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Issue No. 288 04 November 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Terror Laws
It was poetic really, the WorkChoices legislation, all 1,000 plus pages of it, introduced into Federal Parliament this week under the cloak of terror.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Public Defender
The CPSU's Stephen Jones has confronted the Howard Government's IR agenda at close quarters.

Legal: Craig's Story
An inquest in western NSW is a cautionary tale of the use of AWAs, writes Ian Latham

Unions: Wrong Way, Go Back
The WorkChoice legislation sends Australia down the wrong economic road by smashing the instittutions that have made it strong, argues Greg Combet.

Industrial: WhatChoice?
The Howard Government has shown itself to be the master of illusion, writes Dr Anthony Forsyth

Politics: Queue Jumping
The changes to industrial laws, betray a new vision of Australian society, writes James Gallaway.

History: Iron Heel
Conservative governments using laws to take away basic civil rights. It's nothing new, writes Rowan Cahill

Economics: Waging War
When was the last time you heard an Australian politician talk about incomes policy, asks Matt Thistlethwaite

International: Under Pressure
The push for UN intervention in Burma is intensifying, following a report by Vaclav Havel and Bishop Desmond Tutu into slave labour.

Poetry: Billy Negotiates An AWA
More and more people are meeting Billy, the hero of page 15 of the WorkChoices booklet, including our resident bard, David Peetz

Review: A Pertinent Proposition
Nick Cave's "Australian western" touches on some themes still relevant today, Julianne Taverner writes.

N E W S

 D-Day For Political Rights

 Bosses In Sack Race

 “Choice” By Decree

 Howard Barges Into Workplace

 Della Grounds Boeing

 Wal-Mart Sees the Light

 Libs Chicken Out

 Shame Ships Filch Fish

 Multis Line Up to Cheer

 Feds in Dock

 Santoro Waves Red Rag

 Activist's What's On!

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Men and Women of Australia
What makes a perfect speech? Michael Fullilove has scoured Australian history to find out.

The Locker Room
The Hungry Years
Phil Doyle gets the feeling we’ve been here before

Culture
From Little Things
Paul Kelly's song about the battle for land rights misses one important character, writes Graham Ring

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Ian West takes a look at Public Private Partnerships, and wonders if we should all just drink rum…

L E T T E R S
 We're Next
 Australia, 2005
 Truth in Advertising
 Investment Advice
 What a Woman!
 It's Not Pretty
 Screwed
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Tool Shed

Howard, I Know


The Prime Minister is a [deleted for security reasons]

*****

The greatest friend the Australian worker has ever had moved this week to ensure we all work harder for less.

While millions of Australian workers were overjoyed at the prospect of exchanging job security for their new lifestyle as a peasant, nonetheless some stronger message was needed to bring a few malcontents up the back of the classroom on board with the new program, and develop a bit of team bonding here on the good ship Howard's Australia.

This involved more than just having our great wartime leader redefining the word friend, he also moved onto the work 'choice', creating a new meaning synonymous with having one or less options.

While it remains unclear to the rest of the population exactly why working for a rock and a shiny thing can be gauged as a step forward, our economic guru of a leader assures us that having less money makes us richer, and hey, that's got to be a good thing. And, as luck would have it, Howard's friendship extends to improving our job security by making it easier to lose our jobs. What could be better!

While, to the ordinary person, the benefits of these reforms may not be immediately obvious, we are re-assured that these are symptomatic of the sterling qualities of leadership inherent in Earlwood's answer to Napoleon.

While that dangerous Trotskyite President of the United States, F. D. Roosevelt, may have stated "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself", one can only gaze in wonder at the sort of leadership that tells a people "the only thing we have to fear is everything".

Such a refreshing contribution to public life, untainted as it is by logic or information, can only be admired, as under the new sedition laws anything else is illegal.

Which could come in handy, as the general populace may not have been so well disposed towards the man who has made eyebrow waxing sexy when it becomes apparent that poverty wages were the new black.

Luckily such churlishness is covered by the laws we need to protect us from the black cats in a dark room that aren't there. It also creates a fantastic new growth industry in running around like a headless chook screaming "the terrorists are coming! The terrorists are coming!"

Without such leadership Australia could have made the mistake of approaching these problems in a calm and considered manner. As anyone close to Dear Leader Howard will tell you. This will not do.

The inscrutable nature of our great Prime Minister was shown when he confounded his enemies with the master-stroke of convincing people that we were going to risk human life and make ourselves a high-profile terrorist target over something that actually existed.

Luckily the Weapons of Mass Destruction that we went to fight in Iraq were fabricated, thus allowing Australians to be killed for no discernable purpose - and who can be responsible if someone gets killed over nothing. Pure genius!

Now, with his statesmanlike introduction of laws prohibiting dissent, our wise and generous leader can get on with defending the national interest, which happily coincides with the interests of the Macquarie Bank, the Business Council of Australia, Delloite Touche Tomatsu, Brad Cooper and Kerry Packer's helicopter pilot's one remaining kidney, amongst others.

No doubt there will be those nay-sayers and un-Australian types trying to destroy the economic juggernaut that has delivered soaring rates of domestic violence, mental health problems, housing unaffordability and petrol at $1.50 a litre.

Luckily the distraction of the new terrorism laws and the clear and present danger - which is not quite clear, doesn't appear to be present and may not be dangerous - created a wonderful entertainment that relieved Australian business from having to justify this semi-sophisticated form of larceny.

After throwing off the burden of liberal democracy, which, as the Chinese coal industry shows, is little more than a crimp on unfettered productivity, Australian business now has a free hand to move across the country like a plague of suit wearing locusts, courtesy of our Tool Of the Week

Indeed, we should give thanks for the boundless wellspring of human solicitude inherent in a man such as Howard.

If you don't the police will be around to take you downtown and ask why.



Show Us YOUR TOOL!

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