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July 2006   

Interview: The Month Of Living Dangerously
When the mobs took over the streets of Dili it was the people of East Timor that bore the brunt. Elisabeth Lino de Araujo from Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA was there to witness what happened.

Unions: Staying Mum
Penrith mums, Linda Everingham and Jo Jacobson, are at the heart of a grassroots campaign to boot Jackie Kelly, out of federal parliament. Jim Marr caught up with one half of the sister act.

Economics: Precious Metals
There's a lot of spin around AWAs in the mining industry, but Tony Maher argues all that glitters is not gold.

Industrial: The Cold 100
The Iemma Government has come up with 100 reasons why WorkChoices is a dud, with 100 examples of ripped off workers

History: The Vinegar Hill Mob
This month's Blacktown Rally was not the first time workers had stood up for their rights in the region, writes Andrew Moore.

Legal: Free Agents
Is an independent contractor a small businessperson or a worker? The answer depends upon whether the contractor is genuinely �independent� or not, writes Even Jones.

Politics: Under The Influence
Bob Gould thinks Sonny Bill Williams is a hunk; he reveals all in a left wing view of The Bulletin�s 100 most influential Australians, questioning the relevance of some, and adding a few of his own.

International: How Swede It Was
Geoff Dow pays tribute to the passing of Rudolf Meidner, one of the architects of the Swedish model of capitalism.

Review: Keating's Men Slam Dance on Howard
These punk rockers are out to KO WorkChoices. Nathan Brown joins the fray.


The Soapbox
Work Choice: US Military Style
John Howard has learnt a few lessons on workers rights from his Texan buddy, writes Rowan Cahill.

Westie Wing
As Pru Goward slams into the glass ceiling of the NSW Liberal Party, Ian West considers how women are faring under the Howard-Costello Government.

The Locker Room
A World Away
Phil Doyle is pleased that a display of subtle beauty and athletic grace has been overtaken by some good old-fashioned mindless violence


The Power of Ones
Lorissa Sevens is no shrinking violet; she had mown down attackers for her nation playing defence for the Matildas. But even this sort of toughness means nothing in the face of WorkChoices.


 Jihad Johnny Targets Perth

 Rio Sets Up Own Goal

 Telstra Fails to Snag Protest

 AWAs Bucket Queenslanders

 Kev Gives Aussies the Finger

 Movie Blue: Win-Win for Critics

 Wage Cut Scam Legal

 Hardie Boss Takes 60 Percent Rise

 The Stack Goes On

 Boss Opens Door For Thieves

 Hendy Banks on Mass Amnesia

 Eisteddfod Win: Your Rock At Work

 Airline Crashes Into Paypackets

 Canucks Can BHP

 Activist's What's On!

 Oz Hails Sun King
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The Locker Room

A World Away

Phil Doyle is pleased that a display of subtle beauty and athletic grace has been overtaken by some good old-fashioned mindless violence

A team carrying the hopes of millions, playing a long way away from home, up against some of the biggest names in the sport, ended up being cruelly crushed on the back of some hapless refereeing.

Yep, that was this year's State of Origin finale.

No one is ever going to catch an escalator up Everest, the Pope isn't going to appear on the cover of Penthouse, and Melbourne will never embrace rugby league.

Nonetheless, every year or two we go through this sad ritual where a rugby league test match or a state of origin is banged on for the bemused Mexican throng, with the NRL safe in the knowledge that ducks on a pond will draw a crowd in Melbourne.

This column actually played Rugby League in Melbourne and Adelaide and must report that it was a lonely, sobering experience; trooping out to far flung suburbs to play a handful of other sides in a competition riddled with expatriates from very limited parts of the world on makeshift grounds in a code that no one cared about.

Even after the Melbourne Shower arrived it has changed little. The extent of the junior code matters not a jot on the consciousness of the youth, while the senior equivalent battles on with a handful of clubs that seem to pop up like mushrooms, with the same longevity and form of sustenance of that irascible plant.

In Adelaide a decent deployment of Australian armed force personnel overseas could wipe out half the competition, popular as it is amongst those who swear fealty for queen and country. While clubs like the Geelong Tiger Snakes depend largely on the Kiwi Diaspora.

The only truly remarkable thing about league in the southern states, apart from how easy it is to get a run, is the striking South Australian state jumper - a gold red and black concoction that is at once stirring and psychadelic. The crow eaters done themselves proud there.

They can certainly hold their heads higher than their shabby treatment from the so called "top flight" rugby league which did a now you see it, now you don't routine - before being punted by Lachlan Murdoch as part of a peace deal that was successful in parts of the country where people care about muddied oafs.

Further east, there was some spurious strategic reason in keeping the Melbourne Shower in business.

The News Limited flagship is in running for the premiership, mainly on the back of Uncle Rupert's largesse. How long the Holt Street accountants keep propping up John Ribot's toy remains to be seen now that Murdoch the lesser, in a fair imitation of Henry VI, sinks from view amidst the gallantless parvenu that is News Limited.

This column once watched a person with a swipey ticket at Olympic Park stand there for three quarters of an hour at a turnstile, swiping the entry turnstile over and over again, in what must have been a mission to single-handedly break the attendance record. The next day the paper said there was 8,000 odd at the ground when there was probably closer to 500.

Melbournites care more for Morris Dancing than they do for Rugby League, which for them is a fascinating novelty, like the mardi gras or a car accident.

Not like in Katoomba, where the Devils charge for the semis has been noted. A recent win over the indigent profligates of Hawkesbury featured an astonishing effort that saw the ball volleyed through no less than three sets of feet, without touching the turf, before it landed on the chest of an accelerating centre, who went through a hole as wide as Sydney Heads to score. Thrilling stuff.

But even this toe poking effort was dwarfed by the eponymously named world cup, where an under performing England cheered everyone up (And proved the old maxim - a team of champions will give everyone the shits).

Aussies did proud and the hubris has been sensational. Proof in the pudding will come with the advent of this year's A League season, but if Dwight Yorke is back with Sydney FC then hopefully, the fact they have built it means the crowds will come.

Not like Fitzroy. For them the crowds were too often thin, and heartbroken, and surly, and drunk. Vulgar Press has produced a book of tales from my old lover, the fickle mistress that is the Fitzroy Football Club. Her turmoil and grace, and how we all felt that kick in the cods in '96 (which seems like a very long time ago full of startling fresh pain).

I am still too heartbroken to read about it, but if you are an uncaring misanthrope, or revel in melancholy, the details are here.

Luckily there is the happy mindless violence of country rugby league to lose myself in; otherwise this sporting life would be too beautiful to stand.

Phil Doyle - getting a little sideways as he tries to pass in the chicane

PS - Thanks to those who appreciated June's sports column, the best apparently.


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