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Issue No. 244 29 October 2004  

Raking Over The Tea Leaves
Prepare yourselves; you are about to enter the Twilight Zone, a strange world where logic collapses in on itself, where enemies are new friends and assets become liabilities.


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.


 Cameron Flags Fightback

 Latham on Union Mat

 Union Shelters WA Roofers

 Bosses Trip on Electrolux

 Drivers Derail Game Boy

 Asses Get Carrot

 Families Pay More For Homes

 Commonwealth Banks on Sackings

 Back Gong Back in Gong

 "Joke" Fine Death Boss

 Division Over Hardie Laws

 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.

 Honesty Is the best Policy
 Nothing To Stand On
 Itís The End Of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
 Dear Mark letter
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Tool Shed

Hail To The Tool

The most dangerous and incompetent US President in living history goes to the Polls, and the Tool Shed.


The madness of King George the III was legendary, but even that pales into comparison when we revisit the history of a man who is yet to be elected to the position he has held for the last four-years.

The fact that George Bush is even a candidate is bizarre enough, but the prospect that he may win is truly terrifying.

The man who has brought to life Orwell's vision that War Is Peace, Ignorance is Strength and Freedom is Slavery - minus the irony - comes up for a performance review this week.

Because of the peculiarities of the US version of democracy, which is rule by minority, this idiot savant of the New World Order actually has a chance of continuing to lead the West further down the path to oblivion.

He may look like a monkey, but George W Bush isn't going to admit he is one, or even that he has ever made mistakes.

As we have learnt in Australia, being conservative means never having to say you're sorry.

As the rather erudite Doonesbury comic strip points out, the only mistake he has been prepared to admit is in appointing a few aides who made the mistake of pointing out his mistakes.

Still, our Tool Of The Week has generated an astonishing amount of satire - mainly because he opens us up to whole new realm of the possibilities available to the Empo... , umm, sorry, President of the United States.

Time was when a cigar could make headlines, but George W has left that line far behind. Now with George W anything is possible. Who knows if an invasion of Canada may or may not happen?

Certainly with George the Lesser at the helm it cannot be ruled out.

This is the man who would have us believe that things on the ground in Iraq are "better than they appear", which must be an astonishing revelation to those who are on the ground, and even more astonishing to those who are now under it.

With Election Day set down for Melbourne Cup day our Tool Of The Week is leaving nothing to chance.

Over a thousand lawyers will be on standby on election day across the world's strangest democracy to make sure that these sort of freedoms don't get out of hand and end up enfranchising the poor, the destitute or any tired huddled masses yearning for freedom that might want to exercise the vote.

Bush has hired these lawyers to challenge people's right to vote, while running a war on the other side of the world so that people allegedly can vote.

It's the sort of subtle logic that has made America so beloved around the globe.

Bush has spent over $80 million dollars on one state alone, which is also astonishing given that Metro Goldwyn Meyer only spent $8 million on the entire production of Oklahoma.

What will really be an inspiration to hard-bitten working people across the globe is the $1,036,000,000.00 being spent on this election campaign.

While it's been said that freedom comes at a high price, our Tool Of the Week shows us that autocracy comes at an even higher one.


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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Your Country: Your State:
The Tool you wish to nominate:
Type why you think this person should be Tool of the Week here:


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