15 Nov 2013

Nats resurrect the ghosts of 1932 and 1951 as Jami-Lee's Bill is defeated.

Massey's Cossacks used to attack strking workers in 1913... resurrected by Botany MP, Jami-Lee Ross.

The close won defeat of the Ports of Auckland inspired anti-worker bill, sponsored by the often unseen Botany MP, Jami-Lee Ross, should be seen as a brief flicker of sanity in a Parliament that has been held in a time warp that alternates between the mid nineteenth century and the McCarthyite madness of the 1950s ever since the election of the Key-Joyce dominated National government. (if, as the Bellman predicts, the Collins faction gains ascendency watch out for the National Party to regress further into hard-line conservatism).

Jami-Lee’s bill was a combination of Nineteenth century draconian worker exploitation and anti-Union rhetoric of the McCarthyite “50s and the Muldoon “80s which, in a more rational and realistic parliament, been laughed out of the debating chamber as well as being heartedly ridiculed by critical media analysis with Jami-Lee being publicly pilloried for being the privileged chump he so capably parades around the House.

The bill capably demonstrated that Jami-Lee is no more that a shallow, inexperienced, privileged and easily manipulated MP who is at the beck and call of those with anti-worker political and management agendas and who should not have been rewarded with the “dignity” of having his bill treated as a serious and thoughtfully drafted piece of legislation.
Empty rhetoric from the Nats to disguise their true agenda

Mind you the level of thoughtful analysis of the ramifications of the Bill coming from the National-Act MPs during the debate was hardly inspiring and well thought out. In 99% of the cases the rhetoric was cliché filled, emotively empty and sounded as though we were being given a re-run of 1932 and 1951 National Party Hansard records.

The National Business Review reported that Jami-Lee had been advised on the wording and purpose of his bill by the management of the Ports of Auckland whose anti-employment contract and anti-worker agendas demanded the strike breaking provisions written into the bill. Rumour also had it that the bill had been further worked over by the young Nats who reef fish around the Slater-Lusk blog-site group. Given that the NBR report and the rumoured involvement of the Slater-Lusk group is true then one must seriously question the ability of Jami-Lee to be seen as an MP who genuinely has the needs of concerns of his constituents at heart. Instead one must see him as being the easily manipulated tool of those whose self interests over-ride the common good.

Unfortunately for NZ workers the National-Act government have an equally obnoxious piece of anti-worker, anti-union legislation waiting in the wings- the Simon Bridges (he of the “If I shout and bluster loud enough I’m telling the truth” persuasion) sponsored “Employment Relations Amendment Bill” which is designed to strip workers of fundamental work place rights.   On the other hand, here is what the Labour MPs have been saying about the Ross-Bridges bills.

The Bridges’ Bill probably explains why the National-Act caucus voted en-bloc for the Jami-Lee bill as, if they did vote it down, it would have made Simon Bridges look powerless and ineffective and expose the flaws in his Employment Relations Amendment Bill.

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