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mass deception « Previous | |Next »
August 21, 2007

The 'Work Choices' advertisements run by Big Business (an alliance of 19 business associations) are truely awful. They are deeply political and deceptive and look as if they are part of the big business pro-Liberal IR advertising campaign on an issue that hurts a lot of working Australians.

Alan Moir

That the business alliance responsible for the currently running pro-WorkChoices ads— the Business Coalition for Workplace Reform—insists with a straight face that their ads aren’t political will fool few people.Though Big Business can pretend that their ads are just about factual information on the effects of rolling back “WorkChoices”, people have become quite sophisticated in critically interpreting adverts. They have learned to do so from watching the mass of adverts on free-to-air television.

So we read the ads as part of a political campaign designed to achieve the particular political outcome of the defeat of the Labor Party at the next election. That the ALP has explicitly rejected rolling back industrial relations to pre-1993 levels is irrelevant.

Big business is using an economic model commissioned from Econtech to justify their claims that their advertising campaign supporting the Federal Government's WorkChoices legislation is objective rather than politically partisan. Econtech was asked for a model to analyse what would be the economic impact should all the major industrial relations reforms in Australia from 1993 onward be reversed. This includes the Keating Government industrial relations reforms in 1993.

Econtech predicts a dire financial outlook should Labor be elected and abolish the Government's Workchoices package. This would reduce Australia's economic output, iinflation and unemployment would rise and wages would fall. The key here is the phrase abolish abolishing Workchoices and all other economic reforms since 1993. It is deceptive as neither the unions nor the Labor Opposition plans to wind back those reforms and it is unlikely that this kind of wind back would be supported in the Senate, even if they did. After all, it was Labor that abolished centralised wage fixing in the 1990s.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:34 AM | | Comments (2)


Meanwhile, real life stories about real live people getting done over by Workchoices just keep appearing.

These stories are likely to be far more effective than boring people to death or interrupting their favourite show with political advertising no matter how misleading.

If the business politicians are campaigning against Labor on the basis of a report that does not even purport to represent Labor policy, then EcoTech has a credibility problem. Hence their disclaimer:

the consultants were concerned about their credibility and how the report might be used. The final version includes the disclaimer: "While all care, skill and consideration have been used in the preparation of this report, the findings refer to its terms of reference, which are to analyse what would be the economic impact should all the major industrial relations reforms in Australia from 1993 onwards be reversed."

The Government is using it in an attempt to turn the political negative of its industrial relations policy into the positive of its economic management.