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John Passant

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November 2008



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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)



Archive for November, 2008

All change at Obama station?

I put Barack Obama’s victory down to one thing – class.  Working people are scared.  Scared for their jobs.  Scared for their families.  Scared for the future. US workers have had 16 years of rule for the rich from Clinton and Bush.   They’ve had eight years of foreign adventures which are or will be […]


Who will carry the cost of capitalism’s crisis?

Australian capitalism is in trouble. And the bosses want workers to pay. Ed Shann in a recent article (“Rug pulled from under us” Australian Financial Review November 13 page 79) argued that Australia would be severely affected by the global economic crisis.  He said that if the terms of trade fell by 10 per cent […]

Stalinism and the Australian Public Service

Professor Leonie Bronstein is an acclaimed expert in Marxist behavioural analysis in a societal and organisational context. Her speciality is the Australian public service. I spoke to her recently at the National University of Australia and asked her what she was currently doing. “The Prime Minister funded a project for me last year on relational […]

Capitalism: It’s costing us the earth

These are the notes a comrade of mine, Liz Ross from Socialist Alternative, (, did for a talk in November last year.  So it needs a little updating but the general points are timeless. And of course it was written before the current economic crisis which is seeing business urging Government not to introduce an […]

Journalism and truth

The Australian is running a self-righteous truth in journalism campaign over the fact some commentators referred to the infamous G20 phone call as having occurred at a dinner when it was drinks.  Apart from the fact that this is a minor detail, the revelation that George W is an idiot is hardly a surprise to […]


I am preparing a talk on the new imperialism in Africa.  I will base it in part on an article “Oil and Empire: The new scramble for Africa” by Ben Hillier in the October edition of Socialist Alternative (  Anbody have any other suggestions for reading to inform my talk?  Both heavy and more accessible.

PJ O’Rourke admits the Right is a failure

The Australian Financial Review today (13 November) quoted P.J. O’Rourke from a November 8 article in the The Weekly Standard in the US.  P.J. O’Rourke is one of the shock jock writers for the Right in the US, but with quite a good style and turn of phrase.  The article has a scatological joke running […]

Crap Corner – All praise capitalism’s creative destruction!

Janet Albrechtsen (“PM barking up wrong tree” The Australian Wednesday 12 November page 14) says the following about the collapse here in Australia of the nation’s major child care provider ABC Learning Centres and the Prime Minister’s comments about extreme capitalism, and shows us (sort of) the real truth at the heart of capitalism. That business failure, though […]

Wickenby – Does the ATO hide behind spin?

The Australian Financial Review published a letter of mine today (12 November) on the Australian Tax Office and Wickenby, the multi-agency international tax evasion project the ATO leads.  (“ATO hides behind the spin of Wickenby” AFR November 12 page 67.)  The letter refers to an article I wrote for the Public Sector Informant in the Canberra Times on […]

Crap Corner – Cardinal Pell not infallible

Cardinal Pell in his column in this week’s The Sunday Telegraph (“Obama will need all his many talents” November 9 page 88) says the following: As a young man, Obama mixed with some of the wildest from the radical Left, urban terrorists and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, and his financial advisers include those who helped […]