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Year End 2003   
F E A T U R E S

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.

C O L U M N S

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

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

Culture
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.

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

E D I T O R I A L

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!’?

N E W S

 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

L E T T E R S
 Tom On Mark
 Looking The Otherway At Christmas
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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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.

============

This year saw the intensification of the history wars, as a small group of people sought to rewrite Australian history by defining out of existence aboriginal deaths during the frontier years of white "settlement". This of course perfectly suited the PM's own agenda against the "black armband" view of history though, as Enda Kenny wrote, it's better to wear an armband than a blindfold.

WHITE CHRISTMAS

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the picket fences glisten
and people listen
To Keith Windschuttle and his snow
job

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every sorry I don't write
May a good man your history rewrite
And may all your Christmases be white

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Inside a self-reflecting wall
Let our dreams be rebuilt
Without any guilt
Those things didn't happen after all

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every wrong defined as right
May you keep your eyes closed so tight
So that all your Christmases are white

Our bard will be appearing again at the Woodford Folk Festival after Christmas, in the satirical quartet Absolutely Scandalous, performing many of the greatest hits from Workers Online.


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