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John Passant

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June 2013



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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)



Archive for June, 2013

Kevin: Messiah or Magician?

So while the reality may be, as I have argued elsewhere, that it makes no difference which Labor leader is selling us the shit sandwich of neoliberalism, in the short term it does. The swing to Labor under the newly recycled Rudd expresses workers’ hopes for a better world. Time, and the reality of capitalism, will destroy that illusion but at the moment many of us appear spell bound by the magician whose tricks give us hope.

It is false hope to be sure but it will take workers time and the experience of Rudd in power for longer than a few weeks second time round to understand that.


Obama: How much real change on climate change?

Rather than celebrating Obama’s renewed “commitment” to environmental action, we should recognize it for what it is: After five years of doing all he can to promote fossil fuel production, it’s the first, timid, grudging response of the U.S. state to the growing environmental movement against Obama and all that he represents: the economic, political and military priorities of U.S. imperial power.

Revolution and counterrevolution in Egypt

June 30 may be remembered as another turning point for the Egyptian Revolution argues Sameh Naguib, a leading member of the Revolutionary Socialists in Egypt, in a post translated and published in Socialist Worker US. Opponents of President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood will take to the streets on the one-year anniversary of Morsi’s first day in office to call on him to resign.

Saturday’s socialist speak out

Kevin Rudd is again Prime Minister. It is the same policy cart – rule for the rich – just with a different driver. There were no battles over vision, over policy, over the future; just who gave Labor a better chance at the next soon to be held election. Such is Labor’s bankruptcy that the neoliberal approach remains the same.

That bankruptcy is part of Labor’s heart and soul. Its goal is to manage capitalism. This means in the era of permanent global recession but with an Australian economy not yet in recession that Labor’s role is to slowly cut social services, control unions, keep wages in check and continue the shift of wealth from labour to capital. In doing that the ALP lays the groundwork for an Abbott government.

Rudd wins, but Labor is still a disaster zone

Kevin Rudd is once again leader of the Labor Party writes Mick Armstrong in Socialist Alternative. But the ALP remains an absolute disaster zone. Labor is still likely to face a devastating defeat in the upcoming elections – defeat at the hands of Tony Abbott, one of the most despised Liberal Party leaders ever. If Labor can’t beat a disgusting reactionary like Abbott, whose whole social outlook is completely out of kilter with the mass of workers in Australia, then it should immediately be put out of its misery.

Some things Labor should do, but won’t

First, Labor should, but won’t, abandon its nearly 40-year infatuation with neoliberalism. It should introduce a serious super profits tax on the mining companies, raise the tax rates on those at the top end back to where they were under Malcolm Fraser and end the concessions on capital gains.

Labor should, but won’t, lift restrictions on union rights to strike, scrap the bosses’ ability to lock out workers at will and peg the minimum wage to a decent share of average earnings.

Will the U.S. hijack Syria’s revolution?

The grassroots movement that developed through mass protests and civil disobedience hasn’t been defeated. Revolutionary civilian groups continue to run towns and communities attacked or abandoned by the regime. In the face of an increasing dynamic of militarization encouraged by foreign powers trying to shape events in Syria, these organizations are striving to exercise political control over armed groups that are increasingly subject to manipulation from abroad.

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, the Australian and truth

The Australian’s anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions propaganda is reaching new heights of the bizarre. The shrillness perhaps suggests the panic reaching into the heart of Zionism as the effectiveness of the campaign grows, built on the obvious fact that Israel is an apartheid state.

A new centre of the resistance in Greece

Panos Petrou in Socialist Worker US writes that the resistance to austerity and social crisis in Greece has united behind a workers’ occupation of the state TV and radio station ERT after the government – for the first time since Greece was ruled by a military junta – tried to shut down the broadcaster.

University workers: build a fighting union, not a lobby group

We’re for building a fighting union, not a lobby group. A genuine political campaign would centre on industrial action against the budget cuts.