group of businesses’ would benefit employees is unclear, given that without said businesses there is no scope for employment to begin with.

    Chris Tallis

    I don’t know how you went from a discussion on IR to an wide ambit statement on social infrastructure, but you’ve done it. FTR, I agree that the social infrastructure you have highlighted is indeed a desirable thing. However, I also understand that such things can only be paid for with a strong and competitive private sector.

  14. Chris Tallis

    I wonder how howards privileged world would crumble without the socialist constructs that are our police force, education system, legal system and fire brigade.
    We live in a socialist society. Without it the exploited workers would not tolerate the inequities of wealth and would turn their wrath upon the greedy.

  15. Tomus Barava

    I keep wondering what would happen if an Occupy *insert name* protester was to stand up in front of a group of fellow protesters and use the same words as Ms Collier, but replacing the words unions with police, bankers or CEOs.

    Would there be a likelihood that they would be arrested and charged with incitement to violence or some similar charge?

  16. Cuppa

    Howard,B.,

    There you go with the moral equivalence again, suggesting people look like “wild-eyed hysterics”, while excusing the writer of the original comment as having “used an unfortunate metaphor”.

    You go on about “wild-eyed hysterics”, “communists’, and even seek to deligitimise accurate historical observation by invoking the so-called Godwins Law. But when someone from the right says what they’ve said, and had it published in the national broadsheet, well, ahem, “they used an unfortunate metaphor, that’s all … now lemme think of ways to change the subject and bring leftist extremism into this.”

    Sometimes I think we need a leftist counterpart to Godwins Law. The first person in a debate to bring in the accusation of “Communist!”, loses. Those dunces at the anti-carbon tax rallies waving around signs thus describing Julia Gillard and Bob Brown would obviously fall foul right away. And as for the nitwits on internet blogs and the like who claim Gillard and Brown are both communist AND fascist – well, they wouldn’t stand a chance as they’d be disqualified by both Godwins Law and its new leftist counterpart. 😀

  17. SBH

    grace, hot from shit canning BHPs deal – it’s the ex-unionists who hate us worst

  18. Jack Sparraaggghhh

    I’m sure Grace only meant a figurative ‘baseball bat’ — meaning, using old any dirty tricks to try and fox not only the unions but the government of the day as well as the general and travelling public.

    The bit about ‘until there is none left alive’ is similarly just another euphemism for totally, but benignly, crushing the union movement and its ability to function effectively in protecting members’ interests from the well-meaning onslaughts of patriotic employers towards, for instance, abolishing Australian jobs and sending them offshore.

    It’s all perfectly harmless and well-intentioned, so Grace should definitely not be mistaken for some extremist shill for corporate interests.

  19. Bloods05

    So an authoritarian employer running an organisation with an iron fist, paying no heed to the feelings, concerns and needs of his employees – setting aside the question of whether he has a legal or moral right to do so, a question on which I’m sure we would disagree – is not a form of authoritarianism?

  20. Howard,B.

    Cuppa

    Yes, and not the least because you keep dragging “Communism” into this

    I think upon taking a few deep breaths and reading back through the thread, you’ll find I mentioned the term ‘communism’ as many times as I mentioned the term ‘fascism’, and only insofar as to highlight that the violent repression of independent unionism is a feature of all manifestations of totalitarianism.
    Whatever the political leanings of Ms Collier may or may not be, the idea that an employer is allowed to respond to union actions within the bounds of the law is no more ‘fascist’ than the idea of a union acting within the bounds of the law in the first place is ‘communist’. Such hypebolic language diminishes the true nature of fascism and communism and makes the user look like a wide-eyed hysteric.

  21. Cuppa

    [Curious moral relativism? ]

    Yes, and not the least because you keep dragging “Communism” into this. Note, it isn’t a LEFTY who’s advocating a type of metaphorical final solution of unions. So I don’t know why you’d KEEP referring to “Communists” … unless, of course, you’re making excuses and distracting from the fascist thrust of the rant, and trying to invoke a sort of moral equivalence between the left and right when only one of them is present here.

  22. Howard,B.

    Dave

    Fair enough.

    Bloods05

    Well, I guess we’re at another one of our ideological impasses. A private company is free to run its affairs within the bounds of the law. Labeling this as ‘totalitarianism’ and ‘authoritarianism’ is an abuse of the two terms and diminishes what they really signify.

