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John Passant

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December 2015
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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)



Archive for December, 2015

Coming in at number 4 in my top ten of 2015 – Jeremy Corbyn through my Australian eyes

I wrote this in September in response to the enthusiasm for change that Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign for and stunning election to the leadership of the British Labour Party inspired. It compares that enthusiasm and upsurge in Labour Party membership to the insipid Labor Party here. I say in part:

‘Many of my readers will be hoping for a Jeremy Corbyn in Australia to move the Labor Party here to the left. There is no Corbyn in the Parliamentary Labor Party. The Labor left, such as it is, is thoroughly imbued with the logic of neoliberalism. In the main it is a tribal allegiance rather than an ideological ferment of ideas to challenge capitalism. You never hear the S word from these very models of a modern major general of capital. None of the possible contenders for Corbyn down under have the same track record as Corbyn in opposing austerity or fighting against social and political injustice. Indeed people like Albanese and Plibersek have been Ministers in Labor governments that have implemented neoliberal policies and attacked public services and workers’ rights and conditions. They are part of the very problem Corbyn is fighting against.’

To read the whole article click here.


Defend our unions

But that is the whole point of the Royal Commission – to paint unions as bad in and of themselves and further restrict their capacity to win wage increases, defend jobs and protect life and limb at work. If the government can get away with using TURC as the springboard to further emasculate the union movement then Workchoices will seem a picnic compared to what the ruling class will have in store for workers. Kiss goodbye to penalty rates, and welcome longer unpaid hours, more deaths and serious injuries at work, more job insecurity, individual contracts and massive cuts to the social wage.

Of frog droppings and tax avoidance

The fact that Thomas has to resort to puerile name calling rather than rational analysis highlights the paucity of logical arguments those defending tax avoidance by big business have. Yours in frog droppings, sandal-wearing, muesli-chewing and bike riding on pedestrian walkways

Coming in at number 7 in the top 10 in 2015 – Company tax avoidance in Australia: is it just one bad Apple?

In this top ten article, written in March 2014 (so with some sort of enduring interest) I wrote among other things:

‘Company tax avoidance is not a failing of capitalism: it is its logical expression. There are two ways to really tax the rich. The first is for workers to win bigger pay increases to stop the bosses getting their hands on more of our money before they can play funny buggers with it. The second is to overthrow the capitalist system which produces corporate tax avoidance.’

To read the whole article click here. Company tax avoidance in Australia: is it just one bad Apple?

Coming in at number 9 in the Top Ten of 2015: The Canberra Anti-Racism Rally kicked their sorry arses

I wrote this in July after I had just got back from the Canberra Anti-Racist Network rally against the racists and fascists from Reclaim Australia. It was fantastic. There were about 30 of them and 150 of us. We spoke about how they were responding to Tony Abbott’s agenda of fear and division and his talk of Team Australia. Demonising refugees, attacking Aborigines and belittling Muslims all combine, in times of a worsening economy, to give a spark to the racists and fascists and their simplistic and very very dangerous rubbish. You can read the whole article here.

Big business, it is time to come clean on tax

This is a link to my article in Monday’s Canberra Times on tax avoidance. I end up by saying: ‘If big business wants to win back the trust of working class taxpayers who pay more tax than them, in some cases literally and in many cases as a percentage of their income, then it is time for those companies to explain how it is that their tax contribution is zero or small. After all if they have nothing to hide they should have nothing to fear from telling us their full tax story.’ Click here for the link to the full article.

Top ten 2015 – number ten: A letter to disillusioned Labor Party supporters

2015 has seen an interesting array of well read articles, with one perennial from late 2013 up there still.
Coming in at number ten was ‘A letter to disillusioned Labor Party supporters’, written in July 2015 after the ALP National Conference decided not to ban turning back asylum seeker boats.

Gerard Henderson – the gift that keeps on giving

What do facts matter, Gerard, when dissing the left?

Christ the refugee

A satirical take on the birth of Christ and the response of the capitalist media. Plus Juan Cole who argues that Jesus was a Syrian refugee twice and that US Republican presidential candidates would refuse him and his family entry to the United States today

Chevron and Adani – tax ‘planners’ in the news today

Resource companies, rapaciousness, destruction of the environment and of jobs, and tax minimisers are words that all come to mind.