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John Passant

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March 2014
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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


Reza Berati: photo by Kate Gerathy.

The Age is reporting that two Australians working for G4S on Manus Island are wanted for questioning in the murder of asylum seeker Reza Berati. No wonder the Papua New Guinea and Australian governments shut down an independent judicial inquiry, twice and also stopped and deported an Australian lawyer visiting his 57 clients there after he had found evidence of brutal mistreatment.

This government of non-transparency also opposed setting up a UN investigation into the genocide the Sri Lankan government committed and commits against Tamils. The reason is pretty obvious. The Abbott government has a close relationship with the war criminals in charge of Sri Lanka to help ‘stop the boats’. This is a euphemism for stopping Tamils fleeing disposession, rape, torture, murder, in fact fleeing genocide. The Abbott government even gave the murderers in charge of Sri Lanka armed boats to ‘stop’, that is turn back or blow up, Tamil boats in Sri Lankan waters.

Ruling class golden boy Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos is in hot water, mixed up with the corrupt former Labor Party heavy Eddie Obeid. Greed knows no political boundaries.

Abbott had his bonfire of red tape last week. Meanwhile at Morwell the bonfire of deregulation has severely disrupted the lives of thousands of residents and the health of many, since the fire spread to the deregulated Hazelwood open cut mine over a month ago.

Abbott also announced the re-introduction of airs and graces, sorry knighthoods and dameships, for up to four ‘pre-eminent’ Australians every year. This reflects the mindset of the leader and government. They are born to rule. For the one percent.

So too with George Brandis’s declaration that people have the right to be bigots. This is about dividing people on the basis of race or religion as part of the wider program of defending the one percent and their privileged position in society.

Hence the almost poverty level minimum wage mnany many workers receive.

The ACTU is arguing before Fair Work for a $27 increase per week increase to the minimum wage. This is an increase of about 4.5% on the minimum wage. Employers have said $8.50 a week, about 1.2%, is all they can afford, and even then the restaurant industry, despite an 11% increase in turnover last year, has warned there will be job losses with any increase. Fair Work will go with an inflation adjustment or one slightly above or below that, depending on whether they believe the bosses’ lies or not. This means an increase of about $18 a week plus or minus a few dollars either

No matter what the level of the increase those struggling to make ends meet on $622 a week or thereabouts will continue to struggle. Given that the average wage is a bit over double the minimum wage, the increase in the minimum wage should be much much more to help the low paid, often women with kids, improve their lives.

That will not happen. The ACTU and the bosses are arguing over how poor low paid workers should be, not about addressing their poverty.

The Abbott government will also sell Medibank Private and use the $4 billion, not on health, but on roads. They also stitched up a deal with the States and Territories for them to privatise many of their monopoly assets in return for Commonwealth money. Privatisation benefits the one percent at our expense.

To have you say, or to see what others are saying, hit the comments button under the heading. Like all posts on this blog comments close after 7 days.



Comment from Chris Warren
Time March 29, 2014 at 10:29 am

Under modern capitalism, the Minimum Wage process represents State mediated class struggle in its purest form.

The Min. Wage outcomes, over time, have reduced large swathes of the working class to subsistence levels in most leading capitalist states and even in Australia have sunk many full-time adult pay scales below the Henderson poverty line.

As this is a structural tendency within capitalism it will, on average, only get worse.

Under socialism, provided their is suitable competition, workers wages for the next period will be determined by producers once the end of year accounts are known.

Comment from Kay
Time March 29, 2014 at 1:02 pm

An excellent article in today’s The Australian newspaper about freedom of speech.

Hopefully a pay wall won’t stop bloggers reading it. The article was written by Gabriel Sassoon, an adviser to the Israeli Labor Party, and a member of the ALP.

Comment from philip
Time March 29, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Idiots sold the Commonwealth Bank look how much profit it is making now each year. says a lot about privatizing assets.

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Time March 29, 2014 at 7:11 pm

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