You know IR’s a hot button issue when tabloid TV takes an interest. And today, Seven’s (ahem) current affairs flagship, Today Tonight, takes an in-depth look at the story the quality press is dining out on.

Or, as the TT promo calls it: “Is it a skills shortage? Or a plan to slash workers’ pay and conditions?” So why the sudden interest from the home of fad diets and dodgy used car salesmen (and the furore over ‘Our Dawn’s disabled car space)?

Maybe Seven listened to yesterday’s effort by Radio National’s ‘Background Briefing‘ to tackle the issue in depth and thought: we can do better.

Maybe they read John Howard’s subtle message in his letter to the nation in the weekend newspapers: “If we’re serious about an even stronger economy, more jobs and higher wages we need a new workplace relations system…THE OLD SYSTEM NEEDS REFORMING…WE CANNOT AFFORD TO GO BACKWARDS…”

Whatever, we will be watching. And over at A Current Affair there’s no sign of a spoiler from Ray Martin. They’re promising “a lie detector test on funny man Mark Mitchell and his wife” to find out the secrets of their love life. Tonight’s ratings will tell an interesting tale.