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John Passant

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August 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)



Of public toilets, speeding cars and revolution

Evidently the people of Sydney don’t go to the toilet.

That’s the only conclusion I can draw from the lack of public conveniences in the city.

Even the train stations didn’t have loos (or at least none I could easily find).

At first I thought the lack of public toilets was a plot to force us to use those in retail outlets. 

I assume the reasoning was that we would spend money in the particular shop or arcade. 

But the admittedly small number of malls and shopping centres I visited didn’t have loos I could readily find either.

Maybe some cost benefit guru has done the figures and concluded that the cost of stocking and cleaning store or mall toilets is greater than the extra money passing traffic spends. 

So no toilets.

And maybe Sydneysiders are too busy to go to the loo.

Sydney is in a hurry.  Apparently speed signs are minimums for many drivers.

Why is this? 

Let’s start with the commodification of human labour.

‘Time is money’ reflects a real aspect of life under capitalism.

So the less time we spend on travel the more time we can work for the boss and provide him or her with extra profit.

But that doesn’t explain why we are busier now than say a decade or a generation ago. 

Maybe the falling rate of profit helps us understand this change.

Certainly for the  last ten years or so the profit rate in Australia has been stagnant.

One way for bosses to address the systemic tendency of the rate of profit to fall is to make us work longer, harder and faster. And for less.

The  working day has increased in Australia so much that we now work the second longest hours of any developed country.

Couple this with the rapid increase in part-time work during the great recession and the suspicion must be that in fact we are now being paid part time wages to work more than full time hours.

At work we are like hamsters on the wheel – we are running faster to stay in the same place.

Yet since much of our day is on the treadmill of work, we can’t suddenly slow down when we get off.

So we rush everywhere.

Sydney is the brain and nerve centre of much of Australian capitalism.

So this frenetic inhuman pace , of production ruling humanity, is reflected more acutely in Sydneysiders’ lives than those in other cities.

The solution seems clear doesn’t it? 

Only a revolution – where human need comes first – can build more public toilets and slow people down.


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