What would jesus pay?

October 29th, 2005

Professor Ian Harper, HoWARd’s choice to head the Fair Pay Commission (FPC) which sits within the government’s planned industrial relations reforms has a personal Christian faith which he will be using to guide him in how he reads the evidence and how he votes around the commission table.

"For me as an individual, I will be resting on my faith and my belief in God in helping me reach balanced decisions." – Professor Harper.

Is this the same god that speaks to George W. Bush, I wonder?

What would jesus pay?

Image from here 

Be wary of OH&S bearing gifts

October 26th, 2005

If someone comes into your workplace and says we are here to promote health and safety, ask to check their credentials. There is nothing safe in having a worker feel furious and embarrassed when her face appeared on television advertisements for WorkChoices and she did not agree to it.

"I was lied to and deceived. It’s been put to me that I’m just a Liberal Party pin-up girl. But that’s not me. I’ve protested against the Liberal Government. I’m into social justice." – Phelia  Grimwade.

Phelia’s statement alone tells me she is legitimate in her fury.  No one who is into social justice could possibly support our current Liberal Party.  

Tom Cooper, the account manager for Dewey Horton, the agency hired by the Government to produce the ads, denied his staff had given vague descriptions of the purpose to mislead people into appearing in the advertisements.

"Anybody who participated in the advertisements signed a talent release form that stated clearly that the client was the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations and the issue was industrial relations. I can’t understand what all the confusion is about." – Tom Cooper.

The confusion Tom seems to be about the lack of details in the contract.
Something we will come to call workplace "Billying" alongside of workplace bullying.

 WorkChoices (not all choices available at all stores)

Reproductive rights (lite) prevail

October 25th, 2005

Recently I posted on the discrimination inherent within proposed Victorian Legislation relating to late-term abortions.

Amid growing pressure from Housing Minister Candy Broad, Women’s Affairs Minister Mary Delahunty, the Carlton branch of the ALP, the ALP women’s policy committee and Labor women’s group Emily’s List and Suki Lombard, Bronwen Pike has backed down and dropped the cooling-off period from her proposal.

The new proposal retains a mandatory consultation requirement. The consultation must be,

“Independent of the termination provider, could identify the need for formal counselling, but also other services such as domestic violence, housing, interpreting and other social support services the Government provides. Post termination support could also be included.”

Ongoing counselling will not be compulsory.

“Many women will not need further counselling or further supports (and) there will be no compulsion to attend counselling.”

Whilst I am pleased that the inherent discrimination has been removed from this paternalistic policy proposal, I am concerned that access to free and safe abortion is still not the right of every woman in Australia.

Speak Out: I had an Abortion

Image of Filmmakers and pals: Jennifer Baumgardner (left) and Gillian Aldrich from here


Bronwen Pike defends her reasoning for introducing the proposed legislation and still misses that it discriminates only on the basis of the mental health status of a woman seeking a late-term abortion.

Duck not the only fare for HoWARd

October 21st, 2005

The poultry industry has called for John Howard to eat duck in public to highlight the message that Australian poultry is safe from bird flu.

John Millington, the manager of Luv-A-Duck at Nhill in Victoria, says the Prime Minister should follow the lead of other countries in reassuring consumers.

“The prime minister in Turkey, he ate chicken salad at a traditional dinner to break the daily fast of ramadan, and that was really to show his confidence in the control efforts by the authorities in Turkey. So what we need now is our prime minister to do the same thing. Sit up heartily to a duck dinner.”


While our PM sits down to one formerly feathered feast, why not two?

I propose that a more suitable dish to be served to our PM is crow.

Adding weight to the groaning table of his statements that have been proved wrong is WorkChoices and the Anti-terrorism Bill 2005.

“Truth is absolute, truth is supreme, truth is never disposable in national political life” – John Howard, 25 August 1995.




eating crow

Image from here


Worker feels used and underpaid

October 20th, 2005


Cameron Meadows a worker who appears in the WorkChoices advertisement, said he was misled into believing the ads were about health and safety. There is no health and safety message in these ads, in fact the changes the government is proposing are a direct threat to a worker’s mental health, as they will be forced to negotiate a work/life balance.

A spokesman for the Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews says the worker signed a release so his image could be used in an advertising campaign. Andrew’s position is therefore ‘no rights, you signed, fuck off.’
This is indicative of the spirit and intent of WorkChoices.

If this is how the government does business under current legislation, how much more common will the phrase “worker feels used and underpaid” become?

Australian workers can look forward to first world conditions and pay
Image from here