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Issue No. 181 06 June 2003  

National Leadership
After a week of front-page political chicanery we are to get more John Howard; who at a time of his choosing will pitch for a fourth election victory by going head to head with the son of a Whitlam Minister.


History: Nest of Traitors
Rowan Cahill uncovers a ripping yarn that could redefine the way we look at Australian involvement in World War II.

Interview: A Nation of Hope
Former PM Bob Hawke bemoans the demise of industrial relations but takes heart from the prospect of peace in the Middle East

Unions: National Focus
Noel Hester reports on a soap star rebellion, Howardís plans to renuclearise South Australia, more historical atrocities in the north, the redundancy test case plus more in the monthly national wrap.

Safety: The Shocking Truth
Itís every power workerís worst nightmare Ė and it happened to Adrian Ware. In a flash of voltage, his life changed forever, as Jim Marr reports.

Tribute: A Comrade Departed
From Prime Ministers to wharfies, the labour movement paid tribute to Tas Bull this week. Jim Marr was among them.

History: Working Bees
Neale Towart looks at a group of workers who got sacked so their boss could keep making the Bomb.

Education: The Big Picture
The NTEUís Dr Mike Donaldson and Tony Brown join all the dots in the current debate around higher eduction.

International: Static Labour
Ray Marcelo argues thereís another side to the recent furore over Telstraís use of cheap Indian IT contractors.

Economics: Budget And Fudge It
Frank Stilwell argues that Peter Costelloís latest budget plumbs fiscal policy to new depths.

Technology: Google and Campaigning
Labourstartís Eric Lee argues the latest weapon for campaigning could be the humble search engine.

Review: Secretary With A Difference
Looking for a new job can be hard enough, without having to worry about sadomasochistic bosses and the threat of being spanked for forgetting to cross your Ďtís, says Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: The Minimale
The Labor Party leadership is in the news again, inspiring our resident bard David Peetz to song

Satire: Howard Calls for Senate to be Replaced by Clap-O-Meter
John Howard released a controversial policy statement today, arguing that the Senate be abolished in favour of a device measuring noise from the gallery of the House of Representatives.


 Allianz Claims on Sick and Dying

 Back Pay Bill From Behind the Bars

 Gloves Off for Local Voices

 Stabbings Ground Job Cuts Ė For Now

 Red Light for Cut Price Labour Hire

 Sacked Workersí Ultimate Insult

 Electrolux Repays Survival With Bastardry

 Survivor Urges Compo Rethink

 Nurses: Bosses Should Foot Bank Fees

 Telstra Workers Show Bottle

 Rail Workers Telegraph Press Council Track

 Call Centre Leak Shames Stellar

 Malaysian Detainees Released

 Western Sahara Tests UN

 Activist Notebook


Itís Our Party
Long time union watcher Nicholas Way looks at the changing dynamics between the industrial and political wings of the labour movement.

The Soapbox
Grass Roots
In his Maiden Speech, new MP Tony Burke argues that the ALPís union links are nothing to be ashamed of.

Opinion Forming Down Under
Evan Jones condemns the mainstreamís media coverage of the War on Iraq and the damage it is doing to our national psyche.

The Locker Room
Location, Re-Location!
Itís all fun and games until someone loses a club, writes Phil Doyle

 Blowing Holes in Gittens
 Negative Campaigning
 Response to Gould
 Aged Policy Looks Hairy
 Tom's Turn
 God Save Billy Deane
 Solidarity Forever
 More Bad Language
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Piers Watch


A tearful Peter Costello goes off to sulk in the Tool Shed this week after John Howard refuses to let him have a bat.


John Howard wiped the smirk off Peter Costello's face this week when Howard announced that he would stay on as Prime Minister until he was removed by a coup or hell froze over.

Howard, of course, had no other option but to remain as leader when internal Liberal Party polling showed that Costello was running a close second to a bag of rotten fish guts in the popularity stakes.

Costello, who comes from a class of men that firmly believe that their right to rule is an inherited genetic trait not to be sullied by mere detail such as competence, ability or the minutae of democracy, had dreamt of inflicting himself upon an unsuspecting public since his days as a snitching little trotskyite at university.

Fresh from describing four dollars a week as generous, our Fagin like Treasurer was visibly shaken when he faced the media with all the poise and gravitas of Shane Warne. While his obvious discomfort has brought delight to millions of Australians who actually have to work for a living, Costello's naked ambition will now, no doubt, begin to reveal itself in increasingly erratic behavior from the lying, treacherous fiasco that is the Federal Government.

"I have always put the interests of the party and the nation ahead of my own personal interests and I've been very disciplined about that and I will continue a professional, productive relationship," said Costello with a straight face.

Costello, who will go down in history as 'the man who wasn't there', will probably be overlooked for leadership in the long term in much the same way that John Howard's great idol, Elisabeth Windsor, has hung on to power to keep her loopy son off the throne. Howard, in keeping with a monarchist theme, will probably hang on until he becomes so corrupt, stagnant and cankerous as to make Tony Abbott appear an electable proposition, thus allowing the Australian people the opportunity to have Abbott and Costello running the country and reveal once and for all what a bunch of clowns the Liberal Party really are.

When Howard made his non-core promise that he would step down when he was sixty four it now appears he was, in fact, referring to the treasurer.

Naked ambition is an ugly thing. Treating the working public as dupes and expecting them to rubber stamp deals done in high places is always likely to backfire. What Costello was smoking when he thought he had the ability to lead this country is anyone's guess, but it gives an insight into the delusions that grip our power crazed Treasurer. His psychosis in this regard is not only alarming but probably also clinical. Anyone with a guffawing laugh like Costello's shouldn't be left in charge of a tennis club, let alone the country.

This embarrassing tale of glory without power could only have emerged from a government so sullied and shameless as the current regime. Our Tool Of The Week is a hapless goose who is not even trusted by his own leader (and we use the term leader loosely in this instance).

Well may our Tool Of The Week be depressed about his lot in life, but it pales into insignificance when compared to the depressing thought of him ever becoming leader of this country.


The most inspiring interpretation of this week's tool get's a souvenir edition of Ship of Tools. Deface the Tool of the Week, click the button above to post your artwork, fill out the form and send your entry in and we'll post the winners next week in the Tool of the Week Gallery.


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