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Issue No. 208 13 February 2004  

All The Way With FTA?
Question marks over the bi-lateral Free Trade Agreement with the USA have only begun to scratch the surface.


Interview: Trading in Principle
AMWU national secretary, Doug Cameron, a key figure in the Labor movement, discusses the big issues - from Mark Latham to Pavlov�s Dogs.

Unions: While We Were Away
While Workers Online was washing sand from between its toes and enjoying an Indian summer at the cricket, there was a reality show chugging relentlessly away in the background, Jim Marr reports.

Politics: Follow the Leader
Worker�s Online tool man, Phil Doyle, dives into the ALP�s Darling Harbour love-in and nearly drowns in treacle.

Bad Boss: Safety Recidivist Fingered
The CFMEU has come up with a killer nomination to kick off our 2004 hunt for Australia�s worst employer.

Economics: Casualisation Shrouded In Myths
British academic, Kevin Doogan, sets the record straight on casualisation and warns unionists about the dangers of scoring an own goal

History: Worker Control Harco Style
Drew Cottle and Angela Keys ask if it's worth rememberinng the 1971 Harco work-in.

Review: Other Side Of The Harbour
The 1998 maritime dispute threatened to tear many a family apart but Katherine Thomson's Harbour tells the tale of at least one that it brought back together - albeit reluctantly, writes Tara de Boehmler.


 Rail Safety Back On Track

 Commuter Headaches Continue

 Ban "Ruthless" Operators - Judge

 Telstra Provokes Jobs Fight

 Taskforce Ignores Million Dollar Rorts

 Musos Tune-Up for Election Rock

 Chubby Fingers in Timorese Pockets

 Postal Workers Wrap Boss

 Aussie Sites Doing the Business

 Feds Abandon Aged

 TAFE Stands Over Poor Students

 Round the World on Aid

 Activists Notebook


The Soapbox
Dog Whistlers, Spin Doctor and Us
John Menadue argues the "better angels" of the Australian character are having their wings ripped off by an ever-expanding group dedicating to keeping the public at arms length from our decision-makers.

Something Fishy In Laos
Phillip Hazelton fishes around in Vientiane, Laos, and looks at the impact of Bird Flu on those relying on feathered friends for survival.

Magic Realism
Phil Doyle discovers that literature and sport may have more in common than you would think

The Westie Wing
Trickle, flood or drought? Workers friend Ian West, MLC, is wet, wet, wet on the issue of bilateral Free Trade.

 Reality TV
 TAFE Support
 State Of Confusion
 History Lesson
 Generation Angst
 Give Them A Medal
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Letters to the Editor

Generation Angst

I have just finished reading George Miller's article on the free trade agreement and the failure of Australian story telling.

Is it just my imagination or is he implying that this whole mess is the fault of those selfish, selfish Generation Xers and their evil neo-liberal agenda. How about looking around you George...last time I looked there weren't that many Gen Xers(those born 1960 to 71) in parliament or making major financial and trade policy, such as this free trade policy, or health policy, or education policy. Facts seem to indicate that all the more neo-liberal policy directions in the last few years have stemmed from those confirmed baby-boomers Costello and Keating.

I would also like to point out that our fearless leader, John 'Bonsai' Howard, for all his youthful good looks was born just prior to WW2 - guess the evil Gen Xers miss out there to.

You would think by reading this article that somehow Gen X was to blame for the Coalition being in power, as everyone - or at least George, seems to know that ALL baby boomers vote Labor, Green, or, when forced to, Democrat. Come on George, get a grip. Not all Gen Xers are evil, self obsessed, reality TV loving, Liberal voters, in the same way that not all baby boomers are bleeding heart liberal intellectuals. We have got enough on our plates trying to save what is left of our country, culturally and economically, from the Thatcherites in Canberra without succumbing to needless and devisive cross generational warfare.

If you need to vent spleen, direct it at those who are actually responsible for the setting of policy and regulation in this country. Do not target those who are coming up behind you and are blamelessly attempting to forge careers in an increasingly hostile environment.

And if all this doesn't convince you to play nice George, then just try to remember who is going to be holding the purse strings when you are old and need that expensive bypass surgery.

David Walker


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