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(en) Anarchist Age Weekly Review No. 623 13th December-19th December 2004

From philmcc@optusnet.com.au
Date Wed, 15 Dec 2004 14:14:24 +0100 (CET)


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IT´S COME TO THIS!!
The De-Anne Kelly saga has ramifications that go far beyond questions about
parliamentary honesty and accountability. When you compare the current
ethical and moral vacuum surrounding the De-Anne Kelly affair to the outcome
for Mick Young for the Paddington Bear affair, it´s obvious that standards about
public honesty and accountability have radically altered over the past 20 years.
Today´s parliamentary malaise is a symptom for a far deeper malaise that
seems to have permeated all aspects of life in this country. We as people
are reaping the rewards of a decade when morals, ethics and honesty have
been jettisoned in the race to acquire wealth and power.

In an era of losers and winners, the end justifies the means. Honesty,
ethics and morals have become quaint concepts that have no role in 21st
century Australia. Honest people are hounded for a few hundred dollars
while multi millionaires thumb their nose at the law. Justice is reserved
for those who have the disposable income to buy their way out of trouble.
Moral and ethical considerations are the preserve of losers. Only mugs in
Howard´s Australia pay their fair share of tax, think of the needs of their
neighbours or stop to assist someone in need.

The Howard government has been responsible for a revolution that has
demeaned and degraded those qualities that made us who we were. Look at the
mirror. Ask yourself, how many people have you heard this week say that
honest people are fools and ethics and morals are for losers? What hope do
ordinary Australians have when leaders in parliament, the corporate sector
and the bureaucracy reward corrupt behaviour and punish honest behaviour?
When those who govern no longer lead by example? When people expect the
worst from their leaders? It´s time that serious questions are asked about
the damage that this ethical seachange has caused to the national character.

It´s time prominent political, business, union and community leaders are
forced to account for the damage their lack of ethical and moral leadership
have caused to us, both as individuals and as a community.

BLAND FARE
Talking about culture wars, it seems that the Howard government has finally
succeeded in cowering the ABC. Anyone who still watches or listens to the
ABC would have noticed the radical change that has occurred over the past
few years. The re-election of the Howard government for a 4th term seems to
have put the wind up the ABC. It has become a mirror image of commercial
radio and television. Those who point to the ABC´s increased ratings as a
justification for this seachange, needs to ask themselves what´s the point
of having an ABC that´s a clone of commercial radio and television.

I wonder what goes through the minds of those reasonably intelligent
presenters and their production crews as they struggle to give form to
editorial decisions that make commercial radio and television seem
attractive. The Howard government´s focus on micro-reform (jargon for
making the ABC reflect their opinions) in the ABC, has payed dividends.
Individual contracts and a stacked ABC Board have done the job. Over a 10
year period, those who don´t play the game are easily frozen out.

The opinions that appear with monotonous regularity are opinions that can be
heard or seen anywhere else. The experts that are flattered are the same
experts that support the status quo and current government policy. Other
opinions don´t exist. Alternatives don´t exist, discussion occurs among a
small group of people who agree with each other. The ABC´s agenda is set in
concrete. It reinforces the agenda set by the government and the corporate
sector. Discussion is reduced to a one-way monologue sprouted by a bevy of
experts who agree with each other.

The solution, a concerted focus on talkback, use what little time you are
able to access on air to voice your concerns about what is happening. If
you don´t, the juggernaut will continue on its way contaminating communities
with the same sorry dribble, twenty-four seven.

HO HUM!!
A study released in the Australian Health Review on the 13th December 2004
reinforced what opponents to the government´s $3-billion health care rebate
have known all along. The Howard government has consistently claimed that
the rebate decreases pressure on the public hospital sector, stating that
every dollar spent on the rebate saves $2 on public hospital expenditure.

Anyone who has even the slightest interest or knowledge about health care
knows that this statement is just another government propaganda claim. The
Howard government´s ridiculous assertion does not stand up to even the most
basic scrutiny. The study in the Australian Health Review has shown that as
far as health care in Victoria is concerned, that although 45% of Victorians
have taken out private health insurance, 90% used public Accident and
Emergency departments in emergency situations. It has also shown that the
35% of surgical procedures conducted at private hospitals are predominately
elective and semi-elective procedures.

