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Federal Government

NO GUTS NO GLORY: Liberal students urging party leadership to revive WorkChoices

UWA Liberal ClubIn a signal many grassroots Liberals are growing more and more confident of an historic and massive electoral triumph in next year’s election, the University of West Australia’s Liberal Club has unanimously carried a motion urging the re-adoption of once controversial labour WorkChoices by the next Coalition government.

It came on the same day as the federal leader declared that the federal Coalition ought to aim for an even stronger result than the LNP in Queensland achieved:

“Obviously the Coalition did particularly well in Queensland at the last federal election.

“I think the LNP has obviously triumphed magnificently in the recent state election and I think we can do even better in the next federal election.

Many Liberals, not just in WA which is glorying in its soaring prosperity right now, of the younger generation are urging the federal party room’s more cautious leadership to “step up” on policy and to – use the Aaron Sorkin term that only coke-fuelled visions of George Stephanopoulos could have inspired – “take their numbers out for a spin” to seek a mandate on normally contentious issues like labour market deregulation. Calling WorkChoices labour market deregulation is generous considering its 1500 pages but it’s the symbolism of it that excites many young enthusiasts.

This view extends into the party room, with the “Young and the Restless” group in the federal Liberals, including Scott Ryan and Jamie Briggs, who apparently bonded over sausage rolls in the Qantas Chairman’s Lounge in Canberra, who plan to ensure that “ideologically unsound” gents like the Liberal Lefty Joe Hockey and his notionally NSW Liberal Right but originally DLP leader Tony Abbott. Neither are keen on repeating the political “mistakes” of WorkChoices, having seen any hope of Howard winning in 2007 extinguished by the issue.

Both sides have a point with the Coalition’s likely victory at the next federal election seeming as close to locked in as any federal election since 1955, with the issue regarded by Labor and Liberal insiders alike as crucial to determining the 2007 result, which was much closer than most (leftish) analysts care to recall. There was a big swing to Labor but it was from a low base in 2004.

Some Liberals passionate for workplace relations reforms are being told to back off now by the Leader’s office with a promise to revisit issues after the election and by referring to the Leader’s public declarations of a big crackdown on the internal governance of trade unions to eliminate rorts of the kind for which the HSU in Victoria and NSW became infamous.


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  1. the Victorian ETU gives the WA ETU money to buy there favour. MIGhell gives katter the members money as well. i wonder if katter will continue to side with Abbott after the next election, ensuring ETU members money will go toward supporting workchoices. katter supported the sacking of the SEQEB workers whilst they were on strike in the early 80s. Mighell is a Tory plant

    Posted by dog chasing tail | May 15, 2012, 9:26
  2. Briggs is an obese liar who is happy for a bit of side action when away from his wife in Canberra.
    Perhaps SHY has a comment to make?

    Posted by Jamie ate my Sausage Rolls | May 15, 2012, 10:45
  3. And what does the uwa young labor group also say they want comrade? Bit of balance would be nice.

    Posted by cynic | May 15, 2012, 11:06
  4. Whadda we want? The partial redistribution of wealth and privilege!

    When do we want it? After we graduate!

    Posted by The Marxists from Nedlands | May 15, 2012, 11:33
  5. These Liberal and Labour clubs at Uni’s are not usually affiliated with the main party organisation. That is why they are called clubs and not branches. At some Uni’s the Liberal club is really the anti Liberal club and similar for some Labour clubs which are really anti Labour clubs

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | May 15, 2012, 14:49
  6. Adrian, the UWA Libs are an official branch of the Liberal Party

    Posted by Gary | May 15, 2012, 14:50
  7. Last time I saw you Andy it looked like you had been eating a few sausage rolls.

    Posted by Sausage Roll | May 15, 2012, 16:08
  8. The policy debate looked hilarious! Sorry I missed it! What a bunch of patriots! Work Choices didn’t go far enough!!!!

    Posted by UWA Prole | May 15, 2012, 17:38
  9. The dirty trots of UWA should be charged for visual pollution. The fact I have to look at them should be a crime! They degrade this sandstone institution! Lock up the Trots! Surely the UWA Labor club having nothing better to do but comment on the Liberal Club just shows who the socially inadequate are. The Libs are at least attractive and not a pain in the arse. But politics in General- sigh. Except Julie Bishop. That Lady knows how to dress!

    Posted by UWA Elite | May 15, 2012, 17:43
  10. I wish I could be in the UWA Elite!

    Posted by UWA Prole | May 15, 2012, 17:44
  11. We look down on Proles.

    Posted by UWA Elite | May 15, 2012, 17:45
  12. We can still look down on the UWA Labor Club and Mitchell Goff. At least we don’t get rolled for nothing.

    Posted by UWA Prole | May 15, 2012, 17:47
  13. Isn’t it great that the Liberal Party encourages freedom of speech amongst its members. They actually have a structure that encourages rank and file members, even students, to put up motions that disagree with policy positions. Unlike the Labor Party which discourages any debate and listens only to the “faceless men”. No wonder the Greens are taking over the void left by Labor.

