The rule of law is cracking in Victoria — and so is the Labor establishment

The rule of law is cracking in Victoria — and so is the Labor establishment. By Ken Phillips.

Victoria, but perhaps more specifically Melbourne, is in serious trouble. Law and order is not just breaking down, it’s already cracked.

When a supporter of firm policing Andrew Bolt refers to Victoria as a ‘police state’, the situation has in fact become dire. Bolt was commenting after watching considerable footage of the police’s handling of Melbourne’s lockdown protests last Saturday; footage, Bolt says, plainly shows police initiating violence.

The infighting here is a wonder to behold. The state government of Dan Andrews is Labor, Labor is mostly financed by the unions, and the CFMEU is a (the?) lead union. The CFMEU is the union for construction workers, and, like Dan Andrews, is left wing.

The CFMEU rules the Victorian construction industry by force and intimidation. Make no mistake, they use thuggery for economic gain, while government looks the other way. The CFMEU are monopolist suppliers of construction labor for large projects in Victoria, and extract large and onerous rents as a result. Union members are very well paid — well above market. The union then passes some of those ill-gotten gains on to the Labor Party, in return for political protection.

But this cosy arrangement of lefty parasites is publicly breaking down.

Andrew’s government allowed many exemptions for construction workers when the latest round of lockdowns came into force. How sweet. But, it now turns out, the construction industry was doing a lot to spread covid — it might even be said they rendered the lockdown ineffective, and prevented Victoria from returning to zero covid. That left Andrews between a rock and a hard place, so he placed restrictions on the construction workers and mandated vaccinations. The union leadership accepted that, but not the membership. Well…

The construction union, the CFMEU, is at the core of this establishment. The CFMEU controls who builds what in Melbourne, extracts massive amounts of money from builders and feeds this to the Labor political machine.

But on Monday the CFMEU’s ‘boys’ turned violently against the CFMEU leadership over mandated industry vaccinations. The video footage of CFMEU boss Setka retreating into the CFMEU fortress-like HQ is eye-popping. The Victorian Labor establishment is breaking from within in a way entirely unpredicted.

The ACTU’s desperate spinning of the incident as the work of “violent right-wing extremists” just doesn’t stand up against the facts. Live feed video footage from within the crowd on Monday clearly shows overwhelming numbers of typical construction workers in union badged clothing.

Tuesday’s follow up rally was massive in its size. Again, live feed footage gave the evidence of construction workers. In this case, building workers banned from working so they spent the day ‘strolling’ through the CBD. The scale of the CBD mass stroll was surely unprecedented. It had all the appearance of a Melbourne, middle suburbia, tradie groundswell.

What is not being publicly discussed is the selective enforcement of laws in Victoria in a way that privileges the government and certain of its left-wing thuggish supporters:

All of this is very headline catching but what is equally disturbing — and what is not being reported gives even greater cause for concern.

In a telling development last week, reports from an industry trade magazine describe how WorkSafe Victoria is investigating a business over the death of a worker from Covid-19. The WorkSafe move comes after the Australian Services Union “…called for an investigation…” The ASU said that it will be “supporting a WorkSafe investigation” and “will hold all employers accountable”.

And here we get to the very heart of what could be called the ‘Victorian comrade racket’.

The union comrade bosses demand. The ‘justice’ institutions jump! It’s selective! Businesses (of any size) are taken to be ‘bad’ and must be punished. But when it comes to holding government itself responsible, under exactly the same laws, the justice institutions block.

It’s now 18 months since the Victorian hotel quarantine disaster first started (March 2020). WorkSafe took up to 4 months before it says it started investigating the Victorian government for OHS breaches. It’s nearly 12 months since Self-Employed Australia wrote to WorkSafe requiring it to investigate. And it’s now 11 weeks since WorkSafe was required under its own statutory obligations to give to the Director of Public Prosecutions its investigation material into the hotel quarantine disaster.

Delay. Delay. Delay! Where is justice? …

It is deeply concerning that WorkSafe is ignoring what seems to be its clear legal obligation. But the apparent refusal to act is consistent with the theme that of the Victorian Labor establishment. Andrew Bolt’s observation of a ‘police state’ extends beyond the police force itself. But this has to be robustly tested.

We admire the protestors for their stand against mandatory vaccination, of course. And we are sympathetic to their demands for less lockdown, because lockdowns in Victoria are increasingly pointless — Victoria cannot return to zero covid now, and half the population is vaxxed. And yes, the police have overstepped the mark and indulged in their own thuggishness as well.

But many of the protestors are looking for trouble, and are not protesting peacefully. They are accustomed to using violence to get their way. They are throwing tap handles, batteries, bottles, and golf balls at the police, who naturally hit back. It is nice to see the union bosses being disregarded by their troops. And it is long overdue justice to see the violence of union thugs being suppressed with their own medicine — why didn’t the state Labor government suppress their violence when those same thugs were intimidating the construction industry?

All in all, there’s something in this for ideologues of all stripes. Sadly our overseas cousins are projecting their own domestic situations onto this news, and are embarrassing in their misunderstanding and selective reporting.

hat-tip Stephen Neil