The public hospital sector continues to deal with the bulk of chronic
illnesses, the aged and major traumatic and medical emergencies. The
findings aren´t a surprise to anyone who knows anything about how health
services are conducted in Australia. The work pressures on public hospitals
have not been relieved by the government´s much vaunted private health
insurance rebate. The truth is that every dollar spent on the rebate, is a
dollar of taxpayer´s money that has been robbed from the public health care
sector and given to the private health insurance industry. Public hospitals
can do the same work that private hospitals currently do for the extra
$3-billion that has been stuffed into their pockets for half the cost.

Instead of the Howard government stating that every dollar spent on the
health care rebate saves the community $2, it should be saying that the
public health care delivery system could do the same job that the private
hospital system is now doing as a result of the injection of $3-billion of
taxpayer´s money, for half the cost.

WELFARE FOR THE RICH
Got a few kids, need childcare, then thank John Howard for the new childcare
rebate. Before you get tired and emotional and slobber over that portrait
of the dear leader you have hanging in the little boy´s room, think again.
Like most of John Howard´s promises, this one comes with more than a few
strings attached. If you spend a few minutes reading the small print,
you´ll soon realise this is another of those reverse welfare grants the
Howard´s government is happy to shove into the pockets of more well off
Australians.

The policy is an unmitigating disaster for low income families, students,
parents on welfare and single income families. The reason is very simple;
the benefit is a childcare tax rebate. The more you earn, the more you get
back. The much lauded rebate is a tax rebate not a rebate on the taxes
paid. The National Association of Community based Children´s Services
research into the tax rebate just released, makes startling reading for
those voters who voted for the Coalition on the strength of their childcare
polices.

Families that earn more than $100,000 per year will receive double the
rebate that families that earn less than $30,000 per year receive. The
families who don´t pay tax, single parent pensioners and students will
receive zilch, not even a brass razoo.

Just in case you´re bamboozled by the ´you beaut´ figures that have been put
out by Treasury that states that low income earners are eligible for $140 a
week in childcare benefits while the benefits paid to high income earners is
limited to $23 a week, when you add the ´you beaut´ new childcare tax
rebates to the discussion, the figures tell a very different story.

Student and welfare recipients who don´t qualify for the rebate will still
have to pay $6700 a year per child for full time childcare (around 30% of
their yearly incomes). Low income families will receive an extra $2,020 via
the new childcare tax rebate. This new childcare tax rebate will decrease
their yearly childcare bill to $4,713 for one child (about 15% of their
yearly income). High income families whose income tops $100,000 will
receive a rebate of $3,844, leaving them a yearly childcare bill of $8,970
(about 8% of their yearly income).

As far as childcare is concerned, when you add up all the benefits available
paid to parents, the Howard government´s childcare tax rebate is a classic
example of reverse welfare, the rich pay less while the poor continue to
carry the can to access essential services.

TWENTY? YES, TWENTY!!
Over the past 3 years, 20 pieces of legislation have been passed through
Federal parliament that gives Federal police and A.S.I.O. extraordinary
powers. Just last week, legislation was passed that allows the Australian
Federal Police to intercept emails and voice mails without first obtaining a
warrant. This raft of legislation has been passed with the overwhelming
approval of a community that seems to be more than happy to give up its
civil liberties and undermine their democratic freedoms in order to pursue
the war on ´terror´.

A.S.I.O. and the Federal police and many State police, now literally have
the power to secretly detain, interrogate, threaten, intimidate and abuse
anyone they want. The spectre of terrorism is being used to legally justify
the State stripping away civil liberties and rights in just 3 years people
fought for hundreds of years to acquire.

A.S.I.O. and the Federal police can legally secretly detain you, force you
to answer questions and interrogate you. You can be jailed for 5 years for
refusing to answer questions, 2 years if you tell anyone you´ve been
detained and interrogated, all because you may inadvertently have
information that may assist them in their investigations. In case some
journalist has the audacity to let the public know about your experiences,
they can be jailed for 5 years.

