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...
John McPhilbin has come forward as the NSW Labor Council moves to campaign against the "nightmare" of workplace bullying.
"I was an extremely loyal Chubb employee and as a result I'm unemployed," says McPhilbin, who worked eight years with the security firm.
In 2000 McPhilbin was allocated to Chubb's 'Project Phoenix' where he was denied appropriate pay or performance reviews for over two years and, despite repeated requests, could not even get a basic job description. As a result McPhilbin felt "ignored, downgraded, threatened, isolated and financially disadvantaged."
A Chubb internal investigation supports McPhilbin's claims about company behaviour, describing its conduct as "less than satisfactory".
McPhilbin, who had been told on his move to Project Phoenix' that his career was "on the up and up", is under no illusion as to why Chubb management bullied him.
"Because I asserted myself I became a target," says McPhilbin. "Chubb does not respect fair employment practices, occupational health and safety laws, or the welfare of their staff."
"All I ever asked for was respect as an employee and a safe workplace, free from harassment."
The harassment came to a head in August 2003 when McPhilbin was forced to take sick leave and, despite numerous requests for an anti-bullying program to be implemented, was finally sacked by Chubb in February of this year.
Medical experts have backed McPhilbin's claims of the physical and emotional impairment resulting from his prolonged exposure to a hostile workplace.
"It has taken me 12 months to re-establish a semi-normal' way of functioning," says McPhilbin, who has thrown his support behind a campaign being flagged by the NSW Labor Council to ensure respect and dignity in the workplace.
AMWU members at McPhersons Printing, Chullora, have voted to strike in support of casual workmates targeted for wage cuts and job losses.
They set up a picket line after McPhersons abandoned five months of discussions and applied to the IRC to have their existing agreement terminated.
"The company thought it could split the workers by using legal threats and targeting casuals," AMWU representative, Mark West, said. "But everyone is standing together.
"They have drawn a line and said this is not a path we are prepared to go down."
Fifty three of the 113 workers are casuals with up to 15 years service. McPhersons general manager, Malcolm Dag, is demanding that they agree to wage cuts of up to $200 a week, and the loss of 26 positions.
McPhersons is a long-established business but West says its attitudes have changed "markedly' since Dag took control.
He said that became apparent, last year, when it refused one volunteer fire fighter paid time off to join the battle against bushfires ravaging NSW and the ACT. Dag has rejected a claim for Emergency Services leave advanced by workers in current negotiations.
McPhersons no longer employs apprentices and has targeted casuals to slash costs, West says.
"It is a good example of how casualisation is being used to slash wages and conditions. The willingness of these permanents to stand up for casual rights is encouraging," West said.
"It is an important issue if trade unions are going to remain relevant to an increasing number of working Australians."
Unions are seeking an urgent meeting with Carr over his decision to sign off on Government Procurement Policy, included in John Howard’s US-Australia Free Trade Agreement, while Federal Labor is still wrestling with the implications for jobs and sovereignty.
Labor Council assistant secretary, Mark Lennon, says AUSFTA is not a free trade agreement at all.
"It is a preferential trade agreement between two countries and, unfortunately, all the preferences run in favour of the US," Lennon says.
AMWU secretary, Paul Bastian, said Carr's move would strip NSW of the right to direct taxpayers' money into NSW goods, services and jobs. Given the relative size of the two economies, he argued, that would translate into major disadvantages for NSW manufacturers, service providers and workers.
"The Premier has endorsed an agreement which sees NSW lose all rights to prefer local goods and services," Bastian said. "Yet the US retains its right to subsidise its own goods and services.
"It will be disastrous for local employment."
Bastian highlighted the case of Smithfield-based Berri fruit juices which recently beat off a takeover bid by Coca Cola. USFTA, he said, would leave companies like Berri "defenceless" against US corporate predators.
Australia Thais Into Sweat Shops
Australians will be forced to compete with workers earning $4.60 a day under a free trade agreement signed with Thailand, this week.
The warning was delivered by AMWU national secretary, Doug Cameron, who said the agreement, signed by Prime Minister John Howard, "totally ignored" core labour standards.
The AMWU argues Australians will lose job and business opportunities because of a massive disparity in labour standards between the two countries.
