tip off

When it comes to WorkChoices, Abbott can’t take a trick

Tony Abbott gets away with many things, his critics charge. The media too often fail to hold him to account, to pull him up, to challenge him. To the extent that that’s true on other issues, it isn’t on industrial relations. In fact, Abbott can’t take a trick on IR.

He’s the one who thought it was a bad idea in the first place when the Howard cabinet considered WorkChoices, the one who called WorkChoices “a catastrophic political blunder” in Battlelines, who in that book even questioned Holy Writ about individual contracts, saying “the much-touted abolition of Australian Workplace Agreements could be insignificant by comparison” with the requirement for good faith bargaining. He’s the “dead, buried, cremated” bloke.

And yet everyone, it seems, is conspiring against his resolution. Most of his party is well to the right of Abbott on IR, and wants movement on issues like unfair dismissal. The business community is talking incessantly about productivity and the need for flexibility. His former colleague Peter Reith is an enthusiastic spruiker of IR reform. And then John Howard beams in, from what according to Abbott is ancient history, to offer his own take.

Labor ministers, of course, were like seagulls on a chip with it. Too bad that Howard wasn’t even talking about WorkChoices, but primarily urging a return to the Reith-era Workplace Relations Act of before 2005. Too bad that the recent Fair Work Act review identified Labor’s “replacement” for AWAs, individual flexibility agreements, as too complicated and inflexible to use, and recommended a series of changes to them. That was lost in the mix, reflecting the exact problem that confronts Abbott — he can’t even talk about IR reform without every utterance being taken as code for WorkChoices.

That’s why when he does talk about IR reform, he sticks to a meaningless incantation. The Coalition thinks there’s a “militancy problem, a productivity problem, and a flexibility problem” but, he said yesterday, all it would do would be to make “cautious, careful, responsible change”. He similarly said they’d make “careful, cautious, responsible change” in May, and “careful, cautious, responsible change” back in February. The only deviation was when he slipped up earlier this month and added a “prudent” to “careful, cautious, responsible changes”.

Having built an entire, and successful, political strategy on what happens to a Prime Minister when visibly seen to break a high-profile commitment — voters may forgive you if you fail to do something you commit to doing, but look out if you do something you’ve promised you won’t — Abbott is the least likely of anyone in his party to decide, once in government, that it’s time to revisit WorkChoices. But voters don’t believe it. Even more Liberal voters think he’ll bring back WorkChoices in government than don’t. The incessant business lobby push for IR deregulation has lifted the proportion of voters very concerned about a return to WorkChoices to its highest level since 2010.

Kevin Rudd’s success as opposition leader lay in carefully picking a few clear points of distinction with John Howard and sticking to those while ignoring everything else. Abbott’s so-far successful strategy has been entirely the opposite. But on IR, he’s trying hard to do a Rudd and keep minimal distance between himself and the government. The problem is, no one, even on his own side, appears happy to let him keep doing it.

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  • 1
    cairns50
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    no one beleives him bernard because the man simply can not speak the truth

    kerry o’brien had that told to him by abbott himself

    leigh sales exposed him the other night, then the next day he backflipped on what he reckons he said to her

    slowly but surely people are finally waking up to him

  • 2
    fredex
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Dead, buried, cremated” {sic}

    TONY Abbott has signed a “contract” promising that Work Choices is dead and buried but he continues to muddle his message on the controversial laws.

    “Give me a bit of paper, I’ll sign it here,” Mr Abbott said to 3AW host Neil Mitchell as he tried to end questions about John Howard’s divisive workplace laws.

    But pressed again by Mitchell, Mr Abbott said: “I can’t give an absolute guarantee about every single aspect of workplace relations…….. ….”

    July 19, 2010

    Thats why poor poor Tony can’t take trick.
    Because he contradicts himself [thats using a polite term] .
    In the case above within a minute or so.

    ” But voters don’t believe it {him}”

    Gee, I wonder why?

