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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)



Of course it is a political cover up

Senator Conroy in Estimates (AAP: Daniel Munoz)

It is not often I defend a right wing Labor Party hack like Senator Stephen Conroy but his comments today in a Senate Estimates committee trying to unearth some information about Operation Sovereign Borders (OSB) were spot on. Thank heaven occasionally a Labor Party parliamentarian breaks out from the usual ‘let’s not offend the brave Aussie soldiers’ line.

We are not at war, as Conroy pointed out, so why the secrecy? What don’t they want us to know? The truth perhaps?

Here is how ABC’s Emma Griffiths reports the exchange between Conroy and the military head of OSB:

OSB Commander Lieutenant General Angus Campbell was asked to explain why he had placed strict controls on information about “operational” or “on-water” incidents.

Senator Conroy compared the level of secrecy with that surrounding SAS activities behind enemy lines during the 2003 war in Iraq. 

“I can absolutely understand the need for operational secrecy when you have troops operating behind enemy lines blowing up airfields and scud missiles,” he said.

“But what I’m intrigued by is your view that stopping a number of wooden boats with unarmed people on has the same level of secrecy requirement.”

Lt Gen Campbell repeated his decision was based on “dealing with avoiding advantage to people smugglers, manipulation of potential clientele of people smugglers, the safety of our people and the management of regional and bilateral relationships and their sensitivities”. 

Senator Conroy then referenced a quote from the movie A Few Good Men, asking General Campbell: “Can’t we handle the truth?”

He referred to Lt Gen Campbell as the character in the movie, Colonel Jessup, who utters the line: “You can’t handle the truth.”

“I mean seriously. You can’t tell us the truth,” Senator Conroy continued.

“You can’t tell the Australian public the truth because you might upset an international neighbour.

“That’s called a political cover-up. That’s a political cover-up. You’re engaged in a political cover-up.”

Exactly. The whole point of this Abbott government’s Orwellian Operation Sovereign Borders  is to deny us information about asylum seekers. Morrison and Campbell are denying us knowledge about tow backs, the way the asylum seekers are treated when turned around, the murder of Reza Berati on Manus Island, the real circumstances of ‘inadvertently’ straying into Indonesian waters. This is a government of liars and lies.

Morrison for example lied about what happened on Manus Island and the murder of Reza Berati and only retracted his lies when it became clear others were reporting the truth, a truth which directly contradicted Morrison’s unequivocal assertions.

Militarising the Big Brother lie of border protection provides the excuse for not providing information about the asylum seeker detention centres concentration camps. It hides the way our Government brutalises asylum seekers to placate the racists and those whose insecurity about jobs, wages and stress from overwork and so on sees them joining in the demonisation of the other in a sugar hit boost to their own self-worth. It provides a distraction from the jobs massacre and attacks on social security, the environment and public services unfolding at the hands of Abbott and co and the bosses they rule for.

Angus Campbell as a senior defence force man is part of the ruling class and playing his role as the sock puppet to the liar in charge of Immigration, Scott Morrison. He is repeating the Morrison mantra of operational matters that stops Australians learning the truth about the concentration camps.

It is no accident the Australian Government has refused to allow the head of the Human Rights Commission to travel to the Nauru concentration camp. It is no accident journalist visas are now $8000 to go there. It is no accident the Nauru justice system is in tatters and the Australian government does nothing about it because it wants to protect its own interests. It is no accident that photographers are being detained and having their film and photos of the concentration camps destroyed. It is no accident Scott Morrison lied about the murder on Manus Island and that Angus Campbell repeats the Morrison ‘operational reasons’ slogan that denies us knowledge of what is going on in the concentration camps and on the high seas.

Without the work of investigative journalist Asher Wolf we would never have known that a former Sri Lankan Army commander is running the Manus Island Detention Centre where there are 30 Tamils, the very people the Sri Lankan Defence forces persecuted and persecute and the type of person they are fleeing from.

Can’t we handle the truth? Clearly in the eyes of the organ grinders Abbot and Morrison and their monkey Campbell the answer is not only that we can’t handle it but that we shouldn’t know it at all.

