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October 2005   

Interview: Under Fire
Michael Crosby outlines his agenda to save the movement � and explains why Australians have nothing to fear from the SEIU.

Politics: And the Winners Are ...
Wal King, Allan Moss, Roger Corbett, Chip Goodyear, Michael Chaney and David Murray have lots in common, writes Jim Marr.

Industrial: Un-Australian
Labour lawyer Clive Thompson argues the changes to IR are fundamentally at odds with the national tradition of consesensus.

Economics: The Common Wealth
As the policy wonks debate the future of our cities, Neale Towart mounts a simple argument: It�s the real people in a society, stupid

History: Walking for Justice
The Eight Hour Day, a very Australian celebration, had its origins in New Zealand it seems, writes Neale Towart.

International: Deja Vu
A group of trade unions have walked away from America's peak council, again. Labourstart's Eric Lee was there.

Legal: The Rights Stuff
Terror laws have sparked a fresh debate on a Bill of Rights - and workers have a bigger stake than ever before, writes Rachael Osman-Chin.

Review: That Cinderella Fella
Russell trades the phone for mitts in an inspiring cinematic slug-fest. Nathan Brown is ringside

Poetry: Is Howard Kidding?
Mel Cheal asks who Howard thinks he is kidding to the tune of the �Dad�s Army� theme song.


The Soapbox
No Place For A Woman!
Doreen Borrow spoke to the Public Service Association�s women�s conference in September about her experiences of working life that span seven decades.

North By Northwest
Phil Doyle returns from up north, where he survived on nothing but goodwill, good people and a great big orange bus.

The Locker Room
In which Whatsisname slams the recent poor form of Thingummyjig.

The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West MLC, gets all casual in his latest missive from the Bear Pit.


Age of Consent
After more than five years of debating, cajoling and at times pleading, NSW workers have secured a set of cyber work rights worth celebrating.


 Secret Policemen's Balls-Up

 Centrelink Breaches Cyber Law

 Examiner Pulps Cadet

 Food Truck Flattens Woman

 Will They Know It's Christmas?

 Death By Nestle

 Taskforce On Safety Charges

 Archbishop Preaches End Of Civilisation

 Union Drives Tassie Train

 PM Cold on Lunch Date

 Seafarers Scupper Sell Off

 Fraser Terror-fied

 Tribute to HT Lee

 Activist's What's On!

 Rat�s Army
 Kev's Confusion
 Make Ads Not Law
 Nice One, Workers!
 Dog Eat Dog
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That Cinderella Fella

Russell trades the phone for mitts in an inspiring cinematic slug-fest. Nathan Brown is ringside

He's lacing up the gloves, putting in his mouth guard, and carrying the hopes of the people in the grim days of the Great Depression. They're listening to the fight in the pub and in the church. He is carrying the hopes of people who probably don't have too much else to celebrate. As he steps into the ring the chant of "Braddock, Braddock" rises through the crowd.

Jim Braddock (Russell Crowe) has risen up through injury and poverty to get to this point. The film starts with Braddock enjoying some moderate success as a boxer, but injury and a ban from boxing coincides with the crash of the stock market. Pretty soon there's no money to pay the bills or buy food. The family struggles. Braddock's wife, Mae (Renee Zellweger), sends her sick children away with family. This is the cruellest blow Braddock is dealt; a direct hit to his pride. He's forced to go to back the boxing establishment which rejected him to beg for money.

His manager offers Braddock another shot in the ring. What follows is what we've all been waiting for - Rusty beating people up. A series of upset victories - helped by the strength he's gained working on the docks - earn Braddock the moniker Cinderella Man. They also earn him a shot at the title against Max Baer, an opponent who loves nothing better than dislodging his opponents' brains.

What's great about the movie is that it makes you feel that it is important that Braddock wins. With people doing it tough, they need an underdog to win; you can sense it. The combination of Crowe's acting and Ron Howard's directing create a people's champion worth barracking for.

The tough times of the depression create a vacuum for heroes to rise up. The people need heroes to give them hope - whether its Braddock in a boxing ring or FDR in the White House. People latch onto them for good or ill. The desperation comes across strongly in this movie.

Cinderella Man deals in emotion and as such a few things fall through the cracks. There's no fantastic plot or particularly fantastic characters. The accuracy has been questioned, particularly the portrayal of Baer as a murdering animal. An interesting sub-plot involving Braddock's friend on the docks who believes "we've got to organse" is only dealt with on a superficial level. And Renee Zellweger is in it - enough said.

But the rest of it is a good ride.

***1/2 You'll come out of it shadow boxing.


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