Shock: Business Union Supports Labor

Greg Evans, director of industry policy and economics at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry says:

By and large we believe the Government’s strategy to deal with the economic slowdown is the correct strategy the fiscal package announced by the Federal Government late last year, but also the beginning of this year.

Which to me seems the opposite to what the liberal party is saying. So it seems that the business unions are supporting Labor and not their own people. So the business unions and the conservative as not such a “perfect match” after all.

Advertisements

19 Responses

  1. Didnt Greg Evans host Perfect Match?

  2. Yep, and I think he takes his cues from ‘Dexter’: Beep, beep, whir, there’s a 99% chance of compatibility between Government’s spending more, consumers spending more than they would otherwise, and business unions being happy in such a menage a trois arrangement.

  3. NIc T and Legion…. hehe – at least someone got my Perfect Match reference.

  4. (joni, on March 4th, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    Off topic…this may (or may not) interest you…Scientists Model Words as Entangled Quantum States in our Minds.)

  5. Legion, expect a slap for using “menage a trois”. I’ll be disappointed if you don’t get hit.

  6. The idea that Labor (under Rudd) is beholden to the ACTU or its affiliates should now be dead and buried. I think Tom of Melbourne now accepts that reality. (BTW, Tom unlike some others is prepared to accept the ‘evidence’ and therefore should be commended).

    Indeed, anyone who has followed the rise of Rudd would know that he became the ‘leader’ despite the opposition of the union powerbrokers. BTW, they still hate him but a Leader with Rudd’s ratings is a free spirit. As an aside, Rudd was once asked what union he belonged to and in his response he mis-named ‘his’ union.

    Rudd is a ‘technocrat’, driven by ‘efficiency’ and ‘effectiveness’ rather than by ‘ideology’. (This does not mean he is ‘ideology’ free because no-one is!), But for Rudd ‘ideology’ is at the back of his mind rather than at the forefront. Thus ‘what works’ becomes the motive force. I’ll say it again. Rudd is a technocrat!

    It’s not surprising therefore that business unions applaud his his recent initiatives because in their eyes also the ‘what works’ rationale is and ought to be the motive force.

  7. Nature 5 – This is being damned with faint praise! Thank you for undermining any reputation I may have for being mindlessly consistent.

    Rudd is indeed in the fortunate position of exerting plenty of personal authority through his personal popularity. This will diminish at some point, as it always does with politicians.

    At that point we will see the re-emergence of the ugly control of union hacks and the factional warlord. Until then, make the most of his extended honeymoon!

    Business bureaucrats are always effective brown nosers.

  8. Tom of Melbourne, on March 4th, 2009 at 10:27 pm Said:

    “This will diminish at some point, as it always does with politicians.”

    Agree!. But your other claims are more contentious. Let’s explore:

    “see the re-emergence of the ugly control of union hacks and the factional warlord”

    Maybe. But I suspect that how it happened in the ‘past’ is not necessarily a reliable guide as to how it will happen in the future. Rudd has shown that when one gets the ‘supreme authority’ of leadership in government one is not necessarily beholden to the ‘power brokers’. Gillard and others will learn from that. They will be less likely to jump at shadows in the future.

    Rudd like Goss and the other ‘Independents’ in Queensland, while courteous to the Unions, established that it was a Goss Government and now a Rudd Government.. Labor as a ‘Brand’ and its attendant obligations become less important.

    Tom, the world of politics moves on. Rarely does it resurrect the past.

  9. There is no doubt that Rudd is capable, non aligned, possibly set to become an outstanding and long term PM. I’m pleased that he is succeeding.

    Concentrating on your points though, unions may not control Rudd, but any reasonable observer would have to acknowledge that unions control the selection of those that stand for the ALP. As Barry Jones ruefully pointed out, 22 (?) out of 25 winnable seats. This is hardly relegating unions influence.

    Capable as Rudd is, he cannot control all the decisions of his ministers.

    Some of the detail of the IR legislation will be disastrous for some sectors, but fortunately for Rudd the disaster is unlikely to affect his constituency. Agriculture, hospitality, winemaking (horror) appear to be in for tough time maintaining some of their employment arrangements.

    Rudd appears to be unable or unwilling to control Gillard, and her union oriented deal making.

