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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

Frame Up

Australians want certainty in the work place.

It is interesting to see how the Howard government is well aware of framing and how far behind our side in federal politics really is.

An example of this can be seen in Howard's gutting of our Industrial relations tribunal and replacing it with what they have called (not be accident) the "Australian Fair Pay Commission". The language is not neutral, it is framed, and loaded. It also doesnt help when the media and the opposition start using that language.

Peter Beattie on the other hand is a smart politician who knows how to frame. In an appearance on lateline a few weeks back, he talked about Howard's changes using the following frame:

"these changes will bring uncertainty to the workplace. Australians want certainty in their work place".

The term 'change' and 'uncertainty' are not put in the same sentence by accident. People naturally fear change, and so combining it with the term 'uncertainty' reinforces that. He repeated these terms several times. Unfortunately the federal party has been all over the place - not using a frame, and simply relying on one off attacks. The attacks should remain, but they should be talked about in terms of a larger frame - change and uncertainty.

Another frame the federal opposition would benefit from would involve reminding people what the Howard government has become - arrogant and out of touch.

Now that the federal government has the Senate, they have signalled their intentions to force through their extremist positions, regardless of what people want. Whether the issue be abolishing protection from unfair dismissal or Telstra privatision (which polls shows most people do not want), and many, many others, the federal opposition has the opportunity to frame these extreme changes as "arrogant and out of touch". The fact that they will eb acting in an arrogant way will reinforce the message in peoples minds.

Arrogance is something that Australians hate seeing. You can see it in Jeff Kennett being kicked out, you can see it Howard and Beattie being ultra-careful not to appear triumphant or overly triumphant. Premier Beattie almost looked dissapointed when he won his third landslide victory!

For more info on how our side can frame and get back in the game, visit



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