  • 3
    Mobius Ecko
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Abbott = Liar
    Flexibility = WorkChoices
    WorkChoices = Big Business
    Big Business = Abbott
    Abbott = WorkChoices

  • 4
    klewso
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Work Choices dead buried cremated” - he scribbled, July 19 ‘10 (then again he did write that, and we all remember him saying no to trust “anything he said”, just before he said only to trust what he “committed in writing”?) we all saw him do it in that radio stunt, meant to reassure us.
    Not “WorkChoices” - that sleeps.
    And what’s in name anyway - actions speak louder than words.

  • 5
    John Bennetts
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Speaking as one more Abbott nonbeliever amongst many, I almost choked on your last sentence, Bernard:
    “The problem is, no one, even on his own side, appears happy to let him keep doing it.”

    Of course not - his own side know him far too well to trust him.

    Now the wider electorate seem to have woken up, and about time, too!

    My question is: If Abbott gets dumped by his party and Malcolm is a has-been, who will be next?

  • 6
    David Allen
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    It’s only last week Abbott was yearning for a return to the ‘Howard Golden Age’. This was the age abrubtly punctuated, with a full stop, as a result of ‘Workchoices’.

    Why would anyone ever believe anything he says. He’s in constant contradiction with himself.

  • 7
    klewso
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Does Abbott have any shame - or conscience?

  • 8
    arnold ziffel
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    John Bennetts above: ‘My question is: If Abbott gets dumped by his party and Malcolm is a has-been, who will be next?’
    Perhaps it falls to Hockey - here he is as Minister for IR being interviewed by Kerry O’Brien http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2007/s2049308.htm
    So he’s been drinking the Kool-aid too.
    They’re all wearing the opprobrium, and so they should.

  • 9
    Liz45
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    BERNARD - It’s because via Abbott’s own mouth, he can’t be trusted on anything - anything at all! I recall the Health Rebate issue re contributions to Health Funds, was written in concrete or some such. A few months after the ‘04 Election(if that) it was a ‘ooops, didn’t realise it would cost THAT much, sorry folks’ and it didn’t happen. He wasn’t castigated and called A-LIAR like JG has been; no shock jocks; no Murdoch hate articles etc etc! Don’t trust him! Wouldn’t trust him! Don’t like him! Full stop! He’ll say and do whatever it takes to be elected, and then……

    Also, he thinks we’re either suffering from dementia of some kind, or have a very short memory! Mark my words - if he gets elected, it’ll be on with a vengeance, and to hell with mandates blah blah! He has no conscience and has no need of one! And the Telegraph in NSW will be as quiet as an angel, as will Alan Jones and the others! Just like they are over O’Farrell’s lies over the Port Kembla Port sale! Not a murmur! Sickening!

    @CAIRNS50 - When I saw Abbott in the Parlt after the Leigh Sales interview, even I couldn’t believe that he’d change his story! Open mouthed I was! He told her at least once that he hadn’t read that media release and then said he did! Unbelievable! His tongue should be long enough to reach from Canberra to the Top End now - so many lies!

  • 10
    swingingvoter
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Abbott has also spoken about IR in terms of a pendulum. Work choices may have swung too far to the right but the fair work act has swung it too far to the left (not to mention that it encouraged the more hysterical elements of the union movement as seen in melbourne today) Abbott is aiming to swing it back to the middle.

  • 11
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Labor and the unions have misleadingly called any Coalition proposal on industrial relations a return to WorkChoices. This behaviour degrades public policy as much as the Coalition’s exaggeration.

  • 12
    klewso
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Who’s going to define “prudent”, “careful”, “cautious” and “responsible” re those “changes”.

  • 13
    geomac62
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    The Fairwork act is workchoice light and any change from the coalition can only be towards their preferred option , workchoice . The biggest act of industrial militancy I have witnessed in the past few years ? Joyce locking out his workforce and disrupting thousand of passengers without warning . If a union had done a quarter of the damage Joyce did it would called a wildcat strike and loudly condemned by business groups .

