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Issue No. 311 16 June 2006  

Big Target
Well, he’s finally done it. Opposition leader Kim Beazley has wrestled with his internal doubters and staked his future, and one suspects the next election, on workers rights.


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.


 Esselte Occasioning Workplace Harm

 Andrews Backs State Laws

 Death Sentence for BHP

 Unions Deliver: Freehills

 No Job is Safe: AIRC

 Klan Backs Jan

 Village People Clean Up

 Dad Heads for Blacktown

 Indonesian Guards Occupy Office

 Qantas Passes the Bucks

 IR Laws a Loser: Lib

 Business Bombs Beazley

 OECD Undercuts Howard

 Leafy Council Rewards Choppers

 High Price Of A Low Wage

 Actvist'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.

 Lost in the Supermarket
 Career Opportunities
 A Nuclear Error
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Tool Shed

The Man Who Loved Goats

Piers Akerman gets lost in his own fundament this week, and emerges in the Tool Shed.


Piers Akerman was on Insiders the other week, expressing an interest in the possibilities of men being able to marry goats.

It shows the sort of cosmopolitan man of the people that Piers really is.

Never one to be swayed by public opinion, or common sense, or even reality, his exchange with David Marr was truly inspiring - providing the sort of stimulating debate that has made him the foremost satirical writer of our times.

Normally Piers' foray into the realms of the bizarre would be merely run of the mill - old Piers banging on as the Grandpa Simpson of Australian politics - yet he followed up his goat-love effort this week in the august pages of the Daily Telegraph, with a fascinating insight into the geopolitical role of Australian Workplace Agreements.

Apparently, according to Piers, without AWAs Australia will become the next Albania.

It's good to see that old Piers has extended his interest in foreign countries beyond his favourites, Columbia and Bolivia.

Piers was railing against the Marxist regime of Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha, himself a fan of many despotic regimes such as Moscow, Beijing, Pyongyang and Belgrade.

In fact Uncle Enver has followed many different forms dictatorial Marxism over the years, not unlike Piers himself.

Piers is alarmed that, without AWAs, Beazley will have free license to invade Macedonia.

Piers central beef is that Beazley has woken up and smelt the coffee. Anyone with half a brain can see that having someone take a machete to your pay is not considered a good thing. Meanwhile, Piers begs to differ.

Akerman is perturbed that we aren't using China as a benchmark for global labour standards, which must be reassuring for everyone in the mining industry given the safety standards of your average Chinese mine, and for Chinese keen to raise their own living standards.

Obviously Piers is not just disappointed that working Australians are overpaid, they're obviously not being killed off enough as well.

But Piers bloodthirsty loathing for ordinary working Australians is not his only source of disquiet - he is worried that the ALP is a dangerous Marxist-Leninist organisation hell bent on forcing us all into work camps to prop up the trade union movement.

This unique take on reality provided a greatr deal of mirth for everyone in the real world, as we saw by that (obviously in Piers view) fellow travellwer with Marxist Leninist demagoguery, Alan Jones.

Jones tore strips off an increasingly crestfallen Peter Costello, who was forced to chew long and hard on the brown sandwich, as Jones hammered him over the reality of what AWAs meant for ordinary Australians that are trying to put a roof over their family's head and food on the table.

Unfortunately Piers doesn't get it: not the ordinary family, the reality of the modern workplace, what WorkChoices means or how damaging this will be

The only thing missing from his diatribe was a fulmination against pot smoking dole bludgers and we could have been able to diagnose him as having flashbacks to a bad acid trip form the seventies.

Piers may have edited a leading national newspaper, had the ear of the Prime Minister, walked the halls of power with captains of industry - but you sleep with one goat...


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