    Cuppa

    Curious moral relativism? I’m not ‘passing judgement; on this ‘presumably right winger’ because it is quite clear to a reasonable reader she’s using a metaphor. While this is quite obvious to most, it sadly hasn’t been enough to stop you from indulging in a little godwinning.

  23. Cuppa

    [Isn’t that what the fascists did – went around killing and/or locking up unionists.

    Fascists, communists and all other fellow totalitarians have neither been particularly enthused with independent unionism. All in all a pretty cheap one liner, Cuppa.]

    So you pass off an accurate historical observation as “a pretty cheap one liner” but avoid passing judgement on a (presumably) right-winger who’s advocating using a baseball bat to belt unions and finish them off once and for all. Curious sort of moral relativism RWFs have there, Howard,B.

  24. Bloods05

    I don’t care whether it’s legal or not, if the effect of their actions is to reduce the effectiveness of unions to the point where employers can do whatever they like, from the workers’ point of view, it’s not all that far from totalitarianism. Authoritarianism is not the exclusive province of governments. Many employers have totalitarian ambitions, and unless they are restrained, they can be counted on to act them out. I know. I’ve worked for some of them.

  25. Dave Gaukroger

    Howard, I don’t believe that Collier is actually calling for violence, but it’s an interesting comparison to the horror expressed at harsh words used by some union figures.

  26. Matthew of Canberra

    My god. Is that THIS grace collier?

    http://irelations.com.au/grace-collier/

    Grace Collier is recognised as one of Australia’s leading industrial relations experts. With an early background in the Union movement, Ms Collier mastered the knowledge to deliver sound results for the business community.

    Let’s hope not.

  27. Howard,B.

    Bloods05

    Well, if you’re suggesting that the author here is actually talking about the violent repression of unionism as opposed to employers using whatever legal means are available to them in order to protect the competitveness of their businesses, than I’m afraid we are going to have to disagree.
    Ms Collier may be guilty of using an unfortunate metaphor, but I think you may drawing a very long bow in suggesting she’s advocating ‘totalitarianism’ in this matter.

  28. Howard,B.

    Yet again, Jonesy, your inability to string a coherent point together leaves the reader trying to piece together what your intended meaning is. Are you refuting that historically both communist and fascist regimes have repressed independent unionism?

  29. Bloods05

    So Howard, what Cuppa should have said is that what is being advocated here is not exclusive to those of a fascist turn of mind, but in fact is common to all totalitarians. Fair point. So this Collier character is advocating totalitarianism, at least insofar as independent unionism is concerned. Now can we all agree?

  30. Aliar Jones

    [All in all a pretty cheap one liner, Cuppa.]

    History 101 FAIL…you could start by googling a few reputable sources.

    I ain’t gonna wipe your bib for you.

  31. Howard,B.

    Isn’t that what the fascists did – went around killing and/or locking up unionists.

    Fascists, communists and all other fellow totalitarians have neither been particularly enthused with independent unionism. All in all a pretty cheap one liner, Cuppa.

  32. Aliar Jones

    It’s been Union Bashing all day long…depressing and idiotic

  33. Tomus Barava

    I love accidentally googling my way through the OO paywall – Grace finishes her piece with the following paragraph:

    Poor Qantas: the bears they’ve let live in their loungeroom are tearing their house apart and they don’t know how to evict them, but blowing the whole house up isn’t the solution. Let’s hope management somehow manage to get the bears out, for good.

    People are paying for this?

  34. Cuppa

    Isn’t that what the fascists did – went around killing and/or locking up unionists.

  35. Tomus Barava

    Grace “beat em to a pulp” Collier – surely couldn’t be the same Grace Collier of IRC?

    Grace Collier is recognised as one of Australia’s leading industrial relations experts. With an early background in the Union movement, Ms Collier mastered the knowledge to deliver sound results for the business community.

    Yes there is nothing like the sound of metaphoric baseball bat* smashing into the bodies of those fat cat unionists!

    *Maybe it’s time for baseball bat watch?

  36. monkeywrench

    You can imagine the sort of caterwauling that would ensue if a green-inclined commentator had said that.
    Wait.
    I tried to think of a Green-inclined commentator. Errm, Jeremy….Graeme Readfearn…errm….

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