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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, Howard�s 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
It�s every power worker�s worst nightmare � 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 NTEU�s Dr Mike Donaldson and Tony Brown join all the dots in the current debate around higher eduction.

International: Static Labour
Ray Marcelo argues there�s another side to the recent furore over Telstra�s use of cheap Indian IT contractors.

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

Technology: Google and Campaigning
Labourstart�s 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 �t�s, 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 � For Now

 Red Light for Cut Price Labour Hire

 Sacked Workers� 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


It�s 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 ALP�s union links are nothing to be ashamed of.

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

The Locker Room
Location, Re-Location!
It�s 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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Letters to the Editor

More Bad Language

Dear Editor

Please allow me to reply to the person signing him/herself as "Te Kooti" in issue 180, who made a vicious personal attack on me, simply because I dared to object to reading profanities. If Te Kooti's letter was intended as a joke, it is a very weak and unfunny one.

If meant seriously, it is the most twisted, far-fetched and paranoid "reasoning" I have ever seen. Apparently my polite request to avoid reading profanities makes me a violent racist! I am still trying to work out how I am guilty of "blackmail" (extorting money by threatening to reveal a secret).

It is Te Kooti who is the racist, condemning and abusing me on the basis of his/her totally ignorant assumptions about my race and ancestry. It is Te Kooti who uses language as "a weapon to self-righteously intimidate", using words which I guess 99% of your readers do not understand. Te Kooti joins other racists who claim a totally unfettered "right to freedom of expression" to justify racial vilification and other evils.

I apologise to anyone who used profanity in Workers Online simply because s/he was denied an education. But it is far more likely that they pepper their articles with four-letter words in the mistaken belief that it makes them sound "working-class".

Not that it is anyone's business what my background is, but for Te Kooti's information, my ancestors are working class, what s/he calls "riff raff", but did not use profanity. Nor did working class heroes like Chifley and Curtin and many others who educated themselves despite great hardship. Certainly neither I, nor as far as I know any of my ancestors, ever dispossessed anyone of their land, language or self-esteem or prevented anyone being educated. On the contrary, my parents struggled for aboriginal rights long before it became fashionable. If my mother, the daughter of a cleaner and a wharfie (who was forced to hump his bluey around the country when he was summarily sacked with no reason, no severance pay and no dole), should meet any of these chardonnay socialists who think profanity makes them working class, she would wash their mouths out with soap.

I showed Te Kooti's letter to a Maori friend of mine, and she said Te Kooti is "porangi" (crazy). I suggest Te Kooti stops using twisted logic in order to invent and abuse imaginary enemies, and help me in the real world struggle to involve more women in the labour movement. Women (and many men) ARE repelled by profane language, not because they "have a satisfying life", but because other men use it intimidate them with its suggestion of violence, and to convey a fake "working class" blokeyness.

P Kennedy


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