Workers Online : The Soapbox : - Issue : Robbo's Labour Day Address
Home and Away is an Australian television soap opera. It was first broadcast on the Seven After Robbo is brought in to an AFP base, Lance helps him to recall his Colby finds Willow and Dean with the phone, their relationship is strained. ''I had a good relationship with the likes of Reidy (Adam Reid) and Saad base of young kids coming through here which I'll be encouraging. Auntie Robbo, by Ann Scott-moncrieff, free ebook. "And that's a nearer relationship really than a great-grand-aunt. She looked long through the glass, making out tall black cliffs, the sea crumbling white against the base of them, a hollow.
Our judgment on their seriousness will be reserved until we see: Reforms that reduce access to Common Law reduce the role of Lawyers and Doctors may make some difference but, it is adequate premiums that will reduce the deficit. A Labor Government should not place all the burden of the reforms on working men and women. Now, the workers compensation legislation will be revisited within these walls sometime before Christmas and I think it is incumbent on all of us involved in the process to work our issues through with a focus on the people we are here to represent.
And that is not the lawyers, the doctors, the insurance companies or even the employers - it is the injured workers. That said, the book "Brothers" authored by Marilyn Dodkin, was launched on Wednesday night and parts of its conclusions are worth quoting: Conflicts have always arisen from time to time and it is a measure of the relationship that disputes are eventually resolved.
And when dust settles following a period of industrial action and election time nears both the left and right factions at the Council support the ALP at election by giving organisation and monetary support". The text is something that we would all agree with. Except I'm not sure about the reference to left and right factions.
The stripping back of awards to 20 allowable matters, The MUA with the government's collusion with Patricks, The corporate collapses and the lost of entitlements.
The most recent of these has been Ansett. The Howard Government has done nothing to see Ansett fly again. In fact, they have gone out of their way to ensure that it does not fly in its previous form. My view on this, which many of you have heard me state previously, is that John Howard is using Ansett as a means of breaking the unions strength in the Airline industry.
This is an industry that has historically been well organised and well paid. The Government sees the collapse of Ansett as an opportunity to drive wages and conditions down and commence the spiral downward for those conditions. It is their view that if they succeed with this they will also succeed in de-unionising an industry where workers are not only members of unions but also, strong supporters of those unions.
We must ensure that the public is made aware of this strategy and the Government is stopped from using the Ansett workers to continue its ideological attack on unions. It is only a Beazley Government that will address this issue and the other issues important to working people, like employee entitlements, a balanced and strengthen industrial relations commission, health and the abolition of AWA's. Not only with the events of September 11th on a global scale but, also in relation to the number of corporate collapses that have occurred causing workers to suffer, HIH, One Tel and Ansett just to name a few.
It would be nice to finish the year on a positive note with Kim Beazely as Prime Minister, and John Howard treated by the Australian community in the manner he and his Government have treated refugees. Put on a slow boat to nowhere and told to find somewhere else to reside. Twice they asked Amy in conscience-stricken tones: At last the specialist arrived from Edinburgh. He was a tall stout man with a head like an egg, broad at the chin and tapering into a narrow bald skull.
He had ginger whiskers. He was most impressive. Doctor Narr was his name. I'm very glad I've come in time. Is the patient upstairs? Yes, yes, in bed. Quiet's the thing, rest, rest, and quiet. When they had disappeared upstairs, Auntie Robbo turned to Hector. I never did like telephones. Still, perhaps he'll do her a lot of good. Like a nasty tonic. They fidgeted about, waiting for the doctor to come down again. Half an hour passed. At last Auntie Robbo could stand the suspense no longer, and she was very hungry.
She told Amy to go up and invite the doctor to join them at lunch. This brought him down almost immediately.
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Hector was taken aback. She's not used to our climate, you know. A few days quietly in bed and she'll be perfectly all right. Auntie Robbo's face wreathed itself in smiles. Did you think so, Hector? Such a fuss as there was in the house this morning. Have some more soup, Doctor Narr? I know them," said Auntie Robbo judiciously. Very pale she was. Just like Miss Benck. Good nature bursting from her round brown face.
