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Is this the best Labor can do?

Brendan O’Connor is the Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations. His job is to send emails. This email titled ‘No more minimum wage?’ came from him today:

The minimum wage is under attack from Tony Abbott’s mates at the Institute for Public Affairs.

The right-wing think-tank, the IPA has told the Productivity Commission’s review into workplace laws that their preferred policy position “is for the statutory minimum wage regime to be abolished.”

The Liberals are using this review as a blueprint for the revival of WorkChoices and an attack on penalty rates, allowances, and the minimum wage.

While the IPA and many Liberals are “philosophically opposed to the government mandating wage levels”, you and I both know how important the minimum wage is. Abolishing the minimum wage would have a devastating effect on the most vulnerable in our community.

Can you sign our petition to tell Tony Abbot to rule out agreeing with the IPA’s submission and stop attacking the minimum wage?

The IPA has a huge influence on Liberal policy. We’ve seen it before. The IPA asked the Liberals to repeal 18C, abolish the Department of Climate Change and repeal the Renewable Energy Target. [1]

We need to show Tony Abbott and the Liberals that Australians want a fair and reasonable minimum wage. Add your name to tell Tony Abbot to reject the IPA’s submission and support a fair minimum wage.

Thanks for your support,

Brendan O’Connor

I’m sorry, but that’s simply pathetic. He wants us to sign a petition to show Tony Abbott a thing or two. Really, is that the best Labor can do?

My message to Brendan O’Connor is to stand up in Parliament and bust Tony Abbott’s arse over it. Take him to task. Chew his bloody ear out. Verbally bash him from pillar to post. Scream it from the rooftops if you must, but don’t send me an email asking me to sign a useless petition that will do sweet bugger all. You may as well blow Tony Abbott some kisses for all the good a damn petition will do.

I’ve searched Google: the last time Brendan O’Connor mentioned the minimum wage to the press was in late January. I had a look at the ALP web site – maybe he’s made an appearance there. No.

I guess it’s easier to send an email asking for signatures on a petition that Tony Abbott will only piss on . . . if he ever gets to see it.


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  1. Pamela

    Pathetic. Monstrous government and gutless opposition. What have we done to deserve this mob of bastards?

  2. eli nes

    spot on, Roswell, all the shadow cabinet is acting like shadows with these wimpy petitions. Leaving the commercial media untouched by labor and dominated by failures like ‘the fixer’.
    if you complain and send emails pointing out things to shout, like labor left no debt crisis show the liar up and why are you letting a robb err in FTAs?? Is he still too ill to challenge will get you into spam and banned from facebook.
    I got one headed what to tell your liberal mate a good start but to borrow a thought labor pollies want us to ‘lift’ whilst they lean??

  3. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I don’t bother reading the Labor emails I get. They tell me nothing I don’t know already.

    I petition Brendan O’Connor to stand up in parliament and outline what Labor intends to provide as safeguards for Australian workers’ wages and conditions.

  4. Debi Robinson

    I totally agree with you. I don’t mind receiving informative emails from the Labor Party. But I do get pissed off when they’re just asking me to sign another online petition. Reminds me of an activist on Facebook who was saying how exhausted she was with everything that needed support. When asked what she did, she replied that everytime a activists post reporting abuse came down her timeline she had to ‘like’ it.
    Yer, so Brendan O’Conner, get off your ass and buy a mega phone and start telling the people (you know the ones walking on the streets going to work) what the Liberals will do if we just sit back liking abuse posts and sending emails.
    Hoping you sent him your thoughts back to him in multiple emails.
    While you’re at it, remind him that the minimum wage isn’t enough and should be at least 50% of Tony Abbott’s expense account.

  5. Anon E Mouse

    Shorten has nobbled the Labor party. Always the player, Shorten is keeping in the good books with his uptown mates – the same ones that backed Tony.
    Shorten is hoping he will get to be PM simply because he isn’t Abbott.

  6. Joseph Tomas

    Agree Anon E Mouse, Shorten will become PM by default should he last. However the rumblings I hear, the right faction is in for a wake up call at the Party Conference, we on Social Media are not the only ones unhappy with his performance, or lack of same. A couple of 10 min speeches to the Parliament a session, by way of a suspension of standing orders, does not a LOTO make.
    Mans a phoney, leadership credentials few.