So, what should you do if A.S.I.O. or the Federal police come knocking on
your door? The Australian Muslim Civil Rights Advocacy Network has issued
some guidelines on how to deal with an unexpected visit.
-If possible remain calm,
-Ask them what they want to search for,
-If they´re A.S.I.O. officers and they DO NOT have a warrant, you don´t
have to comply with their requests,
-If they are Australian Federal Police officers, contact a lawyer
IMMEDIATELY,
-You may request that a friend sit in on the interview,
-If they have a warrant, ask to see it,
-Check the warrant has not expired,
-Take note of what the warrant authorises them to do,
-Make a photocopy of the warrant, if you can´t ask for a copy,
-Keep a record of the names of the visiting officers, dates and times.
Remember, you may not be able to go through this check list because they do
have the power to legally remove you from the streets, work or home, detain
you for a minimum of 7 days, interrogate you for 24 hours during the 7 days,
force you to answer questions, stop you from talking about your experiences
and jail any reporter who you approach for 5 years if they publish the
story. This isn´t happening in communist China, American occupied Iraq or
some Third World dictatorship, it´s happening in Australia today. The
tactics that this new raft of legislation allows A.S.I.O. and the Federal
police to use, are erringly familiar to the tactics used by paedophiles to
terrorise their victims into silence. These laws are based on secrecy, not
transparency or accountability.

When you look back at the history of what happens to people in States where
the disciplinary arm of the State holds unlimited powers, it´s obvious these
laws are a far greater threat to honest citizens than they are a deterrence
to determined terrorists.

ANARCHIST QUESTION AND ANSWER
Q. Would a role exist for elite sports people in an anarchist society?
A. Many anarchists make the mistake of thinking that competition won´t exist
in an anarchist society. Although anarchists promote cooperation as an
integral component of an anarchist society, there is still a significant
role for competitive behaviour in an anarchist community. Competition is
not an inherently destructive behaviour, it becomes destructive when a
minority or an individual are the sole beneficiaries of that competitive
behaviour. Two federations competing about who can produce the greatest
surplus or whose football team is the best team, helps to both promote group
morale and defuse tensions that may for a variety of reasons exist between
different anarchist groups and federations.
Everybody living in an anarchist community is able to share what is produced
in that community because they´re a member of that community. It´s not
inconceivable that people who may have a natural talent in playing different
sports may decide to develop that potential. It´s possible that
competitions would exist, within and between anarchist communities in
particular sports. The difference between competitive sport among elite
athletes in capitalist, communist an anarchist societies, is that no matter
how good an individual or a team was, they would not benefit to a greater
share of the community´s wealth because of their sporting abilities.
People would devote their time to such activities because they find them to
be both enjoyable and a challenge. It´s unlikely that many members of an
anarchist community would become full time elite sports people. It´s more
likely, as there are no specific financial rewards for those people who are
good at a particular sporting activity, that most people would no be willing
to put the effort required into becoming an elite athlete. Most people
living in an anarchist community would combine sport, both cooperative and
competitive, with productive work and other interests and pursuits.
Anarchism is not about directing people into ´worthwhile´ activities, it´s
about giving people the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential.
If that means that individuals within an anarchist community want to develop
specific sporting skills, they would be free to pursue those activities. If
their activities don´t impinge on other people´s freedoms and liberties,
there is nothing stopping an individual trying to become the fastest runner,
the most accomplished gymnast or the best football player in their
community.

ACTION BOX
WHINGE!! WHINGE!! WHINGE!!
How many times have you said or heard somebody else say ´Somebody should do
something about that!!´ It seems that people in post modern Western
capitalist society have become full time professional spectators. It´s
becoming more and more difficult to find people who are willing to
participate in any activity outside work and consumption. Whinging has
become a national pastime. Everybody seems to have a complaint about
something. Nobody seems to be willing to do anything about it. People in
21st century Australia seem to have forgotten that ultimate political
authority lies in the hands of a concerned and active citizenry.
At the end of the day whether anything ever changes, is directly related to
you. Yes, little old you, nobody else. You can surf the internet, be at
the cutting edge of new ideas, read the latest radical literature, wear your
heart on your sleeve, make the right noises, listen to radical radio, watch
radical television, but if you don´t do anything about it, nothing will
change.
SUBVERT-ENTERTAIN-BUILD is a motto I try to apply as often as possible
in the struggle to promote change. All the subversion in the world will not
change anything unless we attempt to build a parallel world.
It´s not enough to criticise. Criticism needs to be followed by attempts to
build organisations that can continue the struggle. Change, especially
radical social change, just doesn´t happen. It happens because people
believe it will improve their lives and because the organisations that need
to be built to challenge the power of the corporate sector and the State are
built.
Anarchists rely on the ability of people who want change to build their own
organisations. The collapse of the structures that maintain the status quo
won´t lead to the formation of a radical egalitarian society. In many
instances they can lead to the creation of a more authoritarian society.
What type of society emerges is directly related to the number of
anti-authoritarian and anarchist groups that have been formed. The greater
the number of anarchist groups, organisations and federations, the greater
the possibility that a non-authoritarian egalitarian community will
successfully replace both the State and the corporate sector.

