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March 2005   

Interview: Dot.Com
Evan Thornley was a labour activist. Then he rode the tech wave. Now he's home with new ideas on how Labor can win the economic debate.

Workplace: Dirt Cheap
In her new book, Elizabeth Wynhausen learns how hard it is to live on the minimum wage.

Industrial: Daddy Doesnít Live With Us Anymore
Andreia Viegasí tells the story of the loss her young family has felt since her husband was killed at work, and the need for justice for families who fall victim to industrial manslaughter.

Economics: Who's Afraid of the BCA?
Big Business's agenda for Australia has gone from loopy to mainstream at the speed of light, writes Neale Towart

International: From the Wreckage
Working people across Iraq are struggling to build their own independent unions Ė and are successfully organising industrial action on the vital oil fields as well as in hotels, transport outlets and factories, Writes Andrew Casey

Politics: Infrastructure Blues
With much attention given belatedly to the shortage of infrastructure, little attention has been given to the structure of infrastructure, writes Evan Jones

History: Meat and Three Veg
A new book recounts the impact of the Depression on women workers, writes Neale Towart,

Savings: 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, writes Jim Marr.

Politics: Popping the 'E-Word'
Federal shadow treasurer Wayne Swan unveils Labor's new economic doctrine.

Poetry: To Know Somebody
This week saw an appointment to the ABC Board that was even more breathtaking than that of Liberal Party figure Michael Kroger. Resident Bard David Peetz celebrates the occasion with a reworking of an old Bee Gees hit.

Review: Off the Rails
A new play on the impact of rail privatisation in Britain has a poignant message for Sydney commuters, writes Alex Mitchell


The Soapbox
The Big Picture
Think about this: It takes 150 tonnes of iron ore to buy a plasma TV, writes Doug Cameron.

The Locker Room
Reducto Ad Absurdo
Phil Doyle offers advice for the lovelorn, and finds that things are getting smaller

New Matilda
Work is In
The rise and fall of the working hours debate in france is relevent to Australian workers, writes Daniel Donahoo and Tim Martyn

The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP surveys the upcoming conservative centralist collective attack.

Postcard from Harvard
Australian union officials making the annual pilgrimage to the Harvard Trade Union Program learnt that, at least, they are not alone, says Natalie Bradbury.


Thatís Our Team
Hereís a test. Hands up all those who watched the news last night. Who can remember the weather forecast for tomorrow? What about the forecast in Perth?


 Rev Kev: Innocent Shall Be Guilty

 Itís Official - Taskforce "Hopeless"

 Hollywood For Tropfest Evictees

 Miner Problem for Feds

 Students Driven to Sleep

 Brogden Dances On Graves

 Let Them Drink Beer

 Traffic Fines Parked

 The Airline That Flew a Kite

 Hundreds Resist Porridge

 Experts Back Better Childcare Pay

 Mushroom Mums Win

 Rotten Fruit Exposed

 Workers Sue Rumsfeld

 Activistís Whatís On

 Stay Terra Firma on Tax
 Janetís Job No Victory
 Royal Finger Lickers
 Will $20 Restore Carr?
 Two Ideas
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The Locker Room

Reducto Ad Absurdo

Phil Doyle offers advice for the lovelorn, and finds that things are getting smaller

"Sports writers are a rude and brainless subculture of fascist drunks." - Hunter S. Thompson

The Locker Room is constantly surprised by the wonderful developments that beset the world of sport.

Twenty/20 cricket, 3am curfews and the death of Hunter S. Thompson are but three that have happened in recent times

Of the three the first is by far the most unusual.

It is not without its problems, but is in keeping with the Zeitgeist of these times.

Instant gratification is bringing instant gratification to all it would seem.

Nonetheless this column sounds a note of caution. Especially for those who seek love in their lives.

This column poses the question; who would you rather have a romantic interlude with - someone who wants something over quickly, wham bam, with an obvious result; or someone who likes it to last for five days, often with still no result?

For that reason the Locker Room has long been a fan of test cricket.

The advent of Twenty/20 cricket will now no doubt mean that one-day cricket will be labelled 'dull" and "slow".

It will be interesting to see if 'traditionalists' rush to the defence of one-day cricket.

Will we hear cries that Twenty/20 cricket is destroying one-day cricket; that you never see the line and length slow medium pacer anymore; where has the reverse sweep and the French cut gone?

And so on and so forth.

Bill O'Reilly, the man who coined the phrase 'Pyjama Cricket' would be spinning in his grave.

He felt that the 50 over game belittled both players and spectators - and this column has some sympathy with the old coot.

It's not hard to see where all this will end. Pretty soon they'll be clamouring for Ten/10, or Five/5 Cricket. After One/1 they'll be left with None/0.

What is pleasing is seeing Cricket return to a public broadcaster. Any public broadcaster would do, but SBS is just fine.

Millions wept with joy at the prospect of being able to watch the Ashes on free-to-air TV sans Mssrs Greig, Taylor, et al. Even without that ridiculous pommy work experience chap popping up from time to time.

Let's just hope that SBS isn't as fond of mass-marketing limited edition collectables that no one wants.

From all accounts it could be nice to have someone vaguely intelligent presenting our cricket this winter. Let's hope they don't stuff it up like Nine have well and truly done in recent decades.

The most unusual entry in the 'what's in a name" award arrives this month via the august pages of the UK Guardian.

The Portsmouth Football Club are known as the "Skates", and the Guardian informed its readers why:

"Royal Navy sailors who were at sea for months on end would often use skate fish to relieve their sexual frustrations (the mouth of the skate is said to be even better than warm liver). According to local myth, Portsmouth women would fend off the advances of sailors with the phrase 'I ain't no skate-bait, mate.'"

See, sport can be romantic.

Phil Doyle - wearing the yellow shirt as they go into the mountain stage


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