Australia was introduced a new and upcoming regressive in our body politics earlier this year. This was the new Secretary of Australian Council of Trade Unions, Sally McManus, the first woman to hold the position, as the left were eager to highlight. She gave us an indication of what her approach in the role would be like when she told Leigh Sales on 7.30 that it was okay for workers to break the law. She followed that with an address to the national press club and indicated she would prefer a return to socialism.
A letter of warning of what Australia would look like under a Labor government if the desires of Sally McManus were implemented, was published in the Australian Financial Review today. Michael Angwin who advises companies on industrial relations describes an Australia where unions reign supreme, which would include the enabling of their criminal and thuggish behaviour, dubbing it McManusstan.
In response to this opinion piece, the union movement gleefully made #mcmanusstan trend on Twitter, describing it as the perfect workers’ paradise. There were references to the words of communist Vladimir Lenin and wife-beater John Lennon to describe this alleged utopia, to openly proclaim the true ideology they would like a person like Sally McManus fight for.
We saw in the twentieth century where implementing this type of society leads: famine, terror and primitive life. This is just what unions have been able to plaster on the internet in one day. Imagine their campaign during the next federal election, with their television ads and foot soldiers on the ground spreading propaganda at polling booths?
It is quite disingenuous of the union movement to claim they are for the working people. As they are supportive of the Labor Party’s ludicrous adoption all 50 of the recommendations of the Finkel Climate Review. Australia’s climate policies have already seen the manufacturing sector gradually leave Australia and seen major coal fired power stations close down leaving workers unemployed. Not just that but it has increased the cost of living for other workers through higher power prices.
Angwin is also correct in his article to criticise the business community for their lack of action making the case for industrial relations reform. Their effort in lobbying for the company tax cuts can be described as pathetic and it seems they are more interested in virtue signalling on social issues rather than growing the Australian economy.
Angwin is right to state that business leaders using technical language will go over the heads of the Australian people. Australians are very sceptical of corporate Australia and do not take kindly to any appearance of mistreatment of consumers or workers. This is why, despite the criminality of unions such as the CFMEU, unions are still regarded as strong protectors of the common man.
Certainly, any case for workplace reform that is put forward has to show how it would benefit workers. The Coalition is still spooked about what happened to them in 2007 following the union campaign against WorkChoices. You can’t really expect them to go out on a limb and promise to implement workplace reform when the business community hasn’t even made the case.
McManusstan is a frightening proposition, and although its promise of better pay, earlier retirement, less work might sound good, remember what socialist utopias have delivered. This should also be a wakeup call to those on the right that much is at stake during the next federal election, and if Bill Shorten becomes prime minister Sally McManus will be one of the puppeteers. Australia’s economic growth it was reported today is now on the improve, let’s hope the regressives do not get the chance to ransack it.
Tim Wilms is co-editor in chief of The Unshackled, where this piece also appears.
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