AUSTRALIAN RADICAL HISTORY
The 22nd of February 2005 marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of
the trials of the 13 miners that were acquitted of High Treason in the
Melbourne Supreme Court for their participation in the Eureka rebellion.
Over the next 2 months, a series that looks at what happened to those 13
miners once they were acquitted will appear in the Anarchist Age Weekly
Review. The series of articles will culminate in a public gathering
organised by the Anarchist Media Institute at Ballarat cemetery on Sunday
20th of February and outside Melbourne´s Supreme Court on Wednesday 23rd of
February 2005, to mark the 150th anniversary of what must be one of the most
extraordinary and significant court cases in Australian history.

THE EUREKA SERIES 2004-No. 29
Q. What happened to the men that were acquitted of High Treason?
John Phelan was one of the 13 miners that were charged with High Treason for
his part in the Eureka rebellion. He was born in Ireland in 1832 and
migrated to Sydney in 1852. His ship went down just outside Sydney Harbour,
he survived the sinking and reached Sydney with just the clothes he was
wearing. The Phelans and the Lalors had been friends in Ireland. When John
Phelan arrived in Melbourne, he looked up Peter Lalor. John was actively
involved in the Eureka uprising, his Irish background and his association
with Peter Lalor made him a prime target for prosecution.
John Phelan had gone into partnership with Peter Lalor and his brother
Richard in late 1852. They set up a General store on the corner of Latrobe
and Elizabeth Streets Melbourne in October 1852. The shop closed down in
October 1853 and the profits were distributed among the 3 partners. John
Phelan continued his business association with Peter Lalor after he was
acquitted of High Treason on the 27th March 1855. He worked together with
Lalor on a farm at Coghill´s Creek near Ballarat.
In 1861, John Phelan married Mary Gillespie. They moved to a property they
had bought at Cobrico in the Cobden-Terang district in 1865. He died at
the age of 42 on the 21st February 1874, leaving his wife to raise 6
children. John Phelan was buried in the Terang cemetery. His wife
continued to farm the bush block. An entry in the Cobden Times that was
written on the 26th August 1922 to mark her death stated: ´Often in those
far off days there was to be seen, in a small clearing in the dense scrub at
Cobrico, a woman with a baby in a shawl at her back, driving a team of 4
bullocks attached to an old wooden plough. That woman was the late Mrs.
Phelan´. Mary continued working the farm until she turned 61 and her 6
children no longer needed her assistance.
She moved to the township of Terang in 1894 and spent the next 28 years
living in the township. She died at the age of 89 in 1922, 48 years after
her husband John. She was survived by 3 of her 6 children, Mrs. L. J.
Phelan from Terang, Mrs. D. McDonald from Connewarre and Mrs. A. McDonald
from Terang.
NEXT WEEK: More stories about what happened to the 13 men who were
acquitted of High Treason for their part in the Eureka rebellion.
SOURCE OF ARTICLE: ´The Eureka Encyclopaedia´, John Corfield, Dorothy
Wickham & Clare Gevvasoni. Ballarat Heritage Services 2004, ISBN 1 8764478
616

