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Issue No. 274 29 July 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

The Heart of the Matter
Senators Steve Fielding and Barnaby Joyce are right to quibble over the futures of Christmas Day, Good Friday and Anzac Day.

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

 Carr Fingers Feds

 Boeing Scabs Take Flight

 Billion Dollar Blow Hards

 Door Closes on Foot Soldier

 Andrews Ropes In Footy

 Gooooood Morning Sydney!

 Posties Bite Back

 Choice Myth Busted Again

 Vale HT

 Dumb and DEWR

 Combet: Business Can't Be Trusted

 Telstra Burns Bush

 Detective on Death Site

 States of Disunity

 A Turbulent Decade

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
 Don’t take your Gunns to town
 Yankee Panky
 Poetry in motion
 Losing the faith
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Politics

Carr Fingers Feds


John Howard's determination to run roughshod over states' rights helped drive NSW's longest-serving Premier from office.

Bob Carr told Workers Online, Canberra's power grab had whittled away the ability of state governments to deliver services.

Canberra has moved aggressively to impose its ideology on health, education, transport and industrial relations - going as far as withholding funds from states who won't toe its line.

After 10 years in power, Carr admitted, it had weighed on considerations of his future.

"It is a pronounced pattern," he said. "They are reducing the power of state governments.

"Industrial relations is only the most obvious example, and I have got to say, it was a factor, yes."

Carr told Unions NSW the federal government's funding model was short-changing the people he had been elected to represent.

He said NSW was being deliberately cheated of $1.9 billion under five-year Commonwealth funding arrangements.

Carr predicted Howard would find he had gone a step too far with his radical plan to strip entitlements from Australian workers.

He described that agenda as "absolutely" a weakness and said it had welded state, federal and industrial Labor together in an alliance capable of winning the next federal election.

"Australia does not need this. Howard is completing an ideological and it is absolutely unnecessary," he said.

"The ironic thing is that we are rediscovering the nature of a Labor Party out of this. The state and federal parties are united and we are with you all the way."

He congratulated unions on taking the battle up to Howard, saying their community campaign was "thrashing" federal government's taxpayer-funded campaign.

Carr said politics had always been about competing interests.

"We governed for all the people in NSW but with special attention to the needs of working people. It was their interests I was elected to represent," he said.

Reviewing his years in office, he said, he had been especially proud of successes won in partnership with the trade union movement.

He highlighted the Sydney Olympics - delivered in co-operation with a strong, unionised workforce - and last year's campaign that forced James Hardie to compensate asbestos disease sufferers.

Working with nurses, teachers, transport workers and "our wonderful fireys" to improve the services they delivered, he said, had been an "honour".


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