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Issue No. 297 03 March 2006  

Howard's Decayed
Geoff Dixon is shorthand for the Howard decade.


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.


 Mum Rains on Howard's Parade

 Aussie Rorts on Korean Tele

 Hardcorp Romp: All the Goss

 Holiday Win for Thousands

 Della Exposes Rip-Offs

 Robbo Heffered

 Commission Plugs Job Cuts

 Sweatshop Workers Hit the Catwalk

 Libs Beg For Worker's Dosh

 Skills Base Up In The Air

 Bakers Deal Short On Bread

 Captain Cook Runs Away

 Activists What's 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…

 Belly Tells It Like It Is
 What's Going On?
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Tool Shed

Flugging Yourself

This week we can't hear anything that's said in the Tool Shed


Good old Aussie ingenuity has swung to the forefront again this week with the country that gave us the stump jump plough and the Victa one stroke using a bit of Aussie outback know how in developing the Flugge.

The Flugge is a handy device that has a predisposition towards not hearing anything unpleasant, criminal or immoral, thus rendering the Flugge incapable of doing wrong.

Sometimes the Flugge can be seen brandishing a weapon, but one is not to be alarmed, as money dispatched by The Flugge to any enemies of Australia is merely used to purchase ammunition to shoot at our soldiers.

Soldiers, so the Supply Side theory says, are reliable sorts of chaps who don't mind being shot at a bit, as well as being reliable coalition voters who can be handy in a tight electoral contest.

Flugge's handy ability at not hearing anything that may incriminate him or the entire Federal cabinet in culpability of throwing six figure sums at third world dictators they were allegedly trying to depose has created consternation amongst those who attempt to reconcile public policy with logic.

Trevor Flugge recognised that his organisation, the Australian Wheat Board and Wimmera and District Cricket Association, had an excess of cash, and giving it to despots to build human shredding machines was merely his way of sharing the love.

Why should evil despots in the Middle East be excluded from a bit of old fashioned Aussie generosity? Our man in Baghdad, Flugge, knows how a bit of the old palm oil smooths every highway.

Now this sort of action may be viewed as questionable by Howard hating members of the latte sipping left, which - judging from public opinion - seems to include everyone and their dog.

Luckily our Tool Of The Week hasn't wasted any of his remarkably considerable remuneration over the years on something as whacky as a hearing aid. If he had he would have worked out that he was breaking the laws of nature, let along the laws of society.

This selective deafness is a fantastic new development for public life in Australia. It means that every legal, moral or social obstacle to carrying on like a spoilt two year old is removed, thus allowing those with money and privilege to assume their rightful place in society to do what they bloody well please.

Of course, he may have buggered up the wheat trade with one of our largest export partners but, hey, everyone has a bad day at the office.

Just multiply that bad day by 365, and multiply that by the number of years the Flugge has been in his job and you will get the idea of with this exceptional man calls a career.

Now, a less tolerant nation would call this corruption, treason and aiding and giving comfort to a known enemy. But we are a far more tolerant folk. Our government saves its wrath for people who are trying to raise a family or some other such subversive activity.

After all, there is a war on. And next best thing to distract people about the fact that we propped up a bloke who has been represented as some kind of 21st century Hitler, is to blame the victims who ran away from that steaming bucket of sith and came here for a better life.

After all, none of them are customers of the AWB. Or at least if they are, then we didn't hear, right? Either way, no one knows what the hell is going on and how do you get to run anything in this country without having the mental motor function of a fire hydrant with none of the memory ability?

Mr Flugge is probably deserving of an accolade as a hero, certainly he was to the Saddam regime. His efforts to ensure they weren't inconvenienced by sanctions must have come as some relief to the enquiring minds at DFAT.

Someone without a firm grasp of market economic theory may view the actions of Mister Flugge, and their remarkably tangential relationship with government policy, as the sort of arse-falling-out-of-your-brain experience that deserved a public flogging, or at the very least acquainting him of how the door worked, vis a vis using it to leave and not come back.

But that sort of muddle headed thinking has never gotten a member of the idiot rich anywhere. No, Howard decided to punish this man by giving him a million dollars.

Imagine how much he would have got if he could actually remember what he's doing from day to day.

The only problem is that Mr Flugge seems to have a very sound memory concerning the million dollars, a sum he refers to as "my money".

What would be refreshing would be if the Flugging idiot forgot we gave him all that dosh, and that it came back to the people of Australia so we could spend it on bullets for Australian troops, not bullets to be fired at them.

It's not the same as getting back what his company gave Saddam Hussein in his hour of need, but it'd be a start.


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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