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John Passant

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February 2014



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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)



The Butler did it

Terri Butler has won the seat of Griffith for the Labor Party. With 70 percent of the vote counted her two-party preferred vote is 52.3 percent and that of Bill Glasson, her Liberal National Party rival, 47.7 percent.

On primary votes the swing against Labor in Kevin Rudd’s old seat was, according to the ABC site at 9 am on Sunday morning, 1.4% and the swing to the Liberals 1.3%.

We shouldn’t read too much into this other than that it looks like steady as she goes.  After 5 months of an Abbott government it wasn’t routed, and it wasn’t embraced.  Labor didn’t set the world on fire either.

The Palmer United Party didn’t run this time around and some of their 3.4% at the September 2013 election may have gone to the Liberals. Labor spinmeisters can paint the swing as the loss of the personal vote for Kevin Rudd.

Indeed what this election showed was not the differences between the ALP and the Liberals but their similarities as the two parties of neoliberalism. Hence the stalemate with little change from last year – watching the Government carefully if not warily  and not bolting back to Labor.


As Chomsky says the best way to run the system is to allow some debate, often fierce debate, within a narrow spectrum. That is what Griffith highlights – the lack of difference and of left-wing alternatives.  However even the debates within the system are becoming more and more homogenised and dissent severely repressed, all in the name of restoring falling profit rates. 

However looking at the Griffith by-election tea leaves misses the much bigger plantation. Butler’s victory won’t stop a witch hunting Royal Commission into unions or the loss of thousands of jobs in Shepparton if SPC closes. It won’t prevent the re-establishment of the dictatorial Australian Building and Construction Commission. It won’t  save car jobs or the Barrier Reef.

Her election won’t defend Medicare.

Electing Butler won’t address climate change or the increasing inequality that both Labor and the Liberals have engineered. It won’t dismantle the racist demonising of asylum seekers.  The cops will continue to kill or injure Aboriginal people in custody. We won’t win marriage equality by asking the Butler. 

These immediate goals of the Left plus defending jobs, wages and conditions, will have to be built on the back of big strikes and mass demonstrations.  If we don’t fight we lose.



Pingback from The Butler did it | OzHouse
Time February 9, 2014 at 5:12 pm

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Comment from Lorikeet
Time February 10, 2014 at 7:08 pm

I worked at a polling booth for KAP, and was really disappointed that a Pro-Australian politician (small businessman) picked up only around 1% of the vote. Sob, sniffle…

Liberal and Labor booth workers were out in droves, deliberately blocking the main gateway and making it difficult for minor party and independent booth workers to distribute how-to-vote flyers.

One jackass from Liberals made an accusation about Bob Katter running a split ticket instead of pushing preferences to Liberals only, so I said I thought he was pro-choice and asked if he had a problem with democracy in action.

When the stream of voters almost came to a halt after lunch, I had an excellent chat with other booth workers about various topics. This was the highlight of my day.

Some of the younger men working on the booth deserved to be praised for their helpfulness and consideration, none of whom belonged to Liberal Party, but to a plethora of other groups.

I had an excellent chat with a teacher regarding the performance of our schools and her experiences at work.

Some people I know thought Liberals would win the seat, but I thought this would be difficult with Campbell Newman sacking workers and persecuting bikies with undemocratic laws, and Tony Abbott planning to cut welfare payments, while rewarding rich women for staying at home.

With Paul Howes from the AWU supporting a cut in penalty rates for workers, this by-election should have been a shoe-in for somebody else other than the anti-Australian duopoly.

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