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October 2004   

Interview: The Last Bastian
AMWU state secretary Paul Bastian has been at the centre of the three year battle to bring James Hardie to account.

Unions: High and Dry
Jim Marr unpacks the recent High Court Electrolux decision to test whether the ruling matches the media hype.

Security: Liquid Borders
The Howard Government loves to trumpet its national security credentials but a close look at its record in shipping sinks the myth argues MUA’s Zoe Reynolds.

Industrial: No Bully For You
Phil Doyle reports on how bringing dignity and respect to the workplace is undermining bullies.

History: Radical Brisbane
Radical Brisbane extends the 'Radical City' series into the Red North. Two experienced activists, academics and writers turn South East Queensland history on its head.

International: No Vacancies
More than 1400 hotel union workers, members of UNITE HERE Local 2, are on strike at four major hotels in San Francisco, California, writes Andrew Casey.

Economics: Life After Capitalism
A situation that all anarchists dream of? Michael Albert has been more than dreaming., writes Neale Towart

Technology: Cyber Winners
Labourstart's Eric Lee looks at a good news story of global online campaigning that has delivered a victory.

Poetry: Do It Yourself Poetry
Teaser: Wondering why the polls are all over the place? Ask our resident bard and psephologist.

Review: Hard Labo(u)r
The Voice of Southern Labor highlights the role music played in the 1930's US textile strikes, but more than that it provides a lucid insight into the roots of modern capitalism and some truly organic organising, writes Tara de Boehmler.


True Lies
Labor Council secretary John Robertson argues It’s Time – for an IR reality check.

The Westie Wing
Much work has been done in the past to ease the plight of clothing outworkers in New South Wales. It's time to step up the pressure, as sweatshops and clothing contract work are thriving stronger than ever, writes Ian West.

The Soapbox
Who Started the Class War?
Evan Jones looks across the Australian political landscape and asks who are the real class warriors?

The Locker Room
First Past The Post
Phil Doyle is coming up in class and is all the better for recent racing

Westie Wing
Our favourite state MP returns for his monthly Macquarie Street wrap.

Positive Action
Australian unionists are helping give hope to Filipino workers living with HIV/AIDS.


The Premiership Quarter
After spending the past month with a decidedly sinking feeling, there’s a whiff of hope and expectation that the Howard era could actually be coming to an end.


 Kev Cooks the Books

 Black Hole In Libs Kids Plan

 Xerox Copies Waterfront Tactics

 Hardies Asbestos Woes "Snowballs"

 Air Fleet Grounded By Job Cuts

 Musos Lung For Better

 Customs Officers Declare

 Dumbing Down The Trades

 Pacific National Sidetracks Hunter Jobs

 Witch Hunt For Whistleblower

 Black Diamond Deaths Spark Mining Inquiry

 Pensioners Strip Over Pension Strip

 Activists What's On!

 Donkey Vote
 Problem Solved
 How To Run Society
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The Locker Room

First Past The Post

Phil Doyle is coming up in class and is all the better for recent racing


Watching the once great game of Rugby League descend onto a festival of corporate bestiality saddens this column.

The modern game is an ugly spectacle. A sort of hybrid between pro-wrestling and touch football.

No one gets deep and runs onto the ball in attack. You have to watch a team coached by Gentleman John Lang before you will come across a side that has the intestinal fortitude to run the ball up the middle of the ruck.

No wonder we have to put up with spoilt brats like Chris Walker, and the sight of Chris Flannery (the footballer, not the hit man) limping off with an injured testicle.

John Sattler wouldn't have given a rats about having an injured testicle. In fact Sattler, who was never a brat, probably would have played on even if the jewels had been ripped off and thrown into the southern stand at Belmore.

Whether it was the Johnny Peard bomb, the ten-metre rule, second row scrum feeds or Warren Ryan that killed Rugby League as a spectacle is a moot point - best saved for when you want to get into a fight down the pub.

Thankfully football season 2004 can be safely forgotten for another few weeks as spring arrives and our minds turn to more edifying pursuits, such as horse racing, betting systems and pawning electrical goods.

Spring is the time of the great Southern Hemisphere racing carnivals.

The Cox plate, the Caulfield Cup, the Epsom Handicap, the Metropolitan and the biggie of them all, the Melbourne Cup are all coming up over the next few weeks.

Luckily Group One racing in Australia has descended into some bizarre joke where specious ring-ins and non-contenders leave form and field selections rather murky to say the least.

The old firms of Waterhouse (nee Smith) and Cummings are on the wane and these days listed races attract more characters than a Beijing phone book.

So punters can thank god for midweek provincial races if they are to get to what constitutes the heart and soul of the Sport of Kings, which is making some nice readies with very little sweat of the brow.

There are three sorts of fools that bet on horses in midwinter, and this column is one of them. Now that the season of four horse fields and drunken jockeys is behind us we can start to keep an eye out for conveyances returning from a spell of six months or more, or those that have recently arrived in the country after running around some extraordinarily provincial track in NZ.

These potentates, some smelling of a recent paint job on the flanks, will appear at interesting odds at midweek provincial races with eponymous form tips such as 'market best guide', 'worth watching' or 'needs this outing'.

The Locker Room would advise that readers put their life savings on such conveyances as the prices available first up are never to be repeated ones, and is probably your best bet at winning enough of the folding stuff to start your own space program. *

In case of disappointment readers should console themselves that Man U's profits took a tumble last month, and market analysts (who we hope aren't Paul Scholes) say that the dosh at Old Trafford will continue to head south on falling media revenues.

Traditionalists can rejoice. It is the beginning of the end.

Phil Doyle - spinning out of control at the end of Conrod Straight.

* - Persons with increasing dudgeon vis a vis the absence of efficacy appearing from this equine munificence system proposed should send their complaints in writing to: The Hon John Howard MP, Parliament House, CANBERRA ACT 2600


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