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Issue No. 240 01 October 2004  

The Premiership Quarter
After spending the past month with a decidedly sinking feeling, there’s a whiff of hope and expectation that the Howard era could actually be coming to an end.


Interview: The Last Bastian
AMWU state secretary Paul Bastian has been at the centre of the three year battle to bring James Hardie to account.

Unions: High and Dry
Jim Marr unpacks the recent High Court Electrolux decision to test whether the ruling matches the media hype.

Security: Liquid Borders
The Howard Government loves to trumpet its national security credentials but a close look at its record in shipping sinks the myth argues MUA’s Zoe Reynolds.

Industrial: No Bully For You
Phil Doyle reports on how bringing dignity and respect to the workplace is undermining bullies.

History: Radical Brisbane
Radical Brisbane extends the 'Radical City' series into the Red North. Two experienced activists, academics and writers turn South East Queensland history on its head.

International: No Vacancies
More than 1400 hotel union workers, members of UNITE HERE Local 2, are on strike at four major hotels in San Francisco, California, writes Andrew Casey.

Economics: Life After Capitalism
A situation that all anarchists dream of? Michael Albert has been more than dreaming., writes Neale Towart

Technology: Cyber Winners
Labourstart's Eric Lee looks at a good news story of global online campaigning that has delivered a victory.

Poetry: Do It Yourself Poetry
Teaser: Wondering why the polls are all over the place? Ask our resident bard and psephologist.

Review: Hard Labo(u)r
The Voice of Southern Labor highlights the role music played in the 1930's US textile strikes, but more than that it provides a lucid insight into the roots of modern capitalism and some truly organic organising, writes Tara de Boehmler.


 Kev Cooks the Books

 Black Hole In Libs Kids Plan

 Xerox Copies Waterfront Tactics

 Hardies Asbestos Woes "Snowballs"

 Air Fleet Grounded By Job Cuts

 Musos Lung For Better

 Customs Officers Declare

 Dumbing Down The Trades

 Pacific National Sidetracks Hunter Jobs

 Witch Hunt For Whistleblower

 Black Diamond Deaths Spark Mining Inquiry

 Pensioners Strip Over Pension Strip

 Activists What's On!


True Lies
Labor Council secretary John Robertson argues It’s Time – for an IR reality check.

The Westie Wing
Much work has been done in the past to ease the plight of clothing outworkers in New South Wales. It's time to step up the pressure, as sweatshops and clothing contract work are thriving stronger than ever, writes Ian West.

The Soapbox
Who Started the Class War?
Evan Jones looks across the Australian political landscape and asks who are the real class warriors?

The Locker Room
First Past The Post
Phil Doyle is coming up in class and is all the better for recent racing

Westie Wing
Our favourite state MP returns for his monthly Macquarie Street wrap.

Positive Action
Australian unionists are helping give hope to Filipino workers living with HIV/AIDS.

 Donkey Vote
 Problem Solved
 How To Run Society
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Tool Shed

The Abbott and the Archbishop

The man with Prince Charles’ ears and Hannibal Lecter’s brain is at it again.


"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive."

- William Shakespeare.

Tony Abbott is degenerating into a sad parody of himself as we draw closer to the day when this chinless wonder pushes his salivating self forward as the great white hope of the Liberal party.

In a discussion on Lateline this week the man who makes Attilla the Hun look like the Dalai Llama discussed child pornography and his relationship with Archbishop George Pell.

By the end of it the Minister for Private Health Insurance looked like one very stunned Mullet.

In a moment of refreshing self-reflection the Member for Warringah admitted that there "was a dark side" and then went on to praise the incompetence of Attorney-General Phil "Monty Burns" Ruddock.

On the question of his portfolio our Tool Of The Week graciously accepted that it wasn't necessarily Liberal party policy that the old should be left to die, but it would be in keeping with his general philosophy of life.

After all, Australian workers know that Abbott's view of industrial relations is not that far removed from bear baiting.

He described the popular ALP health policy as "cute" but "undeliverable". No doubt anything that's based on human decency and fairness is undeliverable under any government that would have Abbott as a member.

The man with all the charm of the Ebola Virus flailed away trying to claim that he had no truck with a health system that actually made people healthy. After all, as Abbott will tell you, a health system is there to make insurers rich, goddamit!

The self-described "imperfect catholic" showed perfect timing in visiting Archbishop George Pell prior to that great bastion of Australian hypocrisy coming out and warning that a vote for Latham was a vote for anarchy and destruction the like of which had not been seen since the Council of Nicea.

Not that Abbott could recall meeting George Pell at first until, with Tony Jones' prompting, it became a case of "oh, thaaaaaat archbishop"!

As Tony Jones pointed out, Abbott has form in this area. Someone, who may or may not have been Tony Abbott, defaced his office prior to his campaign launch achieving some rather over-rated publicity.

This moral zygote would have us believe that he and the archbishop had some innocent "counselling' session. No doubt they did, but it does appear that Abbott was the one doing the counselling.

In the end our Tool Of The Week came out of it looking about as straight as a coathanger.

Abbott the Rabbit looked very much like the bunny caught the headlights of the Australian people.

Abbott rates himself as a chance to overtake Costello in the race to fill the very small shoes of Dear leader Howard. If his Lateline effort is anything to go by our Tool Of The Week will certainly carry on one great Howard tradition.


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.


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