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John Passant

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March 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)



Tony Abbott: ironing man?

What irony. Tony Abbott, fresh from slaying the Joyce dragon, has declared himself the Ironman of Australian politics. After cycling 180 kilometres, swimming 3.8 and running 42 the Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition in Australia was moved to say:

John Howard was described as a man of steel by George Bush. Margaret Thatcher was the iron lady of British politics. Why shouldn’t Australian politics have an ironman?

Abbott once described himself as the political love child of Bronwyn Bishop and John Howard (shudder!). Now apparently he has a new Mum. Or maybe he is just a bastard.

Thatcher of course was a neoliberal. She destroyed social cohesion in Britain, cut spending on public hospitals and education, attacked unions and ‘freed’ the economy by privatising large swathes of it and de-regulating controls over rampant capital. 

She was also a warmonger, winning an election  in1983 on the back of dead British boys fighting over a piece of rock off Argentina and with a split in the Labour Party rendering it even more ineffective. 

She was so hated her own party eventually replaced her as Prime Minister. She paved the way for a supposedly softer kinder neoliberalism in the form of Blair and Brown’s New Labour.

So is that Abbott’s real role model? Apparently. 

Abbott was of course an enthusiastic supporter of the anti-worker WorkChoices, a major contributor to Howard’s loss in 2007.  He still does. Thus he said in December last year:

The phrase WorkChoices is dead. No one will mention it again. But we do need to have a free and flexible economy.

A renamed WorkChoices (Labor has stolen Fair Work Australia) is Abbott’s aim. He wants to emulate his conservative warrior heroes and become part of the pantheon of profit proselytisers.

Abbot has form. He backed the dogs and thugs attacking the Maritime workers (a fight the unions won in the courts but lost in the ports).   He supported the GST, which taxes the poor and working class more than it taxes the rich as a percentage of income. He banned the abortifacient RU 486.

Yet there is a contradiction at the heart of Abbott. His first political mentor was Bob Santamaria, the catholic reactionary who hated industrial capitalism for the destruction it wreaked on working people.  Santamaria wanted a return to some sort of imagined and imaginary idyllic feudalism.

Such visions cannot be in the purview of the Liberal Party leader. Such a person is after all the champion of big business.

Hence Abbott’s references to Bush, Howard and Thatcher. ‘I am really one of you’ he seems to be saying to the company boards across Australia. ‘I will attack workers mercilessly for your profits, just as Bush, Thatcher and Howard did.’

And of course the reference to Ironman, he hopes, will reinforce in the minds of some workers Abbott’s (fake) good bloke, fair dinkum qualities.  ‘I am just one of you too.’

He is attempting to be all things to all men. But what about women?  Well it was Abbott who said:

What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that if they get it done commercially it’s going to go up in price, and their own power bills, when they switch the iron on, are going to go up.

After he made the comment last month, and was fiercely criticised for his sexist views, Abbott learnt to iron.

Now that is a good image. Tony Abbott, ironing man. Too bad it won’t happen.



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Time March 29, 2010 at 9:44 pm

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Comment from thistler
Time March 29, 2010 at 11:20 pm

he IS Ironing Man:

We have the evidence!

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Time March 30, 2010 at 1:59 am

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Comment from peter piper
Time March 30, 2010 at 10:58 am

would like to see that pasty faced little rudd put a pair of trainers on, he would probably faint with exhaustion. Thatcher won elections because the people voted for her…I believe that is called democracy.

Comment from N.F.Thom
Time March 30, 2010 at 11:06 am

Years ago we would refer to some people as looking like an empty V.W., with the doors open. Remind you of anyone?

Comment from Mayor Redneck
Time April 2, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Peter Piper,

Nah, what you’d love to see is your grandkids inflicted with the Rodent Party’s SerfChoices.

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