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Issue No. 182 13 June 2003  

The Dead Couple
The message from the ACTU’s Future of Work research is that the two theoretical frameworks for understanding work in the 20th century - ‘Harvester Man’ and ‘TINA’ are both dead.


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.


 Air NZ Grounds Mums and Kids

 Unions to End Casual Affair

 Carr Faces Acid On Job Security

 Abbott Prescribes Dole for Mother of Six

 Cole Batting Zero from Thirty Two

 Labor Insider Makes Mess

 Dust Busters – MUA Sails into Allianz Fight

 Security Forces Come Out Firing

 Women’s Centre Faces Ideological Jihad

 Varsity Casuals Win Wage Increase

 Fortress NSW Protects BHP Workers

 Pharmacists Seek Jobs Medicine

 Iranian Textile Workers Sewn Up

 Unique Union –Uni Partnership

 Activists 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

 Costa Must Be Crazy
 Saharwi Struggle
 Vinegar Hill
 Tom's Toons
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Tool Shed

Weapon Of Mass Deception

Rupert Murdoch appears simultaneously on 157 Cable television channels in the Tool Shed this week after never letting the truth get in the way of a good story.


Rupert Murdoch - the Australian who's apparently an American but, in fact, runs the world - has been enjoying life recently as American Legislators queue up to kiss him where he likes it.

Also known as 'The Sun King', this corporate leader can be considered a tool's tool. He is fresh from prodding the sociopathic Dr Strangeloves from the Bush Administration into the latest war-to-end-all-wars.

While he knows that death sells, he needed an excuse and the guys from marketing came up with a beauty when they managed to get that deranged specimen, Paul Wolfowitz, to come up with the "bureaucratic" enigma, weapons of mass destruction.

Unfortunately the weapons of mass destruction have failed to eventuate and a fair few thousand members of the human race are no longer with us but that is the price to pay if we want to sell papers or boost the ratings on pay TV.

The rather appropriately named News Limited had been having a bit of a roller coaster ride of late; and with Lachlan the younger dropping daddy's inheritance on the One Tel fiasco Rupey, being the old veteran that he is, needed a good war to cheer him up.

Murdoch's relationship with brutal, repressive regimes is singularly enigmatic. It's a pity he couldn't work closely with Saddam as he appeared to have no problem with dealing with the Chinese administration - despite the litany of abuses of anyone who has tried to provide an independent voice, especially for the Chinese worker.

Then again, we can't be too surprised. This is, after all, the man who vigorously helped Margaret Thatcher to turn Lancashire into a third world country.

Mind you, lying about events is a piece of cake if you control as much of the information market as Rupert does. In this country he was recently portrayed in the movie 'Black and White' as being the crusading owner of the Adelaide News defending the rights of Max Stuart, a young aboriginal man falsely accused of rape and murder.

The truth is all the crusading was done by the Adelaide News' Managing Editor at the time Rohann Rivett. Murdoch was the first to hose down the story after pressure from his mates in the Adelaide Establishment.

The US and, as with all things these days, Australia to follow suit, is now going to throw open its media ownership laws to allow the expansion and ultimate dominance of the bizarre jingoistic fiction that passes as news at the Sun Kings empire.

The cross media ownership laws in the US wouldn't appear so bad when racked up against the model that everyone's favourite Thunderbird, Senator Richard Alston, has put together. Alston's proposals would entrench the ownership of Australian media into the hands of this narrow American.

The dumbing down of an entire nation would then commence in earnest as the adventures of Russell Crowe, weapons of mass destruction or discovering Elvis working in a convenience store will be passed off as news.

There is no such thing as paranoia; it's all true.

Of course our Tool Of The Week will insist that all his editors and producers have total editorial liberty. No doubt in much the same way that his papers shrilly insisted that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. As Max Stuart put it at the end of the film Black and White: "Some people think Elvis is still alive, but most of us think he's dead and gone."


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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