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Issue No. 315 14 July 2006  

Give Truth A Chance
Civic values - aah another boring conservative rant. Well, perhaps, but here goes.


Interview: The Month Of Living Dangerously
When the mobs took over the streets of Dili it was the people of East Timor that bore the brunt. Elisabeth Lino de Araujo from Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA was there to witness what happened.

Unions: Staying Mum
Penrith mums, Linda Everingham and Jo Jacobson, are at the heart of a grassroots campaign to boot Jackie Kelly, out of federal parliament. Jim Marr caught up with one half of the sister act.

Economics: Precious Metals
There's a lot of spin around AWAs in the mining industry, but Tony Maher argues all that glitters is not gold.

Industrial: The Cold 100
The Iemma Government has come up with 100 reasons why WorkChoices is a dud, with 100 examples of ripped off workers

History: The Vinegar Hill Mob
This month's Blacktown Rally was not the first time workers had stood up for their rights in the region, writes Andrew Moore.

Legal: Free Agents
Is an independent contractor a small businessperson or a worker? The answer depends upon whether the contractor is genuinely ‘independent’ or not, writes Even Jones.

Politics: Under The Influence
Bob Gould thinks Sonny Bill Williams is a hunk; he reveals all in a left wing view of The Bulletin’s 100 most influential Australians, questioning the relevance of some, and adding a few of his own.

International: How Swede It Was
Geoff Dow pays tribute to the passing of Rudolf Meidner, one of the architects of the Swedish model of capitalism.

Review: Keating's Men Slam Dance on Howard
These punk rockers are out to KO WorkChoices. Nathan Brown joins the fray.


 Howard's $30m Rip Off

 Jetstar Sells Job Interviews

 Jail or Jobs - Seamen Choose

 Vanstone Mum on Rorts

 WorkChoices Whacks Chalkies

 Telstra MIA in Bush

 WA Safety Rep On Mission

 Sallies Join Sack-A-Thon

 CFMEU Dips Out on Fullback

 Pollies Brush Sick, Kids

 Pollie Cries Like a Croc

 Training Minister Gives Himself an A

 25 Years On the Grass

 Activist's What's On!


The Soapbox
Work Choice: US Military Style
John Howard has learnt a few lessons on workers rights from his Texan buddy, writes Rowan Cahill.

Westie Wing
As Pru Goward slams into the glass ceiling of the NSW Liberal Party, Ian West considers how women are faring under the Howard-Costello Government.

The Locker Room
A World Away
Phil Doyle is pleased that a display of subtle beauty and athletic grace has been overtaken by some good old-fashioned mindless violence

 Real Hero
 Howard vs World
 Marching Orders
 Tough as ABC
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Tool Shed

Back To School Tool

Kevin Andrews is upset that Canberra schoolkids are smarter than he is.


The rumour that Kevin Andrews is opposed to sex because it leads to dancing has received a boost after he expressed dismay that some people were still having fun despite his fab new work laws.

Kev is dismayed that young Australians continue to think for themselves, despite the good reverend's passionate belief that we are better off being work-orientated automatons, living solely for the benefit of the BRW top 100 list.

Kev was foaming at the mouth this week after Calwell High won the ACT Rock Eisteddfod with a piece about the reality of WorkChoices called 'The Devil's In the Detail'.

Andrews, who has done his own deal with the Devil, found it "difficult to believe" students came up with the idea themselves.

In a bizarre co-incidence, many of the kids found it "difficult to believe" that the government could OK the individual contracts that are ripping them off.

This is the never-never land that Andrews occupies, where he can't make the connection between the kids at the rock eisteddfod and the same kids working down the road at the Tuggeranong Shopping Centre; in retail and hospitality, making juices, waiting tables, flipping burgers and washing dishes on the very contracts that Andrews designed.

What does he think teenagers live on? Air?

Is he aware of the reality of many Australian families, where if you're old enough, and you want something, you're going to have to get a job and pay for it yourself?

It's what happens when you have a government that sends housing affordability through the roof and drives a B-Double semi trailer

And many of those kids are out there getting those jobs themselves, on individual contracts and often without the award protection and workplace safety enjoyed under a more civilised system. Especially safety.

Anyone who has flipped burgers for a living knows the joys of your own personalised burn scars.

Joel Exner was 16 when he plunged to his death from a building site because of slack safety standards and an employer quite happy to take advantage of a kid's inexperience.

Does Kevin Andrews find that "hard to believe"?

Is he in such a parallel universe that he "doesn't get it"?

Thousands of high school kids across the country are working in just about any industry you could care to mention. According to Kev these kids have no opinion.

These are the kids that are being asked to sign Andrews' contracts

No wonder they want to make a song and dance about it. You don't have to be Einstein to figure out that ripping up the award and treating a fifteen-year-old kid and a small business operator as being 'equal' when it comes to negotiating is pretty sick.

But Andrews doesn't seem to be too bothered about abusing kids, maybe that has something to do with his theology; and he seems quite content that kids can be turned into cheap workplace fodder for our fellow Australians who like to display their integrity by ripping off kids.

But lo behold that those kids should use a very entertaining format to present something that is now a reality for many kids in the workplace.

One redeeming feature is our Tool Of the Week's recognition that the Rock Eisteddfod "is designed to promote positive lifestyle messages for our youth".

Thank God for that, because WorkChoices sure as hell doesn't.

Amidst his foaming, Uncle Kevin decided to take a swing at the teachers, obviously a bunch of crazed Marxists intent on feeding these innocent children some communist conspiracy.

The truth is not that the teachers are responsible for "hijacking" a rock eisteddfod, nor was it the kids, or even the parents. It was Kevin Andrews himself that set this train in motion.

It's his laws that have made these kids speak out. These kids are bearing the brunt of it, and so are their parents. Kev's right, no one should hijack the rock eisteddfod, especially dim-witted politicians that are so far removed from the reality of working life in Australia today they may as well be on another planet.


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