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Issue No. 274 29 July 2005  

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.


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.


 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


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.

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

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

 Don’t take your Gunns to town
 Yankee Panky
 Poetry in motion
 Losing the faith
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Vale HT

Longtime union and left activist HT Lee died in Melbourne this week from complications arising out of heart surgery.

HT Lee was a left wing ALP activist for over 30 years. In the 1970's and 80's he was in the thick of factional wars in inner Sydney, often accompanying future MP's Peter Baldwin and Peter Crawford door knocking.

Marian Wilkinson, in her definitive biography on Graham Richardson "The Fixer", made much of the bravery of HT Lee. The diminutive HT won plaudits from Wilkinson for his courage- being involved in more than one angry confrontation with colourful local ALP identities such as Tom Domican. HT by all accounts didn't take a backward step during such confrontations.

HT Lee worked loyally for many years for the CFMEU. He edited the CFMEU journal "UNITY" managing its transformation from Pravda style broadsheet to a full colour glossy magazine.

1999 saw what was arguably HT's finest moment. He was in East Timor in the chaos before and immediately after the referendum that ultimately resulted in that nations independence.

HT worked as a freelance journalist in Dili during these dangerous days. He did innumerable radio interviews with Australian radio stations, expressing a compassionate perspective on the apocalypse engulfing the East Timorese people and advocating UN intervention.

HT was on the last Hercules of evacuees out of the UN compound in Dili. A magnificent photo he took of a crying local boy was run on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age. HT maintained an active interest and involvement in the East Timor solidarity movement for the rest of his life.

A few years later HT assisted in the production of a documentary DVD about the unfairness of oil and gas royalties between Australia and East Timor in the "Timor Gap". The documentary was central to educating the Australian people on the issue. The recent settling of this issue -providing a fairer distribution of oil and gas royalties- will have been of immense satisfaction to HT.

Over the last few years HT Lee was also active in support of the Burmese people. He made repeated trips to Thailand to work with and for Burmese refugees on the Thai/Burma border.

A memorial service for HT will be held next Tuesday August 2nd at Le Pine, 716 High Street Thornbury (Melbourne) at 9:30AM, followed by a lunch at Sukhothai Restaurant in High Street Northcote.

Anyone seeking further information about the memorial service or lunch can call Neil on 0407 057 081.


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