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John Passant

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July 2012



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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)



Of course Tony Abbott in power will be a right wing bastard

‘Look over there’ said the evil angel. ‘It’s the devil.’

That’s apparently why we have to vote for the evil angel Labor Party – to help ward off the Tony Abbott devil.

It is a non-choice. The devil is an evil angel.

The two major parties agree on basic economic policy – neoliberalism. This is the idea that the market knows best; that we should privatise government enterprises, cut back on government spending on social welfare, public education, health and transport, and use the state to restrict unions.

Abbott can use weasel words all he likes but business wants greater workplace ‘flexibility’. Workchoices in some form will be back.

What is missing from the debate however is that Workchoices hasn’t really left. Labor’s Fair Work legislation kept about 90% of Workchoices.

Strikes are illegal except in certain very limited circumstances.

The threat of fines for ‘illegal’ strikes is enough to stop much industrial action.

At my workplace for example the Chainsaw Vice Chancellor sacked 13 of the 32 staff in the School of Music. The unwillingness of staff to strike (‘illegally’ as it would have been) has seen the campaign against the sackings defeated.

The VC has destroyed the School of Music despite a demonstration of 1000 in support and a well attended union meeting of over 300 without so much as a union gun being fired.

The VC can now turn his attention to delivering a rotten Enterprise Agreement and sacking the 150 staff and more he mooted before the School of Music debacle broke out.

This is happening under Labor’s industrial laws, laws which are strangling the union movement.

Labor and the Liberals often have similar policies. Oh, they might fight over the detail – Malaysia or Nauru for offshore torture of refugees; a do nothing carbon tax or a do nothing action plan for addressing global warming; cutting public services; sacking public servants; tax cuts for companies and the rich.

Many times they agree. The war in Iraq; the war in Afghanistan; the US Alliance; keeping Aborigines in subjugation, women oppressed, gay marriage off the agenda and much much more come to mind.

About 80% of the time the Opposition supports the Labor Government’s legislation.

It is true that they sometimes disagree. It is always the case in families that the siblings will fight, but they are still part of the same loving family, in this case a family managing capitalism.

The decline of Labor as a party of social democracy has a number of fathers.

It is not just falling profits across the globe since the end of the post war boom (with ups and downs since then) but the capitulation of the trade union movement, in particular its leadership, to fighting the bosses.

Class collaboration has replaced class conflict, most infamously in the Accord.

Industrially the result has been a massive fall in union membership.

Economically the result has been a massive shift of wealth from labour to capital.

As I have pointed out before the share of national income going to the bosses is at its highest since records began to be kept in 1960 and that to labour its lowest.

Politically the result has been a capitalist workers’ party becoming a CAPITALIST workers’ party and embracing neoliberalism with little resistance.

Hawke and Keating laid the ground work for Howard. Howard laid the groundwork for Rudd and Gillard. Gillard is laying the groundwork for Abbott.

Abbott might pursue Labor’s general agenda of attacking jobs, wages, social services and public servants with more gusto. He will introduce even more restrictive industrial relations laws. If we let him.

The way to fight Abbott is to strike against Gillard Labor and its rotten anti-working class policies.

Otherwise we won’t have built up our muscle to take on a resurgent reaction gathered around Tony Abbott.




Comment from Phil
Time July 19, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Things will change because we all know that the the situation is irredeemable, John.

The problem resides on how to reflect on the fallout of the failure, not the cause and requisite blame.

Failure is actually sweet and normal and should be seen as such. Yes, only then is it made available to be said:


Failure has to be embraced:

Comment from jack hartyn
Time July 20, 2012 at 3:53 pm

The ALP is not anti unionist neither is it a neo liberal party, it is a political party born of the union movement genuinely attempting to better the quality of life for the ordinary working people of Australia.
Its leaders are certainly not machiavellian or deceptive but pragmatistic in their approach to achieving quality of life concepts.
Australians by their very upbringing/background are not as a whole revolutionary or politically adventurous, and as they become better educated, better fed,
better housed, proud owners of every possible electronic gadgetry and latest model SUV’s, the less likely they are to worry about their fellow man, if they have ever worried about their fellow man?
The conclusion drawn is not to blame the ALP or the union movement for the loss of workers rights but to sheet the blame directly to whom it belongs, namely, the present day Australian public, who, so long as they earn sufficient funds to pay for their hedonistic way of life, just could’nt care less about socialism or any other ism including Liberalism or, their possible deleterious effects.

Comment from John
Time July 22, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Who do the ALP rule for Jack? And if the ALP hasn’t implemented neoliberal polices what is this tax cutting on business, privatisation, restructuring of industrial relations to give more power to the bosses etc all about? It is a capitlaist workers power and within that context the capitalist side has dominated I believe because there have been very few strikes – about five days lost per thousand workers compared to the 1970s when the figure was 1200 per thousand workers.

Comment from John Richardson
Time July 23, 2012 at 9:21 am

On the money Jack.
That evil cabal – the 40% of the workforce trying to eke-out a living on casual work, coupled with the wicked mobs trying to survive on fixed incomes – all conspiring to bring down the country, notwithstanding the heroic efforts of the world’s highest paid politician & her quintessential ‘working class mates’.
I agree with John – the working class struggle was betrayed & lost with the advent of the accord & the foolish naive belief that labour could reason with the keepers of capital for a fair outcome.
How can you reason with greed?

Comment from Michael Navaratnam
Time July 24, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Is it technically correct to refer to the ANU as your ‘workplace’?

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