The Official Organ of LaborNET
click here to view the latest edition of Workers Online
The Official Organ of LaborNET
Free home delivery
Issue No. 214 26 March 2004  

The Security Shift
As the War on Terror spirals out of control, the political dynamics of security are starting to shift – and those banging thee drums of war may become the unlikely casualties.


Interview: Baby Bust
Labor's Wayne Swan argues that the plight of our aging workforce is only one side of our demographic dilemma.

Safety: Dust To Dust
Failure by authorities to police safety in the asbestos removal industry is threatening the lives of members of the public, writes Phil Doyle.

Bad Boss: Shaming in Print
Delegates from print shops around Sydney will publicly shame this month’s Bad Boss nominee with a rally outside his new Alexandria operation next Thursday.

National Focus: Work's Cripplin' Us
Noel Hester reports on a spin doctors' talkfest, workplace pain, stroppy teachers and IWD party time in the national wrap.

International: Bulk Bullies
An extraordinary five month struggle over affordable health care, by nearly 70,000 Californian supermarket workers, has just come to an end, writes Andrew Casey.

History: The Battle for Kelly's Bush
Green Bans saved a piece of bush before they saved much of the Sydney’s built environment, writes Neale Towart

Economics: Aid, Trade And Oil
Tim Anderson reveals Australia’s second betrayal Of East Timor is playing out before our eyes.

Review: The Art Of Work
Workers and westies are being celebrated as the cultural icons they are thanks to two Sydney exhibitions reminding us there is a world of art in the everyday, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: Sew His Lips Together
Wondering where the next porkie is going to come from? Resident bard David Peetz knows.


 Terrorism: Workers In Front Line

 ‘Racist Throwback’ on Rail Project

 Green Light for Council Code

 Underground Mines a Time Bomb

 Teachers Delete Email

 Bush Uses Burma Sweatshops

 Family Mourns Dead Worker

 Call Centre Shocker

 Bosses Touched Up With Wet Lettuce

 Andrews Throws Last Dice at CFMEU

 Smelter Contractors Clear Air

 Activists What’s On!


The Soapbox
Iraq and Your Mortgage
How high interest rates go will be a key issue in 2004 and if you are looking for a clue, there's no better place to look than the war in Iraq, writes Michael Rafferty.

Hang Onto the Day Job
Show someone else the money, says Phil Doyle.

Westie Wing
Ian West shows why Eveleigh Street’s not so far away from Macquarie Street

Don’t Give Up the Fight
Get Up, Stand Up is the logo of choice on a popular range of subversive condoms. Ken Davis from Union Aid Abroad reports from Zimbabwe’s second city

 More On Green Bans
 But Will He Get the Trains To Run On Time?
 Uniting For Peace
About Workers Online
Latest Issue
Print Latest Issue
Previous Issues
Advanced Search

other LaborNET sites

Labor Council of NSW
Vic Trades Hall Council
IT Workers Alliance
Unions on LaborNET
Evatt Foundation

Labor for Refugees


Tool Shed


Peter Lewis is our Tool Of The Week. No, not that Peter Lewis, but the barking mad speaker of the South Australian parliament.


It appears that the Speaker of the South Australian parliament is off his medication again.

The phrase 'mad as a cut snake' springs to mind when one contemplates the former Liberal turned independent Peter Lewis. He has blamed his latest outburst in which he declared that politicians had "more balls than brains" on a "recent illness".

Any cursory study of the public career of this bloke with a few kangaroos loose in the top paddock shows that his illnes ain't recent. He's been off his trolley for years.

King Lewis the mad, famous for his fetish for dressing up in ceremonial regalia, was forced to apologise after his latest wanderings in the land of Lune.

Several female MPs objected to the comment and, showing a loose appreciation of which century we're in, the Speaker named Liberal MP Joan Hall for protesting.

Lewis is, of course, wrong at any rate. Politicians have neither balls nor brains.

What apparently triggered the latest foaming at the mouth episode was that quaint political ritual known as question time. Wherever the Westminster system creaks and groans parliaments are enthralled to this age-old ritual. Everyone, it seems, is resigned to the alternating Dorothy Dixers for the holders of the Treasury benches and scandal clad probing of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition.

Everyone, that is, except the Hamlet of North Terrace, the inimitable Peter Lewis.

Our Tool Of The Week claimed that he was trying to get MP's to "see the silliness of their behaviour". If that's the case then all he really needed was a mirror.

Lewis' 25 years in parliament have certainly been eventful, from his support for deadbeat dads to association with a number of colourful characters. He also fancies himself as a bit of a Rambo type, with murky rumours of his military exploits incongruously floating around the mild mannered madman.

All of this is no doubt comforting for the 15 000 odd employees of the state of South Australia who are having a rough time trying to get a decent deal out of the very same asylum that Lewie the Loon presides over.

He has a quaint way with language, famous for some shoot-from-the-hip-without-the-brain-engaged-aphorisms like "people without profit is poverty", and "Tell me what I need to know - not what you think I'd like to hear."

Well Pete, what you need to know is that you're a nutter.

Our Tool Of the Week should take his ceremonial straight jacket into the Tool Shed this week, politics is crazy enough without having loose cannons like Lewis yapping away.

Besides, he's giving the name Lewis a bad rap.


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.


Ship of Tools - All the tools in one shed!

View our Gallery of Tools

Nominate a Tool!

Your Name:
Your Email Address:
Your Country: Your State:
The Tool you wish to nominate:
Type why you think this person should be Tool of the Week here:


*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 214 contents

email workers to a friend printer-friendly version latest breaking news from labornet

Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue

© 1999-2002 Workers Online
Workers Online is a resource for the Labour movement
provided by the Labor Council of NSW
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005

Powered by APT Solutions
Labor Council of NSW Workers Online