  • 14
    Owen Gary
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    @John Bennetts,

    I don’t know John I think (Talcum Churnbull) has been brought back into the fray of late with all the airtime he’s been getting. Who could forget the attack on the waterfront from Reith what a shower of shi-te that guy was. The conspiracy between big business & the federal Liberal government at that time has never been put to a royal commission & yet he is still in the background pushing this agenda via his big business ties.

    It’s obvious the fiberals are trying to bring some parts of workchoiceless back & thats why they refuse to give out any policy information.

  • 15
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    @ geomac62

    I agree. I have never travelled Qantas after that bastardry.

  • 16
    Owen Gary
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    @swingingvoter

    Abbott has also spoken about IR in terms of a pendulum. Work choices may have swung too far to the right but the fair work act has swung it too far to the left (not to mention that it encouraged the more hysterical elements of the union movement as seen in melbourne today”

    Are you serious? Grocon will only allow shop-stewards on the worksite if they choose who they are, wake up mate thats akin to saying you can be safety officer but we will decide what is dangerous. (wakey wakey)

  • 17
    Gocomsys
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    This is not about personalities. The ALP (Australian Liberal Party) has the runs on the board. The LNP extremists have managed to cause damage to our society and in the process have wrecked any remaining credibility of their brand of “fibberalism”!

  • 18
    swingingvoter
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Are you serious? Grocon will only allow shop-stewards on the worksite if they choose who they are, wake up mate thats akin to saying you can be safety officer but we will decide what is dangerous. (wakey wakey)”

    The question is are YOU serious? Today, in melbourne, union members acted ILLEGALLY and DANGEROUSLY. Wakey Wakey indeed!

  • 19
    zut alors
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    dead, buried, cremated”… but did he sign it in blood?

    As we know, he’s a fickle fellow and can easily change his mind on major issues - remember the era when he was anti paid parental leave? Now he purports to be so generous to parents that the ALP’s ‘socialist’ scheme seems like penny-pinching.

  • 20
    Owen Gary
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    @Swingingplonker

    Is it now illegal to protest?? & what are they protesting for?? yet another neo-con psychopath.

  • 21
    fredex
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    ABS stats for ‘09/’10

    640,700 people experienced a work-related injury or illness.

    Not a trivial issue.

  • 22
    Peter Ormonde
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Ah yes that horny old chestnut - what does Tony Abbott actually stand for?

    Short answer - everything. Mostly he’s been able to get away with just saying no and promising to repeal this and that and of course smoting public spending and shovelling money off trucks to the battlers on Struggle Street …

    But this one has it’s teeth firmly planted in his rump. A gnawing tribal expectation.

    This fence-straddling smudge style cannot see him into the scrutiny of an election. This bloke who runs away from Tony Jones and Q&A? Caught up on the wire.

  • 23
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    You mean prudent and careful like applauding Kathy Jackson as a heroine to expose unions instead of the truth that she is one of the biggest shonks of all.

  • 24
    James K
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    I think that Mr Abbott’s constant mantra that Ms Gillard went against her election promise, has taught a lot of Aussies that not just ms Gillard will go against what she says … rather ALL politicians will do that.

    And so the irony is that by harping on and on and on about the one big promise Ms G backflipped on, the fact is that now we dont trust anything any politician will say - and especially Mr Abbott.

    We have been trained to doubt. And the focus of the doubt was meant to be Ms G. But people are not stupid. When they think about it they realise that every Liberal premier elected in the last cycle of state elections has BROKEN PROMISES (to gays, in Qld; to teachers everywhere; to the police …). All political leaders say one thing and do another. Ms Gillard is not alone. All of them are UNTRUSTWORTHY. And if there are decent ones amoung them… they dont get to be leaders!

    So of course Mr Abbott will break promises too. He might be an Abbott but he is no saint!

  • 25
    Owen Gary
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Yes Marilyn she deservedly got caught with her fingers in the pie sat there spruiking her innocence endowed with diamonds & pearls.

