Wednesday, November 30, 2005

spelled phonetically, i believe it's "reeeeefourrrrrrrm"

Down here in Australia, the conservative party (in a brilliant touch of 1984 macabre humour, the party is called the "Liberals") has taken control of of both houses of parliament and is in the middle of going apeshit with power. Among the pleasantries being introduced are sedition laws (such that I could be arrested for calling the Iraq war "illegal" in one of my lectures) and "industrial reform" (would that there were proper accents to induce my reader to read the word "reform" in the manner of Preston Manning, take it as read [assuming you are Canadian enough to remember Preston Manning's accent] that the word reform is to be read aloud in that manner for this entire document). But I digress from my digression.

Seriously, the Liberals have introduced a legislative agenda that I imagine people like Newt Gingrich read while sitting on the toilet and can't help but masturbate to it.

This industrial relations "reform" (pronounced, as noted, as if you had a very sore colon) is particularly galling. In the guise of making Australia "more competitive" (yes, more competitive with the workplace morals of the pre-industrial American south), the government is basically openly busting the unions' balls. What particularly irks me is the winged monkies the government's mob bosses have unleashed to justify these reforms (again, be sure to read this as though impaled by a gross of rusty fish hooks).

In a fit of pique worthy of Dr. Laura on acid, they claim that these reforms (editor's note: reading this as though you are being lap-danced by Donald Rumsfeld will only add to its effectiveness) provide workers with an unfair advantage over poor employers. Hasn't anybody thought about the children?

The notion that unions are somehow unfair drives me crazy. These are days when the corporation is held as a model of business efficiency, where money-holders band together to coordinate their investment to obtain an outcome as a group that they could not achieve as individuals. Yet, this same corporate structure somehow manages to convince people that when workers use the same strategy, that is somehow morally reprehensible.

There was a time during my days as a conservative that I fully drank the kool-aid on the union issue, believing they'd had their day but that day had passed. But I am fully convinced that there is far more a need for unions now then there ever has been. Corporations remove the owners from personal contact with those who toil to earn their returns. Corporations have absorbed government as a useful limb for their amoral purposes.

These are sad and hypocritical times for Australian politics.


Anonymous Tim said...

I still have a hard time picturing you as a conservative. Or even a 'liberal'...

The IR proposals are truly awful. I'm still not convinced that they will get through. The thing that astonishes me about the process is how much of my personal tax money they've been spending on illegal advertising to support this agenda. Oh wait, if I refer to it correctly as illegal, that's sedition isn't it?


9:46 a.m.  
Blogger socialsomatic said...

Yeah, it basically came down to espousing beliefs about groups that were completely inconsistent with how I treated individuals. So, I either had to start treating people like shit or become a liberal.

My family, who are very nice people, still take out their self-hatred at the group level.

The one benefit of all this for me is that it's not hard to view conservatives as decent people - I know what it feels like to be one. Which is to say repressed, self-loathing, and afraid. Conservatives should be pitied, which is great, because that will just make them more angry.

10:19 a.m.  

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