Business says: cut the crap

Monday, 11 June 2007 

So it is not only Paul Keating who feels like telling it like it is.

After having rejected Howard’s earlier call to fund a campaign supporting the government’s IR policies, if the report in The Australian is correct, business groups are now ready to launch an IR campaign – but with a twist. The ads will not only focus on Workchoices but also the contribution made by the end of collective bargaining under Keating, something, of course, Labor has no intention of reversing.

Business’s exposure of the sham behind the IR debate would have been more embarrassing for Labor if it happened a month ago. However, that has now already been done by the Therese Rein affair. The unions’ reticence to criticise the business practices of the Labor leader’s wife now gives the Labor leadership room to start distancing themselves from the unions, shown not only by the toning down of Labor‘s IR campaign but also the expulsion of Mighell and Gillard’s recent emphasising of the anti-union credentials of its IR policy.

But it is not only the unions that have been caught out. It is interesting to see how Labor’s left-wing supporters, so keen to promote IR as a vote winner have been remarkably reticent to draw any negative conclusions from the Therese Rein affair and the toning down of Labor’s IR campaign, despite some apparent softening in Labor support. This again must give the leadership reassurance that its base has nowhere else to go.

Posted by The Piping Shrike on Monday, 11 June 2007.

Filed under Tactics

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