On Kathy Jackson
Mary Noonan writes: Re. “Rundle: the dramatic irony in Kathy Jackson’s tragedy” (yesterday). Thank you Guy for voicing exactly my sentiments as an ex-member of the HSU. All those years, all those contributions to a cause I believed in. How bloody dare this woman brush off her behaviour as her right to spend our monthly contributions as she saw fit! Your article is the best, and most accurate take, on exactly how we health care workers feel about our piss-poor treatment from the HSU, and Ms Jackson in particular. We ARE poorly paid for the job we do and to think we were all contributing to her Walter Mitty lifestyle takes me beyond angry.
Les Heimann writes: So Kathy Jackson and partner spent millions of their members money. So the AWU waxed rich on employer deals. Nothing much has yet been said about the SDA and their spending. Such is very often the nature in any pursuit where one is thought to be representing others. Only the genuine ideologues remain steadfast in their duties. In most others there quickly develops a disconnect and with this comes hubris and excessive behaviour. Mind that the “dark side”; the employer, is a willing mentor in this journey. Duchessing union leaders from day one and providing a feast of goodies, benefits and much, much more in order to think that the subject comes under this influence.
Interesting indeed are all these allegations of false invoices surfacing at the commission lately. False invoices? Why would the union care, not at all, but the ATO cares to ensure only genuine business deductions are acceptable and union payments are not, so creative accounting is that of the employer. Anyway, back to the Right. It is my belief that if you want to be a capitalist apparatchik fine but don’t pretend otherwise and I wouldn’t give a bad feed to any of these right wing union types. They are not and never have been what they seem. Equally, if genuine business men and women want to genuinely respect those who work for them they should treat them with the respect they are entitled to. This definitely is not common place. The capitalist barons are just as guilty and will do anything they can get away with in the name of “profit”. Ordinary people like me and millions of other Australians want decent people treating with decent people in a fair and decent manner — that’s all.
Time for the bubble to burst?
Peter Matters writes: Re. “Is the housing bubble about to burst? And should we freak out about it?” (yesterday). No, we need not panic about house prices going through the roof. Since WWII, the supply of houses has been entirely left in the hands of developers, who as a body can be described as shrewd, greedy and entirely ignorant. Seeing that developers had the field entirely to themselves — the community had nobody to offer detached and unbiased guidance — the result was that builders and developers successfully brain washed the community into believing that the most profitable products were the houses every young couple dreamed of.
Fact: the vast majority of houses and apartments produced are grossly overpriced and at the some time grossly inappropriate, for they were deliberately produced on the pyramid principle of Out Do The Jones Next Door.
Fact: In the hands of professionals with a social conscience homes in both outer brick veneer and inner apartmentia can be produced 20-30% cheaper than current practice and at the same time so more liveable because they will be offered as part of close knit communities and therefore not intended to compete with each other.
Lay off Canada
Ian MacIntosh writes: Re. “Back in your boring box, Canada” (yesterday). I have a riposte for the hoser who delivered the pretentious snivel on the Canadian psyche. Many years in this fair land I have come to appreciate the mickey factor and the articulation of jousting to determine one’s mettle. Your resident dickhead had neither wit nor razor, skated a little too close to the edge and deserves a touch of the antlers.