Thai wages, averaging between $A4.60 and $5.80 a day, are set by provincial committees and, even these rates, are poorly policed, Cameron says.
Other key elements of the Thai labour set-up include ...
- migrants being paid even less than the minimum rates
- civil servants barred from joining unions or taking strike action
- the ability of employers to legally terminate employment for any reason
- the frequent dismissal of workers who attempt to form trade unions
- little attempt to stop forced or bonded labour
- the widespread existence of sweat shops
Cameron says the Thai agreement shows Howard's version of "free trade" is a mechanism that allows global business to slash costs, irrespective of affects on local workers, families or communities.
"This agreement makes a mockery of the argument that free trade agreements are about creating level playing fields," Cameron says.
"How can Mr Howard expect Australian workers to compete with workers from a country with effectively no labour rights at all?"
Seamstress, Noi Pongkhwa, says workers in Asian sweatshops making the Nike and Reebok clothes athletes will wear in Athens also get on the gear – just to finish 20 hour working days.
Factory hands and seamstresses at the Bed and Bath clothing factory in Thailand had became addicted to anphetamine laced fizzy drinks their boss used to dole out, Pongkhwa said.
The former Bed and Bath worker flew to Sydney last week to meet with the Australian Olympic Committee in a bid to ensure Australian athletes don't compete in sweatshop gear.
But the AOC has refused to meet Pongkhwa, who says she worked 18 hour days for US$1.65, during her seamstress days.
In a bid to get the message through, she and supporters protested outside AOC offices in St Leonards.
Pongkhwa said during her time at the Bed and Bath factory she worked on Nike, Levi, Umbro, Adidas and Fila branded garments that were headed for export to western countries.
National Olympic committees award licences to use their logo to sportswear companies whose practices violate basic labour standards, says
Margaret Di Nicola from Oxfam's 'Play Fair At The Olympics' campaign.
"If labour exploitation were an Olympic sport, the sportswear giants would be well represented among the medal winners," says Di Nicola.
Pongkhwa and fellow workers have set up a co-operative in Thailand producing garments under the Dignity Returns label.
For more information on the Oxfam campaign go to http://www.oxfam.org.au/campaigns/mtf/labour/
Not even the intervention of new ALP general secretary Mark Arbib, all too often controlling the ball for the Minister's office, could tip the argument from Sussex Street to Macquarie Street.
In a tough and occasionally acrimonious encounter, the Trades Hall representatives scored three goals to two in a six a side soccer showdown, thanks to goals by Adam Kerslake (2) and Kiwi import Paul Goulter.
Tough defence where it mattered most was the key to the union victory, with bookends Mark Lennon and Glen Hugo along with hard man Phil Doyle performing a re-enactment of the blockade of Parliament.
Only this time there were no horses, prompting former union identity Gary 'The Sarge' Sargent and former head office boy Chris Minns to regret their defections to Macquarie Street.
It was a humiliating loss for the Minister's office, coming on the back of its defeat by the Parliamentary librarians.
Labor Council assistant secretary Mark Lennon says the victory is further proof that defence is the ultimate form of attack.
"You can have all the fancy footwork in the world, but unless you know how to block, you'll end up in trouble," Lennon says.
News of the result was greeted with cheering and sustained applause by Labor Council delegates, last Thursday night.
The Prime Minister has backed an Access Economics report on labour market deregulation released last week that advocated slashing the minimum wage to US levels.
The Access Economics report urges a reduction from the present Australian minimum wage of $12.30 per hour, which is 61 percent of median full-time earnings, to the US rate of 36 percent of median earnings, which works out at $7.30 per hour.
Mr Howard is supporting the key policy prescription.
NSW Labor Council assistant secretary Mark Lennon said the core Access claim the lower wage would reduce unemployment by a percentage point was nonsense, given that the US currently has higher unemployment.
"If people are struggling to make ends meet on $12.30 an hour, how would they survive on $7.30 an hour?" Lennon asked.
The Howard Government is committed to full deregulation of the labour market with workplace relations minister, Kevin Andrews, telling a Freehills seminar last month that "we've only just begun".
