Federal

Feb 24, 2017

Rundle: not even penalty rates cut will drive voters back into Labor’s arms

The Fair Work Commission's decision to cut penalty rates seems like a win for Labor, but the ALP is so far out of touch it might be impossible to ever come back.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle

Correspondent-at-large

There must have been at least a little silent rejoicing in the corridors of Labor at this week's "Fair" Work Commission ruling, cutting Sunday and holiday penalty payments. "Those poor kids, poor students, those poor poor," they must have said. "Oh thank you. thank you. thank you Jeebis!"

What could be better for a party that has moved itself somewhat leftward than this sudden intrusion of politics into the depoliticised world of the young? By that I don't mean they are unaware of issues or power relations by any means. But for many, politics is a just a game old people play, like bowls -- they probably think that's why there's a lawn on top of Parliament -- and the notion that any part of it might represent their interests is tenuous indeed. To most middle-aged people, Bill Shorten looks like a flock of moths that got their own suit. God knows how he appears to the young.

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