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John Passant

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August 2010
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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
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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (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. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (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

Sick kids and paying upfront


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. (0)



Election ‘instability’ – Saturday’s socialist speak out

‘Independent MPs will do nothing to solve the problems facing workers and students in Australia today. Instead, we need a clearly left-wing alternative that is prepared to stand up for workers’ rights, against racism and war, and which will resist the pro-capitalist policies of Labor and the Liberals.’  So wrote Corey Oakley in Nothing positive about rise of independents in Socialist Alternative. I agree. Have your say on the Independents or ‘instability’ or anything else you want by hitting the comments button.



Comment from Dave Riley
Time August 28, 2010 at 12:38 am

“Independent MPs will do nothing to solve the problems facing workers and students in Australia today…”

That’s not true. Anyone can see that the election result signals a further breakdown of the capitalist party duopoly. What then follows, we have to wait and see. Any criticism you may throw at the independents — as not living up to the ideal of “a clearly left-wing alternative ” — could be levelled at the Greens as well.

The complication is the question you ignore:  Are these independents on a wide range of issues objectively to the left of both major parties? If that is true/false, what then does that mean?What does it indicate about those who  supported them and what does that suggest about our future options?

Are you saying that the farming communities of New England or Cloncurry are sentenced to forever supporting  “proto-fascists” like Katter as though the rhetoric of right wing populism is all they’re capable of embracing? That rather than voting for “independents” the cockies should have stuck with the parties they know — like the Nationals?

Comment from John
Time August 28, 2010 at 7:50 am

There is no evidence they are ‘objectively’ to the left of the ALP. That seems a rather bizarre conclusion to me. If you are correct, did Socialist Alliance argue for a vote for them before the ALP?

Katter is a reactionary.

Polls show voters in all 3 electorates overwhelmingly want them to support an Abbott Government. That should ring alarm bells for you Dave.

Pauline Hanson on some issues on this ‘logic’ was presumably ‘objectively’ to the left of the ALP.

I think some comrades mistake opposition to neoliberalism with being left wing.

Comment from Haircut Ideas
Time August 28, 2010 at 8:52 am

I read about an actuary who calculated that the odds of a man’s trousers falling down if he was wearing both a belt and suspenders was about 35,000 to one. What would be the odds of a man’s trousers falling down while wearing only a belt? What about only suspenders?

Comment from Ben Courtice
Time August 28, 2010 at 4:51 pm

With the Greens and the independents, it is important not to hold them to socialist political positions which they never claimed to stand for; if you do this you look like you are jumping in to lecture.

Oakley’s article is a bit obtuse. He says “Politics is a battleground because competing political ideas contradict and conflict with one another. And different political ideas reflect real social conflicts and competing class interests in society” But in the case of the ALP and Libs, they are mainly in violent conflict over much pettier reasons, including providing a distraction from the actual politics of the class struggle, in which they both stand on the same side fundamentally.

Having non-majority government will possibly open up the legislative process to both pork barelling and horse trading, but also potentially a lot more scrutiny on the parliament. Which could lead some to question Labor’s claim to be a workers’ party, for example, if they end up siding with the Libs against the Greens. I obviously don’t share the naive view that they will all have to co-operate for the common good, but that illusion might also be dispelled quickly.

Comment from Andrew Ian Jamieson (Jammo)
Time August 28, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Hi John, if I have no URL (I really don’t know what one is)m will this message get through?

Comment from Andrew Ian Jamieson (Jammo)
Time August 28, 2010 at 5:08 pm

OK, I think it did.
Just a question for Dave Riley really, along the lines I posed for Duroyen before he disappeared. What is the material basis for asserting that the three independents are “objectively to the left of both major parties”?

Comment from Auntie Rhoberta
Time August 28, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Judging the three as ‘objectively’ to the left or right can surely apply only to specific issues, such as the privatisation (or renationalisation) of banks etc. They don’t have any consistent theoretical stance as far as I can tell. And they aren’t ever going to be the government anyway.