By JR on Saturday, January 09, 2016
Exraordinary accusations from Mungo MacCallum
The current Mungo has long been a much-read Australian journalist, largely because of his jocular style. He is a past-master of maligning people with a smile on his face. He has always been a classic Leftist hater but one who is also sometimes amusing. A rare feat!
Now that he is in his '70s one might have hoped that he would have undergone the shift from Left to Right that age normally brings on. A remarkable example of that is the now almost forgotten Ned Hanlon, who went from being a union firebrand in his youth to becoming a Premier of Queensland who would sool his police onto strikers in order to break up their strikes. Better-known examples of the Rightward drift are Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan, who were both on the Left in their early days.
But Mungo has resisted that trend. He has learned nothing. He is, if anything, more vitriolic than ever. The accusations he makes below are both extraordinary and devoid of evidence that would support such sweeping claims. They are so amazing that I reproduce below only the beginning of his latest article -- to focus on those accusations. The remainder of the article is in any case basically a criticism of the ineptitude of Bill Shorten, the unpopular leader of the Australian Labor Party.
Mungo's target is the recent judicial enquiry into the well-attested thuggery in Australian building-trade unions, particularly the CFMEU. The lawless behaviour of the unions concerned is too well-known for Mungo to deny it so he resorts to the classic Leftist dodge of moral equivalence. He says that other more conservative groupings are just as bad.
But in so doing he is clearly libellous. He makes statements that would be actionable in court. And since he made the statements on an ABC site, he might well be worth pursuing. The ABC has deep pockets. And the legal profession is generally very guarded of its reputation so Mungo's sweeping denunciation of them seems quite likely to get a response. At least an apology and retraction may be demanded
Mungo starts with a quote from Justice Dyson.
"In many parts of the world constituted by Australian trade union officials," declared Dyson Heydon, "there is room for louts, thugs, bullies, thieves, perjurers, those who threaten violence, errant fiduciaries and organisers of boycotts."
And no doubt there is; but with very minor changes of the last part of the statement, the same strictures apply to the business community - indeed, even to Heydon's own legal profession. In fact, it would be hard to find any group within the Australian populace free of the strictures Heydon elaborates.
Certainly he has identified a few (45, to be precise) of the alleged miscreants who warrant further investigation and may or may not face charges as a result - although it must be noted that only 27 are actually unions or their officials; the rest were companies and those associated with them and other entities.
It sounds like a reasonable bag, until you remember that the whole process took some $80 million and two full years of intensive investigation unearthing and grilling over 500 suspects. Given that level of zealotry, it is hardly surprising that Heydon gathered a few in his net."