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Issue No. 309 02 June 2006  

When the Truth Hurts
Some rare moments of candour this week have vindicated all we’ve been saying about WorkChoices and more.


Interview: Rock Solid
Bill Shorten gives the inside story on the Australian Workers Union's involvement in the Beaconsfield rescue.

Industrial: Eight Simple Rules for Employing My Teenage Daughter
Phil Oswald bought up his kids to believe in their rights; so when his 16-year old daughter was told to cop a pay cut she was never going to take it quietly.

Politics: The Johnnie Code
WorkChoices is encrypted deep in the PM's political DNA, writes Evan Jones

Energy: Fission Fantasies
Adam Ma’anit looks at the big business push behind the 'clean nuclear' debate that is sweeping the globe.

History: All The Way With Clarrie O'Shea
The WorkChoices Penal Powers are the latest in a long line of penal sanctions against trade unions, writes Neale Towart

International: Closer to Home
If Australia can forgive its debt to Iraq, why not to Indonesia and the Philippines, write Luke Fletcher and Karen Iles

Economics: Taking the Fizz
While the Treasurer has been popping the post-Budget champers, Frank Stilwell gives a more sober assessment.

Unions: Stronger Together
Amanada Tattersall looks at the possibilities of strengthening alliances between unions, environmental and community organisations

Review: Montezuma's Revenge
Tommy Lee Jones directs and stars in a film about racism and retribution, writes James Gallaway.

Poetry: Fair Go Gone
Employers in the land rejoice, for we are girt by greed.


 Howard's Advocate Fesses Up

 Cowra - Work Slaughter Legal

 You're Killing Us - BHP Charged Again

 Revealed: Beaconsfield Led AWA Charge

 Warehouse Pushes the Envelope

 Independent Schools Push Class Warfare

 Spotlight on Howard’s Porkies

 PM Backs Visa Buster

 Sutton Wants Middle Men Probed

 ATO Recruiting for WorkChoices

 Taxpayers to Fund Ad Orgy

 New Deal on Canberra Menu

 Appeal for East Timor

 Activist's What's On!


The Soapbox
The Beaconsfield Declaration
As the Prime Minister feted Brant Webb and Todd Russell, their colleagues were outside with a message to the rest of Australia.

The Locker Room
Run Like You Stole Something
Phil Doyle observes that there are some tough bastards out there.

The Westie Wing
That fun-loving friend of the workers, Ian West, reports from the red leather of the Bear Pit.

Class Action
Phil Bradley draws the lines between education funding and the current skills crisis.

 Free Kick
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Tool Shed

The Low Rent Commissioner

50YO, bespectacled, N/S, N/D, with NSOH seeks submissive partner for a good screwing.


The Chairman of Australia's recently Christened Low Pay Commission appeared on our television screens last week with a bunch of flowers in one hand and a box of chocolates in the other.

"C'mon, baby, I've changed!" Ian 'Big Daddy' Harper pleaded, tie slightly askew.

"Forget that stuff about cutting your pay or sending you off to a sweatshop - I didn't mean it. Give me another chance - I promise I'll make it up to you."

On bended knee, Harper said he was ready to take the plunge and actually meet low paid workers - people he had previously only observed in the form of a pie chart in an economics textbook.

Comments he had made in the past, such as saying Australia never really developed to its potential because we never had sweatshop conditions like America had 'em, were of no consequence now.

After all, he is only in charge of the body that will set the legal minimums for the people working in the modern equivalents of the aforementioned sweatshops.

Harper says it's a religious thing - it's his duty as a dedicated Christian to look after those poor unfortunates.

And what better way to do that than to make sure they stay poor unfortunates.

Harper was reluctant to talk about his epiphany to Tony Jones, so we can only speculate it comes from Matthew 19:24.

I guess it must be some consolation Harper believes that their reward for being the shock absorbers of the economy awaits them in the afterlife.

Yea, the poltroon shied away both from religious discussion and preaching the economic benefits of having a percentage of the population going hungry.

Instead Harper pledged to listen.

Presumably he will be listening in the same way a schoolyard bully listens to the yelp of someone they have just given a wedgie to - or maybe the way a duck hunter listens to a quack.

He definitely won't be listening in the same way that the Australian Industrial Relations Commission did.

Unfortunately, when low paid have their own representatives and independent umpires, the snivelling grubs seem to want to be paid more.

That won't do. Harper knows best. Now come over here and sit on Big Daddy's knee.


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