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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)



Some facts to support Occupy Australia

In Australia the ‘top’ 20 percent own 61 percent of the wealth while the ‘bottom’ 20 percent own just one percent of the wealth, according to the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

The ACTU also reports that the share of national income going to capital is at its highest or close to it since records began to be kept in 1964 and that going to labour its lowest.

The gender pay gap in Australia is now, at 17.2 percent, the same under Julia Gillard as it was under Howard.

Australian workers have some of the longest working hours of any OECD country – up to 7 hours of often unpaid overtime on top of the standard 38 hour week. 

For example the Government’s Australian Institute of Family Studies has reported that ‘Australia has long full-time working hours by international standards. In 2006 in Australia, full-time employed men worked an average of 45.9 hours per week, compared to many OECD countries with averages of less than 43 hours per week (for example, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden).’

‎According to the ACTU the ‘top’ 20% pay 34.5% of their income in taxes, the ‘bottom’ 20% pay 26.7%. Now remember that that same top 20% own 61% of the wealth and the bottom 20% own 1%. A progressive tax system anyone?

The Australian Council of Social Service says that ‘the median income of indigenous households is just 65% of that for non-indigenous households.  The gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous life-expectancy at birth is 12 years for males and 10 years for females. Mortality rates for Indigenous infants and young children remain 2-3 times higher than for all infants and young children.’

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners represented 26% of the total full-time prisoner population in the June quarter 2011, the same proportion as for the March quarter 2011. The total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population aged 18 years and over at 30 June 2010 was 2% of the Australian population.’

ACOSS also shows that about eleven percent of Australians live in poverty.  It says inequality is growing.

According to the OECD our unemployment payments are the relative lowest of the (then) 30 OECD nations.

Over 100,000 Australians are homeless. But even those in homes are finding it increasingly difficult.

As ACOSS puts it: “We know that nationally over a million low-income households are in housing stress with housing costs exceeding more than 30% of household income. 65% of people on low incomes in private rentals currently experience housing stress, with many of these households spending over half their income on rent.”

Deputy Commissioner of Taxation Jim Killaly last year said that, between 2006 and 2008, 40 percent of big business paid no income tax. That figure is now likely to be above 50 percent as a result of the losses associated with the global financial crisis.

The Treasury has identified $113 billion worth of disguised and unaccountable grants through the tax system, a large of amount of which goes to business.

Defence spending is about $27 billion and both sides of politics will increase it by 3 percent in real terms each year. By contrast Australia spends just slightly more – about $30 billion – on education.

Australia’s elite – the one percent if you like – have been involved in Western imperialism’s wars for almost one hundred and thirty years. Their troops have killed over one million innocent Iraqis and tens of thousands of Afghan civilians. Both figures are likely to be conservative estimates of the slaughter the one percent have unleashed to protect their murderous profit system.

If you have any other facts or figures highlighting corporate greed and inequality, feel free to post them in the comments section and I’ll add them in as appropriate.

Readers might also like to look at Can we dare to hope? and Bring the workplace to the occupations and the occupations to the workplace.



Comment from Matt
Time October 9, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Dear En,

Thank you for this wonderfully researched piece.

I highly recommend everyone watch the following free not-for-profit documentary available on the following link for a fuller understanding of the urgency and ‘potential’ of this movement:

Thank you so much.

Pingback from Facts to support ‘Occupy’ Australia: John Passant | The Election Review
Time October 10, 2011 at 10:05 am

[…] En Passant 9 October 2011 Share this using:DiggPrintEmail TwitterDiggFacebookDeliciousStumbleUpon […]

Comment from Dally M
Time October 10, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Matt, if you consider this “wonderfully researched” I really think you need to get out more. Plucking random stats from the internet does not make for convincing arguments despite you and the author’s sincere desire for a workers coup of some kind. I suspect most people who are not members of the (apparently heartless, child-eating) “1%” would gladly accept the trappings of wealth if they were available to them. And guess what, most of those people can at least start changing their lives and improving the lot of themselves and their families if they apply the potential they have at their disposal (e.g. get an education, maintain a healthy lifestyle, wean themselves off a welfare mentality) should they choose to do that. But it’s not an easy choice to make as it sometimes requires a little sacrifice now in pursuit of future comforts. I’m sure you’ll shout me down but if you are honest with yourselves this is the simplest way for people to change their lot for the better. Sure beats constantly whingeing about the cards one has been dealt in life.

