ga('send', 'pageview');
John Passant

Site menu:

December 2014
« Nov   Jan »



RSS Oz House



Subscribe to us

Get new blog posts delivered to your inbox.


Site search


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
You can prove my 2 ex-comrades wrong by donating to my blog En Passant at BSB: 062914 Account: 1067 5257, the Commonwealth Bank in Tuggeranong, ACT. More... (12)

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)



Not your average siege

It certainly wasn’t your usual ‘cross to the scene for a minute’ siege. This was constant, ongoing, never-ending reporting of a man who took hostages in the Lindt café in Martin Place in Sydney. There were live crosses, experts, politicians, police, passers-by. On and on it went for hour after hour.

Why was this siege any different to all the other sieges that happen? Why did this dominate the  Australian media to the exclusion of almost everything else for 24 hours?

Why? Because it fed our fears. Or perhaps because it fed what the media and ruling class hope are our fears.


If Man Haron Monis had been a white Christian barricaded in his home holding his wife hostage, it would have rated at best a few minutes on local television, and no or little comment in our newspapers.

On average, a woman dies every week at the hands of her male partner. No 24 hour reports, live crosses, experts, politicians. Just a brief shot of the family home and the body being removed. Domestic violence is part of the background that is Australia, part of who we are, evidently. Nothing to see here, move on.

Indeed, it is the Abbott government which is cutting funding to women’s refuges, places where some women escaping domestic violence flee to escape their violent partner.

Of course Man Haron Monis wasn’t a white Christian. What he was isn’t clear, other than mentally disturbed. The fact that he got his hostages to hold up a black flag with white Arabic writing on it (the Shahada as it turns out, with a simple message, ‘There is only one God, and Mohammed is his prophet’) saw the media, the creatures as well as creators of Islamophobia, go into overdrive. Here’s the 2pm front page from the Murdoch owned Sydney newspaper, The Daily Telegraph:



IS (Islamic State) wasn’t involved.  The reference to death cult echoes our esteemed Prime Minister Tony Abbott who called Islamic State just that a few weeks ago, without acknowledging the death cult that is Australian capitalism for indigenous Australians, women, refugees, building workers, Iraqis and Afghanis. In fact, Man Haron Monis had no connection with IS.

Piers Akerman in the same rag was clear. ‘Sydney [has been] catapulted into the horrific realm of Islamo-fascism.’

None of this is true, and to be frank the mainstream media doesn’t care about the truth when a bit of Muslim bashing is possible.

Monis acted alone. He was a nutcase with grievances against the State and life who decided to take out his anger against society by grabbing some hostages, and using the Shahada as a convenient way to focus attention on him.

This anti-Muslim hysteria was helped by the fact he was an Iranian Shia who apparently converted, at least in his own mind, to Sunni Islam so he could express sympathy with Islamic State. Couple that with a history of sexual violence and charges of accessory before and after the fact to the murder of his ex-wife, and he is the perfect evil Muslim target for our stereotyping press.

Don’t imagine it was just the Telegraph, the tabloid that is the second most read newspaper in Australia, who knee-jerked with massive doses of Islamic terrorism. The day after the siege began, the  front page headline of the bosses’ paper, the Australian Financial Review, read: ‘Islamic State-linked terror grips Sydney’. It too was creating a false story.

The Prime Minister said Sydney had been touched by terrorism.

Why this false flag of terrorism narrative when even Abbott admitted Monis was deranged and living out fantasies? Why do the media and politicians fantasise these deranged fantasies? Because they fit into their agenda and reinforce our mainly state induced fears.

Our rulers have spent a lot of time since 9/11 creating real enemies in the war on terror. The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and the death and destruction they unleashed, not to mention the drone killings of thousands of civilians, have made millions of enemies for the West the world over.  Our ruling class, the one percent if you like, and their media,  have created the image of the Muslim terrorist and used it to frighten us into obedience.  Whenever a whiff of the possibility of Islamic terrorism arises, the one percent spring into action to reinforce the evil ‘we’ are all fighting together. The common enemy helps creates bond between workers and bosses, between rulers and ruled while helping to obscure the class war the one percent are waging against us.

Let’s hope that the ruling class rush to make this a terrorist event, rather than the actions of a mentally ill man, exposes the ruling class and its media for the manipulator of events that it is.

Many workers respond to this crude racism because capitalism alienates us from our selves.  However there is hope. The #illridewithyou campaign, where thousands upon thousands of Australians have offered support to Muslims who feel threatened or in danger, shows the basic sense of humanity, decency and solidarity workers and others have with those threatened by racism and xenophobia.




Comment from Ross
Time December 16, 2014 at 6:19 pm

The media were salivating in all orifices. George Brandis and his repressive laws on our freedoms will never keep us safe. When Govts have too much power they have a long history of oppression and violence against their own people. As the economy goes down the toilet they need more repressive laws to keep us under control.

