Red Claire takes a big run up and boots Bolger in the cods

Jim Bolger has managed to find another trough to snuffle in, this time it is with the Labour party and Iain Lees-Galloway’s fair pay advisory group.

Claire Trevett explains: Quote:

The “et tu, Brutē” trick is one of the oldest moves in the political playbook but few people are as willing to play it as former National Party leader and Prime Minister Jim Bolger.

Bolger was on Tuesday announced as the head of a team of 10 people from the unions, business and work groups charged with bringing Labour’s policy to set “fair pay” agreements to life.

It is a major shakeup of industrial relations and a policy National strongly opposes and has set as one of its key battlegrounds.

In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Caesar infamously says “et tu Brutē?” when he finds Brutus had betrayed him.

This is Bolger’s third strike in terms of cuckolding National.

His first was signing up as Chair of NZ Post and KiwiBank under the former Labour Government.

His second was signing up as chair of KiwiRail following Labour’s buy-back of it. It was Bolger who had privatised KiwiRail’s predecessor New Zealand Rail in the first place.

Today he stood there again, shameless, on the stage of the Beehive theatrette alongside Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. End quote.

Jim Bolger is becoming an embarrassment worse even than Malcolm Fraser in Australia. He’s got all doolally and socialist and rails about neo-liberalism constantly. Now it appears he is set to repudiate the greatest single law his government enacted during his time as PM, the Employment Contracts Act. That act freed us from union hegemony, and improved the lives of many. Now he has turned his coat yet again and hopped into bed with the socialists and unionists. Quote:

He didn’t even flinch when Lees-Galloway used the word “collaborate” to describe Bolger’s involvement.

In his opening blurb, Bolger spoke of being shoulder-tapped to take the role. “More sensible people might have retired,” the 83-year-old grinned.

National no doubt now heartily wishes he would.

Labour is hoping the use of Bolger to lead the process of bringing in the “fair pay” agreements will neutralise National’s criticism and it is hoping so with some cause.

Fair Pay agreements will set minimum terms and conditions across entire occupations and industries.

National has depicted them as a return to the national awards system of the 1970s and 80s which were scrapped in 1987 after years of disruptive strikes and lock-outs. End quote.

The return of national awards as a pay for for Labour’s union masters…and Jim Bolger is complicit. Quote:

Labour has sought to put the ghosts of those days to rest by rebranding them with the friendlier name of “fair pay agreements” and ruling out the ability for workers to take industrial action during negotiations.

There is some irony in Bolger’s appointment. He was Prime Minister when National passed the Employment Contracts Act, legislation that effectively neutered the unions. End quote.

As I said previously, the best law ever passed by his government. Quote:

The appointment will certainly set business at some ease about the shape the fair pay agreements might take. Lees-Galloway has sought to ensure the process is constructive, saying he wants it to be an enduring model with wider political buy-in.

There is a way to go and once the recommendations emerge Labour could well discover that the appointment they thought was a coup was actually a Trojan Horse.

But Bolger was showing no sign of that. There was his Road to Damascus experience in his interview in RNZ’s Ninth Floor series, in which he said he now believed the unions were not influential enough.

At today’s press conference he said fair pay agreements were very much a thing of the future rather than the past. “We are not going to be looking backwards. We are going to be looking forward.”

He spoke of doing something for “the almost forgotten” middle and adjusting the workforce to increasing automation.

“What about those who miss out?”

His only attempt to make good with the National Party he still claims loyalty to came in calling Finance Minister Grant Robertson “Grant Robinson” and warning Lees-Galloway about the size of the audiences at National leader Simon Bridges’ public meetings. End quote.

Bolger was despised by Labour and now they are cuddling up to him. Sadly the man has become an embarrassment.

What I really want to know though is if Jim is going to ask about fair pay for stenographers?


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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