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Issue No. 281 16 September 2005  

Marked Territory
If the mountain of pre-publicity is indicative of its content, the Latham Diaries will read a little bit like a sausage cookbook; full of grisley details about the makings of something we would rather take on face value.


Interview: Polar Eclipse
Academic David McKnight challenges some sacred cows in his new book "Beyond Left and Right".

Industrial: Wrong Turn
Radical labour reform is on the horizon but some workers, like Sydney bus driver Yvonne Carson, have seen it all before, writes Jim Marr.

Unions: Star Support
It wasn't just families who backed workers' rights at The Last Weekend, but a bunch of musicians who set the tone, writes Chrissy Layton.

Workplace: Checked Out
Glenda Kwek asks you to consider the plight of the retail worker, and shares some of her experiences

Economics: Sold Out
The Future Fund and industrial relations reform are favourite projects of the PM and the Treasurer. Both are speculations on the future and the only guarantee with them is that you will be worse off, writes Neale Towart.

Politics: Green Banned
The impact of new building industry laws wonít be confined to one industry, writes CFMEU national secretary John Sutton.

History: Potted History
Lithgow is a place with a proud history as a union town. The origins of broader community solidarity lie in the early industrial development of the town and the development of unions. The Lithgow Pottery dispute of 1890 was a key event.

International: Curtain Call
The curtains have opened for East Timorís young theatre performers, thanks to a Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA project.

Review: Little Fish
At last! An Aussie film with substance, suspense and a serious dose of reality, writes Lucy Muirhead

Poetry: Slug A Worker
In a shock development, the Federal Treasurer, Peter Costello, gave a ringing endorsement to the poetry pages of Workers Online, writes resident bard David Peetz.


 Flexibility - Bush Rates Slashed

 Seamen Marooned on Tassie

 Families Win Refuge in Tamworth

 Catholics Nail Andrews' Heresy

 IR Changes a Beach

 Drama Queen Applies Gloss

 Peace a Security Threat

 OEA Flicks Fraud Case

 Auto Workers Drive Union Win

 Bush Adds Insult to Injuries

 Job Vandals Cash In

 Lib Heads Witch Hunt

 Sydney Water Damned

 Super Blue Warms Up

 Activist's What's On!


The Soapbox
Families First
New Senator Stephen Fielding turned a few heads with his Maiden Speech to Parliament.

The Locker Room
The New World Order
Phil Doyle declares himself unavailable for the fifth and deciding test.

The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West, reports from the NSW Government's Safety Summit

On The Bus
A bright orange bus travelling the state has become the focus of the campaign against federal IR changes. Nathan Brown was on board.

 Dinosaurs Bite Back
 Killer Culture
 Who Cares?
 Do the Bus Stop
 A Touch of Honesty
 Boss Made Me Sick
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Tool Shed

Pitt Street Farmers Federation

The Tool you are looking for is switched off, or not in a mobile area.


National Farmer's Federation leader Peter Corish is one of those chaps that get on well in life by blithely ignoring reality.

He signed off on the Telstra deal this week, saying it was a good thing for the bush.

We now await his declaration that foot and mouth, drought and mad cows' disease are fantastic things for rural Australia.

In fact, Peter may prove to be something of an expert on mad cows, given his relationship with the National Party (which is neither).

This is the sort of cretin that probably lies about his gold handicap.

If the National Party has decided to exit stage right on the back of blindly following the intellectual minnows over at Menzies House, then Peter 's claim that his organization represents the interests of rural Australia is about as tenable as a fish milkshake.

Anyone with half a brain can see that treating Telstra as a sacrificial lamb on the altar of the market has led to an organisation that is very good at fudging dividend payouts, but absolutely crap at providing a phone service.

It's a pity that Peter lacks even half a brain.

This is what happens when the mediocrity at the heart of the big end of town push policy based on ideology rather than common sense.

Given that Telstra can't even get it right across suburban Australia (try and find a public phone that works in any given suburban shopping strip you'd care to mention), the idea that it is up to speed in the bush would be laughable if it wasn't so sad.

Which makes us wonder which planet dropkicks like Corish come from.

He was definitely in orbit when he was floating around gibbering to the few who cared that the Australia US free trade deal would be a good outcome for farmers. When it wasn't, he pretended to be shocked.

If he was shocked by that he is stupider than we thought, which is saying something. But what can we expect from the leader of an organisation that has made it a specialty to give jobs to the idiot sons of the rural gentry

Now his latest declaration on Telstra confirms that he is another one of those ratty right wing potatoes that have all the fiscal responsibility and intellectual rigour of a junkie in a pharmaceutical warehouse.

Next we'll hear from this example of spineless intellectual inertia of how we need to lower wages because Australian consumers are actually earning too much.

Yes, the NFF has been up to its RM Williams in pushing for Australia to become a third world country so that they can get back to treating their employees like serfs, like daddy did.

Corish, apart from highlighting how out of touch and redundant his pathetic organisation has become, has proved to be about as useful as a mobile phone in Brewarrina when it comes to standing up for his alleged "constituency".

As the National Farmers Federation sinks slowly in the sunset we can thank our Tool Of The Week, Peter Corish, for taking his organisation's credibility out the back of the shed and putting a .22 in the back of its head.


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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