||Issue No. 314||07 July 2006|
The Power of Ones
Interview: The Month Of Living Dangerously
Unions: Staying Mum
Economics: Precious Metals
Industrial: The Cold 100
History: The Vinegar Hill Mob
Legal: Free Agents
Politics: Under The Influence
International: How Swede It Was
Review: Keating's Men Slam Dance on Howard
The Locker Room
When the appropriately named Andrew Laming, the brave and bold Liberal Federal Member for Bowman, ran away from sacked Canberra mum, Emily O'Connor, it initially came as a surprise.
Y'see, Andrew is a big champion of WorkChoices.
So much so that when Emily's situation was raised in parliament, while she was in the gallery, the Member for Bowman had the decency to heckle her from the floor of the chamber, telling her to "get a job".
This was a very brave thing to do.
There are some churlish souls that would declare Laming's outburst as the act of a bulling cad or a bottom-feeding toad, but this wasn't entirely the case.
It was actually the ranting of a very disturbed man. Crazy brave stuff. An attitude that writes large the accelerating imminent train wreck that is the Howard government.
Laming was meant to meet Ms O'Connor at a Family Fun Day in Brisbane, but went MIA when he realised he'd have to face the woman he had taunted from the safety of the leather benches in Canberra.
So, instead, he decided to keep his integrity from the light of day and bravely skulk away instead.
What exactly Laming has against family fun, or battling childcare workers, isn't immediately clear (apart from perhaps a pathological hatred of anyone who has the temerity to stand collectively), but nonetheless he was a no-show.
The ambivalent state of Laming's intellect became all to clear when, in a previous address to the good people of Bowman, Laming explained how WorkChoices is really like a, err, pizza:
"Consider the relationship between bosses and workers as ordering takeaway pizza.
"At present there is 2,300 federal award pizzas and around the country another 1,700 state award pizzas and as an employee, the boss is entitled to only serve you one variety.
"These reforms open up the choices. If you are a meatlover you should be able to ask for more pepperoni and a little less capsicum.
"Under the present system, the unions are out in the kitchen counting the pineapple pieces on every pizza. We need the unions out of the kitchen but available to the employee on the odd occasion that the pizza is unacceptable. The basic awards remain in place and more often than not there is another pizza shop across the road with a better offer."
So there you have it, workchoices is the pizza we had to have.
The truth is Mr Laming's WorkChoices pizza comes in many flavours, all of them brown - and bearing a distinct resemblance to the sandwiches Eddie McGuire is serving up at the Channel Nine cafeteria.
And obviously no one has pointed out the perils of a junk food diet to Laming; for we do not live on pizza alone.
If there is an appropriate analogy of pizza and workchoices, which most sane commentators severely doubt, it is with the pizza oft found on the city's footpaths early of a Saturday morning, congealing in the sun, and reminding us to tread carefully when passing the pub.
Laming's deep and considered analysis of the effects of workchoices is more than a little underdone, it's beyond insulting to rip people off and then suggest that being fleeced is good for you.
The idea that job security and rights and conditions fought for, for generations, can be reduced to how many pieces of pineapple is on a pizza is beyond bizarre and is a curious insight into the troubled mind of one Andrew Laming., Federal Member for Bowman and this weeks most deserving Tool Of The Week.
Read more stunning logic from laming at
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