Last night I watched the beginning of the ABC news which I rarely do, but two of the top stories caught my attention.
First off, it was announced that Australia had received a specific terror threat. Our PM John Howard announced this but did not announce any details. I watch the TV show, 24 and the American President on this show does not announce anything unless it’s absolutely necessary (isn’t this based on real life?). I don’t understand why we would be told of a specific terror threat without any details at all unless the government wanted to push through legislation about new anti-terrorist laws.
Surprise surprise, that is what they are doing today. What a coincidence!
‘The Senate will sit today to pass legislation the Federal Government
says could help authorities deal with a specific threat of terrorism.’
‘So just who – or what – has prompted the Government to make today’s
urgent changes to the anti-terror laws? With little information about
the exact nature of the threat, intelligence analysts have been forced
to speculate about the danger facing the public.’
‘The Prime Minister has rejected suggestions his announcement that
Australia is facing a possible terrorist threat has been timed to avoid
scrutiny of the industrial relations and counter-terrorism laws.’
So, if he’s not trying to rush through the anti-terrorism legislation, perhaps this is supposed to take the attention away from the Industrial Relations reforms our government is also trying to rush through the Senate.
‘… And these proposals
are essentially an attack on the wages and conditions of employees and
to put it in high-tone public policy or economic terms, it’s simply a
straight-forward attempt to shift in the total factor income of the
economy a further proportion from the wages section to the profit
section. That’s what it is on about because the Government has this
view that if you do that, somehow we’ll suddenly be internationally
competitive with China and India and Indonesia and somehow there’ll be
a magic increase in employment. It’s an economic nonsense.’
I read somewhere yesterday that the government was trying to rush these through in one day and as I said earlier, it’s very ‘convenient’ that the anti-terrorism thing has happened on the same day to detract from this.
There is a strong push from unions and other groups against these reforms but I think the majority of the populuation is apathetic – even though we, as individuals, are largely powerless. One small thing I am doing, though, is to be a member of the union. As unions have some power to fight these changes I think more people should belong to a union.