After being defeated in his bid to replace Alan Stockdale as Liberal party president, Peter Reith has said he is no longer bound to be silent about his feelings on the Party’s Industrial Relations policies. He has also alleged that Tony Abbott asked him to run for party president, but then voted for Alan Stockdale. Reith has further suggested that Tony Abbott conspicuously showing his vote to Alan Stockdale tipped the balance in Mr Stockdale’s favour because it showed the rest of the party what the leader expected. Alan Stockdale won the ballot by one vote.
It’s already fairly clear that Reith and his proposals were rejected not so much on the grounds of bad policy but on the ground that it was electoral suicide the last time they tried it, and doing it again would hand a massive free kick to Labor. Don’t let anyone say the Liberal party is completely out of touch.
To those whose memory stretches back more than one parliamentary term, there is a delicious irony in Peter Reith – the man who brought us the waterfront dispute, WorkChoices, Australian Workplace Agreements and the removal of unfair dismissal protection – feeling hard done by for having management gang up on him and unfairly dismiss his individually negotiated workplace agreement.
If only he had a union to stick up for him.