Ker-ching! $2.5 million from the Business Council of Australia. Ker-ching! $3 million from the Australian Chamber of Commerce. Ker-ching! $1-2 million from the Minerals Council (they've got a few billion in spare change). Ker-ching! $3 million from the Master Builders (they swear they don't swear like those thuggish unionists in the building industry). Ker-ching! $1 million from the National Farmers Federation ("Sorry John, we're still bleeding from the Patricks' fiasco and there's the drought ..."). Ker-ching!
One Mark Textor, a well-paid professional exponent of the Dark Arts (he's the Liberal Party's chief pollster), has explained the objective of the bosses' fighting fund: to preserve the union-busting, worker-squeezing Work Choices regime no matter which major party wins the elections. They've got six weeks to make sure that the ALP commits to Work Choices by another name. Then they go to work on the "soft voters".
Textor's bag of tricks include an advertising campaign and the systematic release of shock-horror media headlines from a fat dirt file. All this is will be tightly sequenced with well-practiced stage performances by PM John Howard. And their game is on.
The June 21 Sydney Morning Herald reported that Textor zeroed in on just how they need to influence the "soft voters". His focus groups found that "'soft voters' in Melbourne and Adelaide had an 'even-handed' view of big business, but impressions in western Sydney were sceptical and negative.
"'Obscene salaries' and 'they are more interested in lining their own pockets to worry about anyone else' were common views." A few awkward facts are getting in the way: Macquarie Bank CEOs $33.5 million pay, Howard's I'm-worth-it pay increase $21,086, and the 70% increase in personal bankruptcies in Sydney's outer west, and on it goes.
But don't worry, Textor added, with a "prompting", the SMH reported, "voters could be swayed into believing Work Choices was needed to maintain the strong economy". With enough money, it seems, some people can be prompted to believe just about anything.
Ker-ching! More big money is rolling in for Textor's There's Another Flying Pig "prompting" campaign.
These big business outfits know whose side they are on. And so should we.
There's another fighting fund pitching for serious support: the Green Left Weekly $250,000 Fighting Fund for 2007. So far we've raised $95,978. That's just 38% of our target and we are nearly half-way through the year. Do we hear a "Ker-ching"?
Please help us fight Textor and his big business mates by making a donation to the Green Left Weekly Fighting Fund at: Greenleft, Commonwealth Bank, BSB 062-006, Account No. 901992. Alternatively, send a cheque or money order to PO Box 515, Broadway NSW 2007, phone it through on the toll-free line at 1800 634 206 (within Australia), or donate online at http://www.greenleft.org.au/fogl.htm.