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Issue No. 137 24 May 2002  
E D I T O R I A L

An Aussie Icon
The public deification of the Last Anzac, Alec Campbell, proves the adage that when you scratch the surface of an icon you'll invariably find a far more interesting reality.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Just Done It?
Nikewatch's Tim Connor gives his verdict on the global giant's latest innovation: ethics.

Tribute: Lest We Forget
Rowan Cahill goes looking for the real Alec Campbell and finds a story the Telegraph will not be publishing.

History: Solidarity Forever
Neale Towart looks at the enduring relationship between the union movement and the defence forces and finds it all comers down to solidarity.

Technology: Unblocking the Superhighway
Michael Gadiel argues the case for Open Standards as a way of breaking the grip of big business on the IT industry.

International: Gloves Off
Workers and their unions are facing a battering throughout South America as a wave of economic turmoil sweeps across the continent.

Unions: Out Of Work
Jim Marr travels to the frontline to witness the impact of the Howard Government's decision to close Employment National.

Review: Strange Business
Tara de Boehmler looks at a new flick that exposes the dark side of the Material World.

Poetry: The Lawyer's Lament
One of the big issues of recent weeks has been the explosion of insurance costs for public and community events, many of which have had to be cancelled as a result.

Satire: Government Mourns Loss Of Last Anzac
Treasurer Peter Costello has lamented the death of Alec Campbell, the last surviving ANZAC, bemoaning the lost revenue the government could have gained at his expense following the Budget.

N E W S

 Workers Honour Radical Digger

 Retailers in Outworker Spotlight

 Nurses, Teachers Snare Agenda

 Syd in Vicious Backpacker Stand-off

 Microsoft Monopoly Under Challenge

 Kiddies Not Exactly Having a Ball

 NSW ALP Faces Asylum Seeker Test

 Canberra Acts on Industrial Manslaughter

 Carr Delivers on Dismissals

 Santa Claus Strikers on Christmas Island

 Abbott Believes Management Should Dictate

 Low Paid Not To Blame For Beer Price Rise

 Casino Award Covers Eastern States

 Security Workers Want Bosses Sacked

 Sydneysiders Rally For Western Sahara

 Activists Notebook

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
The Cold Hard Truth
The Rail,Tram and Bus Union's Nick Lewocki argues our hard-hearted treatment of refugees is a betrayal of our proud immigrant history.

The Locker Room
The South Melbourne Football Club Pty Ltd
A spectre is haunting football; it is the spectre of revolution; a free market revolution, writes Phil Doyle.

Bosswatch
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
Jobs are under threat in the textile and trye markets; but there's better news in the Newcastle mills and the Nike factories.

Postcard
Gas Treaty - The Raw Deal
East Timor is getting less then 40%ónot 90% royalties from the oil and gas revenue in the Timor Sea, reports HT Lee.

Week in Review
Origin of the Species
Phil Gould, Andrew Johns and Danny Buderus may have buried the laughable notion that Rugby Union is the sport they play in heaven, but outside Stadium Australia life goes on, as Jim Marr discovers.

L E T T E R S
 Dancing With Trotsky? Not Bloody Likely.
 Your Tools Page is Down
 Big Dave Foster
 Give Us a Click!
 Will the Real Mark Latham Please Stand Up?
 Unified Labour
 The Last Survivor
 Not Hate Mail
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Editorial

An Aussie Icon


The public deification of the Last Anzac, Alec Campbell, proves the adage that when you scratch the surface of an icon you'll invariably find a far more interesting reality.

As the PM jets home from China trade talks to make the funeral and the Daily Telegraph runs its own campaign to translate jingoism into circulation, the real Alec Campbell would be turning in his grave.

As he said to CFMEU official Scott McLean, just a few years ago: "I wonder if Howard would give me a State Funeral if he knew what I really stood for".

As Rowan Cahill details, Campbell was a trade union activist who served as an elected official in Tasmania and put energy into the Workers Educational Association.

We're not prepared to say that Alec was a card-carrying Communist; but we have him attending CPA meetings and, according to one history, acting as a strongman for rebel Labor Senator Bill Morrow.

This is not the story the PM or the Daily Telegraph is honouring this week; they don't want us to look beyond the baby-faced water carrier who survived the horrors of Gallipolli. For them the legend begins and ends in the heat of the battle.

But surely it's relevant that after enduring this horror, Campbell lived the life of a true radical; scathing of war; politically active in support of the rights of workers, fighting for a better world.

How much more resonance would the ANZAC story carry if it focused - not just on the courage on those thrown into an unwinnable battle by Imperial forces - but on the transformation of so many of those who endured?

If the ANZAC was founded on the larrikan spirit - why don't we ever talk about the way this spirit imposed itself on the Australia political debate, particularly on the Left?

And shouldn't we be asking how Campbell and the Diggers who fought the Turks with a legendary mutual respect, respond to Australia's current debate about the 'border protection crisis'?

Wouldn't they see similarities in the way they were whipped into a nationalistic fervour with the current manipulation of public opinion that has seen desperate refugees transformed into terrorists?

National icons are delicate things; they tend to built on truths that are easily hijacked into cliches.

To really honour the ANZAC legend we need to scratch the surface, cut through the myths and look at the full story. That should be Alec's Campbell's legacy.

Peter Lewis

Editor


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