"John Howard wants flexible workplaces, but he means downward flexibility in the wages of vulnerable Australians,' says Shadow Minister for Workplace Relations Craig Emerson. "Labor supports flexibility with fairness."
"Access Economics released a further report on the weekend, forecasting the Budget plunging into deficit as a consequence of the Howard Government showing 'all the restraint of Meatloaf in McDonalds'."
"Does Mr Howard embrace that report too?"
Magistrate Michael Smith has ruled 70-year-old Frank Clohesy is entitled to long service leave, opening the way for 50 other attendants with over 15 years service, to cash-in on the entitlement.
The Melbourne Magistrate's Court rejected the argument put forward by the Melbourne Cricket Club, operators of the MCG, that Clohesy had no entitlement because his employment had been a series of "one-off appointments".
Smith ruled Clohesy had given more than 15 years service and was therefore "entitled to long service leave ... in accordance with relevant provisions of the Act."
MEAA organiser, Louise O'Connor, said the victory was vindication of attendants' decisions to join a collective. It wouldn't, she said, have been practical for individuals to have challenged the MCG stance, even though they were in the right.
O'Connor estimated the average attendant stood to gain about $1500 through the victory but that taking the case would cost between $5000 and $10,000.
She said the MEAA had been arguing the case with the MCG since Victorian racing clubs agreed to recognise casual entitlements. Fifty long-serving attendants wrote to cricket club, last year, asking for long service but had been knocked back.
O'Connor confirmed the union would now seek a meeting with the employer to discuss implications of the decision on the cases of its other 49 members.
The MEAA is calling on the Victorian Government to change the state's Long Service Act to make it clear that casuals qualify, and to lift entitlements to levels provided by other states.
Caring and Sharing
Meanwhile, unions have finalised an agreement with employers that will deliver carers' leave to more than two million Australians classified as casual workers.
The deal came as the parties agreed to double paid leave for permanent employees to care for family members who were ill or facing emergency situations. That entitlement has gone from five to 10 days a year.
ACTU president, Sharan Burrow, said that while casuals still might not get paid for looking after family members they could "feel comfortable" about not having to risk their jobs.
Under the agreement ...
- casual workers have the right to take up to two days off work to care for family members in the wake of births, deaths, illnesses or unexpected emergencies.
- there is no limit on the number of two-day absences a casual make take during a year, but they will be unpaid.
- They will be required to provide "reasonable" notice of required time off and "reasonable evidence" of family emergencies, such as medical certificates, letters from teachers or carers, or stat decs.
There are more than 2.2 million casual workers in Australia covered by this agreement, including 400,000 mothers with young children.
Not a single parking ticket was issued for three days, last week, as 1000 council workers stuck back at moves to grab complete control of their hours, duties and wages.
Workers fear permanent staff will be transferred to part time work, as part of a push to "seasonise" lifeguards, park maintenance workers, and turf keepers.
Already there is a proposal to almost halve the number of lifeguards at the city's beaches.
Other staff may have their core duties changed.
Maintenance carpenter Scott Peterson says workers weren't opposed to change, but they were to a reduction in conditions.
"If they want to force change on employees, they'll have more industrial action than they can poke a stick at. Employees will not cope unnecessary change being forced upon them," says Peterson.
As TWU delegates were briefing Shadow Homeland Security Minister Robert McClelland on the "frightening" state of Sydney airport security, a major incident shut down departures at the international terminal.
A man caused hours of chaos after getting to within metres of boarding a Qantas flight bound for Los Angeles without a ticket, last week.
Police arrested the man in the airbridge after he walked through immigration, customs and ticket checks without being challenged.
A TWU Spokesman said the incident showed the federal government needed to take responsibility for the security situation at Sydney Airport.
Workers at the meeting told McClelland "horror" stories of unscreened contractors "wandering aimlessly" in the International Baggage areas.
The employment of Bilal Zhazal, a man with terrorist links, as a Qantas Baggage handler in the lead up to the Olympics was used as an example.
Inadequate screening of domestic and international luggage, and the absence of any screening of airfreight and other cargo was another concern raised.
Sixteen predominantly young students graduated from the third course at Lidcombe, last Friday.