  7. Maureen Walton (@maureen_walton)

    Sick of signing petitions, Who takes a notice or even cares? Brendan O’Connor Opposition Minister for Industrial Relations, really did not know. Just remember him from when Julia Gillard was in. Hardly see or hear from O’Connor now Rudd gone…Some of the Opposition need to be seen and heard much more a Few only carrying all for Labor…LNP really are getting away with far to much crap.

  8. Francoise

    Absolutely agree I deleted it immediately didn’t even bother to read it, if it’s the best Labor can do we’re doomed, they need to step up and soon.

  9. mars08

    What a pale, timorous, flaccid bunch we have as the federal opposition….

  10. Michael Taylor

    That email was wasted on me too. Pointless exercise.

  11. babyjewels10

    I felt the same thing when I received that email. I’m afraid the Labor party seem to be struck down with some sort of inertia disease.

  12. australianphotographcollector

    This article expressed how I felt too. The repetitious ‘can you sign this’, ‘can you share this on FB’, requests sent out by Labor make me cringe. The Greens are picking up Labor votes due to Labor’s pathetic opposition.

  13. John Fraser



    Perhaps he's saving his ammunition to attack the Abbott Party for it appalling behaviour to the 10 Australian employees of Save the Children that his Political Party said " had been involved in coaching detainees to manufacture sexual abuse allegations as part of a wider discrediting of government asylum-seeker policies."

    The 10 young Australians the Abbott Party threw off Naru.

    And the Moss Review ( ) that spelt out the shit that the Abbott Party put on these young Australians.

    The Moss Review that the Abbott Party released on the same day that Malcolm Fraser died …. one of Australia's most prominent fighters for human rights.

    Here's what The Age had to say in this Article titled "Taking out the Trash but too clever by half" :

    Spread this far and wide …. don't let the filthy Abbott Party get away with it.

    How's that Miggs ?

    Is that how the Labor party should do it ?

    Because that's how The Greens do it.

  14. Annie B

    I seriously don’t know what’s going on here. I am NOT a paid up member of the Labor party, yet I receive quite a few emails, having opted in when offered on their sites …

    Some are signed “Bill” (Shorten) others that offer the petitions talked about here ( which I ignore and they frankly give me the irrits – like they do to most here ) … and I also receive other emails from Labor, written by several different people.

    One of them is Tony Burke who writes a weekly email called 5&5. …. I am SURE most of you get it – if you don’t, then something has gone horribly haywire.

    In it ( and I am not going to copy and paste it here – it’s waaay too long ) … it gives the pluses and minuses of the Liberal Parties antics for the week. …. And it gives a precis of how the Liberals ludicrous stands, are answered by Labor.

    Ok – before everybody here comes down on me like a ton of bloody bricks – this email gives the 5 BEST and the 5 WORST of the parliamentary sessions. … It most always is interesting reading, and does NOT ask for petitions to be signed …..( the petition emails should be done away with – for sure. )

    This email often gives links in blue to speeches made, and news reports given – all in favour of Labor ( of course ). …. It serves as a weekly reminder to Labor supporters, of the chaos and damnable, ridiculous proposals, lies ( more ), and the extraordinary uncontrolled outbursts of the current PM. … That’s when he’s in a mind to open his huge trap to put both feet in it.

    I will give a small ‘teaser’ copied and pasted … for those who do NOT receive this Labor email … in the next post :

    ……… continued ……….

  15. Annie B

    From Tony Burke – via – – –
    mailed by :
    signed by :

    It opened with :

    Anne –

    The final afternoon of Parliament this week needs a quick explanation. It was extraordinary. Our questions were going right to the heart of the Government’s economic credibility and the Libs and Nats were hating it. Tony Abbott finally snapped and made an unbelievable reference to Nazi Germany. …. >>>>>>> ( we all know about that )

    following are a few of the best and worst of 5&5 …. ( by my choice !! )

    BEST :
    “When it comes to the Budget, the Australian Financial Review headline on Thursday said it all: “Abbott loses the plot on debt”. As Opposition Leader Tony Abbott called a debt to GDP ratio of 13% a “debt and deficit disaster”, yet a debt to GDP ratio of 50-60% under his watch “a pretty good result”. Chris Bowen slammed Tony Abbott for his hypocrisy in this speech … on Thursday.”

