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John Passant

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March 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)



Immigration detention centres – Australia’s concentration camps

I have been criticised for calling Australia’s immigration detention centres concentration camps.

In doing so people often argue there is no similarity between the detention centres and the extermination camps of the Nazis.

There is a long tradition in Western societies of setting up concentration camps to imprison innocent people to further war aims (e.g. the British in the Boer War) or political aims (e.g. the Nazis in 1933 in their jailing of the leadership of the communists, and then of the socialists and trade unions).

In a 1950 article in Jewish Social Studies called ‘Social Science Techniques and the Study of Concentration Camps’ Hannah Arendt says the British set up the first concentration camps during the Boer War. Later research suggests there are earlier examples from colonial history in Australia and the US, and that in the late 1890s and early 1900s the Americans in the Philippines and the Spanish in Cuba also used concentration camps. The imprisonment of US citizens of Japanese descent during World War II is another example.

In the same article Arendt says that the Nazi’s extermination camps were the most extreme form of concentration camps.

Australia’s immigration detention centres are not extermination camps. However they are part of the centuries long Western practice of imprisoning innocent people without trial for base political, military, economic or social purposes. It is a necessary part of the duty we owe to history to call Australia’s detention centres what they in fact are – concentration camps.

Here is a list of Palm Sunday rallies for refugees in Australia on Sunday 20 March.

. List of Australian events here:

**MELBOURNE 2pm @ State Library (
**SYDNEY 1pm @ Belmore Park (
**CANBERRA 1pm @ Garema Place (
**PERTH 1pm @ St Georges Cathedral (
**BRISBANE 2pm @ Queens Park (
**ADELAIDE 2.30pm @ Parliament House (
**LAUNCESTON 1.45pm @ Prince’s Square (
**NEWCASTLE 11.30am @ Railway Sheds, Newcastle Foreshore Park
**DARWIN 5pm @ Nightcliff Jetty
**MURWILLUMBAH 2pm @ Tweed Shire Council Chambers
**ARMIDALE 11.30am @ Civic Park (
**ECHUCA 3pm @ St Mary’s Parish
**Margaret River 1pm Prevelly, 99 Mitchel Dve
**Toowoomba 11.30am @ St Patrick’s Cathedral
** Wollongong 1pm @ Nth Wollongong Bathers Pavillion
‪#‎LetThemStay‬ ‪#‎CloseTheCamps‬ ‪#‎BringThemHere



Comment from Kay
Time March 22, 2016 at 8:15 am

Well, I see nothing has changed on this blog since last I looked!

“Australia’s immigration detention centres are not extermination camps. However they are part of the centuries long Western practice of imprisoning innocent people without trial for base political, military, economic or social purposes.” I am disappointed you didn’t mention the USSR’s and China’s ‘concentration camps’. So, not only the West! Even communists do it!

Comment from John
Time March 22, 2016 at 12:00 pm

Welcome back. I did mention gulags in a defence of the concentration camp description and was roasted as much for that as for this. Glad you like my erudite analysis. By the way the ‘communist’ countries were and are state capitalist countries. They share the fundamental basics of capitalism, i.e. the exploitation of workers.

Comment from Kay
Time March 23, 2016 at 2:20 pm

We have been travelling again – South America, Africa and many islands. There are many failed socialist regimes around – far more than I had imagined.

Corruption always raises its head – no matter what the regime is – either socialist or capitalist. There are ALWAYS the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. I just think human beings are essentially greedy and self-serving – no matter what the regime is officially. Overall, the capitalist countries are richer, hence there is more to share around – despite the disparity amongst the citizens.

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