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Issue No. 238 17 September 2004  

Going Gangbusters?
The Prime Minister has put the economy front and centre in this election campaign, asserting - without a hint of irony – that he is the only one to trust with the national economy


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.


 Mind Games Off The Rails

 Kodak Blurs Jobs Picture

 Whistleblower Stitched Up

 Ranger Incompetence Saves Lives

 Skelton in Telstra Closet

 Capt Cook Discovers Flexibility

 Optus Opts Out

 Hardie Lemon in Orange County

 One Rule for Qantas

 Mum Takes on Bullies

 Costa’s Train Crash

 TV Clash Using Visual Ammunition

 Mormons In Asbestos Blue

 Apprentices Lose Out

 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.

 The Abbott Youth
 Invest In Dignity!
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Tool Shed

Tool School

This week the headmaster of Kings School, Doctor Tim Hawkes, gives us all a lesson in how to be a Tool.


Some misguided fools may think that the fact that Australia is a bigger terrorist target than we ever should have been, or that half the country is in hock and the other half is sold might be pertinent and pressing issues that face the nation.

Not so the man who is moulding our future betters at the Kings School, Headmaster Doctor Tim Hawkes.

According to the good Doctor it would be "a great tragedy for Australian sport" if wealthy private schools had to use teachers to coach their sports teams.

He has gone on the record to say that Australia shouldn't "pander to mediocrity".

Well when it comes to mediocrity you would think that the Good Doctor would be celebrating Kings' intellectually moribund and socially gruesome contribution to the national mediocrity register.

Alumni from this bastion of social uselessness include serial Tool John Anderson, who laughably passes as the Deputy PM when John is off being serviced by the President of the United States or Palau.

It was also the home of Anderson's predecessor, Doug Anthony, who came from where the men are men and the sheep are nervous.

Kings was where old boy Robert Webster, the one time NSW Minister who loved selling addictive carcinogens to teenagers and who also had a fondness for shredders, learnt all his virtuous morality.

Head had a teary this week claiming that big bad Westie Mark Latham had unfairly slandered his inbred charges and their filthy rich social status.

Of course Kings are prepared to offer opportunities to the less fortunate. They offer a number of cleaning positions that provide the lower orders with opportunities for employment as well as offering a scholarship to any working class boy who can pack tight head prop in the First XV.

Probably the most bizarre argument that has joined the hubris surrounding elite education's subtle social benefits this week was the heart rending tale of the poor grazier.

Not only struggling with the drought, many are down to their last five cars and have even given up the yacht in Majorca this summer.

No wonder John Anderson wants to sell the other half of Telstra. People that fall for this intellectual fertiliser might be in for a rude shock if anyone from the bush actually told the truth about the role these 'struggling graziers' play in rural society.

So while Doctor Hawkes clings to his desire to give Edmund Blethington-Smythe the opportunity to celebrate the fact that he was born with an entire silver service shoved in his mouth, he forgets that the rest of us live in the real world.

Many working Australians would consider that they wouldn't mind teachers coaching their kid's sporting teams, or even if their kid's sporting teams had some equipment, or even a sporting team.

Roy Masters and Warren Ryan were schoolteachers that rose up from the decent job of educating ordinary kids to coaching ordinary footballers in the Sydney Rugby League.

Way out west where the rain don't fall tennis is what's on TV instead of Letterman, not something that follows your private Physics tutorial at your schools own private particle accelerator.

It's a symptom of the two Australia's that are part and parcel of John Howard's legacy.

One Australia would be happy with textbooks from this century, while another frets over its ability to continue to provide future directors for Australia's inbred corporate community.

It was also nice to hear that Doctor Hawkins School For Fine Fellows had a Rifle Range, it just appears that the students are at the wrong end of it.

It's a lesson that our Tool Of The Week, Doctor Tim Hawkes, will find out the hard way.

Elite private schools should stick to what thy do best, producing criminals and self obsessed Trotskyites, and let the rest of us get on with running what is, after all, our supposedly egalitarian country.


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!

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Nominate a Tool!

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