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Issue No. 275 05 August 2005  

Iemma’s Dilemmas
The past fortnight has seen the sort of upheaval in NSW that reminds us all that politics is a very tenuous game with few certainties and even fewer rules.


Interview: On Holiday
Historian Richard White looks back on the Aussie vacation - and finds a way of life is under threat.,

Unions: One Day Longer
Nathan Brown travels to the Boeing picket line and find a group of workers with a steely determination to stick together.

Industrial: Never Mind the Bollocks
Jim Marr plays the Howard Government's industrial relations spin job on its merits.

Politics: Spun Out
Canberra’s latest campaign underlines the need for controls over government advertising, according to Graeme Orr and Joo-Cheong Tham

Economics: If the Grog Don't Get You ....
Evan Jones explains how the way we purchase alcolohol reflects the type of economy we live in.

History: Taking a Stand
Neale Towart looks at two books that chronicle how to build community support against social injustice.

International: The Split
Amanda Tattersal outsider's account of an insider's shake-out at the AFL-CIO Convention 2005

Legal: Pushing the Friendship
George Williams argues that the federal government’s constitutional powers are not sufficient to enact a comprehensive national industrial relations scheme

Poetry: Simple Subtractions
The latest blitz of taxpayer-funded advertising has revealed a crisis of arithmetic in government ranks has moved resident bard David Peetz to prose.

Review: Sydney Trashed
Sydney band SC Trash are on a mission to give new life to folk and country music – and the politics of common sense. Nathan Brown had a beer with them


 Carmen's Boss No Fun Guy

 Discriminating Centrelink on Charges

 Uproar Over Holiday Plans

 Do The Bus Stop

 Taxpayers to Fund Advertising Orgy

 Get Up Stands Up

 Andrews Provokes Showdown

 Thousands in Super Rort

 Constituents Don’t Trust Andrews

 Skill Shortage Fabricated

 Yanks Short Change Tradesmen

 Howard Steamroller Hits Building Sites

 CFMEU Bans Ferguson

 Activists Whats On!


The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West, goes away for a couple of weeks and look what happens…

The Soapbox
The Last Weekend
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson's speech to the Last Weekend - how the Howard government laws will undermine the Ausrtalian way of life.

The Locker Room
A Concept Is Born
In which Phil Doyle helps the proponents of the vision thing across the road.

Workers Blood For Oil
A new book by Abdullah Muhsin and Alan Johnson lifts the lid on the bloody reality of US backed democracy for Iraq's trade unions

London Post
During his recent stay in London IEU industrial officer John Shapiro was living only a few hundred metres from the site of one of the bomb blasts.

 Back To The Past
 AFL-CIO Not The Only War
 Be Afraid
 Frame Up
 We Love Morris
 ANew Development
 A Readers Suggestion
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Tool Shed

Armed Robb

Facing a hostile reaction, the Federal Government has turned to Andrew Robb, a man who for years has proudly defended the interests of Andrew Robb.


Andrew Robb has an interesting take on the political process.

In his latest effort he likened political activism to erectile disfunction, Nigerian financial shakedowns and dodgy university diplomas.

Emails from citizens contacting their representative politicians are nothing more than "spam" according to the man who lost the "unlosable" federal election in 1993.

He was attacking the new organization GetUp, which Robby claims is a great Labor party conspiracy, with his old boss John Hewson at the head.

Now '93 makes sense for Andrew; John Hewson was a Labor plant ball along.

Mind you, in any other job a stuff up like 1993 would have been the end of you. Luckily Andrew doesn't live in the real world and thankfully the Liberal Party has form in rewarding this sort of incompetence.

In the former Liberal party king-pin's case they left his name on the stationery, and put Jeanette Howard in charge of the 1996 campaign. It wasn't much of a risk. Ivan Milat would have had a good show against Paul Keating in 1996.

Following on from that Robb headed up the extremely successful Yes campaign for a Republic. Without Robb, no one could have succeeded in creating the impression that the Yes camp were a bunch of slick talking lawyer wankers that had never done a days work in their lives.

The Liberal party decided they'd had about as much success as they could stand, so Robb, not having any mates in his home state, moved to Victoria so he could enjoy the experience of not having any mates in a completely new environment, and entered parliament.

With all this campaign genius behind him our Tool Of The Week has now been hand-picked by John Howard as the person to blame when their IR campaign goes pear shaped.

In the mean time he has been given $20 million of your money to keep him amused.

No doubt many are curious as to what strategy Robb will use to take the bad smell emanating from the coalition front bench known as IR reform, and turn it into a sweet smelling perfume.

As a strategy it is brilliant.

Robb will be linking IR Reform to the Australian way of life.

Working sixty hours a week without holidays is the Australian way according to Andrew Robb, who must have popped out for a gin and tonic during the Australian History bit at school.

We can look forward to his revelation that the ethos of mateship is going through people's pockets looking for loose change after you've knocked them over the head with a short piece of pipe.

No wonder he wants to wrap IR reform in the flag. That's the sort of Australia he's been championing for the last twenty years.

In fact, those opposing IR reform are downright un-American in Robb's view.

In fact Andrew will be working further on his brilliant communication strategy in the Tool Shed this week.

Look forward to the announcement that IR Reform will abolish holes in donuts; make the young feel old and the old feel young; cure arthritis, gangrene, baldness and tinea; get clothes whiter than white and keep your lawn fresh and healthy all year round.

Is it possible that Andrew's been having too much of the Peruvian Marching powder while he's been brainstorming this genius with the boys from the ad agency?

Either way, it's a sign of how much trouble the Howard government is in when they are leaving policy in the hands of people who wear ponytails and bow ties, or even worse, Andrew Robb.

If the honourable member for Goldstein can rise to such an exalted position on the back of his previous experience, imagine how far he could go if he actually had any ability!


The most inspiring interpretation of this week's tool get's a souvenir edition of Ship of Tools. Deface the Tool of the Week, click the button above to post your artwork, fill out the form and send your entry in and we'll post the winners next week in the Tool of the Week Gallery.


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