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Dead, buried and cremated, but still kicking.


The Opposition has been struggling to find THE button. The one that when pushed will start a series of events that will dislodge the government and they can jump into power. Yesterday, when Rob Oakeshott decided that he will no longer attend the weekly meetings with the Opposition, then that button shifted out of their reach for now.

For the last 5 months, the Opposition has been frantically trying to disenfranchise the government in the eyes of the independents and pushed that campaign in the media. The message being that they had not lost the election and they will fight on. For a few weeks, many who had cast their vote for the coalition, clung onto this hope. This now false hope.

Many in the party seem to also see this as a false hope.

There is a power struggle going on in the coalition. They have been trying to strike out against the government and are running out of cards to play. Some even consider some are playing some cards from the bottom of the deck.

Their cards are not working. They are getting trumped each time. Even the dirty tricks card seemed to have eaten more at them then the government. They need a pathway.

And that pathway is once again, industrial relations says Peter Reith.

Reith rallies Coalition to brave labour market reform

PETER Reith, the Howard government enforcer on industrial relations and waterfront reform, has challenged Tony Abbott and the Coalition “not to be afraid” or “spooked” by a Labor scare campaign on Work Choices and produce labour market reforms in the national interest.

Mr Reith says that rallying calls for vital workplace reform have “fallen on deaf ears in Canberra” with the Coalition afraid to campaign on the issue and Julia Gillard a “captive of the unions”.

The former industrial relations minister and one-time Liberal leadership aspirant believes labour market reform is Australia’s No 1 priority but is going backwards under the Labor government. This means “Australia will have been going backwards for nearly a decade” by the next election.

“The reality today is that the industrial relations system we now have is not good enough. It will get worse. The shortcomings may have been disguised by the resources boom, and the public may not realise the problems ahead, but Australia still needs a better system,” Mr Reith will say in a speech to be delivered today in Melbourne.

Mr Reith’s warning comes as Australia’s wage price index, after slowing for two years, turned around sharply with figures released yesterday showing annual growth rising from 3.5 to 3.9 per cent and the highest wage rises in the electricity and gas industries.

Mr Reith says Liberal MPs have been told not to speak about industrial relations because of the damage Work Choices did to the Coalition in the 2007 election and the union scare campaign last year.

But, adding to internal Liberal pressures for action on industrial relations, he says the politics and policy for the next election will be different from last year, when the Coalition was afraid to make IR an issue. “I say we can’t afford not to fight this issue. We cannot abandon issues that we know must be addressed. Australia will be a lot of worse off if we sit mute, frightened to do the right thing. MPs are not in parliament to avoid issues; their job is to tackle the real issues, the difficult issues,” he says.

“Because Labor won the election, in part by attacking Howard’s Work Choices, they were able to spook the Coalition into giving up on workplace relations.”

Mr Reith, who now works as a consultant, says he “missed the drama” of Work Choices because he left parliament in 2001. He acknowledges he accepted the Opposition Leader’s declaration that “Work Choices is now dead and buried”.

But Mr Reith says while he understood the political tactic of not making industrial relations an issue at the last election “the costs of Labor’s system are really going to start to build up in the next two years”, and there was a “constituency” for the Coalition who supported individual agreements in the workplace.

Mr Reith disagrees with Mr Abbott who says it is up to the business community to convince the Coalition to change policy, and insists it is a challenge the Coalition has to take up.

“That is a challenge that must be taken up, but not just by the business community. It is a challenge for the country as a whole,” he says.

“Even if the Coalition were elected at the next election, if the Coalition does not have a reasonable policy, then the Greens will deny the passage of any legislation. The reason we got our package through in 1996 was because the Democrats had the honesty to accept that we had a mandate built on the detailed policy released before the 1996 election.”

Full Story:

While this is not the first time this has come back into the media, it is now clear that Tony Abbott is under pressure to return to WorkChoices albeit by another name.  Why? Because they are losing battles and with them the battlefields.

Abbott needs something he can use to show that he can lead debate on issues, but a return to WorkChoices will in-effect kill, bury, and cremate his career.

Initially, when the polls were close and when there was a genuine chance that the tables could be turned on the government with the right word in the right independents ear, Abbott had sent a call for support from the business community. It was for them to convince him that IR needed to be looked at again.

No help was forthcoming. Further the mood of support began to slip from the Abbott’s grasp.

Now Tony is not only claiming that the business community has to be there, but the people as a whole need to come along for the ride.

“That is a challenge that must be taken up, but not just by the business community. It is a challenge for the country as a whole,” he says.

You see here is the thing. If the coalition return to WorkChoices, then he is gone as he made that bullshit promise on a radio show. The question then becomes what will be the spin they put on it to distance it from WorkChoices. Joe Hockey continues to throw Tony a lifeline suggesting that a new name can be the solution. Tony was fine with this early in the first term of this government, but it offers a dilemma. If Tony brings back a IR package, the dead buried cremated thing may lead people to think that Abbott is a liar.

Really Tony. Who on earth could possibly consider you a liar?

A. Ghebranious   2011   (All Rights Reserved)

  1. Catching up permalink

    The elephant in the room should be does the loser have the right to destroy the winner after the rare has been declared.

    My belief is the outcome is legit within the constraints of out constitution and reflects the views of the voters.

    It is my belief that the loser, no matter how much they believe they are victor, should accept the result. The losers will have their chance to defeat the government at the next election.

    If the government should fail, there is mechanism that could lead to a new government being formed, if appropriate. A government can only be in this plight if they lose the vote on the floor of the lower house. Bad polls, unless it is an election, play no role in whether a government is deposed.

    What respect would one have for Mr. Abbott; if he achieved government by the route he is pursuing? Personally I would be very angry. I suspect there would be many more that felt the same way.

  2. Jennifer Baratta permalink

    Long time ago in a world far away they eleminated politics and were still not happy. Lots of luck.

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