Today’s morning radio split along party lines in their reporting of Melbourne’s big union rally. First, the ABC showed its true colours, with morning presenter Red Symons waving the red flag high. Finishing an interview with Sharron Burrow, Symons cheerily signed off: “Thanks comrade!”

Morning host Jon Faine was left to choke on his cornflakes: “Don’t you know about a bloke called Santo Santoro? His people will be monitoring this, we’re all in trouble now.”

Over at 3AW, the working classes were being put firmly in their place by the boss’s friend, Neil Mitchell. The shock-jock induced a classic Bracks-ism from the Premier during a feisty exchange:

Bracks: “I’ll stand up against the introduction of a US-style two-tier industrial relations system.”
Mitchell: “Mr Bracks, you’re parroting union lines.”
Bracks: “I’m parroting my lines…”

Mitchell concluded with this ever-so-leading question: “So, Premier, we’re taking feeding tubes off sick kids, we’re closing a suicide prevention line, but we’re spending millions on a partisan IR High Court challenge. Will you apologise to the businesses who’ve lost millions and millions of dollars over this…Why can’t you just apologise?”

Mitchell – whose cosy $300,000+ salary will insulate him from the effects of the Howard legislation – rallied his audience to his defence. Here’s a sample:

Margaret from Murrumbeena: “Mr Bracks, this rally is disrupting my workplace, making me an unreliable working mother. Are you going to compensate me?”

Noel from Narre Warren: “I’m stuck in traffic thanks to this action, I hope it absolutely pours rain on Federation Square.”

Mitchell’s conclusion for his huddled masses: “I don’t think bosses are as evil as they are being painted by the unions and Steve Bracks…” With Fairfax Chairman Ron Walker seeking to shoehorn the shock-jock into The Age editor’s job, it seems Melbourne’s chattering classes will soon become more familiar with Mitchell’s opinions.

Over at Federation Square, the politics were clear, and they weren’t good news for Labor. The workers’ friend, Big Kim Beazley was greeted with muted applause – while Bob Brown cruised along for the ride and received rousing cheers. Those hard-working Labor and Democrats Senators doing the hard slog of a line-by-line analysis of Howard’s anti-terror legislation would not be happy, John.