||Issue No. 291||25 November 2005|
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
Name and Shame
Unite and Fight
The Worker's Best Friend
Stop the Corporate Rot
Extreme Comb Over
Just after we all stopped laughing, Peter Hendy started up again, and the comb over without a clue left us all in stitches once more.
The trade union movement's best secret weapon held his latest stand up gig at the Senate Inquiry into the WorkChoices legislation, where his performance left everyone wondering just what the man from ACCI had been smoking lately.
One of the best things to do if you're a washed up old member of the loony right is to simply make up information to back up your case. Gerard Henderson is a past master at it but old Hendy took it to new heights this week.
He had them rolling in the aisles when he presented "evidence" from the "independent" Office of the Employment Advocate.
Evidence it may well be; independent it is not.
No wonder Premature Pete liked to refer to them as the Office of the Employer Advocate in recent times, for they bowled him up this flat track beauty:
According to Hendy's industrial gigolos down at the Office of the Employment Advocate, "on average, employees on AWAs earn 23 per cent more than their counterparts working on other agreements".
It was an interesting statement, unfortunately devoid of truth. The reality is a long way south from there.
After the good senators drove a truck through and over that piece of fertiliser, Hendy persisted, claiming "women on AWAs earn, on average, 60.5 per cent more than women across the board".
Exactly which board wasn't immediately clear, as to everyone's puzzlement the statistic appeared to have appeared to emerge from some parallel universe occupied solely by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, or maybe from Hendy's own fundament; it certainly smelt like it.
Just when it appeared that his next piece of evidence would appear courtesy of Mandrake the Magician, Hendy claimed that ACCI had supported a wage rise every year since 1997.
This too presented problems when matched with fact, for ACCI had supported many pay rises of exactly zero percent during this time.
Then, seeing that the good ship Reasoned Argument was listing badly to port, Hendy threw all caution to the wind, claiming that kicking people in the wallet in New Zealand had boosted productivity.
Unfortunately productivity in New Zealand has all the buoyant qualities of an anchor and has been in free fall for a decade.
Hendy's incredible source? Those wonderful chaps from the Business Roundtable in New Zealand! Who have about as much credibility as a Chocolate manufacturer arguing for three Easters a year
Who was going to be his next credible source of information? Bruce Ruxton?
So, the man with the Incredible Shrinking Argument began to duck and weave like some Sunday morning TV wrestler, trying to tag team with his Smithers offsider, Mr BarkingMad.
By this time, however, it was too late. The few strands remaining on his folliclularily challenged frontal lobes were drowning in sweat. Hendy's frontal lobe would have drowned as well, but it appears that was removed some time ago.
There was only one thing our Tool Of the Week got right in his entire evidence: "we are demonised as heartless, callous people".
Yes Peter. There's a reason for that. It's primarily because you are.
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