CFMEU organiser and student mentor, Les Tobler, confirmed 13 of them had already been placed in jobs around the city. Tobler maintains contacts with employers and families once graduates enter the workforce.
Tobler said more than half the Aboriginals to graduate, thus far, had gone onto trade apprenticeships.
"The important thing is to get our young kids out of hand-out lifestyles," Tobler says. "Working, and earning decent wages, is an important part of building self-respect.
"The building industry is full of good people and mixing with them can change lives for the better."
The program kicked off last year to coincide with NADOC Week. The second course, shortly after the death of TJ Hickey of TJ Hickey, concentrated on offering places to youngsters from around Redfern and Waterloo.
Labor Council assistant secretary, Mark Lennon, said some operators would use Howard's announcement that they would only be required to report super payments annually, to return to practises that had seen workers dudded of millions of dollars.
The Prime Minister intends scrapping quarterly reporting which was introduced after widespread rorting left workers across the country without super they had earned.
In recent months, Workers Online has reported two cases in which Sydney employers rorted their staff out of hundreds of thousands in accrued super.
Angry workers picketed an Alexandria print shop in March after they learned, one of the principals, Alan David, had been involved in an operation that deprived 70 employees of $1 million in super, salary sacrifices and medical insurance payments.
In April, six former employees of Stratti Ocean and Earthworks, explained how they had lost up to $30,000 worth of super a head, when their boss, Troy Stratti, put his company into voluntary liquidation.
They claimed that Stratti's failure to provide documentation had been a key factor in their loss of retirement savings.
Lennon labelled the Howard announcement an "election sop".
"There was a big announcement about cutting red tape for small business but what has been cut?" Lennon asked. "Principally, the rights of employees to keep track of their retirement incomes.
"Many people find it difficult to keep track of contributions made on their behalves. The fact they will only receive information every 12 months will only make it more difficult.
"While, legally, they still have to pay quarterly, you just watch how many will take this as a green light to go back to annual payments.
"This is discrimination against people employed by small businesses and it won't help our retirement income problems."
ASU secretary, Michael Want, said the move to quarterly reporting had given people greater income security at a time when thousands of employers were declaring bankruptcy every years.
"It just shows she doesn't understand her electorate," says Mike Donaldson of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU). "Figures show that Sydney's west has a higher proportion of professionals and para-professionals than the national average."
"They've got tertiary education coming out of their ears."
"What she doesn't understand is the knowledge industry is where the jobs are."
Kelly created outrage when she rejected the need for funding increases for the local University of Western Sydney.
"The problem at the University of Western Sydney is not that people don't want to go, it's that there's not enough places," says Donaldson.
"We're pretty outraged,' says Tim Chapman, state president of the National Union of Students who lives in Kelly's electorate. "Come election time all the students she's insulted won't forget."
"She's written off the hopes of people here who want to go to university."
Chapman also singled out Brendan Nelson's rejection of a need to combat student poverty as "a good example of the ignorance Liberals have" about tertiary education, and that they believed that "only the rich or elite" should attend university.
Nelson had claimed that "chippies, brickies and truckies" would be envious of students lifestyle.
"What Nelson needs to remember is that your average brickie or truckie probably has a son or daughter at university, and if they don't they wish they did, and they're not at all happy about what this government is doing to tertiary education," says Chapman.
Boycott and Picket the Safari Restaurant
SUPPORT UNPAID SUBCONTRACT BUILDING COMPANIES IN THEIR CAMPAIGN FOR JUSTICE
How can you help?
Picket nightly from 6.15pm - 28 King Street, Newtown.
Business Ethics Forum
- timely opportunity to discuss corporate values and responsibilities
The second Oxfam Community Aid Abroad Business Ethics Forum on Tuesday 13 July 2004 comes at a time when global events have again thrown a spotlight on the social responsibilities of the corporate sector. The forum will bring together representatives from many top Australian companies, government departments, educational institutions and the general public to discuss values and ethics in the workplace.
The forum will take place in Federation Square in the heart of Melbourne's CBD and will feature distinguished keynote speakers:
Justice Neville Owen (Royal Commissioner, HIH Inquiry)
Christine Charles (Corporate Executive, Newmont Australia)
Sharan Burrow (ACTU President)
Corporate governance matters such as boardroom responsibility and shareholder interest, the environmental impact of business and best corporate practice are some of the issues that will be the subject of conversations at the forum.
