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December 2005   
F E A T U R E S

Interview: The Binds That Tie
Dr Don Edgar has demolished the Prime Minister's credentials as a family man.

Unions: Worth Cycling For
Pedal power joined the Your Rights At Work campaign on a 350km journey to take a message to Canberra’s politicians, wrties Phil Doyle.

Industrial: The Elephant in the Corner
Jim Marr takes a look at what the government has secreted away in the WorkChoices package, revealing what is really at stake - and what can be done about it.

Legal: A Law Unto Themselves
In this extract from the Evatt Foundation's 'State of the States' Jeff Shaw & Monika Ciolek look at the constitutional issues rasied by WorkChoices.

Politics: Ethically Lonely
At a forum in the Australian Stock Exchange sponsored by big end of town solicitors, you would expect at least one person to be in favour of John Howard’s industrial relations laws, wrties Rachael Osman-Chin.

History: Women, Unions, Banners and Parades
Trade union banners reveal more about union history than their male designers and makers intended, writes Neale Towart.

Women: Relaxed and Comfortable?
Suzanne Hammond from WEL argues there are many hidden nasties in WorkChoices for working women.

International: The Last Social Democrat
A trade union leader's victory marks beginning of class politics in Israel, wrties Eric Lee

Review: The Corpse Bride
Come to a world where decay, loss and broken dreams are everywhere - and it's not the Federal Senate.

Culture: Tony Moore Holds His Own
In his new book, Tony Moore argues that today's generation of political leaders has much to learn from Bazza McKenzie.

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Whitefellas - You Just Can’t Trust ‘Em.
Racial stereotyping is a bad business. That said, Graham Ring has discovered a segment of society that drinks too much, behaves unreliably and can’t seem to adapt to change. Sadly, the conclusion is inescapable…

The Locker Room
Fore!
Phil Doyle slices one into the car park.

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Ian West makes a midnight dash to Workers Online, slides his State political report under the door, then heads back to the Macquarie Street Chamber of Horrors…

E D I T O R I A L

A Free Vote
This week’s charade of the Senate amending the Howard Government’s workplace laws raises fundamental questions about the sort of democracy Australia has become.

N E W S

 Read His Lips: WorkChoices Too Much

 Joyce A Christmas Goose

 Workers Leave Boss in Tool Shed

 Costello Chokes On Asbestos Compo

 Telstra Hangs Up on Former Staff

 Bank Check on Bras

 Bill of Work Rights on Agenda

 Funny Film - Scary Message

 Sign Of the Times

 Unions Chip In for Lauren

 Company Raids Own Ship

 Activist's What's On!

L E T T E R S
 Million Mum March
 Pension Pinching
 John Bares All
 Radicalising Yoof
 Tom A World Away
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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The Soapbox

Whitefellas - You Just Can’t Trust ‘Em.


Racial stereotyping is a bad business. That said, Graham Ring has discovered a segment of society that drinks too much, behaves unreliably and can’t seem to adapt to change. Sadly, the conclusion is inescapable…

That bloke who went mad with the gun at Port Arthur? Whitefella. The English guy who pinched squillions of dollars from his company and lost it on the stock-market? Whitefella. The directors of the James Hardie corporation, busy protecting the company's billions whilst leaving asbestosis victims in the lurch? Whitefellas.

If you look closely, you may see a pattern beginning to emerge. Stalin, Hitler, Ronald Biggs. Whitefellas all of them. Not a good look is it? Makes it easy to see why people are a bit reluctant to mix with them.

To make matters worse, most of them are in the grip of the grog. The stats are pretty clear on this: Only 16% of non-Indigenous Australians are teetotal, yet over 30% of Aboriginal Australians don't touch the stuff. Only one in eight white males abstains from alcohol, whereas amongst blackfellas the figure is closer to one in three.

You've gotta feel sorry for people struggling like this. But it gets worse.

Sadly, many of these folk have a tendency to go walkabout. Bundjalung country in south-east Queensland is over-run every winter by whitefellas from Victoria who can't cope with the cold. (This kind of shiftlessness and inability to deal with discomfort makes them a poor risk for prospective employers.)

Remarkably, this mob spend most of their time in Queensland oiled up like chips - trying to make their skins go dark. So they're not really whitefellas at all. They just like to call themselves that when its suits them.

Same as the 'whitefellas' living out in the bush. They don't look much like whitefellas to me. They haven't got suits, expensive cars or office jobs, so it's hard to see how they could be fair-dinkum. Real whitefellas live in Sydney and Melbourne. Everybody knows that.

These people tend to cling to the old ways. They just don't seem to be able to adjust to changing circumstances. Take Sydney for example. The road system is in a state of semi-permanent gridlock and the city is choked with pollution given off by these motionless motorcars.

But do they have the vision to beef up the public transport system? No way Jose. They just build more tunnels to carry more cars to cause more pollution. It's distressing to see people so limited in their thinking.

In the big cities, the best retail land is occupied by sacred sites called 'churches'. In the old days, folks flocked to these places for spiritual guidance, but no-one much goes along any more.

People are voting with their feet. Surely its time to give this valuable space over to commercial interests, and relocate these so-called sacred sites to the outer suburbs where the land is cheaper. You can't stop progress.

But the saddest thing about these shiftless, drunken types is that they can't even agree amongst themselves. Next time you see a gang of whitefellas hanging about - and lets face it - they do tend to hang around in packs - ask them what they think about abortion, or privatisation or the middle east?

Know what you'll get? As many different answers as there are white faces. Total confusion. How can we possibly help them if they can't even agree amongst themselves?

Why can't they break out of this rut?

Personally, I reckon its because the government gives them everything. And they don't even have the good grace to be honest about these handouts. Instead they use code-words like 'tax break', 'incentive scheme' or 'rebate'.

And what do they do with their dough? Buy villa units in gated communities. Stay inside scared rooted, watching current affairs telly about home invasions, and drug barons in the suburbs. They venture out once every couple of years - to vote for politicians who promise them more police and stiffer sentences.

But I've been a bit rough. It's easy to lump whitefellas together and say 'they all do this', or 'they all do that'. In truth they are all individuals.

So try to suspend your prejudices. Just take 'em as you find 'em.


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