BOOK REVIEW
´THE EUREKA ENCYCLOPAEDIA´
John Corfield, Dorothy Wickham & Clare Gevvasoni. Ballarat Heritage
Services 2004, ISBN 1 8764478 616
´The Eureka Encyclopaedia´ is an enormous undertaking, 660 pages of facts,
figures, maps, paintings, drawings and black and white photographs. Encased
in a hardcover wrapped in a colour dust-jacket, the encyclopaedia beckons
the reader to pick it up, flip through its pages and read the entries about
the rogues, heroes and ordinary people who made up this extraordinary tale.
The entries in the encyclopaedia provide reference points and a framework
from which opinions can be drawn about the significance of this seminal
event in Australia history. This encyclopaedia is a boom for historians,
researchers and people who are interested in the events that shook a nation
but have taken 150 years to be grudgingly acknowledged by governments and
those who continue to ignore and rewrite history to reinforce their
political and economic domination of life in this country.
´The Eureka Encyclopaedia ´is the first course of a tasty meal. The hors
d´oeuvres that are served up to wet the appetite for the substantial meal
that is to come. The authors need to be congratulated for the effort,
energy, persistence and plain hard work that has gone into producing the
more than 2000 separate entries that make up the encyclopaedia. It´s
important readers understand the ´The Eureka Encyclopaedia´ is not a
political treatise, it´s a compilation of facts, figures and personalities
that allows potential authors, historians and readers to draw their own
political analysis about the Eureka rebellion.
Any criticisms I have and they´re few and far between, revolve around the
conservative approach taken by the authors to the significance of Eureka.
The events that shook Victoria and the other colonial authorities in
Australia in 1854 were more than a riot. They were a rebellion whose
ramifications continue to be felt in Australian society.
It´s extraordinary that of the nearly $2 million that the Victorian State
government allocated to the celebrations in Ballarat, not one cent went
towards the publications of what I believe will in the future be
acknowledged as one of the most important contributions that were made to
mark the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Eureka rebellion that were
held around Australia in 2004.
´The Eureka Encyclopaedia´ is available for AUD$65.00. It can be purchased
directly from the publishers. Write to Ballarat Heritage Services, P.O. Box
2209, Ballarat VIC 3354. You can fax your order to (03) 5331 6150 or you
can email Ballarat Heritage Services on info@ballaratheritage.com.au Add
$10.00 to your order to cover postage and packaging costs. If you´re only
going to buy one reference book in the next decade, this is the book you
must get your hands on.

PERSONAL OBSERVATION
Banging your head against a brick usually brings on a headache and little
else. Over the past 35 years, I´ve been involved in a number of struggles
and campaigns to highlight that parliamentary rule have little, if anything,
to do with democracy. I have never voted in a local, State or federal
election and have stood as a Senate candidate on 7 separate occasions, 6 on
a ´Vote Informal´ ticket and 1 on a ´Don´t Vote´ ticket. Each campaign has
been designed to break the stranglehold that parliamentary elections hold in
this country. Australia is one of the few countries that have compulsory
voting. At every Federal election, over 80% of eligible voters cast a
ballot.
The idea to form a ´VOTE INFORMAL TODAY DIRECT DEMOCRACY TOMORROW´ Party has
come to nothing. Formed in 1999, we were only able to sign up 195 members
over 5 years. People had a great deal of difficulty in coming to grips with
the idea that voting informal would achieve anything. The best that we have
been able to achieve over the past 35 years is that voting informal is now
seen as a legitimate political option. Although around 5% of electors
currently vote informal and although the numbers have almost doubled over
the past 10 years, the reward for all the effort expended has been minimal.
DIRECT DEMOCRACY NOT PARLIAMENTARY RULE has been launched not because we
believe we can win a seat, let alone government or that parliament can be
reformed. We have no illusions about the role of parliament. It has been
formed to act as a thorn in the side of the parliamentary process, raising
DIRECT DEMOCRACY as a legitimate alternative to parliamentary rule. It´s
time that people started thinking about giving signed blank cheques to
politicians for 3 years. It´s time that people began to be exposed to extra
parliamentary democratic options.
The formation of Direct Democracy Not Parliamentary Rule is another attempt
to breach the parliamentary ramparts. Whether we succeed or not to a large
degree are dependent on our ability to sign up the members required so we
can register the group as a political party.
At the end of week 1, we have SEVEN members, just 543 to go. (Yes, we know
we only need 500 members to apply for registration, but we want a buffer
zone of 50 so our application is not rejected because some of our members
don´t comply with the Australian Electoral Office´s criteria. The ball is
in your court, you can continue to give signed blank cheques away and whinge
and cry in your porridge when your faith in the parliamentary system is
tested, or you can join Direct Democracy Not Parliamentary Rule and cause
those who wield power in this society some significant discomfort. The ball
is in your court, go on, pick it up and run with it.

