||Issue No. 269||24 June 2005|
Truth In Advertising
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
Stuck for words
More care, less scare
Do or die time
China throws in Mao’s towel
Don’t strike out strikes
Truth In Advertising
That was the plan of attack by Kevin Andrews when he saw the union movement's TV ads - designed to raise awareness about the havoc that the attack on workers' rights will wreak on the Australian way of life.
'Liar, liar' was the cry from this minister of an Administration that has given the world some of the great moments in post-modern reality - including non-core promises, children overboard and the GST.
Andrew's arguments, consistent with his strategy for pushing through these attacks, was to create a smokescreen of legal jargon to claim that these sort of things could never happen to workers.
There were a couple of flaws with this logic: first, as the ACTU legal advice clearly demonstrates, the ads were legally sound; and second, the sort of employer aggression depicted had been going on for years already.
But the Truth can work in mysterious ways and the ink on the release was barely dry when it emerged that workers in Andrews' own department were being subjected to the sort of coercion Andrews was claiming the ACTU had made up.
As Greg Combet observed in the storm that followed, the ACTU really only needed to get a camera in Andrews' own department to film their ads.
Meanwhile, instead of dousing the flames Andrews has been feeding the fire, floating ideas like a 40 hour week and a six month pay freeze
I suspect we won't be hearing much more from Kev for a little while; the PM is moving in and bringing the professionals with him.
Already there are rumours that the Liberal Party's advertising agency will be paid $20 million to 'inform' the public of the 'benefits' of the industrial relations changes.
There is no doubt these guys are good - they have proved masters at tapping into the fears of the people and wedging their political opponents.
But you have to wonder how they'll sell this one - happy bosses 'free' to fire workers? Smiling families on lower wages? Workplaces liberated from the union?
No matter what they spend, what they don't have is the personal commitment of the thousands of workers who will take part in the Week of Action of the next seven days; people who are taking a stand not just for themselves, but for their children and their children's children.
They won't have the support of the broader community, from churches to sporting organisations who - when the conversation starts - already know deep down the damage that further labour market deregulations will cause our communities.
In short, they won't have the Truth - and that has to stand for something.
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