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August 2005   

Interview: On Holiday
Historian Richard White looks back on the Aussie vacation - and finds a way of life is under threat.,

Unions: One Day Longer
Nathan Brown travels to the Boeing picket line and find a group of workers with a steely determination to stick together.

Industrial: Never Mind the Bollocks
Jim Marr plays the Howard Government's industrial relations spin job on its merits.

Politics: Spun Out
Canberra’s latest campaign underlines the need for controls over government advertising, according to Graeme Orr and Joo-Cheong Tham

Economics: If the Grog Don't Get You ....
Evan Jones explains how the way we purchase alcolohol reflects the type of economy we live in.

History: Taking a Stand
Neale Towart looks at two books that chronicle how to build community support against social injustice.

International: The Split
Amanda Tattersal outsider's account of an insider's shake-out at the AFL-CIO Convention 2005

Legal: Pushing the Friendship
George Williams argues that the federal government’s constitutional powers are not sufficient to enact a comprehensive national industrial relations scheme

Poetry: Simple Subtractions
The latest blitz of taxpayer-funded advertising has revealed a crisis of arithmetic in government ranks has moved resident bard David Peetz to prose.

Review: Sydney Trashed
Sydney band SC Trash are on a mission to give new life to folk and country music – and the politics of common sense. Nathan Brown had a beer with them


The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West, goes away for a couple of weeks and look what happens…

The Soapbox
The Last Weekend
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson's speech to the Last Weekend - how the Howard government laws will undermine the Ausrtalian way of life.

The Locker Room
A Concept Is Born
In which Phil Doyle helps the proponents of the vision thing across the road.

Workers Blood For Oil
A new book by Abdullah Muhsin and Alan Johnson lifts the lid on the bloody reality of US backed democracy for Iraq's trade unions

London Post
During his recent stay in London IEU industrial officer John Shapiro was living only a few hundred metres from the site of one of the bomb blasts.


Iemma’s Dilemmas
The past fortnight has seen the sort of upheaval in NSW that reminds us all that politics is a very tenuous game with few certainties and even fewer rules.


 Carmen's Boss No Fun Guy

 Discriminating Centrelink on Charges

 Uproar Over Holiday Plans

 Do The Bus Stop

 Taxpayers to Fund Advertising Orgy

 Get Up Stands Up

 Andrews Provokes Showdown

 Thousands in Super Rort

 Constituents Don’t Trust Andrews

 Skill Shortage Fabricated

 Yanks Short Change Tradesmen

 Howard Steamroller Hits Building Sites

 CFMEU Bans Ferguson

 Activists Whats On!

 Back To The Past
 AFL-CIO Not The Only War
 Be Afraid
 Frame Up
 We Love Morris
 ANew Development
 A Readers Suggestion
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The Locker Room

A Concept Is Born

In which Phil Doyle helps the proponents of the vision thing across the road.

The Locker Room is a bit antsy this month as it is still coming to terms with the fact that it can't go across the road after work and have a smoke and a beer with the workmates.

The reason this column left home at sixteen was to get away from this sort of helpful consideration as to what others thought was best.

Why the hell someone would like to live a long and healthy life in a society so boring is beyond comprehension. It's not as if all those Pilates doing suckers are exactly flocking to the pubs now that the hostelleries been liberated from all that fun.

It is a conservative age and the wowsers have the field. All is lost. Next we will all be expected to be valuable members of society.

It occured to the Locker Room that this was the case last month when a civic minded Novacastrian decided to do something the Knights had failed to do and lay a tackle.

The fact that he did this by jumping the fence at Broadmeadow incurred the wrath of the powers that be with suggestions from everything from his being barred from future NRL fixtures (he should be so lucky), to having his skin flayed in public, his house destroyed and salt cast on the foundations.

Alas the days of audience participation at the footy are long gone, despite the fact that the crowd loves how it breaks the monotony of the sport being played.

When was the last time you saw a happy, tail-wagging doggie getting involved in the action?

It's been too bloody long.

When was the last time you saw a crowd boo a streaker?

The reason they don't is because the crowd loves it.

Nonetheless, the humourless bastards that run this world are determined to criminalise everything that doesn't involve being a longer working and lower paid wage slave.

Sports rot from the outside in. This is as true as your foot being at the end of your leg.

Unfortunately this extension of the KISS principle flies wonderfully over the heads of the potatoes that have decided to make everything better for us whether we like it or not.

The reason they cannot mesh their view of what is best for us all with the dark reality of what the mob likes best is because they are afflicted with a "vision".

We've all heard some bullet headed banana at a microphone droning on about his or her vision for football, cricket, soccer, basketball, netball or curling. It's usually featured in the sports news during off season behind the report that John Elias is out of gaol and set to line up with the Moscow Knights this season.

The problem is their vision is often somewhat blurred behind a lot of managese that sounds innocuously evil, but actually means nothing. Problem being, it gives them license to strip anything worthwhile from the anarchic joy of sport and replace it with four tonnes worth of steaming buckets of Hyundai.

For chrissakes, we had people complaining that Leichhardt Oval was too crowded last month!

Too crowded? It's like saying you had too much fun. There's always the exit if the thrilling energy of a surging mass of humanity proves too much for you. If you want comfortable seating, good food and a pleasant atmosphere then sign up for Foxtel.

Going to the football was never meant to be pleasant, it was meant to be exciting.

The purveyors of the vision thing have never been big fans of the mob. Their idea of excitement is capital depreciating accounting methods. They govern through focus group, which is mistake, as all people are born liars and will constantly tell you what you want to hear.

It's the sort of dangerous mistake that leads to executive government.

Now, because of the vision thing, they want to make cricket interesting and footy boring.

I hope they all die of emphysma from passive smoking.

Phil Doyle down in back play late in the second half


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