Andrew Hewett, Executive Director of Oxfam Community Aid Abroad, says a constructive business ethics debate in Australia is vital in this era of corporate globalisation. "Corporations today wield an unprecedented level of influence and power over human development. Current patterns of globalisation are creating opportunities for those with skills, education and assets. People who have these opportunities can make a positive contribution so that the three billion people surviving on less than $2 per day and the one in seven children who have no school to go to are not left behind."
DATE: Tuesday 13 July 2004, 6.30pm to 8.00pm
VENUE: BMW Edge Theatre, Federation Square,
Corner Flinders & Swanston Streets, Melbourne
COST: $75 per head
Drinks and canapés on arrival
For more information visit: www.oxfam.org.au/businessethics
COALITION FOR TRUTH - The impact of the Bush-Howard-Blair invasion of Iraq
A post June 30 assessment
SUNDAY JULY 18, 2-4pm
Guthrie Theatre, University of Technology, Sydney
702 Harris St, Ultimo (near Railway Square, Central Station)
Speakers include :-
Alison Broinowski, former diplomat and author
John Valder AO, former Federal Liberal Party President
Tanya Plibersek, MHR, Labor member for Sydney
Senator Andrew Bartlett, Leader, Australian Democrats
Senator Kerry Nettle, Australian Greens
MC Quentin Dempster
Organised by the Sydney Peace and Justice Coalition,
Labor's Policy on the Republic
Shadow Attorney General Nicola Roxon MP
Date: Tuesday 20 July 2004
Time: 6:00pm drinks for 6:30 start
Venue: Glover Cottages
Address: 124 Kent Street Sydney
Admission: $15 members / $20 non-members
Republican Trivia Night
with guest MC‚s Chris Taylor & Craig Reucassel
Date: Thursday 22 July 2004
Time: 6:30 for 7.00pm
Venue: Gaelic Club (upstairs)
Address: 64 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills (5 mins walk from Central
Admission: $20 (includes light supper ~ drinks at bar prices)
The Day Before Tomorrow
The Real Threat of Climate Change and What Australia should do about it
62 Enmore Road, Newtown (old Newtown RSL)
Date: Wednesday, 28 July 2004
Time: 7pm to 9pm
world-renowned climate scientist Dr Graeme Pearman
Chief, CSIRO Atmospheric Research (1992-2002)
Anna Reynolds , Climate Change Campaign Director
Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF)
Kelvin Thomson MP
Federal Shadow Minister for Sustainability, the Environment
For more information: Shane McArdle (02) 9564 3588 or Paula O'Sullivan
(02) 9357 6366
A Night of Comedy, featuring Mick Meredith and Thomas Bromhead
Thursday 29 July
Further details here
Strategic Thinking And Planning
An East coast opportunity to work on your campaign or organisation's strategic thinking and planning.
Would you like to be an activist who knows where their campaign is going? Do your current strategies and tactics match the broader social and political context? Would you like to be the kind of community worker who is clear about the aims of their project so that you can clearly evaluate what you are trying to achieve? Many environmental and social justice advocates are flying by the seat of their pants and looking for effective strategies to address the challenges we face. Sometimes we can get stuck in reactive modes, or feel overwhelmed by the challenges of the moment.
The good news is that there are skills and tools for helping us become more pro-active, and creative as an organisation. We can become smarter at strategy!
So would you like to build the skills base in your organisation? How to develop a plan? Strategic analysis? Are you merely being more reactive about your work? This workshop provides you with an opportunity to not only reflect, but to learn new skills in strategic thinking and planning to add to your activist tool kit.
Four seasoned trainers will be facilitating two days of active and experiential learning on strategic campaign analysis and planning.
Develop skills in understanding how organisations create smart strategies for change;
Learn new tools for campaign planning;
Increase your skills for accessing creativity and understanding your gifts for strategic thinking;
And apply these skills and tools to your organisation!
