||Issue No. 185||04 July 2003|
A Recipe for Conflict
Interview: As They Say In The Bible ...
Industrial: Just Doing It
Unions: Breaking Into the Boys Club
Activists: Making the Hard Yards
Bad Boss: In the Pooh
Unions: National Focus
Economics: Pop Will Eat Itself
Technology: Dean for President
International: Rangoon Rumble
Education: Blackboard Jungle
Review: From Weakness to Strength
The Locker Room
After the Accident
Cuba - the Debate Continues
Greetings from Japan
Fresh from running up the largest Parliamentary travel bill in the country flying to and from his own private airport, Deputy PM John Anderson is fast becoming a leader with no party. This week that bastion of bolshevism, the NSW National Party, joined their Queensland colleagues in opposing any further privatisation of Telstra leaving Anderson increasingly isolated.
While he doesn't have to drive on substandard roads like the rest of us, Anderson spends a lot of time traveling the country selling the "benefits" of full Telstra privatisation.
One of Anderson's most ingenious arguments is that "Telstra will be sold anyway". This bizarre inevitability and resignation on Anderson's part shows how much the coalition are captive of a mindless pursuit of ideology regardless of the outcomes for millions of ordinary Australians.
The public are growing weary of snake oil salesmen such as Anderson stumping around the country promising that the Privatisation of Telstra will usher in a wonderful age of great service and that by pissing a few million up against a tree the Government can guarantee an end to poor service, inferior technology and holes in donuts. It just doesn't wash. Everyone understands the public mood except for the Federal Cabinet and the stockbroking fraternity.
Anderson has led his Federal colleagues to a position of irrelevancy by not standing up over this fundamental issue of rural infrastructure.
"The National Party has got an awful lot to answer for here because they have caved in completely to the Liberal Party on this issue," said Tanner on the ABC's Insider's program last week. He summed up Anderson's position well when he described the Nats as "a wholly owned subsidiary of the Liberal Party".
It seems Anderson has already privatised his own party, selling it off to the big end of town.
Even the Victorian Nationals are opposed to selling Telstra. This must concern Anderson considering the Victorian division has produced such intellectual giants as Julian McGauran.
As a substitute for having a policy that actually delivers to his constituency, Anderson is placing what passes as his faith in a marketing campaign.
Anderson has completely missed the point about people's objections to having their assets summarily sold out from underneath them. Making our telecommunications infrastructure and its employees answer to the market rather than the community has already been an unmitigated disaster. Now we know whose interests Anderson represents.
An advertising campaign is not going to improve telecommunication services or give anyone outside the advertising industry job security. How clueless our Deputy PM has become became apparent when he was sidelined during the Iraq War. Anderson, like his party in regional Australia, is fast becoming an embarrassing irrelevancy. Our Tool of the Week will need more than smarmy spin doctors to save him from a backlash in the bush if he tries to get his crazy plan to flog off Telstra up.
It's about time the bush was represented by people who know and understand what it's like to have to deal with corporate giants like Telstra, rather than spineless yes-men to the Liberal's divisive and destructive agenda.
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