Australians are just as stupid and ignorant as the Americans they snigger at.

Comment from Ross
Time December 17, 2014 at 5:23 am

I caught the tail end on Sky News of an interview with Dr Michael Kennedy a criminologist at the Uni of Western Sydney. Much to the dismay of Paul the interviewer, he confirms your remarks John. This was not an organised terrorist attack and Monis has no connections with IS. He went on to say far worse attacks on Australians like Port Author attacks and Bali Bombings.

Dr Kennedy, much to his credit, also said we are at risk of losing our human rights with the over reaction to terrorism.

Comment from Fred
Time December 17, 2014 at 7:42 am

The two people murdered by the crazy Muslim lost their human rights.

Comment from Kay
Time December 17, 2014 at 9:32 am

Yes, it appears Monis was a deranged criminal with an infatuation with extremist Islamist views. Were it not for the black flag, it may have been considered just another siege situation with innocent hostages.

However, Monis then ordered some of his hos­tages to phone the media; he had three demands. Monis wanted an Islamic State flag delivered to the cafe. He wanted the government to officially recognise that this was a terrorist attack on behalf of Islamic State. He also wanted to speak to Tony Abbott!

Clearly Monis saw himself as an Islamic terrorist. Some experts quote the criteria for the use of the word “terrorism” and conclude that this siege situation met most of those criteria. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck……

The whole world is at risk from these murderous Islamist maniacs, most especially the Middle East. Pretending such risks don’t exist, and not guarding against them, is definitely NOT the way to go!

Clearly the Murdoch headline was over the top – designed purely to sell papers! What’s new? The response by ordinary Australians (the ‘ride with me’ movement) towards ordinary, moderate Muslims is much to be applauded. But the Muslim community has its fate in its own hands. While Australian Muslims continue to condemn Islamic atrocities around the world, in the same way as non-Muslims do, they will be enfolded into the Australian community, and fully supported. If the Muslim community remains silent on these matters, that silence may well be considered to be tacit approval – leading to criticism by non-Muslim Australians. Thank heavens the Australian Muslim community appears to be waking up to that fact at long last.

Comment from John
Time December 17, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Nonsense. This wasn’t driven by his warped and apparently self-deluded view of himself as an extremist but by his mental health issues. I notice that husbands who kill their wives don’t prompt a blame all husbands response. Why are the extremist husbands not viewed as part of the whole extremist male cult?

Comment from John
Time December 17, 2014 at 1:03 pm

As happens week in week out for wives murdered by their husbands, building workers on sites every two weeks, Aborigines in custody etc.

Comment from Kay
Time December 17, 2014 at 1:44 pm

Sure he had mental health issues. But he saw himself as an ISIS terrorist. That is the message he wanted the media to broadcast. Only after his death did his demands come to light.

He quietly and efficiently helped murder his ex-wife (or so it is alleged) and no more attention was paid to that action, or to his Muslim faith, than is paid to any other wife-beater or murderer.

Comment from Fred
Time December 17, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Maybe if extremist male husbands set up terrorist groups, flew aeroplanes into buildings, set up a male husband state and beheaded people on You Tube then you could view them as part of a whole extremist male cult.

I think everyone should just put their head back in the sand until it happens again.

Comment from John
Time December 17, 2014 at 2:52 pm

The husbands are the extremist group per se. Your logic.

Comment from John
Time December 17, 2014 at 2:53 pm

So a nutcase claims he is an ISIS terrorist and you believe him? He didn’t murder his wife. He wasn’t charged with that. He wasn’t convicted.

Comment from Kay
Time December 17, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Monis instigated the siege while on bail on a charge of accessory to murder, relating to the death of his ex-wife, who was allegedly stabbed and set alight in a stairwell of her Sydney apartment complex last year. Monis’s current partner has been charged with murder over the incident. In March this year he was charged with more than 50 sexual offences. He has not been convicted because the cases have not been tried as yet, and now never will be. He has been convicted of other, lesser offences.

Monis recently converted to Sunni Islam after purporting to be a Shia cleric. He asked for an ISIS flag, and demanded that his action be officially recognised as a terrorist act on behalf of ISIS. This, after ISIS called on followers worldwide to commit terrorist acts on its behalf. Looks pretty much like he believed he was acting on behalf of ISIS!

And yet, in the face of all this evidence, you lefties refuse to accept Monis’ stated objectives just because you previously poo-pooed Abbott’s national security actions – on the basis that there is no likelihood of terrorism in Australia. Get real!

Comment from John
Time December 17, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Looking forward to you condemning all the nutters committing violence in whatever name the conjure up in their madness. he was also a spiritualist. Maybe that is what is behind it? Blame astrology perhaps? Pick a target any target just as long as it is Islam. The accessory and murder case was very weak according to the magistrate. But let’s lock up people on the say so of police. That should work well.

