||Issue No. 174||11 April 2003|
Might Does Not Mean Right
Interview: Picking Up The Peaces
Unions: The Royal Con
National Focus: Around the Grounds
Economics: The Secret War on Trade
International: United Front
History: Confessions of a Badge Collector
Politics: Stalin’s Legacy
Review: Such Was Not Ned’s Life
Poetry: Osama's Top Recruiter
Satire: Woolworths CEO Denied Bonus After Company Posts Profit
The Locker Room
More Angry Trots
Minister for Thuggery
Federal Government minister and serial idiot Wilson "Ironbar" Tuckey came out this week and suggested that the 1000 Qantas staff set to lose their jobs in coming months should realise that it is in the best interests of workers and the profitable company. "It is very much in the interests of the workers," says Tuckey, who is currently the acting transport minister - which apparently doesn't involve acting intelligently.
To compound this striking no-brainer Tuckey alluded to the collapse of Ansett as a precedent for the airline staff's predicament. How a virtual monopoly is supposed to go broke beggars belief - to do that they would need someone of the calibre of Tuckey in a management role.
A profitable Qantas announced that 1,000 staff would be made redundant between now and June 30 because of the impact of the war in Iraq and the deadly SARS virus since airports turned into humorless, nail-scissor stealing cattle yards. The decision follows Qantas imposing a unilateral wages freeze on its staff; but greed knows no bounds so now the company must cut further.
It is significant that the war was used as an excuse to bash the workers as Tuckey's position is entirely consistent with the Federal Government's policy that the best way to save someone is to blow them into little bits. The war was further alluded to, with "Ironbar" referring to the decision as a "pre-emptive" response.
Tuckey, who engaged in a bit of intellectual gymnastics by describing the decision as "logical", showed the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the airline's position, and the tenuous link to any kind of Ansett like collapse, by stating that the staff cuts had nothing to do with the domestic market.
Tuckey, once a Fraser Government Minister, has form. He has had his snout in the public trough for some time now and gained his nickname for the manner in which he persuaded unwilling customers to leave the premises of a pub he owned in Carnarvon, Western Australia. An Aboriginal fellow who caught the sharp end of Wilson Tuckey's implement was none too happy and Tuckey copped a $40 fine - thus demonstrating what an egalitarian society we live in.
The bizarre thing is that Tuckey seems to revel in his reputation as a thug.
Tuckey has also been the Minister for Chopping Down Trees and during his stint at the lumberyard he suggested that it was OK for forestry workers to take matters into their own hands in order to defend their livelihoods. Yet on the issue of the Qantas workers Tuckey seems to believe that the airline employees should bend over and cop it.
Tuckey may well be as thick as two short planks and show a reckless disregard for the facts, but he's also a grubby opportunist who thrives on the misery of others. In keeping with his attitude towards Qantas workers it should be in Tuckey's own interest, and the interest of Australian's generally, if our tool of the week lost his own job as a Federal member of Parliament.
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