THE "RESIGN, JEFF!" REVIEW
8 April 1994
The Kennett Corporation, in its desire to be a business instead of a government, is doing its best to be rid of troublesome social obligations. That it was elected to serve its constituents in order to preserve the fabric of a harmoniously functioning society has become, to its way of thinking, the equivalent of "weak-sister do-goodism." It believes that "'private' is good and efficient, while 'public' is bad and inefficient." But, in the context of social well being, what does 'efficient' mean? Does it mean that cold blooded guidelines pertaining to manufacturing, distribution, sales and profits are to be the sole criteria, with the people who do the work seen as little more than disposable commodities? Are employment contracts, which ultimately give the worker little say in his or her conditions, a sign of efficiency? Or just short term short-sightedness. The RJR believes that privatisation as defined by today's reactionary right, means an attempt to return to a state of 19th century feudalism, in which employer is lord and worker is vassal. RESIGN, JEFF!
THE MERCHANT. The age old perception of most small businessmen and women as money-grubbing exploiters of poorly paid employees has been strengthened since the election of the Kennett regime. When questioned over the counter about the Premier's assault on democracy in order to increase their take, most merchants respond with a dismissive grunt. As a rule they could care less about democracy, and who can blame them? After all, their view of the magnitude of life is so often contained within the space between their front and back doors.
THE SILENT MAJORITY. So many who zealously voted for the Kennett regime's ideological hatred of democracy, are today mumbling apathetically that they no longer read newspapers, no longer watch the news on television, and no longer want to discuss the issues. Having elected the tyrant who is so gleefully throwing out the baby with the bath water, they now want to hide, just as their kind did in 1930's Germany, when they realised Hitler had every intention of acting out their collectively unconscious racism, bigotry, and xenophobia. Then, they could use fear of the SS as an excuse to keep supporting the leader. Today, there is no such restraint, no apocalyptic reason to question themselves. Yet, cowards that they are, when anonymously polled on the effectiveness of the Premier, they will answer in the monosyllabic affirmative, because only their subjugation to a tyrant can allow them to surrender responsibility for their fellow man.
THE NEO-NAZI. Longing for the heyday of absolute power over minorities and the disadvantaged, these psychologically skewed no-hopers will align with anyone who espouses master/servant rhetoric. You won't find them supporting multiculturalism, but their shining pates will be there on election day to terrorise freedom.
Television journalists should think seriously about Jeff Kennett's rudeness to questions posed by the 7:30 Report. Perhaps they could take turns asking the same question until the Premier either spat the dummy and stormed off or bloody well answered it.
After a Hard Day of
How dare the rabble question the Gude Lord's attempts to rarefy industrial relations to exclusively favour the state's business elite! It sure isn't easy being accountable to riffraff, but Big Phil knows how to shake it all off of a night. After a taxpayer-funded banquet at Strongy's in Hawthorn, he likes to retire to his sanctum, crack a bottle of the best Scotch taxpayers can buy and get happily pissed so he can come up with more ideas on how to piss on those coarse wretched's of earth.
• BAMBI KILLERS WHOOPING IT UP OVER DUCK CARCASSES. Stubble-faced and stubby-brained, Australia's atavists are shooting their way to glory again, this year enjoying a fortnight's extension to the killing spree. No doubt, they'd rather shoot Laurie Levy and the hundreds of protesters who--hampered by new laws preventing any interference with the annual slaughter--year after year wade in to rescue the wounded. Alas for the killers, that champion of sporting mass-murder, Jeff Kennett, has yet to declare a military war on humans. Meanwhile, W.A.'s Premier, aging Hitler Youth Richard Court, has decided to lift the ban on duck shooting imposed by former Premier Carmen Lawrence. (Editorial, Age 19/3)
• CASINOS V. GROCERIES. Forget the food on the table, Jeff wants you to gamble it all away. As Kenneth Davidson points out (The Age, 19/3), "Retail spending is falling in Victoria while it is growing everywhere else, because Victorians are now spending an increasing proportion of their time [and]..dollars on gambling." Like the schoolyard bully who knows how easy it is to extort lollies from children, the Kennett Government is taking advantage of Victorians desperate to get ahead. "Victoria is broke--encourage its citizens to gamble." Almost everyone plays the lotteries and 99 per cent of those are in the red as a result. Add pokies and casinos and there is little hope for maintaining any quality of life. And the rationale of this government of Pimps for the International Gambling Cartels? "...we are simply bringing gambling expenditure in Victoria up to New South Wales levels." Let us pray they don't try to bring us "up" to levels enjoyed by the citizens of Iraq.
