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Issue No. 210 27 February 2004  

Rock Of Ages
The Howard Government’s response to Australia’s aging population - to make them work longer and harder – is a small minded response to a mind-blowing problem, a perversion of the discipline of demography.


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.


 Siren Sounds on Asbestos "Scam"

 Youngsters Taken For A Ride

 Costello Necks Young and Old

 CFMEU Backs Redfern Jobs

 Della to Save Christmas?

 Time for Global Zone Out

 Equant's Pyramid Jobs Scheme

 Unions at Unis

 A Bridge Too Far

 Men Score Mat Leave

 Strikes Rock TAFE, Unis

 Health Maters To The Barricades

 Prison Officers Strike Back

 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.

 We Make Mistakes
 Taking The Piss
 Dear Mark
 Tom Goes Off I
 Tom Goes Off II
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Letters to the Editor

Tom Goes Off I

While it is indisputable that the landscape of State and Local government politics is littered with many self promoting pigs ,these complimented by intellectual, moral and incompetent political derelicts, the letter,

„Bailey a tireless representative‰, Press February 20 , 2004 , although reflective of community appreciation, and is indicative of his alienation from this group , it certainly does not do sufficient justice to the „Dion Quixote‰ efforts of Councilor Bailey , who has on many occasions and perhaps to his personal cost, personified the altruistic individuality which epitomizes the Australian or Anzac spirit.

These attributes contrast even more favorably when compared with much of the past present and future landscape of New South Wales parochial politics, these behaviors acted out in front of or on behalf of a chaotic backdrop of Machiavellian intrigue and subterfuge which appears to be in the process of disenfranchising all New South Wales ratepayers through, forced Council amalgamations for no other apparent reason than an perceptible gerrymander of the electoral boundaries , this giving one political party a control far in excess of that sought by the notorious Boss Tweed of New York‚s Tammany Hall.

This has motivated many political and social commentators to suggest that voters indicate their displeasure to these faceless political and highly strung social engineers, by voting for anyone but the nominated ALP candidate in the looming local government elections. This, while an understandable point of view , is ; even with the acceptance of the Labor controlled state governments refusal or inability to deal with the collapse of the infrastructures , such as Hospitals , Roads , Rail , Electricity , Schools , and with these failures increasing needless deaths in States Hospitals , exacerbating the already unbearable frustrations of the traveling public , who then take to the unsafe roads which are crumbling through lack of maintenance , inadequately funded government Schools churning out poorly educated children unable to survive in an increasingly competitive Global economy , and the point blank denial of a Water Storage crisis with a blatant refusal to provide the! very necessities of life such as consistent affordable power and ample clean drinkable water , not a view I personally advocate.

I am sure like many others on the electoral roll, aware of our limitations, will unquestionably accept, that those whom are elected or who are brazen enough to be self appointed know what is best for us, and will in all instances look after our interests ignoring the powerful cash strapped lobby groups such as developers, Trade Unions, big business and or their own political self interest.

So while Councilors Baileys departure will be a loss to the Penrith community, he will be well served if he brushes every speck of dust from his clothes as he, head held high walks away from politics, and I for one am a better person for any brief interaction I have had with him, and I wish him well in any venture he embarks upon.

Well done Councilor Bailey!

Tom Collins

P.O.Box 304

Emu Plains

NSW 2750


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