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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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News

Free Pass for Death Doctors


The ability of health professionals to speak out on patient safety could be seriously compromised by the Howard government’s IR changes according to Queensland nurses.

The issue was highlighted by whistleblower nurse Toni Hoffman, who raised concerns about the controversial former Bundaberg Base Hospital director of surgery Doctor Jayant Patel.

Patel, dubbed "Dr Death" by sections of the media, is now the subject of a major government inquiry.

Hoffman was given a standing ovation when she addressed the Queensland Nurses Union (QNU) conference last week.

Hoffman said she had been labelled a troublemaker seeking her fifteen minutes of fame after reporting concerns about the surgeon.

"I kept hitting brick walls, as you saw, and at the time, no one else was complaining," Hoffman told the conference. "So it was easy to label me as a troublemaker and to say it was a personality conflict."

"This shows the danger of the Howard government's agenda," says Gay Hawksworth, secretary of the Queensland Nurses' Union. "The ability of our members to speak out on professional issues without fear for their jobs is vital in maintaining standards in public health.

"Of special concern would be the vulnerable position of those in the private sector, especially the aged care sector, where the ability to access unfair dismissal protection and the impact of individual contracts undermines nurses sense of job security."


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