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John Passant

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April 2014
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Keep socialist blog En Passant going - donate now
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

Let me get this right. The revenue forgone on tax concessions for superannuation at $45 bn will soon be more than the cost of the pension (over $40 bn). Of that $45 bn in tax concessions $10 to $15 bn will go to the top 10% of income earners. Yet Australia’s greatest Treasurer, Joe Hockey, wants to rein in expenditure on the pension by for example extending the access age to 70 (after Labor increased it to 67 over time by 2023), reducing the yearly adjustment to CPI rather than Average Weekly Male Full-Time Earnings increase (although the two are now roughly equivalent) and tightening up the asset test to perhaps include the family home. Priorities.

According to the OECD Australia has one of the lowest relative pensions of any member countries (Turkey and Mexico are lower) and 35% of Australian pensioners live in poverty. Priorities.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show the top ten percent own 45% of the net household wealth in Australia. Using this as a basis for extrapolating, (and this extrapolation might be defensible, it might not) a wealth tax of 1 percent annually on the top ten percent would yield $30 billion in revenue. This assumes the distribution of Australia’s wealth of $ 6 trillion, which includes company holdings, reflects the household wealth division. In fact it is likely to be higher for the top ten percent. Up the tax to 2 percent on the top ten percent and we are talking about $60 billion annually. Priorities.

It also looks as if the Abbott government will introduce not only a $6 co-payment on going to the doctor but also one on going to the emergency room of the local hospital. Priorities.

Sacking public servants and attacking the poor and working class will be the essence of this Government’s budget in May. Priorities.

The government is also going to spend ‘trillions and trillions’ on defence playthings. Priorities.

It has spent millions on finding the missing Malaysian Airways plane as part of expanding its imperialist influence in the region but won’t spend anything on finding those who murdered Reza Berati in the government’s care on Manus Island. Priorities.

Tony Abbott has signed fair trade deals with Japan and South Korea which don’t benefit most Australian farmers much but do further undermine the previous and perhaps lingering manufacturing consensus of the Australian ruling class. He is negotiating one with China which should be settled in the next few months.

The crisis in Labor continues, with more and more senior apparatchiks coming out in favour of limited membership democracy precisely because they know it doesn’t threaten their privileged positions and more importantly will allow the ALP leadership to continue on its path of neoliberal self and societal destruction. Priorities.

Bob Carr has released his diary of an American Mole aged well into his sixties. Apart from being a first class prat Carr’s remarks about the strength and power of the Israeli lobby in Australia sent the Zionists into apoplexy. I think the total support of the Australian ruling class for Israel has to be understood in the context of their close relationship with American imperialism and the absolutely vital role Israel plays for the US in the Middle East.

The enquiry into the Left (very broadly defined as including the Labor Party and unions) began on Wednesday.

In great news, freedom fighter Lex Wootton will break his silence over Easter at Marxism 2014 in Melbourne.

On Palm Sunday there will be rallies for refugees across Australia. Now that is a real priority.

And don’t forget, for all those public servants and others concerned about the erosion of the right to criticise the government, Free Speech Sunday will be here tomorrow. It’s a day to criticise the government, for free, on my blog.

To have your say or see what others are saying, hit the comments link under the heading. Like all posts on this blog comments close after seven days.