John Passant

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Me quoted in Fairfax papers on tax haven use
Me quoted by Georgia Wilkins in The Age (and other Fairfax publications) today. John Passant, from the school of political science and international relations, at the Australian National University, said the trend noted by Computershare was further evidence multinationals did not take global regulators seriously. ”US companies are doing this on the hard-nosed basis that any [regulatory] changes that will be made won’t have an impact on their ability to avoid tax,” he said. ”They think it is going to take a long time for the G20 to take action, or that they are just all talk.” (1)

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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Real debate?
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System change, not climate change
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Sick kids and paying upfront

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The Moss Review exposes the sexual and physical brutality on Nauru and all Tony Abbott can say is ‘things happen’

The Moss Review exposes the sexual and physical brutality on Nauru and all Tony Abbott can say is ‘things happen’.  His government released the review an hour after news that Fraser has died hits he airwaves in the hope that the rape, self harm, beatings etc are ignored by the Australian media and public in the frenzy over Fraser’s death.

 

Let’s be clear. This sexual and physical brutality on Nauru is part of the government’s plans to stop asylum seekers seeking refuge in Australia. Rather than discouraging this brutality the government wants to ignore it while knowing it happens to further its rotten political aims.  In fact subdued publicity about it in refugee hotspots is what the government may well want. It is the tactic of plausible deniability so beloved of Richard Nixon. Maybe it is time for the Australian Federal Police to investigate whether any government members have committed any crimes in their oversight of the offshore concentration camps.

Let’s build the demonstrations against this brutality and for refugees this coming Sunday, Palm Sunday, in capital and other cities across Australia. See you there.

I had a dream – about Tony Abbott

All this praise for Malcolm Fraser from the left must have prompted a dream or perhaps a nightmare about Tony Abbott.

It is sometime in 2017, after the election in late 2016. Abbott and his government have suffered a massive loss. The people have rejected his attacks on the poor, Aborigines, workers, the sick, the elderly, women, the homeless, the unemployed, victims of violence, Universities, schools, public transport etc etc. The list is almost endless.

In his confusion and despair Abbott seeks solace in his Catholic religion.

His good friend Cardinal George Pell lines up an audience with the Pope.  After over 2 hours Abbott emerges drained.

He recants his position of turning back the boats. He says we should welcome asylum seekers to Australia. He adds that we should go further and airlift them from neighbouring countries to Australia.

“The Pope has shown me that my demonisation of asylum seekers for cheap political advantage was wrong and against all the tenets of my religion and the teachings of Jesus Christ, ” Mr Abbott said. “I am truly sorry for the atrocities I have committed against refugees and will do all I can to make this great country of ours welcoming of them from now on,” he added.

Mr Abbott said that  he was now proud to honour the legacy of another great Liberal leader Malcolm Fraser on the issue of asylum seekers.

The liberal and reformist left began dancing in the streets. This is great news.

Meanwhile the impact of Mr Abbott’s attacks on the poor, Aborigines, workers, the sick, the elderly, women, the homeless, the unemployed, victims of violence, Universities, schools, public transport etc etc continued unabated. There was no cheering from them.

Exposing the reality of Fraser’s treatment of Vietnamese refugees

This is from 2012 but is an excellent debunking of the myth of Fraser’s ‘ humanitarian’ treatment of Vietnamese refugees when he actually had power.

Here is part of what historian Rachel Stevens says:

The resettlement of the Vietnamese refugees was an unfamiliar challenge for the Fraser government, just a few years after the formal abolition of the White Australia Policy. The government was resistant, ambivalent and at times pragmatic in responding to the Vietnamese refugee crisis.

The fact that Australia struggled with the arrival of these asylum seekers was symptomatic of an insecure nation threatened by Asian penetration, an anxiety that has influenced the national psyche since the mid-19th century. Unfortunately, this anxiety continues to inform asylum seeker policy today.

You can read the whole article here: No, the Fraser era was not a golden age for asylum seekers.

Economic shock as mining boom evaporates

The Australian economy’s dream looks to be over as the mining boom runs out of steam and living standards are squeezed. Peter Jones in Solidarity takes a closer look.

Malcolm Fraser – a class enemy

I am a little older than most of my readers, I suspect. When I was standing outside Parliament House on 11 November 1975 (my 22nd birthday) I didn’t think Malcolm Fraser was a hero. I thought he was a bastard, a ruling class bastard. I still do and not just for riding roughshod over democracy. He then went on to cut health and education spending and tried to smash unions.

Let’s axe Pyne’s University ‘reforms’

Sarah Garnham writes in Red Flag that ‘our protest-based campaign has already had two significant victories over the government.’

‘But for these victories to be meaningful, we need to match Pyne’s determination. We need to continue the fight against privatisation, funding cuts and fee increases.’

To read the whole article about why we need to continue the fight against cuts and fee de-regulation click here.

Ilan Pappe on the Israeli elections

From Ilan Pappe on Facebook:

Five issues emerge out of the elections:

1. These elections are the invitation we were waiting for the funeral of the two states solution.

2. The validity of the BDS option has been proven to be the only way forward. No chance of a change from with the racist Jewish society.

