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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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Tool Shed

Cutting and Running

In any other society if you destroyed an airline, a community, thousands of jobs, a telecommunications system, arable land and credibility you’d probably be labelled a terrorist – in Australia you’re known as the Deputy Prime Minister.


Imagine John Anderson's surprise when he found out he'd retired.

One can only assume it came as a surprise. Our Tool Of the Week doesn't seem to be aware of anything much that happens on this planet.

He wasn't aware that there is better security at the Mudgee McDonalds than at Sydney Airport. Anyway, what did that have to do with him, he was, after all, just the Minister for Transport?

And the only reason he stuck his hand up for that job was because it meant he could land his plane wherever he liked, which is a handy thing if you zip around in a Cessna the way some scoot around the eastern Suburbs in an MG. Luckily, the rest of us are safely stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on our overcrowded and crumbling infrastructure.

Apart from pointing his own plane around and making sure it went up when it was supposed to go up and came down when it was supposed to come down, John had a pretty vague idea about how the aviation industry worked.

So when the share price of Ansett went down when it was supposed to go up, poor old John was a bit nonplussed.

He consulted his advisers, Bessie, Daisy, Tiddles and Rex, but they just mooed and quacked and barked and poor old John was in a pickle.

Then a mass of humanity equal to the population of Wagga ended up out on their arse and John's response was to move on to the Gunnedah show and doff his hat and listen to the whistling sound that seemed to emanate from between his ears.

For our Tool Of The Week is the sort of chap the National Party throws up that in any other society would be dismissed as a village idiot, but here gets taken vaguely seriously because he's related to half the district, and that's just the sheep.

The Country Party of Black Jack McKewan and several rather closely related generations of Anthony's provided landed gentry with the benefits of socialism, while still being able to keep membership at a number of decent Pitt Street Clubs.

Then along came the free market, pillaging the countryside and being about as helpful as the Black Death in many districts. Any self-respecting Country Party MP would have taken to the economic dries of the Liberal Party with an axe years ago.

But not John.

This is, after all, the bloke who sat and picked his nose while the Mudgee Abattoir keeled over for want of sustenance, knocking a hole in the size of that town in Anderson's own electorate you could drive a Debt Truck through.

If our Tool Of The Week had of just sold his electorate down the drain you'd shrug, and write him off as another scion of the landed gentry who spent his public life wallowing beyond his depth.

Even if our Tool Of The Week had risen to a level of mediocrity that allowed him to bugger up some minor portfolio like Tourism, you'd just smile and go "what's that madman Anderson up to this week?"

But our Tool Of The Week so embraces the meritocracy of the Free Market he landed the leadership of the National Party through seniority when the men in white coats dragged Tim Fischer away.

This has allowed him to demonstrate a spectacular level of incompetence we had always suspected, but hitherto had not witnessed.

One could only watch on in awe as Anderson managed to repeatedly perform the triple pike twist with a back flip of Political Ineptitude.

From creating international incidents out of nothing, to trying to fatten the Telstra pig on market day, John is a man who will be a hard act to follow.

But he also represents the great Australian tradition of egalitarianism that is not shared by the flint hearted elites of his Liberal party, for only through the National Party could a man with the IQ of a house brick fill the second most powerful position in the country.


The most inspiring interpretation of this week's tool get's a souvenir edition of Ship of Tools. Deface the Tool of the Week, click the button above to post your artwork, fill out the form and send your entry in and we'll post the winners next week in the Tool of the Week Gallery.


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