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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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Letters to the Editor

Be Afraid

Let's be honest. Politics is about getting your way whilst letting everyone else think they got theirs. And John Howard is an expert. He is able to do this better than any politician in memory. He is about to do to industrial Relations, what he has wanted to do for many years. Give the power back to the employer.

Mr Howard has put forward a raft of changes that to most reasonable people look to be overstepping the mark and will create a system where families and the average worker will be penalised. Less leave, stricter unfair dismissal rites, no public holidays, no minimum wage and individual agreements for workers. Sounds horific doesn't it!!

Well, it's just a bargaining tool. And this is where we and our Unions have to be very, very careful. You see, both the Government and the Unions are embarking on an expensive campaign of advertising to get their point across to the community.

This does two things, firstly it erodes the financial assets of the Unions so they cannot fight as hard later on when they have to got to court. Solicitors cost money and if you don't have money you don't get your day, or weeks, or years as the case will be, in court. Triumph, Just ask the Victorian SPSF who went bankrupt under the Kennet regime in the 90's. The CPSU gave the members a lifeline, but he broke their back using every means he could, including costly legal battles.

Secondly, It gives him negotiation power. His campaign will convince a large number of people that it will happen anyway, and that some of his ideas are good for our community and Australia. I've already heard normal workers like me talking this way. So when he comes out and announces that he has negotiated with the unions and employers and here are the new laws that he wants to put forward, everyone will say "ALL HAIL JOHNNY, HE LISTENED TO THE PEOPLE". What he will have done, is implemented what he wanted in the first place. He's just thrown us a curve ball to start with, the same as our UNIONS have done with employers for many years. Don't ever think that John Winston Howard isn't clever, He has learnt from us and is trying to destroy us with our own tactics.

Be afraid, be very afraid.

Michael D'Elia


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