Sensitive is how I should describe Miss Benck. As her medical adviser, I assure you she's extremely sensitive. I don't think I've ever met such a sensitive woman. I expect Egypt is like a hothouse.
But it was evidently too much for Auntie Robbo. She burst out laughing into her soup. I think I'll leave you to my nephew. He's quite entertaining, isn't he'? Doctor Narr had got to his feet in consternation; he seemed alarmed. Auntie Robbo was standing on the white-painted summer seat outside.
She had a long green cloak wrapped about her, and on her head a peaked green stalking cap, sitting very much askew. She leaned forward precariously, squidging her nose against the windowpane and contorting her mouth in expressive shouts. Hector laughed, she looked so funny, and ran forward to open the window.
Dear boy, just let her alone. Let her calm down Hector went to get a pinch of salt. I'll away up to the Splash and give the wild ducks their dinner. Hector went back to his soup.
Looking across at the doctor, he was surprised to find his gaze fixed earnestly and kindly upon him. Hector furrowed his brows, looked doubtfully at the soup. It had seemed very good soup to him. Hector set them before him and returned to his chair; he watched anxiously to see how the doctor liked his cutlets. But after a mouthful or two, Doctor Narr laid down his fork and again he gazed earnestly and sorrowfully at Hector, and again he murmured: The old tag 'mens sana in corpore sano' doesn't hold good in all cases.
Medical history is full of exceptions. We can see, for instance, that your great-grand-aunt is wonderfully healthy in her body, too healthy perhaps for a woman of her great years. Whence comes this wonderful strength? Is it not possible that if one part of this great engine which is our body functions overtime, another part may be running down, ever slower and slower, until it comes to a standstill? To keep the metaphor, for want of oil—petrol—steam—fuel—that's it, my dear boy, for want of fuel!
Hector looked up for a moment. He had known as soon as he met Doctor Narr that he talked bilge, a different kind of bilge from Cousin Agnew or Merlissa Benck, but nevertheless bilge. He kept his ears politely closed against it. Now he saw that the conversation was still going nicely, although he hadn't taken in a word of it, and that Doctor Narr was enjoying himself.
He returned to the business of eating chicken cutlets.
Relationship Bases | japancarnews.info
The doctor's voice droned on: And the more loved they are, the sooner we must face it, face it"—the doctor's voice rose—"face it like men. Doctor Narr gave a great sigh of relief. I didn't think you'd be so sensible. However, your parlour-maid corroborated all she said, and of course I had only to be three minutes in Miss Sketheway's company to see exactly how the land lay. I've had too many cases like this to make a mistake.
You must have had a hard time of it all these years. However, all's well now. We'll get you packed off to school and you'll soon forget your little worries there. Hector's scalp crept beneath his touch, but he remained docile and still, waiting intently for what Doctor Narr might say next. And then I must rush back to town.
There's so much to be done. I think we'll be able to arrange about a suitable home for your great-grand-aunt. Don't worry, little man, she'll be in my care. I'll be back tomorrow, possibly with my colleague, Mr. Thurston; he's the great mind man, you know. Yes, well, good-bye, old chap.
He sat quite still, listening to the doctor going upstairs, going into the green spare room, coming out, coming down again. He heard the front door bang, a car engine start up, and the gravel spurting against its wheels as it reversed on the drive. Then, as the sound of it died away, he suddenly leaped to his feet and tore out of the house to find Auntie Robbo.
Chapter 7 The last hundred yards up the heather-clad slope which led to the Splash were almost too much for Hector. His legs were like to give under him, and his breath came in long strangled gasps, but excitement and fear kept him going. He knew that ordinarily he could never have run so far and so hard.
As soon as he saw the tall, green-clad figure of Auntie Robbo, standing straight and motionless on the edge of the lochan, he tried to shout. The wind carried the sound ahead, and Auntie Robbo turned and waved. He stumbled over the last stretch of rough ground, and flung himself down at her feet; his whole body shook and throbbed against the turf. I stood so still I might have been a tree for all he knew.
