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Issue # 1423      12 August 2009

Does the PM need new specs?

The Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in welcoming and thanking those who attended the Community Cabinet meeting at Elizabeth High School in SA late last month, made a point of praising his own government’s economic achievements over the past year.

Ironically, the meeting was held not far from the magistrates court at which building worker Ark Tribe will be facing a sentence of six months jail as The Guardian goes to press. Ark was charged by the building industry police, the ABCC, the body the government had promised to abolish but is now maintaining in another guise. Ark Tribe was charged after refusing to answer questions by the ABCC about a union meeting.

Besides other things, the PM pointed out the infrastructure package he and his team had developed which has assisted small business and kept workers employed. He highlighted the Northern Expressway and the bridge his minister had just opened as a good example of what his government is building. Overheard from a worker in the audience was, “I can’t remember seeing any of that lot up the front helping us on the job”.

Ark Tribe was also observed at the meeting along with about 400 other citizens.

When the Prime Minister had finished his speech, he asked for questions from the good citizens.

Ark Tribe was standing up at the back of the hall with his hand up. All the audience in front of Ark was sitting down. Many questions were asked and each question was meticulously answered by the PM and/or the minister concerned. Ark Tribe remained standing, hand raised hopefully on each occasion.

The PM called for the last question and Ark Tribe, still standing with hand up and everyone seated in front of him, still couldn’t be seen by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

One would have to conclude that the PM deliberately ignored Ark or he needs new glasses. At the conclusion of the meeting Ark was approached and asked what question he wanted the PM to answer. He replied:

“Why is it, that as recently demonstrated by [Liberal leader] Mr Turnbull, he like most other Australians can exercise their right to remain silent, yet I as an Australian construction worker who only demands the same right, find myself in a situation where your government is trying to imprison me for six months?”

“All I want, Mr Prime Minister, is a fair suck of the sauce bottle mate.”


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