||Issue No. 284||07 October 2005|
Age of Consent
Interview: Under Fire
Politics: And the Winners Are ...
Economics: The Common Wealth
History: Walking for Justice
International: Deja Vu
Legal: The Rights Stuff
Review: That Cinderella Fella
Poetry: Is Howard Kidding?
The Locker Room
Make Ads Not Law
Nice One, Workers!
Dog Eat Dog
Dollars and Sense
Most of the time the Tool Shed deals with your common garden variety loser who's made a name for themselves by offering some piece of whimsical logic that says more about them than the point they are usually failing to make.
But this week we have a man who has the heart of a pocket calculator, but with none of the utility.
Ken Phillips is the director of the work reform unit of the Institute of Public Affairs.
This, of course, is the sort of job you would expect to be filled by some bottom feeding pedant who has never actually done an honest days work in their lives.
But ken has excelled himself this week with an opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald claiming that unions going into bat for safety don't help safety.
That unions trying to get justice for people killed and injured at work is apparently just some money making venture that his mates over at the IPA like to do.
Well, Ken and his mates might think that making bucks out of killing people is a good thing, god knows they do it all the time, but we in the union movement don't actually have that sort of sociopathic bent.
Ken was having a whine about unions launching prosecutions against companies that kill people as if the killers were somehow the victims.
What next? Ken's opinion piece on why all those people at Port Arthur kept jumping in the path of poor Martin Bryant's Bullets? Or will he produce a crafted piece on why Ivan Milat got a raw deal because hitchhikers were trespassing on freeways?
The thing is, no one recalls seeing Ken at Joel Exner's funeral.
He was also mightily absent from visiting Joel's mum, Sue Baxter, after her son was killed.
He couldn't even bring himself to name Joel in his op-ed piece. The 16 year old was a non-person to Ken; simply an arguing point.
What can we expect, he probably thinks Doonside is a golf course in Scotland. After all, it's nowhere near Hunter Street is it?
The IPA may like to reflect on the fact that we are talking about human life here, not some broken wheelbarrow; although, on Planet Ken a wheelbarrow is probably worth more than human life.
Ken actually showed his understanding of the situation, which is approximately three fifths of bugger all, when he claimed the Public Service association launched prosecutions to help teachers.
Well, even given that he got their jobs wrong, does Ken seriously suggest that the Teachers Aids should have smiled sweetly while being assaulted in their workplace?
If Ken thinks being assaulted in your workplace is OK then maybe we could take his arguments to their logical conclusion?
Thanks to Ken we can see exactly what the small-minded end of town actually thinks about workplace safety.
For them, as in everything else in their sad little lives, it's all about money.
The idea that dignity, humanity or even common bloody sense could ever be a motivation to treat people decently is just not on the radar of airheads like Ken.
One can only hope that society shows Ken Phillips the same sort of respect he showed Joel Exner, if ever Ken Phillips falls head first five metres onto a concrete slab without any protection.
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