The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

"the sky is falling!" (again)

listening to some of the debate on the ERA Amendment Bill, i have been struck by the Chicken Little attitude of most of those i heard speaking against. honestly you would think it was the end of capitalism or something (i wish).

the indignance from particularly National speakers that Labour was doing something for unions and workers was quite bizarre - as if passing laws that support the people who vote for you was not something National did when it was in power.

the cry of "compulsory unionism" was disingenuous. even the bargaining fee is not compulsory unionism - it requires a ballot of all the workers on the site and then agreement with the employer. hardly unions enforcing a closed shop.

Peter Brown, who opposes parts of the Bill, actually spoke quite sensibly. he didn't get all ridiculous, or play to the galleries, although he got a great deal of heckling and interjection. he calmly stated his case and rather than just turning up with a canned speech he actually responded to the previous speakers. this may not look as good on television but it showed a thoughtful approach to debating (rather than just shouting) and although i disagree with him on a great deal it cemented the respect i have for him that began to grow when i spoke on the same podium as him at an election meeting in Mt Eden back in 2002. i'm fond of the old guy, even though i think he's really rather misguided. and no doubt he would think the same of me, if he could remember who i was ;-)

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