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It was palpably a special issue to counter the criticism that it was known would take place at the conference. I was surprised at the strong support the motion had from practically all the delegates — with the exception of the executive and secretaries, which included Jack Dash, F. Martyn, J. Mullan and, of course, Theodore and McCormack. It was the outstanding debate of the conference and the political apologists were hopelessly beaten.
I said I did not desire to force that position, and if the object of the motion was attained through the discussion then I would withdraw the motion. This was done and the following resolution was moved by H. The conclusion of this final conference of the A. Instead of the new organisation blazing the track of a wider and more progressive industrial movement, it became a plastic adherent to the compulsory Arbitration system and the jackal of a reactionary and treacherous Labour Party. Those in control of the amalgamated A.
Every day I used to go to the Trades Hall in the lunch hour. I told him, and he remarked that the conference had done the right thing. Arising from the publication of the A. Before the official report was bound and issued, I secured a copy and saw that the same inexorable censorship had been applied. I immediately wired to McCormack at Townsville, where he was acting secretary for the A. It was three weeks before McCormack replied to my protest and demand.
In the meantime, of course, the censored report was issued and only those at the conference ever knew the truth. Mullan, was responsible for the deletion in the report. Since then, I, in common with many other militant delegates, have suffered continuous censorship and suppression in A. Not having attended many A. The Labour Party, with its comrade in arms, the A. But these righteous critics of Tory censorship still more ruthlessly employ censorship methods not to their political enemies but to the workers who in many instances have materially helped to build up the Australian Labour Movement.
The historical Waihe miners strike was in full conflict, in which the whole power of the State was placed at the disposal of the mining companies and organised lawlessness, even up to the point of the killing of a striker, backed by the police authorities, held undisputed sway. Hickey was sent to Australia for the purpose of raising funds to assist in the struggle.
He visited every State, including Westralia, and spent about seven months in Australia, travelled many thousands of miles, and addressed hundreds of meetings, sometimes as many as six in the one day. Whenever that position arises every unionist should stand prepared to toss every argument or award to Hell!
Hickey was innately permeated with the wanderlust and in his younger days had sought adventure in Alaska and later worked — and struck — in the Colorado mines, and was an intimate of Big Bill Haywood and Eugene Debs. His labour record even in was one of which many a man might be proud. Naturally, we became the closest of comrades, closer to me than anyone else, with the exception of Bob Ross, and this deep friendship remained unbroken until the day of his death in Melbourne a few years ago.
There was a close bond and similarity of outlook between the old fighting A. A magnetic speaker, persistent organiser and writer of ability, Hickey left his mark wherever he went. Later he returned to Australia and was engaged as organiser by the Victorian branch of the Australian Railways Union afterwards transferring to the Queensland branch. It was at that intermediate period that Frank M.
Hyett, A. But he declined, and came on to Queensland. I asked him why. Hanlon, the editor, and A. Hinchcliffe, manager, both knew Hickey well — and that, of course, was the cause of their determination not to have a rebel like Hickey at any price.
A few years previously, when C. Seymour resigned from the editorship, the position was advertised throughout Australasia. Hickey applied in characteristically brief and unassuming manner. He has held the position ever since and has consistently justified his selection as a loyal and unquestioning servant of the reactionary A. Hickey, after occupying the position of A. The project failed, and Hickey commenced a printing business in Auckland.
He made a success of this venture, but ultimately abandoned it and settled in Melbourne, where he subsequently died, a comparatively young man. The arrival of the pamphlets from Kerrs, U. Knowing the fate that would await such literature from indifferent or hostile officials if sent in bulk to the various district offices, I obtained a full list of all mining camps, sugar mills, shearing sheds, railway gangs in Queensland and dispatched parcels of the precious literature to each one. It was a big task, but it was indeed a labour of love, and enthusiastically assisted by two or three comrades who likewise realised the urgency and value of this work, the A.