It's wet there, Hector. Come and sit over here on this slab of stone. Hector looked wildly at her but could not say a word. She helped him to his feet and together they sat down on the stone, with the green cloak spread amply beneath them. Something of his anxiety communicated itself to Auntie Robbo. Has he given the wrong dose to Merlissa Benck—or did he go for Amy with an axe? He struck me as being a little quaint, but not mad, not mad.
He thinks you're mad. He's not very original in his conclusions. An aunt of mine was the first person to think that—Aunt Sibella, about seventy years ago, that was—and people have been thinking it on and off ever since. I don't mind, and it seems to give them some sort of relief. Do tell me what he said, Hector. In his despair of making her understand how serious a matter it was, not funny at all, he repeated things over and over again—how plain the plot was to get him adopted by Merlissa Benck, how horrible the doctor was, how Amy had helped, what a sure way it was of getting Auntie Robbo out of the way for ever and ever.
Auntie Robbo asked him a question or two at the end, and then sat still, gazing at the ducks on the far side of the Splash. Her face was grave and a little sad, an expression that Hector had scarcely ever seen on it.
She passed her hand over her forehead, and said in a small, rather pathetic voice. Perhaps I am a little mad. I thought I'd got over the necessity for play-acting a long time ago. Still, it is disconcerting to find what other people think of one. One can't help feeling for a moment that there might be some truth in it—for a moment. And as for that tappy a doctor—of course he's a tappy. Look at the shape of his head. I don't know that we can do anything very much until the time comes.
Then we'll just turn the tables on them, and send Merlissa Benck packing in the doctor's car. I hope Cousin Agnew comes. That will be fun. They'll have to give me a proper examination, ask me questions, make me walk along a white line—that sort of thing.
I shall do it frightfully well, I promise you. If Cousin Agnew is there, I expect I shall laugh. They're all wicked, they're evil, they're crooks, they won't stop at anything——" "Hector, you've been reading Amy's thrillers. Nobody is like that.
They're stupid and greedy, and that's the same thing in the long run——" Auntie Robbo smiled, nodding. We needn't wait for the white line and Cousin Agnew's long face. Would that be better? Bus at the end of the road. I always see it when I'm dressing. Now they began to talk eagerly over their escape and the discomfiture of Merlissa Benck. They thought they would go north to the Highlands, for that was the proper place to go for an escape.
A good hour passed by up at the Splash. Hector played ducks and drakes with the fine flat stones on the shore; Auntie Robbo paced up and down, pausing to make some suggestion from time to time.
When they came down the hill together they were in great good spirits. Passing the stables on their way into the house, Hector was struck by a sudden idea.
She could follow the bus in it tonight. I've read about it. Then it can't go. There were a great many screws and bolts inside the bonnet, so they fiddled at some of them, and the rest Auntie Robbo banged with her hammer. Presently Hector said he thought they had done enough; he looked rather ruefully at the mess they had made inside the shining blue car; he felt as if he had committed a murder.
But Auntie Robbo just said: Ever since I got sewed into a sheet my mother was hemming on one. Do stop," Hector cried. They washed their hands under the yard tap, and went into the house. Hearing them laughing and talking in the hall, Amy came out of the kitchen. He and Auntie Robbo turned and looked at her broodingly.
There was something so peculiar in their look, not at all cowed or rebuked, that Amy turned uneasily on her way upstairs. She wished she had not said anything then. After all, it was only till tomorrow Auntie Robbo and Hector went upstairs after her to do their packing.
Not that Auntie Robbo liked sketching or could sketch, but she vaguely remembered that the last time she had been in the Highlands, while the gentlemen shot, the ladies of the party had been expected to make pictures of the mountain and river scenery.
