The teflon coated one was doing a fair job of hiding his disappointment on Thursday, after a few business organisations expressed complete disinterest in funding an advertising campaign for WorkChoices to counter the ACTU’s campaign against WorkChoices. There was barely a skerrick of petulance in his voice when I heard him on the radio, saying:
“It’s desirable in a debate about public policy that those people who believe in good policy come out and support good policy. I don’t take anything for granted in the political world and the next election is going to be very tough for the Coalition.”
Nonetheless, the Australian Industry Group and the National Retailers Association have made it clear that they won’t be spending squat on advertising WorkChoices. This suggests that they perhaps don’t hold WorkChoices in the same high regard as the Prime Minister. The Business Council of Australia hasn’t – as far as I know – given any response to Howard’s call to marketing which leaves me wondering if they consider WorkChoices good policy at all.
“Forward” he cried, and the assembled ranks of the captains of industry didn’t budge, perhaps mindful of a lesson that the French bourgeoisie learnt in 1789 – no one ever made a quid out of defending the Ancien Regime.
John Howard isn’t the only one disappointed by the business community’s disinclination to fight the good fight on WorkChoices. Hero Blogger Janet Albrechtsen shares his opinion and she’s much less tactful about it. Her post on the topic is silly enough, but if you can’t be bothered reading that – short though it is – here’s a much pithier statement of her opinion in a response to a reader’s comment:
Governments of both persuasions have been spending our tax dollars to sell their message. Nothing new there. The point I made was that if unions are in on the act, where, oh where is big business. They are a bunch of sissies, happy to talk about WorkChoices but not brave enough to put their money where their mouth is. Let’s face it, WorkChoices, which is aimed at helping business grow, employ more people, etc is in the interests of shareholders. I would have thought it was their fiduciary duty to ensure we don’t head back to the bad old days of over-regulated work places. (my emphasis)
Aww, diddums! Widdle Janet won’t get to see the big boys fight. Maybe she should get a PayPal button and launch an appeal.
Hat tip to Bearcave for the Albrechtsen Link.