Brisbane :: Thursday 29th & Friday 30th July :: Brisbane Powerhouse
Sydney :: Monday 2nd & Tuesday 3rd August :: Quakers Meeting House
Melbourne :: Thursday 5th & Friday 6th August :: The Green Building
How much: $220-550 > sliding scale [includes GST unfortunately]
Contact Amy for more details: [email protected]
The ACTU will be co-sponsoring a conference on casual and insecure employment in Melbourne on August 2, 2004.
This timely national conference will examine the impact of casual and insecure work on Australian workers, business and the economy.
Casual employment as a proportion of the total workforce has grown from 13% in 1982 to 28% in 2003. It is widespread in many new industries and occupations and is increasingly long-term. Most jobs created in the 1990s were part-time and casual.
This conference will look at:
* the personal experience of casual workers
* international comparisons with Australian casual employment
* the economic impact of casual employment
* policy challenges for legislators, business and unions
This conference brings together some of Australia's leading thinkers and commentators and policy makers from business, unions, academia, politics, and the media to further this important debate.
Union places at the conference will cost $150 per head. To reserve your place download and complete the registration form below and fax it to RMIT University/CASR on 02 9365 6067. Or email your details to [email protected] Or post the registration form with payment to: Work Interrupted, PO Box 7267, Bondi Beach NSW 2026.
hoWARd the arseLIcKEr
-Written by D.B.Valentine - Directed by Mark Cleary
-The Edge Theatre - Cnr King & Bray Sts Newtown
-Advance previews Wed 4th & Thurs 5th August.
-Opening Friday 6th Aug to Sunday 29th Aug.
-Time: 7.30pm (tbc)
-Bookings 9645 1611 or www.mca-tix.com
-More info go to: www.newtowntheatre.com.au click on "The Edge"
The Republican Movement and Reconciliation
ARM Sydney Speakers Series #2: author and academic Mark McKenna - Tuesday 10 August 2004
Further details at
Republican Film Night - Tuesday 31 August 2004
Further details at
Re: Was there ever any lyrics to Wedding Cake Island?
There were lyrics to Wedding Cake Island. I remember a radio interview with Peter Garrett years ago hearing him explain that Midnight Oil lost the lyrics in the back of a cab one night and that they couldn't remember them so they just recorded the song without them.
If only the cabbie new what he was throwing out at the end of the shift.
I'm a young man, 24, from St Clair in Sydney. I couldn't literally believe my eyes when a short article had been printed in our local Penrith City newspaper, where our Federal liberal member for Lindsay was quoted as saying to the SMH, "this university pays to print articles against me. I'm sorry, but if you play my game my way, i'll cut you down at the knees". And she also mentioned that no persons in her electorate aspire to go to university.
Now i am waking up. I used to vote state labor & federal liberal in the past. Mainly the Libs fed as Howard kept interest rates low, and Kim Beazley really never proved he had the 'ticker" to be a good PM. I used to see voting as a dag. Now it is time to vote. It is time to vote to keep the bad party out. To keep the Liberals out. To keep the ones that betray working Australia out. We need to give our support to Latham.
We need to attempt to influence the media as much as we can to show why John Howard must be voted out. Currently the smear campaign had plugged Latham out and sadly many Australians will vote against him on this. Unless....
Unless we spread the word and attempt to influence media as much as we can.
To say the truth -that there is a smear campaign. To give reasons why Howard should not be there. This is a government that uses dirty tricks to cover-up things in it's damage-control. This is a government that 'counsels' AFP experts like Mick Keelty for revealing the reality. This government has got to go. They only ever belong in 1 place - the Opposition. CentreLink now treats families as criminals when you apply for a payment. If you have been overpaid because of their mistake, you have to pay it back and you suffer.
The Sunday Program aired 4/7/04 should be congratulated on the Hatchet job done on Mark Latham, there must be an election in the air?.The good Dr Goebbals of the old German Liberal Party would be indeed proud,never in his wildest nuttyness dreams could he have pulled this one off.
One can only hope that the Sunday programme in keeping with fairness do an expose on some member of the Liberal Party.
