||Issue No. 253||25 February 2005|
And The Battle Begins
Economics: Super Seduction
Interview: Bono and Me
Unions: The Eight Hour Day and the Holy Spirit
Technology: From Widgets to Digits
Education: Dumb and Dumber
Health: No Place for the Young
History: The Work-In That Changed a Nation
Review: Dare to Win
Poetry: Labor's Dreaming
The Locker Room
Just One Thing
No Dosh For Rupert
Executions Not Fines
Howard Needs To Know
Letters to the Editor
No Dosh For Rupert
How to respond to the Federal government's next round of IR reform is the debate currently rumbling through the union movement.
The ACTU Executive meeting in March will make some decisions on the near term strategy based on the trends emerging in the movement.
One view is for spending millions of dollars in advertising campaigns with non-confrontational imagery. We must not emphasise rallies and other such blokey images in fear of repeating the stupid behaviour of a small minority at the 1996 Parliament House demonstration.
Another trend of thought puts emphasis on organizing working people to demonstrate their opposition to the coming storm through public actions and education.
This idea is to use workplace and community campaigning to lift public awareness of the issues and their impact on families.
Naturally, there are a dozen shades of grey between these two poles that include legal strategies and coalition building.
The debate has not yet moved into dealing with the new rules of the game in the long term. Once the legislation is in place how will the movement survive six or more years of unfettered hostility from Canberra?
The one idea that should be rejected outright is that of spending large amounts of money on advertising.
While the objectives of an ad campaign have yet to be spelled out by its supporters there is every reason to question the assumption that it can do more than momentary good.
As one senior ACTU figure said at recent strategy meeting, "We can raise millions at each election for he ALP why not do it for ourselves?"
The comparison just does not work. Advertising in an election is for a very specific purpose (influencing votes) in a very specific time frame (usually five weeks).
There is no reason to believe that an ad campaign without such immediate purpose will influence anyone's beliefs or actions in the long term.
The major corporations establish their image by permanent media placement. We are just not in this league nor should we be thinking in those terms.
If the movement is capable of raising some millions of dollars for a survival strategy we must have a long-term view on its best use.
We need capacity to build progressive ideas through links with education institutions and think tanks.
We need to build a permanent profile for our ideas through shared resources for web based blog pages, discussion groups and alliance with other social movements.
We need skilled people on the ground for community and political activism.
We need to establish a political presence genuinely independent of any political party.
Let's invest in the movement long term not in the pockets of Murdoch and Packer.
|Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue|
© 1999-2002 Workers Online