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Issue No. 137 24 May 2002  

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.


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.


 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


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.

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.

Gas Treaty - The Raw Deal
East Timor is getting less then 40%´┐Żnot 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.

 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
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Labor for Refugees


NSW ALP Faces Asylum Seeker Test

Labor has been warned it faces a long and tough battle to win public support for a more compassionate policy on refugees and asylum seekers, as the NSW branch of the ALP joined the push to end mandatory detention.

At press-time, Labor for Refugees was working towards a bipartisan resolution that would maintain compulsory processing, but with limits on the amount of time seekers could be held without good reason.

A bi-partisan resolution from the largest branch of the ALP will send a powerful message to the federal opposition, currently reviewing its immigration and refugee policies.

But there is still a risk that a factional split over wording will undermine the campaign for reform.

Wosrt Racism Ever

Speaking to a Labor Council-sponsored forum on the issue, former Premier Neville Wran described the attitude in Australia in the second half of 2002 as "racism at its worse - the worst ever seen in this country."

Wran called on Labor to revise its policy to bring it in line with its international commitments, but warned ALP activists it would be a long and hard battle to win community support for the position.

"Getting the debate on an even keel will be a hard slog," he said. "Such has been the fear and mythology developed by Reith and Howard."

"It will take a groundswell of debate, discussion and reasoning to get the debate back on a balanced level."

Debate Hijacked

Speaking at the same forum, NSW Legislative Council president Meredith Burgmann said she had been embarrassed by Labor's position at the 2001 election; but felt the Party had been painted into a corner.

She says Labor needs to address the two big myths in the current debate: that there has been an increase in refugees; and that we have something to fear.

Burgmann says the key to improving ALP policy is to reverse the onus of proof for detainees, so they are allowed to live in the community while their claims are processed, unless they are shown to be a health or security risk.

Rail, Tram and Bus Union state secretary Nick Lewocki drew parallels between the plight of asylums seekers and his own family, which also began their Australian lives in Villawood.

Click here to read Lewocki's full speech


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