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Issue No. 291 25 November 2005  

International Relations
Globalisation drags up all sorts of contradictions, none the least the attitude of nation states to international law, as show by events in Australia this week.


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.


 Senators Back Rorters' Charter

 Families Last in WorkChoices

 Howard Loses Poll Position

 Printers Stamp on Low Paid

 Tough Men Back CFMEU

 Kiwis Fly into Starbucks

 Vale John Ducker

 Iemma Drives Hardie Bargain

 Memberships on the increase

 Uni Union Shown The Door

 In a Flap Over Flu

 Job Cuts Threaten CBA's Bottom Line

 Blackouts as Bosses Cut Deep

 Barnaby's Choice

 Wal-Mart Exposed

 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…

 Demonise the Laws
 Name and Shame
 Unite and Fight
 The Worker's Best Friend
 What Choices?
 Stop the Corporate Rot
 The Telemarketeers
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Activist's What's On!

What's the Rush?

RD. (Bob) Walshe's
The Great Australian Gold Rush & Eureka Stockade
a radical re-interpretation

Book Launch, hosted by Rodney Cavalier, Chair of NSW Parliament's 2006 Celebration of I5O Years of Responsible Govt (an ALP member for 37 years, and former Minister for Education). 6.30pm, for 7.00pm, Friday, 2 December, at Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Road, Glebe (ph 02 9660 2333)

Bob Waishe says Eureka Stockade has been grossly underrated:
It remains the most dramatic single event in Australian history
It was a defensive action against an oppressive Government
It won many admirable results, unequalled by any later event
It launched a popular movement for reform of government
Its radical, republican, democratic tradition has never stopped
growing, as last year's 150th Celebrations showed.

"Good history", says Bob, "is more than study of the past; it's the present consulting human experience for guidance in handling today's troubles - and Eureka has heap to suggest."


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

Iraq He Wrote

Scott Ritter speaking at Sydney University - Mon 28 Nov, 6:30pm

What: Iraq Confidential: Public lecture by Scott Ritter,
When: Monday, November 28, 6.30pm,
Where: Eastern Avenue Auditorium, University of Sydney.
Entry: by gold coin donation.
Book: Gleebooks - 02 9660 2333 [email protected] Ritter

Scott Ritter, the former United States marine and United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq, will give a free public lecture at the University of Sydney on Monday, November 28 at 6.30pm, presented by the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies.

Scott Ritter is the author of a new book, Iraq Confidential: The Untold Story of America's Intelligence Conspiracy (I.B. Tauris $A35) which reveals how the CIA manipulated and sabotaged the work of UN departments to achieve a hidden foreign policy agenda in the Middle East. The foreword is by US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh.

More information on the University of Sydney website:

The Sedition Condition


The on-going saga of SBS and the Documentary Commissioning Editor: A debrief and discussion

Premier Screening of the "THE LAST VALLEY", a social political documentary by Peter Vaughan, with filmmaker Q & A.

In these trying days for documentary filmmakers, the MDG presents a program to get it all off your chest and view a film that will make your production difficulties seem like a romp in the park

DATE: Tuesday December 13
TIME: SBS discussion: 6.30 pm
Screening: 7.30 pm
VENUE: Cinema 2
VCA Film and TV School
Grant St, South Melbourne
RSVP: [email protected]
NOTE: RSVP is a must due to limited seating. No RSVP, no entry


It's social, it's political and it may be seditious

Peter Vaughan's "The Last Valley" challenges the myth that Australia is a land with a limitless frontier and inexhaustible natural resources. The film is set in East Gippsland, a remote region in far eastern Victoria far from the eyes of the world. For fifty years it has been logged unsustainably to supply the bulk of Victoria's timber needs, and as a source of cheap woodchips for the Japanese paper industry. The Last Valley chronicles the conflict and change that accompanied the closing scenes of Victoria's old-growth logging era."

Peter Vaughan followed the events that unfolded in some of the old growth forests of East Gippsland, from 1999 to 2003. For 3 years he lived locally in Orbost, and gained access to the stories of the loggers, the conservationists and the townspeople. The film examines what happens to a community when the resource that had supported it runs out. It also examines the political/environmental consequences of government mismanagement of a finite resource and the conflict that results.However the story of the film is only half the story...

During the making of the film the logging department, then the DNRE, now renamed DSE (Dept of Sustainability and Environment), went to great effort to prevent its completion. Tactics ranged from trying to insist that the production pay a retrospective "license fee" of $5000 per day for any filming that had already been undertaken in state forests or National Park (both publicly owned areas). The DSE also insisted that the filmmakers get release forms from any government officer that had been filmed, before filming anywhere else in state forests. They threatened legal action if there was failure to comply. The production received legal advice that these demands had no legal basis.

Peter was arrested by the DSS on two occasions whist filming, but was not charged. However in early 2003 the DSE began a legal prosecution against him alleging that he had assaulted one of their officers. He was also charged with "littering'; "obstruct a lawful logging operation" etc, etc. The matter went to two trials and the DSE withdrew all charges on the second day of the second trial after Peter screened his unbroken video record of the events. Peter will attend the screening to talk about these and many, many more issues that surrounded the making of the film, not the least being the long and wearying attempts to secure a broadcaster (it is now with ABC TV) and financing.