It was the proper thing to do while visiting the Highlands. Auntie Robbo had gone off to look for cloudberries instead with a handsome gillie. Still, she thought this time she might try the sketching. As a lucky afterthought she tossed a cheque-book and some bank notes into the case and jammed it shut.
Meanwhile Hector had got out a little Gladstone bag, and even when he had put his pyjamas and his toothbrush into it, it still seemed very empty. So he added, though somewhat against his conscience, one clean shirt. By the time the dressing gong had gone, they were each, in their separate rooms, sitting ready in their outdoor things with their bags beside them.
They listened till the note of the gong had died away and Amy's footsteps had receded to the kitchen. Then they stole out, meeting on the landing. Auntie Robbo made a face in the direction of Merlissa Benck's room. They crept down the stairs, opened the front door cautiously, and were out into the night. The gravel made a horrid crunching noise under their feet, but at last they gained the grass verge and hurried away down the drive. By the time they reached the gate, Auntie Robbo was panting and grunting under the weight of her bulging case.
Hector took one of the handles with her. Everything had gone according to schedule, and they had hardly stood a minute or two by the side of the main road when they heard the roar of engines, and the great bus with its double row of lighted windows and staring sign EDINBURGH came bearing down on them.
Auntie Robbo stepped out bravely before the headlights of the monster, waving her handkerchief. Right to the last minute Hector had been afraid something would go wrong, and he heaved a sigh of thankfulness when the bus drew to a standstill for them. He and Auntie Robbo jumped in. Up at Nethermuir, Amy paused in laying the dining-room table and wondered why the bus was stopping. For quite half an hour afterwards she expected a visitor—the minister or the cook's young man.
But no one came. Chapter 8 As the bus sped forwards into the dark and drumly night, Auntie Robbo's and Hector's spirits bounced higher with every bounce of their bodies on the bumpy top-front seat.
They congratulated themselves on the coolness and cleverness of their escape. They marvelled at their mode of conveyance—perched so high that sometimes tree branches hit the roof, and far below the road swam and swayed as if it had been a river at the bottom of a canyon. They had never been on a bus at night before.
Auntie Robbo said it was an improvement on being in a bus by day. They bounced and beamed each other in great contentment over the twelve miles to Edinburgh. When the bus reached the city and they travelled down the yellow-lighted bustling streets, Hector got so excited he had to cheer. He wanted all the people hurrying back and forth, or standing talking in doorways, to look up and wave to him and Auntie Robbo, to congratulate them on their marvellous escape.
But the crowds were all intent upon their own business and I dare say would have thought that there was nothing much in travelling twelve miles through the night in a double-decker bus. Auntie Robbo and Hector kept pointing out things to each other, a strange name over a shop, a greyhound led on a string, a fat policeman running. They got off the bus opposite the General Post-Office.
Besides I shall put them off the scent. I'll pretend we've gone to London. We must let them know something. Otherwise these two fool women will have the countryside in an uproar, looking for us. They'll be dragging the Splash tomorrow, like as not, and frightening the wild duck away. Hector sat down beside their cases at one of the big tables that ran down the centre of the room.
He looked round him; he had never been there before. It was a great imposing place with ugly red tiles on the floor and imitation marble pillars and a counter running the whole length of it, surmounted by an iron grid; behind the grid bobbed little men, stamping and writing and working with money and looking very important.
The Post-Office was full of people; every second its swing door swung, letting out some of them or letting in some more; there was a continual draught and many collisions; people streamed to and from the counter, rain-soaked, hurrying, all bent on posting big parcels or important letters or sending telegrams or using the row of telephone booths; the little men behind the counter bobbed frantically.
Hector was impressed; nobody seemed to be still, doing nothing, except himself. And then he noticed the people at the next table. They were three children, two boys and a girl, and they were bent over a sheet of paper.
At first he thought they must be sending a telegram or writing a letter just like anybody else; but every now and then they straightened up and laughed into each other's faces.
And then they looked across at one of the Post-Office men behind the grid and laughed some more. Hector edged along nearer and saw that the boy in the middle was busy drawing on the back of a telegram form.
