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John Passant

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Keep socialist blog En Passant going - donate now
If you want to keep a blog that makes the arguments every day against the ravages of capitalism going and keeps alive the flame of democracy and community, make a donation to help cover my costs. And of course keep reading the blog. To donate click here. Keep socialist blog En Passant going. More... (4)

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)



In defence of flag burning

This is a link to me on radio station 2UE in Sydney this morning defending flag burning and the need for a treaty for 15 minutes. Does this one (third time lucky touch wood and my thanks to reader dl) work? It is the second audio down on the page.



Comment from billie
Time January 30, 2012 at 6:21 pm

no the link doesn’t work

Comment from John
Time January 30, 2012 at 8:46 pm

None of the links work. Must be something in the design.

Comment from dl
Time January 30, 2012 at 11:43 pm

I found a working link here. It’s on the 2ue blog.

Comment from dl
Time January 31, 2012 at 12:32 am

David Oldfield (a founder of One Nation, FFS) had a real go at you after the interview ended. Personally I’d never partake in flag burning strictly due to personal, family related reasons which I won’t delve into here. I don’t begrudge people who do though. The way I see it, i reality what was actually being burnt was a piece of cloth with a few old Motifs from the British Empire printed onto it, a conception of Australian nationhood that I for one don’t think highly of. However, it certainly does seem to have some effectiveness as a propaganda tactic, as it gets people’s attention. Also, from David Oldfield perspective, such an act as burning a flag would probably be perceived as an attack on the idea of the Australian nation itself, which is why he he frowns upon it so much.

Needless to say, flag burning should certainly fall under the aegis of free speech laws. Burning the aboriginal flag should also be allowed on free speech grounds as well IMO. This isn’t a moral judgement on such an act either, which I personally would see as constituting Racial vilification. However, as a general rule, I personally don’t think that applicability of laws to groups in society should be based on how oppressed that Australia’s legal elite judges a certain group to be. Legal relativism, for want of a better term.

Another point that Oldfield raised toward the end was with regards to whether Aboriginals would rather that the British colonized Australia or not. This point is pretty academic, as nobody ever asked them, and I’m tipping that collectively (there’s some Uncle Toms in every society,) they’d rather have chosen to retain their dignity as an ethnic group, as opposed to being relegated to the underclass of White Man’s society.

Comment from peter piper
Time January 31, 2012 at 7:17 am

you think that the aborigines “would have chosen to maintain their digmity”!! They were running around the desert naked and practicing cannabilism and hadnt even discovered the wheel or collective farming during their “60000 yr ocupation. Some dignity!!

Pingback from ยป In defence of flag burning | via: En Passant « The Left Hack
Time January 31, 2012 at 8:46 am

[…] Posted by Darin Sullivan on January 31, 2012 · Leave a Comment  via […]

Comment from eddie
Time February 1, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I think he had you on toast. Can burn one flag, not another? Interesting… I like the idea of undeveloped value of the country as buy price. You had nothing in the tank when the talk got down to specifics. Thanks for the link, I encourage as many people as possible to listen to it. Interesting too that you endorse democratic processes – when it suits you. You are a mass of contradictions John, now all the World can hear your empty rhetoric for themselves. BTW, it’s 224 years, not 244 years. Like DO said, “Nothing Practical”.

Comment from John
Time February 1, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Thanks Eddie. Perhaps you should listen to the interview. I said burning the Aboriginal flag is a sign of the racism in our society. But I guess your misreporting is just another example of the racist lies of our society. Actually people love the interview, but if you want to side with extreme reactionaries and out and out racists like Oldfield that’s your choice. Yes, 224 years. A slip of the tongue. I wrote it somewhere too before correcting it so for some reason that incorrect figure was on my mind. Not sure why.

Comment from Eddie
Time February 1, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Probably just a freudian slip.

Back to the topic. What if an indigenous person decided to burn the Aboriginal flag because (e.g.) they wanted to make a point about the silliness of burning the Australian flag? Racist?

Haven’t misreported a thing John, I did listen to the whole interview, like I said, extremely revealing and I encourage people to listen to it at least once.

Really good to hear you put to the test of explaining your views in a combative setting as opposed to the luxury of hosting a blog and taking your time to frame retorts.

“Nothing Practical” – for once I agree with David Oldfield.

Comment from John
Time February 1, 2012 at 4:05 pm

I creamed the sniveling little racist shit, Eddie. Here’s what Ruth thought, posted from my ‘It is right to be angry’ article: ‘Well done John your talk on 2UE was fabulous! I am drafting an article on the obscuring of the tent embassy message I would like to quote you within and would be honoured if you would read a copy of the article. Boogle Beh stay strong and keep up the great work! Ruth’ And I did not oppose burning the Aboriginal flag. I said it would indicate how racist Australian society was. But if you and Oldfield want to organise that – you of course won’t have the guts – go right ahead. We will organise a counter demonstration if we can. Just send us the details. And I like your lie Eddie that I only support democracy when it suits me. No evidence, but I guess truth and evidence aren’t your strong points eh Eddie? You stick with the One Nation reactionaries Eddie.

Comment from eddie
Time February 1, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Ouch, took some angry pills today, eh? You know my points are valid, hence the resort to slander. Poor form comrade.

Comment from John
Time February 1, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Can’t handle the truth eh? Find somewhere else to troll.

Comment from eddie
Time February 2, 2012 at 9:16 am

Not trolling, just exercising my right to disagree with you. I listened and you came off second best as far as I was concerned. Your whole approach to the conversation was lacking in any detail or practicality, something DO continued to expose with every polite interjection to your repetitive sermonising. This is symptomatic of the Socialist movement, I have heard the same sermon for decades, it never changes, even when history illustrates the pointlessness of its central tenets. If you don’t learn that from the experience then you are doomed to continue to be considered a loon by the listening (and reading) public.

Comment from John
Time February 2, 2012 at 9:29 am

Yes, it feeds your own preconceptions. Aboriginal people say let’s sit down and negotiate sovereignty, a treaty and land rights. So you want them to explain the detail when you won’t even concede negotiations are necessary. Oldfield’s questions were stuff from the lunar right and were an attempt to avoid and undermine the discussion of the principle – negotiate. But you stick with one of One Nation’s failed leaders.

Comment from Eddie
Time February 2, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Well, most sane people don’t enter into a potentially binding negotiation without some clear detail on what the other side wants. You’d have to acknowledge that. So, putting aside your childish point about me aligning with DO, how would you (as supposed eminent spokesperson for Indigenous Australians) explain the detail of the ultimate objectives of those indigenous folks who feel aggrieved enough to want to achieve additional rights to those they already have?

Comment from John
Time February 2, 2012 at 4:20 pm

It’s their land. Let’s start from that point. Pretty simple and I guess even you could understand that. And it isn’t childish to say you align with the reactionary. You do.

Comment from John
Time February 2, 2012 at 4:21 pm

What additional rights? Dispossession, genocide, dying 15 years earlier than the rest of us?

Comment from eddie
Time February 2, 2012 at 4:38 pm

OK, don’t answer my question then. And let’s face it, anyone who doesn’t agree with you is ipso facto deemed a reactionary by you, so I’m in pretty good company, including plenty of indigenous brothers and sisters.

Comment from John
Time February 2, 2012 at 5:06 pm

I did answer your stupid questions. I am tired of your trolling Eddie. Find somewhere else to play silly buggers. Or go back to One Nation land and play with yourself there.