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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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Letters to the Editor

Vinegar Hill

Dear Editor,

Next year is the bicentennary of Vinegar Hill and I am seeking to find others with an interest in this.

A little information on Vinegar Hill is below (for more see

John Byrnes


PO Box 264

Summer Hill NSW 2135

Email: [email protected]



In the year 1798 uprisings occurred in Ireland and Scotland with the aim of uniting the Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter populations and to expell the English to regain native ownership of the celtic lands. Such attempted revolution was based on the same republican ideals as was the American Revolution. Both in turn had adopted the ideals of the European "Englightenment" philosophy of reason, freedom, egality and fraternity. Unlike the American Revolution, however, the uprisings in Ireland and Scotland were squashed with comparative ease by the vastly superior musket and cannon power possessed by the English controlled forces. In Ireland one of the last great battles was at Vinegar Hill in the Country of Wexford. Nowadays at Vinegar Hill in Ireland there stands a National Centre of remembrance to 1798 and a "Tree of Liberty". Some of the prisoners from 1798 were exiled to Australia, arriving in Sydney on the Friendship II and the Minerva in 1800.

Under the very class conscious system of the English, the "generals" of the revolution were treated entirely differently to the common or perceived lower class Irish. The rebellion leader Joseph Holt, was allowed to live here free in exile. Brave Dwyer, who after Vinegar Hill had lead his men into the Wicklow Mountains for a short period of further resistance, later became the Chief Constable of Liverpool.

The lower class of political prisoner was far less fortunate. Some went to the government farm at Castle Hill (now a Heritage Park, gazetted 2000). In 1804 the Napoleonic war was continuing. A rumour apparently began to circulate that Napoleon's forces had invaded Ireland and beaten the English, and that Ireland at last was free. Inspired no doubt by this, clandesine planning of rebellion began. On the night of the 4th March 1804 the two hundred or so Irish prisoners at Castle Hill farm overcame their overseers and set off on the road to Windsor, no doubt hoping to rouse and liberate the Irish of the Hawkesbury district and there renew the 'Republic of Wexford' ideals which had very briefly reigned in 1798. The slogan was 'Liberty or Death'. The small poorly armed "army", or mob, was overtaken by a detachment of the NSW Corps at a hill in the present day suburb of Rouse Hill. There some of the convicts were killed and most fled. The military swiftly hanged the leade!

r Phillip Cunningham (foreman stonemason at Castle Hill) from the parapet of the Windsor Store. Eight other captured men were hanged, some in prominent places where the bodies were left hanging lest any others might have similar ideas. Others received floggings of up to 500 lashes, and others were sent to the iron gangs as labour for road-making. According to folklore (memoirs of J.T. Ryan) some 60-70 bodies may have been left around Vinegar Hill and 10 years later the government had the bones collected and buried. In 1820 the government tried to suppress the name "Vinegar Hill" (1820 Apr 15 - Finger-board with name Belle Vue to be placed on top of hill called Vinegar Hill; Colonial Secretary Records, Reel 6049; 4/1744, pp.257-60) but the name has lived on regardless.


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