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Issue No. 228 09 July 2004  

Thai-ed in Knots
With all the hype, hiccups, fear and loathing around the Australia/US Free Trade agreement, another agreement all but slipped under the radar this week - a preferential trade deal between Australia and Thailand.


Interview: Power and the Passion
ALP's star recruit Peter Garrett shares his views on unions, forests and being the Member for Wedding Cake Island

Unions: Tackling the Heavy Hitters
Tony Butterfield became a State of Origin gladiator at the unlikely age of 33. Even that, Jim Marr reports, couldn’t prepare him for the knock-down, drag-em-out world of modern IR.

Industrial: Seeing the Forest For The Wood
Proposals to flog off NSW’s forests have raised eyebrows and temperatures amongst some of the key players reports Phil Doyle.

Housing: Home Truths
CFMEU national secretary John Sutton argues for a radical solution to the housing affordability crisis.

International: Boycott Busters
International unions have issued a new list of corporations breaching ILO sanctions to do business in Burma.

Economics: Ideology and Free Trade
The absurdities of neoclassical economic assumptions has never stood in the way of their being trotted out to justify profiteering and attacks on the rights of citizens. The AUSFTA is the latest rort we are supposed to swallow, writes Neale Towart.

History: Long Shadow of a Forgotten Man
Interest in JC Watson's short time as Labor's first Prime Minister should not detract from his more substantial role as Party leader, writes Mark Hearn

Review: Chewing the Fat
As debate rages in Australia about Fast Food advertising, Julianne Taverner takes a look at a side of the industry that Ronald McDonald won’t tell you about in Supersize Me.

Poetry: Dear John
Workers Online reader Rob Mullen shares some personal correspondence with our glorious leader.


 Adecco in the Dock

 Chubb Faces Bullying Rap

 Print Company Burns Staff

 Carr "Prefers" Americans

 Drug Cheats’ Eye off Olympics

 Unions Crack Skull

 Howard Backs $7.30 Report

 MCG Vet Kicks Casual Goal

 Parking tickets Gonged

 Safety Meets Low Expectations

 Koori Building for Future

 "Super Sopper" Soaks Up Funds

 Kelly’s Figures go West

 Activists What’s On!


The Westie Wing
As the NSW Labor Government sells its first budget deficit in nine years, the real concern for the union movement is the devil in the detail, especially when it comes to procurement agreements, writes Ian West.

The Soapbox
Rubber Bullets
Labor's IR spokesman Craig Emerson launches a few characteristic salvos across the Parliamentary chamber

The Locker Room
Tears After Bedtime
Phil Doyle says that it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye

Postcard from Vietnam
APHEDA's Hoang Thi Le Hang reports from the north of Vietnam on a project being fund by Australian unionists.,

 History Left In The Back Of The Cab
 Libs have Got To Go
 A Boring Bastard
 A Home Of Their Own
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Tool Shed

Septic Tool

Septic tank Richard Armitage takes a sit in the Tool Shed this week after the old china has a blue while opening the cake hole and having a bash at the strine.


Strewth! It's enough to give you the tomtits, but US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage has made himself look a right merchant banker after getting his knickers in a twist over a certain expression.

Old Dick told the fish and chip wrappers that "it's not as if anyone's playing hide the sausage" over Iraq. Well, that's not how the happy snaps from Abu Grahib appeared.

Punters have cause to ponder that maybe old Dick isn't quite up to speed on what the expression 'playing hide the sausage' refers to. It's hardly a reference to being secret squirrel (unless maybe you're playing it with your mate's trouble and strife), but more a heads up on a bit of horizontal folk dancing.

I suppose he was wanting to come over all ridgy-didge but, strike me pink, instead he ends up looking a right galah. It was all part of some bulldust about the Labor Party being at sixes and sevens on account of this dodgy Iraq caper.

Now, your average sheila and bloke, be it in Steak and Kidney or beyond the black stump, doesn't have a lot of time for earbashers like Dick, and it's hardly a fair cop to have someone take the snakes out of the land beneath your plates of meat.

If they have a crack at that sort of caper you'd suppose they'd be on the money, but just as our Tool Of The Week missed the ticket over Iraq, he's bunged on the quinella by coming the raw prawn over the workers friends in Canberra. Maybe he's a thick as two planks and thinks Judi Moylan is a member of the Labor party.

Truth be told most of us would rather they kicked a few goals for peace and put the kybosh on this Iraq palaver, instead of trying to play hide the sausage with Australian jobs over this free trade bizzo.

Crikey, most of us would rather drown worms than put up with the dronings of some joker who doesn't know whether he's coming or going. Someone should tell this drongo to put a sock in it and stop trying to piss in our pockets.

It is bad enough having bull artists like the prime miniature nagging away on the box about mateship when he's got no mates without having a chook like Dick flapping on about something he knows three fifths of bugger all about.

What would be grouse would be if someone tipped Dick the good oil that he should pull his head in and stop trying to pretend his Iraq show isn't as rooted as an old bloke's dog.

For the benefit of our septic Tool here is the opening few bars of the septic national anthem in a dialect old china Dicky Armitage might understand:

Oh say can you butchers

By sparrow farts burning strike

The star spangled banner...


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