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Issue No. 315 14 July 2006  
E D I T O R I A L

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

F E A T U R E S

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.

N E W S

 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!

C O L U M N S

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

Politics
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

L E T T E R S
 Real Hero
 Howard vs World
 Marching Orders
 Tough as ABC
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Editorial

Give Truth A Chance


Civic values - aah another boring conservative rant. Well, perhaps, but here goes.

Like Peter Costello, most of us swallowed the concept of honesty with our mother's milk. And what is the matter with that?

Without an acceptance of honesty, in our dealings, society simply breaks down. If we cannot rely on the premise that when our bosses, workmates, partners, friends or leaders give us an assurance, it will stick, we are reduced to a collection of autonomous individuals without support or, for that matter, very much hope.

John Howard's idol Margaret Thatcher nailed it when she claimed there was "no such thing as society". The follower has become the leader.

Think "never ever" GST, children overboard, weapons of mass destruction and, the grand daddy of them all, the long-running woppa that is WorkChoices.

Using terms like "choice" for non-negotiable AWAs and spending our money to tell us a whole range of conditions, are "protected by law", when, in fact, they're up for grabs, is plainly dishonest.

It is behaviour that destroys trust in our institutions and weakens Australia as a society, reinforcing the view, even amongst the dubious, that dealing honestly is a cute relic of a bygone time.

The feeling is consistently reinforced by the actions of the rich and powerful - James Hardie, the Business Council of Australia et al.

Just last week, operators of our neighbourhood supermarkets, joined the movement. After months of denying they intended closing their Central Coast Distribution Centre, the big wigs at Coles turned around and put 400 locals out of work.

Barely an eyebrow was raised.

Now the Prime Minister and the Treasurer are, effectively, calling one another liars over some arcane deal that was or wasn't done 12 years ago.

Fact is, while its stimulated the press gallery, most people don't give a rats because, after 10 years of this mob, they expect to be lied to.

In the labour movement we expect basic conditions, liveable wages, a share in the country's prosperity and avenues for redress against injustice.

But we don't just expect them as some sort of entitlement born of holy writ.

They are ingredients in the glue that holds society together and binds it stronger. And honesty, in a meaningful rather than legal sense, is the base material.


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