Tonight as I was watching The 7.30 Report on my ABC, ACTU President Sharan Burrow was filmed steering her way along the hallway towards Barnaby Joyce. It was hard to make her out over the 85,000 signed petitions she had piled high on her trolley. As the cameras looked on Sharan took the time to remind Barnaby of the salient points that concerned Australians had asked her to raise with him. As the cameras moved on, all that could be seen, was Sharan making point after point and Barnaby listening and nodding (as well he should).
Cut to Barnaby in the studio. In answer to a question regarding his concerns about the Workplace Relations Amendment (WorkChoices) Bill 2005, Barnaby said,
“I’m not going to have the Anzac Day march weaving its way through the marauding shoppers. I’m not going to sit in my church on Christmas Day and have everyone glance around because their husbands or wives are at work and the legislation has changed. Those things have got to be fixed up. We’ve got to make sure that Good Friday doesn’t just turn into another day at the shops.”
He’s just had 85,189 people’s concerns delivered to him in the form of a petition (with comments) AND Sharan Burrow – SHARAN BURROW to remind him that the new workplace legislation will strip away one hundred years of respect for workers’ rights, remove legal protection for many employment conditions and set a new low for the future workplace conditions of Australian workers.
What does he come up with? What does this man, this man that we have pinned our hopes on tell us is important to him? – Jesus, Church and the ANZACS. What percentage of the 85,186 people who signed the petition do you think were worried about being able to attend church on Christmas day? Eek, egads and all that.
In the brave words of Dame Edna Everage,
“What a friend we have in cheeses.”