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Issue No. 331 03 November 2006  

From Green House to Glass House
History tells us that towards the end of most reigns of power the regime stops listening to the people, stops talking to them and reverts to crushes dissent. Events this week suggest this is where the Howard Government is now.


Interview: Common Ground
Nature Conservation Council director Cate Faehrmann on the fight against global warming and how unions and greens can learn from each other.

Industrial: A Low Act
The Low Paid. The Fair Pay Commission knows who pays them. We can do something about it as they will not.

Unions: The Number of the Least
Forget 666 - 457 is looming as the scariest number for Aussie workers and their families, Jim Marr writes.

Politics: The Smoking Gun
Hayek's henchman, Raplph Harris, goes to free market heaven, writes Evan Jones

Economics: Microcredit, Compulsory Superannuation and Inequality
They are supposed to ensure the wealth of well-being of individuals. Whats wrong with that? asks Neale Towart

Environment: Low Voltage
Nuclear Power and Prime Ministerial pronouncements are seriously short of a few volts, wrties Neal Towart

History: The Art of Social Justice
Tom Martin was a terrific cartoonist and part of a great tradition in labour movement history and culture, swrties Neale Towart.

Review: Work’s Unhealthy Appetite
It pays the bills – usually – but going to work should come with a warning, wrties Jackie Woods.

Culture: A Forgotten Poet
There is little information on the public record about the radical working class poet Ernest Antony, writes Rowan Cahill.


 Godfrey Hirst Carpets Workers

 Lies, Damned Lies and the Shirkin' Gherkin

 Guests Share Backpay Bonanza

 Win, Win for Filipinos

 Honey, They Shrunk Our Pay

 No Sex Thanks, We're Asian

 Green Jobs to Beat Climate Change

 They're Going Out The Door

 Medibank Staff Go Under Knife

 Thompson Slams Door on Delo

 Merchant Bankers Pull Entitlements Stroke

 Green the New Black

 Councils Fight Off Shoring

 Acitivists Notebook


The Soapbox
Robbo Goes Green
John Robertson's speech to the Walk Against Warming

The Westie Wing
Ian West takes a look at a former public institution and its contribution to NSW.

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Tool Shed

The Queen of Comedy

Finally, the Toolshed agrees with Liberals on something.

The decision to cancel the Glass House was a bold decision, but it had to happen.

Unlike the Libs, though, it was not the jokes about the Government that got the shed's goat; it was a case of too much of a good thing.

The show had definitely jumped the shark - that is to say it had passed its peak.

There's only so many times Dave Hughes can pretend to be something like a half-eaten banana and give witty responses like "ohhhhh, yeah" before it stops being funny.

The same goes with serial guest Molly Meldrum constantly making jokes about "coming out".

The final nail in the coffin was when Joe Hildebrand stopped his Wil Watch in the Telegraph.

But none of these reasons featured in John Howard's decision to cancel the Glass House.

For the real reason, you need go no further than Connie Fierravanti-Wells up in the Senate.

The intrepid Senator had done some research and discovered one of the show's hosts, Corinne Grant, was the public face of that evil Marxist campaign to have people paid a little more than a rock and a shiny thing - the Your Rights at Work campaign.

Of course, Grant rejected these suggestions, saying she merely appeared at a one event for the "NSW ACTU".

You would think the public face of the Your Rights at Work campaign would get the name of the peak union body in NSW right.

But this kind of logic won't get in the way of Crazy Connie, that's Connie not Corrine, who has decided to launch a Spanish Inquisition on public broadcasting in general.

It was revealed this week that a complaint from Connie resulted in an ABC radio presenter in the Illawarra being stood down.

She claimed the presenter had not explored alternative opinions when he interviewed South Coast Trades and Labour Council Secretary Artie Rorris about a protest outside her office.

Whether or not Connie was available for comment is beside the point; the ABC's managing director agreed the ABC has a duty to present different opinions and the presenter is now in an off-air role.

So it's Connie two - public broadcasting nil.

Now Connie has the SBS in her sights.

Connie attacked the multicultural broadcaster in Senate Estimates, accusing it of being hard-core on sex and soft-core on terrorism.

She said the station was "siding" with David Hicks.

Apparently there is no room for these kind of alternative opinions. According to Connie, there is only one alternative - conservative.

If you wanted a comedy to replace the Glass House with, you could probably just have a camera on someone like Connie explaining her logic.

Now that would be worth watching.


The most inspiring interpretation of this week's tool get's a souvenir edition of Ship of Tools. Deface the Tool of the Week, click the button above to post your artwork, fill out the form and send your entry in and we'll post the winners next week in the Tool of the Week Gallery.


Ship of Tools - All the tools in one shed!

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