Sally McManus, the new secretary of the ACTU, has copped a caning for asserting on ABC TV’s 7.30 that it is legitimate to break the law in some circumstances. The example she gave was of trade unionists laying down tools at an unsafe worksite, and thus facing prosecution for engaging in illegal strike action. Her words inspired defence minister Christopher Pyne to new heights of hyperbole. He told Fran Kelly on RN Breakfast that McManus was spouting “anarcho-Marxist claptrap” and “ideological gobbledygook” and should resign. “We’re not in the 1980s Arts class at Adelaide University anymore,” he said.
As someone with fond memories of Arts classes at Adelaide University in the 1980s, I think Pyne should take a deep breath and count to ten.