The Official Organ of LaborNET
click here to view the latest edition of Workers Online
The Official Organ of LaborNET
Free home delivery
December 2004   

Interview: Minority Report
New federal ALP industrial relations spokesman Stephen Smith on the hostilities in store for the labour movement.

Industrial: Girl Power
Tim Brunero looks at how women are making their mark in a once-male dominated trade.

Unions: Made in NZ
Jim Marr looks behind the rhetoric to uncover what the Howard Government has in store for Australian workers.

History: Spirit for a Fair Go
Paddy Gorman looks at the importance of Eureka on the Australian political psyche.

Economics: Fool's Gold
Tom Bramble identifies some contradictions in Howard's economic miracle.

Politics: Worth Fighting For
One of the Left's most influential figures of the last 40 years gives his theory of power ...

Health: The Force Behind Medibank
Public health has always been a core activity for the union movement, writes Neale Towart

Legal: Robust Justice
Former ACTU executive member and textile union leader Anna Booth argues that Alternate Dispute Resolution is one way around the looming assault on union rights.

International: After the Revolution
Has China entered a post-revolutionary phase - and where will it take the world, asks James Goodman

Poetry: The Sound of Unions
Ah, the hills are alive, with The Sound of Unions, muses resident bard, David Peetz

Review: Bad Santa
Billy Bob Thornton's newest role puts the 'nick' in Saint Nicholas and reveals the Satan in Santa, writes Tara de Boehmler.


New Matilda
How Labor Lost the Plot
In his contribution to Australia's new political zine 'New Matilda' , Father Michael kelly argues the ALP is in search of a soul.

The Soapbox
Outside the Tent
Labor exile Lindsay Tanner is warning the ALP to be careful who it gets into bed with.

The Locker Room
Sons Of Beaches
Phil Doyle gets the perfect wave, and waves back

The Westie Wing
150 years since the struggle at Eureka, the fight to achieve social justice, equality and responsible government is just as vital as ever in the neo-conservative Australia, writes Ian West.

Postcard from Harare
Ken Davis, from Union Aid Abroad, on how unions are at the forefront in the battle for democracy in Zimbabwe


Moral Majority
Unions NSW is currently hosting one of the world�s great thinkers in Robert Reich; academic, commentator and Clinton labour secretary; a man with a mind as big as the dilemmas progressive politics face right now.


 Moral Crusade to Save Family

 20 Dead � Stockmarket Applauds

 Karen Gives Howard a Paint Job

 Buckeridge Bill Blocks Entry

 Casual Beach Closures

 Railworkers Scull Costa

 Racism in the Dock

 Go Home Alone � And Other Survival Tips

 Vet Beats Bullet

 Cleaners Clean Up

 Weekend Work Wiped

 Miners Go to the Movies

 Feds Attack Low Paid

 Activists What's On!

 Leadership Skills
 Not A Casey Fan
About Workers Online
Latest Issue
Print Latest Issue
Previous Issues
Advanced Search

other LaborNET sites

Labor Council of NSW
Vic Trades Hall Council
IT Workers Alliance
Unions on LaborNET
Evatt Foundation

Labor for Refugees


The Locker Room

Sons Of Beaches

Phil Doyle gets the perfect wave, and waves back


Hitchhiking was once the preferred mode of transport for this columnist.

It was a variable way of moving between point a and point b, allowing one to sample a diverse and candid range of philosophies and opinions. Some mad, some crazy and others just plain ridiculous.

The brief things people spoke often said a lot.

"I'm like most people, I surf," said one panelvan wielding long hair as we rattled along between Cobargo and Narooma one pleasant sunny afternoon.

Surfing wanders into the realm of sport like someone in shorts and thongs wanders into a wedding.

It has a culture that would test many an anthropologist. It is a world, as my kind lift so many years ago inadvertently pointed out, all on its own.

The ocean is an amazing thing.

The moon and wind dragging the ocean tides and throwing up a great green heaving angry beast one day and a sheet of tranquil glass another.

It is a personality; a character.

It is the home of dolphins and dead sailors.

It is the altar of the surf gods.

Needless to say the modern equivalent of that character from Hemingway�s The Old Man And The Sea, the surfer, is not allowed to merely engage in the reflective pursuit of nirvana on a six foot piece of fibreglass, no.

In these great times it is necessary to reduce all the majesty of riding the ocean rampant to the evil banality of competition.

I have tried to understand surfing as a sport, but its sheer subjectivity escapes me.

It would be like trying to award points to a beautiful day, or a bushfire. Nature itself comes to the crease and marks its guard - for without the ocean, and a halfway decent swell, the whole affair is pointless.

After all, you can't surf in Katoomba.

But a sport it is, replete with competition and a pro-circuit, big business sponsorship, fashion labels and expensive car parking.

It's like golf, only not as many nerds.

Summer is here. The high season of surfing, and all things oceanic. Maybe some things should be just left as fun and not dropped into the brown bureaucracy of sport as a business.

Summer is also the season of cricket on the radio.

This is a fine institution, even if sometimes they forget to tell you the score for overs on end.

Kerry O�Keefe may or may not be funny in your eyes, but his laugh is certainly unique.

The GPS tones of Jim Maxwell lend a certain authority to the event, capturing something of the atmosphere of how a test match is as much the crowd as it is what's going on at the wicket.

For pure atmosphere there is no substitute for being at the game, preferably with a few friends, dressed in something ridiculous and perhaps not as sober as you once were.

"Give us a wave," you cry to the bloke fielding at long leg, or third man. And there's a roar as the bloke waves back, contributing to the general sense of anarchy and winning the hearts of thousands of half-cut yobbos for a day.

Every now and then there�s even some wit but not as often as there used to be it seems. These days there's mainly some form of vilification or another and the presence of the ubiquitous security guards.

The beer's too expensive and the food is atrocious. By half past five everyone is either sunstruck, drunk or fed up. No one has any idea of the score. Australian culture at its finest.

Unfortunately you can't surf at the cricket, but you can listen to the cricket at the beach.

And drifting in and out of sleep on day three of the Sydney test while flat out on the sand during the tea session is not the worst old way to pass ones time on this mortal coil.

After stumps, like most people, you can go for a surf.

Phil Doyle - going three wide as they come into the straight


email workers to a friend printer-friendly version latest breaking news from labornet

Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue

© 1999-2002 Workers Online
Workers Online is a resource for the Labour movement
provided by the Labor Council of NSW
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005

Powered by APT Solutions
Labor Council of NSW Workers Online