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Issue No. 289 11 November 2005  

The Great Repression
In a rare outbreak of candour in Federal Parliament this week we have seen the Prime Minister admit the five-day week is going out the door and his leader of business, Tony Abbott, blow kisses across the House.


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.


 Nobody Expects the Construction Inquisition

 Howard in Redundancy Raid

 States Sidestep Wage Hurdle

 Catholics Bless Day of Action

 PacNat Bids to Railroad Future

 Feds Authorise Invasion

 Howard Censors Workers

 Sol Plays Dumb Card

 Boycott Hangs Over Hardie

 Directile Dysfunction

 Pirates Face Kofi Break

 Miners Don’t Dig Safety Levy

 Keep the Spirit Alive

 Activist's What's On!


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

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

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

 Just AWBul
 Convict Costello
 We're Just Serfin'
 Take Warning
 Smells Familiar
 Howard's Gas
 Andrews' Operandi
 To the Shredder
 Stop Violence
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Activist's What's On!

Singing for our Rights

Trade Union Choir's tribute to our former member Norm Clark

Sunday 20th November
3pm - 5pm

Annandale Neighbourhood Centre
79 Johnston St Annandale

$15 ($10 concession) - refreshments provided
Booking - [email protected]

SAVE VAN TUONG NGUYEN - Stop the Execution

Please join us between 7.30 and 9am on Thursday 10th November to show support for Van Tuong Nguyen and to make a stand against the death penalty

Venue: Martin Place, Sydney

At this gathering you will be given the opportunity to light a candle for Van, sign a letter to the Singaporean Government, write a message to Van's family and call on the Australian Government to take a clear and unequivocal stand against the death penalty.

You can still make a difference

The Australian Government's appeal for clemency for Van Tuong Nguyen has been rejected by the Singaporean Government. However, there are other appeals in train at the moment and we are urging all Australians to get involved in helping save Van's life by writing to the Singaporean Prime Minister and Cabinet requesting that they reconsider their refusal for clemency. Attached below is a flyer for this event. Please copy and distribute this to your own contacts before Thursday.

For further information please call 9217 7670.

White Ribbon Day

Friday 25 November is White Ribbon Day.

Also known as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, it is an opportunity for community groups to focus on a problem that affects many people in Australia and internationally.

On 17 December 1999 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution designating 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The resolution was supported by Australia and since this date the event has been marked with a range of community activities.

Wearing a white ribbon on 25 November is seen as a personal pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women. Violence against women and girls affects everyone in the community. Men's lives are personally affected if their girlfriends, wives, daughters, mothers, grandmothers or sisters experience violence or the threat of violence.

Harmful attitudes and beliefs in the community are also a very important part of the problem, and tackling these will assist in building a community that is safer for women and girls.

Further information may be obtained from The Office of Women, Department of Family and Community Services ( or from

I Dream of Johnny

A musical comedy. Opening Thursday November 24,

Newtown Theatre. Cnr King & Bray Sts, Newtown South.

The play is a riotous musical combining 60's psychedelia, Gilbert and Sullivan type songs, dance routines and guest appearances from mythical gods as it steers its protagonists- namely John Howard and Tony Abbott, towards retribution for their policies on refugees and industrial relations.

Regular ticket prices are $25/20 respectively. However, union members are eligable for a $15 ticket in week two- from Tuesday November 29 to Saturday December 3.

The play has been made with generous support from unions such as the CFMEU and the Flight Attendants' Association.

After losing his passport and his memory John Howard finds himself on a boat to Norway as part of a 'refugees for nuclear waste' scheme, devised by his government and outsourced agencies. A series of mishaps lead to him being thrown over-board and stuck on a desert island with an irate Tony Abbott, who has been using his thinking time to devise a new dastardly portfolio for himself called the 'Department of Industrial Convalescence'. After being rescued from the island both men end up in the Baxter Detention Centre and must face the consequences of their past actions which winds up in an all-in rap battle and the appearance of Amanda Vanstone to sort things out.

The play features great musical and dance numbers, choreographed by Mark Daly, with music written by producer/playwright Joel Beasant and musician Matthew Campbell. The play was written by Joel Beasant, Robert Luxford and Leslie Marsh, and is directed by Jenelle Pearce, whose work recently featured in the Newtown Theatre's 'Short and Sweet' sessions. Adam Fraser and Rhys Wilson star as Howard and Abbott, respectively

. The play cleverly uses real dialogue from figures, such as Howard and Abbott, to challenge their actions towards refugees and the disadvantaged by literally placing them 'in the others' shoes'. John Howard finds himself in a number of situations where he appeals for humanitarian treatment, by re-stating quotes he has made in the past however, instead of being delivered by them, he actually gets the treatment his government has metered out. The irony is hilarious and made even better as it is regularly accompanied by groovy singing and dancing. The shows will run from Tuesday to Saturday at 8pm, with a 2pm matinee on Saturdays. Ticket prices are:

$25 full

$20 concession

$15 special price for union-card holders in week 2, from Tues Nov 29- Sat Dec 3.

$15 special price for students in week 3, from Tues Dec 6- Sat Dec 10.

Enquiries about the show can be made to:

Bookings MCA 1300 306 776 or online:

For further information call Joel Beasant on: 02 9797133

Overland Presents...

Jenny Hocking in conversation with Ian Syson on her new political biography "Frank Hardy: Politics Literature Life"

6.30pm Wednesday 23 November
Dante's Back Room
Gertrude St FITZROY
$6 full/$2 concession
enquiries: 03 9919 4163


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