  • 26
    Mike Flanagan
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    He admitted he can’t read, ergo the chances are he can’t write. so who on earth would accept his thumb print.

  • 27
    drmick
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    With you there Shepherdmarilyn; Mata Hari is a more generous and apt name for the political animal that has lost any pretence of looking after the people who vote for her. Same as Phoney bot boy in her lust for power.

    Why has no one mentioned Abbots paymasters, (big business, big tobacco, big alcohol, big mining and every other big ar$e loud mouth “expert”), continual claim that , “The pendulum has swung too far towards the worker in IR”. That the worker is even considered in IR is a first.

    Genuine red tape should be eradicated, but blatant abuse of uninformed victims should be punishable. Just like politics, there are exceptionally bad employees and and exceptionally bad employers who will both test the system.

  • 28
    cairns50
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    good point james k people are waking up to these so called genius lilberal premiers who say they will fix up the awful mess that the alp left there states

    same old cure, just sack people and throw them on the scrap heap

    blame the outgoing government and give there big business mates what they want

    heres hoping the people sacked finally wake up to the b….ds and dont vote for abbott and work choices

  • 29
    Mike Smith
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    @Zut: I’d only believe him if it was his own (blood) and if he used it all. There’s a political cartoon there, I can see it, him writing 1000 times on a blackboard, in his blood “I will not bring WorkChoices back”

  • 30
    jj mick
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Tony Abbott gets away with many things ……. The media too often fail to hold him to account”.

    Never was a truer statement ever uttered by a journalist.

    Abbott has been protected by the media for the past 3 years. Work Choices may not be Abbott’s cup of tea but one has to remember that the coalition is owned by big business which pays the bills. Malcolm Turnbull was dumped in favour of a much less intelligent and articulate Tony Abbott because Abbott was the big business attack dog.

    So what about Turnbull who was not doing what his political masters demanded? Off with his head. Gone!!

    It is pleasing that the business owned media is (in part) now doing its job in exposing the rot for what it is. I dare say that there is plenty yet to unearth in the Abbott camp.

  • 31
    Owen Gary
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    The Libs are the biggest hypocrites, a few more polls like this & the fiberal faceless men & women will be sharpening the knives.

  • 32
    James K
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    owen: we can only hope so!

  • 33
    Phil L
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    To my mind if the Collation can run the mother of all scare campaigns on the carbon tax impact, then the Government are entitled to reciprocate on IR….

  • 34
    Bill Hilliger
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Tony Abbott quite distinctly said at a Liberal Party function a few days ago that he would bring back the golden Howard years for the Australian people. And that will presumably include work choices. If Australians vote for the return of that type of government they deserve to be shat on.

  • 35
    AR
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    I’m only surprised by the feigned surprise at his perfidy, stupidity and sheer mendacity.
    Did no-one else notice the return of the nodding head, incoherence tuther night when asked something so banal/simple that I can’t remember as I was too mesmerised by his synaptic short circuit.

  • 36
    Andybob
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    I just can’t help but feel that as the pendulum swings back it is intended to collect the worker and smash her into a wall in the middle.

  • 37
    David Hand
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Flexibility in the workplace will not occur under the next Coalition government because the Union movement, along with its political arm, the ALP has run a magnificant scare campaign called “your rights at work”. Or as I like to call it, “Boo! Workchoices!”

    The fact that this does a disservice to future Australians by locking people into unproductive and redundant jobs is the collateral damage the measure has inflicted.

    Abbott will keep his promise. I know you all think for some reason that he is the personification of evil but in my view, the wound Julia inflicted on herself by saying “there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead”, which she promptly abandoned, is an object lesson Tony has learned.

    I do expect however, that when the new Coalition government makes the mildest adjustment to any workplace regulation, 100 of you down here in the Crikey Crypt will start screaming “Boo! Workchoices!”

