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Issue No. 308 26 May 2006  

If the Answer is Nuclear ….
At least George Dubya still has some influence. Not in his own country, certainly not in Europe, not even in the former dominions of Latin America.


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


 Death Site Under Wraps

 Lets Get Physical, Building Bosses

 Retailers Spotlight Wage Cuts

 Sparkie Vote Will Go To the Wire

 More Front Than Meyer

 Nine Vanish in Melbourne Triangle

 Black is White, Andrews

 Kev Nicks from Kids

 Toothless Tiger Squeals

 High Standard Bugs Boss

 Labor Roots In Graft Allegations

 Security Posted

 ALP Urged to Front Up

 On the Road Again

 Activists 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.

 Spotlight on WorkChoices
 Noll On
 Riders on the Strom
 No Gerry Can
 Insight Fires Up
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Tool Shed

The Peter Principle

The smirkin' merkin' seems to want a mortgage on the Tool Shed, but will he be able to afford the interest rates.


Prime Minister Peter Costello is a scary thought.

The idea that this trumped up hypocritical martinet is one heartbeat away from the second highest office in the land proved to be more than the incumbent, Howard, could bear.

Howard scuttled home after receiving an Irish welcome with all the warmth of that which greeted Cromwell.

What he found on return was the dropkick with all the sincerity of a corflute real estate sign putting in his two cents worth.

Peter Costello is always on shaky ground when he lets go his loud guffaw, usually after saying something about as funny as a dead baby's doll.

Thus it was that he thought WorkChoices was terrific that you could get a 2-cent an hour pay rise by trading off sick leave, overtime, holiday pay, leave, decency, self esteem, humanity and your first born child.

He gets into this mode of 'just keep smiling' and it projects with all the integrity of Brad Cooper's coke dealer.

The problem for this Tool among Tools, our very own King of Diamonds, is that he increasingly erratic behaviour is starting to scare the kiddies.

How unhinged this economically illiterate inflatable lounge of a man has become after the years in the very small shadow of Dear Leader Howard is becoming a matter of much speculation.

Many out here in $1.45 a litre land, or anyone having to actually buy food and keep a roof over their head, are having some difficulty connecting Costello's utterances on this golden age we apparently live in with their immediate experience of what is going on in front of their faces.

Costello has never hid his lack of compassion for working people - actually, come to think of it, his lack of compassion for any people - showing all the humility of Paris Hilton as he swanned around filling Howard's very small shoes for the week.

Never in the history of Australian politics has someone presented who looked completely at sea in a leadership role.

Frank Forde was a statesman next to this bloke. His handling of the situation with our near neighbours showed all the diplomatic finesse of Reg Reagan.

The crowning achievement though of this galoot is his ongoing lie about the state of this country's finances.

Now, any idiot can go to a pub, bludge money and get pissed. The problem is that after a while, sometimes a very short while, the idiot might run out of people willing to continue to extend that sort of largesse

Yet this is the central underlying economic principle Peter the Lesser has adopted for Australia, the country he is allegedly treasurer of.

Now, no one can ever accuse Costello of being an intellectual giant, more an intellectual goldfish, (which, admittedly, is being a bit rough on goldfish), so no wonder he keeps grinning like a loon while the manufacturing sector is taken out behind the woodheap and shot, and the rest of the economy heading south faster than a consultant disappears at the first sign of trouble.

No one knows quite what Costello is on, but whatever it was it had a remarkable impact on his grasp of reality, which appears to be steadily diminishing from it's already tentative state.

Anyone who c an say this with a straight face obviously has serious delusional tendencies: "The government's Work Choices legislation enables employees to come to agreements with employers which suit both of them, with terms which are protected by the Australian Fair Pay and Conditions Standard."

To think that anyone would believe that is embarrassing enough. To think that someone could believe that and think they were fit to walk the streets is scary. That they may want to run the country when they patently couldn't run a tap is unbelievable.

This shambolic wreck of a tool has outlived whatever usefulness he may ever have had and we can only hope his end will be soon, swift and sudden.


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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