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April 2005   

Interview: Australia@Work
Labor's Penny Wong has the job of getting more people into the workplace and keeping companies honest. In her spare time ....

Unions: State of the Union
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson unveils the annual survey of attitudes of workers to their jobs, thier lives and the union.

Industrial: Fashion Accessories
Jim Marr unpacks the unlikely claim of a suburban house to be considered the New Mecca of the New Right �

Legal: Leg Before Picket
Chris White looks at how the federal industrial changes will impact on the basic right to strike.

Politics: Business Welfare Brats
Neale Towart asks why the only form of legitmate welfare seems to be going to the top end of town.

Health: Cannabis Controversy
Zoe Reynolds looks at how drug and alcohol testing is leading to some addled outcomes.

Economics: Debt, Deficit, Downturn
As the indicators head south, Frank Stilwell wonders whether it is the way we do economics that is to blame.

History: Politics In The Pubs
Phil Doyle reports on the increasingly-popular Struggles, Scabs and Schooners day out.

Review: Three Bob's Worth
Doing their best Margaret and David, Tara de Boehmler and Tim Brunero have different takes on the new Australian flick Three Dollars.

Poetry: Do The Slowly Chokie
Workers Online bard David Peetz teaches how workers to dance to Howard's industrial laws.


The Soapbox
Notes From a Laneway
Mental Health Workers Alliance member Toby Raeburn shares a week on the frontline.

The Locker Room
War, Plus The Shooting
The Socceroos aren�t their own worst enemy after all, or so says Phil Doyle

Life Imitates Art
The jokes have been around for some time about the economic rationalist's approach to the orchestra, writes Evan Jones.

The Westie Wing
Ian West takes the secret passage out of Macquarie Street to deliver his take on NSW Parliamentary Committees and other goings on.


Icarus Rising
Right now John Howard is flying. Watch him soar in his Vodafone track-suit, further than the Hawke into unchartered skies.


 Health System to Subsidise Shonks

 Who Likes Bing Lee?

 Death Threats Shut Campsie

 Thumbs Down for Union Busters

 Advocate Pours Salt on Wound

 United Front Beats Drug Boss

 Kev Backs Double Standard

 Victorian Morality Shafts Teacher

 Doctors Prescribe More

 Multinational Banks Jobs

 Working Class Idol

 Greens Protect Entitlements

 Activist�s What�s On

 Students Bear Brunt
 Security Lacking
 Bus Lanes On Vic Rd
 Dirt Cheap Right On Money
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The Locker Room

War, Plus The Shooting

The Socceroos aren�t their own worst enemy after all, or so says Phil Doyle

"Sport is just war minus the shooting"
George Orwell

Last month Australia was treated to another dose of international football action when the Socceroos took on Iraq and Indonesia.

The international football body, FIFA,, rate Iraq higher than Australia, regardless of the west's efforts to send the country back to the Stone Age via a very large amount of explosive.

Despite, or maybe because of this, the Iraqis had the good grace to come to Sydney during Show Week and play at football against cheerful Frank Farina's XI.

The Australian international side is always a drawcard, despite the fact that the domestic game, outside of Perth, seems about as popular as rabies.

The problem is that with so many players spread so far and wide, Farina appears to be pushing the proverbial uphill in terms of welding together some sort of cohesive outfit.

It was on display again down at the showground last month, before the Mullet with a Heart, Ahmed Elrich, saved the day with his incisive contribution.

Then a plucky Indonesian outfit also caused some heart flutters in Perth before Elrich's injection again lifted the Socceroos performance.

Elrich is the future of football in Australia. He is the Mullet that Matters.

He is keen, talented, able, and, most importantly, quite probably mad.

The Socceroos will need Elrich, for they have a task ahead of them.

Elrich is in dispute with his Korean club and wants out. If Ahmed Elrich was around at my place and wanted out, I'd let him. I saw deep into his eyes during the post match interview on SBS, and it was quite apparent that we were dealing with something very special.

The eponymously named Football Australia will need Elrich, for they could be headed towards something they may not be quite prepared for, and in that sort of situation Elrich will be invaluable.

To make the World Cup the Socceroos have to play the nation that comes fifth in the South American qualifiers. While that may again be Uruguay, it could equally be Venezuela.

Venezuela recently imported 100,000 AK47s.

While this caused alarm amongst the brain dead neophytes at the Pentagon, they have nothing to fear.

The AK47's are obviously an insurance policy for a visit by the Socceroos.

Given the popularity of El Futbol in South America we shouldn't be surprised if 1000,000 Kalashnikov wielding Venezuelans meet a smiling Frank Farina at the airport, hell bent on ensuring there is no Australian presence at the World Cup.

Australia has hard luck on the road to the World Cup before, why should this be any different.

Luckily, we will have Elrich in the squad.

If anyone can deal with 100,000 crazed Kalashnikov wielding Venezuelan Futbol fans it's Ahmed Elrich.

Australian football is in safe hands.

What is of greater concern is the amount of Magpies in the NSW Rugby League Metho Cup.

The second tier League competitions boasts no fewer than THREE Magpie teams: Wentworthville, Asquith and Ourimbah.

I Think we're starting to get to the point where this moniker business is getting out of hand. There is no imagination.

Why doesn't the NSWRL promote those sides that have put a bit of thought into their nicknames?

The Forestville Ferretts, the Warilla Gorillas, The Maitland Pumpkin Pickers, the Parkes Spacemen - all real examples of what can be done when a bit of imagination is used in coming up with a moniker.

Anything, anything would be better than another Magpie.

That said, go 'pies.

Phil Doyle - Stretching before moving into the blocks for the 200 metre hurdle


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