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February 2005   

Economics: Super Seduction
Sharks are circling your super. From July 1, banks and financial planners will have access to the nesteggs of an extra four million workers.

Interview: Bono and Me
ACTU Sharan Burrow lifts the lid on the rock star lifestyle of an international union leader.

Unions: The Eight Hour Day and the Holy Spirit
Rowan Cahill bucks conventional wisdom to argue the eight-hour day began in Sydney.

Economics: OEC-Who?
The OECD calls for more reform. But, Asks Neale Towart, who is really doing the calling?

Technology: From Widgets to Digits
How can unions grow and continue to successfully represent workers when their traditional structures are rooted in an industry, craft or fixed location?

Education: Dumb and Dumber
Unions are leading the fight against a political agenda that does away with smart jobs.

Health: No Place for the Young
The support of union members is required to help get young people out of nursing homes, writes Mark Robinson

History: The Work-In That Changed a Nation
February 17 marks 30-years to the day that sacked coal miners at the NSW Northern District Nymboida Colliery began their historic work-in at the mine.

Review: Dare to Win
The history of the militant and often controversial BLF is as surprising as it is fascinating writes Tim Brunero.

Poetry: Labor's Dreaming
With another change at the helm of the Labor Party, our resident bard, David Peetz, can't help but dreamily drawing on some political history.


Titanic Forces
There are book reviewers who have not read the book they have just reviewed and there are critics who have criticised films they have not yet seen. I want to review a novel that has not yet been written.

The Soapbox
Labour and Labor
Grant Bellchamber looks at the relationship between both sides organised labour

Aussie Unions Help Tsunami Victims
The union movement�s aid agency reports back on its relief effort in Asia.

The Locker Room
Game, Set and Yawn
Phil Doyle asks if tennis is evil or just boring

The Westie Wing
As a reshuffle of the State Ministry settles in and the Federal Government throws down the gauntlet, 2005 promises to be a new and vital chapter in the struggle for workers and their families, writes Ian West in Macquarie Street.


Polar Shifts
And so Workers Online makes our belated return to 2005 - and while we may have the same old familiar faces in Federal Parliament, politically, it�s a whole new ball game.


 Plastic Man Crosses the Line

 Taskforce Loses "Payback" Evidence

 Court Out � Again

 Blue Chips Fried in CBD

 Bosses Duck Decapitation

 Computer Driven Posties

 Stalking Horses in Safety Stampede

 Low Blow in Ferry Blue

 Howard "Unbalanced"

 Picketers Chase Millions

 Whistleblower Beats Bullies

 Mateship Shines Through

 Queensland Marks Power Grab

 Vale Laurie Aarons 1917-2005

 Nelson's Double Standard
 Morals Beat Hasty Retreat
 Uncounted Cost Of Asbestos
 Voting Farce Expands
 I Beg To Differ
 Politics Smolitics
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The Locker Room

Game, Set and Yawn

Phil Doyle asks if tennis is evil or just boring


"Boredom: the desire for desires." - Leo Tolstoy

A long time ago, sometime last month, there was cricket being played.

Games wandered around like an old dog a the park; coming from nowhere and heading nowhere, falling across the gaze of a contented public that sprawled across the nation's lounges in a contented stupor, soaking up the soporific poetry of the ABC commentary and the absurd theatre of the TV coverage.

It was a harmless and pleasant time. The sun baked down outside while the ritualistic spectacle unfolded like some kind of hybrid between performance art and opiated athletics meet.

But while cricket was quietly minding it's own business, intoning numbers like some Coptic Bishop recites psalms, an evil spectre was looming.

Bursting onto this summer idyll like a Sunday morning leafblower came the Australian Open.

A sport least suited to radio coverage than tennis is hard to contemplate.

Sailing was pretty hard to fathom during the America's Cup, but the interloping coverage of the tennis last month was a scandal of mammoth proportions.

"Backhand! Forehand! Forehand! Forehand! Backhand!"

Certainly, someone's hand was pretty busy.

When slotted against the poetic anarchy of the cricket coverage it sounded quite bizarre. About as listenable as an experimental electronic orchestra from Berlin.

To add insult to injury it was possible to hear the Australian cricket team in action on Cricket plus in the Caribbean, but not in Australia.

One could hear of Afridi's exploits in Kingstown, but not in Kingswood.

"Is no natty dred mon!"

What flea-bitten, dopey headed, aluminium brained clot came up with this broadcasting the tennis on the radio at the expense of cricket idea?

Whoever it is, someone should get a blueprint of their brain. It will be handy if ever you wish to build a moron.

Speaking of morons, it's hard to tell from this distance whether Greg Norman is a moron or a congenital idiot.

The smart money is firming on the latter.

To watch his chisel-jawed visage in the corporate box while Lleyton is embarrassing himself in public again is to wonder at why this man is held in esteem by anything, let along human beings.

This man's achievements matter not a jot in the scheme of things. Given his abilities you'd think that his sole commercial value would be to advertise something that wanted to demonstrate its choking qualities.

I've seen flat basketballs with more spine.

No wonder he admires the little brat from Adelaide, they deserve each other.

And what's all this weird shit with the blonde girlfriend?

If the locker room wants to put up with blonde idiots he'll go surfing.

This column has suspected all along that tennis is some middle class front for wife swapping; either that or some wacko cult that worships deodorant.

Tennis is very strange.

Let's just hope we don't have to put up with Wimbledon buggering up the ashes series any more than Foxtus already has.

Phil Doyle - going in-off on the black


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