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Issue No. 222 28 May 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

The New Radicals
Many of us lament the fact the Labor Party has little these days to do with labour; some even whimsically remember how the Liberals were once liberal; but evolving world events are now putting a lie to that most enduring of political labels ‘the conservative’.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Machine Man
It’s regarded as the most powerful job in the Party, but new NSW ALP general secretary Mark Arbib wants to build a bridge with the union movement.

Unions: Testing Times
Unions are not opposed to drug and alcohol testing, but they do want to see real safety issues addressed, writes Phil Doyle.

Bad Boss: Freespirit Haunts Internet
FreeSpirit forked out a motza for a whiz bang internet presence then disappeared right off the radar – once it was nominated as our Bad Boss for May.

Unions: Badge of Honour
Surry Hills is home to one of the world’s finest displays of union badges thanks to Bill "The Bear" Pirie and a supporting cast headed by Joe Strummer, Mark Knopfler, George Benson, Annie Lennox and other seriously big noises.

National Focus: Noel's World
Shrill bosses bleat over minimum wage rise, union spinmeisters congregate in Melbourne and Tassie’s nurses take the baton from their mob in Victoria reports Noel Hester in this national round up.

Economics: Safe Refuge
A humanitarian approach to refugees and an economically rational one?? I’d like to see that. Frank Stilwell did, when he went to Young in NSW to look into the impact of the Afghan refugees on temporary protection visas who came to work for the local abattoir

International: Global Abuse
Amnesty International have joined the chorus against the violation of trade union rights in the former Soviet republic of Belarus.

History: The Honeypot
To the Honeypot come those individuals anxious to get their hands on instant wealth. So it was in the early days of Broken Hill, wrties Grace Hawes in this homage to the mining town.

Review: Death And The Barbarians
This new take on coming of age films focuses on the coming of death and the dignity and maturity it can inspire among those touched by it - though not always easily in the overcrowded Canadian public health system, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
Resident Bard David Peetz uncovers some of the unfolding mysteries of talk back radio.

N E W S

 Why Cole is a Merry Old Soul

 Fight Breaks Out of Schoolyard

 Child Care for a Song

 "Back Off" Call To Death Inquiry

 Carr No Mussolini

 Sweet Box-all for Ballot Bureaucrats

 Unions Fire Up

 Beattie Papers Over Stink

 Glue Bullies Come Unstuck

 Johnnie Tugs the Rug

 Bank Jobs Under Spotlight

 Federal Muzzle for Shareholders

 Unions Earn $19 For Low Paid

 Fashionistas Go Fair

 Activists What’s On!

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Rethinking Left and Right Part 1
Dr David McKnight, from the University of Technology, Sydney presents a new frame for looking at the competing ideas within Social Democracy.

The Soapbox
Rethinking Left and Right Part 2
David McKnight concludes the paper he presented to the ‘Rethinking Social Democracy’ conference, in London, April 15-17, 2004.

Sport
Out On A Limb
Phil Doyle becomes the first Australian journalist to state that the Olympics will be called off.

Politics
The Westie Wing
In the latest episode, Ian West explores what Disraeli called "Lies, damn lies and statistics".

Postcard
Message from America
Searing snapshots from a landscape of uncertainty have plunged the Bush Administration into deeper crisis, writes WorkingForChange's Bill Berkowitz.

L E T T E R S
 Howard The Chucker
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Letters to the Editor

Howard The Chucker


We heard recently that the PM in Australia labelled Murali as an Illegal Bowler.

Unfortunately, the Prime Minister of Australia appears to be uninformed and has tried to mislead the ordinary cricket fans all over the world by entering in to this debate. While he is accusing Murali of being a chucker, the Prime Minister is chucking all the way through his political career.

Never ever GST? And Tampa refugees? He has chucked all throughout his Political Game. He told the Australian Public that he would `never ever' introduce the GST - but he managed to get away from it. Core Promises and None Core promises, we all remember the Tampa Refugees. He created huge division amongst Australians by accusing the refugees of throwing their children overboard, and the people of Australia trusted him and then later it was revealed that incident never occurred. This time too he survived and continues to play the game of politics.

So far John Howard (Honest Johnny?) has refused to say sorry to Aboriginal people for the stolen generation carried out by the previous Governments and under the guise of `Protecting' the indigenous owners of this land. Millions marched all over Australia but he refused to say sorry.

Once again ordinary Australians marched on the street in every city and asked the Australian Government not to involve us (`Not in our Name') in the Iraq War and majority of Australians believed that there were no (and still not any) weapons of Mass destruction in Iraq. Still John Howard followed George Bush and ended up in this mess in Iraq. So far thousands of innocent Iraq women and children have died and because of his chucking behaviour in Politics. Now Baghdad is a paradise for the terrorism etc.

There are many issues in the Australian political game which he has managed to chuck and he is still getting away with it. The best thing the Australian Prime Minister could do is to correct what he has done wrong in the past. However, that would take a very long time and would probably never happen.

Alternatively, he should just leave and allow the rest of us the task of cleaning up Australian Politics for future generations. At the same time he should refrain from accusing Murali (World No 1 Bowler), one of the most gifted and genuine Cricketers the world has ever known (According to the Wisden Almanac), of being a chucker and get back to what he does best - dividing and ruling for the rich.

After all, Murali's action might not be `technically' perfect (although effective and beautiful to watch) but it is not a premeditated attempt at `chucking' unlike john Howard's `cheating' neo conservative agenda of division and deception of the Australian people.

We all could say very loudly and clearly John Howard has Chucked all the way in His Political Career and he needs to be expelled from the game of politics on this up coming election once and for all.

That's the Best outcome for Australia and its Future.

JAGATH BANDARA


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