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John Passant

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December 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
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Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
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Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

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Me on Razor Sharp this morning
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Labor’s con of a conference

Labor’s national conference has voted to support equal love.

However Julia Gillard’s push for a conscience vote also won, which means, unless the Opposition allow a conscience vote too, that any attempt to change the Marriage Act to allow gays and lesbians to tie the knot is doomed.

Those who imagine Tony Abbott will allow a conscience vote on gay marriage for the Liberals lives on a different planet to me.

According to ABC News “Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says it is unlikely Coalition MPs will be given a conscience vote on gay marriage.” Even if it did miraculously occur, those in Labor opposed to same sex marriage would far outweigh those in the Opposition in support. 

The Gillard ‘conscience’ vote is unconscionable. It gives the impression Labor is committed to equal love but will guarantee the defeat of any change.

The conscience vote only got up to protect Gillard and her ‘authority’. Some right wingers were dragooned into support. Labor cares more about defending Gillard than justice and fairness.

If conscience votes are so important, why not allow them for a vote on the war in Afghanistan and refugees?

The fact that equal love is even on the agenda is due to the magnificent fighters associated with Equal Love, Community Action Against Homophobia, Gay Marriage Rights Australia and the left  and its organisations. It has been the arguments, the publicity, the discussion and most importantly the demonstrations that have built the momentum and the pressure to force politicians to change the law and grant equal rights.

There has also been a change in public opinion from majority to mass support as the demonstrations saw more and more people understand the arguments and express their agreement.

Given the success of the movement so far, the answer to Gillard’s road block to change has to be more and more and bigger and bigger demonstrations.

There were 10,000 in Sydney outside the Conference demonstrating for equal love.  That is a magnificent turn out but Labor’s cop out of a ‘conscience’ vote means we will have to build even bigger and more determined demonstrations.

While I am talking about Labor’s conference, it has disgracefully voted for offshore processing of refugees. The solution to the current refugee ‘crisis’ – a few thousand people is not a crisis – is to bring refugees to Australia and release them into the community while processing their claims.

There are about 100,000 refugees in both Malaysia and Indonesia fleeing in the main Western invasion or Western supported Governments. An orderly refugee program could bring them to Australia in the next year.

Even the much hyped ‘democratisation’ of Labor – always a furphy – has fallen apart and the party will remain one in which the members are mere ciphers for money raising and handing out how to vote cards.

These social issues are important because a Party which opposes fairness for gays and lesbians and refugees, and which cannot abide democracy, will and must do the bidding of the one percent to continue the unfair and undemocratic system that is capitlaism.

The party that screws over gays and lesbians and refugees and fears the views of its own members, most of whom are part of the 99%, will screw over workers as workers for the one percent.  

And guess what other abominations the Labor Party has approved? Selling uranium to India. Now Pakistan wants the same deal.

Maybe the genuine Left in the ALP should now think about leaving Labor and joining the revolutionaries and others in the struggle for justice, equity and fairness; in the struggle against this rotten and reactionary Labor Government.

Labor’s conference is a con – the ALP remains a right wing party, a party of neoliberalism.



Pingback from Don’t moan, organise « Ozleft
Time December 4, 2011 at 9:46 am

[…] marriage reform will no doubt bring a chorus of moaning from the far left about the Labor Party. John Passant of Socialist Alternative was quick to lead off the chorus: “The party that screws over gays […]

Comment from Ed Lewis
Time December 4, 2011 at 9:53 am

Don’t moan, organise

Comment from Nookn
Time December 5, 2011 at 9:35 am

Gillard’s popularity will continue to suffer in the polls and Labor Party members will continue to leave in droves while the party’s power brokers keep shutting out the rank and file members from having any meaningful role. It was about as sad as the spin promoting Putin’s United Russia with the fraud and manipulation that goes on there to protect the interests of kleptocrats and religious conservatives ruling the country.

Comment from Hasbeen
Time December 5, 2011 at 11:18 am

I thought democracy was supposed to be of the people by the people etc.

It would appear that the majority of the MPs & the voters are against homosexual marriage, so what is unfair about not voting for it.

Bringing it in would be unfair to my mind, to the majority.

Comment from jack
Time December 5, 2011 at 1:46 pm

it had to be a conscience vote, otherwise the loud minority would get their way against the wishes of the majority of Australians.

Comment from Jolly
Time December 5, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Gillard is nothing but an opportunist. If her past actions are anything to go by, she is one that may even sell her soul to retain power. The likes of Shorten, Arbib and the Union muscle-men are all there for their turn at the top job via Labour. Who cares about fair deals to others? It is OK, it seems, to live out of wedlock and rule over the rest of us but not OK to legalise same-sex marriage. What hypocrisy! To expect ‘fair-go’ from the present Labour is to expect a miracle. Kevin Rudd never got a fair deal either and so the gays & lesbians will have to wait for a more enlightened leadership. Certainly don’t expect one from Abbott (the mad monk) who is a devout Catholic. Hmmm… where on Earth are we going to find this enlightened leader in the current Australian political climate?? Mal Turnbull? But then the blooming Liberals do not have the c-sense to prop him up as Liberal leader. We are all doomed; the Gays, the Lesbians and the rest of us. Let’s wish that Labour under Gillard-Shorten-Arbib- theUnion will be completely trounced at the next election. What a sweeeeeet day that will be for the rest of us.

Comment from John
Time December 5, 2011 at 8:22 pm

The majority of Australians support same sex marriage, including the majority of the religious. Even if they didn’t, why let the majority deny inalienable rights on the basis of gender, or colour or race, (as used to be the case not so long ago) or sexual preference?

Comment from Ross
Time December 6, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Simple question John.Do same sex marriages give the children they rear a balanced view of their sexuality? In many cases we have outright hostility by both males and females of their opposite gender.How does this benefit the children they rear who are of the opposite sex ?

Comment from John
Time December 7, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Not sure what you mean by a ‘balanced’ view. The problem is society imposes a stereotypical view of sexuality which is anything but balanced. That includes its refusal to recognise same sex marriage. But anyway the answer is kids of same sex couples are just as happy, adjusted, ‘normal’ if you like, as other kids.

Pingback from Left reaction to the Labor conference « Ozleft
Time December 9, 2011 at 10:44 am

[…] course, there was John Passant’s original article, with which I took issue and which I have indicated elsewhere may not be a full expression of […]