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  Issue No 12 Official Organ of LaborNet 07 May 1999  





Let He Without Sin Kick The First Goal

By Peter Moss

"Hey Schlossie, I just shat in your shoe." With these words, Souths fullback Julian OíNeill ignited one of the great debates of our time.

Flashback 1977:T he last great era in mens tennis thanks to a couple of real backhanders. American-Irish rascal Jimmy Connors and the Romanian rogue Ilie Nastase are the last of their breed, masters of the intimidatory tantrum and the villainous aside to-the-gallery. After them, thereís just a brief flare-up from Patty Cash and the recent antics of Jeff Tarrango (who has the temperament but lacks the talent, but at least he married well). Then the Ice Age - Borg, Lendl, Sampras.

Mongrel theory: Every elite sportsperson needs of good dose of the mongrel. That's what makes 'em elite instead of just gifted. When Australian cyclist Lucy Tyler-Sharman spat the dummy at Kuala Lumpa - blaming everyone from her coach to her teammates for her failure to keep her foot in the stirrup - that was the mongrel barking. The same mongrel that allows her to visualise her opponents ripped limb from limb as she pursues them on the banked track. We sportsfans worship the mongrel, but not when it strays out of church.

Voyeur the celeb: Was that you mate, leaning over the picket fence and beating the tin advertising sign like a voodoo drum. That was the best bit, when Plugger bundled up his opponent and threw him right over the fence and into your lap. Or straining against the velvet crowd control ropes as Liz Hurley catwalked down the red carpet in a razor blade dress at her only Sydney appearance. Did you see her? Can't understand why she stays with Hugh. A woman like that.

The honourable member: There's eight bars in Canberra open after midnight and he knows every one of them. Every barmaid, every barstool, every barf. And every woman of a certain physical type and colour in every one of those establishments knows the honourable member. Because after heís had enough he goes on autopilot. Goes looking for his wife. Or someone to pretend, since his wifeís so far away. Good thing the journos understand this is a lonely, talented man under pressure and a long way from home. He's not fair game. And neither are they.

Market forces 1: Geoff Boycott was a dour one-dimensional opening batsman who blossomed into a perceptive commentator with the driest of deadpan wits. Then he thumped his girlfriend, she charged him - goodbye media career. Enigmatic British soccer star Paul Gascgione, a pint in each jewel-encrusted paw, was the lads' flawed hero. How did he get away with it, they wondered? The English selectors could forgive him anything, as long as he won games. Until he thumped his missus. Goodbye soccer career.

Market forces 2: French soccer wizard Zinedine Zidane - with two goals in the World Cup final and the mantle of FIFA Player of the Year - is as close as you get to "the best". This did not stop the owner of the Juventus club (who is also Italyís richest tycoon and the face of Fiat) from questioning Zinedine's manhood. "Henpecked" and "His Wife Wears the Trousers" were just two of the headlines generated by a very personal attack. Zinedineís crime? He decided to leave Juventus and Italy because his wife was unhappy.

White line fever: Stop banging your head against that locker and listen up. I want you to forget. We're going back, way back to before television, before electricity even, back to before power came out of the barrel of a gun. This afternoon, for 80 minutes, power comes punching out of the fibres of your muscle. Let your power off the leash, let it spring up snarling and tear the windpipe out of your opponent. If you can do that, weíll win. You'll be a hero. But by god, when you cross back over that white line, you better start remembering again.


*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 12 contents

In this issue
*  Interview: The Call of the Wild
We meet a union organiser who’s taking the union message into the call centres.
*  Unions: After the Gold Rush
Call centres are the boom industry and governments everywhere are touting them as major job creators - particularly in regional areas.
*  History: From Steam Trains to Information Superhighways
A new project is dedicated to promoting the heritage of the Eveleigh railway workshops.
*  Work/Time/Life: This Working Life: Issue #1
The debut issue of the ACTU's new monthly bulletin for it's Working Time and Employment Security Campaign.
*  International: British Unions Halt Membership Decline
Union membership has stopped falling in the UK for the first time in 18 years, suggesting that unions’ increased committment to recruitment and organising is starting to pay off.
*  Review: Cold Warriors' Secrets Exposed
NSW Attorney General Jeff Shaw looks at two books that lift the lid on Cold War espionage.

»  Push for Decent Call Centres
»  Shaw Unveils Second Wave
»  Union Raises the Roof for Beryl
»  Cotter Withdraws Currawong Standover Claims
»  Reith Second Wave Will Prolong Industrial Disputes
»  It’s Rio Telstra -- Union Braces for Attack
»  Fears of AWA Push in State Rail
»  Age Tele-Centre Seeks Pay Equity
»  Advocate Ads to be Referred to Auditor-General, ACCC
»  Labor Council to Stage Pre-Drug Summit

»  Guest Report
»  Sport
»  Trades Hall
»  Piers Watch

Letters to the editor
»  Wran Wrong on Wrepublic
»  Digging the Dirt-Digging

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