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John Passant

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January 2009



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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)



France’s Black Thursday strike shows the way forward

I have one word to say to the namby pambies from the Australian Council of Trade Unions: France.

On Thursday millions of French workers went on strike against President Sarkozy’s pro-capitalist and anti-worker economic crisis policies.

The strikes affected transport, education and health services. The Confédération Générale des Travailleurs, one of the main trade union groups, said that over two and a half million workers had joined demonstrations around the country. In Paris there were over 300,000 demonstrators.

Three-quarters of the population support the protests.  A look at some of the banners shows that French workers have a clear class understanding of the economic crisis.  According to Agence France Presse:

“It’s not up to workers to pay for the bankers,” read one banner. “The bosses caused the crisis, let them pay for it!” said another, while a third declared: “Hands off our public services!”

French workers are demanding state action against lay-offs, a boost to low wages and an end to public sector cutbacks.

And here in Australia?  The ACTU disgracefully accepts the need to cut wages and hours.  Let’s hope the French disease begins to infect Australian workers and sees them take industrial action to defend jobs, living standards and public services despite what the Council of Traitors wants.

The ACTU is not irrelevant; it is a conservatising influence captured by the trickle down theory that says what’s good for the boss and profit is good for workers.  The ACTU is the lap dog of Australian capital and the HowRudd Government and will do absolutely nothing (other than mouth off at useless job summits) about defending jobs, wages and services. It is a barrier to workers organising.

Let’s follow the French and, in our own unions and independently of the ACTU, organise a  Black Thursday across the country in defence of jobs, wages and services.



Comment from Bette Bryan
Time January 31, 2009 at 2:19 am

Like most Australians I am uncomfortable about the US military adventure in Afghanistan; but in honesty I wonder how much of the discomfort has to do with its high cost, in lives and money, and how much with its moral legitimacy. I do not believe that the Afghans have a moral edge over us, nor do I believe that great powers can always avoid using their power. I am for our intervention if it does some good — specifically, if it enables the people of Afghanistan to seek their own political future. It is absurd to suggest that a village in the grip of guerrillas has freely chosen, or that we owe it to history to bow before a wave of the future engineered by terrorists. The crying need is for genuine elections whereby the Afghans can express their will. If their will is for al Queida, we should pick up our chips and leave. Until such a will is expressed, and as long as no willingness to negotiate is shown by the other side, I do not see that we can abdicate our burdensome position in Iraq.

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