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John Passant

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February 2015



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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)



If Greece can close down its refugee detention centres why can’t Australia?

SYRIZA, the new radical left wing government in Greece ‘pledged on Saturday to close down detention centres for [refugees] that have long been criticised by rights groups as inhumane.’

A Pakistani man had died overnight at the Amygdaleza detention centre in western Athens in a suspected suicide.

“Detention centres – we’re finished with them,” Deputy Interior Minister Yannis Panousis, who is in charge of public order and civil protection, told reporters on Saturday when he visited the centre.

If Greece can do it, why not Australia? Ah, unlike Greece, we don’t have a radical left wing party here, built on strikes and demonstrations against austerity. Maybe it is time we built one and built strikes and demonstrations against Abbott’s austerity?



Comment from Kay
Time February 17, 2015 at 7:00 am

You overlook the fact that in Australia, the only segment of the community likely to support any weakening of our asylum seeker policy is the latte Left and parts of academia. For the majority of Australians, the only really successful Abbott government policy has been “Stop the Boats”. And this policy is most appreciated by ordinary workers. So no chance of a revolution here on this issue.

Events unfolding in Europe and the UK show why allowing unfettered access for Muslim asylum seekers can adversely impact on the local population. I’ll be interested to see how releasing people from detention in Greece actually plays out. Most will probably head off to more affluent parts of Europe – an option not available in Australia. Over here, most of them will just live on welfare payments – like Man Haron Monis.

Comment from Mike
Time February 17, 2015 at 7:59 am

“Maybe it is time we built one and built strikes and demonstrations against Abbott’s austerity?”

Well go on then, build one.

Comment from John
Time February 18, 2015 at 5:27 am

That is a great point Mike. I will if things progress as I think they might in the next few weeks come back to that from what might at first seem like left field. At the moment what I will say is we keep plugging away, trying to build strikes and demos and see an alternative politics coalesce.

Comment from Kay
Time February 18, 2015 at 8:08 am


I can’t see any noticeable fight developing on this issue. In the one corner, John, some fellow leftie academics, and a rabble of noisy uni students. In the other corner, the rest of the population. No contest.

Comment from John
Time February 18, 2015 at 1:50 pm

Maybe, maybe not. Let’s see how the 4 March union demos go. And the Palm Sunday refugee rallies. And the 25 March student rallies. I think there is a general passivity at the moment but a subsection of society who want to fight back. training up that section so that when the explosion occurs will be very important. And the passive majority are still angry or cranky about the Budget. They are a fire waiting to be lit.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time February 18, 2015 at 2:26 pm

I don’t think Australians are too interested in asylum seekers. Things might change if the government stopped bringing in an excessive number of visa holders to take Australian workers’ jobs.

To me, there seems to be a nexus between immigration agreements signed by Labor and a marked decrease in the number of asylum seekers. I think this may be telling us that “economic refugees” are now coming into Australia by more legitimate means, helping to create the glut of workers that are being used to drive down wages and working conditions.

The Budget was very punitive of people living on Newstart who cannot find work, and also landing the young on the wallets of their parents for an additional 6 months.

I thought I read that Newstart recipients were going to be expected to work 25 hours a week, which could be a back door method of reducing the Minimum Wage.

If an “explosion” occurs, it could be unemployed Australians taking aim at foreign workers, especially when the recent spate of terrorism is also factored into the equation.

Most people are also aware that Unions are working against their own members. So I believe the way forward is to:

1. drastically cut the number of visa holders
2. form new unions not affiliated with the ACTU
3. insist that the government collect more taxes from the rich
4. cease shelling out funds to women for having babies
5. tear up agreements to take migrants from the Middle East
6. insist that the UN solve problems in the Middle East that are driving people away

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