It took a few well-chosen comments by the sole Howard Government minister with a grasp on reality - or at least a penchant for a bit of takeaway - to blow Peter Costello’s Federal Budget to pieces.
Interview: Staying Alive
CPSU national secretary Adrian O'Connell talks about the fight to keep the public service - and the union movement - alive.
Bad Boss: The Ultimate Piss Off
Wollongong workers on poverty-level wages are losing up to $5000 for taking toilet breaks, according to the union representing staff at a Stellar call centre.
Industrial: Last Drinks
Jim Marr looks at the human cost of the decision to close Sydney’s Carlton United Brewery
National Focus: Around the States
If Tampa told us that John Howard circa 2003 is the same spotted rabid dog from 1987, this week’s assault on Medicare confirms it reports Noel Hester in this national round up.
Politics: Radical Surgery
Workers are vitally interested in Medicare, not least because they traded away wage rises to get it. Now, Jim Marr writes, the Coalition Government is tearing apart the 20-year-old social contract on which it was founded.
Education: The Price of Missing Out
University students and their families will pay more for their education following the May Budget, writes Tony Brown.
Legal: If At First You Don't Succeed
Love is wonderful the second time around, goes the famous torch song. But is the same true for legislation? Asks Ashley Crossland
History: Massive Attack
Labour historian Dr Lucy Taksa remembers the general strike of 1917 to put the recent anti-war marches into perspective
Culture: What's Right
Neale Towart looks at a new book that looks at the failings of the Left, while reasserting the liberal project
Review: If He Should Fall
Jim Marr caught Irish folk-rock-punk legend Shane MacGowan at Sydney’s Metro Theatre. He was surprised but not disappointed.
Poetry: If I Were a Rich Man
Through a distortion in the time-space continuum, we have found a recording showing how people a few years into the future will deal with health care.
Satire: IMF Ensures Iraq Institutes Market Based Looting
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed to monitor the Iraqi economy to ensure that the reintroduction of looting into the economy conforms with free-market theory.
Costello Whacks Women
Abbott Picks Fight with Nurses
Simon Slams Big End
Hands-Off Howard Loses Seamen
Safety Net Slips Disabled
Clerks Put Boot In
Bank Hold-Ups Expose Compo Failings
Low Paid Dirty on Lawyer
WIN Tactics a Big Turn Off
ABC Jobs On Line
Della’s Dallying Could Cost Miners
Ministers of Misinformation Scoop Orwells
Death Squads Strike
Currawong Cottages Waiting for You
What May Day Means to Me
Reader Marlene McAlear penned this tribue to May Day and worker solidarity.
Labor Council secretary John Robertson's toast to the annual May Day dinner in Sydney.
The Locker Room
The Numbers Game
In life there is lies, damned lies and sporting statistics, says Phil Doyle - but who’s counting.
ZNet's Marie Trigona reports from the streets of Argentina in the rundown to last week's presidential election.
Ron The Tool
The Costs of Excess
Some tall business poppies had their heads lopped this week as the laws of economic gravity applied their always chaotic theory.
In Defence of Tom
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Letters to the Editor
Ron The Tool
Dear Workers Online
I refer to your toolshed inhabitant of issue 177, Ron Brunton.
While big Ron is setting up his sleeping bag and alarm clock
amongst the spanners, empty paint tins and other assorted tools, he
might reflect on his illustrious predecessors as Liberal appointees
to public broadcasting boards.
An outstanding example was Dr. Grisha Sklovsky, the first appointed
Chairman (sic) of the Special Broadcasting Service, from its start
of pilot broadcasting in 1978 to 1982. This character wasn't a
right-wing intellectual like Brunton, or even a particularly bad
tool by the standards of your shed. He was just a decent industrial
chemist and Antarctic explorer who got shanghai-ed into being the
Government's man on the board of a new ethnic broadcaster, in
charge of making sure that it didn't do very well. He knew nothing
about the media, and precious little about ethnic affairs or
He believed that migrants were best off integrated without delay
into mainstream 'Australian society', that political comment should
be barred from broadcasting, and that controversy was not the role
of ethnic media at all. The Fraser government picked an excellent
man for bureaucratic stalling, conservative decisions and delaying
From 1978 to the appointment of a better SBS head, Nick Shehadie,
in 1982, SBS grew to be a successful and political entity in spite
of its leadership. It is just as well that Dr. Sklovsky failed to
prevent SBS becoming the outstanding broadcaster it is today. We
can only hope that more reformed, active reactionaries like the
Tool Brunton can find the same failures.
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Issue 178 contents