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John Passant

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October 2011



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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)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Attacking Abbott – the politics of despair

There was a new book released recently which from reviews lays mercilessly into Tony Abbott; much like the ALP laid mercilessly into John Howard before and after he swept to power in 1996, courtesy of the Labor Party’s disgraceful right wing policies and actions under Hawke and Keating.

It shows the bankruptcy of the capitalist left that all it has to offer is a diatribe against Abbott. ‘Labor might be bad but Abbott is worse’ is how the argument is put. So vote Labor. Hardly a ringing endorsement when what major sections of Australian society want is progressive change.

Let’s make no mistake. Abbott is a social conservative, a homophobe, a misogynist, a family first racist, a warmonger and a neoliberal.  But so too is Julia Gillard.

Tony Abbott wants offshore processing of refugees. So to does Labor, but from a position that is to the right of the Liberals.

Abbott wants to turn back the boats. So too does Gillard Labor with its Malaysian solution.

Abbott wants to continue the repression of women. So too does Gillard Labor with its failure to support and pay for community sector pay rises to address gender bias in wage setting.

Tony Abbott believes the family is the bedrock of society. So too does Julia Gillard.

Tony Abbott opposes gay marriage. So too does Julia Gillard.

Tony Abbott wants to attack public service jobs and wages. That is what Gillard Labor are doing through their Orwellian ‘efficiency’ dividend and real wage cuts with offers to public servants of just 9 percent pay increases over 3 years, well below the 4.5 percent employee cost of living increases.

Tony Abbott wants to refine industrial relations but keep the framework of the Fair Work legislation. So too does labor. But both agree on the basics of the current approach – restrict the capacity to strike, keep the Australian Building and Construction Commission to handcuff the strongest and potentially most militants unions and fine unions millions for ‘illegal’ strikes.

Tony Abbott wants to keep the troops in Afghanistan. Labor are doing that. The ALP are also turning the country into a base for US regional operations against China.

Tony Abbott wants to return the budget to surplus. So too does Labor. Both have a deficit fetish.

Tony Abbott wants direct action (code for doing nothing) on climate change. Labor wants a carbon tax (code for doing nothing really) on climate change.

Tony Abbot wants to keep and extend the Northern Territory intervention. That is what Labor are doing.

Tony Abbott wants to further the transfer on wealth from workers to capital. That is what Labor are doing.

By all means criticise Tony Abbott for his conservatism and neoliberalism. But let’s be clear. Tony Abbott is likely to become Australia’s next Prime Minister because Labor’s reactionary policies give credence to his.

The way to fight Abbott is not just to bag him out. It is to build any fight back that might arise  today against Labor.



Pingback from The Battle of Cable Street – they did not pass –> En Passant « The Left Hack
Time October 3, 2011 at 9:48 am

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Comment from Sarah
Time October 4, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Complete load of nonsense to argue that because one author writes a book arguing something, the entire “capitalist left” has no other arguments.

And the government did and does support the pay equity case – not to mention, they’ve brought in Australia’s first-ever paid parental leave scheme. It’s self-evidently true that Gillard is not as sexist as Abbott, and no amount of cherry picking the facts will make it so.

Comment from John
Time October 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Anna Bligh is refusing to pay equal pay increases. Gillard hasn’t committed to fully funding any pay increases. The paid maternity leave program is shite – even worse than Abbott’s. But I guess being outflanked to the Left by Abbott (eg on refugees too) is par for the course for Gillard Labor. Gillard supports marriage between a man and a woman; she doesn’t support equal pay in practice – why not sweep that pay difference away with legislation and tax the rich to fund the pay increase to community workers, for example?. She supports a system that is sexist and does nothing to challenge its sexist pillars; she in fact mouths platitudes to appease right wingers that support sexism. She is of the same mould as Abbott.

Comment from John
Time October 4, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Sarah, if Gillard isn’t a sexist, why is the gender pay gap larger under Gillard than under Howard? And I notice you say not as sexist. So she is sexist then? And a racist, given the Malaysian solution.

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