• $5 MILLION TO AN AIRLINE WITHOUT AIRPLANES. Victoria's whizbang Emperor-Entrepreneur, Jeff Kennett, wants flights from Melbourne to China, so why not donate taxpayer money to someone who can do it? And who might that be? Well, why not pick a name in the telephone book? And a telephone book from New South Wales, at that! All Sydney property developer Colin Hendrick and Australian Air International have to do is raise $55 million in a public float. Say, no problem. The "public" would like nothing better than to invest in an airline for high-flyers on their missions to China to find more cheap labour for their companies. After all, everything the "public" wears and almost everything it buys is made in China already. Not only that, who in their right mind would refuse investing in a country for whom human rights is merely an irritation. Tibet? Who needs it! Come on, Jeff, bring on the bucks! (Based on an article by David Walker, Age 23/3, Peter Mickelburough, HS, 23/3.)
• PRIVATISED JAILS: ANOTHER RESPONSIBILITY RELINQUISHED BY GOVERNMENT. The concept of a for-profit prison lends itself to a frightening image, one best described by Charles Dickens. Karen Batt (HS 24/3) states: "In NSW, private prisons are not required to provide transport to and from prison, ancillary health services, parole officers, uniforms and equipment for staff. The list could go on. Citizens vote for governments which define the criminal law through legislation. Private companies do not have the authority to exercise these processes, particularly while they represent their own proprietary interests."
• 35,000 STATE TEACHERS ESCAPE GUDE'S INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS STALAG. GOVT PLANS AD CAMPAIGN TO WARN VICTORIANS THAT WORKING RIGHTS ARE BAD FOR THEM. The IRC has granted federal award coverage to most primary and secondary teachers, thus protecting their rights on salaries, leave, total work hours and career structure. Concurrent are the Federal Government's new industrial relations reforms. State Hitman for Industry and Employment, Phil Gude, calls "diabolical" such Federal legislation as:
The prohibition of junior pay rates, that is, a substandard wage to penalise people for being young, which must surely encourage them to substandard performance;
New laws on unfair dismissals, which require employers to follow strict guidelines before a worker can be sacked, that is, instead of regarding workers as expendable fodder, the employer will have to devote more time to the hiring process, and to make sure that working conditions are satisfactory for all.
But the Kennett Government would rather spend money on high court challenges than give Victorian employees a fair go. Yet another expensive ad campaign is planned to warn Victorians of the alleged shortcomings of the new Reforms Act. Advertisements have been placed in the major dailies calling for expressions of interest from ad agencies...the Coalition's lust for "tendering" and "contracting out" knows no bounds. (Based on an article by Neil Wilson, HS 26/3, and Shane Green, Age 26/3.)
• AMBULANCE SERVICE PRIVATISATION: THE KENNETT GOVERNMENT WOULD RATHER SEE PEOPLE DIE THAN PAY SUPERANNUATION. The case histories are mounting; people receiving inappropriate treatment at the hands of inexperienced private ambulance operators. As with the privatising of jails and hospitals, one wonders why. If profit is the primary motivation, the level of care will be determined by the amount of that profit. It is only logical that people will be hired with little or no experience, training or genuine interest. Driving an ambulance is not a job for just anyone looking through the classifieds. It requires people who are highly motivated, who can handle the horrendous trauma of a mother whose baby has moments ago suffered cot death, who can pick up the bits and pieces of a beloved two year old killed in a car accident.
Members of Victoria's Ambulance Employees Association are very special people. They work on the front lines, attending gruesome catastrophes in order to save people's lives and console the survivors. So why is the Kennett Government seeking to undermine and dissolve this valuable service? As with every civilised function this government is destroying, the prime motivation is to save money. And if the Gang of 61 can avoid maintenance of the hefty superannuation to members of the Ambulance Employees Association, they will quite happily gather at Leonda to clink victory glasses of champagne, regardless of the cost to human life. (Julie-Anne Cook, Age 27/3, and Margaret Cook, Age 28/3.)
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