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April 2006   

Interview: Head On
John Buchanan has been warning that WorkChoices would be a car crash. Now he surveys the damage.

Unions: Do You Have a Moment?
CFMEU Mining national secretary Tony Maher lets fly at the new industrial laws.

Industrial: Vital Signs
In his new book, Craig Emerson argues that destroying unionism will not be in Australia's long term interests.

Economics: Taxing Times
Frank Stilwell argues that there are progressive alternatives to the slash and burn approach to tax reform.

Environment: It Ainít Necessarily So
Don't let anyone tell you that jobs and the environment are opposities, argues Neale Towart.

History: Melbourneís Hours
Neale Towart reluctantly pays homage to Victoria's celebration of the eight hour day.

Immigration: Opening the Floodgates
John Howard is deciding more and more foreign workers should come into this country - without the rights of citizenship, writes John Sutton,

Review: Pollie Fiction
For someone barely 25 years Sarah Doyle has an enviable track record in theatre behind her.

Poetry: The Cabal
Poetry returns to Workers Online with this rollicking ode to employer power.


Democracy in Action
Former NSW Premier Neville Wran's speech to commemorate 150 years of responsible government.

The Westie Wing
There has been activity aplenty in the NSW Parliament this month, reports Ian West.

The Soapbox
From Chaver to Cobber
John Robertson, Unions NSW Secretary, hosting Passover at Sydney Trades Hall discovers the first comrades followed a bloke called Moses.

Postcard from New Orleans
Mark Brenner surveys the long-term impact of Hurricane Katrina on the regions workers.

The Locker Room
My Country Right Or In Lane Five
Phil Doyle observes the golden shower at the recent Commonwealth Games, and asks what it means for the last great unpredictable drama.

Vale Bill Hartley
Unlike some of his comrades, Bill Hartley never departed from his position as a radical nor did he die rich in assets, writes Bob Scates.


The Cowra Clause
The plight of the Cowra meatworkers is a fitting illustration of the way the new industrial laws will fundamentally shift the balance of relations in the Australian workplace.


 Abattoir Boss Slaughters Andrews

 More Slaughter in South Australia

 Pickets Won't Face Cannon

 Teens Win Thousands

 Praise the Laws

 Where The Bloody Hell Is Our Contract?

 Building Crusade Raids Pockets

 Workers Shows Its Hand

 It's All Yellow, Mine Barons

 Lismore Nine Breaks Ranks

 Uber Bosses Clean Up

 Howard's Skills Solution: Sack Apprentices

 Spineless Companies Block Safety

 Boxall in Sickie Backflip

 Activist's What's On!

 Crap TV
 Social Action
 French revolution
 Fan Mail
 Belly Spreads The Word
 All Out!
 Lying Lies And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them
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The Locker Room

My Country Right Or In Lane Five

Phil Doyle observes the golden shower at the recent Commonwealth Games, and asks what it means for the last great unpredictable drama.

Patriotism now means advocating plunder - Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy

Darryl Eastlake and Dean Lukin were about as funny as a dead baby's doll during the recent Australian Games, but this isn't a surprise in itself.

That Eastlake is a loud-mouthed gorilla with the IQ of a jellybean is no secret; that the fisherman from Port Lincoln thinks he's a comedian is a bit embarrassing though.

Maybe Dean has been suffering from attention deprivation since Makybe Diva owner Tony Santic replaced him as Port Lincoln's most famous export this side of tuna tossing.

But I think the Channel Nine games coverage, which would have done North Korea proud, left us all with a bad taste in our mouths.

If sport is popular because it is the last great unpredictable drama, then Nine is intent on guaranteeing the audience a happy ending every time. After all, what could be better than coming fourth? That's news isn't it?

What the coverage did do was expose what happens to a company of yes-men when the emperor finally falls on his sword. The noddies over at Willoughby showed a clueless embrace of what they thought their deceased leader would like, except even KP had a keen eye for the dramatic. He knew when to switch from the cricket to the news and when to not. He knew that drama needs conflict, and how can you have conflict if we only hear from one trench.

It seems the 'hands on' style of management appears to have stymied any creative juices at the big network.

In the end it was as exciting as Green Left Weekly, without the functionality of being made from paper.

Which comes as a bit of an omen for future presentation of sports. If the executive producers of the Commonwealth Games can be so half-witted without the guiding hand of the Goanna, then what future cricket?

Packer straddled cricket in the same way that Kissinger straddled the third world in the early seventies, often with the same outcome.

The Australians bounced back from difficult situations in South Africa and won, but all did not seem happy. Nothing a person could put a finger on, but someone is certainly stealing the pies over at Camp Cricket.

What happened on the South African leg of the tour that left us with the bedraggled sad sacks in Bangladesh?

Sure, the Banga Boys got off to a bolter and had the pluck and determination to make the most of their extraordinary start, yet it was only the two tourists who missed out on matches on the dark continent that seemed to make an impression: SCG MacGill and the mullet, Gillespie.

Is Warne breaking down? Clarks and Lee seem lethargic. Martyn is a passenger. It is symptomatic of a team with internal divisions, or at least with distractions beyond the boundary. If they exist, it would be good to know what they are.

Distractions in Australia have moved onto winter codes, where the thirteen a side game is making something of a resurgence. Pronounced dead by this column and other, lesser, mortals, Rugby League is back again as the game in town in Sydney.

The Swans hangover is helping. Watch the bandwagon turn into the donkey and cart by the Queens Birthday Weekend if they don't turn it around.

Like coke-addled gamblers in Las Vegas; Sydneysiders love a winner. They are immune from irony and have about as much understanding of overcoming adversity as Paris Hilton. What do you expect from people who are fascinated by the price of their house. We are not talking poetry here, bubba.

As a result a winless Swans will suffer and the Waratahs and anyone who can string three wins together in the League will prosper.

For anyone else, let's just hope your sport is covered by Nine: That way they will only let you see the good bits.

Phil Doyle - disputing a line call in the third set


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