  • 38
    geomac62
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    David Hand
    What you say may well be on the mark but Abbott has proven to be flaky with the recent didn,t read did read the report example . Surely if your example applies it also would have been noted in QLD , NSW and to a lesser extent Victoria but all have broken promises . Of course there is also the addition left out in citing the PMs quote about being determined to put a price on carbon . Its a bit like Frasers often repeated quote of life wasn,t meant to be easy without the add on .
    Great minds think alike is well known but its full line has ” and fools seldom differ ” Makes a difference doesn,t it ?

  • 39
    geomac62
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    David Hand
    What you say may well be on the mark but Abbott has proven to be flaky with the recent didn,t read did read the report example . Surely if your example has merit it also would have been noted in QLD , NSW and to a lesser extent Victoria but all have broken promises . Of course there is also the addition left out in citing the PMs quote about being determined to put a price on carbon . Its a bit like Frasers often repeated quote of life wasn,t meant to be easy without the add on .
    Great minds think alike is well known but its full line has ” and fools seldom differ ” Makes a difference doesn,t it ?

  • 40
    SBH
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    David Hand, ‘flexibility’ in work choices went one way. Why you think that’s a good thing is beyond me but you’re beyond reason and you’ll not be able to provide anything other than your usual right-wing rubbish to back it up.

    For others who want to refresh themselves with a more rational point of view about how work choices systematically stripped rights and conditions away from workers, and the more vulnerable the more you lost, Google David Peetz excellent analysis of the figures that were released at the time which includes the following analysis:

    The minimum wage fixing arrangements established under WorkChoices have led to a real wage decline for most award-reliant (low wage) workers, but the full effect is yet to be seen. WorkChoices has been associated with a decline in average real wages, at least in the short term, despite the economic boom. It appears to have led to real wage declines in retail & hospitality, probably as a result of the loss of penalty rates in those industries, and in the short term at least a drop in real and relative earnings for women. Meanwhile profits are at record levels, continuing a trend established under the Workplace Relations Act.”

    David Peetz - Brave New Work Choices - What’s the story to date?

    So profits up, wages down Why would we cheer ‘Yay Work Choices’?

  • 41
    James K
    Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    David Hand: I want to question your foundation assumptions here. You think that we have to “stay productive” even if it means ridding ourselves of “redundant jobs”.

    redundant jobs… interesting term that… how is a job “redundant”? In pure economic terms, it is reduncant if it is making something that is a bit dearer than the same thing being made elsewhere. Like overseas. where labor (and people) are cheap and where overheads are low (no pollution regulations, no OH&S to worry about, no sick pay, holiday pay, long service leave, ,…. nothing to get in the way of good old unbridled profit making!)

    I disagree with your starting points.

    I like to start with the question about “quality of life”. I am not so naive as to dismiss economic concerns as a contributing factor in that term. But economics is not the only factor. And economics is not necessarily the most important factor all the time either.

    So what if economic growth slows a little? So what? If economic growth one year is 4% and the next year it is 3%…. so what? We are still growing. WE ARE STILL GROWING. Just not quite as fast as … who?… tells us we should be!

    Maybe we dont even have to be growing. maybe we could be staying about the same each year? That might mean less pollution, less mindless materialism that destroys so much of the environment around the world for unnecessary rubbish that is tossed away within 12 months or so…. maybe it is not such a bad thing to slow down growth? maybe we should simplify our lives. Maybe we are caught up in a treadmill in a rat cage running after crap that noone really enjoys for long, and exhausting ourselves doing it… all the time making the very few very rich, and the rest of us “expendible as our jobs become redundant because they are not productive enough”.

    What makes a country a great place to live? Not just GDP! How about: how many hours a week people work? How much leisure time there is? How many parks and gardens are there in acres per head of population? How clean is the air? how healthy are the people? How happy are the people? How much crime is there? how safe do people feel? …. there is much more to a good life than unbridled capitalism … infact, I would suggest that obsession over “just the economy” is a sure way to make life less pleasant for most of the people in it.

    Work choices is a sick symptom of misplaced priorities.