Wal-Mart the High Cost of Low Price

Released in the USA on 1 November, be the first to see it in Australia

Tuesday 6 December
4.30 - 6.30pm
UTS Tower
Building 2, Level 4 (Broadway entrance Level)
Room 413

What is WalMart?
• The first WalMart opened in 1962.
• In 2004 it reported $285 billion in sales.
• It is the largest employer in the United States with 1.2 million workers (associates) in the US and 1.6 million worldwide
• It has 3,700 facilities (stores) in the United States and 2,400 in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Central America, Germany, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and the UK.
• Its market capitalisation is twenty times larger than General-Motors and double that of Google.
• It has transformed the retail industry and local communities in the US.
• It is resolutely anti-union and has closed down stores in Canada rather than let unions cover its employees, evenafter workers have voted to join the union.

WalMart says it supports communities; provides jobs, good wages, career opportunities and health care; creates jobs overseas and the biggest employer of minority groups in the US; and protects the environment.

Robert Greenwald's film systematically examines each of these claims drawing on accounts of small business owners, WalMart managers and employees and environmental workers.

The film has come under a major attack campaign from WalMart attractin media coverage not only for its content but for its guerrilla promotional campaign. Why?

You be the judge.

Robert Greenwald previous films include documentaries - Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism (2004) a film exposing the right-wing bias of Fox News and features such as Breaking Up, starring Russell Crowe and Salma Hayek.

His films have earned 25 Emmy nominations, two Golden Globe nominations, the Peabody Award, and eight Awards of Excellence from the Film Advisory Board.

The possibility that it might become a cult hit like Michael Moore's 1989 unsympathetic portrait of General Motors, "Roger & Me," has Wal-Mart worried.
New York Times, 1 November 2005

Because today, we're the focus of one of the most organized, most sophisticated, most expensive corporate campaigns ever launched against a single company.
Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott, 6/3/05

Wal-Mart's announcements about its health care plan are nothing more than a desperate publicity stunt to salvage a faltering public image.
USA Today 6 November 2005

What a Shocker

p o p c o r n t a x i
S y d n e y P r e s e n t s

'Hasn't everyone, at one time, held their own? I certainly have.'


Popcorn Taxi is proud to present a special retrospective screening of Bruce Beresford's 1974 classic Barry McKenzie Holds His Own to help celebrate the launch of writer Tony Moore's new book about this chunderful Aussie legend, The Barry McKenzie Movies.

After the screening join Tony Moore and Bazza himself, BARRY CROCKER for an interview and audience Q&A live on-stage with film writer Jane Mills...PLUS there's a chance you might get full as a boot with our Special Guests PLUS there's prizes to be won in our Best Bazza McKenzie Costume Competition!

Before Warnie. Before Latham. Before even Paul Hogan there was Barry McKenzie, the marauding ocker innocent abroad who outraged all decent Australians and poms back in the 1970s. Bazza spouted Aussie-isms non-stop, gargled with Fosters, was a dab hand with the sheilas and chundered his way to glory in his big-screen debut in the spectacularly insensitive The Adventures of Barry McKenzie.

Barry McKenzie Holds His Own is the riotous, wide-screen sequel to 1972's Aussie-mega hit in which Bazza (Barry Crocker) rockets off to Froggyland to save his Aunt Edna (Barry Humphries) when she's mistakenly kidnapped by this Commo Vampire dictator who mistook her for the Queen of England. Cop That!

Co-written by comic genius BARRY HUMPHRIES and director BRUCE BERESFORD the sequel rips into the Poms, the 70s 'cultural rennaisance', snobs and anyone that gets in Bazza's way. Even Australia's then Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam appears to help Bazza out of some realstrife...imagine that happening today!

And there's a cracker supporting cast including a hirsute CLIVE JAMES, a semi-clad LITTLE NELL, ED DEVEREAUX and DONALD PLEASANCE.

Says Tony Moore, author of The Barry McKenzie Movies (Currency Press), 'they were a watershed in Australian cinema and culture. Bazza was the catalyst for the rise of the ocker, the 70s larrikin. Forever talking about sex, but never actually losing his virginity, Bazza, his one eyed trouser snake at the ready, was also a trail blazer for the sex 'n sin 70s. But the movies are also a satire on our relationship with the poor old poms, class snobbery, Aussie males, sexual permissiveness, racism, artistic pretension and politics.'

AND REMEMBER ALL YOUSE SHEILAS AND BLOKES come dressed in ya best Bazza Clobber...there's bonza prizes to be won!

So don't be like a spare tonk at a knock shop wedding...get your tackle in gear and come see Popcorn Taxi let Bazza loose.

Thanks to CURRENCY PRESS and PADDINGTON RSL for help making this program possible.

popcorn taxi
Rating: M 15 +
Time: 7.30pm
Date: Tuesday, November 29th, 2005
Where: The Auditorium, 1st Floor, Paddington RSL
Address: 226 Oxford Street, Paddington (Opposite Paddington Town Hall)
Entry: $15 / $13 conc.

To purchase a ticket to this event online go to
Please Note: Online sales will close sharply at 5:00pm on the night of the event.
Any remaining tickets will be available directly from the cinema box office from 6:30pm on the night.


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