Category Archives: McQueen, Humphrey

Wikileaks

Humphrey McQueen

Speech to Wikileaks rally, Garema Place, Canberra,  16 December 2010

By what right are we here today? Why are we confident that we can protest and not be shot at by the political police on the fringes of this crowd? We take it granted that we won’t be arrested as we leave. We do not expect to lose our jobs by speaking out for Wikileaks. Continue reading

Navvies rocked this city – Canberra 1911-16

Navvies rocked this city
Canberra 1911-16[1]

 Humphrey McQueen

Canberra Historical Journal, New Series, 67, December 2011, pp. 17-24.

For the Federal Area to become a Federal Capital on the ground as well as in law, hundreds of navvies had to construct before tradesmen and other labourers could build.[2] Continue reading

Foreign workers

  Humphrey McQueen (2012)

Media coverage of the ALP’s deal with Rinehart to import 1,715 skilled and semi-skilled construction workers for Roy Hill has been as intense as it has been shallow. These notes place the 457 visas and Enterprise Migration Agreements (EMAs) in larger contexts – industrial, economic, political and social-cultural. Continue reading

Pig Iron

3CR,  ‘Solidarity Breakfast’, 14 December 2013

Humphrey McQueen

Seventy-five yeas ago, the wharfies at Port Kembla were in the middle of a two-month strike. They were not out over wages or working conditions, crook though both were. They were in a political strike to stop the export of pig iron to Japan. Continue reading

Beyond Medicare—Towards Wellness

Humphrey McQueen
Seeing Red, 2003 (slightly updated)

The current campaigns to defend and extend Medicare offer the opportunity to diagnose the commodification of life, both by merchandisers and by corporatised medicine. Whether health care is treated as a human right or as a commodity will always be the outcome of social action. Human rights are brought into existence through imagination and struggle. Continue reading

Equality – 1972

 

Book Review

Towards a new Australia, Cheshire, Melbourne, 1972, John McLean (ed)
Reviewed in Arena, 30, 1972, pp. 8-12

Humphrey McQueen

In the decade following the defeat of the Labor governments in post-war Britain and Australia there developed the notion that political ideology was exhausted. In the context of the ALP, this assumption meant that nationalisation was no longer accepted as an intrinsic component of the party’s “democratic socialism”. Continue reading

Art, Transfield and Refugees

Art, Transfield and Refugees
A Russian doll of inhumanities

 Humphrey McQueen  – 18 March 2014

 Sometimes you may need to bribe, to be tough, even to be inhuman, to reach your target. Every contract is a battle. What counts in the final victory. Continue reading

The Real Battle for Australia

Defending Australia from the Pink Peril

Humphrey McQueen

From a lecture given in Australian History III, Australian National University, July 1972.
Printed in Woroni and then in National U.

In this lecture I want to lead you away from the notion of the Aborigine as a passive recipient of history, as no more than a victim. Instead, we shall recognise the Aborigine as an active agent in European history since first contact. Continue reading

Asbestos

Humphrey McQueen

Extract from Framework of Flesh, Builders Labourers Battle for Health and Safety, Ginninderra Press, Port Adelaide, 2009, pp. 134-40

Between 1945 and 1955, Australian production of fibro sheeting from asbestos cement trebled from 8 to 23 million square metres. By 1961, one house in six was fibro. The self-builder favoured this material because it was cheap, easy to apply and available. The advertising said nothing about harms. Continue reading

A Whitlam trifecta

Humphrey McQueen

Following are three pieces for the Bulletin in 1999-2000.

 Rumours no longer exaggerated: an obit for Gough

The Bulletin commissioned and paid for this obituary in 2,000 but it died first.

The passing of Edward Gough Whitlam signifies more than the death of one man. Whitlam is the only Labor prime minister whose name became an –ism, an endowment which continues to evoke veneration and loathing. He will wish to be remember for his policies, the theme of this reflection. Continue reading

Taught to forget

 

 Humphrey McQueen

 If any question why we died,
Tell them because our fathers lied.
Rudyard Kipling (1919).

Did Melbourne’s Roman Catholic Archbishop Daniel Mannix allege, early in 1917, that the Great War was ‘simply a sordid trade war’, or did he but repeat as ‘a truism that the war was a trade war’? Continue reading