‘Operational matters’ is an Orwellian phrase to stop us learning the truth of what our political masters like Scott Morrison and those riding shotgun with them like Angus Campbell are doing to asylum seekers.



Pingback from Of course it is a political cover up | OzHouse
Time February 25, 2014 at 8:12 pm

[…] Feb 25 2014 by admin […]

Comment from Kay
Time February 26, 2014 at 5:49 am

Why can’t you ever discuss a topic without the user of such florid, biased and hateful language? You only embarrass yourself. You’d never get a gig on a commercial newspaper – too amateurish!

There are valid issues to be discussed, but you just make a fool of yourself. Grow up! You do socialism a great injustice. Some of the socialist writers you feature from time to time can at least write, and can develop an argument in a logical fashion. Readers may disagree, but at least there is a piece of writing that makes a clear point – a point worth thinking about. Your efforts, on the other hand, are pathetic.

Re Conroy – this idiot disgraced himself in government, and now you applaud him! Go figure.

Comment from John
Time February 26, 2014 at 7:50 am

Ho hum.

Comment from Kay
Time February 26, 2014 at 8:43 am

Very intelligent response! Congratulations!

Comment from Leo Lane
Time February 26, 2014 at 11:09 am

It is no surprise, John, that you have recognized your compatibility with a nasty, ignorant specimen like Conroy.

Abbott was elected to stop the boats, and he has adopted methods which are achieving this objective.

Despite your diatribe, the handling of information is an important element in the strategy adopted by the government, and it is succeeding.
Your support for the lawbreakers which you characterize as “freedom fighters” is edifying.

Comment from John
Time February 26, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Yes killing people has that effect. When will the people responsible for Reza’s murder – Abbott and Morrison – be put on trial? The only laws I see being broken are blackbirding people to Manus island and Nauru. But you are right – my humanitarian views are a minority in Australia. but we are a significant minority and the murder of Reza under Morrison’s leadership has made some re-think their position. Wait till Abbott, as the politician of the one percent, turns on you and treats you like he treats asylum seekers.

The handling of information? I call it lying to the Australian people. Not explaining how Reza was murdered? That’s not handling, that’s hiding information. As Conroy said, are we afraid of the truth?

Comment from Lorikeet
Time February 26, 2014 at 7:58 pm

I don’t know, Kay. I think what is going on seems fairly suspicious.

Comment from Kay
Time February 27, 2014 at 6:26 am


The accusation of “lying” seems to be bandied about willy-nilly lately. It is a very strong word, and one that, I would think, requires some proof before using it. I had the impression that Morrison reported what he had been told by the Manus Island camp management – very likely, it seems now, to cover up for their own guilt in the death of the asylum seeker. Australian officers were sent to Manus, and a completely different story emerged. Morrison announced the new info as soon as he had it. It appears now that camp management was either unsure of what had happened, or more likely it appears now, was lying. I understand camp management is in the hands of contractors employed by the Rudd government. So yes, ‘lying’ looks likely, but I see no evidence that Morrison was the one doing the lying.

Anyhow, that’s how I see it. But I still support this government’s so-far successful efforts to ‘stop the boats’. It seems Labor and the Greens have conveniently forgotten the nearly 900 asylum seekers who died trying to reach Australia during Labor’s reign. Very hypocritical.

Comment from DL
Time February 27, 2014 at 1:17 pm

what you fail to realise is that there are plenty of us who do not support Liberal OR Labor’s position (which are essentially the same) on asylum seekers!

Comment from Byon
Time February 27, 2014 at 4:33 pm

“Abbott was elected to stop the boats, and he has adopted methods which are achieving this objective.”

Adolf Hitler was elected to purify Germany of Jews, Communists, Gypsies, and other undesirables, and pursued policies which achieved that foul objective.*

*actually Schicklgruber was not elected, but rather appointed chancellor by the ruling class functionary von Hindeburg, for the same purposes.

Comment from John
Time February 27, 2014 at 5:12 pm

Well, he came to power constitutionally with about 32% of the vote from memory.