The girl leaned on his left shoulder, breathing heavily, with interest; she was rather like the boy who was drawing. They both had peaked bony faces, bright black eyes, and a deal of black hair that grew long and lank, dangling forward into their eyes. The girl wore an old black tammy on the back of her head. She kept moving her feet as if they were cold in a floppity, down-at-heel pair of shoes.
The other boy was round-faced and red-haired; he had on long trousers that seemed to be much too big in the seat for him. He kept them hitched up in position with his hands in his pockets; and every now and then he would take a few steps backwards on his heels, bent double, and then run forward again to see how the drawing was getting on.
Hector was dying to have a look: I've had my eye on you this last half-hour. The boy who had been drawing chimed in: Now then, get along with you. He spoke as if he could hardly believe his ears. Do I have to get a policeman to you or will you go quiet?
They had left their telegram form on the table. The man looked at it an instant, then angrily crumpled it up and flung it into a wastepaper basket. No sooner was his back turned than Hector had fished it out again. He smoothed it; on it was an easily recognizable portrait of the Post-Office man, only he had been changed into a monkey clinging to the bars of his grid and a passer-by was handing him a bun.
Tell me in the train. We've got things to do. And when she had talked a minute at the desk in the entrance hall, presently a man came with black tails flying and starched shirt front gleaming.
He bowed before Auntie Robbo and waited with notebook outstretched, and poised pencil. And it must have cold roast chicken in it, potato straws, rolls and salad, a bottle of claret—bring me the wine list—and milk for my nephew, biscuits and cheese Now I give you just ten minutes to get that ready, young man, in time for my train.
Perhaps I let my appetite get the better of me. Auntie Robbo was relieved to hear it. They paced up and down for a few minutes and then sat down on a couch while Hector told Auntie Robbo of the three children he had seen being turned out of the Post-Office. When he showed her the picture Auntie Robbo was impressed, for she recognized the monkey at once.
I remember because I thought myself if I'd had a bun I would have been tempted to push it through the bars. Just then the waiter returned carrying a wicker basket. Auntie Robbo congratulated him on being in time, and gave him a lot of money. She waved away a man who was going to pick up their bags, and she and Hector between them loaded up and struggled down lots of stairs and along lots of corridors, all carpeted deeply and hung with curtains. She got them at the booking-office, and then returned to Hector.
It isn't in yet. May as well sit down for a few minutes. Hector noticed three children immediately; they were the same three who had been in the Post-Office. There they were grouped together at the far end of the room, laughing at what the black-haired boy was drawing on a piece of paper.
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Hector nudged Auntie Robbo urgently. The eyes of the three children were fixed on the only other people in the waiting-room—an elderly gaunt-faced woman neatly dressed in navy-blue, with three small boys in her charge. These boys seemed to be all about the same age and height. They had round button faces and turned-up noses; they wore spectacles upon their turned-up noses which gave them a comic elderly look; they had little round felt hats turned up all round the brim.
At the far end of the room the picture seemed to be going well; the girl and the red-haired boy giggled at every stroke of their artist's pencil, and he—when it was a particularly happy one— would let out a sharp whistle of triumph. But his models were becoming more and more restless and embarrassed. At last the elderly woman could bear it no longer. Pay no attention," she whispered. We mustn't miss your uncle. The three children sent a shout of laughter after her disgruntled back.
Then with one accord they turned and stared at Auntie Robbo and Hector. The black-haired boy licked his pencil. She put her hat on straight. The boy who drew turned his paper over thoughtfully and made a few lines. The other two watched absorbed. Then just as they raised their eyes again to Auntie Robbo and Hector, the waiting-room door swung open and in rushed a funny little man in a flapping tweed overcoat. He was young, yet he looked careworn and flustered enough to be middle-aged.
On the top of his head he wore a round pimply tweed hat, turned up all along the brim. His face was button-shaped and he had a snub nose. We can't wait about for her, the train's just going.
