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Issue No. 200 24 October 2003  

The Hard Yards
Two hundred issues of Australia’s first and only online workers’ magazine is due reason to celebrate. It is also a good time to look at what we’ve achieved over the past five years and consider where we need to go.


Interview: No Ifs, No Butts
Rugby League Professionals Association president Tony Butterfield on his battle to deliver a collective agreement for NRL players.

Unions: National Focus
In this month’s national wrap: Noel Hester meets a heavy hitter talking up open source unionism, truckies front the suits at Boral’s AGM, tales of corporate bastardry and Medicare birthday revelry.

Industrial: Fools Gold
Unions have thrashed out a string of protocols with the NSW Labor Government. Some, now, are questioning whether they are worth the cheap, imported paper they are written on, reports Jim Marr.

Bad Boss: Bones of Contention
Byron Bay chicken boners have nominated thier boss for a Tony after seeing their entitlements plucked.

History: The Gong Show
In late September the South Coast Labour Council (SCLC) celebrated 75 unbroken years championing the rights of workers in the coastal Illawarra region 80 kilometres south of Sydney, writes Rowan Cahill.

Politics: The Hawke Legacy
The election of the Hawke Labor government twenty years ago holds some salient lessons for today’s Labor Party, writes Troy Bramston.

International: Sick Nation
As Australia celebrates 20 years of Medicare’s universal health coverage the crisis facing American workers in need of medical care is a useful reminder of what we’ve got – and what we stand, writes Andrew Casey.

Economics: Closed Minds
Philip Mendes looks at the political influence of right-wing think tanks, their financial backing and asks why the left hasn’t been able to get its ideas out there.

Review: Mixing Pop and Politics
He's had relations, with girls from many nations... but Billy Bragg seems to like us Aussies as much or even more than any of the others, writes Pádraig Collins.

Poetry: One Size Fits All
There once was a man from the Lodge - Who tried hard, our poems, to dodge... Resident bard David Peetz is back!


 Workers Rally For ‘Joel’s Law’

 It’s Official: Courts Weak on Safety

 Cole Insider Highlights "Agenda"

 "Racism" as Pacific Islanders Rorted

 Academics Appeal to International Umpire

 Conroy Crashes Boral Bash

 Poll Points to Hospital Overload

 Aussie Icon Set To Head Overseas

 China Gaols Union Activists

 Victory in Dili

 AWU Rejects Bid to Fleece Shearers

 People’s Bank to Hear From People

 Unions Put Students in Picture

 Memo ALP Members: Think About Unions

 New Face in the Hunter

 Activists Notebook


North By Northwest
Phil Doyle returns from up north, where he survived on nothing but goodwill, good people and a great big orange bus.

The Soapbox
The $140 Million Patriot
It would be hard to imagine a steeper slide from hero to zero than the experience of Richard Grasso, the now-deposed head of the New York Stock Exchange. writes Jim Stanford.

Bush's Bad News Blues
The Bush Administration is cooking up a new campaign 'to shine light on progress made in Iraq', writes Bill Berkowitz.

The Locker Room
A Tale Of One City
Phil Doyle gazes into the crystal ball for signs of life, and finds that somewhere the horses are running in the wrong direction.

With Banners Furled
There is no better account of the glory that was the annual Labour Day marches than that given by Kylie Tennant in Foveaux, her fictional account of life in inner Sydney in 1912, the year she was born.

The Westie Wing
Our favourite Macquarie Street MP, Ian West MLC, reports on the world of NSW politics.

The Cancun Wash-Up
The dramatic collapse of the World Trade Organisation Ministerial Meeting in Cancun, Mexico, last month has been followed by a deafening quiet from Geneva, Brussels and Washington, writes Peter Murphy.

 Child Labour
 Advance Australia Where?
 God Save Us All
 US Seeking Aussie Info
 Call The Doctor
 Bring Back Gough
 Bring Back Social Democracy
 Look East, Look West
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Tool Shed


Our Tool Of The Week, Lucy Turnbull, has thrown herself into solving the problems of the Middle East, which apparently is somewhere between Woolloomooloo and Bondi Junction.

The self styled crusader against everything that makes Sydney worthwhile, Lucy Turnbull, put on a world class tanty this week - boycotting the Sydney Peace Prize.

Turnbull was obviously not in the running for the gong - as her recent performance showed - as she joined the shrill band of right wing paranoiacs who still long for a Palestinian homeland to be located somewhere in Greenland.

The Sydney Peace Prize had been awarded to Dr Hanan Ashrawi. Dr Ashrawi is a woman who had the temerity to suggest that the state of Israel using state of the art military technology to bomb the living crap out of a people whose defence extends to sticks and stones was not necessarily a good thing.

What was Lucy's problem with Dr Ashrawi? Had Dr Ashrawi slighted the people of Sydney? Or did it have something to do with her husband, Malcolm "Napoleon" Turnbull and his plan for global domination?

So where does Ms Turnbull's sudden interest in the affairs of the Middle East spring from? Could it be that she's shoring up support for hubby Napoleon amongst the good citizens of Woollahra? Malcolm's great battle to lead the forces of style over the forces of substance could be sullied by any association with anyone to the left of Attilla the Hun.

Of course Turnbull is more than just an accessory for Malcolm's tilt at the throne, she's a fully-fledged tool in her own right.

Lucy, readers may recall, is the brains behind the idea to stamp out the sex industry in the Cross, and other futile initiatives. Of course Lucy would like to keep the Cross as a nice little KaffeeKlatch for her friends in the Potts Point squattocracy. Democracy is too precious a thing to be entrusted to the great unwashed. How much better things would be for Ms Turnbull if she could just round up the homeless and put them in camps.

When she's not trying to paste over the differences in society with some nice pastel wallpaper and zero tolerance policing, Lucy has a good eye for where the trough is. She's been on more boards than the Beach Boys and those free lunches certainly give life a zing, don't they darling?

Of course we should be grateful to have someone with the business acumen of Ms Turnbull running the city. After all she is the genius who, as the former chairman of FTR Holdings, recommended they buy $1.3m shares in Chaos Music at $1.40. The share price, after a name change, is now 34c.

Turnbull is typical of the A-List technocrats that believe they are genetically pre-disposed to lead the country. It's hardly surprising that she'd fall into line with her husband's interests given that he has an ego so big that it has its own gravitational pull.

Her reign at St Andrew's Place cannot be said to be overwhelmingly inclusive.

The Sydney City Council has on two occasions told the CFMEU that they couldn't have access to Town Hall Square. The latest being for the remembrance march for Joel Exner. Of course Lucy hasn't done an honest days work in her life so we can't expect her to have much in the way of understanding about the needs of mere mortals.

It would be nice to think that Lucy Turnbull could crawl back underneath whatever unprincipled rock she crawled out from under, and that once again Sydney could exist as a city for all its residents, not just those on six figure incomes.

Professional opportunist Lucy Turnbull can use her time in the Tool Shed to have a good hard look at herself, and consider that her pathetic petulant display is just the sort of mindless ratbaggery that conservatives seem incapable of avoiding.

Our Tool of the Week is more than just her usual out-to-lunch - she's also out of her depth and, with any more brain explosions on her part, it won't be long before she's out of office as well.


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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