Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Burro : An Ass

Source : Webster's Dictionary 1998

Speaking of which, from the SMH :
ACTU president Sharan Burrow today stood her ground in the escalating furore over her bid to have Australia included on an international list of the world's 25 worst labour regimes.

The International Labor Organisation, the ILO, is (or was) one of the few branches of the UN for which I had some respect. Historically, they have done very good work, improving labour conditions, abolishing indentured slavery, and promoting the rights of those whose income depends on those more wealthy and powerful than themselves.

One of the tools for doing this was the periodic compilation of countries with the worst records of repression of labour. Places like Colombia, where 72 unionists were assassinated last year alone. Places like Eritrea, or Bekina Faso, where imprisonment and torture are risks run by every Labour organiser.

But this time, neither Colombia, nor Eritrea, nor Bekina Faso are on the "worst of the worst" list. It now includes.... the USA, the UK, Japan, and thanks to Sharan Burrow, Australia.

According to Ms Burrow,
"You don't say, 'Deal with him as he's a murderer - I'm just a thief.' International law is not a matter of degree."
Murder or littering, it's all the same. Worse, the proven murderers are let off scot free, it's only political opponents who are taken for trial, accused of mopery and loitering.

The whole idea of the "25 of the Worst" is to differentiate between the sociopathic and the mildly imperfect, between the truly Evil and the less than absolutely spotless. This has now been prostituted, like much of the rest of the UN's organs, into petty political posturing.
Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) chief executive Peter Hendy today accused Ms Burrow of running a political campaign overseas, which he said would be detrimental to Australia and Australian business.

"It's an extreme campaign that she is running for her political agenda that she has got back here in Australia and we don't think she should be doing it," Mr Hendy told reporters.

"She has got a group of foreign legal academics and labour lawyers to condemn Australia for its industrial relations policies.

Mr Hendy said Australia had one of the best labour laws in the world.

"We have some of the best safety nets in the country for workers and to lump us in, with Sharan Barrow's lobbying, the 25 worst industrial relations countries in the world is a disgrace on her part and the ACTU.

"Obviously we are not worse than these countries, and the fact is it is a disgrace that the ACTU is pushing a partisan political campaign offshore," he said.

From The Australian :
Ms Burrow - who holds an influential post as president of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, as well as being the public face of the ACTU - confirmed last night that she had used her influence to put Australia in line for an official ILO reprimand.
"I don't deny using my influence, but I didn't have to, because the workers' group on the ILO know that Australia's workplace laws are among the worst in the world," Ms Burrow told The Australian.
Ms Burrow said that the US, Britain and Japan were also included on the list of 25 nations facing reprimand by an ILO expert committee of jurors.
However, she confirmed that the alleged breaches involving these countries were mainly long-standing or past, or not in the most serious category.
As you may have gathered, there's an election coming up. But worse than any temporary effect on Australia, it means that one of the last worthwhile functional parts of the UN has been subverted, perverted and wholly discredited. If Israel isn't on the list now, I'm sure it soon will be, the list pre-printed with Israel at the top. That's been the pattern every other time.

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