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Issue No. 224 11 June 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

The Passion For Power
Arguably Midnight Oils’ greatest ever song ‘Powderworks’ starts off with the apocalyptic warning "there’s a shit storm a-coming."

The Passion for Power
Arguably Midnight Oils’ greatest ever song ‘Powderworks’ starts off with the apocalyptic warning "there’s a shit storm a-coming."

F E A T U R E S

Interview: The New Democrat
Canadian activist Judy Rebick explains how she's using lessons from Brazil to rebuild the labour movement.

Bad Boss: The Ugly Australian
Prime Minister John Howard is in California spruiking the "merits" of this month’s Bad Boss nomination …

Unions: Free Spirits and Slaves
International capital demands guest labour – legal or illegal – as a way of beating down wages and conditions and, as Jim Marr discovers, the Australian Government seems happy to oblige.

Industrial: National Focus
Noel Hester reports on another workplace death (we-will-not-RIP NOHSC), heartburn for the Canberra consensus and all the action from around the states in our national wrap.

History: A Class Act
The problem of forgetting the primacy of class in favour of other ideas of community is highlighted in a new book, writes Neale Towart

International: Across the Ditch
NZ Nurses Union leader, Laila Harré, is in Sydney this week, comparing notes with the Australian Nurses Federation and seeking transTasman support for New Zealand’s highest profile industrial campaign.

Economics: Home Truths
Sydney University's Frank Stilwell argues that tax policy is driving the housing boom.

Review: No Time Like Tomorrow
The Day After Tomorrow is one part Grim Reaper of the environmental movement and two parts fictitious fable dramatically window dressed with extreme special effects, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: Silent Note
Resident Bard David Peetz uncovers the current public service motto – "Don't tell the Minister!".

N E W S

 Making Plans For Nigel

 People Importer Wants Indemnity

 Desperate Ambos Turn to Copper

 Victims Dusted in Asbestos Row

 Delos Bang Victory Gong

 Teaching 12 Percent Tougher

 Now Carr Faces Medical Bill

 Officers Hurt in Transit

 Support Unit Makes Canberra Debut

 Winter Beds Breakthrough

 Workers Wait For Bread

 HoWARd the A**sLIcKEer

 Activists What’s On!

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
The Pursuit of Happiness Part I
The Australia Institute's Clive Hamilton questions the assumptions underlying a society that defines happiness in dollar terms.

The Soapbox
The Pursuit of Happiness Part II
Clive Hamilton concludes his analysis, looking at how more and more Australians are pulling back from a marketplace that is no longer providing the goods.

The Locker Room
Sack ‘Em All!
Phil Doyle puts his job on the line, but doesn’t everyone these days?

Politics
The Westie Wing
The NSW Government has an agenda on the table but the test is finding innovative ways to finance it, writes Ian West

L E T T E R S
 Godbotherers Descend On Poor
 Sick Of This Job
 Office Junior’s Secrets
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Letters to the Editor

Godbotherers Descend On Poor


It's perverse, but Governments don't contract the best organisations to deliver community services - they pick the ones who've got the most dollars.

No account is taken of the organisations history or lack of expertise, yet they deliver services to very vulnerable people in disadvantaged communities.

The charities and for-profits win the contracts because they can raise money or are tax exempt.

But they have an ulterior motive like making money or getting converts to their religion.

It's a symptom of Federal and State governments shifting the cost of community services to local government, which is not properly resourced.

A case in point is the main organisation behind the new Redfern Community Centre, Hillsong.

They are a right wing christian group who the council has just contracted to provide work services, training in computers and classes on such things as parenting.

The local aboriginal community was not consulted at all.

They got the contract because they stumped up the $270,000 for the fitting out and running costs of the two level centre, located deep in The Block.

I know from talking to council officers this group have been trying to get a toehold in the community sector, but have only been able to manage employment services so far.

Hillsong teaches a brand of prosperity theology, and have an extreme proselytising philosophy - they try to save souls.

I don't trust them to deliver value neutral services in a non-discriminatory manner to people who sit outside their belief system such as gays or lesbians.

Simon Williams, Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre


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