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Year End 2003   

Interview: Robbo’s Rules
Labor Council secretary John Robertson rules the line through 2003 and looks forward to a bigger and better year to come.

Unions: Fightback 2003
Tony Abbott, no less, summed up the tone of 2003 when he complained workers were frustrating his agenda, as Jim Marr reports.

Bad Boss: Madame Lash Whips Tony
Jim Marr explains how a local can manufacturer knocked off a quality field, including a notorious American call centre operator, in the race for Bad Boss honours.

Politics: United Front
Facing a new leader and new rules, Jim Marr speaks to key union players about the hot issues at January’s ALP National Conference.

Economics: Looking Back - Looking Forward
The year ends with the thought that 2004 must be better, writes Frank Stilwell in his annual review of all things economic.

International: Net Benefits
International editor Andrew Casey looks back on a year where workers stood up globally for services we once took for granted.

History: The New Guard
Who were Australia’s fascists in the 1930s and was John Howard’s father in the New Guard? Labour historian, Andrew Moore, uncovers some surprising information about Australia’s fascist past.

Poetry: What is the PM singing this Christmas?
Our Kirribilli spies, led by resident bard David Peetz, have been listening in on the PM's preparations for Christmas, and have recorded the Howard family rehearsing this new Christmas carol.

Review: Culture That Was
2003 saw the Howard Government signal its readiness to swap culture for agriculture in a free trade deal with the US and film maker George Miller lament that Aussie's had run out of stories to tell anyway, writes Tara de Boehmler.


The Guessing Game
We have consulted our regular list of mystics and gnostics to offer these throughts for the future.

Folk You Mate
Jan Nary looks at the role of workers songs in the upcoming National Folk Festival.

Shane Maloney – Crime Writer
For a crime writer whose books are set against a backdrop of unions and Labor Party politics, Shane Maloney confesses to little direct experience of either.

The Locker Room
Workers Online Sports Awards
Noel Hester and Peter Moss give their annual rundown of the good, the bad and the ugly in the world of sport.

The Web We Weave
Social Change Online's Mark McGrath's annual review of how unions are using the web to grow.


Backs to the Wall
How does one judge a year like 2003, when on the surface the powers of darkness – read Bush and Howard and union-busting bosses - can point to the scoreboard and claim ‘we won!’?


 No Joy for ANZ - This Time

 Nurses, Teachers Win Big

 Govt Coy on Sackings Threat

 NSW: State of Discomfort

 Fashion Police Collar Moe

 Telstra Picks Up Union Signal

 E-Missiles Strike White House

 STOP PRESS: Doubts Over Driver Test

 Juggler Catches Union Gong

 Chubb Beats Up On Own Guards

 Commuters Face Long, Hot Summer

 MUA Members Play Santa

 Bennelong Grinch Strikes Again

 G’day To Union Made Wines

 Activists Notebook

 Tom On Mark
 Looking The Otherway At Christmas
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The Guessing Game

We have consulted our regular list of mystics and gnostics to offer these throughts for the future.

John Robertson - Labor Council of NSW

Mark Latham will be PM before August and expunge the Reith-Abbott laws to the dustbin of history.

Parramtta to win the NRL with a fully unionised team

Labor Council's secure employment test case to secure rights for casual workers.

Phil Davey CFMEU

The senate will vote down the Building and Construction Industry "Improvement" act

Michael Gadiel will shave his hair in an obvious move on Robbo's position. So will Tony Sheldon . Mark Lennon will stay hairy

Peter Lewis - Workers Online

News Ltd to buy Workers Online to compete with Kerry Packer's 'Australian Workers'

John Robertson to grow an affro in a bid to win the youth market.

Chris Christodoulou to be rec recruited to the St George back row.

Jim Marr - Workers Online

Shane Warne will return better than ever, Stuart MacGill will spin into retirement, and Parramatta will get to the grand final same way as the rest of us - by queuing up at Ticketek.

Meanwhile, Chad Junior will make an election eve comeback but it won't save George's sorry Texan ass and, definitely not least, Shane MacGowan will release a ripper new album. Has he ever released any other kind?

Phil Doyle - Workers Online

In the tradition of his ancestor, Padraig O'Nostradamus, Phil Doyle has donned the sorcerer's hat and gazed wistfully into the silver ball; and three sage events have emerged:

- A child shall be born who shall have the strength of ten men and be able to play off both sides of the body. Men shall look on in wonder and he shall be dubbed Son of Plugger. Truly the faithful shall flock to see him amaze and bedazzle, but the Swans will still finish outside the eight.

- The one they call The Abbott shall become even more erratic as he watches the title of supreme leader slip from his grasp and fall's getting murky...Costello! But even as they wrestle for the crown the peasants shall grow restless.

- Melbourne, race 6, number 4.

Tara de Boehmler - Workers Online

2004 will see the reality TV phenomenon be used for good not evil when hit show Workers' Eye For The Corporate Guy is launched to rave reviews. This weekly special treats cashed up corporates and out of touch politicians to a working class make-over before embedding them into the home a struggling family where they spend a month performing the work, checkbook juggling and everyday chores of the primary wage earner.

Nancy Carl - Labor Council of NSW

Mark Latham becomes PM!

The air conditioning in the labor council building works properly (i always live in hope!)

Ansett workers finally get 100cents in the dollar of their entitlements (i said I always live in hope!)

HT Lee - Travelling Mystic

By December 2004, Bush, Blair and Howard joined Sadam in the exclusive 'Ex-presidents and prime ministers--I did it my way club.'

At its inaugural meeting to elect the president a brawl almost took place. Bush said he should be the president. However, Sadam objected and said: 'Now look here, had it not been for me none of you would be in this club.'

A compromise was reached whereby the club would have rotating presidents--each member would be president for one year.

But by year's end, they still could not agree as to who should be the first rotating president.


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