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John Passant

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August 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
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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)



Saturday’s socialist speak out

Chelsea Manning is a hero. She’s a hero because she revealed the truth about US war crimes. She’s a hero because now she is embarking on her personal journey, despite being jailed for 35 years for letting us know about what our rulers really do. Double courage.

Chelsea is a hero but no so , if the polls are to be believed, Kevin Rudd. Even his own seat is possibly in danger. I guess 30 years of neoliberalism means that not even a smiling gas and wind bag like Rudd can save Labor from a significant defeat, with the farting Messiah potentially suffering the same fate as his erstwhile enemy, John Howard. Rudd could be hoist with his own petard.

That this is even a possibility says much about the sorry state of Labor and reformism today in Australia. The contradiction between the desire for a better world that arises in many workers from the very conditions of selling their labour power to survive and the reality of Labor in power quashing or corralling that desire in neoliberal directions sees Abbott very likely the next Prime Minister.

This is because many workers in the confusion Labor have created by attacking their working class base will vote Liberal. Other more class conscious workers, whether that consciousness is overt or covert, will hold their noses and vote Labor or Green, or perhaps find other passive political ways to express their disgust.

What they most likely won’t do, given the environment of conservatism in Australia today created by Labor, is strike to defend their interests. Yet such action, a return to class struggle by significant sections of the Australian working class,  and on a large enough scale would electrify politics  in Australia and begin a shift to the left, reformist and perhaps revolutionary. In inaction lies the Abbott ascendancy, not just on 7 September but perhaps for some time after that.

Paid parental leave has become a major election issue. Labor is criticising the Liberals’ proposal for 26 weeks at full pay (up to $150000) a year, paid in part for by a levy on big business, from the right. Where’s the money coming from is the tired old refrain of gin soaked conservatives.

Of course the Liberals’ scheme is full of trickery but for working class women and their men it is better than Labor’s 18 weeks on the minimum wage and in fact is something unions have supported in the past because it recognises women shouldn’t lose pay (and I would add superannuation) for having children. The ruling class should pay for it because they currently get future generations of workers reared on the cheap.

The Liberals’ new slogan is Buy Back the Boats. If it were not so serious it would be laughable that this comedy act of the Liberals and Labor on refugees dominates the floorboards of our politics.

Why don’t we just spend all this money on processing the 100,000 or so refugees in Malaysia and Indonesia and then flying them here for settlement?

The UN Human Rights Committee has found Australia guilty of almost 150 violations of international law regarding the indefinite detention of refugees. Unless we build a mass movement for asylum seekers, this will become part of the agenda of silence. Demos are on this week and next for refugees and against blackbirding asylum seekers to PNG.

Neither major party has a way forward for refugees. In fact not having a way forward is the theme of both parties in this election. As unemployment begins to increase – from the current 5.7% to 6.25% by June next year – neither major party has anything of substance to say or offers any real solutions. As climate change continues, neither major party has anything of substance to say or offers any real solutions. As poverty increases neither major party has anything to say or offers any real solutions.

This Murdoch election highlights the need to create a real alternative to Labor. That is what Socialist Alternative is trying to do.

In Syria poison gas has killed many people in the suburbs of Damascus. In Egypt the counter-revolution is tightening its grip. And in the US drone bomb king Barack Obama continues to rain down death and destruction on the unknown innocent in far away places.

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