Thursday, November 30, 2006

Get off the grass! The lawn's a YAWN

The poor turnout for the recent WorkChoices rallies across Australia is indicative of what I call "The Big Sleep". For the faithful who turn out, it's the same old, same old. The union leader compere, followed by a shop steward or a union member, preferably one who's got a story to tell, followed by a folk singer or union choir, and then maybe an international speaker and finally, some old union bloke who's turn it is. Yawn. Boring. Fists in the air, we will defeat you Howard.

For new comers, or first time marchers, it may be the inspiration needed to go forth and multiply the union membership. I doubt it. Rallies don't build union power. They may make us feel good, but they don't build union power when the strength of feeling is not there.

We need to be cleverer. We should be using micro-media like YouTube to get the message across, and do fun stunts like gathering people via sms and spontaneously doing something in busy shopping centres. We could get cool bands and get them to play for free, and have the Workers Beer Company sponsor the event. Or, we could organise around another issue, like the water crisis, to get people out.

Instead of having the impact it should have, the poorly-attended rallies will have Howard laughing all the way to the next election - particularly if the shenanigans don't stop in the ALP.

We need to rethink our strategy. This is a wake-up call.


Burbs Queen said...

720 ABC tells me that Rudd has 47 votes in the Caucus and Beazley has 41. And they would know. I am not sure how a career diplomat will endear himself to the Australian people. Don't get me wrong, I like reasonable and intelligent people in government, but I am not sure how the mortgage belt will take it

Burbs Queen said...

This is worth a look. Glenn Milne - quite respected journo - goes off the deep end! A role model!


Ellie said...

...this is Dave not Ellie.

Well Ali, you will be most pleased with my efforts as I was one of the few people who actually attended the rally. Why you may ask? Because I was bored and had nothing better to do.

I thought I could learn something about the new IR reforms, but alas, nobody there actually new anything about them. Oh, except they're bad. Yes, they are bad for workers, bad for the economy, bad for families and bad for our future (apologies to Beasely - I stole that from your TV interview).

Basically, I stood through 2 hours of uninspiring spin and propoganda. Cue threatening voice over: "Under Howards new Industrial Relations laws you could go to gaol for two years, or be fined $20,000 for having an on site union meeting". Scare tactics, just like Howard, how low can you get. If only there was a relevant third party. Sigh. Lament. Luckily my housemate was doing the sound so we amused ourselves by making sarcastic comments to each other.

Some of the stories were quite amusing. One woman showed her pay slip which read $0.00. I couldn't help but think, if you actually turned up to work your pay slip would have numbers on it!

The rally was a disgrace.