December 18th 2004


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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: Dr Strangeloves' Brave New World

ECONOMICS: Australia's $403 billion foreign debt: hail the banana republic!

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Utter failure of the Latham experiment

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Where Labor failed itself - and Australia

SCHOOL EDUCATION: 'Fuzzy maths' doesn't add up

INTERNET PORNOGRAPHY: Telcos in bed with pornographers

ABORTION: Late-term abortion in Australia

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Eureka - we lost it! / The coming down of the wall / Favourite Books / Home alone

EASTERN EUROPE: Ukraine turns to the West?

PAKISTAN: Military corruption robs country's poor

UNITED NATIONS: Secretary-General Kofi Annan must resign

Long live Eureka (letter)

Kath and Kim land (letter)

Crusades re-examined (letter)

CINEMA: Japanese animation sweeping the West

BOOKS: D-DAY, by Martin Gilbert

BOOKS: THE DICTATORS: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia, by Richard Overy

BOOKS: EPIDEMIC: How Teen Sex is Killing our Kids, by Meg Meeker MD

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Kath and Kim land (letter)


by Greg Byrne

News Weekly, December 18, 2004
Sir,

I notice that Brian Handley has picked up on Labor's plan to back the middle class and drop the "heartland" as Kath and Kim land (News Weekly, December 4).

Actually, Labor went after the middle class from about 1970 when I was in my late 20s. I can still recall a shift towards the new educated class from the universities and colleges.

Education became a major plank of the Labor Party at that time, probably because of the power of the teacher unions. These unions were concerned about the careers of their members and wanted plenty of federal money spent on secondary schools.

But of course the question is: where was this money to come from? It had to come out of the pockets of blue-collar workers in many cases. This was redistribution upwards, from the poor to the middle class.

During the recent campaign, Labor's tax package was seen to distinctly disadvantage single-income families, revealing that the plight of single-income families was not considered an important issue by Labor. This would impact particularly badly on blue-collar workers.

The other thing is that, if the wife has got a job and the husband loses his at 45 or later, they may divorce so that the husband can get the dole. So that can be a very difficult predicament for these people in the later stages of their lives.

Greg Byrne,
Rowville, Vic.




























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