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John Passant

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April 2013
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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
You can prove my 2 ex-comrades wrong by donating to my blog En Passant at BSB: 062914 Account: 1067 5257, the Commonwealth Bank in Tuggeranong, ACT. More... (12)

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)



Archive for April, 2013

Join the fightback contingent on May Day

This year Socialist Alternative, having just completed a merger with the Revolutionary Socialist Party, will be marching alongside the Socialist Alliance and others in joint “Fight back” contingents around the country. We invite you to join us as we march together.


Fix the budget deficit – tax the rich

Gillard has not ruled out tax increases either, but her talk about sharing the pain means that the burden of tax increases will be borne by you and me, not the rich. It is all about priorities.

Labor won’t tax the rich. Instead it has attacked the vulnerable, like single parents and those sectors it wants to further privatise, even if under government tutelage, like universities.

Is there an alternative? Labor could tax the rich. It isn’t rocket science. Here are a few examples.

Austerity economics: If I use an umbrella, will it lead to rain?

Both the US and Britain had higher than 90 percent debt after the Second World War. Rapid economic growth made this problem disappear. And this points to the real problem facing Western capitalism today. The rate of profit today is much lower than it was in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

But this is beyond the ken of Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart and their ilk.

Saturday’s socialist speak out

Palmer is a filthy rich miner and resort owner. I think it will be a titanic task for the old dinosaur to win any seats let alone the majority he says he has his eyes on, with him as Prime Minister. It really is tin foil hat time. However his complaint, that there is no difference between Gillard and Abbott, is in one sense correct. The Labor Party and the Liberals are both parties of neoliberalism. They may disagree about the best way to oversight the shift of wealth to the rich and capital from labour and the poor but they share that common goal. Such is the degeneration of Australian politics that no-one on the Labor Left or in the mainstream union movement has made public the same criticism and fought openly against Labor Party neoliberalism.

Ecosocialist Conference: for system change, not climate change

Canadian socialist and author John Riddell in Socialist Worker US reports on a recent important Ecosocialist Conference in New York City.

Lest we forget: the war against Aborigines has never ended

Genocide against Aboriginal people is one theme that runs through the history of the last 225 years. The failure to recognise that genocide is another ongoing theme. ANZAC Day, the supposed symbol and celebration of the ‘nation’ denies this most obvious truth – Australian society was founded on the genocide of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and that genocide continues today.

The myth of ANZAC Day

Ruling classes around the world have their national myths. These attempt to tie working people to the capitalist class through the false idea of nationhood – a recent historical development.

The Australian version of this national myth is ANZAC day. It is supposedly the day Australia became a nation. It celebrates the defeat of Australia’s invading troops at Gallipoli in 1915.

ANZAC Day also performs another function.

War is an integral part of capitalism and imperialism. Most people’s initial reaction is to recoil from war and all the horror it brings. ANZAC Day downplays that horror and makes war acceptable.

It is propaganda to allow the ruling class to call on the next generation of workers to join the war effort if needed.

We’re overpopulated with oil tycoons and coal barons

I don’t think there are too many people on the planet, but I do agree there are too many of “some” people. I think there are too many coal barons. There are too many oil tycoons. I think there are too many Clive Palmers – there’s just one of him, but one is still more than we need in my opinion. In truth, the biggest factor in ecological decay is how a society uses its resources, not how many people live in that society. “Pollution begins not in the family bedroom, but in the corporate boardroom.”

If we are to find solutions to the climate emergency, the food crisis and other environmental ills, we have to explore and act upon the causes, not the symptoms. These causes lie in the unequal power held by between different groups in society and an economic system geared for infinite growth on a finite planet.

A gay marriage proposal: still waiting at the altar in Canberra

The fight for marriage equality will have to continue until same sex couples have the same marriage and other rights as straight Australians. Having gay marriage in the ACT will contribute to that but true marriage equality can only be won by a massive struggle from below to force Gillard Labor to legislate for it . Continue the fight for equal marriage.

Equal love now; not in the mists of time but now. Over to you Shane Rattenbury, the one remaining Greens’ member of the ACT Legislative Assembly.

Boston and West – what is the difference?

There are no police with guns arresting the owners of companies whose workers are killed on the job. There are no cries of workplace terrorism when another worker dies at work because profit is more important than people. Terrorism at work is acceptable. That is the bloody logic of capitalism. The time has come to end the terrorism in our workplaces. Giving unions work safety inspection and enforcement rights can make workplaces much safer.