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Grubby smear campaign against Barbara Bennett

By Ralph - 30 July 2007 62

You could see this one coming. Barbara Bennett, Workplace Authority boss, has been popping up on the TV recently, even on my Foxtel. Ms Bennett’s TV ads about the workplace reforms were sure to rub somebody (unions and the ALP) up the wrong way, so the leftist Fairfax media has the first bite highlighting that: Ms Bennett lives in the ritzy suburb of Forrest; is renovating her home; is an ex-ALP staffer; and is married to a political lobbyist. It is not entirely clear why any of this is supposed to be relevant.

Now throw in some slimy comments from an anonymous ALP MP:

“Barbara’s a talented woman but she’s got about eight years above herself with this Workplace Authority post,” one Labor MP said.

“Obviously you only get such a leg-up if you give something in return.”

Seems that seniority, not talent, is the name of the game for some people.

However, Ms Bennett’s TV ads do raise an interesting point about the use of public servants for what might be viewed as political purposes.


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62 Responses to
Grubby smear campaign against Barbara Bennett
Ruby Wednesday 9:25 pm 30 Jul 07

bd84, last time I checked, the Your Rights At Work levy on union members was optional. Union membership itself is optional. Paying tax is, alas, not optional. So while almost everyone is a taxpayer and this you can use semantics to call the union campaign ‘taxpayer funded’, I don’t think many will get sign up to your very wide interpretation of the term.

Ralph 9:23 pm 30 Jul 07

Here here.

Barbara is simply doing the job that she is paid to do.

bd84 9:14 pm 30 Jul 07

The Workplace Authority is there for a reason.. people obviously need to know about it, so the ads seem to be fairly decent to me. They make no outlandish or untrue statements, and is it really any different if there was someone else was the face of the ad? of course not. Nor would the wording make a difference, the same people would jump on it and say the same things, it is politics after all.

It just seems to be the Labor aka Trade Union whingers who are the ones complaining because they’re spoiling the scare campaign they’ve been running for the past year.

Anyway every person who now gets sacked from any job for any reason now only has to go to TodayTonight/ACA and say I got sacked because of “Work Choices” and bam.. there’s the story of the week, it’s getting beyond a joke.

Plus I’ve already seen the trade unions ramp up their campaign against the government, but of course that’s “not” political advertising on behalf of the Labor party.

I do believe these are tax payer funded ads too.. Unions do charge money to people who are members, who also pay taxes. Same sh*t different name.

Get over it people.

cranky 9:07 pm 30 Jul 07

“I’m from the Government and I’m here to help you”


Ralph 9:00 pm 30 Jul 07

Will this impact her career if Labor is elected to govt at the impeding poll?

One would think so. To be replaced by unionised labour, with no talent, but had been around the longest – seniority rules. Oh, the utopian vision.

But despite Labor’s anonymous grubby comments it is pot kettle black as far as they’re concerned.

Despite all the screeching, Labor ran Government ads and had political appointments in the public sector, and are doing both as we speak at the state level (think Actew Chairman).

Reality, check, Woody.

boomacat 7:57 pm 30 Jul 07

impending – d’oh!

boomacat 7:56 pm 30 Jul 07

There exists a long standing convention of Westminster government that the public service must be and be seen to be politically neutral.

I feel this convention is breached by Ms Bennett’s participation in the so called “WorkChoices” ad blitz.

Consider the frequency, saturated distribution and emotive tone of the advertisements – it seems to me that they are not a legitimate public education campaign, rather they are a device to spruke the laws by an increasingly desperate Howard government, just months out from an election.

Will this impact her career if Labor is elected to govt at the impeding poll?

Woody Mann-Caruso 7:49 pm 30 Jul 07

“WorkChoices is something I believe in very much…” she said.

You’ll be first against the wall when the revolution comes. Ministers are the mouthpiece of the government. Officials should be neither seen nor heard – that way, you can serve the next government without the taint of capture.

Anyway, you could see this one coming. Barbara Bennett, Workplace Authority boss, has been popping up on the TV recently, even on Ralph’s Foxtel. Public outcry about Bennett’s shameless shilling were sure to rub somebody (Ralph) up the wrong way, so this little goosestepper has the first bite highlighting that: newspapers aren’t yet the mouthpiece of the Liberal party, but they should be; people are idiots for expecting Secretary-level appointments to be apolitical; the Workplace Authority ads are thinly-veiled election propaganda, and that’s a good thing, otherwise you wouldn’t know who to vote for; and if you slip in an apparently neutral comment at the end of a politically-motivated rant of a post, it makes you look like an objective commentator rather than, say, Winston’s lapdog. It is not entirely clear why any of this is supposed to be relevant.

Ingeegoodbee 6:48 pm 30 Jul 07

Ralph, what you say might make more sense if it wasn’t so transparent that this cynical exercise is simply a device to try and, by proxy, flog a decreasingly gullible electorate a flawed policy.

jessieduck 6:34 pm 30 Jul 07

I just wish she had practiced saying “law”. It’s LAW not “Lowah”. URGH

Ralph 6:33 pm 30 Jul 07

Alan Fels, and other statutory agency heads, are tasked with a specific purpose and are generally expected to make public comment on issues that fall within their jurisdiction.

It seems that Barbara is doing exactly the same thing though.

Ingeegoodbee 6:32 pm 30 Jul 07

I’ve had this vacuous cats bum of an oxygen bandit pollute my evening viewing on more than one occasion. Apparently they shafted a perfectly good department head and replaced them with this pathetic excuse for a pube because the former simply refused to be part of the Governments desperate charade.

terubo 6:25 pm 30 Jul 07

The Aust. Govt’s answer to Marilyn Munroe. Hope we see more of her (well, within reason…)

jemmy 6:21 pm 30 Jul 07

No problem with using heads of agencies to advertise their services or to make the public aware.

Have a real problem when the ads blatently are politically biased, such as “There’s been a lot of myths about Workcover”. Myths?. That’s a loaded word designed to influence the viewer’s perspective and imply other people’s (i.e. Labor’s) criticism of Workcover is wrong. A non-partisan wording would be “Here are the facts about Workcover.”

Pandy 6:11 pm 30 Jul 07

Alan Fels

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