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John Passant

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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
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My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
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Every day is a bad day for democracy, Mr Abbott

Tony Abbott said yesterday that the goings on in Parliament were ‘a bad day for democracy.’ 

Abbott of course was complaining about Liberal rat Peter Slipper siding with Gillard Labor by becoming Speaker and shoring up the numbers for the minority government.

Peter Slipper rat

In by a whisker … new Speaker Peter Slipper in Parliament / Digitally altered image Source: The Daily Telegraph

Of course, the Liberals would never ever stoop so low, would they? The name Mal Colston comes to mind, or as former Labor heavyweight Robert Ray called him, the Quisling Quasimodo from Queensland. The Liberals enticed him to quit the Labor Party to continue as the deputy Presidency of the Senate and thus give them a majority in that House.

The ALP then revealed Colson’s travel rorts and he was charged with 28 counts of fraud. The charges were dropped because he was suffering from terminal lung cancer.

The Liberals seem to be following or may be about to follow a similar path with Slipper.

Amazing how they protect their own until they desert. If Colston was a crook in the ALP then those who protected him should have been investigated and if appropriate charged with concealment of crimes or similar offences. But I perhaps digress.

Was yesterday a bad day for democracy?

The best that could be said for it was that it was typical of what passes for democracy under capitalism. Every 3 years we get to elect one or other representative of capitalism to screw us over. No matter how much the political climate has changed, no matter that our representatives might have switched sides, the 3 year term prevents us effectively being represented until the next election.

Compare that to the situation during workers’ revolutions when revolutionary democracy emerges. Here is what Marx said about the Paris Commune in the Civil War in France:

The Commune was formed of the municipal councillors, chosen by universal suffrage in the various wards of the town, responsible and revocable at short terms. The majority of its members were naturally working men, or acknowledged representatives of the working class. The Commune was to be a working, not a parliamentary body, executive and legislative at the same time. 

In the Russian Revolution workers set up democratic workers’ councils (or soviets in Russian) to run society. Those elected were subject to automatic recall. The workers who elected the representatives could unelect them and replace them with someone else, the same day if necessary.

Such a right challenges the rule of capital. So too does the fact that these were working class institutions, not capitalist ones, built on the workplaces.

Democracy under capitalism, if it exists, is limited in terms of time and scope. It doesn’t impinge on the right of capital to run its economic vandalism. And it has to have ‘stable’ governments to implement the longer term vision of capital to continue to exploit us rather than reflect the changing will of the electors.

It is not only that. Democracy arose under capitalism as a consequence of working class and other struggles against the interests of the ruling elite.

Yet across the globe most governments are not democratic. And most of those authoritarian and dictatorial governments are supported by the democratic West because it is in the  interests of the one percent to have the recently overthrown and much lamented Mubarak or the House of Saud or their ilk in power.

Yesterday wasn’t a bad day for democracy. Every day is bad day for democracy until we have a truly democratic system in which workers, those who produce the wealth, run society democratically in their own interests. That is socialism.



Comment from Observer
Time November 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Not sure where Slipper’s defection ranks in the sleaziest political move rankings, but I would say it is probably top of the list. Disgusting defections and slimy maneuvering by Juliar. We need to restore our political system to a true democracy. Visit and sign the petition to give power to the people!

Comment from Robby Hart
Time November 26, 2011 at 5:58 am

At last, siomeone else who actually states we do not have democracy at all.

A vote does not indicate democracy which is defined as government for the people, by the people.

Our system is limited to possibly o9ligarchy where very small numbers actually control thye governhem\nt, and those people are not necessarily in Parliament either. Examples Rupert and Kerry Packer.

What we have is a llcak of choice of who stands for election as this is decdied behind closed doors by the major Parties. Some of those they put forward couldn’t win a chook raffle if they had aqll the tickets.

Example? Mary Jo Fisher. Never heard of her until she went on her little crime spree.

Once the election is over, the chosen ones head to Canberra dn are there lobotomised being told they vote as they are told or they are out.

Any thought of looking after those that they supposedly represent is gone and those eole treated as mere statistics. Examploe? The seat I live in is drover’s dog Labor country. If Labor put up Ivan Milat as the candidate he would still win the seat.

MP’s and Ministers should never determine policy, they should merely ensure policy is carried out as promised, in the way and au7ditor would ensure compliance.

Comment from Robby Hart
Time November 26, 2011 at 6:04 am

“Obgserver” has a shortmemory or none at all. Colston comes to mind as does the pandering to Meg Lees for the GST, as the the AWB treason of Howard and Mr stockings, Downer.

Anyone else recall a Liberal./National Senator being appointed by Bjelke Peterson when he should have selected a Labor person to replace a Labor person?

Gillard’s “lie” is supposedly a big deal but Howard did the same all the time and wiggled out of it by using expressions like “Non core promise”, “I wasn’t answering that part of that question on that day”.

Get Google working Observer and find out a few facts. You can even go back to Gallipoli where our politicians allowed Britain to send our young men to be slaughtered. That, too, was treason but we celebrate it as an act of courage. It never was. Just a cowardly govt too afraid to save our own boys, which is what most of them were. Boys.

Comment from Ross
Time November 26, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Robby Hart,I agree.Those boys slaughtered for bankster profit were shot in the trenches by their own if they failed to get and face the enemy.

All wars are created by the elites for power and profit.My Uncle suffered in Changi Prison and never wanted to talk about it.War is far worse than your worse nightmare.It is a lonely ugly death that has no meaning or love.

It is good to see that Russia has moved into Syria to stop NATO,who are prostitutes for the banking military cartels.This will also make Israel think twice about attacking Iran.

Comment from John
Time November 26, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Billy Hughes probably ranks much higher.

Comment from Ross
Time November 26, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Yes Billy Hughes brought in conscription against the will of his own party.Originally a Welsh carpenter for the Royal family,Hughes was an imperialist shill.He was one of the leading contenders baying for the blood of the Germans ie WW1 war reparations that eventually made Germany Hitler’s facist state possible.Huges seized German assets in the Pacific.Pres Woodrow Wilson of the USA was against war reparations.Hughes also, in these early times was warning about the rise of Japan.Even then, they were plotting and scheming against Japan.

It was Woodrow Wilson who allowed the introduction of the Federal Reserve,that infamous private banking cartel that has backed all manner of wars.

It is also interesting to note that we see the decline of the Commonwealth bank during Hughe’s reign.For the first 11 yrs of its life the Commonwealth Bank was allowed to create debt free money to build infrastructure.Hughes allowed private banks to take over this role.

Back then we see this national inferority complex emerge,whereby our leaders suck up to the British Aristocracy to engraciate themselves with our blood and money.

Comment from Ross
Time November 27, 2011 at 12:08 am

One correction John.Hughes was a carpenter for the House of Lords.The Commonwealth Bank was instigated in 1911.It’s power to create debt free money for the people of Aust ended in 1922.Hughe’s reign ended in 1923.

It is interesting to note that when leaders with big egos are on the way out, they often bring about change against the national good.Keating had the rest of the Commonwealth Bank sold off at the end of his reign.

Barry O’Farrell ( premier of NSW) said last week that we need to sell off our electricity power gereration to finance infrastructure.Well what infrastructure could be more important than cheap efficient power? So we are selling off a prime income earning asset to build roads etc.This means that in the longer term that taxes must go up to pay for private sector profits.

Comment from David Grayling
Time November 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Democracy is dead. The screams coming from the graves of Ancient Greeks proves it!

The arrival of Marines on our shores at Julia’s invitation proves it. She didn’t ask me. Did she ask you?