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John Passant

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January 2016



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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)



How about an elected council of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders to be Australia’s President?


There are two major issues on the agenda today – Invasion Day and an Australian Republic.

On the republic the small ‘l’ liberals have revived the push for it.  The same problems that plagued the bourgeois republican model last time will plague it again. The liberals want a model that involves little change. They want a President who is a Governor General in everything but name.

This push for Australian ‘independence’ reflects the economic reality of Australian capitalism today, and for the last 70 years.  Australia is independent of Great Britain and ahs been for aeons. Our economic relations are today with China and the rest of Asia, with the US and Europe rather than the UK, apart from some minor arrangements and capital investment into Australia. But even that capital investment shows the independence of Australian capitalism in the sense that it is a dealing between equals, and reflects the globalisation of capitalism and the safe and secure investment environment Australia usually is.

For the more sensible members of the Australian ruling class ties with the English monarchy are an anachronism, but one they can live with since the arrangements place no restrictions on their capacity to exploit us.

I voted against the republic of the bourgeoisie on offer in 1999. I wanted a directly elected head of state, arguing all our institutions should be democratised.

It is no accident the establishment republicans are pushing the idea of a republic on the eve of Australia Day, the day the invasion and destruction of Aborigines and their homelands began. That genocide and its results continue today. They see the celebrations as an attempt to unify us all around vague expressions of Australianisms such as the fair go, a rhetorical flourish that hides the reality that the fair go is denied Aboriginal people, it is denied workers, it is denied many women, it is denied refugees.

Short of revolution and a workers’ republic, what is a republic we on the left can support and even argue for. Australian capitalism must address the genocide it unleashed and unleashes against Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. That would require a treaty, a recognition of prior sovereignty and paying the rent.

We can combine the two. Let’s ditch the Queen for a Presidential Council made up of elected representatives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Council would have the right and duty to pass or reject legislation. Membership of the Presidential Council would be decided democratically by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voters in the process of electing the Council. The Council would negotiate with the Parliament a treaty recognising prior sovereignty and paying the rent.

Now I know that this too, like the workers councils, has little chance of being acceptable to Australian capital or at this stage most workers.  That is not a reason for making the argument. It is a reason for fighting for what could lead to progressive change in Australian society. It challenges capitalist relations in Australia and has the potential to undermine the capital accumulation process.






Pingback from How about an elected council of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders to be Australia’s President? – WRITTEN BY JOHN PASSANT | winstonclose
Time January 26, 2016 at 3:53 am

[…] Posted by John, January 25th, 2016 – under Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, Invasion day, President. Comments: none […]

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