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Issue No. 236 03 September 2004  

Interest Overboard
A tired, ageing government tries to scare the electorate into re-electing it on the basis of a lie. Sound familiar? Yep, John Howard is going to the polls again.


Interview: True Matilda
Former senior bureaucrat John Menadue coordinated the group of 43 calling for truth in government; and now he has bigger fish to fry.

Politics: State of Play
Are all political parties the same? Workers Online tries to cut through the jargon to compare the major parties' approaches to key policy areas.

Industrial: Capital Dilemmas
Public Private Partnerships amount to privatisation by stealth. Or do they? Jim Marr investigates.

Unions: Rhodes Scholars
Tim Brunero discovers how the Electrical Trades Union is doing its best to ease the national apprentice crisis.

National Focus: Rennovating the Lodge
Noel Hester previews how unions will be fighting the federal election - on the ground and online.

International: People Power
Over the next four years there is a real potential a major struggle will take place for workers’ rights and the creation of truly democratic unions in China., writes Andrew Casey

Economics: A Bit Rich
Who Gets What? Why? And So What?, Frank Stilwell reviews the BRW's Rich List

History: Mine Shafts
It's 25 years since Nymboida passed the baton to United, writes Peter Murray

Safety: Sick Of Fighting
Former RAAF engineers could be sitting on a health time bomb, Tim Brunero reports.

Organising: Building a Wave
Community groups, unions and social movements all practice organising, wrties Tony Brown and Amanda Tattersall.

Poetry: Anger In The Bush(es)
How dare any Liberal suggest that the Prime Minister is a lying rodent! Resident bard David Peetz reports on the outrage that this slur has justifiably caused.

Review: The Battle Of Algiers
Tim Brunero writes The Battle of Algiers is a coldly objective, almost scientific anatomy of revolution.

Culture: The Word On The Street
Phil Doyle reports on how the Australian working class experience lives on through the words of the remarkable Geoff Goodfellow.


 Sprung: Howard Liberal with Truth

 Yanks Demand Racism

 The Greening of Labour

 Mums Move to Ease Squeeze

 Flying Kangaroo Goes to Water

 Health Warning for Bank Robbers

 Heritage Goes to Waste

 Freespirit in Hiding

 Offensive Toilets Threaten Pupils

 Telstra Dials Workplace Acquiescence

 P-Plate Nightmare for Young

 Free Loaders on Notice

 Funny Money Raises Interest

 Privatisation Debate Energised

 Activists What's On!


The Soapbox
Hail to the Metro-Sexual!
If the cultural shift required in the workplace to give greater security to working families was broadly accepted the ACTU would not be locked in an adversarial Work and Family test case argues Sharan Burrow.

The Westie Wing
In his latest missive from Macquarie Street our resident Parliamentary commentator, Ian West, walks us through issues around the PBS.

How Bush Lost His Wings
Tracking the National Guard Career of the Fatuous Flyboy from New Haven, Jeffrey St Clair.

The Locker Room
The Name of the Game
Phil Doyle wonders whether we are barracking for the sponsor or the team.

Women to Women
APHEDA-Union Aid Abroad is working to create opportunities for Palestinian women living in Lebanese refugee camps.

 Gold Gold Gold for Neolibs
 Co-operating At All Costs
 Fan Mail
 All Good Except You
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Tool Shed

A Lying Rodent

Senator George Brandis takes up a seat in the Tool Shed after managing to become the first politician in history to lie about telling the truth.


Rodents across the nation were offended this week when they were compared with the most dangerous and incompetent Prime Minister in living memory by Liberal attack Poodle George Brandis.

George denied that it had ever happened of course.

Yes, it was unthinkable that anyone could ever consider that the Prime Miniature was capable of living up to the lofty values of a rodent.

Brandis has form for opening the mouth before the brain is engaged.

This skulking lawyer of a man has ensured that he's Hadleyed whichever way he turns.

His stature as the defender of the Governments race baiting strategies have been diminished somewhat from his stating of the bleeding obvious.

Brandis, a well known Costello booster, first let his feelings about Little Johnny become known during a trip to Cuba, where a few rums loosened his tongue and he spoke volubly of the Dear Leader's obvious shortcomings to Labor pollies sharing his junket.

Brandis kept a straight face as he denied the allegations, contained in a statutory declaration by colourful Queensland Liberal identity Russel Galt.

Brandis countered with the masterstroke of producing his own statutory declaration.

Unfortunately this battle of the stat decs couldn't overwhelm the sniggering that was going on behind Brandis's back.

Ironically it has been the lawyer's lawyer Brandis who has been trying to defend the indefensible in the Senate's Truth Overboard Inquiry, and thereby extract Howard from the excrement he now finds himself in.

All that our Tool Of The Week managed was to get pulled into the mire himself.

Nonetheless Brandis continued on with gritted teeth trying to discredit Mike Scrafton - an effort that had all the gravitas of a deflating pool pony.

Why Brandis just didn't say "yes! I admit it! It's what everyone is thinking!" isn't immediately obvious. Why he decided to show loyalty to a bloke who has been quite happy to leave him hanging out to dry is curious to say the least.

Especially when the man he is trying defend makes used car salesmen look positively virtuous.

Of course all the "I have full faith in Senator Brandis" claptrap was trotted out, which is right up there with "the coach has the full support of the board" in terms of credibility.

One can only assume that Brandis was taking the PM seriously when the lying rodent said that he wanted to campaign on trust.

That statement left Australians rolling around in peals of laughter that could be heard all the way to the ballot box.

Thanks to our Tool Of The Week we now have a Liberal we can trust - George Brandis, who speaks the truth when he says that the Prime Minister is a lying rodent.


The most inspiring interpretation of this week's tool get's a souvenir edition of Ship of Tools. Deface the Tool of the Week, click the button above to post your artwork, fill out the form and send your entry in and we'll post the winners next week in the Tool of the Week Gallery.


Ship of Tools - All the tools in one shed!

View our Gallery of Tools

Nominate a Tool!

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