On a day when the business community treated us to one of its standard demands for "reform", we had a glimpse of something the old blokes in suits would prefer to keep quiet about: their managerial incompetence.

Yesterday, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which is a lobby group of business lobby groups, gave us one those "calls for reform" so heavily ritualised that it might as well be kabuki. Dropped to a national newspaper beforehand, slapped with a lazy, glib title ("Top 10 in 10"), unveiled at a swanky Sydney launch, accompanied by a cliche-laden media release -- and composed of exactly the same demands the 50 other business community "plans" of the last decade have been composed of: company tax cuts and industrial relations deregulation so workers' wages and conditions can be slashed -- oops, we mean "allowing employers and employees to negotiate workplace arrangements that best meet their needs".