    ( It was centre-stage diva Pyne who twinkle-toed his way out of his chair and pranced out during Chris Bowens’ speech. )

    WORST : I’ve shared with you previously the the saga around Barnaby Joyce changing his official Hansard record. Well, late last week Tony Abbott sacked the Head of the Department of Agriculture, Dr Paul Grimes PSM. Dr Grimes is the epitome of the frank and fearless public servant and his sacking is a disgrace. There were plenty of questions from Bill and from Joel Fitzgibbon on this, which Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce were refusing to answer. [ boldings and italics are mine ].

    There were 8 more items to consider. And I am not naive – of course, it was a form of campaigning – and will continue.

    There were also several somewhat humourous comments about Pyne and the large blonde Bishop speaker bod !!


    While the Greens have excellent credentials and very positive proposals for a better Australia, they are nowhere near yet, fully accepted. Might be great if they were, but they’re not.

    Blowing off Labor at this point … or any point in time, will simply get the Liberals back into power – next election ( whenever the hell that might be ) …. and we will be in a far worse situation than we are now. Way, way worse – they are not to be trusted in any way, and a 2nd term would give them further untold and very possibly, sneaky unauthorised ‘regulation’ powers – that we could do nothing about.

    One thing Labor SHOULD do – pro-actively, is to get together and form some cohesion as to who – in fact – sends out, or is authoritsed to send out, emails under the Labor banner. There should be 3 at the very most.

    …. p.s. … I have not recently ( nor can I recall at any time ) any emails from Brendan O’Connor – btw.

  16. Annie B

    @John Fraser …

    Yes – that attack on the Save the Children employees was utterly disgraceful, disgusting and completely the lowest.

    In fact – how low are they prepared to stoop. …. Can’t be much lower than that – surely ?

    Then again – it IS the LNP … isn’t it ? ….. nothing would surprise me.

  17. paul walter

    The letter itself was fair enough, but I agree that that Labor must make itself heard more forcefully than of late; reject compromise or capitulation where these are not appropriate.

  18. Andreas Bimba

    Abbott is free to introduce National Socialism and martial law if the IPA should request it, they have gone half way already. The ALP will feel obligated to endorse this without much delay as Rupert probably wants this. My comment sounds like a sarcastic joke but it is true. Shorten and Abbott should both be toppled from office NOW, they are both traitors to their political parties and to the entire human race.

  19. Andreas Bimba

    Surely Labor can find an inspiring and genuine new leadership team. But if Labor does this and Abbott calls a snap election, double dissolution or whatever and successfully works the compliant public into despising Labor again due to it’s back stabbing instability?? We truly cannot risk another 3 years of Abbott but will the Liberals and the Nationals allow the mad monk to lead, probably not, BUT the IPA right will stlll probably rule under Bishop or Turnbull? Similarly if Shorten is toppled will the IPA’s team B right faction still lead?

    I have always had my doubts about Turnbull. If he succeeded with the republic push back in 1999 our constitution, which is actually quite rock solid even if it is largely ignored, violated, not enforced and heavily royalist, could have been watered down to something that the IPA wanted and we would probably be a National Socialist Global Corporate state under martial rule by now, just maybe?

    Did the fossil fuel industry plan all of this IPA grand chess?? Do we have to now thank John Howard for saving our democracy??? Did he outsmart the IPA, the Tea Party, Bush and the fossil fuel industry and save our democracy??? Have I gone mad or has Australian and world politics gone mad????

  20. Peter Naughton

    Divide and rule has always been an effective tactic and is quite apparent in the posts here. Do nothing and get criticised, do something and get criticised. Forget the enemy and let’s fight each other. Pathetic!

  21. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    I suspect 99.9% of commenters on this site DON’T want the LNP Degenerates to win another term under rabid Abbot, Turnbull, Bishop or even if Blinky Bill, our Aussie koala, was stupid enough to be part of their deplorable brand.

    My comments are made in support of alternative, progressive government that represents grassroots and innovative policies. That’s why I make vehement comments about Labor too because they have disappointed me terribly AFTER half a lifetime of political support.

