Thursday, June 30, 2011

Reith Lets Genie Out

Last weekend Alan Stockdale was re-elected as President of the Liberal Party of Australia, despite the 4 vice Presidents supporting Peter Reith.
Tony Abbott is reported, by Peter Reith, to have encouraged Peter Reith to run for the Presidency, but then voted against him, publicly showing his voting card to both Alan Stockdale & his Deputy, Julie Bishop. It precipitated something of a public dummy-spit by Peter Reith, who has hit the media, including radio shock-jocks with his message on IR. The message is: IR is in the Liberal Party’s DNA. He, other members of the Liberal Party executive, Tony Abbott, and Liberal MP’s all want a return to WorkChoices-style IR laws. That is: a deregulated labour market, removal of any ‘safety net’, a return to individual contracts dictated by employers.

Jeff Lawrence, Secretary of the ACTU, writing in The Australian, said:
“(The Liberal Party) remains fixated with removing unfair dismissal protection, undermining collective bargaining and handing employers power to dictate pay and conditions.
It isn't just the presence of former Howard government IR headkicker Peter Reith, or the continuing role on the front bench of the chief Work Choices salesman, Joe Hockey. An entire new generation of Liberal MP's sees nothing wrong with taking away basic workplace rights.” (see link 4, below)
Among Mr Reith’s suggestions for the Liberal Party is a “review” by The Institute of Public Affairs, with his people on the review panel, including Hugh Morgan, and Michael Chaney. Both are Liberal Party members, both supported WorkChoices.

Person Membership IR Position More Information
Hugh Morgan Liberal Party (Vic)
Business Council
Pro WorkChoices
Michael Chaney Liberal Party
Business Council
Pro WorkChoices His bother, Fred, was a Federal Liberal MP
Institute of Public Affairs Pro WorkChoices Liberal Party “think tank”, and one off the founders of the Liberal Party (see Link 5 below)

Given the above information, it will come as no future surprise that the enquiry will recommend a return to WorkChoices-style IR. Peter Reith has acted as a classical politician: you can have an inquiry when you have a pre-determined result.

But the IR genie, that Tony Abbott so desperately tried to keep hidden from public view, is now out of the bottle.

Ordinary working Australians will be right to “be afraid, be very afraid”.


In preparing this article I also looked at: