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Issue No. 305 05 May 2006  

Contract With Australia
If WorkChoices is the legislative expression of the Howard Government’s ideological hatred of unions, the Independent Contractors Act is the product of an altogether more dangerous form of ideological zealotry.


Interview: Out of the Bedroom
Reverend Jim Wallis is leading a crusade to take the moral debate into the public arena.

Industrial: Cloak and Dagger
The Howard Government has begun a series of workshops to sell its WorkChoice vsision. Sean Ambrose sneaked through the doors for Workers Online.

Unions: Lockout!
Jim Comerford’s eyewitness account of the 15-month Lockout of 10,000 New South Wales miners in1929-1930 records the inside story of Australia’s most bloody and bitter industrial conflict

Legal: The Fantasy of Choice
Professor Ron McCallum argues the WorkChoices laws are built on a fundamental fiction.

Politics: Labor Pains
Labor has dealt itself out of the crucial workplace relations debate by failing to articulate a credible policy alternative to Howard’s new WorkChoices legislation, argues Mark Heearn and Grant Michelson

Economics: Economics and the Public Purpose
Evan Jones pays tribute to John Kenneth Galbraith, a big man who never stopped arguing that economics should serve the public good, not create public squalor.

Corporate: House of Horrors
Anthony Keenan takes a tour of Sydney’s notorious, Asbestos House, courtesy of Gideon Haig.

History: Clash Of Cultures
Neale Towart with a new take on Mayday through the words of a punk icon

International: Childs Play
An ILO report into Child Labour shows some progress is being made to curb this gobal scurge .

Culture: Folk You Mate!
Phil Doyle dodges Morris Dancers to find signs of Working Life at the National Folk Festival in Canberra over the Easter Weekend.

Review: Last Holeproof Hero
Finally, a superhero who has worked out how to wear his underpants. Nathan Brown ogles V for Vendetta


 Andrews Axes Safety

 Plant Fission for Cost Savings

 Spotless Bosses Blame Howard

 Aussie Bushman Pronounced Dead

 Who's Smirking Now?

 Yellow Bosses See Red

 Amber Light on Howard's Way

 Secret Police Spook Mum

 Wally Pollies Set for Cracker

 Qantas to Parachute In Pilots

 Unmask the Puppeteers, Union Demands

 Cleaners Mop Up

 Cane Toads Hop Into Johnny

 King of Onkaparinga Cries Poor

 Activist's What's On!


The Soapbox
Albo's Meltdown
Labor's environment spokesman Antony Albanese argues that Chrernobyl is one reason why the ALP should stand firm on nuclear.

The Locker Room
A Sort Of Homecoming
Phil Doyle plays to the whistle.

The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West reports from Macquarie Street on some strange collective acction.

 Restaurant a Rip Off
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Tool Shed

Oh Happy Day

Peter Costello jumps for joy at the thought of being in the Tool Shed.


Who do you trust to keep interest rates low?

Certainly not the king of diamonds.

What laughably passes as the leadership of this country has made great claim at being great managers of the economy.

Which makes wonderful sense if the economy doesn't include working people, those with a mortgage, the elderly, the halt, the sick and the lame.

Whether of not Peter Costello is any good at managing the economy for people like you and I is another question entirely, and current indications appear to show he is about as competent as a drunken surgeon.

You would think that a prudent treasurer would be keen to invest in this country, but not Peter Costello. As long as he can keep running the place as a third world country, with the sort of debt that would make a problem gambler blush, he seems to be happy.

Well, not so much happy, as overjoye3d.

Costello featured on the front page of the papers this week doing his 'Oh What A Feeling' routine after putting to bed a budget that looks like it will make Attila The Hun look like a nation builder.

This clown likes to crow about his surplus's, without acknowledging they have been built on the back of kicking kids, destroying education, gutting training in the midst of a skills crisis, booting the sick, taking a baseball bat to single mums and flogging cripples back into nthe workforce.

And for this he is grateful.

Costello has all the warmth of a sociopath, with none of the charm. The damage this drongo has done to this country is best measured in the accelerating rates of bankruptcy, failed mortgages, runaway household debt and increasing strain on household budgets.

Out there in the real world people know that the boom that never happened has long been over for working people.

Housing affordability is a joke, especially in Sydney, the job market is great vif you're an incompetent CEO, but full of dodgy individual contracts that cut conditions for everyone else.

For many working families the price of petrol, groceries, and now, mortgage repayments, is a weekly mountain to climb.

Things are great, assures our Tool Of The Week, we've never had it so good.

If things keep getting better like this we'll be living in corrugated iron humpies by Christmas.

Luckily our Tool Of The Week is so out of touch he believes his own spin. The bloke with no economics credentials would like us to believe he is a sage economic manager, when his only foray into the business world, when he used his law degree to attack working people, even sent the businesses he worked for broke.

There was a time when Costello was touted as the next Prime Minister. Luckily this idea is so laughable that even the cocaine-addled stockbrokers that populate the caring side of the Liberal Party can't get their man taken seriously.

He can now go down as Mr 0.25%, the man who tried the boiling frog experiment on the Australian public, slowly trying to boil us in ever increasing interest rates. The man who never had a clue. A sad figure that placed his faith in his own ego above his concern for the bleeding obviouys.

And now, it comes to this.

Remember, when the budget comes down next week, that the man guiding it, this intellectual and moral husk of a man, is sinking. Time is overtaking him.

The only thing about him that is increasing in stature is his qualities as a tool.


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.


Ship of Tools - All the tools in one shed!

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