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Issue No. 272 15 July 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Home Ground Advantage
American pollster Vic Fingerhut has been in Australia this week with a reassuring message to the labour movement - it's OK to stand up for what you believe in - and it might even win you elections.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Battle Stations
Opposition leader Kim Beazley says he's ready to fight for workers right. But come July 1, he'll have to be fighting by different rules.

Unions: The Workers, United
It was a group of rank and filers who took centre stage when workers rallied in Sydney's Town Hall, writes Jim Marr.

Politics: The Lost Weekend
The ALP had a hot date, they had arranged to meet on the Town Hall steps, and Phil Doyle was there.

Industrial: Truth or Dare
Seventeen ivory towered academics upset those who know what is best for us last week.

History: A Class Act
After reading a new book on class in Australia, Neale Towart is left wondering if it is possible to tie the term down.

Economics: The Numbers Game
Political economist Frank Stilwell offers a beginners guide to understanding budgets

International: Blonde Ambition
Sweden can be an inspiration to labour movements the world over, as it has had community unionism for over 100 years, creating a vibrant caring society, rather than a "productive" lean economy.

Training: The Trade Off
Next time you go looking for a skilled tradesman and can’t find one, blame an economist, writes John Sutton.

Review: Bore of the Worlds
An invincible enemy has people turning against one another as they fight for survival – its not just an eerie view of John Howard’s ideal workplace, writes Nathan Brown.

Poetry: The Beaters Medley
In solidarity with the workers of Australia, Sir Paul McCartney (with inspiration from his old friend John Lennon) has joined the Workers Online resident bard David Peetz to pen some hits about the government's proposed industrial relations revolution.

N E W S

 PM Rallies on Spin

 Crafty Boss Bytes Staff

 Andrews Faces "Thuggery" Challenge

 Delta Blues

 NRL Plays Man Not Ball

 Boeing Hits Turbulence

 Whole Truth Eludes Rev Kev

 Correct Weight Caulfield

 Business Nervous Over IR Changes

 Last Weekend Gets a Lift

 Free Pass for Death Doctors

 Activists Whats On!

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
State of the Union
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson lifts the lid on ‘The Nine Myths of Modern Unionism’

The Locker Room
Wrist Action
Phil Doyle trawls the murky depths of tawdry sleaze, and discovers Rugby is behind it all.

Culture
To Hew The Coal That Lies Below
Phil Doyle reviews Australia's first coal mining novel, Black Diamonds and Dust.

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Our favourite State MP, Ian West, reports from Macquarie Street that the Premier is all the way with a State Commission.

L E T T E R S
 Do It Yourself?
 Goodthink
 The vision thing
 True Lies
 You C.A.N. Do It
 Water Works
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Letters to the Editor

The vision thing


ABS confirm something that at first glance may not mean much to many, but it should mean a hell of a lot to our Federal Government. 'Over the next 20 years more and more Australians will go it alone and will opt not to have children.

Add to that a large chunk of our ageing population will be retiring from the workforce. As well as a major skills shortage looming.

On top of that we have a shortage of childcare placements anyway, and for those who are lucky enough to find a placement, usually end up paying through the nose for the privilege.

And what's the Howard Government PLAN?

Mr Costello urgently urges us to have an extra child as a gift to our economy, but wait ' remember, have your 'bub' and back to work ASAP', we don't like having to support bludging mothers.

And the old fogies should stay working a while longer - until 100 maybe? God forbid they should retire and become a burden to our health care and welfare systems.

Whilst Mr Howard pushes ahead with his ideological workplace reforms that in reality are not very family friendly at all.

So why take on the burden of having children? And as far as our ageing workers are concerned - they have done more than enough for the economy thank you very much.

Conclusion, could it be that Mr Howard and Mr Costello's leadership tussle will leave them both with their pants down and their privates exposed (private tussle I mean)? and when will we ask them both to PLEASE EXPLAIN? Because from where I'm sitting it appears that neither one of them have the foggiest.

In fact, it seems to me that they are both trying to outdo each other with their 'grand visions'.

John McPhilbin

NSW


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