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September 2005   
F E A T U R E S

Interview: Polar Eclipse
Academic David McKnight challenges some sacred cows in his new book "Beyond Left and Right".

Industrial: Wrong Turn
Radical labour reform is on the horizon but some workers, like Sydney bus driver Yvonne Carson, have seen it all before, writes Jim Marr.

Unions: Star Support
It wasn't just families who backed workers' rights at The Last Weekend, but a bunch of musicians who set the tone, writes Chrissy Layton.

Workplace: Checked Out
Glenda Kwek asks you to consider the plight of the retail worker, and shares some of her experiences

Economics: Sold Out
The Future Fund and industrial relations reform are favourite projects of the PM and the Treasurer. Both are speculations on the future and the only guarantee with them is that you will be worse off, writes Neale Towart.

Politics: Green Banned
The impact of new building industry laws wonít be confined to one industry, writes CFMEU national secretary John Sutton.

History: Potted History
Lithgow is a place with a proud history as a union town. The origins of broader community solidarity lie in the early industrial development of the town and the development of unions. The Lithgow Pottery dispute of 1890 was a key event.

International: Curtain Call
The curtains have opened for East Timorís young theatre performers, thanks to a Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA project.

Review: Little Fish
At last! An Aussie film with substance, suspense and a serious dose of reality, writes Lucy Muirhead

Poetry: Slug A Worker
In a shock development, the Federal Treasurer, Peter Costello, gave a ringing endorsement to the poetry pages of Workers Online, writes resident bard David Peetz.

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Families First
New Senator Stephen Fielding turned a few heads with his Maiden Speech to Parliament.

The Locker Room
The New World Order
Phil Doyle declares himself unavailable for the fifth and deciding test.

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West, reports from the NSW Government's Safety Summit

Postcard
On The Bus
A bright orange bus travelling the state has become the focus of the campaign against federal IR changes. Nathan Brown was on board.

E D I T O R I A L

Middle Australia
The Prime Minister rarely responds directly to criticism, so when he rushed out a media release rebutting an ACIRRT analysis of wages data this week, it was clear that they had a hit a raw nerve.

N E W S

 Trucks Run Down Mums

 Boom! Biff! Itís Howard Unplugged

 Fun Guy Spreads Fertiliser

 Doors Close on Battered Mums

 Bing Lee Peddles Rubbish

 Bless This Bus

 High Court: Ads Do Kremlin Proud

 Families Water Win

 Tesltra Cuts Get Poor Reception

 Vegetable Campaign Sprouts

 Check Work/Family Balance Here

 Tim Wins For Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA

 Activists Whatís On!

L E T T E R S
 Care Confusion
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Poetry

Slug A Worker


In a shock development, the Federal Treasurer, Peter Costello, gave a ringing endorsement to the poetry pages of Workers Online, writes resident bard David Peetz.

Speaking in Parliament on 9 August, the Treasurer said:

"There we have, lining up with recommendations for further industrial relations reform in Australia, the OECD, the IMF and the Governor of the Reserve Bank. Who is lining up against further reform of economic matters in this country? We have an article written by the member for Lilley in today's Australian Financial Review... He quoted labour economist David Peetz in support of his proposition. I do not know David Peetz, but a very quick survey on this independent voice quoted by the member for Lilley finds that David Peetz, under the auspices of the ACTU, has been conducting research for the last 18 months into the experience and performance of union officials and delegates. A search of the Workers Online magazine finds that David Peetz is described as its resident bard who writes poems for Workers Online... He sings songs that he himself writes, including one called You're fired--which apparently is sung to the tune of Rawhide... Anyway, here is a question for the House of Representatives. Those in favour of economic reform are the OECD, the IMF and the Reserve Bank; those against are the member for Lilley and David Peetz. I wonder who would be the more reliable advisers on this particular matter. Would it be possible that David Peetz and Wayne Swan know what is better for the Australian industrial relations system than the OECD, the IMF and the Reserve Bank governor?"

As most Workers Online readers would realise, the answer to this last Dorothy Dixer must be "yes", if the research published by seventeen labour market academics in June is anything to go by.

In gracious appreciation of this recognition in Parliament, our resident bard has penned this tribute to the federal Treasurer, drawing inspiration from Lionel Bart's famous musical Oliver, in which a poor unwanted lad shuffles, bowl in hand, up to the man in charge and says "please sir, can I have some more?". Sounds familiar doesn't it? In this scene Peter, disguised as the scoundrel Fagin, teaches the lads in the Cabinet the finer arts of fiscal policy.

YOU'VE GOT TO SLUG A WORKER OR TWO

[PETER]
"In this job, one thing counts
Give the rich, large amounts
I'm afraid these don't grow on trees,
I've got to pick-a-pocket or two

I've got to pick-a-pocket or two, lads,
I've got to pick-a-pocket or two. "

[CABINET]
"Large amounts don't grow on trees.
You've got to pick-a-pocket or two."

[PETER]
"Why should toffs break their backs
Stupidly paying tax?
Better get someone else's income
Better to slug-a-worker or two.

You've got to slug-a-worker or two, lads
You've got to slug-a-worker or two."

[CABINET]
"Why should toffs all break their backs?
Better slug-a-worker or two. "

[PETER]
"Gough Whitlam, what a crook!
Gave the poor, what he took.
Charity's fine, I'm running mine,
I've got to slug-sole-pensioners too

You've got to slug-sole-pensioners too, lads
You've got to slug-sole-pensioners too. "

[CABINET]
"Give the poor what they deserve
You've got to slug-sole-pensioners too"

[PETER] "Take tips from the right wing
We can sell everything.
Don't thing small - they'd be appalled
Unless we sell an asset or two.

You've got to sell-an-asset or two, lads
You've got to sell-an-asset or two. "

[CABINET] "We won't stop at anything
When we sell-an-asset or two. "

[JOHN - SPOKEN]
"Hello, Peter? Peter, can you hear me? We seem to have lost our connection!"

[PETER]
"Working folk, on the job,
Make them jump, make them sob
Everything's clear, just aim right here
Get in and sack-a-worker or two.

You've got to sack-a-worker or three, lads
You've got to sack-a-worker or ten "

[CABINET]
"Have no fear, just smirk and sneer
Get in and sack-a-worker or twenty."

[VARIOUS CABINET MEMBERS - SPOKEN]
"Twenty, why not fifty?"
"I say a hundred"

[PETER]
"Why stop at a hundred? Sack everyone!"

[PETER AND CABINET]
"When we see someone rich,
All our palms start to itch
Only to find some peace of mind
We have to slug-a-worker or two."

[PETER]
"You've got to slug-a-worker or two, lads
You've got to slug-a-worker or two."
[CABINET]
"Just to find some peace of mind"
[PETER AND CABINET]
"We have to slug-a-worker or two!"


------


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