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Issue No. 286 21 October 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Lord of the Lobster Legs
It was probably only shame that prompted the Prime Minister to drag himself away from a $250 per head fundraiser to meet with a group of emergency workers in Wollongong this week. But, this in itself may be a development.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Under Fire
Michael Crosby outlines his agenda to save the movement – and explains why Australians have nothing to fear from the SEIU.

Politics: And the Winners Are ...
Wal King, Allan Moss, Roger Corbett, Chip Goodyear, Michael Chaney and David Murray have lots in common, writes Jim Marr.

Industrial: Un-Australian
Labour lawyer Clive Thompson argues the changes to IR are fundamentally at odds with the national tradition of consesensus.

Economics: The Common Wealth
As the policy wonks debate the future of our cities, Neale Towart mounts a simple argument: It’s the real people in a society, stupid

History: Walking for Justice
The Eight Hour Day, a very Australian celebration, had its origins in New Zealand it seems, writes Neale Towart.

International: Deja Vu
A group of trade unions have walked away from America's peak council, again. Labourstart's Eric Lee was there.

Legal: The Rights Stuff
Terror laws have sparked a fresh debate on a Bill of Rights - and workers have a bigger stake than ever before, writes Rachael Osman-Chin.

Review: That Cinderella Fella
Russell trades the phone for mitts in an inspiring cinematic slug-fest. Nathan Brown is ringside

Poetry: Is Howard Kidding?
Mel Cheal asks who Howard thinks he is kidding to the tune of the ‘Dad’s Army’ theme song.

N E W S

 Family Grieves an Enterprise Worker

 All Quiet in Dandenong

 Hotline Gets Wires Crossed

 High Flyer Crashes Families

 Bolt Strikes Lecturer

 Good Heavens - Della Plays Santa

 Maori Take Challenge to Canberra

 Drips Fail Water Test

 Hardie Shuts the Door

 Hadgkiss Threatens Protesters

 Army Fires Salvo

 The Munro Doctrine

 IR Sparks Emergency Call

 Tassie Jobs Hit By Truck

 Canberra Coy on Promised Statements

 Inquiry to Speak No Evil

 Activist's What's On!

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
No Place For A Woman!
Doreen Borrow spoke to the Public Service Association’s women’s conference in September about her experiences of working life that span seven decades.

Postcard
North By Northwest
Phil Doyle returns from up north, where he survived on nothing but goodwill, good people and a great big orange bus.

The Locker Room
Disaster
In which Whatsisname slams the recent poor form of Thingummyjig.

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West MLC, gets all casual in his latest missive from the Bear Pit.

L E T T E R S
 Sacking For Dummies
 DIY Tool
 Thus Spake Sydney Uni
 Morgan’s Way
 Vote 1 Dictator
 Howard’s Choice
 Buying peace Of Mind
 Coolies Bullish
 Unfair ads
 Rev Kev Speaks
 Politicians
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Letters to the Editor

Vote 1 Dictator


I cannot remember voting in last year‚s Federal election for a dictatorship. The actions of the Howard government threaten the very foundations of our democracy. They treat voters and the states with arrogance as they abuse their power. Their proposed Industrial Relations (IR) changes and associated measures are flawed for many reasons.

There is no evidence or examples from anywhere in the world to support their theory that the proposed changes will protect the economy. Some modelling from conservative economists shows that the changes could actually damage the economy.

Every major survey shows that the vast majority of voters are against the proposed changes, yet Howard continues to ignore them. It is a mockery for this Government to assert that they represent the people.

Prior to the election, the Liberal Party never promoted or mentioned these extreme IR changes like they did for the GST and therefore cannot claim a mandate for them.

If the arguments for IR change are so persuasive, then let the Federal Government negotiate with the states to reach a consensus. Acting like a bully or thug at the moment does not convince anyone.

The current advertising campaign should be illegal for the Government as the proposed Bill has not even been presented to parliament and the exact form of it may change if approved. The Liberal Party should fund any advertising prior to it becoming law.

The saturation advertising by the Federal Government is manifestly excessive. It is a great waste of taxpayers‚ money. Advertising should be to communicate facts, not political propaganda.

The Senate is meant to be a House of Review. If the experience of the Telstra legislation is repeated, it will be a House for Rubberstamping.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Witcomb, SA


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