Comment from Byon
Time February 27, 2014 at 8:25 pm


Anyway, the lesson really is that nobody here is under any obligation whatsoever to bury their conscience and support the foul and barbaric politics of a Tony Abbot or Julia Gillard just because the most reactionary portion of what passes for an electorate in a a racial chauvinist country like Australia vote for the same.

Comment from Kay
Time February 28, 2014 at 7:09 am

I assume the supporters of open borders would like to see Australia become more like the Middle East? Religious restrictions, fundamentalism, no education, car bombs, terror, starving fleeing masses, etc etc.. There are many millions of people around the world who are displaced and desperate. I guess you want them all here?

The last election has revealed that the majority of voters want a controlled intake of refugees – refugees we can afford to help settle in and refugees who will be welcomed by the whole community. Throwing around references to Nazi Germany is just a lazy, pathetic way of not engaging with the real issues of how best to accommodate as many refugees as we can reasonably do so – and still remain Australia. If you travel overseas, you see that Australia is a great place to live, and a peaceful, democratic, multi-cultural country to be proud of.

Comment from Leo Lane
Time February 28, 2014 at 7:39 pm

It is instructive to watch those who have no rational justification for their position resort to intemperate and abusive language.

They self- identify as irrational and foggy in their thinking process, like the nasty Stephen Conroy, still unapologetic for his disgraceful behaviour.

None of us are happy about the mess into which the detainees put themselves through their illegal actions leading to the death of one of their number, but it is hardly a surprise, and certainly not the fault of our government.

John’s call for more illegal activity by the detainees, as “freedom fighters” is pathetic

Comment from Marilyn
Time March 1, 2014 at 1:38 am

How nice that the racist trolls feel free to actively support murder, torture, kidnapping, trafficking and illegal concentration camps – I wonder though if you are so happy to pay $500,000 each refugee to overseas prison companies.

Comment from Kay
Time March 1, 2014 at 6:25 am


Like most lefties you just insult anyone who has alternative views (“racist trolls” etc). It is a pathetic habit of the Left.

How about you tell us your great plan to accommodate the millions of displaced peoples who would like to come here? Have you ever paid tax? Have you ever raised a family by your own efforts? Do you realise that completely open borders would result in a completely unaffordable impost on our finances. I suppose you also complain about those who are losing their jobs as the economy winds down? There are not enough jobs for Australians, let alone the millions of displaced people who could come here. Who pays the taxes that pay for social security? Workers and businesses – and they are dwindling in numbers every day. So just try using what apparently limited intelligence you have to come up with a plan to financially achieve your objective of opening our borders up.

$500,000 per asylum seeker? A lot less than a lifetime of social security. And that won’t last long because asylum seekers will soon reduce in numbers – like they did under Howard. And that will also reduce the number of lives lost on deliberately inadequate and leaky boats.

Once border integrity is regained, I hope to see an increase in the number of UN refugees resettled via the humanitarian intake program.

Comment from John
Time March 1, 2014 at 6:41 am

Yes Marilyn.

Comment from John
Time March 1, 2014 at 6:44 am

Oh Kay can’t handle the truth. Her arguments are racist and yet she denies it. Frankly I don’t care who comes to live in this white settler state and challenge Kay’s racist ideas.

Comment from John
Time March 1, 2014 at 6:51 am

The freedom fighters are just like Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto who rose up against the Nazis, except that on Manus they haven’t yet risen up. They were defending themselves against attacks by thugs. Here is a video from the Guardian that supports that analysis.

Morrison would or should have known this immediately. He should be on trial. By the way these people aren’t illegal. But stick to the lies Big Brother gives you, you parrots and hand puppets of the rich and powerful. Abbott, Rudd, Morrison, Burke are the illegals.

Comment from John
Time March 1, 2014 at 6:54 am

Kay, your lies are just unbelievable. And your conclusion shows the delusional world you live in. This isn’t about border integrity. It is about brutalising those fleeing war, rape, tortutre for base political benefit and to distract us from, oh I don’t know, factory closures, QANTAS sacking 5000 workers, cuts to public education and health etc etc.

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