3. The Arab Jewish community can not bring itself, and will not bring itself, to vote for Liberal Zionist parties – only right wing parties.

4. The united Arab list will have no impact on Israeli politics but can have an impact now on Palestinian politics. Which is very important.

5. The only good news – a liberal Zionist government would have blinded the world for a bit longer. So all in all, the true face of the settler colonialist state of Israel has been once more exposed. Now, will the world react finally?

An alternative to the neoliberal University?

 

Building on Labor’s commodification of Universities in Australia, the Abbott government wants to deepen that commodification with further funding cuts and fee-deregulation. The Senate has rejected the Pyne Bills attempting to do that this time, but Pyne is already bragging that he will deliver the $150 million ‘savings’ he had earmarked coming from sacking 1700 researchers by cutting his portfolio Budget. Where will his axe fall?

In Amsterdam students and staff have had enough of the global phenomenon of turning Universities into profit centres.  Here’s how change.org describes what is happening in a petition supporting the protesters who have set up an alternative University which they call the New University. The authorities have responded in the only way they know, with violence, to alternative visions that challenges even in a small way the way capitalism and education operate.

On Friday 13 February, an organization of concerned students calling itself The New University (http://newuni.nl/) occupied the Bungehuis, one of the University of Amsterdam’s buildings and one of the Humanities Faculty’s primary locations. The students are protesting the financialization of academic life, and are calling for the radical democratization of university management. According to press releases issued by the students, their decision to occupy a university building was only taken after they had become convinced that all other options for entering into discussion with the university’s management had been exhausted, and many less impactful forms of protest had already been exercised (see http://humanitiesrally.com/).

The University of Amsterdam’s Executive Board has responded by taking the students to court, thus criminalizing a sincere and legitimate form of protest and imposing exorbitant fines and legal fees on the students. Since the court’s ruling, the students face imminent forcible eviction as well as growing financial burdens, but they nevertheless continue to occupy the building, where they organize lectures, public debates, and assembly meetings, while developing further plans for protests and acts of civil disobedience for as long as the Board continues to ignore their demands.

As members of the international academic community, we hereby express our support for the students’ right to protest. We sympathize with their demand for greater transparency and accountability for university management, and for the democratization of decision-making processes. We therefore call upon the University of Amsterdam’s Executive Board to work with the students rather than continuing to making disproportionate legal and financial threats, thereby criminalizing a legitimate form of protest. We also urge the Board to involve students and staff members in an open discussion to work towards a reversal of the ongoing financialization and managerialism that is increasingly coming to dominate academic life.

Thought provoking and challenging, the student’s action puts democracy at the heart of what it means to be a University.

To sign the petition click here.

Michael Brull in New Matilda on what really happened at Sydney University – the lies of the Zionists exposed, again

Michael Brull in New Matilda has written a devastating response to the lies of the Zionists about the protest against Israeli war crimes and genocide at Sydney University on 11 March. Unlike the apologists for Zionist murder and dispossession Brull presents the facts based on videos of the event.  The protesters were the victims of violence, not its instigators or perpetrators.

He says in part:

When you consider that Colonel Kemp has distinguished himself in his defence of Israeli massacres, this becomes deeply enlightening. If anyone was aggressive in this story, it is those who used violence – the security guards, who used it as a first resort, and the woman who assaulted Lynch, and perhaps his wife too.

The real story here is yet another attempt to smear opponents of Israeli massacres as anti-Semites, and the ongoing campaign to destroy Jake Lynch’s career for his principled opposition to how Israel treats the Palestinians.

The facts are all there about what happened – you can watch the videos yourself.

Whether the factual records makes any difference, well, we will soon find out.

Click on this link to read Brull’s article Blaming The Victims: What Really Happened At The Colonel Kemp USyd Protest in full in New Matilda.

Tax and kidnapping Gina Rinehart? Seriously?

Imagine big business revealing the amount of Australian tax it pays and other tax information. It is on the way. Previous Labor government legislation means it comes into force soon.

However the vested interests have waged a rearguard action against these changes and convinced the government that private companies – those not listed on the stock exchange – should be exempt from the requirement to reveal how much tax they pay.

Private company owners told the Abbott government they feared being kidnapped if the public knew how much their private companies were worth and their income. The government fell for it. Yes, seriously. Just to show this is not a joke here is a link to the report by Lenore Taylor in The Guardian on the issue. Read it and weep.

What nonsense. If you believe this kidnap crap, I have a bridge in Sydney I would like to sell you too. I mean, whose interest is it in not to know how little tax James Packer or Gina Rinehart’s private companies pay.

Many countries require companies to publicly detail their tax affairs. There have been no kidnappings.  Surprise, surprise.

Business Review Weekly every year publishes the BRW Rich list of the richest 200 Australians. No kidnappings at all. Surprise, surprise.

Everyone knows Gina Rinehart is seriously rich. No one has attempted to kidnap her for a slice of her wealth. Only her kids are trying to get some of her cornucopia and they are doing it through the courts.

The Abbott government is taking us for mugs. Again.