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John Passant

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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)



Japan and the anti-whaling struggle

The decision of the International Court of Justice to stop Japan’s whaling in Antarctic waters is a victory for all those who have campaigned against this slaughter.

Their ongoing, committed and sustained struggle shows that persistence is an important part of many campaigns. I have expressed my differences with the anti-whalers in the past. Most of what I wrote back then was absolute rubbish. (Some might say nothing has changed.)

The isolated nature of the protests – limited to a few brave souls in the middle of the ocean – makes it dififcult for people onshore to mobilise in defence of whales in any meaningful way.

Second, relying on the ICJ is the usual approach of thsoe who have illusions in the rule of law. It seems it has worked in this case when the poltical nature of legal interpretation has resulted in a victory. It will not always be the case.

Today let’s celebrate the hard work of those who have won this victory against the slaughter of whales. The task for them will be to make sure the legal win is translated into a win for the whales on the ground, or rather in the water.

The task for the left will be to patiently explain that saving whales is one small part of saving the planet and that only a democratic working class revolution can do that. It is a big task. The activism of those campaigning against whaling, and the massive but passsive support they had, are a start. We must highlight and help others understand all the links between various ugly examples to understand the real enemy of humanity and the planet – capitalism.

From whaling to warming to war the message is the same. Capitalism has to go.

Like all posts on this blog comments – see the link under the heading – close after seven days.



Pingback from Japan and whaling | OzHouse
Time April 1, 2014 at 8:11 pm

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Comment from Kay
Time April 2, 2014 at 6:07 am


Good to see you acknowledge that you do indeed write some rubbish. Anyway, a great outcome for the previous Labor government, and for all those who through donations, letters, and petitions helped achieve this outcome. I was one of those many many Australians who did their best to keep pressure on the government to stop this very sad and dishonest slaughter of whales. Hopefully the Japanese will use this ICJ outcome to allow them to cease whaling and, at the same time, save face. There are very few people in Japan these days that eat whale meat, and Japan already has massive frozen stockpiles of whale meat.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time April 2, 2014 at 3:54 pm

This is a very interesting topic. I heard that the Japanese were storing 5000 tonnes of whale meat a couple of years ago. I’m not sure how much of this they might have lost after the tsunami and nuclear meltdown.

I think we must ask ourselves if they are stockpiling whale meat because they are afraid their access to beef is going to diminish or dry up, as a result of greater demand from the middle classes of countries which are rising up, e.g. China.

To my knowledge, Japan has little or no coal or oil resources and seismic activity puts its ancient nuclear power stations at risk on a regular basis.

Could it be possible, John, that the Japanese might also be conducting scientific experiments to examine the usefulness of whale blubber as a fuel for vehicles and to generate electricity?

Maybe they are keeping this side of the argument to themselves at the moment, so they don’t finish up offside with the world’s oil barons.

I would much prefer human beings to harpoon whales for food and power that for the Greens to harpoon workers with hypodermic needles once they have reached their BEST BEFORE date.

I think it would be good if the Japanese could find a less cruel way to slaughter livestock that comes from the sea.

Maybe the Japanese want to remove their food from the ocean before it all becomes completely contaminated by regular nuclear meltdowns.