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Issue No. 269 24 June 2005  

Truth In Advertising
In the past seven days we have witnessed the unprecedented spectacle of a Howard Minister attempting to campaign on ‘Truth’. That it has come back to bite him on the bum is the clearest proof yet of some eternal notion of justice.


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


 Choice Bro, Andrews Unmasked

 Rev Kev’s Big Stick

 Grass Roots Flourish

 Academics Give an F

 Feds Invoke Feared Beard

 Mum Gives Johnny the Slip

 Hadgkiss in Family Friendly Assault

 Slick Operator Goes Down

 Tassie in Grip of Chip Strip

 Elderly Boss Gets Cranky

 Army Used To Privatise Phones

 Dangerous Vic bosses face slammer

 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

 Good outlook at Hertz
 Foxtel’s folly
 Stuck for words
 More care, less scare
 Do or die time
 China throws in Mao’s towel
 Don’t strike out strikes
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Letters to the Editor

China throws in Mao’s towel

Your story on how Australian Topmaking Services plans to move their factory to China & sack 108 workers in Parkes (Workers Online #268) contained the following sentence:

"He threw down the challenge to his local National Party MP for Parkes, John Cobb, who is part of a government pushing for a free trade deal with the communist republic."

Now, it may come as a surprise to some, but "communism" actually has a meaning. It refers to the philosophy based on the belief in the principle "from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs". A moment's thought should be enough to convince people that nothing like that is going on in China at the moment.

When Mao was alive, the Chinese "Communist" Party was riven by a struggle between two factions. After he died, Mao's utopian authoritarianism was ditched as the power-brokers lined up behind the other faction. They saw their chance to rule over a major industrial powerhouse and global power - and China has been breaking the speed limit on the capitalist road ever since.

Deng Xiaoping, once safely in charge, pronounced the new doctrine "To get rich is glorious". Does this sound like communism? Of course, there was no intention of accompanying this with any democracy. They proved this in Beijing in 1989, when they sent the army to massacre students and workers who had illusions that the party could be reformed.

What has followed is an attempt to create a modern version of what China was under the Imperial Mandarin bureaucracy. The bureaucracy (today called the "Communist" Party) is drawn from the rich elite and possession of a place in the bureaucracy enables advancement within that elite. The means of production (formerly land, but today the whole spectrum of capitalist property), are held individually while, through the bureacracy, the rich rule collectively.

The only thing "communist" about China is the name used by the gang of thugs and lying rodents who are running the joint. If China really was communist, there would be no question of a free trade deal - and Howard would be running a scare campaign against it which leaves the current War "on" Terror for dead. Instead, he lets its ruler address the Australian Parliament. Isn't that proof enough about the nature of the Chinese government?

Greg Platt.


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