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Issue No. 242 15 October 2004  

Historical Revisions
It was a common refrain on Saturday night as we cried in our beers, hurled vitriol at the TV set and wondered how big the shellacking would be this time around: Howard won on a lie.


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 MUAís 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.


 Donít Worry, Be Organised

 Senate Faces Family Fight

 Cheques Cashed In Seconds

 "Undemocractic" Taskforce Court Out

 Power to People: On Hold

 Eyes Have It Over Lotto

 Bomb in Santaís Sack

 No Picnic in Park

 Smoking Loophole A Bit Rich

 BlueScope Workers Take Stock

 ABC Radio Clash

 Melbourne Goes Global

 No Justice for Joel

 Mercury Falling in Hobart

 Last Gasp for Monitoring

 Kiddie Photos Victory

 Thousands Up for Grabs

 Activists What's On!


True Lies
Labor Council secretary John Robertson argues Itís Time Ė 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.

 Giving Your Soul Away
 Invest in Dignity Part III
 You Need Help
 Medicare Woes
 Whose Party Is It Anyway?
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Letters to the Editor

You Need Help

Yet again I suspect the right of the ALP has lead the party away from any real challenge to the ruling ideology, and left the public no other choice but to return a party they see as doing reasonably well.

The ALP has to understand that they are not losing the war of catchy slogans, or presenting well, or PR statements. You won most of these things in the election campaign, yet you have been trounced yet again.

You are losing the battle of ideology, you have lost the battle for the minds of people in this country, whilst all the while you are exerting most of your energy on trivial PR exercises. "Ease the squeeze" means nothing, it is useless to the person sitting at work debating who to vote for, even if they want to talk about Labor, you are giving them nothing to work with but a slogan that is more annoying than it is catchy or memorable. You need short succinct intelligent ideological statements, easily rememberable and encapsulating a philosophical proposition that differentiates you from your opponent. "Opportunity for all" is reasonable, but again too airy-fairy in itself, at least tack "Australians" on to the end so people can identify personally with it. Ideas should be grounded to things tangible "Keeping interest rates low", that is the sort of thing I am talking about.

Obviously you(i) would need more time to work on a better slogan but something like "Bringing the Australian Community Together" or even something simple like "No More Lies" which shows yourself as having integrity and gives people a simple message to work with around the water cooler and in the ballet box, that doesn't require the deeper intellectual understanding of facts and figures that

"Opportunity for all" does, but has some use beyond a catch phrase unlike

"Ease the Squeeze".

Election campaigns should be used for bringing out spending commitments, not for releasing untested policies that you have no chance of mitigating should they prove unpopular or have negative reactions a week or two before the election. Test your ideas in the marketplace before you commit to the final forms they will take.

As for your positive campaigns, you don't decide on your tactics based on wishful thinking. Yes we would all like to live in a world where people were positive, but the fact is that none of us are all the time, so trying to run a campaign that way is unlikely to succeed. Read the book "Going Negative" about stuides into US politics, it will show you how to be negative in an effective manner, so you can use as little as possible of it and also maintain a positive image to the smaller portions of the public which vote for that sort of thing. Not to have read this book is to court ignorance for a political leader.

OK, noone will probably read this so I will stop, but I will end by saying that you should spend some more time crunching the numbers about what is going on in our society, rather than following opinion polls. Lead debate instead of following it. Things aren't all rosy and wonderful, there are some deeply troubling trends, perhaps instead of Medicare Gold you could have pointed out to the elderley the 50% increase in most violent crime since this government that rambles on about making Australia safer came to power. Ratifying Kyoto would have given you the green vote (which you pretty much had anyway) in itself, you didn't need to waste energy any further during a campaign, increasing the MRET is much less politically sensitive than saving our beautiful trees, yet it would still hit home with


Help the Australian people to understand what is really going on in this country is the only way you will have a chance in the next election. You are too far behind to do it on your own, you need educated people out there in the Australian community helping you.

And lets face it you will have to do this yourself because the Murdoch and

Packer owned media sure isn't going to do it for you.

Cameron Green


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