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Issue No. 248 26 November 2004  

Australian Idols
It was a week for the little people as Casey won Australian Idol and Rebecca beat the railways. In entertainment and politics it was a young woman from the burbs who ran rings around the pros.


Interview: The Reich Stuff
Robert Reich has led the debate on the future of work � both as an academic and politician. Now he�s on his way to Australia to help NSW unions push the envelope.

Economics: Crime and Punishment
Mark Findlay argues that the present psychological approach to prison programs is increasing the likelihood of re-offending and the threat to community safety.

Environment: Beyond The Wedge
Whether the great forestry divide can ever be overcome or whether it is best sidestepped for the sake of unity and sustainability in other areas is up for debate, writes Tara de Boehmler.

International: The End Of The Lucky Country
Linda Weiss, Elizabeth Thurbon and John Mathews show us How To Kill A Country

Safety: Tests Fail Tests
Nick Lewocki from the RTBU lifts the lid on the shonky science behind RailCorp testing

Politics: Labo(u)r Day
John Robertson lets fly at this years Labor Day dinner

Human Rights: Arabian Lights
Tim Brunero reports on how a Sydney sparky took on the Taliban and lived to tell the tale.

History: Labour's Titan
Percy Brookfield was a big man who was at the heart of the trade union struggles that made Broken Hill a quintessential union town writes Neale Towart.

Review: Foxy Fiasco
To find out who is outfoxing who, read Tara de Boehmler's biased review of a subjective documentary about corrupt journalism.

Poetry: Then I Saw The Light
Brothers and sisters! Praise the Lord! Brother George has saved the White House from an invasion by infidels, writes resident bard David Peetz.


 Helicar Fingers Victims ... Again

 Rabbits Sick of Clover

 What a Banker

 Pack Up and Go Home

 Pratt By Name

 Horror at the Hacienda

 Women Wiped for Bush Jobs

 Veteran Fights Bullet

 Tunneler Survives Death Trap

 Bathurst Three Face Court

 Chullora Cuts Struck Out

 Bully Breaks Heart

 Southern Cross Flies High

 Activists What's On!


The Locker Room
In Naming Rights Only
Phil Doyle has Gone to Gowings

The Soapbox
Homeland Insecurity
Rowan Cahill tells us how the Howard Government�s appointment of Major-General Duncan Lewis to head up the national security division of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has received little critical comment, until now.

The Westie Wing
New proposed legislation in NSW provides a vital window of opportunity for unions to ensure they achieve convictions for workplace deaths, writes Ian West.

 Regarding Pee Poles
 Pee Pole Shame
 Latham Is A Scapegoat
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Letters to the Editor

Latham Is A Scapegoat

From the start of the federal election campaign, and especially after the televised debate between Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition Leader Mark Latham, the media consistently reported that Mark had well and truly won the campaign, but that Howard remained by far the preferred leader, according to opinion polls.

Labor suffered a disastrous defeat, the extent of which was probably a surprise to everyone.

So the post mortem started, and immediately Latham was made the scapegoat by his colleagues.

He had supposedly well and truly stuffed up his election campaign in just about every way possible.

How could this be so, when he had received so much adulation and support during the campaign?

Well I surmise that the only way Mark's Labor colleagues could rationalise their bitter disappointment at the outcome of the election, was to pass the buck onto Mark.

Of course it couldn't be the fault of his advisers and associates , how could they be responsible for such an undesirable outcome?

Most sickening to me are the comments by Michael Costello, formerly Beazley's chief of staff:

"Labor was comprehensively done, especially in strategic terms. Its Medicare Gold was a strategic disaster, as last week was the campaign from hell. There was hardly a mistake they didn't make."

"The prime responsibility for this lies with Mark and those that put him there."

What extraordinary hypocrisy from the person who had advised Kim Beazley.

Apart from 9/11 and Tampa, the failure of Labor at the 2001 election was ENTIRELY the fault of Kim Beazley, whose campaign was nothing short of woeful and \ pathetic.

But then I guess it is the nature of the animal that back-stabbing and buck passing is part and parcel of Labor Party tradition.

Factional in-fighting takes priority over the more important issue of actually winning government.

And then of course there is the nonsense about Labor losing the election because of the frequently repeated lie by John Howard that interest rates would rise under a Labor Government.

Despite the fact that this was contradicted by economists BEFORE the election, Labor said nothing.

It was not Howard's lie that cost Labor the election, but Labor's total failure to repudiate this lie.

But I say: "Well done, Mark. A magnificent job."

Marvellous lateral thinking policies that were consistently aimed at making Australian society more fair.

And of course, unlike some other gutless people, you didn't hesitate to call a spade a spade.

Of course Howard�s subservient relationship with George Bush was arse-licking, and of course GWB is an extremely dangerous man."

Julian Hancock


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