The Prime Minister is back from his annual hols and has jumped up before the cameras with the cry We're all in this together! in his Australia Day reception speech.
"This is a difficult time, and in the short term there is no quick fix.
Things will get worse before they get better.That is where all of us – not just government – have a role in lessening the effects of the crisis.
We are all in this together: business, unions, governments, the community sector – and every nation in the world.In these times, employers must do their utmost to protect their workers from dismissal, knowing that these workers will serve them well when times turn good again.
Workers, too, must restrain any wage claims."
No, Rudders, we are not all in this together.
The Aussie banks and their boards, mines and their multinational owners, top CEOs across the country, big national businesses, kings of the racing world, those with inherited wealth, and many more citizens with large salary packages, are not standing shoulder-to-shoulder with anyone. Unless it's with a pollie or two they think may send a cash injection or tax cut their way (look at who's complaining about your fiscal stimulus package and getting ready to close an outlet if you don't believe me).
So don't give me that guff about wage restraint being a strategy to lessen the effect of the global financial crisis.
It's only a strategy which will be used to increase the personal profits of many of the big employers.
Why? Because the bottom line is that most employers still secretly feel that they are paying workers money for jam and that no unskilled or semi-skilled worker deserves more that a pittance wage.
As for small business owners (especially in some parts of the NSW North Coast) they seem to believe that workers should pay their employers for the privilege of having a job.
And I'm not the only one saying so. Get the picture, mate?
Update later in the morning:
The Australian reports that Kevin Rudd has given pay rises to two of his top advisors through bonus payments. "With superannuation and overtime added to salaries, principal advisers earn close to $250,000 in annual income." and therefore are already well paid. It seems Kev thinks that there is one rule for his 'friends' and another for the checkout chicks of this world. The former get to live life as usual, the latter get to fund the national recession fightback.