    Posted by Disgruntled Labor voter | May 15, 2012, 19:05
  14. I have never eaten the sausage roll under the briggs veranda. Now dinner at the temple of Barry Haase is another matter. Don’t tell me ex husband.

    Posted by SHY | May 15, 2012, 19:06
  15. I am a respected political strategist.

    Once upon a time, I too ate sausage rolls in the Chairman’s Lounge and had lots of important Liberals talk to me. Now it’s just me and Alex. But he is important. Of course he is. I made him important.

    No wonder they call me a respected political strategist.

    Posted by Shambles | May 16, 2012, 0:04
  16. I found this article a pleasant reminder of why I dislike Young Liberals. Young Liberals, most never having worked a minimum wage job, rock up to their university of choice (mainly UWA and UQ, some USYD) and direct their fee invoice to their daddy’s bank account.

    They then major in commerce, do a few economics courses and decide that, just like their daddy’s,IR law is burdensome and should be done away with so they can fire people when they start working in daddy’s business.

    I don’t so much mind the Young Libs who have done shit jobs and do genuinely believe in IR deregulation – it doesn’t reek of snobbery.

    Posted by Anon | May 16, 2012, 9:44
  17. Wow thats awkward Mr Anon. As the person who put forward the motion, I’ll have you know:
    I work a minimum wage job, was very surprised I had an ATAR that would get me into UWA, thinking I would have to use the lower 75 ATAR entry available for people living in regional areas. My parents are middle class and if I took “Daddy’s money” to pay my uni fees my family probably wouldn’t have eaten or bought petrol for quite a while.
    This is why I hate a lot of labour people (not all I’m not as rude as yourself to make assumptions on an entire group and try to save face with that last little sentence, you were clearly arrogantly certain of the type of person who put forward this motion), they assume we all act in certain manner and that they, like the person who wrote this article, are absolutely perfect with the sun shining out of their arse, not caring that their story is blatantly wrong with various facts.
    But don’t worry Mr Writer, if you are convinced of everything you put forward in this article (such as the motives and leadership telling us to back off), keep spreading it! We will be the ones laughing when it it runs out how wrong you are!

    Posted by UWA Proposer | May 16, 2012, 12:17
  18. Everyone with super is bound to have BHP shares. Read what their Chairman said today about the need for productivity in the work force – without productivity growth (ultimately it’s driven by output going up for any given amount of labour), standards of living will not grow – in fact they might fall.
    A revised form of workchoices is required, with safeguards, but it must suit the open economies of the 21st century.

    Posted by BHP investor | May 16, 2012, 15:23
  19. UWA students. Just the offspring of agrarian socialists

    Posted by Rugger Bugger | May 16, 2012, 22:54
  20. I want to make it perfectly clear that Young Labor Movement doesn’t stand by any of the comments made on the UWA Labor Club page.

    We also don’t believe that these screenshots should have even leaked to VexNews.

    Whoever it was needs to get a life. And VexNews should proof read their articles before publishing.

    David Scaife

    Posted by David Scaife | May 16, 2012, 23:25
  21. I say bring back work choices! Cause I am Matttttt Keeaaannnnnnnn

    Posted by Matt Kean | May 17, 2012, 8:19
  22. ?

    Posted by ratatattat | May 17, 2012, 13:00
  23. I get on women without their choices! Cause I am Maaattttttt Keeaannnnnnnnn

    Posted by Matt Kean | May 17, 2012, 13:42
  24. Lorraine Finlay was undoubtedly the greatest UWA Liberal Club President in history.

    Lorraine for UWA Liberal Club President! Lorraine for Pearce! Lorraine for the universe!

    Where’s my KFC?

    Posted by Ben Finladen | May 18, 2012, 9:48
  25. “We also don’t believe that these screenshots should have even leaked to VexNews.”

    Ummm… weren’t the posts already in the public domain… on Twitter? How can you “leak” public information?

    Posted by The Royal 'We' | May 18, 2012, 17:04
  26. Nice try “David”.

    But I’ve never known David to refer to it as a ‘movement’.

    Your overselling of your identity gave you away comrade.

    Stick to what you’re good at, like destroying the quality of life of working people.

    Posted by The Real Mitchell Goff | May 18, 2012, 17:43
  27. The UWA Liberals must all want to be industrial advocates like Peter Costello was. Workchoices was a bureaucratic nightmare for small business.

    I want a fully deregulated labour market where the strong unions can get big pay increases for their members and the weak unions will have to take pay cuts. Over time the market will reach equilibrium.

    I would just repeal the Fair Work Act and every other Act and introduce one new Federal Act that says “The Commonwealth intends to cover the field of employment law to the maximum extent its constitutional powers permit. No State law that attempts to regulate or modify an employment agreement is valid.”

    Now that’s real reform. Small buisness and employees would be treated exactly the same. The competent and efficient would do well because their services would be in demand at a premium price. The others would need to adjust their income expectation downwards until someone was prepared to employ them.

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | May 20, 2012, 11:46
  28. my spadger is still ouchy sore

    Posted by Felissa Myfe | May 28, 2012, 20:34