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Issue No. 317 28 July 2006  
E D I T O R I A L

Independent of Facts
John Howard's mastery of the big lie was evident again this week.

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 Chews Up Lollipop Men

 Ridout: WorkChoices “Revolutionary”

 Voters: WorkChoices Rotten

 Terror: WorkChoices Rule

 Bussies Go Gangbusters

 Strikers Drive Deal

 Australia Faces Jobs Meltdown

 Fat Lady Sings at Opera House

 PM's Pick Burns Fire Fighters

 Spooks Tail Early Risers

 Telstra Boss Gets Crossed Line

 Prof: Fair Pay Should Be Lower

 TNT Snub is Dynamite

 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
 Balancing Act
 Swimming Uphill
 Help is at Hand
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Tool Shed

Banana Republican


The Man Who Won't Be King shares his wisdom from the Tool Shed

*****

It's official; Australia really is a banana republic.

Paul Keating's prophecy came true this week under the guidance of the smirkin' merkin, Peter Costello.

It is true that Costello has produced an economic miracle.

It's a miracle that someone can let infrastructure, social services, education, the nation's skill base and employment conditions collapse during what is allegedly an economic boom.

But then again, Costello is no economist, and he certainly isn't an intellectual, he is, in the fine tradition of Lionel Hutz, a lawyer.

Another miraculous thing about the Prime Minister in Waiting and Waiting and Waiting and Waiting and Waiting and Waiting achieved was yet another reason why it isn't his fault.

Apparently the latest reason why the price of everything is heading north while our job security is heading south, is because of the weather. The man who promised to keep interest rates low is about to keep them rising because of Cyclone Larry doing to the bananas what Peter Costello's been doing to the manufacturing sector for the last ten years.

This is an interesting breakthrough for our esteemed Tool Of The Week as apparently when there is good economic news it is due to his prudent management, while any bad economic news (i.e.. most of it) is due to external factors, such as the weather, sand blight, the drought, people who don't look like us, Hannibal Lecter, Mercury in Retrograde and other scientifically proven economic guides such as goats entrails, comets, white haired children being born and partial solar eclipses.

I'm certainly glad it isn't because of rising fuel prices, after all, Costello's mate, Rupert Murdoch, told us invading Iraq would give us oil at $20 a barrel - and he's another economic genius, isn't he?

Fools are seldom in disagreement.

Why does Peter Costello get within a week's walk of the idea that he is somehow competent to open a can of soup, let alone run the economy?

This is the guy who has lowered unemployment by changing the definition of employment while appointing a tax dodger to the board of the Reserve Bank - and then getting that same tax dodger to advise him on taxation policy.

Fair dinkum, Costello's genius is right up there with getting Ivan Milat to design Australia's tourism marketing campaign.

This is the guy who has built an economy with the trading skills of North Korea and the manufacturing savvy of Zambia.

This fawning, dribbling economic klutz reaches a new nadir of ineptitude with his increasingly embarrassing attempts to cast himself as a statesman.

We are talking here of a man who has all the gravitas of an empty packet of Twisties.

The guy who uses his personality as a contraceptive has encouraged us to have more children, because otherwise there will be "more of them" and "less of us".

Given that any decent person would not wish to belong to any "us" that included Peter Costello, this can be no bad thing.

So, next time you find yourself ruminating on why the hell brown onions are over $3 a kilo, or why it's costing about six hours labour to fill up the fuel tank, just remember, this is all due to the economic brilliance of Australia's longest serving carpetbagger, Peter Costello.



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