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Issue No. 267 10 June 2005  

Rivers of Gold
The latest catchphrase from the econmentariat seems to be ‘infrastructure’ – which I think refers to what we used to know as ‘public works’.


Interview: The Baby Drought
Social ethicist Leslie Cannold has delved into why women - and men - are having fewer children. And it all comes back to the workplace.

Industrial: Lies, AWAs and Statistics
David Peetz uncovers the truth behind the latest statistics on earnings under Australian Workplace Agreements.

Workplace: The Invisible Parents
Current government policies about work and family do not reflect the realities of either family life or the modern workplace. writes Don Edgar.

History: Bruce’s Big Blunder
The Big Fella, Jack Lang, gives an eyewitness account of the last time Conservatives tried to dismantle Australia’s industrial relations system.

Politics: All God's Children
The battle for morality is not confined to Australian polittics. Michael Walzer writes on the American perspective

Economics: Spun Out
The business groups are feeling cocky. The feds have announced their IR changes, business says they don't go far enough. What a surprise, writes Neale Towart

International: Shakey Trials
Lyndy McIntyre argues the New Zealnd IR experiment provides warnings - and hope - for the Australian union movement.

Legal: Civil Distrubance
Tom Roberts argues that there is more at stake than an attack on building workers in the looming legsilation.

Review: Crash Course In Racism
Paul Haggis flick Crash suggests that when cars collide the extent of people's prejudices are revealed sans the usual veil of political correctness, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: You're Fired
New laws will leave bosses holding the whip and workers with a Raw Hide, writes resident bard David Peetz


 Feds Wrong on Minimum Wage

 Dogs in Sheep’s Clothing

 Andrews Faces Probe

 NSW Packs IR Scrum

 China Syndrome

 Pirates Of The Canberrean

 Foxtel Scores Own Goal

 Killer Bosses on Notice

 Apprentices Spitting Chips

 Howard Chokes Working Women

 Vice Regal Notes

 Survey – Do it Now or Else

 Greens Join Fight

 Workers win repreive

 Activists Whats On!


The Locker Room
Ashes to Dust
In which Phil Doyle travels to distant lands in search of a meat pie, and prepares for the joys of sleep deprivation

The Westie Wing
Ian West lists the Top Ten reasons why workers in NSW can gain some solace from having the Labor Party sitting on the Treasury benches…

The Soapbox
Dear John
In response to this year’s Federal Budget, Bishop Kevin Manning wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister, Mr John Howard

 Secure Advice
 All The Way With The USA
 Expensive Door Charge
 Teen Years in Detention
 Court Cases are Media’s Drug
 Lang Is Right
 Legalising Unfairness
 Hertz Meenz Hurtz
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Letters to the Editor

Court Cases are Media’s Drug

Who is Schapelle Corby? What's that you say? You don't know? How could you possibly not know? Every Australian knows who she is. And why is that? Because the media, always eager to pander to the appetites of the masses who demand sensationalism, gossip and gore, have saturated the airwaves, the TV and the printed media hour by hour, day by day, week by week for the past several months.

The media may yet outdo its gargantuan achievement in the trial of Lindy Chamberlain. Thanks partly to the media, catering to the unbridled lust of so many Australians who wanted Lindy to be proven guilty, this poor woman spent three years in jail, giving birth to a child whilst incarcerated, and had her life almost destroyed, along with her marriage and the vocation of her husband Michael.

After three years in prison, unexpected new evidence proved beyond doubt that she was innocent and all convictions against herself and Michael were quashed. Two years later when she received $1.3 million in compensation from the Northern Territory Government for wrongful imprisonment.

Now that Schapelle Corby has been sentenced to 20 years in prison, there will be appeals and appeals to fill the media and the empty minds of the masses for possibly years to come.

Did Karl Marx say religion is the opiate of the people? Perhaps so. But nothing seems to be as powerful an opiate as an extended court case - massively over-reported by the media - of some quite insignificant individual who has fallen foul of the law.

But there is a difference this time. So many people, especially women, wanted Lindy Chamberlain to be found guilty. Now those people who lust for gossip and gore want Ms Corby to be found innocent. But it matters not. The fate of one individual will no doubt continue to be reported ad nauseum.

Julian Hancock


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