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Issue No. 232 06 August 2004  

Tarnished Rings
As our athletes approach the starting line in Athens, it is interesting to reflect on how the world has changed since Sydney was the centre of a global group hug just four years ago.


Interview: Trading Places
New ACTU International Officer Alison Tate cut her teeth delivering aid to developing nations through APHEDA. Now she is helping chart the global union agenda.

Safety: Snow Job
James Hardie has been drilled into our collective consciousness as a story of power, greed and immorality. It is also, as Jim Marr reports, a tale of human tragedy.

Politics: In the Vanguard
Damien Cahill reveals how neo-liberal think tanks have been at the forefront of the corporate assault upon trade unions and social movements in Australia.

Unions: Gentle Giant Goes For Gold
Don�t get between Sydney sparkie Semir Pepic and a gold medal in a dimly lit alley, writes Tim Brunero.

Bad Boss: 'Porker' Chases Blue Ribbon
Perfect Porker, Darren Vincent, brings a history of meat worker shafting to this month�s Bad Boss nomination.

International: Cruising For A Bruising
Europe�s big unions are bruised as they watch companies roll over some of their best-organised unionised workplaces demanding longer work hours � without any recompense, reports Andrew Casey.

History: Under the Influence
Was John Kerr drunk when he wrote and signed the letter dismissing Edward Gough Whitlam from the Prime Ministership in 1975? Geraldine Willissee investigates.

Economics: Working Capital
Where superannuation fits, where it fails and what we should we do about it. Neale Towart gives the tough answers.

Review: Fahrenheit 9/11
There's many a must see moment in Mike Moore's new flick but beating the propaganda machine at its own game wreaks havoc with wearied bullshit detectors, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: Bad Intelligence Rap
When Flood washed away the PM's sins, the truth was once again left high and dry.

Satire: Osama Bin Manchu
During a recent visit to an elderly relative in a nursing home, I was waylaid by an ancient gentleman who insisted I listen to what he had to say, writes Rowan Cahill.


 Stink Rises from Hamberger

 ALP Embraces Collectivism

 Bully Drives Deckhand into Drink

 Fighter in Cancer Link

 Tunnellers Dig in for Safety

 Seconds Out in Newcastle

 Vale Josh Heuchan

 "Betrayal" Sparks Election Rethink

 Councils Wedge James Hardie

 Great Southern Death Rattler

 Libs Desert "War Criminal"

 Casuals Take Over

 ALP Star Hits The Waterfront

 Activists What�s On!


The Westie Wing
The Labor Governments in each State must take the lead to stop the abuse of corporate law in Australia in the absence of action from the Federal Government, as the Inquiry into James Hardie�s has highlighted, writes Ian West.

The Soapbox
Cleaners Deserve Our Support
It's time the state's cleaners were given some support, loyalty and long service leave, writes Chris Christodoulou.

The Locker Room
Half Time At The Football
Phil Doyle wants to have his pie and eat it too.

Faithful Servant
Frank Mossfield was one of the labour movement�s quiet achievers. Former Labor Council secretary Michael Easson pays tribute.

Lessons From East Timor
Just back from a study tour to East Timor, National Reserach Officer with the Construction division of the CFMEU, Ben Stirling, writes about the experience for Workers Online.

 An Officer And A Teacher
 Tom Goes Asexual
 Road Rage At Work
 Democracy In Action
 Asbestos Bastadry
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Vale Josh Heuchan

By Marcus Strom

Josh Heuchan died tragically on July 30 in a skiing accident while holidaying in New Zealand. He was only 33. Josh was a special human being, a dear friend and comrade: he was committed to the ideals of trade unionism, of communism and human freedom.

This is an obituary that should not be written. Josh died too young with too much to offer the world. His warmth and humanity will be missed by all who knew him. He was a thoroughly ethical person in all his dealings, personal and political.

Josh grew up on the central coast of New South Wales before attending the privileged halls of Barker College in Sydney. He was dux of his class. His experience at Barker bred in him a loathing of such privilege and fostered his need to connect with working class life. At university, he became active in campus politics, joining Left Alliance. He worked in a number of jobs: graphic designer for the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers union in Sydney, executive officer for the National Tertiary Education Union at Sydney University, a geography teacher and intrepid world traveller, among others. He finally worked for the NSW Commission for Children and Young People. He was active supporting youth rights against the police. He was a member of the Progressive Public Service Association, the left faction of the PSA union in NSW.

A sometimes member of the Socialist Alliance in Australia, Josh tired easily of the far left's myopia. The continual 'happy clappy' attitude of the left's revivalism and its dead-end sect perspectives irked him. While committed to the idea of refounding a genuine Communist Party in Australia, he latterly spent much of his formidable energy in his personal relationships and on his outstanding sporting abilities. The love of a wonderful woman, Gwen, saw him happier and more relaxed than at any time I knew him.

He was fiercely competitive without ever being obnoxious in victory. A keen sportsman and a bit of an adrenaline junky, Josh had been a skier since childhood. A skilled soccer player and a polymath of sport, he took up surfing, wrestling and kick-boxing to pass his time. Man, was he fit.

I first met Josh while teaching at Macquarie University in Sydney. He was a student of mine. Through our activity in campus politics we became friends. As he moved away from his earlier anarchist and 'green' leanings, we became firm comrades. He was without doubt one of the finest human beings I have ever met.

Josh took his life seriously and was committed to his friends and family without a trace of cynicism. My comrade saw the perverse and absurd side of life and was happy to laugh along with it over a nice rare steak and a beer. He was bloody good company and a top cook.

Words fail me. I will grieve Josh's passing for a long time to come and will look for him and his humanity in our friends and comrades for years to come. His body is trapped permanently in a glacier beneath the mountain that took him. It is fitting that a mountain stands as a monument to Josh. His was a huge personality and his love was boundless.

My dear friend and comrade, you are desperately missed. My thoughts are with Gwen his partner, Carol, Bill and Angela. A red salute to you Josh, you are not forgotten.


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