Theodore particu larly was hostile to the literature project and did not hesitate to put every possible obstacle in the way of the literature committee getting the money allocated by the A. Jim later came to Brisbane and as a member of the literature committee rendered invaluable service in the circulation of the literature. Always an active worker in the Labour movement, Jim has occupied responsible positions in the A. A brother, Jack, now in Westralia, was also an engineer, and a live member of the old A.
After the general strike Jack at a meeting, made certain recommendations as to how unionists should deal with scabs when forced to work with them. He was arrested, committed for trial and sentenced to six months hard labour in Boggo Road gaol, which he served. A little while ago Mrs. As there was evidently no intention of the A.
Complete Journal: Volume 12 Issue 4
I issued an appeal which, as it is of some historic value, is inserted as an addendum at the end of the book. It is hard for the present generation to realise or even understand the paucity of Socialist and working class books in Queensland particularly, and Australia generally, 25 years ago. The dearth or drought was absolute and nobody seemed to care a darn. Despite the many difficulties, happily some fine results accrued from this scheme. The response I received was encouraging and until after the outbreak of the war in placed the military in the saddle of power, thus automatically banning and gagging all freedom of a working class nature, very many books were purchased and distributed.
Those far off days of book shortage and difficulties are to-day but a dim memory, unknown even to most workers. To-day Communist, revolutionary, radical books and literature of all descriptions are to be found in every quarter — even often finding pride of place in the windows of Methodist and other religious bookshops, while the Anvil Book Shop staggers one with its wealth of working class publications.
Compared with this welter of books easily and immediately obtainable, my efforts in the direction of book circulation amongst the toilers of Queensland were poor indeed. But I cherish the thought, even belief, that this seed thus sown has borne good fruit, that the labour was not wasted, and that at least some of the Communist thought and activities in Queensland to-day can be traced in some degree to the books and literature I and a few other comrades succeeded in distributing a quarter of a century ago.
It literally captured the imagination of the A. What a soul comforting thought in this era of degrading and mostly useless or, unnecessary toil. And how few workers realise their God-given inherent right to be lazy, to enjoy and revel in life, instead of being the soulless machines of an inhuman system of society. An amusing incident with regard to the right to be lazy occurred at a conference between the mine owners and their employees at a mining centre in North Queensland. Con Ryan, who, at it later period, for a short time was a Labour member of Parliament, as an A.
Coyne, R. Bow, F. Martyn, and other reactionary members of the executive of the now amalgamated A. Dunstan, an imported reactionary from South Australia, was general secretary. Although I was elected by the recognised highest authority of the union — the annual convention, the executive dissolved the literature committee and branded me as an A. Moir and J. Dash, both members of the executive, came and, told me what had happened. I said that personally I did not worry about the action of the executive, but that I strongly resented the insulting of the writers of the literature who were the greatest in the whole Labour movement, and whose boots Theodore was not fit to brush.
I said if this literature was undermining the A. The executive, I said, was a Star Chamber, who had the brazenness to dictate to the rank and file what they should or should not read. But you are too late, Mac!
The literature is now throughout the State and will do its work despite the executive. There was a change in the tone of Theodore and his cronies with regard to the literature after they had come in contact with the rank and file of the members. They found, of course, that the members gladly welcomed the literature and wanted more of it. But though the open hostility of the executive was dropped, the determination to prevent me from operating the literature never wavered and the outbreak of war upset any concrete effort to again force this matter to the front.
McCormack was always more frank than Theodore in discussions or, talks with me. So, despite the intense official opposition, the good work was going on and the literature was fulfilling its hoped-for mission. The line of demarcation between the two schools of thought that existed even in the old fighting A.
Contrary to the expectations of the militant. I was defeated in the ballot for position as delegate to the annual delegate meeting and Australian Convention. The Queensland president and two vice-presidents were in that year. Theodore was, elected president, while the first ballot for vice- president resulted in the election of J.
Wilson, a decent, popular northern member of the A. In the second ballot, all except Bowman and I were eliminated, McCormack only receiving three votes, the others less. In the final ballot, to the amazement and consternation of the reactionaries, Bowman and I tied, and it was left to the president, Theodore, to give his casting vote.
