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Issue No. 253 25 February 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

And The Battle Begins
After months of skirmishing and waiting for the first shots to be fired, we finally have a picture of the Howard Government’s agenda to tear down 100 years of industrial relations.

F E A T U R E S

Economics: Super Seduction
Sharks are circling your super. From July 1, banks and financial planners will have access to the nesteggs of an extra four million workers.

Interview: Bono and Me
ACTU Sharan Burrow lifts the lid on the rock star lifestyle of an international union leader.

Unions: The Eight Hour Day and the Holy Spirit
Rowan Cahill bucks conventional wisdom to argue the eight-hour day began in Sydney.

Economics: OEC-Who?
The OECD calls for more reform. But, Asks Neale Towart, who is really doing the calling?

Technology: From Widgets to Digits
How can unions grow and continue to successfully represent workers when their traditional structures are rooted in an industry, craft or fixed location?

Education: Dumb and Dumber
Unions are leading the fight against a political agenda that does away with smart jobs.

Health: No Place for the Young
The support of union members is required to help get young people out of nursing homes, writes Mark Robinson

History: The Work-In That Changed a Nation
February 17 marks 30-years to the day that sacked coal miners at the NSW Northern District Nymboida Colliery began their historic work-in at the mine.

Review: Dare to Win
The history of the militant and often controversial BLF is as surprising as it is fascinating writes Tim Brunero.

Poetry: Labor's Dreaming
With another change at the helm of the Labor Party, our resident bard, David Peetz, can't help but dreamily drawing on some political history.

N E W S

 Signs of the Times

 Fungal Growth Blights AWA’s

 Andrews Apes Big End

 Telstra Charge Reversed

 Good GEERS Hard to Find

 More Pulp Fiction

 For Sale - Goulburn

 Bosses Admit Pay Too Low

 Yachtie Sinks in Bog

 Albrechtsen Merits Questions

 New Eateries On Menu

 Fungal Growth Blights AWA’s

 Markets Cheer Pattern Bargains

 Mine Managers in Denial

 No Interest In Costello

 Activist’s What’s On

C O L U M N S

Politics
Titanic Forces
There are book reviewers who have not read the book they have just reviewed and there are critics who have criticised films they have not yet seen. I want to review a novel that has not yet been written.

The Soapbox
Labour and Labor
Grant Bellchamber looks at the relationship between both sides organised labour

Postcard
Aussie Unions Help Tsunami Victims
The union movement’s aid agency reports back on its relief effort in Asia.

The Locker Room
Game, Set and Yawn
Phil Doyle asks if tennis is evil or just boring

Parliament
The Westie Wing
As a reshuffle of the State Ministry settles in and the Federal Government throws down the gauntlet, 2005 promises to be a new and vital chapter in the struggle for workers and their families, writes Ian West in Macquarie Street.

L E T T E R S
 Boycott Bunnings
 Just One Thing
 No Dosh For Rupert
 Executions Not Fines
 Howard Needs To Know
 Disability Disgrace
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Albrechtsen Merits Questions


Janet Albrechtsen’s appointment to the ABC board has prompted calls for future directors to be selected on "merit"

The appointment of the right wing activist, who has publicly criticised and ridiculed the public broadcaster, is being viewed by some commentators as a Howard Government celebration of "total victory" in the culture wars.

It comes hard on the heels of other ideological fellow travellers, including the notorious David Flint, to once-independent broadcasting bodies.

Albrechtsen, a lawyer-turned columnist, was accused of "plagiarism" and "distortion" by the ABC's Media Watch program after a column in which she argued gang rape should be seen as an ethnic issue.

Rather than answer a series of specific allegations about her sources and interpretations, she sent program makers a threatening letter from another lawyer.

Other Howard Government appointments have included Liberal Party heavyweight Michael Kroger and Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) ideologue, Ron Brunton.

Albrechtsen, an advocate of hacking off the public teat, will, instead, suck on it for the next five years.

CPSU ABC section secretary, Graeme (Grumpy) Thomson, said the board had been stacked with lawyers, accountants and business people.

"Staff, viewers and listeners could be forgiven for wondering why the government doesn't actually appoint someone who actually knows about broadcasting or program-making," Thomson said.

"These positions should be advertised and filled on merit. That way ministers would have to justify their decisions."

The one board member with broadcasting experience, staff-elected director, Ramona Koval, also criticised the appointment. She said Albrechtsen was "hostile" to the very philosophy of public broadcasting.


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