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August 2004   

Interview: Trading Places
New ACTU International Officer Alison Tate cut her teeth delivering aid to developing nations through APHEDA. Now she is helping chart the global union agenda.

Safety: Snow Job
James Hardie has been drilled into our collective consciousness as a story of power, greed and immorality. It is also, as Jim Marr reports, a tale of human tragedy.

Politics: In the Vanguard
Damien Cahill reveals how neo-liberal think tanks have been at the forefront of the corporate assault upon trade unions and social movements in Australia.

Unions: Gentle Giant Goes For Gold
Donít get between Sydney sparkie Semir Pepic and a gold medal in a dimly lit alley, writes Tim Brunero.

Bad Boss: 'Porker' Chases Blue Ribbon
Perfect Porker, Darren Vincent, brings a history of meat worker shafting to this monthís Bad Boss nomination.

International: Cruising For A Bruising
Europeís big unions are bruised as they watch companies roll over some of their best-organised unionised workplaces demanding longer work hours Ė without any recompense, reports Andrew Casey.

History: Under the Influence
Was John Kerr drunk when he wrote and signed the letter dismissing Edward Gough Whitlam from the Prime Ministership in 1975? Geraldine Willissee investigates.

Economics: Working Capital
Where superannuation fits, where it fails and what we should we do about it. Neale Towart gives the tough answers.

Review: Fahrenheit 9/11
There's many a must see moment in Mike Moore's new flick but beating the propaganda machine at its own game wreaks havoc with wearied bullshit detectors, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: Bad Intelligence Rap
When Flood washed away the PM's sins, the truth was once again left high and dry.

Satire: Osama Bin Manchu
During a recent visit to an elderly relative in a nursing home, I was waylaid by an ancient gentleman who insisted I listen to what he had to say, writes Rowan Cahill.


The Westie Wing
The Labor Governments in each State must take the lead to stop the abuse of corporate law in Australia in the absence of action from the Federal Government, as the Inquiry into James Hardieís has highlighted, writes Ian West.

The Soapbox
Cleaners Deserve Our Support
It's time the state's cleaners were given some support, loyalty and long service leave, writes Chris Christodoulou.

The Locker Room
Half Time At The Football
Phil Doyle wants to have his pie and eat it too.

Faithful Servant
Frank Mossfield was one of the labour movementís quiet achievers. Former Labor Council secretary Michael Easson pays tribute.

Lessons From East Timor
Just back from a study tour to East Timor, National Reserach Officer with the Construction division of the CFMEU, Ben Stirling, writes about the experience for Workers Online.


Tarnished Rings
As our athletes approach the starting line in Athens, it is interesting to reflect on how the world has changed since Sydney was the centre of a global group hug just four years ago.


 Stink Rises from Hamberger

 ALP Embraces Collectivism

 Bully Drives Deckhand into Drink

 Fighter in Cancer Link

 Tunnellers Dig in for Safety

 Seconds Out in Newcastle

 Vale Josh Heuchan

 "Betrayal" Sparks Election Rethink

 Councils Wedge James Hardie

 Great Southern Death Rattler

 Libs Desert "War Criminal"

 Casuals Take Over

 ALP Star Hits The Waterfront

 Activists Whatís On!

 An Officer And A Teacher
 Tom Goes Asexual
 Road Rage At Work
 Democracy In Action
 Asbestos Bastadry
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The Locker Room

Half Time At The Football

Phil Doyle wants to have his pie and eat it too.

Imagination is a wonderful thing. It's a pity the NRL hasn't got any.

Cheerleaders are one US copycat import we can do without.

You'd think that with all the image problems Rugby League has had over the last 12 months it would want to treat women as something more than a 13 year old boy's fantasy.

The ridiculous concept hardly sends a signal that the NRL takes women as anything more than objects to throw to the blokes.

You have to wonder about the appropriateness of taking the kids along to watch some sequin clad harpie in hotpants in the middle of July. It can't be good for the cheerleaders or the crowd that has to suffer them.

The dumbest part of the equation is that the cheerleaders, themselves, come from an entertainment 'agency' - they aren't fans of the clubs they perform for. Some will perform for two or more clubs over a given weekend.

Just what they bring to the game is unclear; how they cheapen it as a spectacle is obvious.

And while they're at it, why cant those irritating booming ground announcers who sound like they went to the Austereo FM wanker school of public speaking just shut up.

It's bad enough having ads plastered all over the Channel Packer coverage, without having it shoved down your thorax at the ground as well.

Because there's no room for community in the NRL, which is now part of the 'entertainment' industry, we have to put up with third rate celebs, sad bastards and other wilful hangers on - the sort of people who need a trip around the back of the shed with a .22 - being shoved in our face while we're trying to have a yack with your neighbour and finish off the lukewarm overpriced pie.

As The Ghost Who Walks pointed out, we'll be putting up with parasites from Australian Idol presenting themselves at the football as if they are relevant to anything until we take to the streets armed with machetes.

The only time they got their grand final entertainment right when they brought Billy Idol halfway around the world and didn't let him sing - now that WAS entertaining.

When they have the break at quarter-time at every level of Australian Football bar the AFL a large portion of the crowd surges onto the paddock, surrounds the team huddle, and listens to the coach go off his nut. This spontaneous public theatre is a brilliant thing and to be encouraged. Why the hell they don't try it in the AFL is beyond me.

No doubt they're busy keeping the paymasters at Foxtel happy, but considering that Murdoch pay TV outfit BSkyB dropped 20% of it's worth last month you'd wonder how long the Sun King is going to prop up his regional subsidiaries, the AFL and the NRL.

The great suburban poet Dave Warner penned a wonderful piece of spoken word, entitled 'Half Time At The Football' that managed to combine Alan Bond, Kylie Minogue and Wally Lewis in a blunt expose on the horrible dark heart that underpins Australian society.

The Austero cheerleaders are symptomatic of this.

Half time should be a period of quiet reflection; a time of interaction with your neighbours in the crowd. A chance to dream upon the small mercies of life. Not a time to flog sponsors product at a volume that'd drown out a 747.

As the Olympics bill hits $10 billion in Athens it is heartening to hear of the industrial chaos sweeping the country. I'm still offering six to five that it will not be a fondly remembered experience, if it is an experience at all.

The scene for what we can expect has been set with reports of Olympic security goons threatening a Mexican TV crew with sodomy.

The latest bizarre development has been the Olympic security blimp that will hover over Athens during the games. No doubt this will come a cropper as well.

"Oh the humanity!"

Two weeks of drug addled madness. Athens hasn't seen such fear and loathing since the Trojan's visited the joint.

Enjoy it all, it's half time, and I'm off for a pie.

Phil Doyle - coming off the interchange bench early in the second half.


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