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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)



Saturday’s socialist speak out

2000 in Melbourne march against our racist Governments


Ed Killesteyn, the Electoral Commissioner, resigned over the WA Senate vote debacle. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison should resign over the murder of Reza Berati in our Manus Island concentration camp.

There will be candlit vigils across Australia for Reza on Sunday from 8 pm. The one in Canberra is on Saturday night from 7.30 pm in Garema Place. This GetUp! link has details for most cities.

The solution for refugees is simple enough. For a start stop invading their countries (e.g Afghanistan and Iraq), or blockading their countries, itself an act of war (Iran), supporting dictatorial regimes (Sri Lanka) or drone bombing them (Pakistan, Yemen etc).

Second, bring the asylum seekers in Indonesia and Malaysia here for processing in a few weeks while they are in the community. Defence boats and planes or chartered QANTAS flights could do that very quickly.

But this won’t happen because the policy of both Labor and Liberal governments is to brutalise poor defenceless asylum seekers for political gain and to divert attention away from the attacks on poor and working class Australians. As the economy weakens, the demonisation of asylum seekers will ratchet up as will the demonisation of bikies (already happening), indigenous Australians (on-going), unions (starting), dole ‘bludgers’ (to begin soon) etc etc.

The Budget will unleash a torrent of lies to justify massive attacks on workers and the poor. Already the first steps on the road to making Medicare a safety net rather than a universal health care scheme (of sorts) have begun with Ministerial talk of a $6 co-payment at the forefront of this.

This will be but one of many attacks on the public sphere, be it health, education, transport or social security.

With Toyota, Qantas and other big business going or sacking workers the jobs massacre has just started.

In the Ukraine a revolutionary situation is developing, with the Nazis leading a section and the left fighting for a voice. The masses want democracy, an end to rule by oligarchy and an end to corruption. This fight is overlaid by and was sparked by competition between European and Russian capital for the major influence in the Ukraine. The fact that some from Eastern Ukraine have joined the rebellion shows it is not just about an East (Russian)/West (European) divide. The working class as working class has not yet joined in but if it did that would be a unifying force for the struggles.

In Venezuela the Opposition, with US support, has mounted a campaign to set in train a coup against the democratically elected left wing capitalist government. Let’s hope the masses mobilise against the threat and in doing so the working class sets up its own institutions of democratic governance and begins the next steps of claiming power and sparking revolution around the globe.

The G20 Finance ministers met in Sydney and one of their major achievements(!) was to talk about tax transparency. Even if every country in the world agreed to the automatic transfer of taxpayer information that wouldn’t touch the likes of Google and Amazon.

They avoid tax through setting up in low tax jurisdictions but the arrangements are totally within the tax treaty rules. The problem is our 19th century thinking in tax treaties is totally inadequate to address global communication mechanisms of the 21st century which render residence or presence of some major multinationals in Australia to carry on business here (and hence to be taxed here) irrelevant.

The Australian Tax Office refunded $882 million to a Rupert Murdoch company after deciding not to appeal a single judge Federal Court judgement that OK’d some paper shuffling transactions in 1989 and 1990. That money could have been spent on socially useful projects like public schools and hospitals (or even Medicare) ¬†rather than going into Murdoch’s pockets.

Like all posts on this blog comments Рsee the link under the heading Рclose after 7 days. 



Comment from Kay
Time February 22, 2014 at 9:23 am

Re the asylum seeker situation: The Abbott government, supported by Labor (albeit a bit late) appears to be succeeding in slowing the number of people traveling to Malaysia and Indonesia. So if this trend keeps up, the issue of Manus and Nauru should fade away as the camps are eventually emptied – as they were under the Howard government before. Problem solved! There were no off-shore refugee camp problems until Rudd threw the borders open to all comers – before he had a ‘second coming’ and came up with the PNG ‘solution’.

I still don’t believe that people who can afford to pay for airfares, passports, visas, accommodation in Malaysia and Indonesia, and $10K each to people smugglers, are in the same deserving and desperate category as those poor refugees stranded for years in UN refugee camps. I support an increase in the humanitarian intake from those already assessed as refugees and waiting in UN camps. I want to see an end to boat arrivals, and Abbott appears to be succeeding in that goal – despite the hypocritical whingeing by Indonesia who now see their officials and citizens being deprived of a very lucrative ‘industry’, i.e. people smuggling. And despite the pathetic posturing of the Greens and their fellow travelers.

It should not be forgotten that per capita of population, and per $b GDP, Australia rates No.2 in the world (after Canada) (Report by the Refugee Council of Australia, 2012), for refugee resettlement. Hardly the sign of a racist and uncaring country! So enough already!

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