Comment from Fred
Time December 17, 2014 at 4:07 pm

If someone claims to be Aboriginal do you believe them?

Comment from John
Time December 17, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Yes, unless they take hostages and use that as the banner of their mental instability. If the community accepts them as Aboriginal they are.

Comment from Kay
Time December 17, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Ah John, anything but accept Monis’ own statement that he wanted his actions to be recognised as terrorism on behalf of ISIS. And of course I condemn all nutters committing violence for whatever crazy reason, including self-proclaimed extremist Islamist beliefs. Don’t you?

You are starting to toss in some red herrings, and start your dog-whistling at anyone who has concerns about extremist Islam. Poor form! The facts of the accessory to murder charge will now never be known – unless his current ‘squeeze’ dobs him in during her trial. But his lawyer and the magistrate appeared to consider the case against him was weak – as presented at that time – hence the bail.

Comment from Ross
Time December 17, 2014 at 7:07 pm

Fred you have no sense of perspective. With the GFC of 2008 billions of people lost their super and savings. We bailed out the bankers who continue to pillage and plunder our economies. Since the Central Bankers create all the money from nothing as debt for our Govts to function, they own us and our Govts. There is no democracy since they also have major share holdings in MSM.

They also had their illegal invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan ,Pakistan, Libya, Somalia and still want Syria and Iran for oil and a pipeline route to Europe.

Over a million people in Iraq died in that illegal war. Millions died in Vietnam in that illegal war not to mention their backing of Pol Pot and his murdering of millions of Cambodians. But that’s ok since these people have brown skins.

Well Fred now they are coming for you and your bank account since at the last G20 meeting they passed laws that make it legal to turn your deposits into bank shares and thus have a Cyprus style confiscation of your deposits and super money.

It is this same financial system Fred which are pushing for these wars of imperialism so a few elites can have it all.

Comment from Kay
Time December 18, 2014 at 8:08 am


Without buying into any of your other points, I would just like to point out that the US is very well placed with its oil supplies. The only country in the Middle East that sells oil to the US is its ally, Saudi Arabia. The US sources its oil as follows: Canada 32%; Saudi Arabia 13%; Mexico 9%; Venezuela 8% and Russia 5% (top 5 countries, gross imports, 2013). The US is becoming more and more independent in its oil supplies. So arguments about the US needing Middle East oil are now completely outdated.

The US is becoming almost as dependent upon natural gas for its energy supply (27%) as it is upon oil (35%). US consumption of oil and coal is expected to decrease, and the consumption of natural gas is expected to increase over time.

Europe and Asia are much more dependent upon Middle East oil, especially Asia. including China. Europe is also very dependent upon Russian LNG.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time December 18, 2014 at 10:12 am

I have been trained to counsel people out of destructive cults. If the truth is known, terrorists mostly ARE mentally ill people who may or may not belong to a particular destructive cult.

The main difference between the ordinary household “terrorist” (wife basher) and people like Man Horan Monis is that the former has only one particular target, and the latter targets groups of strangers.

I think the government should have deported this bastard right after he sent nasty letters to the families of Australian soldiers who had died at war in the Middle East. This proved that he was not a patriotic Australian.

When they let this dangerous lunatic out on bail, they must have known he could create a hell of a problem, and also cause further religious and racial tensions.

The sheer cost of dealing with this person through the courts, prison system, siege situation and the injuries and psychological trauma he has caused other people will probably amount to millions of dollars.

The money wasted could have been better spent creating jobs for hundreds of unemployed Australians.

The siege will also make the Australian people more afraid and more likely to pressure their elected MPs to pass more undemocratic laws that have recently been rejected by the federal parliament.

While the enormous number of floral tributes being placed at a temporary shrine for the dead is commendable, I would have preferred to see the people give the value of those bunches of flowers to charitable organisations who assist the homeless, and place just a single flower in remembrance of those lost.

Certainly the siege has been done to death to the point where most people have already switched off.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time December 18, 2014 at 10:26 am

I have now had a good read of the rest of the comments. I consider that Monis was all of the following: a nutter, a terrorist, an abuser of women.

Kay is also correct when she states that Monis has responded to the call of ISIS, to set up a terrorist act and was therefore as Islamic Terrorist, even if he was acting alone.

I feel certain he must have known in advance that he would die in a shoot out with police. His main aim was to create havoc and panic within the community and to make his evil mark on the world.

Comment from SRK
Time December 18, 2014 at 3:11 pm

“If Man Haron Monis had been a white Christian barricaded in his home holding his wife hostage, it would have rated at best a few minutes on local television, and no or little comment in our newspapers. ”

Two weeks ago in suburban Melbourne there was a five hour siege, where one man was shot dead, and hostages were taken.

The perpetrator was neither Arabic nor Islamic, so the story received a few minutes of attention on the nightly bulletin, and disappeared from the media within 48 hours.