Some of our rightwing commentators are rejecting the argument that National’s ‘workplace policy’ strips workers of their rights. Problem is, every workers’ rights organisation thinks that it does and John Key does too.
Think about it, if you think people will welcome your policy do you slip it out with as little fanfare as possible? No, you do that if you think most people won’t like it. The comments on our threads show that nearly everyone (even National supporters) agree with workers’ rights, it’s logical to conclude National knows its policy is anti-work rights. As one of our commenters Bill noted:
“If Nat’s employment policy was not really going to change anything, (as the right seem to be arguing) it wouldn’t have been put out there in the first place. So what are the potential changes? Logically they can only be somewhere on the scale of negative scenarios that have been postulated. Positive changes would have been trumpeted by the Nats but I’ve heard nothing anywhere besides unconvincing protestations that things will remain much as they are at present”.
The entire tenor of John Key’s five minute media scrum on the policy was ‘no, no, we’re not taking away rights’. No-one, not National, not the media, could see the policy as good for workers. All Key could do was try to minimise people’s natural conclusion that it’s an attack on workers.
National is so fearful of how the public will react to their policies that they’ve tried to avoid talking about it as much a possible. There was no press conference, no pictures of leader and spokesperson confidently announcing bold, popular new policy (in fact, Key hasn’t held a press conference since the health discussion paper announcement, when he summed up the Nats’ concern for your health with ‘frankly, it’s a market’). The responsible spokesperson, Kate Wilkinson, turned off her phone and left Parliament as soon as the policy was announced. The only press release that came out in her name was an amateur rant about unions (yeah, those democratic organisation comprising over quarter of a million working Kiwis).
National fears you won’t vote for them if you know their policies. So much for pride in your work.