Socialism Doesn't Change

Another tale of sea life and socialism demonstrates how the left never changes. It's now up to the biggest voting block in the country to fight back.

Socialism Doesn't Change
Photo by orbtal media / Unsplash

Ocean Island, Central Pacific, 1964. 

Standing on a plank stage hanging off the side of a ship with another cadet, I was unenthusiastically cleaning some rust spots whilst the ship waited to load phosphate.  

We were close to the surface of these clear blue waters, with two-metre reef sharks cruising below. 

Bosun Jim, with a face like a robber's dog, leaning over the side, yelled down to us:

What are you scabs doing?  You’re breaking down conditions; that’s what you’re doin’!  When Vic Elliott finds out about you scabs, you’ll be gone!”  

The ship had 81 crew, and only the two cadets (trainee officers) could do menial/risky tasks as the powerful Seaman's Union of Australia (SUA) continued to make life easier and better paid for their members.

I had no idea who Vic Elliott was, but according to my shipmates -  seasoned able-bodied seamen (ABs) - he was the militant communist boss of the SUA, focused on taking Australia from a capitalist system to a socialist system, where we all get paid the same, live in the same type of housing, focus on the state media, and look as unhappy as Russians with constipation.  

Those shipmates told me stories of union bullying and standover tactics, which had been entrenched in the SUA culture since the pre-war 1930s.  

Even as a cadet for four years, I witnessed snap strikes, where a ship couldn’t sail for some pitiful reason, such as “an inferior brand of tomato sauce” had been supplied. 

Even then, the communist message didn’t dawn on me until several years later, as the duty watchkeeping officer on a coastal ship. 

The lookout seaman asked me, “Why is it, sir, that you get paid more than me?”

After a minute of thought, I responded, “Well, that’s pretty simple; I can do your job, but you can’t do mine!”    

He promptly replied, “Well, only until the Communist Party gets elected, then we’ll all get paid the same and have job security!”  

This stuck solidly in my mind. I witnessed the results of Communism first-hand in Russia during Perestroika, at the end of 74 years of a stagnated economy, after the Bolsheviks had brutally imposed socialism.

In 2013, Hal Colebatch wrote an excellent book, ‘Australia’s Secret War:  How Unions Sabotaged Our Troops in World War II’.   

Please read it for yourself.  It’s a shameful account that I know is true, as I sailed with guys who were there.

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