Modia Minotaur

Trawling the airwaves to spare you the agony!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

A Challenge to the Liberal Party

It was terrific to see such high attendances at Wednesday's National Day of Action on industrial relations. 30,000 people at Blacktown, up to 100,000 in Melbourne, and healthy showings at the regional centres. And, all too predictably, the usual suspects lined up to say that 200,000 odd people getting out on the streets meant nothing - just as they did when we turned out in droves to protest what we knew would be a disaster in Iraq. Peter Hendy's regular line that `yes, 2% of all Australian workers turned out, but 98% chose to stay at work' is well-worn now (we'll be hearing it again after the next Day of Action).

But it was John Howard's comment that those who stayed home represented the `silent majority' that's really taken me.

Well, here's a challenge. I would like to formally propose that business interests and the Coalition organise a Day of Action calling common people to come out onto the in a show of support (and, foreign concept though it is, solidarity), supporting WorkChoices. I'd like to see banners, multi-generational shows of support, perhaps a slogan. Stay silent no more, majority! We want to hear the passionate speeches from Kevin Andrews and Nick Minchin! We want to see every businessman wearing an orange badge on their Armanis! It'll be beautiful.

Come on, comrades - claim it on the company as a long lunch!

For a party that espouses the philosophy of `small government', WorkChoices more rather than less nitpicking government control (not to mention public expenditure, given that four new members of the judiciary have had to be hired for the expected influx of cases which previously would have been heard in the IRC).

Of course, the real test will be at the ballot box. This far out, it's difficult to tell. While the prospect of abandoning the more extreme elements as the election draws closer is a always possibility, so too is the idea that John Howard's desire to implement the sort of wide-ranging reforms he has waited his whole political life to get through will, at last, overwhelm his political nous.

T'will be interesting.


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