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
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
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.
Spicey and Tart
Tony and Pauline
PNG Bags Plastic
Fighting Words Craig Emerson
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Ministers Urged to Take Responsibility
Cabinet Ministers should stop hiding behind an increasingly-politicised public service and accept accountability for their actions, a Senate Inquiry has heard.
The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has put forward a five-step plan, in the wake of scandals such as "Children Overboard", to restore key elements of Westminister democracy to the Australian system.
CPSU spokesman, Stephen Jones, says observers need look no further than the hameful" Children Overboard fiasco, during which Federal Government ignored repeated advice that its public pronouncements were untrue, to understand how politicisation of the public service is undermining democracy.
"In this shameful episode, unaccountable ministerial minders harassed public servants to doctor documents and photos then these minders were conveniently excused from appearing before a Senate inquiry.
"This was not an isolated incident," Jones said. "We have regular reports from juinior public service officers who are being directly badgered by ministerial staffers."
His warning comes as ASIC sources suggest a senior cabinet minister leant on the organisation to launch prosecutions against business figures perceived as being ALP-friendly, including former NRMA chief Nick Whitlam.
The CPSU is calling for MPs who personal staff harass public servants to be held accountable.
Specific recommendations put to the Senate Inquiry include ...
- that contact between ministerial staff and public servants be "on the record"
- that there be a formal code of conduct for political employees
- that ministers be required to answer questions on contacts between their staff and public servants
- that the minister be responsible and accountable for actions of his staff when they act on his/her behalf
that when seeking advice from the public service, ministerial staffers direct requests to senior officers.
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