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John Passant

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August 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)



Voting for Labor as the lesser evil

A few days ago Andrew Leigh, my almost local member in Canberra, warned in the Canberra Times that an Abbott government would get rid of more public servants than Labor. This is my response.


In defending Labor’s cuts to the public service, Andrew Leigh warns of the dangers of a Liberal government and its even greater public service cuts. (Letters 20 August).

In doing this, Leigh is practising lesser evilism. Labor is bad, he says, but the Liberals are worse. The only problem is I don’t want to vote for evil.

Where one leads the other follows

There are other problems. This attempt to differentiate Labor from the Liberals on the basis that they are nice neoliberals actually shifts the ground of the debate to accepting neoliberalism as an appropriate guide for action. It lays the ground for Abbott’s ideas to become acceptable.

Second it is not that clear that the lesser evilists are always that. Barack Obama for example has extended and deepened George Bush’s foreign policy evil.

In Australia the Hawke Labor government through the Accord managed to cut workers’ real wages, something the more confrontational Margaret Thatcher in Britain could not achieve. Thus sometimes the nice neoliberals are, through the co-option of societal forces like unions, better able to achieve neoliberal outcomes for capital than the rabid fruitcake faction can.

Let’s move beyond this fake ‘they’ll be worse than us’ debate. Labor is just another party of neoliberalism and its warmongering and years of attacks on workers, the poor and refugees have opened the door for Abbott to do the same.



Comment from Lorikeet
Time August 23, 2013 at 8:29 am

Yes, that’s right, John. But why are the people so slow to get the message?

Comment from John
Time August 23, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Because Lorikeet building a revolutionary left alternative takes time and I suspect needs a change in the economic and political circumstances.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time August 26, 2013 at 9:53 am

Well the economic circumstances are definitely beginning to change. Changes in the political circumstances are held back by the Coalition and Labor/Greens duopoly who control the press.