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John Passant

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May 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)



The best politicians money can buy?

Australia may well have some of the best politicians money can buy.

The latest revelations in the Fairfax newspapers about Treasurer Joe Hockey fundraising for the Liberal Party by selling access as Treasurer at up to $22000 a pop follows a long line of revelations about the crooks in both Labor and the Liberals who run or ran New South Wales.

Sometimes business don’t get what they are after. Colourful racing identity/man not about town/former billionaire Nathan Tinkler was complaining that the pricks in power in NSW hadn’t approved his Newcastle Port Coal loader proposal in their first 20 days in government. It looks as if he laundered money through his horse breeding company to the Coalition parties to get around the prohibition on developers’ donating to political parties.

But the twenty thousand to the National Party (who have the Ports portfolio) didn’t buy him instant approval. I’d suggest he take action for breach of contract and sue for lost earning potential.  That’ll be $100,000 for the advice Nathan. After all, your kind do seem to allow payment for services that aren’t actually provided.

Tinkler is not alone in thinking that donations yield access and possible favourable treatment.

Meanwhile at ICAC Obeid, O’Farrell, Hartcher, Gallacher, Sinodinos and various other apparatchiks, ministers and business people have all been exposed.

Federally too there have ‘incidents’. There was Peter Slipper (on trial) and Craig Thomson (in jail), but in addition there are a large number of parliamentarians who have repaid claims for expenses to which they were not entitled. Unlike Peter Slipper, who didn’t in the end have a political home, none of those in the bosom of the Labor Party or Coalition parties have been charged.

Neither, as an aside, have Bruce Gyngell or James Packer for their affray in Bondi last night. Any other pair of middle aged blokes fighting in the streets of Bondi would have been hauled off to the local police station and charged with … fill in various public offence charges here.

But that’s the point of it all. There is one law for the rich and their parliamentarians and one law for the rest of us.

Which leads me to Joe Hockey. Fairfax newspapers have revealed that he provided access to those who made payments to his election funds.  Here is what Sean Nicholls wrote in his Fairfax newspapers article ‘Treasurer for sale: Joe Hockey offers privileged access‘:

Mr Hockey offers access to one of the country’s highest political offices in return for annual payments.

The donors are members of the North Sydney Forum, a campaign fundraising body run by Mr Hockey’s North Sydney Federal Electoral Conference (FEC). In return for annual fees of up to $22,000, members are rewarded with “VIP” meetings with Mr Hockey, often in private boardrooms.

Hockey has asked his lawyers to see if the article defames him. So rather than encouraging debate, Hockey wants to shut it down. Where is the free speech commissioner when you need him? Probably having another coffee at McDonalds in Tacoma and wanking on about property rights.

Politicians from both major parties have defended Hockey. Why? Because they all do it.

Bill Shorten, the leader of the Labor Party ‘Opposition’ charges $3300 for business leaders to have exclusive meetings with him.

Rather than exonerating Hockey this support for him just shows none of them have any ethics or understand the concept.

Why wouldn’t ‘respected’ politicians know that raising funds for their parties by granting access to themselves as Ministers (or future Ministers) who can make decisions to favour the donors, even if they don’t actually go that final step, might just, just a little bit, give the impression of favours for sale? Why wouldn’t they understand that some of us might think that this is an abuse of power? And that any money raised is ours, not theirs?

Why wouldn’t they? Because money rules. They need money to run political parties. It is a business basically with both major parties trying to sell us their own shit sandwiches.

Like Coles and Woolies, Labor and the Coalition need money to beat their opponents to win a bigger share of the market, in other words to win power, and run society in the interests of capital, or sections of it. They sell us the same product with minor variations portrayed as big differences.

Money, or capital, rules the parties in contention for some share of power. They run the system for capital. In that sense all the parliamentary politicians are the handmaidens of Tinkler and his ilk.

The shocking revelations of late about politicians in Australia are not an aberration. They would be replicated in parliament after parliament across the country and the globe, if we investigated them. The whole system is rotten. It produces rotten politicians to do the bidding of rotting capital.

Let me leave you with this thought. There are even bigger crimes politicians commit than being open for business, bad enough as that is.  We’ll see Hockey on budget night send many many more people into poverty so capital can luxuriate. That is the crime we should be fighting against now as well.



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Comment from Ross
Time May 7, 2014 at 9:32 pm

There’s not doubt that corruption has been the order of the day even before the Bob Askin era in NSW.

As a barman back in 1981-82 I knew Tim Bristow who used to do work for some of our elites as debt collector and stand over man.

He said then, that the corruption went all the way to the top.

I’d only ever seen Tim absolutely scared of one man. He called him Chicken Man. I asked the reason for his name. Tim; “Well, he wraps his victims in chicken wire, pours them in concrete and drops them in the harbour.”

The point is that at all levels of our society there is too much corruption, intimidation and threats of violence.

It will continue to happen because we the people are too apathetic and lack courage.

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