STOP PRESS
´SHAME?´
Professor Burdekin´s forceful comments and the Sunday Age´s (12/12)
investigation into the shameful fate of Australians who suffer mental
illness, is not news to those who work in the field, the families and
friends of people with mental illness and those members of the community who
have had to deal with mental illness. The problem facing increasing numbers
of Australians presenting with symptoms and signs of mental illness, is not
just a matter of accessing care. Governments are not just failing in their
obligations to the mentally ill. In many cases they are pursuing policies
that are actively contributing to the current epidemic.
Although many mental illnesses grow or originate within the individual, an
increasing number of mental illnesses, especially depression, occur as a
result of the situation people find themselves in. It´s extraordinary that
after hypertension, depressive illnesses are the most common reason people
see their General Practitioner in Australia. Considering the current
epidemic, it´s important that mental illness is not seen as an individual
problem that requires tailor made individual solutions. For far too long,
mental illness has been considered as a problem that concerns the individual
and their families and friends that has little, if anything, to do with
society.
The current crisis is as much due to a lack of suitable facilities, as it is
due to a society that creates the conditions that lead more and more people
to experience mental illness. The lack of specialised Accident and
Emergency departments within the public hospital sector, lack of beds, over
stretched post discharge treatment and follow up facilities, a lack of staff
and an adequate number of inpatient beds are problems that could be tackled
today by governments that have the will to tackle this issue.
The social conditions that are contributing to this epidemic is another
issue. This issue can only be tackled by the creation of a permanent
Commission that is able to take submissions from all levels of government,
corporations, small business, people with mental illness, their families and
friends, workplaces and State and federal bureaucracies.
Mental illness in a significant proportion of cases is not a problem that
can be treated in isolation. It is not a problem that just responds to
individual solutions. The current piece meal approach to treating mental
illness is akin to pounding round pegs into square holes. The individual
and society will continue to sustain irreparable damage if attitudes to the
causes and the treatment of mental illness are not radically reassessed by
the community.
Joseph TOSCANO / Libertarian Workers
For A Self-Managed Society.


ANARCHIST PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED SINCE LAST ISSUE
THE EARLY DAYS OF GREEK ANARCHISM Edited & translated by Paul Pomonis Kate
Sharpley Library pamplett 2004, bm Hurricane, London WCIN 3XX, ENGLAND,
www.katesharpleylibrary.net
UMANITA NOVA Vol.84, No.37 Nov ´04, Settimenale Anarchico, C/-Federazione
Anarchico Torinese, C.50 Palermo 46, Torino, ITALY, EL/FAX:011 857850,
Mobile:3386594361, email:fat@increte.it

OTHER ANARCHIST RECEIVED THIS WEEK
ON TAP Oct/Nov ´0, Barwon Ass for Freedom from Fluoridation, P.O. Box 7024,
Geelong West 3218, VIC AUSTRALIA, Tel;03 5255 4662,
keithoakley@smartchat.net.au
PROGRESS No.1061 May/June 04, (founded 1904) The Jrnl of Prosper Aust &
Earth Sharing, 1/27 Hardware Lane, Melb 3000, AUSTRALIA. Tel;03 9670 2754
Fax;03 9670 3063, www.earthware.org.au www.prosper.org.au

DEBT ELIMINATION APPEAL - Our debt stands at $1296.40
OUR DEBT STANDS AT $1296.40. Producing a weekly publication is an expensive
undertaking. As you can see, our debt is beginning to climb. In order to
keep the debt at a reasonable level and to publish weekly, we require
readers especially internet readers to subscribe to the AAWR. Currently
snail mail subscribers are cross subsidising internet readers. If you´ve got
a little bit of extra cash, think about joining the ´Dollar A Day´ club.
When you write to us pop in some 50cent stamps (every little bit helps).
Subscription rates for the Anarchist Age Weekly Review are $1 per issue, $10
= 10 issues, $50 = 50 issues. We rely on our subscribers to keep a record
of when their subscriptions runs out and resubscribe. Make out money orders
and cheques to LIBERTARIAN WORKERS & send to P.O. BOX 20 PARKVILLE 3052,
MELBOURNE AUST. If you´re sending $20 or less, save on cheques & money
orders and send us 50cent stamps.
Debt 15-12-2004 $1296.40
COME TO THE TRIVIAL PURSUIT NIGHT-ELIMINATE THE DEBT