Comment from John
Time October 10, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Dally M reveals their true colours. Reactionary. Work hard and all will be well. Oh, and work hard for lower wages and for longer hours and things really will be better for you, and the bosses who live off your labour. Randomly picked? Most of the facts are incontrovertible, and in any event have been argued on this blog in the past. So large and sudden increases in unemployment, such as in the US are presumably now no doubt the result of a sudden outbreak of laziness. Ands this is the sort of advice Mubarak offered to Egyptians. Things will improve if you just work harder. Clealry a lie to protect the powerful – those who live off our labour. But hey, stick with your fake work harder narrative. One problem. Not everyone can be a big a crook as Steve Jobs and run sweat shops in China where workers suicide because of the inhumane and inhuman conditions. Don’t blame the system; blame those who are its victims. And workers’ coup? What crap, but lies are the stock in trade of the one percent and their hangers on. It is part of the reason there are occupations spreading across the world.

Comment from Brett
Time October 10, 2011 at 6:09 pm

“Australia’s elite – the one percent if you like – have been involved in Western imperialism’s wars for almost one hundred and thirty years. Their troops ahve killed over one million innocent Iraqis and tens of thousands of Afghan civilians. Both figures are likely to be conservative estimates of the slaughter the one percent have unleashed to protect their murderous profit system.”

Herp a derp, where the fuck do you think htey get the money to fund these wars?

The Afghanistan and Iraw wars each cost more each year than the countries entire respective GDP’s, which means that even if you could extract 100% of the wealth of Afghanistan or iraq, it would literally be impossible for the wars to be profitable.

Unless of course…you could get someone else to pay for it, i.e. the taxpayers!

Woo taxation!

And guess who pays the majority of tax in australia: high income earners!

To suggest the the top the netire top 1% of Australians have anything to with the wars is absolutely *absurd*. I’m sure the VAST majority of the 227,000 people that make up the wealthiest 1% would far rather keep their money than see it spent on tanks ad soldiers.

hahaha, hey everyone, apparently a bunch of doctors and lawyers and engineers are secretly all in on the iraw and afghanistan wars and are somehow benefitting from it, even though it costs them thousands of dollars every year!


Also, I like the part where Australia is sooo awful that people….risk their lives trying to get in!


Comment from Ross
Time October 10, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Make no mistake the protests will grow here.We’ve had it easier with the Chinese money flowing into Govt coffers.
See Luke Rudowski the founder of We Are Change been beaten/maced by the NYPD for just filming their thuggery.Luke walked with us through the streets of Sydney back in Nov 2009 handing out fliers revealing the truth we are now fast realising.

J P Morgan/Chase donated $4.2 million to the NYPD to make sure the police acted in their interests.Just go to and see the violence being perpetrated upon peaceful protestors who want fairness and justice.They are the 99% who also represent most of us here in Australia.

You will never live until you have found values/principles worth dying for.

Those values/principles are ;freedom,decmocracy,justice and a new constitution that protects the people from their Govt and tyranny.

Pingback from #OccupySydney, why? « Bastard Sheep
Time October 10, 2011 at 7:56 pm

[…] society and our systems at the current point in time.  Some (but not all) are listed quite well here so I won’t really bring them up […]

Comment from DallyM
Time October 10, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Poorly researched and poorly argued. I’m a reactionary hey? Against poorly researched silly, victim-based ideology, sure. You roll out the same tired arguments, they really don’t resonate, just vacuous wind in sails.