  • 42
    Owen Gary
    Posted Wednesday, 29 August 2012 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    Well said James,

    The whole set up was & still is an illusion to waste our one lifetime on this planet to an enslavement called materialism in which each of us is automatically born with a debt that we acquire through our wants rather than our needs.

    Look at our species today are we really any wiser than 20 thousand years ago??
    We have gadgets & trinkets but have we truly evolved & are we really happy??
    We were once tribal hunter gatherers who cared for not just one family but many in close knit units, we also understood & respected the land which sustained us. Enter Capitalism it is a word that has given a few control over how,where & why we live our lives, in short it’s enslavement but not that many recognize this beast for it’s real identity. It is also destroying the planet & the minds of everyone that lives upon it.

    Perhaps this whole game is about enslavement, well we know for sure it is. the word economy is nothing more than a subconsciously implanted alarm to make us jump out of bed & run our lives in accordance to that lovely little invention the mechanical clock, & with every second that passes another stroke in time has been lost forever in the pursuit of worthless trinkets. If 2012 is said to be the age of self awareness, I think part of this will be returning to farming at a subsistence level to some degree, eating our own organic produce would do more for our health than any big pharma sponsored GP or GM crop.

    Anyway “you may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one” after all said and done we “are spirits in a material world”

  • 43
    klewso
    Posted Wednesday, 29 August 2012 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    Sales : “Are you absolutely scrupulous about making sure what you say is accurate?”
    Abbott : “Of course I am.”

  • 44
    Peter Ormonde
    Posted Wednesday, 29 August 2012 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    AR

    G’day … yes there’s a mechanical automaton character to Abbott deep down - to the extent there is a deep I suspect.

    Same sort of deal with Mirabella on Q&A - so controlled, so aware of their public personas that every action and reaction must be considered… a pause for thought … how will this play?

    Can a sound-bite become Prime Minister? I suspect that Reagan showed the way in the US - but the President is very much a media creation - an elected king - weilding immense individual power - like appointing an entire executive.

    Very different here thank heavens. A team sport here - it’s your mates who get you elected. You owe them and they watch you.

    And they are seeing far more of the real Phoney Habbit than we are glimpsing. Homo politico. An empty vessel.

  • 45
    izatso?
    Posted Wednesday, 29 August 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Ho ! David Condescension Hand, your boat leaks, the cap’n is telling porkies abott his area of responsibility, and your share price mirrors your style of management abrogation, do you have to be such a patronising git ? yes you do.

  • 46
    swingingvoter
    Posted Wednesday, 29 August 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    @Owen Gary
    you may think your a dreamer but your words echo those of Pol Pot.

  • 47
    cairns50
    Posted Wednesday, 29 August 2012 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    to swinging voter

    thats a pretty low comment to make against gary owen

    judging by it i would say that you are a pretty low person yourself

    what a disgusting comment to make against any one

  • 48
    izatso?
    Posted Wednesday, 29 August 2012 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    yes, swinger, you might want to do some work on that misdirected anger/confliction you’re expressing …..

  • 49
    MJPC
    Posted Wednesday, 29 August 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Well said James K, the economy might be the number 1 importance to the big end of town, but not to joe average worker who will never be a millionaire or billionaire, but wants a decent life for him, his family and children.
    We are starting to see the true face of the LNP in Queensland, and to a certain extent in NSW. The Labour party has so much advertising material supplied FOC by LNP shafting of ordinary people.
    As for Mr Abbott and co, the best comment I have heard in recent days is from one, ex-prime minister and seat loser J Howard who stated that workchoices (or indeed the Your Rights at Work campaign) did not have a hand in the LNP loss of government.
    That’s OK, I hope the LNP keeps believing that when the next election comes and there are mass rallies again against any chance to implement it again by any government in waiting. I will be out there protesting, someone has to make a stand against unwanton greed and exploitation.

  • 50
    swingingvoter
    Posted Wednesday, 29 August 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Cairns50 and izatso and Gary Owen. I’m sorry I guess my neocon psychopathology got the better of me.

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