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Issue No. 194 05 September 2003  

Relatively Speaking
At its heart, political debate has always been a struggle between competing views about how a society should organise itself to maximise the benefits for the majority of its citizens.


Interview: Crowded Lives
Labor frontbencher Lindsay Tanner talks us through his new book on the importance of relationships and why politics is letting the people down.

Activists: Life With Brian
Work by men like Brian Fitzpatrick is exposing new Australians to old truths. Jim Marr reports

Industrial: National Focus
A showdown looms in Cancun, Qantas gets bolshie, casual and lazy in its response to aviation challenges, and long festering disputes fester on in Victoria and Tasmania reports Noel Hester in this national wrap.

Unions: If These Walls Could Talk
Trades Hall is preparing for a major facelift but first, Jim Marr reports, it must bid farewell to the colourful bunch who have populated its dusty corridors in recent years.

Economics: Beating the Bastards
Frank Stilwell looks at some of the proposals for building a fairer finance sector.

Media: Three Corners
So its come to this. Four Corners, one of the world's longest running television programs is now under pressure from an ABC Executive that is less cultural visionary than feral abacus.

History: The Brisbane Line
Percy Spender was Menzies' foreign minister, but, Neale Towart asks, was he also prepared to serve as Prime Minister in a Japanese controlled Australia?

Trade: The Dumping Problem
Oxfam-CAA helps set the scene for this month's World Trade Organisation in Cancun.

Review: Frankie's Way
In The Night We Called It A Day Frank Sinatra learns 'sorry' Down Under is a loaded word and refusal to say it when due will lose fans in important places, writes Tara de Boehmler.


 Truckies Tip Safety on AGM Floor

 Geelong Lockout Claims Family Homes

 Aussie Labour Laws Fail US Test

 No Accident � Insurance Dough Rises

 Union Mum Wins

 Rheem Runs Cold On Entitlements

 Unions Take It Up for Footballers

 Drug Boss Fails Workers

 Ministers Urged to Take Responsibility

 Museum Jobs Face Extinction

 Less News And More Of It

 Legal Costs Threaten Access

 Learning for Life

 Activists Notebook


The Soapbox
Staking Our Territory
ACTU secretary Greg Combet argued for a fairer Australia in his keynote address to last month's ACTU Congress.

The Locker Room
Seasonally Agisted
Spring is a season when a person�s thoughts turn to�horse racing. Phil Doyle reports on the fate of nags and folk heroes.

Beyond the Block
We are wild about the people who live in The Block but not too interested in those who are on the streets outside, writes Michael Rafferty.

The Westie Wing
Workers friend Ian West MLC, reports form the Bearpit about a project to raise awareness about trade unionism amongst young people.

The Awkward Squad
Paul Smith meets one of the new generation of British union leaders who is taking the ball up to the Blair spin team.

 Lyon Roars
 Spicey and Tart
 Tony and Pauline
 PNG Bags Plastic
 Fighting Words Craig Emerson
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Tool Shed

His Masters Voice

By Phil Doyle - Never to work for the Telegraph

Telegraph hack Peter Frilingos showed the field a clean set of heels this week to race into the Tool Shed after helping his boss Rupert Murdoch try and keep the NRL players in their place.


Peter Frilingos crawled out of Rupert Murdoch's preferred orifice this week to have a whine about NRL players threatening to boycott the Dally M awards.

The Dally M awards are a product of the rather appropriately named News Limited, so Frilingos is obviously prepared to comment without fear or favour on an issue with which he has no conflict of interest.

The whole News Limited approach smacks of the arrogance that tore the game apart - when Rupert Murdoch set out to steal the game from the people. Frilingos acts as Rupert's barking head. Sounding off in this week's Daily Terrorgraph about the Rugby League Players Association bringing about the end of the world as we know it.

The fact that the RLPA is setting out to make the game a sustainable proposition, and protect the interests of the many young kids, many of them teenagers, whose dream of playing NRL football is ruthlessly exploited by the corporate entities that now run Rugby League.

The Rugby League players managed to defeat the draft, a move that would have turned them into glorified slaves, and now they want to take back control of their own images - images that have been used to make a few fat men rich since the days of Tina Turner. It's a move that will iron out the sad charade that is the salary cap.

But the saddest charade is "Chippy" Frilingos' laughable attempt at objectivity. In a short and feeble rant, where intellectually he sets out to flay the RLPA with a wet lettuce, this tired old hack invokes the interests of the fans and compares the RLPA action to the 1989 pilot's strike.

Our Tool Of The Week is no stranger to competing agendas, evidence his performance during the Super League fiasco, when Chippy showed where his true commitment lay. While fellow reporter Ray Chesterton (an ARL backer) was hived off to cover the Police Royal Commission, Frilingos, after a brief flirttation with objectivity, ran the company line.

Frilingos invokes the pathetic 'think of the kiddies' argument, urging that the Dally M Awards should go ahead for the sake of the players and their fans. He manages to keep a straight face through all of this by not mentioning who actually sponsors the Dally Ms to start with. We are not ungenerous and are prepared to believe he may just have forgotten to include this fairly relevant piece of information.

He then urges us to consider that what the RLPA is doing - guaranteeing a minimum wage and entitlements for the most vulnerable footballers - is somehow going to "reduce opportunities for young players". It would be interesting to see what his position would be if, for example, he was an Auckland Warriors' player still waiting to get paid two years after his team had gone broke and been revived by some creative corporate accounting.

Then again, Frilingos doesn't actually play the game does he.


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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