Friday, April 21, 2006

Leighton as touchstone

When the insuferrably smug Leighton 'I wasn't wrong, Saddam's hidden those WMDs in Belarus' Smith disses you during one of his weekday morning talkback sermons on 1ZB, you know you must be doing something right. The Service and Food Workers Union ought to take heart, then, from Leighton's rant this morning about its Clean Start campaign.

According to Leighton, cleaning isn't a 'real job', and 'nobody stays in it long', so cleaners don't deserve a pay rise. If that wasn't a crushing enough refutation of the SFWU's case, Leighton has produced an 'annonymous e mail from a man involved in the industry' which claims that many cleaners are habitual thieves. I wouldn't fancy making an accusation like that to the faces of the workers who were at yesterday's Auckland launch of the Clean Start campaign, but of course Leighton never makes his accusations to anybody's face. Over the years, Leighton has been wrong about every other issue - about WMDs, about a Brash vistory in 2005, about global warming, about statues of George Bush in liberated Baghdad - and he's wrong about this one, too.

For a less coruscating take on the cleaners' struggle, check out Simon Collins' article in today's Herald. LabourStart has a comprehensive list of other accounts and commentaries on the campaign at this page.

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