Take John Howard for instance.They could really dig up the dirt on this wanker. I am sure the Australian Public would love to know for instance. Does John take 1 lump of sugar in his morning coffee or 2 does he like a little salt on his cucumber sandwhiches? Does he make love with the lights on, (looking at his mrs that would be a NO)does he have a little chuckle when he hears a joke told by the Queen of England?does he use a little poppy oil in those lovingly manicured eye brows?the questions are limitless. But unfortunately not even the Sunday Programme could not dig up any dirt on this boring bastard.
Good to see that the housing issue is on the agenda.
And John Sutton's arguments are good.
I was at the Housing Affordability summit and can recommend you advise people to access the other papers on their web.
Please access the excellent papers on www.housingsummit.org.au/a>
The research presented is startling on the need; there is a crisis 1. For the homeless, over 100,000 homeless every night, a national scandal, with 200 children seeking emergency shelter but none available; 2. Over a million of the working poor in housing poverty; in housing stress because as low income earners, they have to pay well over 30% of income on rent in the private rental market and can't get into public housing; 3. low income earners unable to get home ownership.
The Howard government (with no rep attending, no Housing Minister) is walking away from capital funding to build homes through state housing trusts, so Australia urgently requires: a National Affordability Housing Agreement.The supply of affordable housing is critical.
Increased public investment for affordable housing beginning with an extra
$500 million; a Public Sector Housing renewal Fund and an Affordable Housing Innovations Fund; Reform to the tax system to improve equity and efficiency of their impact on housing affordability; it is amazing how there is more assistance to the upper classes!; a national strategy for land and infrastructure planning.; a National Housing Minister and Housing policy; targeted First Home Buyers grant;...and much more.
The Summit was supportive of the Options paper available.
Chair Professor Julian Disney will be preparing a final summary soon.
As this an election year, the issue of housing affordability has to be on the national agenda. The Howard government has again been most mean in a rich society! The PM is a housing subsidised tenant, and lives in Public Housing!
And the poor can't get a decent home!
We await with interest the details of Mark Latham's policy.
See also: the National Shelter Policy Platform; the Australian Federation of Homelessness Organisations; ACOSS and ACTU policies.
While the pointy heads are patting themselves on the back for ripping down another tariff wall, some are wondering whether a few details may have been lost in translation.
Read the fine print of this deal and you'll find no recognition of core labour standards - that is, no guarantee that goods 'freely traded' should not be produced by slave labour, child labour or by workers denied the right to organise and bargain collectively.
The result? Well in markets where Australian workers are competing with Thai workers, there will be no contest - after all, how can Australian companies match competitors paying their workers just $4.60 per day.
Those advocating Fair Trade are not denying the reality that some nations have lower wage structures; but they do argue that workers in developing nations need basic labour rights if there is to be any benefit derived from free trade and any prospect of a genuine contest.
Indeed, if trade treaties were to force companies in developing countries to provide these core labour standards in order to access overseas' markets, then an argument could be made that free trade does deliver for workers.
But as Thai textile worker, Noi Phongkhwa in Sydney this week to promote Oxfam-CAA's Play Fair at the Olympics campaign, told a public lecture this week, this is just not happening.
Instead, the plight for Thai workers who 'benefit' from global trade include being fed amphetamines in order to work fast enough to meet unreasonable quotas
That Australia's Olympic Committee refuses to meet with Noi is a disgrace; that Australian athletes will be competing in sweatshop gear is a national shame; and that this is the product of free trade makes a joke of our beaming leader shaking hands for the cameras.
Bi-lateral treaties are the ostrich approach to trade, with sweet heart deals the substitute for the harder work of establishing a fair global economy that delivers for all its players.
The irony underlying the Thai trade deal is that even the South-east Asian workers undercutting Australian jobs face the prospect of being priced out of the market within a few years as the Chinese economy enters the global economy, where worker shave even lower base wages and fewer rights.
Indeed, the role of China in the global economy is the great unknown that those striking bilateral trade deals are choosing to ignore, hoping it will go away.
Anyone who thinks that bi-lateral trade agreements will deal with this Mac Truck of an issue is kidding themselves; just like anyone who thinks unilateral military action can deliver global security or that the global environment doesn't need global treaties.
Special deals that focus solely on economics and ignore moral issues as irrelevant are wrought with long-term dangers. The Thai Trade Deal is a very sharp edge of a very thin wedge.