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John Passant

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August 2010
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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)



Systemic racism against Aborigines

The United Nations has pointed out yet again that racism is systemic in Australia.

This year it was the turn of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It condemned the ”unacceptably high level of disadvantage and social dislocation” of Aborigines and the fact the Australian Government does nothing but talk.

Right on cue the Minister for talking about aboriginal disadvantage, Jenny Macklin, pontificated about Labor’s aspirations for addressing the life expectancy gap.

Earlier this year a UN report, State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, found that Australian aborigines have the worst life expectancy rates of any indigenous peoples in the world. In Australia the life expectancy gap is 20 years. In Guatemala it is 13, and in New Zealand it is 11.

Last year James Aneya, the UN special rapporteur on indigenous rights, said racism was entrenched in Australia and that the Northern Territory intervention was an attempt to disempower Aborigines. “It undermines the right of indigenous peoples to control their own destinies, their right to self-determination,” he said.

The racially discriminatory Northern Territory intervention and the huge life expectancy gap are the two most obvious indicators of this entrenched racism.

The most recent example of this systemic racism is the hate mail and abusive comments Ken Wyatt has been receiving. Wyatt is the first aborigine to be elected to the House of Representatives in Australia.

This racism is important to the Australian ruling class. Capitalism was built in Australia on a campaign of genocide against the Aboriginal people. That genocide – dispossession, massacres, poverty, assimilation, stealing the children, disempowerment – continues today overtly and covertly.

Racism also divides workers and shifts the focus of anger from the ruling class and its exploitative system to aboriginal people and more recently refugees and Muslims.

But there is an honourable tradition of resistance to ruling class racism – from the aboriginal freedom fighters of long ago to today.

 One example is the Alyawarr people’s walk-off.  The Labor Government compulsorily “acquired” their community for five years. Their welfare income was quarantined, meaning a basics card replaced half their income. The card means they have to go to certain shops to buy basics like food. 

The excuse the Liberal and Labor Governments use to justify the Northern Territory invasion is to protect children from neglect and abuse. It’s a lie.

The intervention is about stealing aboriginal land and disempowering aborigines.

There is massive overcrowding in Aboriginal communities. After 2 1/2 years the intervention had not built one new house. Since then a few have been built in hub towns. This is a way of removing aboriginal people from their traditional lands. 

Earlier this year unions and activists got together and built a house at Ampilatwatja to highlight Government inaction and racism. It took a few days to build it.  

There is a wider message here. Liberal and Labor politicians used the Little Children are Sacred Report  to justify the Northern Territory intervention.

That report had at its heart aboriginal empowerment, giving the communities the power to address the problems. Howard, Rudd and Gillard ignored this and have imposed racist solutions on the aboriginal people of the Northern Territory.

The UN has highlighted Australia’s embedded racism. The  Alyawarr  people’s walk off and the community and union house building at Ampilatwatja show an alternative to systemic racism.

A long term solution must involve recognition of prior ownership and sovereignty, paying the rent and negotiating a treaty with aboriginal people.

 Only a mass movement from below involving hundreds of thousands of people across Australia can win that new Australia.

Ultimately, to be successful, the fight against systemic racism must be a fight against the system and its racism.



Comment from John McRobert
Time August 30, 2010 at 10:39 am

When we realise that ‘prior ownership’ is nonsense, perhaps we can establish more secure ownership of lands and property now occupied. Who are ‘we’? Everyone who lives is descended from an amazing variety of ancestors from an amazing variety of races. A wise friend once advised, ‘You can only own that which you can defend’. If you can’t defend your house or property from whiteants, floods, fire, rust, cyclones, foreign invaders, gangsters … you will lose it. Our National Anthem should be ‘We’re here because we’re here because we’re here because we’re here’. We defended this country against Japanese invasion in World War II, and now we are in danger of surrendering it to the purveyors of a guilt industry who live like parasites on the producers who feed them.
If I went back to Scotland, or England, or Ireland, or Wales, the lands of my ancestors, and claimed ‘prior ownership’ I would be tossed out forthwith – and rightfully so.

Comment from Greg
Time August 30, 2010 at 1:19 pm

What a wonder illustration and example of the ignorance of white privlidge. You can’t make this kind of comment up, it just ooozes out of their skin every time we assert that we (first nations people) have the same human, legal, political and economic rights as they have. They just can’t bear the thought of unpacking their own crap.

Comment from Terry Townsend
Time August 30, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Check out this great video on the Alyawarr people’s walk-off in protest at the NT intervention.

Comment from Terry Townsend
Time August 30, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Sorry here’s the link:

Comment from Dee
Time August 30, 2010 at 8:35 pm

Goodbye John McRobert, don’t let the door bust your arse on the way out then …

Comment from Jack
Time August 31, 2010 at 12:30 pm

John McRobert is 100% right. All you PC pussies just can’t handle the truth. This land is our land. We worked for it, we bled for it, we sweated for it, and many have diedfor it. So why are you so stupid to think that we would give it away?
Your kind of thinking, though, would have prevented the second world war. When Hitler deamnded those parts of Poland that had been stolen from Germany by the Versailles treaty, I’m sure you would have screamed ‘give it back!’. Yeah, right.