  10. In mean – As Barry Jones ruefully pointed out, union officials were preselected for 22 (?) out of 25 winnable seats

  11. Tom of Melbourne, on March 4th, 2009 at 11:23 pm Said:

    “that unions control the selection of those that stand for the ALP’

    Indeed! But only up to a point in terms of the implications. Powerful leaders like Rudd can certainly intervene (and do so) and determine who gets the preselection. But more importantly the Labor Leader these days gets to determine who shall be Ministers and in what position they serve. Put simply, Time has moved on.

    And let’s face it, ‘backbenchers’ in terms of power influence are a joke. Their role is to put up their hands when they are instructed. Sad but true.

    Tom, if I can make a more general point, I am aghast that our ‘democracy’ is a farce in the sense that the average punter has no interest in ‘government’ (indeed they regard elected government as their enemy) and ‘power’ in terms of decision making remains in the hands of ‘power brokers’ who determine who the candidates will be.

    Yet I am disappointed that you think that workers unions are at the heart of the problem. That analysis is simplistic. And misleading.

    Yes I know I should stop now because I could be accused of playing the ‘person’.

  12. Tom of Melbourne, why am I laughing out loud?

    “Business bureaucrats are always effective brown nosers.”

    From you, of all people!!!

  13. Oh no, the Labor Party is beholden to the business union movement!

    What next, infiltration of the Liberal Party by former union bosses (Brendan Nelson, AMA)?

    … Elise, good to see you at the blog!

    Tom, my, but you’re an obsessed bugger!

  14. Thanks Caney!

    It’s great to be back amongst old mates again!

    As for the Labor Party continuing honeymoon (Tom of Melb @10:27) – it was originally from drinking mead for a month (moon), to help newly-weds get properly aquainted, wasn’t it?

    Must be something fishy about the moon’s cycles these days. Rather a looong honeymoon? Perhaps it has gone menopausal?

    Does that mean the mead keeps flowing forever? I guess Rudd and Swan are doing their best…

  15. Nature 5 – “you think that workers unions are at the heart of the problem”

    The problem is that they aren’t workers unions, in my opinion. They’re substantially self interested political organisations, with a shop front and a logo. They use the ALP for cover and protection, but the party gets nothing back.

    There are ‘workers unions” and they do a good job. They tend not to be affiliated with the ALP, and therefore don’t have to undergo the contortions of logic. Non affiliated unions have a single objective, a sole purpose, to get the best results for their membership.

    Affiliation undermines the objectives of a union, it unnecessarily politicises unions and industrial relations, and the ALP gets very little out of it.

    Caney – not obsessed, just focused.

  16. Tom

    “There are ‘workers unions” and they do a good job. They tend not to be affiliated with the ALP, and therefore don’t have to undergo the contortions of logic. Non affiliated unions have a single objective, a sole purpose, to get the best results for their membership.

    Affiliation undermines the objectives of a union, it unnecessarily politicises unions and industrial relations, and the ALP gets very little out of it.”

    I have to agree Tom and why? Direct experience.

  17. Affiliation undermines the objectives of a union, it unnecessarily politicises unions and industrial relations, and the ALP gets very little out of it.

    The ALP & the unions are just open and transparent about their processes, unlike the conservatives who do their dirty deals behind closed doors. I know which I prefer.

    The Liberals & Nats may not have acknowledged affiliations, but don’t think that they are not there. Why otherwise would ex-execs of the business unions eg Hendy & co find a natural home in the politics of the Coalition right now? WorkChoices was written by the business unions and their political arm, the Liberal Party lost office trying to implement it when they had the most power of any Australian govt. (control of both houses).

  18. Hi Kittylitter

    Most people probably think of the film Groundhog Day when they read my posts.

    So these days I try really hard to be particularly repetitive and annoying. I’m one to maintain a tradition.

    I have no problem with union oriented people participating in the ALP, as many as possible should. The US Democrats are strongly supported by unions, they mobilise resources, donate to candidate, help, advocate, door knock… they help with all the things that good supporters should help with.

    BUT they don’t actually form a specific part of the political party. They aren’t affiliated with the Democrats. Their support of the Democrats is very similar to the way businesses and business organisations have traditionally supported the conservative side of politics here and in the US.

    The problem isn’t one of support, it should never be this. It is about politicising unions directly, about the conflict of interests this presents to the ALP and to affiliated unions, the unhealthy conflict of aspirations for some union officials.

    Unions would be better off by only focussing on their members interests, the ALP would be better off by relying on the understandable support of unions, rather than having unions exercise a controlling interest in the party.

  19. Unions would be better off by only focussing on their members interests…

    Have to agree with you there tom, that’s what we pay our fees for.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: