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John Passant

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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)



Any suggestions for alternative days to celebrate Australia Day?

The idea that we are all one, that we are all in this together, that we are all about the fair go, [fill in the usual class illusions here] takes a bit of a hammering on Invasion Day (aka Australia Day.) Demonstrations across the country remind us that white settlement on 26 January 1788 marked the beginning of 228 years of genocide.

There has been some talk about an alternative day. The bourgeoisie might toy with this idea if the chorus against Invasion Day grows louder and wins a bigger audience.  But the suggestion itself for another day does nothing to challenge the myth that we are a united country.  Having the celebration of Australia Day on 1 January (the day we federated) or 9 May, the day the first Parliament in Canberra sat, or even Anzac Day, 25 April, will do nothing to challenge the systemic racism driven by the ruling class against Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, nor stop the ongoing genocide and its consequences.

I have a few suggestions for an Australia Day which reflects the class divided nature of Australian society. Hit the comments button to make your own class based suggestions.

21 May – the day in 1969 that rolling general strikes across Australia in the days previously freed union official Clarrie O’Shea from jail and helped smash the penal powers for about 20 years

2 June – the day in 1802 that freedom fighter Pemulwuy was killed

26 October – the day in 1916 the first conscription referendum was defeated

7 November – the day in 1917 Russian workers established the first workers government anywhere in the world; it is also Leon Trotsky’s birthday

11 November – the day in 1854 the Ballarat Reform Group made basic democratic demands; the day the authorities hanged Ned Kelly; the day the German Revolution ended World War I; and the day the ruling class dismissed the Whitlam Government

3  December – the day in 1854 that diggers stood against the gold licence and its brutal collection at the Eureka Stockade and died for freedom and no taxation without representation

11 November looks like a bit of a winner although the reactionaries would try to appropriate it to celebrate war.

Just to show I am not biased here are some dates worth considering from the other side

21 April – the day in 1926 Queen Elizabeth was born (as compared to the holiday for her birthday which varies from state to state but is mainly in early June)

19 September – International talk like a pirate day, because nothing captures the spirit of the Australian ruling class better than pirates

20 October – the day in 1950 when the Communist Party Dissolution Act came into effect

4 November – the day in 1957 Tony Abbott was born

11 November – the day in 1975 democracy was destroyed

I will no doubt add more as they occur to me or as you make suggestions. To do that hit the comments link under the heading to the article.






Comment from Eric Smith
Time January 26, 2016 at 9:21 pm

Mazza, where’s Bazza… Is he coming to pissup… Hope he brings shazza, she looks so grouse since she lost her front teeth…whose bringing the beer… He Saddam’s is here maaaaaaate…

Why on earth would you want to celebrate that… on any day?

Comment from julie mauger
Time January 26, 2016 at 10:58 pm

Why the need to celebrate Australia Day at all John? “Australia” is a loaded word with connotations of the White Australia Policy, the colonisation of a beautiful country by an imperialist nation, and the atrocoties commited against First Nations peoples, which is ongoing today. Why not just concetrate our efforts on attending “Invasion Day” rallies (and Australia Day events) with the objective of educating people about what Australia Day is and why we object to it?

Comment from John
Time January 27, 2016 at 4:08 am

Yes I agree, Julie. Maybe my suggestions of specific days was too subtle and didn’t undermine the ‘name a day’ argument sufficiently?

Comment from John
Time January 27, 2016 at 4:11 am

I think historically one way the oppressed classes have responded to their exploitation s a big piss up. They escape for a while. I support that day off and enjoying yourself. I think every day should be a holiday, one where we can fulfil our humanity. Getting pissed on Australia Day has other connotations of course, as you point out but I do think we need to be careful about denigrating ordinary workers for responding to their oppression by getting on the booze etc.

Comment from Eric Smith
Time January 27, 2016 at 7:58 am

Well said, Julie

Comment from Penny muir
Time January 27, 2016 at 10:24 am

May 17th the day that Aboriginals were recognised as citizens in 1966 (not sure of the year)

Comment from Abi
Time January 29, 2016 at 4:13 pm

Do you know what you’re talking Eric? I think you may be a little confused.