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Issue No. 273 22 July 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Split Infinitives
As unions across Australia put up a united front against the Howard IR assault, events across the Pacific serve as a warning of what can happen when individuals start going one out.

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

 Centrelink to Cheat Workers

 Foot Soldiers Get Blisters

 Feds to Lift Voting Age

 Taskforce Plastered

 Paint It Slack

 Howzat!

 Hadgkiss in Safety Failure

 Freedom to Starve

 Police And Thieves

 Feds Make Asbestos Blue

 Scabs Farewelled

 Capital Idea Under Threat

 Masterton Homes Crumbles

 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
 Frame Up
 Keep the Faith
 Life on a Low Wage
 Seeing the Trees For the Wood
 Carnival Comes to Town
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Howzat!


Brits have caught out John Howard over claims his Fair Pay Commission is modelled on the Blair Government’s minimum wage system.

"In practice, your proposal is running in completely the opposite direction," the British Trade Union Congress has warned the Prime Minister in a personal letter.

It says while Howard's Fair Pay Commission would replace awards and restrict wages for the low-paid, Britain's Low Pay Commission has extended regulation of the labour market, and increased low-paid wages above the rate of inflation.

TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, says his organisation is concerned about Howard's intentions to remove protections from working people in terms of their rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining - both "fundamental human rights covered by core International Labour Organisation conventions.

Meanwhile, within 24 hours of touching down in the UK, a British columnist has nailed the Prime Minister's faux cricket expertise.

In a withering attack, worthy of our own Tool Man Phil Doyle, the Guardian's Marina Hyde, wrote Howard's presence was enough to "sink the heart about the Lords Test".

"If ever there was a case for the separation of powers between sport and politics, Mr Howard is it," Hyde wrote.

"Heaven knows what day this creature is to pitch up at Lords but you can bet your last brass razoo that he'll be itching to give those fabled analytical skills a run-out. Mr Howard may be a big fan and he may be under the impression that nattering about sport on the airwaves makes up for his deficiencies elsewhere, but in most instances there are blind wombats with a better feel for what's happening on the field."

Read Hyde's words of wisdom in full, including the bit about Shane Warne's relative emotional sophistication, at ...

http://sport.guardian.co.uk/ashes2005/story/0,,1530621,00.html


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