ga('send', 'pageview');
John Passant

Site menu:

May 2013
« Apr   Jun »



RSS Oz House



Subscribe to us

Get new blog posts delivered to your inbox.


Site search


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)



Unlike Tony Abbott, I will shed no tears for Martin Ferguson

Martin Ferguson represents everything that is wrong with Labor today. Unlike Tony Abbott I will shed no tears for him. He is not, as Abbott claimed, an honourable opponent and great Australian.

Ferguson wasn’t Abbott’s opponent; he was Abbott’s ally.

Ferguson, like the rest of the ALP, agrees with Abbott on the big picture – the continuation of capitalism and the extraction of surplus value from workers.

In Ferguson’s case, as Minister for Resources and Energy,  this meant supporting the big miners.

He was for example one of the Ministers who negotiated the agreement with the big 3 mining companies that became the disastrous Minerals Resource Rent Tax.

This is the tax that is so full of holes that it collected only $126 million in its first six months of operation compared to the over $3 billion originally estimated for the year.

Ferguson, unlike the Greens, understood that the carbon tax was a way of shifting production in Australia not to renewable energy but to gas and he supported it for precisely that reason.

He saw liquefied natural gas (LNG) as the saviour of Australian capitalism.  As he said in his farewell speech to Parliament today:

On my watch as Minister for Resources, I am proud to have helped facilitate the biggest pipeline of investment in our resources sector this country has ever seen. Perhaps more importantly, if we focus our attention on the fundamentals of attracting investment, including getting costs under control and achieving regulatory reform, we have the capacity to secure a second pipeline of investment, especially in the LNG sector, which will set Australia up for the 21st century

Ferguson’s dig it up at any cost approach saw him support uranium mining and the sale of Australian uranium to countries like India which have not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

Riding on the coattails of mining capital means Ferguson must ride roughshod over Aborigines and their rights.  Thus it was Ferguson who was the driver for dumping nuclear waste at Muckaty in the Northern Territory, ignoring the traditional owners, overriding Territory and Commonwealth laws and Aboriginal land rights.

Ferguson was a key Australian Council of Trade Union official in the 1980s and 90s and was instrumental in the ‘success’ of the Accord, the class collaborationist agreement that saw real wages cut. The Accord destroyed the trade union movement as an effective fighter for workers and has seen its membership decline from 50% of the working class to around 20%.

In his farewell speech, Ferguson said that ‘creating opportunities by working with business is not the same thing as pointless class rhetoric.’

This is the trade union bureaucrat and Labor hack trickle down theory of capitalism. We have to work with business to create jobs. It doesn’t work because the deeper drivers of capitalism, as Europe and North America show, are to crisis and attacks on jobs and wages. In reality Ferguson’s approach means that he supports attacks on workers’ wages to, as he put it in his farewell speech, get ‘costs under control.’

The mining industry by the way employs less than 2 percent of all workers in Australia.

Martin Ferguson’s legacy, apart from Gina Rinehart’s obscene wealth, is a trade union movement not yet defeated but on its knees and a Labor Party heading for a massive defeat in September.

Like all posts on this blog, comments (see the link under the heading) close after 7 days.