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John Passant

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February 2010



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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)



Power to the people?

The Liberals have hit upon a new slogan. Power to the people.

Don’t laugh. Tony Abbott is arguing for local boards to control hospitals in New South Wales and Queensland, rather than the States.

The rhetoric he uses is interesting. Abbott is starting to talk about people power. Here’s part of what he said at a door stop at an independent public school in Western Australia:

The Australian people are sensible, intelligent people who know what is in their own best interests and that’s why people power in hospitals makes sense just as here in the west people power in schools is making sense.

This from the man who as Health Minister denied women the right to RU 486.

This from the man who as a Minister in the Howard Government supported the pro-bosses WorkChoices legislation to the hilt.

This from the man who supported armed thugs, dogs and scabs on the ports to try to smash the maritime union.

This from the man who wants to turn refugee boats back out to sea.

Of course his people power is all lies.

On hospitals for example it is all about giving power to the entrenched money interests like specialist doctors and the managerial class running the hospital.

Even if it were a genuine attempt at grass roots democracy, power without money just means the anger for poorly funded and performing hospitals (and schools) will be directed at the local operatives rather than the Commonwealth Government and its control of the purse.

Abbott’s people power call will resonate with many people. Why?

Because Labor has been such an anti-people government. Not much has changed since Rudd took office.

In fact as I have argued elsewhere on this blog, the defining characteristic of Rudd Labor is its continuity with the Liberal Government of John Howard.

From overseas wars to climate change snake oil and on to the Northern Territory intervention and WorkChoices Lite, people don’t so much have a sense of change as one of disquiet.

And when they look at Labor’s lack of action on schools and hospitals the disquiet becomes anger. 

Is it any wonder some might be tempted by Abbott’s siren song of people power when he sings it more sweetly than Labor?


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