Riordan who ye gods! The executive without any hesitation or qualms of conscience, appointed McCormack vice-president. In the following year , a number of the militants urged me to nominate against Theodore for the position of president. Of course, we knew that no one could beat Theodore, but it was desired that an opportunity should be given to record a vote of protest.
I readily agreed as I have never worried about getting defeated in a ballot or a fight. I have been in that position all my life. Theodore was elected, but I received a big minority vote, which represented the fighters of the organisation. McCormack and Coyne continuously nominated for the position of vice-president, the former being elected. In , they were both nominated and at the last hour of nominations I nominated, as the militants considered that on a split reactionary vote between McCormack and Coyne, a solid militant vote would elect me.
Theodore, in January, , after being re-elected president for that year, resigned from that position, thus leaving it to the annual delegate meeting at Brisbane in January, to elect a president. There was a militant majority of one at that meeting, so their nominee would be elected. I had failed to get elected to the delegate meeting. The militant delegates approached me, urging me to accept nomination. With the greatest reluctance I agreed, feeling that, as there was no one else in sight, it was my duty to do so.
I dreaded the crucifixion I should suffer as president at the hands of a reactionary secretary and executive. We want some one who will kick Dunstan down the stairs — out of the office — and Riordan is the man to do it. I assured Moir that I was only too pleased to give him pride of place in this matter of Riordan or anyone else. Moir was asked if this was true. He indignantly denied it point blank. This resolution was carried but was rejected by the Australian A.
However, this hurdle was easily surmounted because the Queensland president of the A. It is hardly necessary for me to note how faithfully? Riordan carried out his mission to fight Dunstan and the reactionaries as president of the A.
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Like many other time servers, Riordan forswore his militancy once he had obtained office through its agency. He became the boon companion and well-beloved comrade of Dunstan and commenced his reactionary career. These sidelights on the earlier A. One of the results of the amalgamation of the A.
This left only the A. Consequently the A. With the eclipse of the A. This impossible position was rectified by the establishment of the Brisbane Industrial Council, on the usual basis of union representation common to other Trades and Labour Councils. Skirving, later an M.
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At the commencement the Industrial Council was dominated by the moderate unions, but after the outbreak of the war in — there was a decided swing to the left, until eventually the militants were in the majority. This was most objectionable to the reactionary minority, who vainly endeavoured to stem the rising tide and viewed with dismay the revolutionary policy of the Council.
The history of the Brisbane Industrial Council vividly illustrates this dishonest and cowardly method of retarding all progressive movements. Unable to impose their will upon the Council, detesting the courageous anti-war policy of the Council, nearly all the reactionary unions withdrew their affiliations. These unions found a refuge and comfortable home in the Eight-Hour Committee, which naturally became treated by members and ministers of the Labour Government as the supreme control union organisation in Queensland and was deliberately used by the politicians to discredit and oppose the militant industrial council.
When, years later, a scheme of amalgamation of the Eight-Hour Committee, Industrial Council, and Trades Hall Board, was practically consummated, a meeting of this amalgamation was convened to inaugurate the now Trades and Labour Council, at which every union in Brisbane, with the exception of the A. This triumph of the militants was unbearable to the moderates, and within two months the usual withdrawals from affiliation took place, resulting in the early collapse of the amalgamation.
When the amalgamation was again consummated, there was a change in the attitude of the unions. The moderates secured a decisive victory, the present Trades and Labour Council replaced the Industrial Council — and there was no sabotaging tactics indulged in by the delegates who strictly adhere to majority rule — when it suits them. That organisation has consistently, on many occasions, refused to join or co-operate in any movement where the A.
Its persistent refusal to recognise or affiliate with the A. In June, , a general meeting of metropolitan members of the A. I was elected secretary and it was decided to hold monthly meetings. A keen desire was expressed to affiliate with the Brisbane Industrial Council and appoint delegates.
