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September 2004   

Interview: True Matilda
Former senior bureaucrat John Menadue coordinated the group of 43 calling for truth in government; and now he has bigger fish to fry.

Politics: State of Play
Are all political parties the same? Workers Online tries to cut through the jargon to compare the major parties' approaches to key policy areas.

Industrial: Capital Dilemmas
Public Private Partnerships amount to privatisation by stealth. Or do they? Jim Marr investigates.

Unions: Rhodes Scholars
Tim Brunero discovers how the Electrical Trades Union is doing its best to ease the national apprentice crisis.

National Focus: Rennovating the Lodge
Noel Hester previews how unions will be fighting the federal election - on the ground and online.

International: People Power
Over the next four years there is a real potential a major struggle will take place for workers´┐Ż rights and the creation of truly democratic unions in China., writes Andrew Casey

Economics: A Bit Rich
Who Gets What? Why? And So What?, Frank Stilwell reviews the BRW's Rich List

History: Mine Shafts
It's 25 years since Nymboida passed the baton to United, writes Peter Murray

Safety: Sick Of Fighting
Former RAAF engineers could be sitting on a health time bomb, Tim Brunero reports.

Organising: Building a Wave
Community groups, unions and social movements all practice organising, wrties Tony Brown and Amanda Tattersall.

Poetry: Anger In The Bush(es)
How dare any Liberal suggest that the Prime Minister is a lying rodent! Resident bard David Peetz reports on the outrage that this slur has justifiably caused.

Review: The Battle Of Algiers
Tim Brunero writes The Battle of Algiers is a coldly objective, almost scientific anatomy of revolution.

Culture: The Word On The Street
Phil Doyle reports on how the Australian working class experience lives on through the words of the remarkable Geoff Goodfellow.


The Soapbox
Hail to the Metro-Sexual!
If the cultural shift required in the workplace to give greater security to working families was broadly accepted the ACTU would not be locked in an adversarial Work and Family test case argues Sharan Burrow.

The Westie Wing
In his latest missive from Macquarie Street our resident Parliamentary commentator, Ian West, walks us through issues around the PBS.

How Bush Lost His Wings
Tracking the National Guard Career of the Fatuous Flyboy from New Haven, Jeffrey St Clair.

The Locker Room
The Name of the Game
Phil Doyle wonders whether we are barracking for the sponsor or the team.

Women to Women
APHEDA-Union Aid Abroad is working to create opportunities for Palestinian women living in Lebanese refugee camps.


Interest Overboard
A tired, ageing government tries to scare the electorate into re-electing it on the basis of a lie. Sound familiar? Yep, John Howard is going to the polls again.


 Sprung: Howard Liberal with Truth

 Yanks Demand Racism

 The Greening of Labour

 Mums Move to Ease Squeeze

 Flying Kangaroo Goes to Water

 Health Warning for Bank Robbers

 Heritage Goes to Waste

 Freespirit in Hiding

 Offensive Toilets Threaten Pupils

 Telstra Dials Workplace Acquiescence

 P-Plate Nightmare for Young

 Free Loaders on Notice

 Funny Money Raises Interest

 Privatisation Debate Energised

 Activists What's On!

 Gold Gold Gold for Neolibs
 Co-operating At All Costs
 Fan Mail
 All Good Except You
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The Locker Room

The Name of the Game

Phil Doyle wonders whether we are barracking for the sponsor or the team.


"Sport is not cut and dry; anything can happen." - Belinda Halloran, Professional triathlete

YOUR humble correspondent first became aware of a company called James Hardie while standing on the grassy knoll at the Jamison Road end at Penrith Park.

In those days James Hardie was plastered across the front of the Parramatta jumpers and Mick Cronin was kicking goals from everywhere.

A big fella on the hill growled a story about James Hardie and a place called Barygyil up on the North Coast. About an asbestos mine that had killed a town, literally. About how the miners, many of whom where aborigines, had all been given the bums rush.

It was a terrific yarn. especially as Penrith where thirty or so points behind at the time.

The capacity for cynicism about sponsorships is like idiocy - it is how we know the universe is infinite. Like BHP sponsoring the Illawarra Steelers after polluting half the district. Or Caltex sponsoring country rugby league after gouging the bush for decades.

This is not just a purely rugby league phenomenon either. Fitzroy were humiliated by having to run around with "Quit" plastered all over their jumpers for their last few years as only the anti-smoking do-gooders were prepared to jump on board a sinking ship. The ghouls.

Carlton sacked so many players after their wooden spoon debacle in 2002 it was suggested that Centrelink might be an appropriate sponsor after John Elliott went belly up.

Who can forget how Ansett sponsored the Aussie Rules pre-season competition.

Fortunately for the heartless marketeers at the AFL loan sharks Wizard Homeloans stepped into the breach. Just how spirited this sponsorship was became apparent in 2003 when this column, in its capacity as secretary of the legendary Katoomba Lithgow Mountain Lions AFL club approached the Wentworth Falls office for a sponsorship, only to be politely ignored in that mean spirited way that only those little emperors, local branch managers , can manage.

The hugely successful Winfield sponsorship became a hallmark of League for years, with very few people squirming at the juxtaposition of healthy young men and cancer as long as the cash was rolling in. But that was back in the days when Easts was Easts and Wests were Wests.

The midweek TV competition that was such a hallmark of Rugby League's haydays in the seventies and eighties appeared under a number of auspices. The Amco Cup and the Tooths/KB Cup were still how they were referred to long after both entities had shuffled off the stage. National Panasonic Cup never rolled off anyones tongue - apart from Ray Warren - easily.

News Limited are effective sponsors of the Melbourne Storm, ensuring balanced and objective coverage of their efforts south of the Murray.

Harvey Normans have turned the state of origin into a running ad for white goods. Balmain saw the way the inner city was heading when they signed up Saxonvale wines in the early eighties. The ever lovable Canterbury have a proud tradition in this regard with backing from the repo specialists, HFC Finance and likewise Norths with the cuddly Avco crooks.

The most cynical of all sponsorships in recent times would have to be Newtown being sponsored by Max Moore-Wilton's Sydney Airport, who were obviously trying to drown out the sound of 747's over Henson Park. But they'll never drown out Frank Hyde singing Danny Boy at the heart and soul of the Bluebags home.

Not all sponsorships were as inappropriate. Wests looked suburban and workmanlike with Victa plastered across their chests. Penrith's Mark Geyer looked right at home with Dah Dah printed across his chest, he probably thought it was a personalised jumper.

THE idea that the recent fiasco in Athens was a runaway success is still yet to be accepted by all thinking people who agree with the Locker Room.

It was reassuring to see the Greek Communist Party on the box the night after Father McBride decided to enter the marathon himself explaining that it is the ordinary people of Greece that will be slugged for this indulgence for the next three thousand years.

Australia done good, and they'd bloody well want to after dropping something like 700 Million on the world's biggest pissing competition. It gives us bragging rights, but we still can't negotiate a free trade agreement that's going to help us with anyone.

After all the cash we sunk into athletes from government coffers I don't recall one athlete who has thanked the long suffering taxpayer for making their achievements possible.

It stinks the big one that we can plough a bottomless pit of cash into ensuring we finish in the top 8 of the mens long distance hurdle with triple breast and pike, but we don't have the money to even adequately house pensioners or look after sick kiddies.

Bah humbug I say. When it comes to sport we think locally and act globally. Elite sport should never come at the expense of the grass roots. But there's no money in community for network television.

Phil Doyle - hitting the post deep in injury time with the scores level


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