TRIVIAL PURSUIT NIGHT
ELIMINATE THE DEBT
7.30PM SATURDAY 12TH FEBRUARY 2005.
AT MARITIME UNION OF AUSTRALIA
46 Ireland St, West Melbourne (Walking distance from railway station)
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WE HAVE THE HALL
WE HAVE THE QUESTIONS
WE NEED YOU!!
Table of 10 = $100.
Single Tickets: $15-(wage earners) - $10-(non wage earners)
WE ARE TAKING ADVANCE BOOKINGS FROM NOW.
Make out cheques or money orders to
LIBERTARIAN WORKERS and send to PO BOX 20, PARKVILLE 3052, VICTORIA
BOOK YOUR TABLE TODAY. IF YOU WANT FURTHER INFORMATION RING US NO ON 03
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AND HELP US CLEAR OUR DEBTS AT THE SAME TIME.
PRE-BOOK YOUR SPOT TODAY
*** SATURDAY 12TH FEBRUARY 2005 ***

ALL THE NEWS THAT FITS
Waiting times for many surgical procedures in Vic have jumped in the past 5
years with 100´s of patients waiting in pain for more than a year. In some
surgical categories, more than half the public patients supposed to be
treated before the 90-day Govt target are still waiting. The worst areas
incl shoulder/elbow surgery, hip & knee replacements, knee arthroscopy &
hernia ops. The longer waits come despite hospitals treating more people in
a bid to control spiraling waiting lists. Out of the 16 most common
procedures in hospitals, waiting lists & waiting times for patients in pain
have increased in 12. For non-urgent cases, waits are much longer. The
longest delay in the past financial year was for a patient whose varicose
veins were treated after more than 9 years also waited more than 6 years for
surgical removal of lumps & foreign objects, gall bladder removal, a knee
arthroscopy, hip replacement, removal of pins/screws & a hernia repair in
the groin. More than 2300 people waited for over a year for elective surgery
in ´03-04, incl 718 patients in pain who should ideally have been attended
to within 90 days. Health Miin Bronwyn Pike said hospitals postponed 'only'
14% of ops, down from 21%. (Source: The Age)
5 times more people have died from car chases in NSW than have been killed
by police shooting guns over the past decade. The death toll includes
innocent bystanders. The deaths of 54 people in NSW have been linked to
pursuits over the past decade. Pursuits in NSW have caused more than 1800
car accidents, injured 100´s of people & resulted in millions of dollars in
compo & car repairs over the past 10 years. Another 18 people have died in
Qld & 35 in Vic. Accoding to the NSW Police annual report, more than half of
all pursuits last year were for traffic offences. Only 292 of the 2459
pursuits were for suspected criminal offences. Allan Roberts, ex Ass.
Commissioner of both the Vic & Qld police, said "in all my 40 years I don´t
recall 1 incident, not 1 incident, where police have pursued someone who has
just committed murder...it just doesn't happen. Most pursuits involve young
people & relatively minor traffic offences." The victims included a 3yo
girl, a 17yo boy killed after driving his parents to church & a 24yo killed
by a police car that was travelling on the wrong side of the road. 9 of the
54 victims were passers-by, not involved in the pursuit. 2 others were
police officers. The police have failed to answer questions about pursuits
in 7 separate inquiries under freedom of info laws. They´ve also cancelled
interviews with reporters at the direction of senior officers. At the time
of 3yo Tabatha Berg's death in Jan, senior police promised a review of
pursuit policies. However, in the 9 months following her death, the body
established by police to review chases, the NSW Police Pursuit Management
Committee, met only twice. It is meant to meet every month. According to a
police spokeswoman, in that time the committee had produced "no significant
recommendations other than some procedural recommendations on internal
policing issues." Dr Paul Mazerolle, research director of Qld's Crime &
Misconduct Commission, stresses that most pursuits are for traffic offences.
"There´s no question that there´s a strong belief among police that if they
don't pursue that people will flout the law ... & we just don't think that
this is consistent with the evidence." Paul Gibson of NSW Parlt's Staysafe
Committee said "there should be a general notice given to [police] that for
a minor offence you don't risk people's lives." (Source: Sydney Morning
Herald)
The Qld Lib Party has refused to comment on the fact that it´s under police
investigation for possible fraud. Police confirmed that the State Crime
Operations Command is investigating the party. It´s believed to relate to
the establishment of a new branch at Mount Morgan in central Qld just prior
to last month's fed election. (Source: ABC News website)
The ALP has changed its policy of having Aust troops withdraw from Iraq by
Xmas. Labor's Foreign Affairs spokesman Phillip Rudd said Labor hopes the
troops can return as soon as possible & will pressure the govt to reveal its
exit strategy for Iraq. (Source: Radio Australia website)
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prosperity of their masters-seems like some things never change.

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