    You already know my support for the Australian Progressives, Australia’s newest political party. See

    We’re having a Meet-up in Melbourne at The Transport Hotel, Federation Square, opposite Flinders Street station, on Saturday afternoon 28 March starting 2pm through to 6pm.

    We invite any and all people interested in innovative, progressive politics that aims to bring fair, inclusive, imaginative and sustainable policies to people for the common good.

    Labor would be wise to start making friends with our emerging party. Labor would also be wise to be seen to embrace friendship with the Greens, the other admirable party (beside the Australian Progressives).

    Labor, you need us to help regain sustainable respect in the widespread Australian community, so it would be very wise for Labor to understand and work now to form a political alliance with the Australian Progressives, the Greens and sane Independents on the crossbenches.

    Do that now Labor and together we’ll annihilate the LNP Degenerates within 18 months.

  22. townsvilleblog

    This is typical in the ALP a right winger always gets the Industrial Relations portfolio allocated to them to make sure nothing to radical happens for the workforce, it is worth knowing that the power behind the throne is the right wing (non) unions who control the party via a gerrymander.

  23. townsvilleblog

    Senator Doug Cameron for Shadow Industrial Relations Minister, a person of great integrity and understanding of the portfolio.

  24. Harquebus

    Rather than abolish the minimum wage, we should introduce a maximum income. Once you’ve reached the maximum, take a holiday for the rest of the year.
    Removing the minimum wage would be a disaster. It will remove discretionary spending from the majority which, will destroy small business. An economy is more than luxury cars, yachts and penthouses.

  25. Dion Giles

    I miss RFX Connor nearly as much as I miss Gough Whitlam,

  26. Annie B

    @Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Once again I have had a look at the Australian Progressives party, and I sincerely hope to see it listed in many more electorates in the future. It is a party I would sincerely think of giving top votes for.

    I wish you every success – the party has a lot of great policy – and particularly a grass roots understanding of Australians and what they want and need.

    However, I think it will take some time to become more or less a house-hold word ( not unusual – took the Greens some years ) … but all the very best to everyone associated with ‘Australian Progressives’.

  27. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks Annie B,

    we’re still developing policies, so this is a great time for energetic, inspired and committed people (other than ourselves ofcourse!) to get involved.

    See you at our first Australian Progressives’ Melbourne Meet-up next Saturday 28 March @ 2-6pm @ The Transport Hotel, Federation Square, opposite Flinders St station. 🙂

  28. Jexpat

    All a new “progressive” party will do is dilute the vote and allow more right wing extremists to get up.

  29. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    The vote won’t be diluted if they form the Alliance. The 2 party system is stuffed. Labor v Liberal does us no good any more coz they’re more interested in out-bullying each other.

    With the emergence of some smaller progressive parties (without the quotation marks thanks), Labor will learn it’s to their benefit to develop far more innovative and representative policies that address the needs of everyone, even (OMG) the vulnerable on welfare and asylum seekers!

    This article’s main premise is that O’Connor and his mates are either too lazy or uninformed on how to foster greater community support. They see their numbers dwindling but they’re lacking the insight to see why.

    That’s where healthy allegiances with the Australian Progressives and the Greens will be to their benefit.

    Labor isn’t true Labor like Gough’s ‘It’s Time’. This is a way to remind (or teach them, if they weren’t born already) that we need that depth of passion that inspires people to believe again in what their votes stand for in good, representative and compassionate policy-making.

  30. Jexpat

    Yes, Jennifer, it will. Preference flows in optional state systems are nowhere near 100% between parties and so wherever there are candidates (either from the right or the left) on the lower house ballots, the vote WILL be diluted.

    The situation is more complicated in the upper houses and the Senate, but there will still be dilution in some systems as well as the risk of right wing extremists with minuscule support gaining seats.

    I’m not really sure what some general progressive party positions might be- or or more importantly, how they’d differ from those of the Greens, which have been painstakingly drawn up over the past two decades.

    Until then, I remain (as others should) rather suspicious on this venture.

  31. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Why suspicious, Jexpat?

