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John Passant

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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)



A real Irish republic

The ‘real’ IRA killed two British policemen the other night.

In the short term the RIRA wants to derail the peace process, a process which has seen Sinn Fein become an integral part of the Northern Ireland Government.

Ultimately the RIRA’s goal is a united Ireland.

Killing coppers won’t get them there.

It will drive the Sinn Fein republicans further into the arms of the British and their allies at Stormont.

It alienates the very people the RIRA supposedly speaks for. It strengthens the British State and will only lead to increased repression of ordinary citizens in Northern Ireland.

 The RIRA’s actions are reformism with a gun. They think they know better than the mass of people the real way forward. They believe the act of a few “heroic” members can show the population the light of salvation and lead them there.


This is a reformism akin to that of the Labor Party because it is based on the idea that the ‘betters’ (rather than the mass of people) can act on our behalf and bring real social change and benefits.

As a reformist grouping, the RIRA is Sinn Fein’s twin. Both have a top down, essentially elitist, approach to politics, except that Sinn Fein has surrendered the guns.   

Neither approach will work.  After ten years of the ‘historic’ peace process Ireland is no closer to being reunited than in 1922.

But there is hope.

Last week in Dublin 120,000 workers demonstrated against the Government’s economic policies. Occupying Waterford Crystal workers led the march.

The peak Irish Trade Union body is canvassing its members for a general strike later this month.

The demands at this stage are economic.  But economics and politics are the double helix of societal life.

 Economic demands spill over into political ones and this process reinforces the economic demands and the political ones.  

Economic issues are at the forefront of workers’ minds all across the island. The killings will see politics also enter sharply into workers’ thoughts.  

Here is the response of the Northern Ireland Trade Union Movement to the murders.

The Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions calls on all workers to show their condemnation at the callous murders of two soldiers in Antrim last Saturday by attending one of the silent protest rallies taking place at:


  1pm, Wednesday, 11 March 2009-03-09  Belfast City Hall L’Derry Guildhall Square Newry Town Hall

  Other venues for silent protest and reflection will be announced.

Peter Bunting, Assistant General Secretary of the ICTU, said: “The horror and shock shown by the people of Northern Ireland in response to the repugnant murders last Saturday must be expressed publicly. Those who long for a society at peace with itself and with others can express their solidarity with that most dignified form of protest – a wall of human silence.   

“We will be sending a message to the violent perpetrators of the atrocity on Massereene that they have nothing to say which is worth listening to, and that we have nothing to say to them until they stop.

“We are inviting all workers and their families to express their abhorrence at these murders and the direct threat to the peace process.

“We must commonly affirm our determination that not a further single worker will be injured, intimidated or murdered by those who seek to derail the Peace Process.

One task should be to link the economic and industrial struggles in the South with those in the North.

This linkage and working and fighting together for a united Ireland and peace, and to defend jobs and living standards across Ireland can lay the basis for a real republic, one where Irish workers of all denominations (and none) run society to satisfy human need.


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