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John Passant

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December 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)



Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, John Howard and …. Tony Abbott?

“The Howard government, the Thatcher government, the Reagan government all had rough patches in the polls, and I’m not the first leader to be subject to a bit of speculation,” Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Seven’s Sunrise.

Clearly sanity isn’t a strong point for the PM. Howard, Thatcher and Reagan were successful neoliberal bastards. (So too were Labor Party Prime Ministers Hawke and Keating, and by co-opting the trade union leadership, the most successful of all the sordid neoliberal gang.)  Abbott is a neoliberal bastard but he and his government haven’t got key parts of their neoliberal Budget through the Senate yet. He is a wannabe neoliberal bastard. He and Hockey have sparked a rebellion of the quiet against their unfair Budget.

Howard and Thatcher were competent. Reagan was as smooth as baby shit. Abbott and most of his front bench aren’t competent or smooth.

The ruling class can get away with having buffoons as leaders if they do what the elite want.  George W Bush and Reagan were successful politicians for the one percent and buffoons at the same time.

Given the rejection of Abbott and his government, the ruling class might be thinking it is time for a leadership change. The most obvious snake-oil salesman with a chance of being successful is Malcom Turnbull but his major disqualification is he can think beyond the needs of individual capitalists for immediate profit. That disqualifies him in the eyes of those Liberals who reflect and push the interests of the polluters and  other entrenched capitalists.

Some may think getting rid of Abbott would be a good thing. Not so. Palace coups are never for the benefit of the peasants.  They are to keep the lords as a group in power and their system intact so they can get more out of us. They hope that under the new leader we will smile while we are being whipped.


Some will even hanker for the ‘gold old days’ of Labor. There’s a reason they got thrown out in 2013. They were neoliberal bastards. On top of that Bill Shorten, their current leader,  looks out of his depth. He is a carbon copy of Abbot, without the ‘charisma’.  OK, without a personality.  He won’t be able like Hawke and Keating (and to some extent Rudd before Gillard cut him down) to string us along with neoliberal lies and some temporary results.

Of course voters waited with baseball bats to throw Keating out. After 13 years the Labor Party program of shifting more and more wealth from labour to capital with the support of the trade union leadership pissed off so many people that the arch neoliberal Howard swept into power. Eleven years later this neoliberal hero lost government, and his seat.

As the Victorian election shows, and the polls running in Labor’s favour by at least 52% to 48% consistently, people are no longer prepared to wait a few elections before turning on the neoliberals.

What is missing in this is any real fight-back by unions and workers against the enemy neoliberals, the conservatives, or the sneaky ‘on our side’ neoliberals, the Labor Party.  And what is missing as a consequence of that is a vibrant large left capable of challenging the dominant neoliberal parties and making the arguments for a new society based on democracy and production to satisfy human need.  We can hasten that process thorough our propaganda and our activity, but we cannot set it alight. That is the task of workers.

The choice is clear. One of the likes of Abbott, Turnbull, Bishop, Shorten, Albanese or Plibersek leading the neoliberal attack on our jobs, wages, freedoms and social spending? Or us  as workers defending jobs, wages and conditions and fighting for and winning better social services, better public health, public education and public transport,  justice for aborigines and asylum seekers and a managed decade long transition to renewable energy?





Comment from Ross
Time December 9, 2014 at 5:29 am

Turnbull will be far more ruthless than Abbott. Turnbull was head of Goldman Sachs Australia and his smooth tongue will make many think he has a more civilised approach. The voters will be sucked in again.

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