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Issue No. 268 17 June 2005  

Courting Public Opinion
This weekend marks a significant step forward in the evolution of union campaigning, with the launch of $8 million in advertising to hit the Howard Government where it hurts – in the lounge rooms of middle Australia.


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


 Insults Hertz

 Andrews Bends Over for Big End

 Boeing, Boeing Gone

 Cobb & Co Punt Parkes

 Corporates Arm Firing Squad

 Quad Gets the Brush

 Practical Joke Costs Police

 Unions Target Soap and Grunt

 US Backs Terrorists

 Royalty Held Hostage in WA

 Bad News Rising On AWAs

 Workers Exercise Choice

 Howard Scores Own Goal

 RailCorp Shocker

 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

 Wandering In The Wilderness
 Once Upon A Time In America
 The Truth Is Out There
 History Repeats
 Cash Cow On Private Tax Farm
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Letters to the Editor

History Repeats

Your readers might be interested in my recently published book :"Jack Lang and the Great Depression" and the lesson it provides when a NSW Labor government takes on a Federal anti-labor government over spending revenue for the good of the NSW people in a measure to which Canberra violently objects. Cover of book attached


Dr Frank Cain



Uni of New South Wales


"The war by the Commonwealth Liberal Party-led government on the NSW Labor government over how the State conducts its finances for the good of its citizens is not a new phenomenon. There was a precursor to it in 1931-2 when the Lang Labor government took on the Lyon's-led United Australia Party government, the forebear to the Liberal Party, to defend its right to pay sustenance to the 30 per cent unemployed in NSW against the Commonwealth's objections. This is described in considerable detail in a new book by Frank Cain "Jack Lang and the Great Depression" published recently by Australian Scholarly Press in Melbourne.

The book discusses how the roots of the Depression are to be found in the unhappy way in which the states surrendered their revenues to the new Commonwealth government when writing the Australian Constitution before 1901 on the understanding that the Feds would pay most of the money back to them. This did not happen and by the time the Great Depression arrived in the 1930s the States were practically broke and the Feds refused to help them financially. Lang diverted the monies, earmarked to repay loans raised through the Loan Council, to fund sustenance for the NSW unemployed. He was getting away with his plan until the NSW Governor, a British aristocratic figure, Sir Philip Game, illegally and unconstitutionally sacked him and appointed the leader of the Liberal Party as Premier pending general elections which Jack Lang's Labor Party lost.

There are echoes there today in the struggle between Bob Carr for NSW and the anti-Labor federal government. While it is unlikely that the federal anti-Laborites will be able to persuade the NSW Governor sack Bob Carr on this occasion, it is likely that they have something illegal up their sleeve to deal with a Labor government to which it has taken a deep dislike."


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