||Issue No. 266||03 June 2005|
An Act of Faith
Interview: The Baby Drought
Industrial: Lies, AWAs and Statistics
Workplace: The Invisible Parents
History: Bruce’s Big Blunder
Politics: All God's Children
Economics: Spun Out
International: Shakey Trials
Legal: Civil Distrubance
Review: Crash Course In Racism
Poetry: You're Fired
The Locker Room
Remembering Workers In Cairns
Fair Go For Injured Workers
A Question Of Choice
Galahs Up The Cross
The Nutty Professor
The Gilbert and Sullivan aficionado who's been suffering from relevance deprivation since we abolished child labour is back in the media again.
And, like a snake that sticks its head up when you beat the grass, it's his old bugbear of a fair and decent standard of living that has sent everyone's favourite Scrooge, Des Moore, off foaming at the mouth.
This time he is very, very cranky.
Not with working people expecting to be paid this time (although that's a part of it) but with his old mate, Johnny Howard.
As far as Des is concerned the planned changes to workplace laws don't go far enough.
Des is disappointed that they didn't bring back the Masters and Servants Act apparently.
Apparently John promised Des they would, and Des is still dopey enough to think that a Howard promise actually means anything.
According to Des it is a travesty that we are not also taking to the halt, the lame and the sick with a length of chain in an effort to encourage them back into the workforce to work for, ohhh, salt, perchance?
Apparently a freer labour market is fairer because it allows people to be forced to work for whatever the boss is prepared to dish them up, or they have the fine economists choice of slowly starving to death.
What could be fairer or more egalitatrian than starving your fellow citizens?
On planet Des, apparently fairness is something to do with beating all the poor with an equally hard stick.
Poor old Des, he makes Ghengis Khan look like a smiling Amway rep.
Des is director of the Institute for Private Enterprise, which must also double as the institute for Very Public Embarrassment.
He is upset that Howard and Andrews will still let unions exist. This is obviously some dangerous Marxist trend on the part of the Liberal Party according to our Tool of the Week.
"[They will] not cut wages, not abolish awards, not stop workers joining unions, not prevent strikes, not outlaw union agreements and not abolish the Australian Industrial Relations Commission,' says Des, who then storms off in a huff back to his Ivory Tower.
In a deft display of why no one is asking Des to solve anything more difficult that a crossword puzzle these days, Des explains that this soft effort by Howard has been forced onto him by what he describes as a "politically powerless" trade union movement.
When Gogol wrote Diary Of A Madman he may have had our Des in mind.
Des believes that workers are paid too much; the worker's, of course, not being human beings who have kids, families or need to eat and live. No, that would be investing them with a quality quite alien to Des Moore, the quality of humanity.
Their humanity may even be a part of their shared existence known as Community.
But concepts like humanity and community are foreign to Des, who doesn't particularly believe in sharing anything, especially humanity - and certainly not the nearest thing that he understands as community, profit margins.
We now look forward to Des's next foray into public life where he can advocate single mothers selling their children into slavery and the use of chain gangs for the unemployed.
What a salesman Des is. He's offering us a chance to dismantle our society, and he can't for the life of him figure out why we're not buying.
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