Dunstan, general secretary of the Queensland branch, stated that the matter would be dealt with by the State executive and he was sure that an unanimous vote in favour of such affiliation would be cast by the executive. It is interesting to recall that the following resolution. Watkins, secretary of the Federal Labour Party, and W. Finlayson, M. The Act referred to was in connection with compulsory registration for military purposes. The following resolution was also carried and forwarded to Messrs. Frank Anstey and C.
McGrath, Ms. McGrath in their attacks on the Federal Labour Government, with regard to its abandonment of working class principles and its advocacy of military dominance as opposed to civilian rights. Those resolutions give some indication of the anti-working class tendencies of the Federal Labour Government 23 years ago, which, unfortunately, have since become even more pronounced. Advice was received at the next meeting from A. Very hostile speeches were made that the affiliation be proceeded with immediately. But Dunstan, Riordan, and Coy.
With the usual A. As the union funds were controlled by the executive, the necessary supplies were cut off and another victory was secured by the authoritative executive. During the general strike in the urgent necessity of a daily Labour paper, owned and controlled by the workers, was realised as never before. Although the paper was made possible by private shareholders, the majority of the shares were taken up by the unions.
It's unfortunate that we are not also taught what we sacrifice in order to obtain this stuff, as many of us spend much of our lives working in jobs we don't especially like, sacrificing health, time and relationships so we can buy more things that we don't really need. I can't deny there is a pleasure that is gained from new stuff, but it's always short lived.
Buddhists have a philosophy that everything you own ends up owning a part of you and I can certainly identify with that. You've acted on Shortland Street and in TV commercials - how do you marry your eco living principles with the fickle world of television? Sometimes it's difficult, but media is such a wonderful and powerful tool for creating positive change that I consider it an important pursuit. The key is to just stay as grounded as possible and try to do the best you can. Nobody is perfect.
Home to me is a place where I can completely just be myself with the people that I love and where I am sheltered from the weather. Was it hard to find a woman who wanted to live in a tiny house with you? My girlfriend [photographer] Melissa Nickerson was rapt when I got into the tiny house movement. Neither of us are very materialistic.
12 Questions: Georgina Beyer
We're more interested in using our money to travel and do things we love. We don't own our own property. We rent a room in a house with four other people so in a way our tiny house will be a larger space for us. I grew up in a McMansion, really. My parents have a large house on the Shore, four bedrooms, two lounges, an office. It was a great family home. I actually don't loathe McMansions at all. I have seen wonderful large homes that have been constructed with great thought and care for the environment around them.
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They are just not a practical solution for all the people on the planet in a world with limited space and resources. The main problem is the debt associated with owning them. And the lack of freedom that comes with that debt. I've always been really eco-minded. Since I was very little I always had an understanding that you don't take anything with you. At the end of your life all you carry with you are the people you meet and stories and relationships and lessons you've learned.
My dad's an accountant and my mum worked for accounting firms but they're really open and loving people. I was the black sheep and probably still am. In the beginning they thought I was nuts but now I think they're coming around to my ideas. My mum sends me stuff she finds on the internet about tiny houses. What I want to do is let people know there's a choice. If you're happy with how things are in your life and the work you do to pay for that then that's fine.
But lots of people aren't. They're really hurting and unhappy in their jobs and they don't see a way out of being in debt for 30 years or whatever. People say you have to live in the real world, but the real tangible world is one where food does grow on trees and water falls from the sky and everything is provided for you to survive. Success is a word that I associate most with the accomplishment of a goal and it's not something that I strive for. I've had a lot of ups and downs and hurdles to overcome before any kind of achievement and what I have learned is that it's the journey in where happiness is found, not the destination.
For me success is when I am able to enjoy each moment on the path I'm on and not be focused on the outcome, which often is completely out of my control. That really depends on the path of human consciousness. If we grow into a culture that focuses on fair distribution of resources, care of the planet and pursuit of non-material happiness, then I think downsized homes will become normal.