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John Passant

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June 2016
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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)



Paul Keating savages the Greens, with a feather

Paul Keating with Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese at the rally in Sydney on Saturday.

Albanese and Keating. Photo: Christopher Pearce

Former Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating unleashed a tirade of abuse against the Greens to defend under threat Labor luminary and MP Anthony Albanese. According to Adam Gartrell in an article called Federal election 2016: Paul Keating launches withering attack on ‘pathetic’ Greens in the Sydney Morning Herald, Keating said, among other things:

‘They’re a bunch of opportunistic Trots hiding behind a gum tree trying to pretend they’re the Labor Party.’

Typical mindless vitriol from Keating which no doubt will get the Labor Party apparatchiks excited. He descended into accusing the Greens of not being a party of the environment, a claim that does not stand up to much scrutiny, no matter whether it is the left wing NSW branch we are talking about or more centrist branches.

The former Prime Minister also criticised the Greens for diverting ALP resources away from other, marginal, electorates and argued that the ALP was a party of government, unlike the Greens. Keating praised his and previous Labor governments for completely remodeling the country and pooh poohed the idea that the Greens were now the natural home for progressives.

Keating didn’t analyse why the Greens and other third parties and independents are going to receive up to 25% of the votes on 2 July. In Keating’s time this might have been 10 percent or a little bit more. Why the change?

I think Keating unintentionally answered that. Yes, Labor is a party of government. It manages capitalism for the bosses. It was Hawke and Keating who introduced neoliberalism into Australia. They were able to sell anti-working class policies to Australian workers through the trade union movement, its abandonment of class struggle and its capitulation to capitalism and trickle down lies through the Accord. The end result of the Hawke and Keating market ‘reforms’ was a shift in wealth and income from labour to capital, a trend that has continued since the mid 1980s under both the ALP and the Coalition.

Anthony Albanese has been an important part of Labor governments that have been integral to that transfer of income and wealth to capital. He is under challenge from the Greens’ Jim Casey in this election in his seat of Grayndler. Casey is a former member of the International Socialist Organisation, a group that became part of Solidarity, an organisation I am a member of.

So Keating is right then that this really is a Trots takeover of the Greens? No, it is just red baiting. Indeed, Albanese a few months ago went so far in his own redbaiting to criticise Casey for being, shock horror, a socialist.

It shows the degeneration of the Labor Party when one of its leading ‘left-wingers’ sinks to redbaiting.

A few Trots have left the lonely world of Trotdom to join the Greens. In doing that they have abandoned their supposed Trotskyism. Many more have disappeared into the quagmire of apoliticism.

There is something else that is interesting about Casey. He is the Secretary of the New South Wales Fire Brigade Employees Union. He is an example of the sort of person who in the past would have been a Labor party member, an important player in internal party machinations and eventually been given a sinecure in Parliament. Again Keating stuck to abuse rather than analysing why some union leaders are members of, and some unions are supporting, the Greens.

What you sow you reap. For the last 20 years in Parliament Albanese has been sowing neoliberalism, sometimes with leftist rhetoric. he is reaping that. A fed up section of society is looking for not just a party that treats refugees decently but also actually improves heath and education and isn’t married to capital. While I have major criticisms of the Greens for most people they appear to the left of Labor on social and economic issues. And they don’t have a history of attacking workers and their living standards on the scale that Labor has.

More and more people are voting Green because they think they are the party of progressive politics in a way Labor is not.

Jim Casey may or may not win Grayndler. It is however pretty clear that the Greens will not go away and the reason for that is that the ALP is now so right wing and so pro-market and pro-capital in government that some of its previous supporters are shifting and have shifted to what they perceive as a progressive alternative. No amount of abuse from the likes of Keating is going to change that.

To win labour votes the ALP should have labour policies.



Comment from Lorikeet
Time June 27, 2016 at 11:29 am

More people are voting for the Greens because our schools and media outlets push Greens ideologies onto the populace every day.

The Greens voted up pension changes which will see many elderly people having to live off personal incomes less than 2/3 of the Age Pension, due to low interest rates.

I put the Coalition at the bottom of my ballot papers and the Greens second last.

All Australian politicians used to be elected as independents and felt free to cross the floor whenever necessary to produce a pro-Australian result. Consequently I have already voted for the little people and minor parties defaulting to Labor, as they are the least of 4 major evils with too many representatives in the parliament.

I would also like to add that the Greens have some right wing factions as well. The left wing factions support all kinds of bad ideologies which have risen up from the bowels of the Earth like so much excrement. They are among the last people we should have running our nation.