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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
You can prove my 2 ex-comrades wrong by donating to my blog En Passant at BSB: 062914 Account: 1067 5257, the Commonwealth Bank in Tuggeranong, ACT. More... (12)

My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/18-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-g20-meeting-age-of-enttilement-engineers-attack-of-austerity-hardship-on-civilians.mp3 (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. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2014/02/11/john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-2/ (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/4-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-end-of-the-age-of-entitlement-for-the-needy-but-pandering-to-the-lusts-of-the-greedy.mp3 (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
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Sick kids and paying upfront

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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. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2013/12/03/john-passant-australian-national-university-8/ (0)

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Archive for 'Labor Party'

Of course the Liberals won’t privatise Medicare

The real threat at the moment to Medicare is not privatisation. It is underfunding. Underfunding is the half way house on the way to privatisation and Labor by its failure to commit to restoring previously agreed $57 billion of funding is a key party to the long term destruction of Medicare.

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Labor and fairness

A pre-occupation with Triple-A ratings mean Labor’s economic policies are only marginally more considerate of Australia’s rising inequality than those of the Coalition, writes John Passant in Independent Australia. To read the whole article click here. How can there be fairness in an unfair economy?

Could Labor really win the 2016 election?

The desire for a better world is engraved on the hearts of workers and that longing gives hope to Labor. They will dissipate that desire for a change away from business as usual politics if they don’t make their arguments in class terms. Bill Shorten is no Bernie Sanders, but he is also not Malcolm Turnbull ether.

Turnbull can smile and pontificate all he wants. Ordinary workers want to see government action that improves their lives and that of their kids. The dilemma for Turnbull is that if he does that he has no room for cutting taxes on business. His shine is wearing off as the class nature of his government becomes clearer to us all.

Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital – what next for the refugee movement?

Given the intransigence of this Australian government on baby Asha and all asylum seekers, Turnbull and Dutton will only be moved by mass action in the streets and industrial action to protect her. That mass action, like all mass movements for justice, must include a debate at least about civil disobedience. Shut down Melbourne to shut down Manus. It must include discussion of workers banning any action that might involve deporting Asha, recognising such action would be ‘illegal’ under current bipartisan industrial laws. The call by the Queensland Council of Unions for people to join the vigil and circulating a roster is especially important in this context. Unions are beginning to get involved. Now our task must be to try and harness the power workers have, to save Asha.

The left and the mainstream media

Let’s hope your decision to publish Kuhn’s article is a light bulb moment for Fairfax owners and senior managers that there is a big audience for left wing ideas in your newspapers, driven by the desire of millions of Australians for a social democratic country. Who knows, printing more of such articles might actually help address the disastrous decline in the Canberra Times’ readership numbers.

Can Labor survive Malcolm Turnbull?

The neoliberal snake oil salesman that is Turnbull is performing the role Labor wanted to play. He has stolen their ground and unless they come up with a real alternative, a radical alternative a la Corbyn that challenges austerity, then in the short to medium term, until the reality of Turnbull’s snake oil salesmanship is revealed in practice, they will continue to rot in opposition.

Prime Ministerial deck chairs in Australia – what the hell is going on?

Just as changing Liberal leaders won’t change the fundamentals, neither will dumping Shorten for a fake leftie like Albanese or Plibersek, or promoting a smooth right-winger like Tony Burke.

There is a message for activists and socialists in the fall of Abbott. It wasn’t Labor who defeated him. It certainly wasn’t Shorten. It was those Aboriginal, education, refugee, Medicare, feminist and other activists, the gay community and their supporters, the teachers, nurses, public servants, wharfies, building workers etc etc etc actually fighting against Abbott and his rotten policies and sending a message to the wider community about Abbott’s rotten policies and the fact you could reject them and resist them.

It is the same message we need to develop in fighting Turnbull’s neoliberalism and that of whoever is leading Labor at the next election. On to the streets to fight for equal love, against the closure of remote communities, against climate change, to free the refugees, for women’s liberation and so on. Close down our workplaces to defend jobs and wages.

Jeremy Corbyn through my Australian eyes

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.

Boycott the witch hunt into trade unions

Labor and the unions could refuse to have anything more to do with the Royal Commission into trade unions because of Heydon’s perceived bias. This opens up those who have been subpoenaed and refuse to appear to fines of up to $1000 or six months imprisonment. Although this is a strict liability crime, if the person has a reasonable excuse for not appearing then that is a defence. And what could be more reasonable than not appearing at a Royal Commission because of the perceived bias of the Commissioner?

Is former ALP A.C.T Chief Minister Jon Stanhope about to jump from Labor’s sinking ship?

I think the alternative [to joining the Greens] is to build a left wing party based in the working class and on the struggles of today, both economic and political. Our final goal should be not like Labor or the Greens to manage capitalism but to win socialism, the democratic control of society so that production is to satisfy human need, not to make a profit. That is why I am proud to be a member of small socialist group Solidarity in Australia. So let me say to those good Labor Party members fighting for a better world against the Abbott Government and their own leadership, at least consider a socialist alternative like Solidarity. Join us on the streets and in the campaigns for refugees and asylum seekers.