    Would you prefer the Brenden O’Connor approach? Would you prefer the Bill Shorten approach of missing every opportunity of capitalising on Abbot’s mistakes? Would you prefer the fact (except for Terry Butler MP and some other Labor brave souls) that Labor under Shorten, has not demanded Abbot to prove his renunciation of his British citizenship?

    Winning by default, because the LNP Degenerates prove themselves useless to the majority of Aussie voters, is not good enough proof of Labor’s right to govern in its own right.

    Playing strategic vote counting alone does not a good government make. If that’s what Labor statisticians think, then they risk losing even my generous offer of an Alliance.

  32. Jexpat

    I’d prefer to know what (or where) the beef with the Greens is.

    It must be considerable (or maybe personal, as with a certain individual in the Animal Justice Party, who’s willing to cut his own policy concerns off to spite his face).

  33. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I can’t tell you because I don’t know myself. I’m not interested in ego-manic politics either.

    What is important to me is that we mobilise disenfranchised and disgruntled voters on the Left side of politics to once again believe their concerns for: social justice; refreshing socio-economic, legal and political reforms; as well as sustainable innovative economical structures are implemented for the common good.

  34. Jexpat

    “What is important to me is that we mobilise disenfranchised and disgruntled voters on the Left side of politics to once again believe their concerns for: social justice; refreshing socio-economic, legal and political reforms; as well as sustainable innovative economical structures are implemented for the common good.”

    That sounds, on the surface, to be exactly what the Greens find important.

  35. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Yes. That’s why I also like the Greens.

    Perhaps, it’s the priority given to each element that makes the difference.

    But yes, I personally see the Australian Progressives and the Greens as natural allies.

  36. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks Michael and Carol,

    for letting me advocate for the Australian Progressives. How many people are likely to read your site?

  37. Annie B

    @ Jennifer M-S – and Jexpat.

    An interesting debate here – that’s for sure. Good onya both.

    Personally, I am inclined to think the electorates have developed a ‘ho-hum – oh gawd, not again’ response to the two major parties who have ruled the roost for such a long time. …,.Maybe – just maybe – that era is coming to a close.

    People ARE looking elsewhere – any-bloody-where, and while Jexpats’ comments are probably right to a degree, I also think it is way past time that we give credence to other parties. …. Thing is, it takes such a long time for those parties to develop. ( e.g. the Greens ). But once they hit the road running, it can be nothing but a good thing. Gives us all a viable choice. … I doubt that I will live long enough to see the changes, but ………

    I don’t believe anyone has anything against the Greens – but they are ‘NEW’ ( relatively speaking ) …. and are ‘not fully known’. Same with the Australian Progressives … new – but not known. …. Human nature tends to stick like glue to what they know – and what has ( back and forth over decades ) come through with governing this country reasonably well ….. ( the exception to that is this current alleged ‘Government’ who doesn’t govern anything but its own self-interest).


    Thanks Jennifer for the invite, but 28th March is yet AGAIN ( ??? ) another birthday celebration in the family. … Gives credence to the ‘winter / early spring months’ being very much a time that produces babies 40 weeks later !! All that cosy, keeping warm thing !! ( LOL ) ….. And boy do both families celebrate !! …. no less than 21 birthdays – Jan > June !!!

    Politically – – Good luck to us all – we need it.

  38. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Congrats Annie B,

    on your prolific family. It is a plus indeed.

    Thanks also for your supportive words. Whether you live long enough or not to see the Australian Progressives succeed, your good wishes count.

  39. Annie B

    Thank you Jennifer M-S ….

    34 adults ( both families ) plus 9 young ‘uns and babes under the age of 5 !! …. over 3/4 of all of them born in the first half of the year !!! …… but not me – I am a November person.

    All very certainly a blessing – but …..

    The sound of 3 x 747 jet engines ( kids in full go mode ) …. all at once aint’ so funny. … Especially when one has a headache or whatever. LOL 🙂

    The families have begun to wake up, and have decided to, in future, combine ( the adults ) whose birthdays are close together – into one big ? x bods party. …. Does not however, dilute the noise factor. !!!! LOL

  40. tom mckee

    none of these bastards deserve a vote from us
    vote independent send the bastards a message.

  41. Harquebus

    @tom mckee
    Hear hear.

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