||Issue No. 289||11 November 2005|
The Great Repression
Interview: Public Defender
Legal: Craig's Story
Unions: Wrong Way, Go Back
Politics: Queue Jumping
History: Iron Heel
Economics: Waging War
International: Under Pressure
Poetry: Billy Negotiates An AWA
Review: A Pertinent Proposition
The Locker Room
We're Just Serfin'
To the Shredder
The Whole Troeth
The little people were blessed with an illumination from the twin-set-and-pearls-that-took-human-form, Senator Judith Troeth, during the week.
While the good senator has mastered the art of opening a country show, and is a dab hand at cutting a ribbon, the intricacies of democracy, such as giving people an opportunity to express their viewpoint, appear to be a bit beyond her scope of work.
Chairing the of Senate's employment, workplace relations and education legislation committee, she proposed a model of "yes" and "no" cases, each nominating a panel of four experts to debate the WorkChoices package, rather than have a messy inquiry where people would be given an opportunity to drive a truck through the government's arguments - many of which stand as much chance of standing up as a two legged stool balanced on a bowling ball.
Apparently the criticism of WorkChoices has been rather tedious for Judith and this annoying democracy thingy keeps getting in the way of her families lifelong dream of re-establishing feudalism in the Wimmera.
There will be none of this silly taking of evidence from authors of the thousands of written submissions to the inquiry nonsense.
No doubt she is concerned that working people have had the temerity to express an opinion about whether or not they want laws that will enable them to be fleeced, just as the lambs are on daddy's farm.
She has also ruled out investigation of secret ballots, termination of bargaining agreements, pattern bargaining, remedies for unprotected industrial activity, strike pay, right of entry, award simplification, freedom of association and civil penalties on union officials.
None of these obviously has anything to do with industrial relations on planet Troeth.
Our Tool Of The Week represents all that is wonderful about Australia's bunyip-aristocracy, managing to encapsulate snobbery, ignorance, hard-heartedness and sheer bloody-mindedness in one fell swoop.
Judith, who put the word 'swill' in the phrase 'unrepresentative swill', also announced this week that people on award wages are being paid far too much.
"Government party senators take the view here that safety-net awards are probably too high - a matter to be addressed in the forthcoming legislation - and that this causes serious distortion in the wage structure, leading to discouragement of employment,' she said.
We'd all have a job if only we worked for food, remembering to bow politely and not get mud on the kitchen floor.
Troeth, who became a Liberal because she believes in "reward for effort" despite being a senator, passionately believes in the "strong family unit".
That is, of course, as long as that family unit isn't trying to survive on award wages. In that case, according to the good senator, the family unit can go to hell in a hand basket.
According to Troeth we should "care for those unable to look after themselves". Primarily this should take the form of not allowing them to bargain collectively, have any job security, demand decent wages if they're out-of-work or maintain employment standards for their children.
Thanks to the frank contribution of the good senator from Victoria we can now see that WorkChoices is neither. It's not about choice and it won't work.
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