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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´┐Ż 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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Letters to the Editor

All Good Except You

I became profoundly sad when I skimmed your piece in Workers Online summarising the Olympics. We've been around this discussion several times before and I think I recalled you appearing to soften your aggression towards the Sydney Games after you returned and saw how uplifted we all were. It seems you've regressed.

I regret I've only been to two Olympics - Munich and Sydney - because they are two of the most uplifting fortnights of my life. Just to be around positive, fit, young and healthy people, who by the end of it look changed for the better, is a great feeling. It is also where these people first meet and interact with similar types from cultures that we insular Australians usually don't come across. As an internationalist I think that can only be good.

It is the sporting media that fixate on nationalism and channel readers onto the league tables of medals. I can remember when there was far less concentration on this. Of course some parts of the non-sporting media will still grasp at negatives like the women rowers but avoid the shining faces of successful and non-successful competitors. To me, the sight of Hicchem El Gouroug wide-eyed in wonder at his achievement at last, followed by him kissing his own baby and finally in unashamed tears getting his medal was the peak. Why not write about that rather than the ordinary tabloid rubbish?

The Greeks have withstood years of barely concealed racism from journalists about their ability to get the thing on. In Athens today there will be five million positive people surrounded by sublime sporting architecture and the serenity that comes when you know that you and your comrades have achieved something wonderful. Just like we felt four years ago, when until the flame got to Sydney, we were deluged with negativity from the Fairfax press about costs, trains, chaos, corruption, drugs etc. etc. Beijing will be next to cop it for another three and three quarter years.

So endeth the diatribe. I know you saw the light (ever-so-reluctantly) after you witnessed the effect on Sydney so I am ever-hopeful. I trust you will come to believe that us ordinary people do like to hear and read about great things happening and don't really get improved as people by an unrelenting bilge of negative reporting.

Warwick McDonald


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