Tribute to Laurie Short (letter)by Alan A. HoystedNews Weekly
, April 18, 2009
The death of Laurie Short (see his obituary in this issue
) will sadden all who fought Communist influence in the trade unions from the 1940s to the '60s and beyond.
As a young lad of 18, interested in politics and union activities, I considered Laurie Short one of the men I admired most. His tremendous courage in standing against the Communist leadership of Jack McPhillips and others in the Federated Ironworkers' Association (FIA), including being bashed by leftist thugs on several occasions, makes cowards of many so-called "leaders" today.
I'm sure Laurie would have fought the Hawke and Keating governments' policy of reducing tariffs, thus exposing Australian workers to unfair competition from Asian sweatshops. (How could the leaders of the trade union movement have agreed to this recipe for disaster?)
I had the pleasure of meeting Laurie in Sydney when he was national secretary of the FIA after he had proved that previous ballots run by the Communists contained "fraud and forgery on grand scale". I found him to be a good bloke in the finest sense.
Vale Laurie Short. He and many thousands of other unsung heroes fought the good fight in the unions against rigged ballots, intimidation, character assassination and physical violence until they could fight no more.
We have lost a great Australian and a magnificent man.Alan A. Hoysted,