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Issue No. 138 31 May 2002  

Demonising Unions
There's a common streak running through the Liberal Party's prosecution of its witch-hunt of the building industry unions and the federal ALP leader's push to reduce the influence of trade unions within the Party. That's the view that unions are on the nose.


Interview: The Star Chamber
CFMEU national seretary John Sutton surveys the limited progress of the Cole Royal Commission.

Politics: The Odd Couple
After spending years yelling at each other, a couple of young factional players started talking to each other in the name of refugees.

Tribute: I-Conned
A rogue priest and Philip Ruddock have combined to leave master artist, Rados Stevanovic, living in a suburban park, as Jim Marr reports.

Media: Audiences Before Politics
The real challenge facing the new managing director of the ABC is how to make audiences central to what the national broadcaster does, argues Tony Moore.

International: The Off-Side Rule
It may be kick off time at the World Cup but unions in South Korea and around Asia are using the world�s biggest sporting event to focus attention on workers� rights, as Andrew Casey discovers.

Economics: The Fake Persuaders
Companies are creating false citizens to try to change the way we think, writes George Monbiot.

History: Terror Tactics
As the Howard Government prepares terror legislation to ban organisations, Neale Towart remembers a similar attempt at censorship in the name of security.

Poetry: Food, Modified Food
That old school yard joke "what do you get if you cross a ... with a ...?" is becoming startlingly true. The latest development is a featherless chicken.

Review: Spiderman Spins Out the US
Red Pepper's Rick Giombetti scales the big screen and puts Spiderman in his place, flying in the face of right wingers who would claim the Marvel Comic legend as their own.

Satire: England's World Cup Disaster: Star Hooligan Breaks Foot
The English World Cup 2002 campaign is in tatters after star hooligan Gerard Wilson of Chelsea broke his foot.


 Cole Suffers Credibility Crisis

 Councils Armed To Drown Sweatshops

 Miners Win Record Payouts

 Bracks Crew Not Family Friendly

 Time to Charge Directors

 Waterfront Truth One Step Closer

 Speedy Flow-On for NSW Workers

 Star Sin-Binning Prompts Inquiry Call

 New Chief Puts ABC Back In The Picture

 Getting it Wrong on Training

 Gravy Train Gets Richer For Max and Mates

 Reward For Delegate Who Stood Up

 Casino Workers Hit Mat Leave Jackpot

 Drug Haul Sparks Security Warning

 East Timor�s MPs Take Australia On

 ACTU Officials Denied Visas Into Fiji

 Commemorate 100 Years of Votes for Women


The Soapbox
Modernising Labor?
NSW Labor Council secretary John Robertson argues that genuine reform of the ALP would go beyond the 60-40 rule, to increase the voice of unions within the Party.

The Locker Room
Juego Bonito
Forget the dour contests of the Premier League and Serie A, it�s the World Cup which transforms football into the beautiful game. Noel Hester analyses the form.

Week in Review
He Who Pays The Piper
Money comes in all colours but, in politics, the hue is usually blue, as Jim Marr discovers �

Rich Pickings
Australia's wealthiest were on display this week as BRW released its annual Rich 200 list.

About Last Night
The CFMEU's Phil Davey, on an APHEDA -Union Aid Abroad delegation to Palestine, recounts his experience trying to get back to his hotel after dark.

 Simon and the Creanites
 In Defence of Latham
 Swans A Pathetic Con-Job
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The Locker Room

Juego Bonito

Forget the dour contests of the Premier League and Serie A, it�s the World Cup which transforms football into the beautiful game. Noel Hester analyses the form.

Football, or soccer as we know it, begins its great four yearly festival today with a classic David and Goliath contest between reigning champs France and Senegal, a French speaking West African nation in its first Word Cup.

It is a fascinating opener. Metropolitan power versus former colony. The power house of the game versus the debuting minnow. A sparkling team of soccer celebrities against a bunch of unknowns.

It's also a dangerous game for the champs. In 1990 the holders Argentina with Maradona still at the height of his powers were humbled in the opener by the Cameroons, a brilliant and brilliantly organised team which went on to capture the imagination of the world as the tournament unfolded

Whatever happens tonight the four weeks that follow promise to dazzle.

Sepp Covers His Arse With Blather

Yet, before the first ball has even been kicked, the tournament has been draped in controversy. This week the game's governing body FIFA, an organisation which makes the IOC look like a model of glasnost and good governance, conducted the most divisive and acrimonious elections in its history.

