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Issue No. 144 12 July 2002  

The Lotto Economy
The failure of George W Bush's much-hyped pitch for corporate responsibility underlines the current crisis facing unregulated global capitalism: the system is corrupting all before it.


Interview: Capital in Crisis
ACTU president Sharan Burrow outlines the global union response to the corporate carnage gripping an increasingly shaky system.

Industrial: No Sweat
Neale Towart surveys the international debate around sweatshops and what can be done to regulate them

Bad Boss: Super Spam
Several late scratchings have seen Workplace Relations Department secretary Peter Boxall win this week�s heat of the Workers� Online Bad Boss handicap.

History: Living Treasures
Labour History is 40 this year. Greg Patmore looks back at what it took to get a regular journal of the labour movement in Australia up and away.

International: Axis of Evil
George W Bush�s scarecrow trio of Iran, Iraq and North Korea is not an original invention, argues Stephen Holt

Solidarity: Pride of Place
NSW Labor Council and CFMEU flags sit alongside the mounted jersey of former Kiwi Rugby League hooker Syd Eru in a modest home at Manurewa, south Auckland.

Technology: The Art of Cyber-Unionism
More Unionism? Transformed Unionism? Peter Waterman looks at a new handbook for unions and the internet

Poetry: The Masochism Tango
Tony Abbott's comment we should accept a bad boss like a bad husband or bad father has made us all realise that instead of fighting bad bosses, we should love them. Anyone for a tango?

Satire: Foxtel-Optus Merger 'Anti-Repetitive'
The ACCC has ruled today that the proposed content sharing arrangement between Foxtel and Optus Vision would constitute anti-repetitive conduct

Review: Bob Carr's Thoughtlines
Stephen Holt reviews one man's journey from collectivism to the centre


 Sweat Shops � Coming To A Street Near You

 Glassworkers Walk for the Umpire

 Family Friendly For A Buck

 Abbott in Slow GEER

 Royal Commission Bugs Workers

 Drivers Frozen Out by Corporate Spin

 Coca-Cola Brews Storm In A Tea Cup

 Bush Prepares for War on the Wharves

 Safety Summit A Hit With Unions

 Beattie Faces Bargaining Face-Off

 Casual Work Exploits � Catholic Church Agency

 More Effort Required On Disabled Workers

 Protecting Security Officers From Disease

 Activists Notebook


The Soapbox
Why Modernisation Matters
Labor frontbencher Mark Latham argues that the ALP's reform agenda must go way beyond the 60-40 debate.

The Locker Room
Playing To The Whistle
Phil Doyle takes a look at the man in the middle, and he doesn�t like what he sees.

Inquiry Into Executive Pay
The ACTU Executive this week called for a public debate on spiralling executive pay packets, seeking feedback from workers, community representatives and unions.

Up In Smoke
Wobbly Radio's Nick Luccinelli reports from England where drug law reform is on the political agenda.

Week in Review
Bulldust and Boofheads
Jim Marr casts his eye over a week in which bullshit and bad bosses fought for headlines�

 On Aspiration
 GST Agenda
 Amanda's Mediocrity
 Capital Ideas
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The Masochism Tango

By David Peetz

Tony Abbott's comment we should accept a bad boss like a bad husband or bad father has made us all realise that instead of fighting bad bosses, we should love them. Anyone for a tango?


The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, the Honourable Tony Abbott, made all of us sit up and think with his statement that "Most of us would accept that a bad boss is a little like a bad father or a bad husband." Clearly, many of us have had it wrong thinking that workers should fight against bad bosses instead, we need to love them. To find an anthem to go with this revelation, we have tracked down a fantastic song written by maths professor-cum satirist Tom Lehrer, and substituted a few words of our own. The tune is Lehrer's Masochism Tango, which you can hear at Anyone care to dance with Tony?


How I ache for the touch of your quips, dear,
But much more for the touch of your whips, dear,
You cut personnel,
Like nobody else,
As we dance to the Masochism Tango!

Let our love be a flame, not an ember,
Say my work team you want to dismember,
Blacken my eye,
My pay falsify,
As we dance to the Masochism Tango!

At your command,
Overtime pay's been banned
We're grossly undermanned
It's here that I must be.
My heart entreats,
For sixty hour weeks
Yes go put on your cleats,
And come and trample me...

Your heart's hard as stone, filled with tyranny,
That's why I'm in such exquisite agony,
My job is dire,
My soul is on fire,
As we dance to the Masochism Tango!

You caught my nose,
In your left castanet, love,
I can still hear the threats, love,
Every time I hear drums...
And I love how you froze,
Our pay, yes, we were fleeced, love,
Then you called your 'police', love, And they broke both my thumbs...

Your eyes cast a spell that bewitches,
I'm euphoric that you get all those riches
From swinging that lash
And taking my cash
And I won't ask how far masochism can go?

Bash in my brain,
And make me scream with pain,
And kick me once again,
And swear we'll never part.
I know full well
I'm underneath your spell,
But darling, when you tell
Me I'll quietly depart

Take your cigarette from its holder,
Burn 'AWA' in my shoulder,
Fracture my spine,
And swear that your mine,
As we dance to the Masochism Tango!

David Peetz


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