Comment from Gradool
Time October 10, 2011 at 9:28 pm

…and you presume to speak for countless scores of people when in reality you have no mandate, no imprimatur, no permission express or otherwise to do so. You preach a failed ideology, so clearly proven so in the absence of ANY popular regard for your blog. Tens of readers is my guess, including the bored like me. And your retorts, so predictable and clearly drawn straight from the pamphlets you no doubt collect, read, re-read and so on. Yet you love comfortably in a liberal democracy, tenured (I’ll wager) and safe from all the “evils” you feel infect the world of the “non-tenured” and otherwise “unclean”.

Comment from Ross
Time October 10, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Brett is not too smart.The wars are not profitable for the US Tax payer.This is true.Private enterprise profits from war,not the tax payer.

Congress does not give a stuff how much debt the country suffers since the US Federal Reserve, (the private cartel of banks), profits by creating all the new money from nothing for wars, in their computers as debt. Congress gets paid regardless.The West is totally controlled by a banking system and it doesn’t matter who you vote for since they create all the new money for the system to function.

It happens here too Brett.Can I further elucidate on this subject for you?

Comment from Ross
Time October 10, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Dallym makes assertions with no intellectual fibre to back it up.Which parts are poorly researched/argued and why?

Comment from John
Time October 11, 2011 at 7:42 am

Welcome back GD. I’ve missed troll number one. No doubt you have been spurred to write by concerns that maybe the message of the left – a better world is possible – might get a hearing. I don’t speak for countless people. I am doing what most politicians do, putting my views to the wider world, and in this case there may be a group of people who may be receptive to the arguments becuase they are radicalising in the face of the inability of capitalism to satisfy basic needs.

Comment from John
Time October 11, 2011 at 7:43 am

See you at the Occupations DallyM. Troll number 2.

Comment from Madison Grant
Time October 11, 2011 at 8:14 am

The inequality between the slovenly Australoid population and European Australians is not a consequence of European discrimination and marginalisation but of the inherent limitations of the Australoid to operate in an industrialised society.

Comment from Brett
Time October 11, 2011 at 8:23 am

Ross, what in god’s name does this have to do with even a fraction of Australia’s top 1%?

Comment from Dally M
Time October 11, 2011 at 9:16 am

Hmm, “troll” is the easiest way to marginalise people you don’t agree with I guess, like I said, poorly argued premise. A Welfare State like ours does more to support “basic needs” than any other type I am aware of. You can argue around the edges but you cannot deny the substantive point. Calling oneself “one of the 99%” in the context of the currently fashionable “Occupy” movement is simply defeatist and begs the question: if you are so keen for change what are you doing to effect change? Marching into a CBD square is a side show.You may as well hold hands and build a bonfire for the good you’ll do unless you participate in the political process – lobby, seek election, argue coherently (“corporate greed”, “the 1%” etc. is not a coherent argument, it just reeks jealousy and victimhood).

Comment from John
Time October 11, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Well if you made a sensible contribution maybe you could convince us you aren’t a troll. As JG said ‘Don’t write crap.’ Are the figures inaccurate? Do they not paint a picture of great economic disparity? The Occupiers in the US have sparked a response. The first step was to put inequality and greed on the agenda. They have done that. Now, as I have written, the task is to link to the power of the working class. That may or may not occur, but it sure beats sitting at home doing nothing.

Comment from John
Time October 11, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Ah yes, funny how the one percent and their popinjays argue that this is just about victimhood and jealousy. Maybe losing your job, your home, your future – the exposure of the lie of the American dream – rather than provoking jealousy actually provokes anger in light of the wealth shift that has gone to the rich in the US since 1979 or thereabouts. But there are none so blind as those who will not see.

Comment from Terrance
Time October 11, 2011 at 4:30 pm

When does one leave ‘working class’ or ‘middle class’ and become part of the 1 %?

I earn a pretty decent wage, kids all left home and house paid off, so am i in the 1 % or can I still call myself a working man? And you John, Uni lecturer etc, how do you classify your position. Would you be the same if you promoted to Professor?

A bit like Bolt’s slander about Aboriginality, but the issue is perhaps okay to ask – who says which class we’re in and why can’t rich people be in the 99% bracket?

Comment from Ross
Time October 11, 2011 at 5:59 pm

They just don’t get John.When Wall St and the Fed steals the rest of their super, perhaps then they will begin to think.

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