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Issue No. 150 30 August 2002  

Shut It Down!
The CFMEU�s legal bid to have the Cole Royal Commission closed down seeks to prove legally what any dispassionate observer has worked out for themselves: the whole show is biased.


Interview: Australian Worker
AWU national secretary Bill Shorten gives his take on the relationship between the wings of the movement

Unions: Morning Ambush
Rowan Cahill joined the Dayson workers as they took their fourteen week dispute to the doors of an American corproate giant

Cole-Watch: Grumpy Old Men
When the Cole Commission declared closed its second innings in Sydney last night, lasting memories centred around the hands played by two grumpy old men, Jim Marr reports.

International: Arrested (Sustainable) Development
Unions fronting up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development are making clear their views that development can never be considered sustainable unless social justice is made a top priority, reports Tara de Boehmler.

History: Illegal Alien
As we remember the shameful way we turned away a group of people escaping the horrors of a dictatorial regime, the treatment of Egon Kisch by the UAP Government in 1935 highlights yet another.

Economics: The Trouble With PPPs
The Uni of NSW's Christopher Shiel explains why the state's current flirtation with Public Private Partnerships is an ongoing joke

Poetry: Is This 'My Country'?
On the anniversary of the Tampa, and with the help of Dorothea Mackellar and Peter Dodds McCormick, Worker's Online travels back a year to contemplate those moments when eyes were closed to the nature of the Taliban regime.

Review: Garage Days
Mark Hebblewhite reviews a new Aussie flick that brings the indie music scene to the big screen


 Bias Case Clears First Hurdle

 Eight Weeks Only for Bomb Survivors

 Justice At Last for Woodlawn Miners

 Labor for Refugees Put Acid on Crean

 Canberra Cash Linked to Hall of Fame Stoush

 Osama Poster Sparks Controversy

 Underwear Obsession Prompts Rehab List

 Community Workers Win Lifeline

 Mad Monk Staff in 'Mad Hatter' Protest

 Qld Health Win Pay Rise

 Education Forum To Spark Public Debate

 Activist Notebook


The Soapbox
Is Simon the Likeable?
The United Firefighter's Daryl Snow is back to give the ALP and political leaders in general an almighty hosing down

The Locker Room
A Modest Proposal
This NRL salary cap has come in for some debate recently, with many following the lead set by the Murdoch Media and calling for administrators of the game to throw the baby out with the bathwater, writes Phil Doyle.

Week in Review
World Domination
They�re right funny critters those Yanks who get their hands on the levers of power and we�re not talking, funny ha ha, here, Jim Marr writes�

The Costello Two-Step
Treasurer Peter Costello's two faces were on display this week - ducking and weaving from enforcing corporate accounting standards while upping the push to cut corporate tax

Always Listen To The Wind
Bernadette Moloney & John Hartley report from a conference aimed at getting reconciliation right

 Tony Moore is a Four Letter Word
 Choral Classics
 Sleeping Giants
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Week in Review

World Domination

They�re right funny critters those Yanks who get their hands on the levers of power and we�re not talking, funny ha ha, here, Jim Marr writes�


At the same time as US leaders turn up the volume on their demands for war against Iraq they announce plans for a conference, next month, that will examine why their country is so disliked by foreigners.

Well shucks, old buddies, we could suggest that you've got the chicken before the egg, but, really it's a question that deserves some answers.

The first group would probably consists of large chuncks of whole nationalities - Vietnamese, Kampucheans, Chileans, Hondurans, Salvadoreans, Nicaraguans, Palestinians, Iraqis, Iranians, Saudis, Koreans, Greeks, Egyptians etc etc, who have either been required to dodge US bombs or live under the heels of regimes armed, financed or otherwise controlled by good ol' US of A.

Then there's probably another consitituency altogether that just thinks nations should co-operate for a better world and are a bit miffed by Washington's rejection of anything remotely resembling internationalism. Their particular interests might range from Fair Trade and the environment through opposition to torture and the arms to something like an international court. Just some of the areas on which George Bush has welshed since rorting his way into the White House.

Still, he must be might pleased that, at least, Australia remains kitted out in the stars and stripes, bellowing its support from the otherwise deserted bleachers.


Which just about gets us to Johannesburg where people are hoping against hope that the rich might make some tangible concessions at the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

Environment Minister David Kemp has rolled into town with a 50-strong delegation to put the Howard Government's views. He is said to be hoping its refusal to ratify the ground-breaking Kyoto Protocol on Greenhouse Gas Emissions will be held over to a smaller gathering.

Australia, the US and Canada are quickly branded "isolationist" and accused of trying to stymie progress. We get a particularly strong serve from some of our Pacific "friends" who allege that our environmentally unfriendly policies threaten their very survival.


Back home, Howard's domestic agenda has centred on scapegoating refugees. He seems barely concerned when it is revealed that, on our behalf, his Government has been charging these people $130 a night for being held in a detention centre.

Imagine Shahid Qureshi's shock when he gets a $26,460 bill for accommodation at Melbourne's Maribyrnong detention centre where he shard a small room with three others and had a guard shining a torch in his face every half-hour of the night.

Qureshi is prevented from working by Government and has no way of meeting the demand.

This week he became the first asylum seeker to challenge costs at Howard's Hotel, alleging in the Federal Court that the bill was unconstitutional.


Meanwhile, the UN reports that an international campaign to block funding to the Al Qaeda terrorist organisation has largely failed. By all accounts, it reports, Al Qaeda is "fit and well and poised to strike again".

It has been documented by Lloyds List, amongst others, that Flag of Convenience shipping has been a key method by which outlaw organisations move terrorists and money.

Osama Bin Laden runs a FOC fleet and court evidence reveals that he used such vessels to get operatives into East Africa for attacks on US naval ships.

Howard's Government, still driven by a desire to smash militant unionism, remains an unabashed fan of Flag of Convenience shipping, suggesting that he fears the MUA rather more than OBL.


On a more positive note, NSW and Victorian premiers, Bob Carr and Steve Bracks, join forces to open the Mowamba aqueduct, between Jindabyne and Dalgety, doubling the flow in the upper reaches of the beleaguered Snowy River.

When the $300 million plan to rehabilitate the region is completed the Snowy should contain about 25 percent of its original flows, enough, environmentalists say, to sustain the habitat.


While Federal Labor militantly refuses to come out with anything remotely challenging the the Liberal's economic agenda it does reject Government's amended ASIO bill.

Under Government proposals the spy agency could have held children as young as 14, with a guardian present, and detained other citizens for the first 48 hours without access to a lawyer.

Federal Labor, distressingly, also remain moot about the abuses of the Cole Commission into the Building and Construction Industry which winds up its second Sydney session.


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