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Keep socialist blog En Passant going - donate now
If you want to keep a blog that makes the arguments every day against the ravages of capitalism going and keeps alive the flame of democracy and community, make a donation to help cover my costs. And of course keep reading the blog. To donate click here. Keep socialist blog En Passant going. More... (4)

Sprouting sh*t for almost nothing
You can prove my 2 ex-comrades wrong by donating to my blog En Passant at BSB: 062914 Account: 1067 5257, the Commonwealth Bank in Tuggeranong, ACT. More... (12)

My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/18-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-g20-meeting-age-of-enttilement-engineers-attack-of-austerity-hardship-on-civilians.mp3 (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2014/02/11/john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-2/ (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/4-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-end-of-the-age-of-entitlement-for-the-needy-but-pandering-to-the-lusts-of-the-greedy.mp3 (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole
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Sick kids and paying upfront

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Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2013/12/03/john-passant-australian-national-university-8/ (0)

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Trade union treachery

Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make union officials. 

The latest in this descent into madness is the cancellation of  a union demonstration against the Labor Government’s Australian Building and Construction Commission which was planned for the Labor Party National Conference opening in Sydney on 30 July.

The ABCC has draconian powers to force building workers to attend hearings and provide evidence.   These powers only apply to construction workers.

They exist to smash any action on building sites to protect lives, jobs, wages and conditions.

Since the ABCC came into existence deaths on building sites have gone up because workers can no longer use industrial action to enforce safety on site without the fear of Gillard’s Gestapo taking action against them.

Labor is now going to keep John Howard’s ABCC by giving it a new name. 

The lapdogs of Labor in charge of the union movement feared a demonstration would tarnish the image of the conference.  Au contraire, Labor’s ABCC does that.

More importantly cancelling the demonstration is a clear sign the Australian Council of Trade Unions has decided to capitulate over the ABCC and so will not now allow any further protests.

This means the ACTU has effectively abandoned workers like Ark Tribe who refused to attend an ABCC hearing and now faces 6 months in jail for his principled stand.

While he faces jail, the ACTU will sup with his political jailers.  It is clear which side they are on.

This current ACTU leadership is but a Labor Party adjunct, fearful of unleashing its own powerful working class forces to sweep away the rotting recrudescence of anti-unionism in the ALP. 

The ACTU are at best the willing prisoners of Labor, and at worst the prison guards of labour.

Instead of a demonstration, the ACTU will have a lunchtime forum on the ABCC, among other topics.  That is how our brave ACTU warriors will fight this attack on basic union rights.

That should have the bosses and Rudd Labor worried.

But there is a logic here.  The ACTU long ago abandoned class struggle and now merely talks. 

Talk and trade union treachery won’t save Ark Tribe from  jail and won’t stop more deaths on building sites.

Industrial action could.

Workers in 1969 smashed the anti-union penal powers by going on strike across Australia for the release of jailed union leader Clarrie O’Shea.  

But in those days there were left wing union leaders prepared to defy the ACTU and mobilise workers to take strike action to defend their interests. 

The lesson?  Rank and file building workers need to organise independently of the ACTU to defend Ark Tribe and smash the ABCC.

A rank and file union demonstration outside the ALP National Conference closing down Sydney building sites to attend would be a good start.

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