Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A vote for us is a vote for being fucked by your furniture!

JOHN HOWARD has sought to turn his most unpopular policy into a key pitch for re-election by promising Work Choices would become "part of the furniture" if the Coalition wins on Saturday.


As a public servant, I have been immune (thus far) from the changes to the IR laws. But that doesn't mean that I will be in the future. On the contrary, there are already moves to make WorkChoices applicable to the public service.

I have worked in the private sector before, so I know that as a public servant I have it pretty damn good. While I bemoan the fact that because of the nature of the PS you have quite a number of workers who are useless but it is too difficult to get rid of them with the current bureaucratic processes, I still hold onto my entitlements as if my life depended on it, because in some respects, it does.

I'm not afraid to admit that the thought of WorkChoices becoming "part of the furniture", scares the bejebus out of me.

But the Government has suppressed hundreds of pages of documents that could contradict its pledge not to take its industrial relations reforms further. The documents canvass options for another wave of reform, but Channel Seven has lost a battle to expose them under freedom-of-information laws. Labor's deputy leader, Julia Gillard, last night accused the Government of a pre-election cover-up on Work Choices. "The Australian people have a right to know what the Howard Government is hiding," she said.

Tonight on the 7:30 report, Howard claimed that WorkChoices as it is now doesn't need any "refinement". But really, this is the man who didn't even go to the last election declaring that they'd try to completely overhaul the IR system. When they won control of the senate, my heart sank - I knew there were three things that were inevitable: VSU, full sale of Telstra and the gutting of the IR system. I was right on all three.

There is no doubt in my mind that should the government get back in, they will try to remove ALL unfair dismissal laws. And that will just be the start of it.

They will make further changes to healthcare. Reducing state funding or taking over completely.

Likewise education. Education will come under federal control. While I agree there needs to be consistency between the states in terms of curriculum, changes will consist of more than that if Julie Bishop gets her way.

If the federal government can just walk in and make changes to the big three, and ignore the issues surrounding the environment, what is to stop them from choosing to overturn state laws they don't agree with? Sounds totalitarian doesn't it? Don't think it will happen? I am being alarmist? Maybe. But I sure as hell don't want to take the risk.

There are bigger stakes in this election than which party will give the bigger tax cut. Or what is going to happen to interest rates. Or what percentage of the Rudd government is made up of "union officials". The rights of every person in this country are at stake.