27 February 2004

Retiring full-time is dead: Costello

The Prime Minister, John Howard, said discrimination laws should be changed if they stopped employers advertising specifically for older workers.

Asked on Melbourne radio if the Government would change the law, Mr Howard said: 'I think we can go too far with this sort of very rigid obsession with discrimination . . . if, in fact, we actually as a society want to encourage older people to stay, and if the law is standing in the way, well the law should be altered.'

Mr Howard's spokesman said later there was no evidence that existing laws stood in the way of older people being employed, 'but if evidence was produced which showed it did stand in the way, then we would consider changing it'.

The federal election is likely in October/November. That means we have 9 months of drivel from the Man of Steel where he promises to repeal discriminatory laws that do not exist. You get a sexed-up soundbite from the Man of Steel's own lips and later some unknown spokescreature mutters the correction. I wonder which item will make the news?

In the same interview the Man of Steel said of the Redfern riot:

The solution very much lies in treating everybody equally and as part of the mainstream as far as law enforcement is concerend.

Evidently he has not been told about the continuing arrests since the Redfern riot.

John Howard is not a stupid man. Are we really expected to believe he did not first check if such laws exist or if the rioters are being prosecuted? Or are we expected to believe his staff knew and failed to advise him?

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