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Year End 2006   

Interview: The Terminator
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson looks back on the highs and lows of a year when the battle lines were drawn.

Industrial: Vive La Resistance
Jim Marr glances back through a year of news and discovers plenty of reason for optimism�

Unions: Breaking News
The web offered new ways of covering unions issues. Here�s ten ways Workers Online tried to do things differently.

History: Seven Deadly Sins
Looking back on our annual year-ender editorials gives a nice overview of the journey we have taken.

Economics: Back to the Future
Political economist Frank Stilwell looks back at a year that saw the passing of the drivers of two strains of economic thought.

Politics: Organising and Organisations
Organising for unionists can mean overcoming the �union�. The �rolling of the right� by the BLF rank and file shows the power of workers united to defeat the power of bosses and certain union bosses.

International: Web Retrospective
Unions and the web � What's changed in the last seven years? The short answer is � everything and nothing, wrties Eric Lee

Review: Shock Therapy
Unreconstructed Kazakhi journalist Borat is unleashed on the �US and A� offending everyone � except the bigots.


The Future
So Where to Now?
Amanda Tattersall outlines her plans for Working NSW and the challenge of connecting research, communications and campaigning.

Gone But Not Forgotten
Augusto Pinochet Ugarte (1915-2006). His memory is still being honoured, writes Jim Marr

The Westie Wing
Our favourite politician bids adieu and hangs up his chestnuts.


The End
In vintage Workers Online fashion we have detected a minor, but telling, factual error in last week�s missive/suicide note. It�s not a seven year itch � this is, in fact, the end of an eight year project.


 High Flyers Go For Gold

 Hospital Staff Prescribe Radical Surgery

 Holland Goes Dutch on Safety

 New Thinking to Transport Sydney

 Check Mate - Track Your Personal Info

 WorkChoices on a Trolley

 See No Evil, OEA

 Feltex Carpets PM's Fibs

 Workers Blood on the Walls

 Lift For Unfair Dismissal Campaign

 No Discrimination on Choice

 Vanstone Opens New Meat Market

 Activists' Notebook

 Hit For Six
 Kind Words
 Sorely Missed
 All the Best
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Shock Therapy

Unreconstructed Kazakhi journalist Borat is unleashed on the �US and A� offending everyone � except the bigots.

You know the drill by know. Borat Sagdiev (aka British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen), TV journalist from Kazakhstan, goes on a government-backed cultural tour of the United States to make a documentary.

Yes, you've probably seen some of the best bits already. But nothing can prepare you for an unrelenting 90 minutes of Borat - excruciating at times, side-splittingly funny at others.

The film centres on Borat's encounters with ordinary Americans, in which he refuses to obey the most fundamental of social conventions - crowing about 'sexy times' with his mother-in-law, trying to kiss commuters on the train, running naked through a mortgage-brokers convention in his hotel, and looking for the 'pussy magnet' in his new car. Nothing's taboo.

Along the way, Borat exposes the darker side of America, rooting out alarming displays of prejudice, hypocrisy and ignorance.

Cohen explores the fraught nature of pop culture and the 'ideal woman' in his trans-American pursuit of Pamela Anderson, culminating in a hilarious attempted kidnapping; race relations - some of the nicest people he meets are a group of scary-looking African-Americans guys in a run-down ghetto and the charming black prostitute Lurnelle; America's 'war of terror'; attitudes to gays and, famously, Jews. Footage is shown from his village where 'the running of the Jew' is celebrated every year.

Borat leaves most people shocked. But there are some chilling moments when the people he encounters don't bat an eyelid at his outrageous bigotry: the gun dealer who gives him suggestions for the best 'guns to kill Jews'; the car dealer who tells him how fast he'd need to drive into a group of gypsies; the drunk students' rant against women; the rodeo spectator who agrees with Kazakhstan's policy of killing gays.

While shocking, those examples are a tiny minority of the people Borat meets. Most of the ordinary Americans featured are friendly, tolerant, remarkably patient in the face of extreme provocation, and keen to help a hapless foreigner. (Though, as one points out, he might do better if he shaved his moustache and looked a little less Middle Eastern.)

Even the mid-western rodeo audience who cheer Borat's approval of the 'US and A's war of terror' look aghast when he calls for Bush to drink the blood of the men, women and children of Iraq.

Let's look forward to a Borat tour of Australia. He could visit Redfern, see the Big Merino and learn some lessons on exploitation courtesy of WorkChoices to take back to Kazakhstan.


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