||Issue No. 273||22 July 2005|
Interview: Battle Stations
Unions: The Workers, United
Politics: The Lost Weekend
Industrial: Truth or Dare
History: A Class Act
Economics: The Numbers Game
International: Blonde Ambition
Training: The Trade Off
Review: Bore of the Worlds
Poetry: The Beaters Medley
The Locker Room
Keep the Faith
Life on a Low Wage
Seeing the Trees For the Wood
Carnival Comes to Town
Tool Of Fame
There is always a bit of a risk in being the Prime Minister's favourite yachtsman, as Alan Bond well knows.
Mark Bethwaite; champion yachtsman, member of the Mosman Sporting Wall Of Fame, Chief Executive of Australian Business Limited, prime minister's representative on the Sydney Olympics committee and all round Tool has been gibbering like a crazed howler monkey for weeks now about what is referred to with a straight face as "reform" over at the yacht club.
His intellectual tacking manoeuvre left him on the rocks last week when he claimed that he was here to defend Christmas.
"Santa will still bring joy to children on Christmas morning," said Bethwaite in response to news that AWAs were stripping people of penalty rates for working public holidays.
Our public holidays were not under threat declared Bethwaite. Our Tool Of The Week reassured us all that, in fact, the 25th of December would still exist. It was just that we'd all be working that day on ordinary time.
Bethwaite's belief in Santa Claus comes as some relief, as it underpinned his logic that these wonderful new workplace laws are a "win, win, win" outcome.
And he's more right than he knows.
It's a win for business, business and business.
Unfortunately if you actually work for a living things may not be so wonderful, but hey, as the skipper reminds us, that's life isn't it.
"There are those who say that no employee should be worse off under any change,' says Bethwaite, who shows that he does grasp the basics of human decency. But to do that is a problem according to our Tool because to do that "institutionalises mediocrity for all".
And he should know. Mediocrity appears to be his strong suit.
"Australia has one of the most welcoming and accepting workplaces in the world and it will not change," says Bethwaite. Just which workplace this was remained unclear, but it was pretty obviously not his
And we need AWAs because "Enterprise bargaining has clearly resulted in a more harmonious workplace". Hmmm, devastating logic that.
We should be grateful that we give up the best years of our lives to keep him in yachts, after all the new laws will defend the fact that people get paid according to Bethwaite.
What exactly they will be paid remains unclear.
If one of his mates wants to pay people with a rock and a shiny thing well, why the hell not!
As he points out, "contribution above and beyond that of fellow workers should be recognised by higher remuneration, perhaps he means in money. Who knows? Sun's over the yardarm and it's time for the rum ration.
Besides, he's delivered the clinching argument that should shut up all those pesky priests who keep up that unpleasant chatter about the working poor.
"God looking down would not design a system with the complexity of that which operates in Australia."
So there you have it. Our Tool Of the Week has informed us of what god thinks, so that should finalise the matter.
Which poses the question, where did that other yachty, Alan Bond, end up?
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