Run for it," and he shooed them out before him through the door. Auntie Robbo and Hector looked at each other, not knowing what to make of the incident, then Auntie Robbo leapt up, scrambling for their bags. Platform ten, that's ours.
They showed their tickets and followed them through the gate. They ran with them the length of the train, looking for a carriage that wasn't too full. And in despair they bundled into the same one as the man and the children did, just as the guard began to bang all the doors. In a few seconds the train was steaming out of the station. Chapter 9 "Well, that was a near thing! They had got their things hoisted into the rack with a deal of bumping and apologizing, and now they had all settled back in their seats, breathing heavily.
Auntie Robbo mopped her brow with a six-inch square of lace handkerchief. She and Hector sat facing the young-old man and the three children. And though they sat so demurely, looking out as the lighted buildings and streets of Edinburgh whirled away behind them, Hector could see that the children were consumed with mirth inside themselves. Every now and then they nudged each other or burst out coughing. As for the young-old man he was too busy putting away the tickets and panting for breath to notice anything.
But he replied to Auntie Robbo: There's nothing more upsetting than catching a train by the skin of one's teeth. I'd much sooner miss it. Got the tickets, got the children That was to go straight through from London. But you never can trust these railway people. I wonder if it's in the guard's van.
I wonder if Miss Comrie looked. She's supposed to be a good sensible woman. The boy looked blank, then shook his head. Oh, what a silly woman! I might have known something would go wrong. Auntie Robbo opened her eyes and said innocently: I should like to know The children began to laugh out loud.
The young-old man looked around in bewilderment. You left them with Miss Comrie. These are two boys and a girl. I say—what's all this? A girl among my nephews! Couldn't possibly—what do you mean? He took one look at the children and collapsed back into his seat. For a second everybody thought he had fainted. But suddenly he leaped up in the lurching car, shouting: There's been a conspiracy. I'll have the law on you.
I'll stop the train. After finding and adjusting the glasses, he again reached upwards; the rest of the carriage was tense with excitement.
The three strange children were pressed back against their seats, open-mouthed, as if a madman with a bomb were in their midst. Hector had his hands over his eyes and looked through his fingers at the unbearably thrilling scene.
Only Auntie Robbo remained comparatively calm, leaning forward a little, tapping her front teeth thoughtfully, as if she had been at an interesting play. His fingers touched the fateful chain, and then, whether the train lurched again or he caught sight of the fateful notice, his hand faltered. It said there was five pounds' fine for stopping the train, except in emergency. She spoke for them all. It's worth it, man, every penny.
Everybody looked reproachfully at him: Just as they were going to say how much they had wanted to see the communication cord pulled, the young-old man suddenly took out a handkerchief and burst into tears.
The atmosphere immediately became surcharged again. All the children were wide-eyed with interest; for a moment they couldn't imagine what was wrong with him, such queer noises came out of the handkerchief. The young man continued to wheeze and wail with complete abandon. It's just what you need. We have all been greatly surprised, haven't we?
Everybody waited expectantly while the young-old man finished his glass of claret. You see my brother and sister-in-law have gone abroad and their three boys were to come to us for the holidays.
Miss Comrie is their governess—she wasn't coming—she was going to Troon for her holidays. I don't know what my mother will say when I turn up without them. She hasn't seen them since they were babies and she'll be terribly disappointed. And when she's disappointed, she gets terribly angry. Oh, dear, oh, dear, what a mess I've made of things. This is my great-grand-nephew, Hector Murdoch. And who are you? You're nothing to do with me. Out you get at the first stop and I'll hand you over to the police.
And then the girl, putting on a laconic air, jerked her thumb at the red-haired boy: He's got a job as a baker's boy. And this is Pete. He wants to be an artist. And other times we live with Pete's aunt.
And then the young-old man broke out again. What I want to know is what you're doing here? So we came on. We thought he was the police. But it's kidnapping, if you ask me.
Burston," said Auntie Robbo. I'd bear witness to that in any court in the land. Burston looked as if he was going to cry again.