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Issue No. 277 19 August 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Weasel Words
We are living in an era where words are not always as they seem, and where language is used to shape the world rather than just describe it.

F E A T U R E S

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

N E W S

 AWAs Bully the Sisters

 Busted: Howard's 14 Percent Furphy

 Top End of Town to Write IR Laws

 New Laws Make Green Bans History

 Hardies Dodges Responsibility

 Blokes Wouldn’t Cop Child Care Wages

 MPs Duck As Unions Hit the Road

 Profits Do Not Mean Security

 Dodgy Wagons Rolling In

 Telstra: Death By 1,000 Cuts

 Andrews Shafts Employee Safety

 Indon Rail Workers Roll Paycut Plan

 Activist's What's On!

C O L U M N S

Parliament
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.

International
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

Postcard
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.

L E T T E R S
 Capital Terror
 Think of the Kids
 Let’s Talk
 Stupid Sale
 The Meal
 Stand Your Ground
 Convenient Flagellation
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Letters to the Editor

Capital Terror


Being ex-military and considering the very real threat of terrorist activity in Australia, I cannot help but think that the Howard Government's insatiable drive towards privatisation and a free market philosophy may have unintended consequences which could compromise national security?

In an age where terrorism threatens, airport operations and telecommunications are two areas, in my opinion, that should not be compromised purely by market considerations - or put more simply, THE PROFIT MOTIVE.

Mr Dixon said "our employees have nothing to complain about - I beg to differ - After posting such a significant profit, his sights have turned automatically to expectations of shareholders - yes his decision, just like the decision for the Howard Government to sell Telstra, is market driven."

The quote by chief financial officer Peter Greg "shareholders have an expectation as well, says it all."

Well known financier George Soros said it best:

"The capacity of the state to perform the functions that the citizens have come to expect of it has been impaired. This would not be a cause for concern if free markets could be counted on to take care of all our needs, but that is manifestly not the case.

"Capitalism is very successful in creating wealth, but we cannot rely on it to assure freedom, democracy and the rule of law. Business is motivated by profit; it is not designed to safeguard universal principles. Most business people are upright citizens; but that does not change the fact that business is conducted for private gain and not for public benefit. The primary responsibility of management is to the owners of the business, not to the nebulous entity called the public interest - although enterprises often try, or at least pretend, to be acting in a public spirited way because that is good for business. If we care about universal principles such as freedom, democracy, and the rule of law, we cannot leave them to the care of market forces.

"The global capitalist system has produced a very uneven playing field. The gap between rich and poor is getting wider."

In short, we should not allow business interests to dominate social and economic policy - because they can't be trusted.

John McPhilbin

NSW


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