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Issue No. 175 24 April 2003  
E D I T O R I A L

Domestic Relations
As the fog of war lifts and attention returns to the domestic phase we find a Federal Opposition imploding as the Prime Minister prepares for the final putsch toward what he sees as his historical mission.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Picking Up The Peaces
Walk Against the War Coalition convenor Bruce Childs outlines the challenge for the peace movement in the lead up to Palm Sunday.

Unions: The Royal Con
Jim Marr argues the Cole Commission can only be taken seriously by people kept ignorant of the way it actually operated.

National Focus: Around the Grounds
Unions maintain the pressure for peace as the upcoming organising conference takes on added significance, reports Noel Hester.

Economics: The Secret War on Trade
Overseas-based multi-nationals are coming after our film industry, electricity, water, pharmaceutical benefits and even childcare. Or are they? Nobody knows, as Jim Marr reports.

International: United Front
Workers and their unions around the world have possibly never been as united in their commitment to campaign together against the War in Iraq, writes Andrew Casey

History: Confessions of a Badge Collector
Bill Pirie has one of the largest collections of trade union badges in the world. After 20 years the collection now numbers some 6,000 badges.

Politics: Stalin’s Legacy
Fifty years ago last month Josef Stalin died. How could it be that a democratic and socialist revolution produced one of the monsters of the twentieth century, asks Leonie Bronstein.

Review: Such Was Not Ned’s Life
The life of Ned Kelly is what we in the world of journalism term a “ball tearing yarn” so why have writers of the movie adaptation felt so impelled to dress it up with fiction, asks Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: Osama's Top Recruiter
Through our extensive intelligence networks, we have managed to track down the top recruiter for the global terror network of Osama bin Laden.

Satire: Woolworths CEO Denied Bonus After Company Posts Profit
Woolworths chief executive Roger Corbett was devastated today to report an 18.3% rise in profit under his management over the last year.

N E W S

 Medicare Bombshell – Bosses To Pay

 Another Cole Man Bites The Dust

 Cheap Indian on Telstra Menu

 Legal Tussle Looms Over Email Laws

 Recycled Training Stitch-Up Exposed

 Contractors Code Fires a Blank

 Sweet Talk – Big Business Style

 Bosses, Workers Unite on Grey Threat

 ANZ Workers Want Cut of Billion Dollar Profit

 Time for Death Penalties

 Union Exhibition for Wollongong

 Nurses in Staffing Stand-off

 North Coast Jobs Saved

 Super Success in Pilbara

 Howard Attacks Education - Again

 May Day Festivities

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Factional Free-For-All
Chris Christodoulou looks at the fallout from the selection of the new Carr Ministry and what it means to the factional warlords.

The Locker Room
The Best Season Since Last Year
Phil Doyle goes trudging through the mud in search of the heart of the matter beneath the corporate biffo

Culture
Books on Bombs
In times like these, reading inevitably turns to America and war. Chris White wades through Pilger, Chomsky, Eco, Moore and Vidal.

Postcard
Postcard from Harvard
Labor Council's Michael Gadiel was elected to give the valedictory speech to this year's Harvard Trade Union Program.

L E T T E R S
 Tom's Cunning Plan
 Robert's Conquest?
 Success Breeds Contempt
 Join the Dots
 Still Walking
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Letters to the Editor

Success Breeds Contempt


Dear Sir,

In being as objective as one possibly can, and with total disregard of any apprehensions or concerns as to integrity, transparency, Good Faith or the lack thereof, and conditional on an aggressive, hostile and openly confrontational opposition, congratulations and an acknowledgment of successful electoral manipulation cannot be denied the newly elected New South Wales government.

Sadly this government only weeks into its new term, continues to treat the electorate with contemptuous arrogance. Is this a reflection of the bourgeoisie type of appointees to ministerial positions, and one can from a cursory glance of new ministers résumé's the revelations as to manifiested personal beliefs such as:

When the bourgeoisie sees power slipping from its grasp, it has recourse to Fascism to maintain itself."

While some toadies may be impressed with crumbs selectively tossed from the Ministerial Banquet table, there are others who are either sublimely ignorant or prepared to risk the effects of the Peter Principle, where in a hierarchically structured administration, people tend to be promoted up to their "level of incompetence.

This principle is based on the premise that new members typically start in the lower ranks, and when or if they prove to be competent in the task to which they are assigned, they get promoted to a higher rank. This process of climbing up the hierarchical ladder can go on indefinitely, until the member reaches a position where he or she is incompetent. It is then that the process stops, since the established rules of bureaucracies make that it is very difficult to "demote" someone to a lower rank, even if that person would be much better fitted a lower position. The result is that the majority of the higher levels of a bureaucracy / government will be filled by incompetent people, who got there because they were quite good at doing different and usually easier tasks than the one they are expected to do.

It is in all probability the immutable actions of this principle in relation to the ALP structure that created a vacuum into which Cheryl Kernot fell into and was then unfortunately lost to Australian politics forever.

One ponders, who recently elevated to the first front bench of the 53rd parliament will be first to fall before the inevitable application of the Peter Principle.

Although I disagree, it has been suggested that the planned privatization of the Electricity industry will create a pit in which the Minister for Energy, will unfortunately fall.

The experience of the current Minister in Union management, particularly the main union player in the New South Wales power industry, and his excellent professional relationship with the CEO of Energex Queensland., and a past General Manager of Sydney City Council, an executive with an extremely forceful management style which was manifestly appreciated by the Unions involved in the implementation of Competitive Tendering during his tenure at Sydney City Council.

While the Privatization of New South Wales power industry does not necessarily mean a takeover by Energex , sadly it will mean job losses , and put quite succinctly many years ago by Issac Torrans Union Convener at Short and Harland "While the invisible hand looks after the private sector, the invisible foot kicks the public sector to pieces "

Was the John the Baptist style , 100day protest outside the New South Wales Parliament by the Gosford Foghorn, Edward James from Umina on the issue of "Liability Shedding" being a precursor to this proposed fire sale of a public asset, was this why some cowardly members from this house of ill-repute made complaint to the New South Wales police in an attempt to silence Mr James , through what he claims was an improper and inappropriate use of the Protection of the Environment Act 93 section 276 Noise Abatement Directive, for 28 days , In an attempt to silence his accusations and allegations.

Mr. James depending on family health concerns taking up his position outside parliament during parliamentary sittings in 2003 , and some encouragement from union members concerned about dictatorships and over legislation verging on repression by a tier of government that should be condemned to the dustbin of history.

As for the New South Wales parliament library most popular books,Goethe was the author of the classic "Faustus", which must be a well, read book along with Nicolo Machiavelli's' The Prince.

Goethe (1749-1832) - "Happy the man who early learns the wide chasm that lies between his wishes and his powers!"

Mr. James has a rather in your face Web Site with his views at:

http://gosfordcouncil.tripod.com

Tom Collins

P.O.Box304


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