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  Issue No 62 Official Organ of LaborNet 14 July 2000  




.  LaborNET

.  Ask Neale

.  Tool of the Week

Tool Shed

Maxine McKew - Out to Lunch

While everyone is bashing Della for his lunchtime GST analysis, we prefer to put his dining partner, Maxine McKew, into the Tool Shed for this week.


The cynical would say this is an attempt by Sussex Street's media arm to shoot the messenger, rather than deal with the message. Our response: when hasn't it been? What's more McKew's work is fair game - the weekly nosh with a name over three courses has put the dull back into indulgent.

We used to be fans of Maxine's Lateline work, the probing questions, intellectual banter and professional poise - she became the political junkies' Helen Mirren. But ever since she shacked up with the Packers to produce her interminable lunch-time soirees, we at Workers Online have been appalled at her weekly fare. Most weeks the menu has been nothing more than prentious tripe, garnished with some sickly floss.

McKew columns are based on the premise that lunches are an institution where confidences are exchanged, plots hatched, empires built and destroyed. Of course, when it's shared by a journalist noting everything from the consistency of the mushrooms to the nuance of an observation on voter behaviour, the chances of anything of substance being disclosed is seriously reduced.

Unless you're Della, who has obviously never read Maxine's work in the Bulletin and is from the Old School who believe that anything shared over a plate, stays there. If, as he claims, Della's comments were off the record and there was an arrangement to check quotes before publication, McKew's touch-up has done damage to a generation of journalists. Which right-thinking pollie will now be able to brief a journo over a Chinese slap-up? If the restaurant had become an oasis in the desert of spin, the salad days could well be over.

By breaking confidences and reproducing those secrets, McKew has - as it were - bitten the hand that feeds her and the rest her colleagues. So congrats Maxine, you have Della's head on a plate, just don't expect too many more dishes from the labour movement.

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*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 62 contents

In this issue
*  Interview: Fair Trader
AMWU boss Doug Cameron is gearing for a showdown with the ALP over their free trade agenda. But what's he really on about?
*  Politics: Free Trader
Trade Minister Peter Cook states his case for coninuting trade liberalisation and why the 'fair trade' agenda is against the interests of Australian workers.
*  History: Organising - Fifties Style
What do the new wave of organisers do? Pretty much the same hard slog that Audrey Petrie did in the 1950s around Sydney for the Hotel, Club and Restaurant Union (HCRU).
*  Unions: The Whistleblower
A lone Chinese seafarer is fighting to stop a Panamanian flagged vessel from dumping toxic waste into Australian waters
*  International: Jakarta Breakthrough
Indonesian workers have just won a new historic bill of rights which gaurantees them legal protections when they form unions.
*  Solidarity: Rio Versus the Rest of the World
Union members around the world have taken part in a week of international action against the mining giant Rio Tinto. Andrew Casey looks at all the hot spots.
*  Satire: Amnesty Branch Targets Lazy Letter Writer
Police are investigating claims that the Glebe branch of Amnesty International has captured and tortured a member whose tardiness in letter writing had become renowned.
*  Review: Little by Little
Clinton Walker's groundbreaking book, CD and video charts the careers of indigenous artists like the legendary Jimmy Little.

»  Hotel Workers Get Serious on Olympic Pay
»  Global Rio Tinto Campaign Bites
»  Nike Faces Olympics Shame
»  Cameron Calls for 'Social Audit'
»  Orange Rally Softens Email Job Losses
»  No Joy in the Chase
»  Reith Scheme Short Changes Workers
»  World Banks' PNG Edict: Six Thousand Bucks per Job!
»  New Wages Scam - Sink Company to Avoid Pay
»  Shaw Returns to Bar Room Life
»  Newman! Minister Dumps on Staff for GST
»  Taxi Drivers Win GST Justice
»  Unchain Your Mind
»  ACTU Womens' Conference

»  The Soapbox
»  The Locker Room
»  Trades Hall
»  Tool Shed

Letters to the editor
»  Political Hackers and the Law
»  Still a Role for Tariffs
»  Fair Trade - Australia Would be Hit Too!
»  Mexican Greens - A Different Analysis
»  Korean unrest - All the Latest Here

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