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STR*KE! -- the new filth

[This is an updated version of a column I wrote 13 years ago. How times have moved on to now remind unionists like Joe McDonald how much they need to watch their language. Today we face the prospect that the working class could lose this upcoming election because Comrade Joe said "fuck". ]

I'm going to use a word you never thought I'd use. I'll be describing something that can get you arrested or expelled , even, from the ALP! I'm going to tell you the dirtiest word you'll hear. It's filthy!

Remember, you didn't read it here -- not in this post, nor in another. If it comes to an issue, we'll blame the some one else -- someone like Dean Mighell .

I have to use it. Just don't tell my mum. The word is -- I have to use it and be done with it. I'm sick of bottling it up inside me.

“Strike!”

I can't believe I did it. It slipped out. But I feel much better for it. But that's the word: strike.

Maybe some of you are thinking: what's he on about -- “strike” is not a dirty word.

Oh yeah! Tell that to workers in this country. “S.t.r.i.k.e” is no longer a word to be used in mixed company, like when bosses are present. Australian labour now watches its language and minds its manners.

A memo has come down from Kevin Rudd and along with poof, sheila and wog, the “s” word is no longer to be employed in “a threatening or abusive manner”. Class business is to be conducted in such a style as not to affront minority groups in the workplace -- such as employers.

Str*king, like f*cking, is an activity best not referred to in such coarse terms. Lovemaking is OK; so too is consultative process. An employee may do lunch, haggle, negotiate, bargain or talk shop with an employer, but to withdraw one's labour is a faux pas and is sure to ruin the mood. The modern trade unionist is advised to mind his or her language, speak only when spoken to and apply oneself to ongoing workplace reform. Good manners such as these are sure to pay off, and you may even get to keep your job.

The ACTU originally planned to mark this new age of politeness by changing its name to the Retired Strikers' League, or RSL, but the old diggers strongly objected to the encroachment into their territory, so the ACTU executive decided to bury the past instead. Only foul-mouthed veterans of old class wars remember how to swear like troopers --and when they do, they are their won worse enemy.

The verb to strike is no longer to be employed except in the past -- preferably very historical -- tense. Reference to it in the first person plural will also not be tolerated. Statements like “we strike” or “we will strike” are simply bad English and should be disavow as bad syntax.

Doing it or threatening to do it in front of the rest of the workplace community is simply bad form: need I remind you that there are managers present? Foul language of this nature is sure to be interpreted as a breach of on-the-job etiquette and is likely to reflect unfavourably on your class.

Remember your responsibilities. Filthy minds will ruin this country. We have worked extremely hard to overcome our image as the Toilet Republic. But we need to keep up the good work. It is only by watching our p's and q's -- and by not using the “s” word -- that tomorrow will dawn brighter than today.

By Dave Riley

1 Com:

Dave Riley | June 25, 2007

Howard's brutal wedge politics
[This is a note in like mode addressed to Bob Gould's recent commnt on the GLW list.]

When you write words like wot you just penned you gotta spread 'em around a bit . I think we need to be reminded ometimes of how far we can let our fancies get away from us.Look at me. Ain't I a prime example?

Don't answer that, Bobbie. Don't answer that. I know what you'll say...! You bugger.

Always on my tail aren't you?

Here I was thinking one thing -- when all that was happening was that the new Labor leadership of Rudd and Gillard was RETREATING on a few questions ... like racism,... and unionism.

Fuck me. I feel so darn stupid. And rude too, if the truth be known. I was too hasty in my rush to judgement.

So it's ONLY Howard who is doing this dirty deed in the NT. Shit mate I thought it was Ruddy as well...and as for the swearing, why don't youse and me and a load of ALP members -- paid up ones of course, like your good self -- get down to Canberra and have a mass swear in outside parliament?

We can do things like chant:"Fuck! Fuck you Rudd. Fuck! Fuck you Rudd. Fuck! Fuck you Rudd."

And then say, "You wanna expel us too? You want us out, your fucking prick? Go on shithead -- let's see you get rid of us. We are all Joe McDonalds."

You know, do the working class thing and tell them all to get stuffed. We'll swear at Howard too, don't worry. And we'll give Gillard a serve...

It may not make the six o'clock news but it's the thought that counts.


dave riley

PS:And, by the way, mate . This is no bull-- I am so very sorry for my " unremitting hostility to the actually existing workers' movement".

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