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Issue No. 295 17 February 2006  

Please Explain
It may become the defining irony of the Howard Era that a government that rode to power on the skirt of One Nation and hung there on the bridge of the Tampa is now opening our borders to hordes of low paid guest workers.


Interview: Court's in Session
As the silks line up to challenge WorkChoices, Jeff Shaw is fighting for his own legacy - the NSW IR system.

Industrial: Whose Choices?
The Howard Government's WorkChoices legislation has been dissected by lawyers and the commentariat; now it's the turn of political economists.

Politics: Peter's Principles
Forget John Howard. The force behind WorkChoices is Peter Costello. The Prime Minister-in-waiting has devoted a lifetime to undermining the security and living standards of Australian families, Jim Marr reports.

Environment: TINA or Greener?
What does the greenhouse effect and legislation to control workers have in common, asks Neale Towart

History: Its Not Just Handshakes and Aprons
Power. They have it, we want it. Friendly societies tried to keep it for working people, writes Neale Towart

International: US Locks out Jose' Bove
The US Government has refused to allow France's most famous farmer Jose Bove into the country to address a conference

Education: No AWA - No Job
The Howard Government has given the Australian community its first view of the future by forcing new staff at Ballarat University to sign an Australian Workplace Agreement if they want a job, writes Jenny Macklin.

Culture: Jesus was a Long-Grass Man
The writings of a Middle Eastern theologian may provide guidance to those grappling with indigenous issues, writes Graham Ring

Review: Charlie the Serf
Nathan Brown takes the sledgehammer (and sickle) to Mr Wonka's Chocolate Factory.


 Local Jockey Odds Shorten

 Conscience II - RU4 Aussie Jobs?

 Online Porkies Spark Class Action

 Captain Cook Discovers WorkChoices

 Skippy's Escape Breaks Law

 PM's Pay Day

 STOP PRESS - 262 Day Strike Set To Finish

 Strike Sticks it to Glue Boss

 Fair Pay Chief Wages War

 Millionaires Score Tax Break

 Memo Costa: Remember Your Roots

 Gate Crashing Gourmet

 Australia Mum On Basic Rights

 Filipinos Pay for Packed House

 Son of Wal-Mart Pinged $2M

 Trust Me, I’m a Unionist

 Activist's Whats On!


The Soapbox
Hitler in Bowral
Political censorship has made its wasy to the sleepy Southern Highlands, wrties Rowan Cahill.

The Locker Room
No Laughing Matter
Phil Doyle tries to take Australian sportspeople seriously, and fails.

The Westie Wing
Ian West is mistakenly sent an advance copy of John Winston Howard’s Little Blue Book of Australian History…

 AWB Kickbacks to Iraq
 The Black GST
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Tool Shed

Retrospective Abortion

Our Tool Of The Week, Danna Vale, wants to save us all from whatever she's smoking.


When Gough Whitlam campaigned in the seventies, political campaigning was very different.

Politicians would spend a great deal of time in contact with the public. Ray Martin was still a journalist way back then.

As Gough was a controversial leader, he was often dogged by protesters of various persuasions championing their agenda in the face of the leader of the nation. As much as we may question their sanity, there is no doubting the passion of these zealous practitioners of democracy!

One persistent woman at Blacktown repeatedly asked "But what about Abortion Mister Whitlam? How do you stand on abortion?"

The scene was brought to light when the slowest hobbit in the Shire, Danna Vale suggested that we were about to be over-run by Mohammedans intent on slitting our throats in the night.

This is no idle threat by the eponymously named Vale, who had experience of these things from her days punching a road through the last resting spot of some 19-year-old kid from the Riverina. In between that and handing out medals to her friends, faxing Alan and cutting pensions for people who had defended this nation so that her friends could burn plastic cards at Freedom Furniture, Danna found time to put together her contribution to the debate over the RUforagainst drug.

No doubt Danna agrees with the principle that Ministers should be in control of their portfolios and on top of all the issues.

The various Howard government ministries have produced talent that can only be described as unique. It is to ministerial talent such as herself that Danna Vale is asking us to entrust judgement on whether something is a therapeutic good.

Not for Danna the fingerprints of unaccountable public servants, no. No, that is to be saved for low ranking public servants who have the temerity to suggest that Danna Vale brought a proposal to cabinet that would take food out of the mouths of this nation's veterans.

Danna Vale is not fit to represent a five-cent piece.

Our Tool Of The Week has the temerity to raise the politics of blame after what's been going on further down the Kingsway, using as a primary source the Daily bloody Telegraph for god's sake!

On top of all that, her very assertion that millions of "them" are about to descend on "us" is as intellectually robust as a fish milkshake.

We could always get a blueprint of her brain if we ever wanted to build a moron.

The only refreshing thing in the whole sordid exercise is that it's the first time a Howard minister has acknowledged that there are policy issues that extend beyond the term of the next parliament.

How lucky are we that the big picture is in the hands of those like our Tool Of The Week, Danna Vale.

Oh, and Gough? After getting a good half hour from the woman while he was trying to talk about putting sewerage in across western Sydney, Gough drew himself up, turned to our questioner and said:

"In respect to abortion madam? Well, in your case I'd make it retrospective!"



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