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John Passant

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September 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)



Run rabbit, run rabbit, run run run

Two things about this nasty and brutish government are becoming clearer – its disdain for keeping the public informed and its inhumanity.

Nowhere is this clearer than its signature policy on refugees, ‘stopping the boats.’ The slogan is of course a lie. People flee war, persecution, murder, rape and genocide and a dangerous boat trip isn’t going to stop their attempts to find safety in places like Australia.

The new government’s response to this reality has been two fold. Having been elected on a lie it will repeat it over and over. But to do that it needs to give the impression of stopping the boats. So instead of reports of boat arrivals as they happen, the Government will now give weekly press conferences about boats. One of the points here is that the government is attempting to militarise what is essentially a humanitarian issue by both claiming it is about Australian sovereignty and appointing a lackey general to oversight the operation and the flow of information.

The second leg of their strategy appears to be not to assist asylum seeker boats in trouble in Indonesian waters. We can see the results in the deaths of at least 22 asylum seekers off Indonesia despite the fact those on board had informed the Australian authorities of their problems.

A 24 hour delay appears to have consigned a number of refugees to their deaths. Is this delay a policy, let alone a new one? Certainly it appears to have been part of the Howard and Rudd/Gillard governments’ operational realities that Australian authorities did not always act quickly. Whether this is policy or operational would of course hopefully come out of any enquiry into responses but that won’t happen in a climate of secrecy and vote winning.

The logic of the information freeze and utter contempt for other human beings that Abbott and co have is captured by the sight of Mr Abbott running from reporters asking questions about the latest disaster. No comment, not even an expression of concern about the deaths dressed up as to why the Coalition wants to stop the boats to save lives.

This silence looks to me like complicity on the part of the Abbott government in the deaths of at least 22 asylum seekers. ‘If you want to seek sanctuary from war, rape, genocide, murder, torture, as is your right, this Australian government will not help you. We will dance on your grave.’ That seems to be the logic of Abbott on the run from reporters and their questions about this latest disaster.

This ‘let ’em die’ stance may well win Abbott support. But the heartlessness at the centre of this government won’t be just reserved for asylum seekers. They will turn their frozen hearts towards the poor, impoverished, the weak, the sick. This is because the demonisation of asylum seekers is not really about refugees. It is about distracting people from their real task at hand, restoring profit rates for big business to higher levels. That can be done by attacking social welfare and workers.

What better way to pick the pockets of the working class than to have us looking the other way at an imaginary threat when the real enemy is ‘protecting’ us, holding us close to clean us out.

Controlling information and fleeing from reporters might give the impression of strength to some Australians but it is I suspect the prelude for attacks on the dispossessed here and then, having divided workers, those workers themselves.

As for asylum seekers, give them visas and fly them here for processing while in the community. The fact this doesn’t happen shows that neither Labor nor the Liberals want to save lives at sea.



Comment from Geoffrey Kelley
Time September 30, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Let me see if I have got this right? An Indonesian vessel crewed by Indonesiains and the passengers loaded by the Indonesian military founders 50 meters off an Indonesian beach and you blame Abbott? John, which RAN warship would you suggest that could have prevented people drowning 50 metres form shore? Or, are you a hater?
Geoffrey Kelley

Comment from Geoffrey Kelley
Time September 30, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Let me see if i have this right; an Indonesian vessel manned by Indonesian skipper and crew carrying a cargo of people loaded abord an unsafe boat by the Indonesian army founders 50 meters from an Indonesian shore and you blame Abbott?

Comment from Kay
Time September 30, 2013 at 2:38 pm


Exactly my thoughts!

Comment from saussie
Time September 30, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Of course it’s Abbots fault ! .. next thing ye know they’ll be saying he scuttled the boat himself! pathetic !!
They’ve been warned and still they come … fleeing from Indonesia?

Comment from John
Time September 30, 2013 at 7:55 pm

Let me see if I have got this right? People on a boat ring Australian authorities and nothing happens for 26 hours. At least 22 people, likely many more, drown. Are you a hater Geoffrey, a hater of asylum seekers, people whose skin is brown or yellow or black? I know, let’s have an enquiry to finmd out if there was a delay. Of course that won’t happen. What do they have to hide? In answer to your question Geoffrey, yes I am a hater. I hate Australia’s inhumanity and I hate those who accept the lies of the two parties of the ruling class about refugees.

Comment from Geoffrey Kelley
Time September 30, 2013 at 9:27 pm

John, I am not a hater by your definition. I am a realist. I agree that we must take refugees from war-torn regions, especially from those regions in which we were engaged in direct conflict. I would prefer that we only took refugees who were genuine and defined as refugees by the UN. I am totally opposed to the sort of illegal immigrant who chooses to crash our borders without papers. These people I would send back to the UN for processing and I would swap them one for one! What worries me is that we are behaving like Brazil after WW II and accepting the modern equivalents of the vile leaders of the Nazis. How do we know whether these people were our friends or our foes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria or Lebanon? I am sure as hell not willing to welcome an enemy soldier who may have killed Australian soldiers into my neighbourhood.

I am also appalled that these people can, within a few years of having been approved as “asylum seekers”, return to their native land as Australian citizens for a holiday and flaunt their new-found tourist status without any fear of retribution. They achieved “asylum” as soon as they crossed the first border into a country that accepted them. They did not have the right to continue on to Australia whilst passing through many nations who would be more suited to their racial and religious needs such as Malaysia or Indonesia.

John, please do not remind me that their are no queues! Australians are good at starting queues; we learn to queue at primary school in the tuck shop!

Comment from John
Time September 30, 2013 at 9:44 pm

90% even on restricted criteria are found to be refugees. If we stopped invading foreign countries like Afghanistan and Iraq and supporting genocidal and dictatorial regimes like Sri Lanka maybe people wouldn’t see the need to flee to safety. These people aren’t Nazis – actually that was a conscious decision of Western countries to surreptiously accept some Nazis after the war. Your concerns are completely irrrational. And there are no queues.By the way neither the Malaysians nor the Indonesians have signed the refugee convention. They treat refugees like shit.

Comment from Byon
Time October 2, 2013 at 10:27 am

Australians, whoever they are or whatever they may be “are good at starting queues; we learn to queue at primary school in the tuck shop”?

Eating the substances sold at the tuck shop in primary school is a criterion for citizenship in God’s own Country?

That aside, I wonder if my great-grandparents in the 1860’s joined the “queue” or whether they just hopped on a boat that was provided courtesy of the murderous global criminal enterprise known as the British Empire?

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