“She (Margaret Thatcher) initiated the privatisation boom, which was copied around the world,” says Lord Freud, the minister for welfare reform, who in an earlier life as a banker at SG Warburg was involved in the privatisations of British Steel, the water industry and the second phase of the sell-off of British Telecom.
As she explained in her memoirs, Lady Thatcher saw privatisation as “fundamental to improving Britain’s economic performance”. But it also chimed with her political ideology.
“It was one of the central means of reversing the corrosive and corrupting effects of socialism,” she declared, adding: “Just as nationalisation was at the heart of the collectivist program by which Labour governments sought to remodel British society, so privatisation is at the centre of any program of reclaiming territory for freedom.”
Such a ghastly and perverted psychology is still fundamental to the twisted policies of our own LNP, the core aim to reduce society to a grovelling forelock-tugging feudalism, using poverty , hunger and a desperate condition in our old age as its main threat to create an obsequies society.
I can recall when I first started my apprenticeship in carpentry, there were many large building companies that operated throughout the state, building everything from cottage work to multi-story construction and civil construction to hundreds of housing commission houses in all cities and towns in the state. These companies employed tens of thousands of tradesmen and office workers and utilised local manufacturers and transport and all the allied industries needed to run a smooth operation.
And it was a very sophisticated operation..many companies were the result of inter-generational family members, who grew up with the company and even were employed to the trades of those companies. My father was employed for many years in one company, and I remember going to the work Christmas “do” every year and getting a gift of some kind or other..The company was a social society in its own small way..not always for the better, one has to concede, but they were a secure place of employment for many tradesmen and a secure income for the family of those times that made that Australian dream of a house on a quarter acre block possible for many workers.
Well I remember the company I did my apprenticeship in having a welding shop for steel fabrication, a wood machine shop for machining up the joinery timbers for assembly in the joiners shop and then to the paint shop and then to the transport section to be taken to many housing trust sites dotted around the state. A complete unit from go to whoa, with flitches of timber coming into the timber yard out the back stacked high with long lengths of raw materials to be selected and cut to size later.
And then in the late sixties, a creeping meanness came into the industry as the first whispers of a new economic philosophy started to infect the social and corporate body…: The Liberal Party and its push to break the militant unions power base which was in the large bodies of employment in construction, and therefore allow more opportunistic and rampant speculation for inner-city demolition and construction. And so the old companies moved from contractor to Project managing and sacked most of its long-term employees. Coupled with the militarism of the Vietnam War and a generational shift in the conservative mindset from a bumbling post-colonialism to the beginnings of Milton Friedman’s “free-market” economics.
“In a recent history of Australian unionism, Tom Bramble declared that the period
between 1968 and 1974 represented ‘the flood tide’ of Australian unions. In these
years, Bramble argues, a spike in union militancy brought record numbers into union
ranks.In truth, the high-water mark for union strength – when measured as the
proportion of the workforce who held a union ticket – was 1948, when 64.9 per cent
belonged, not 1974. In the 16 years after 1954 union density dropped from 62 per cent
to 49 per cent. Structural changes in the economy were largely responsible for the
change in union fortunes. “ (History of Unionism in Aust’)
In truth, those so-called “structural changes” were part of the plan to break union power by scattering the workforce from a concentrated employment block to subcontracting and casualisation. The rot first started in SA. with the election against the expectations of the Dunstan Govt’ who ushered in a more relaxed style and social consideration politics..the shock of this new direction of Australian politics to the conservative / religious base threw them into damage mode, the culmination of which was the Fraser / Conservative / Religious political coup on the Whitlam govt’, followed in the latter years by Thatcherism and Reaganomics..resulting with the unbridled assistance of the Murdoch arsehole media in an almost complete destruction of social security and the fair go for many Australians.
They call it “freedom”, but in truth it is another era of feudal bondage..bound to a casualisation and insecurity of employment brought about by the privatisation monopoly of industry and the reticence of Governments to own and run state enterprises against the corporate banks and money machines of the stock markets. Owned by the banks and held to ransom with crippling mortgages and extortionate high real-estate prices. The throwing of the workforce into desperate poverty the best insurance for low-wages employment. There will have to be a confrontation against this form of governance if we; the citizens are to claim sovereignty over ours and our children’s future..over our resources and our nation. There will have to be a complete shake-up and a clearing out from relevant departments and media of the diseased and infected members that have habit of bending, yielding and applying of the cruel and vicious programs of the LNP and its fellow travelers…
It must be done as soon as possible, as deeply as knowledgeable and with extreme prejudice.