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Issue No. 292 02 December 2005  

A Free Vote
This week’s charade of the Senate amending the Howard Government’s workplace laws raises fundamental questions about the sort of democracy Australia has become.


Interview: The Binds That Tie
Dr Don Edgar has demolished the Prime Minister's credentials as a family man.

Unions: Worth Cycling For
Pedal power joined the Your Rights At Work campaign on a 350km journey to take a message to Canberra’s politicians, wrties Phil Doyle.

Industrial: The Elephant in the Corner
Jim Marr takes a look at what the government has secreted away in the WorkChoices package, revealing what is really at stake - and what can be done about it.

Legal: A Law Unto Themselves
In this extract from the Evatt Foundation's 'State of the States' Jeff Shaw & Monika Ciolek look at the constitutional issues rasied by WorkChoices.

Politics: Ethically Lonely
At a forum in the Australian Stock Exchange sponsored by big end of town solicitors, you would expect at least one person to be in favour of John Howard’s industrial relations laws, wrties Rachael Osman-Chin.

History: Women, Unions, Banners and Parades
Trade union banners reveal more about union history than their male designers and makers intended, writes Neale Towart.

Women: Relaxed and Comfortable?
Suzanne Hammond from WEL argues there are many hidden nasties in WorkChoices for working women.

International: The Last Social Democrat
A trade union leader's victory marks beginning of class politics in Israel, wrties Eric Lee

Review: The Corpse Bride
Come to a world where decay, loss and broken dreams are everywhere - and it's not the Federal Senate.

Culture: Tony Moore Holds His Own
In his new book, Tony Moore argues that today's generation of political leaders has much to learn from Bazza McKenzie.


 Read His Lips: WorkChoices Too Much

 Joyce A Christmas Goose

 Workers Leave Boss in Tool Shed

 Costello Chokes On Asbestos Compo

 Telstra Hangs Up on Former Staff

 Bank Check on Bras

 Bill of Work Rights on Agenda

 Funny Film - Scary Message

 Sign Of the Times

 Unions Chip In for Lauren

 Company Raids Own Ship

 Activist's What's On!


The Soapbox
Whitefellas - You Just Can’t Trust ‘Em.
Racial stereotyping is a bad business. That said, Graham Ring has discovered a segment of society that drinks too much, behaves unreliably and can’t seem to adapt to change. Sadly, the conclusion is inescapable…

The Locker Room
Phil Doyle slices one into the car park.

The Westie Wing
Ian West makes a midnight dash to Workers Online, slides his State political report under the door, then heads back to the Macquarie Street Chamber of Horrors…

 Million Mum March
 Pension Pinching
 John Bares All
 Radicalising Yoof
 Tom A World Away
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Tool Shed

Joyce's Odyssey

This week Barnaby crosses the floor of the Tool Shed


The Queensland National Party continued a great tradition of defending the living standards of rural workers this week when the friend of the working poor, Barnaby Joyce, signed off on legislation that will lower them.

Barnaby is a strong advocate for the role of the Senate in being a house of review.

He reviewed the WorkChoices legislation and gave it five stars, although personally he will wait for it to be released on DVD.

He particularly liked the bits that said you have to pay people penalty rates on Christmas day unless you don't feel like it.

The provisions that allow for families to have to pull up stumps and travel across the country in search of whatever work they can get their hands on were particularly appealing to this champion of the regional underclass.

In fact, Barnaby believes he is such a hero to the rural poor he has decided to create millions more.

Barnaby earlier managed to gain major concessions from Prime Minister John Howard, who agreed to amend the legislation to include the special Barnaby Joyce Is A Tops Bloke clause and remove the obligation for workers to have to sing the company song and do star jumps before commencing their twenty hour shifts.

Thanks to Barnaby workers can now be paid once a year, some of them even with money.

Grateful workers will now be able to thank Barnaby for being able to be picked up and put down like a shovel.

While a lesser human would have been swayed by the 18.7 million Australians that aren't as keen to embrace reform as the Cunnamulla Division of the Waffen SS, Barnaby was resolute.

He valued the input from his fellow Queenslanders from the Breatharian Movement, who pointed out to Barnaby that a casualised workforce would be able to live on nothing but Oxygen while they waited until Barnaby's brother Barnaby was able to fire up the Massey Ferguson and once again return Birdsville to its former station as the economic engine room of the nation.

This bold, visionary if somewhat stupid move has ushered in a bright new future for all Australians who don't have to actually work for a living.

For the rest of the population things may be a bit difficult in the medium term, but they can be consoled that Barnaby will have managed to solve the obesity problem given that half the workforce won't be able to afford a decent feed two days out of seven.

The revolutionary new calendar will also gladden the faces of a tired and overworked, yet grateful, nation.

No more will people struggle having to remember the seven days of the week - something that has always been difficult for those members of the Joyce family who only have five fingers.

Renaming every day of the week Monday may strike many members of the community as a tad on the radical side, but we are assured that this is the best way to boost productivity.

Barnaby reassured an angry mob marching on his home bearing flaming torches and farming implements that if the nation did not accept being paid third world wages it would end up being a third world country.

The maverick senator had made quite a name for himself in recent weeks by looking the other way and whistling a Slim Dusty tune after 12,000 Telstra workers were escorted from the premises.

Joyce's fingerprints were found at the scene but it is unclear at this stage if charges will be laid.

Earlier a tight hatband caused him to get lost during a senate vote on Competition Law, and he sat opposite Amanda Vanstone after mistaking her for Belgium.

Joyce has long been hostile to European farm subsidies, much preferring the Australian ones, as his attempts to get a European farm subsidy always seemed to get knocked back.

Barnaby has obviously enjoyed his spell as a political streaker, and is looking forward to a bit of a rest in the Tool Shed after his contribution to flapping his arms about and shouting, 'Look at me! 'Look at me!'

Joyce was very proud of how the new legislation would end the "bullying days of unions" and usher in a bold new era of bullying by bosses.

"The whole farce of open ballots, antagonisation and standovers at the workplace is a dead or dying artform and it is great to preside over the end of those bitter days," said Joyce with a straight face.

Antagonisation has long been a thorny issue in Australian Workplaces, primarily because it isn't really a word and no one knows what it means.

But Joyce, looking fondly towards Bessie, his prize milking cow, added that if people didn't like the new laws they could always leave Queensland, or even vote the government out.

Millions of Australians are eagerly awaiting an opportunity to take our Tool Of The Week's advice.


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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