The dodgy democracy of the organisation was on show as Sepp Blatter, the authoritarian German head honcho crushed an African led revolt by Cameroonian Issam Hayatou after a spiteful campaign.

'Turkeys don't vote for Xmas' was how one correspondent described the election. Blatter has been able to consolidate his power base with some judicious patronage of the smaller footballing nations whose votes carry equal weight with the big boys.

Meanwhile, FIFA, which should be a license to print money, is technically insolvent and corruption in the organisation is rife.

Bigger than the UN

The political dynamics on field are always fascinating as well. 204 nations participate in the world cup more than exist in the United Nations.

Despite its diversity and spread of talent, unpredictability in the world cup is reserved for its opening stanzas. As the tournament progresses it tends towards the United Nations model. Everyone is represented, it is superficially democratic but when it comes to crunch time the big players call the shots.

In the football world the security council consists of Germany, Italy, Brasil and Argentina with the fifth place rotating between England and France. Some other nations like Holland are always applying for a spot but just miss out. Uruguay once had a seat when it was like the prototype League of Nations but this anomaly has long being dealt with. Wannabes like Spain, the Balkan states and some African countries fantasise about being fat cats but are always lacking a key ingredient to complete their football nuclear capability.

Interesting Vignettes

The French are the coolest side. The team reflects the racial hues of the French colonial empire and its alliances -Pied Noir, Mahgreb, Kanak, West African, Basque, East European and players descending from the French Carribean as well as those from the Hexagon. France has the player with the most wonderful name in world football - Bixente Lizarazu.

Brasil is the unlikely little guy. Don't believe a word of it. Politically third world but football aristocrat, Brazil enters the tournament as unfamiliar underdog after a shocking run in the qualifying phase where it was humbled by a number of South American lesser lights including Ecuador.

Argentina are the most desperate. On paper on a par with France for talent and footballing smarts, they were head and shoulders the best qualifiers but are burdened by the expectations of a traumatised and desperate country.

Holland leave a big hole at the dining table. The best team never to win the world cup, the nation which revolutionised the modern game with their 'total football' and with a contemporary side full of superstars like Ruud Van Nistleroy, Jaap Stam, Patrick Kluivert, Edgar Davids, Edwin Van Der Saar et al will not be there after imploding in Dublin before the modestly endowed Irish.

Who Will Win And Why

France, a team with power, personality and panache, is my tip for back to back wins. They are awesome all over the park and have a squad with layers of depth. With a World Cup and European Championship under the belt they have battle hardened experience but their key players aren't too old. Twenty nine year old Zinedine Zidane was still the dominant player in the Champions Cup less than a month ago. Key defender Marcel Desailly still rises to the big occasion as he showed in the FA Cup final despite being a thirty something. Ditto Bixente Lizarazu. Fringe players from the last cup like Henri, Trezeguet, and Dugarry have stepped up many notches. They have a new batch of superstars coming off that incredible assembly line of talent. Watch out for Djibril Cisse - the 20 year old from Auxerre who was the top scorer in the French league last season. Last time the French won the cup with virtually no forward line. This time they are bristling with firepower up front.

Then it is the usual suspects. Argentina is on paper another complete team, has the pedigree and comes in as the form side. But their key playmaker Juan Sebastian Veron is hot and cold and like last time the South American form could be suspect.

Italy are always dangerous and deserved to beat France in the 2000 European championship. But the Italian league isn't what it was and the poor form of Italian sides in Europe in recent seasons poses a question mark.

Bolstered by the return of a resurgent Ronaldo and with the old guard of Rivaldo, Roberto Carlos and Denilson backed up by new talent like Ronaldinho, Brazil will, as usual, have their say.

England fancy themselves but outside Beckham whose fitness must be suspect and Owen they look to lack the class to go the whole way.

One highlight of the tournament should be the continued decline of Germany.

The best outsider could be Spain. A perennial underchiever, on paper they have a strong side including one of the world's best playmakers in Raul. The Spanish league has evolved over the past few years into the strongest in Europe and one not short on verve. This might be the forge for a more resilient national team.

My sentimental team - the Cameroons. Viva Roger Milla!! I'm still dining out on Cameroons wonderful journey at Italia 90. Disappointing at the last two this time they look more composed. The reigning African and Olympic champions they've appointed a German coach to instill some Teutonic discipline in the ranks. In Samuel Eto'o they have one of Africa's most exciting prospects.

Four weeks of football bliss! Let's go!


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