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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ABC Jobs On Line
Another round of job shedding looms at the ABC in the wake of Federal Government’s rejection of the funding level recommended by its own hand-picked board.
That outcome was forshadowed by managing director, Russell Balding, who said Government had turned down the request for an extra $250 million in its triennial budget submission "in the full knowledge it will have a negative effect on ABC programming, and any negative effect on programming ukltimately does translate into job losses."
Mr Balding said some programming decisions, based on funding levels, would be made within weeks.
The ABC, a key target of the Howard Government and its supporters on the Hard Right, has seen staff numbers tumble from 6500 to 4000 in the past decade. It has been subject to the ill-fated and politically-motivated Jonathan Shier regime, and has had an increasingly right wing board imposed on it by Coalition masters resistant to calls for the organisation to be freed from political control.
CPSU representative, Graeme Thompson, one of the key figures in the successful campaign to unseat Shier, characterised the latest funding decision as "political payback".
"Independence and integrity have cost the ABC favour with this government," Thompson said. "This Government doesn't believe in an independent broadcasters that won't toe the party line."
Thompson said the ABC had moved quickly and successfully into areas such as News Radio and New Media but those activities had never been separately funded.
"We are now at the point of cutting programs and services," he said. "There should be a proper debate, involving the community, about what the ABC's function should be.
"What we are seeing is deliberate vandalism. It may take time for that to become apparent because the organisation is being bled by 1000 cuts."
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