- Peter Francis Fenwick
A Party which Stands for Nothing is not Worth Anything
Last week the Liberal Party, and particularly its leader, opted out of debate.
Following the inquiry into the racial discrimination act, there was no attempt to explain the case and to argue for the abolition of 18C and the human rights commission. In fact, some ministers argued that free speech was not a significant issue!
How on earth do they expect to make improvements to social policies if they cannot discuss issues for fear of offending someone?
Following the FWC recommendation on Sunday penalty rates, the Prime Minister said he supported the independence of the commission but failed to argue in support of the reasons for its decision. And there are good reasons. For starters, the possibility of creating new jobs for the unemployed and the underemployed.
For background material, Coalition politicians could start with Grace Collier’s excellent article in The Weekend Australian, “Workers dudded by ALP Strategy.” The fact that the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association has negotiated almost 50 EBAs, none with Sunday rates at double time, is pertinent to the debate about looking after low paid workers.
Not to argue a case because you may not get it through the Senate is to give in without a fight.
On the other hand, if you do argue important cases, and argue them well, you just might convince the public that you believe in something.
Enough of this wishy-washy stand-for-nothing. Have a go.