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John Passant

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April 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)



Lock Rudd up in the Curtin concentration camp

Almost everything this Rudd Labor Government does is reprehensible to me. There is not a shred of human decency in this pack of Labor political criminals parading as ‘my’ Government.

From its dirty war in Afghanistan where Australian troops execute innocent Afghans to its Workchoices Lite threat to jail building workers and attack teachers, this Labor Party in power is as disgusting as the Howard Government.

Nowhere is Labor’s cesspit politics clearer than in its treatment of asylum seekers. A few boats turn up in Australian waters and the Government freezes asylum applications from Afghans and Sri Lankans and lies that the situation in those countries is improving to justify this inhuman act.

Australia’s current concentration camp for refugees is Christmas island. It is full.

So the Rudd Government is now going to lock up hundreds of innocent people in a re-opened Curtin Detention Centre.

When this Centre closed it was called a hell hole. Torture, lip stitching, riots, suicides, self-harm. Now Labor will light these fires again. Why?

Rudd and his racist crew are getting ready for an election. They want to neutralise the ‘refugee’  issue as a possible vote changer.

So the Labor Party has changed its refugee policies from a silent dog whistle to a loud shrill one.

Pakistan, Iran, Chad, Jordan and Syria are home to millions of refugees. A few thousand come to Australia and it is the end of civilisation as we know it.

Among developed countries Australia has one of the lowest refugee rates; much much lower than the UK, Germany or Norway for example.

Our refugee trends follow global trends. A tougher approach won’t deter the few thousand fleeing war, rape and genocide to get here.

As Rick Kuhn and Tom Bramble argue in Labor’s racist record on refugees:

For the past 35 years, Labor’s words and deeds, both in office and in opposition, have contributed significantly to racist hostility towards asylum seekers, and Labor’s current policies are just the latest in a long line of attempts to fish for votes in this cesspit of racism that it itself has helped to foster.

Real leadership would fight for refugees and make the arguments in favour of those fleeing war to the Australian people (much as Malcolm Fraser did over Vietnamese refugees in the late 70s).

It was the ALP Government under Keating which introduced mandatory detention in 1992.  Abolish it and let asylum seekers live in the community with a full range of services. It was not a problem prior to 1992. It won’t be a problem now.

Labor has chosen to side with the white thread of racism that runs through our body politic. It is no accident nazis and supremacists have attempted to organise anti-immigrant and ‘white pride’ rallies in the last few weeks as a consequence of Labor’s attacks on asylum seekers.

What is to be done?  The forces on the the Left are small. The Greens have huffed and puffed but called no demonstrations and have themselves contributed to the race to the bottom of the sewer with their call to cut skilled immigration.

This means the left and other activists must organise independently of the major parties to build demonstrations around Australia.

Voting out Lindsay Tanner, Anthony Albanese and Tanya Plibersek in their inner-City electorates is also a possibility.

But Labor is prepared to sacrifice these ‘Left’ ministers for supposedly retaining a swathe of other seats. In any event having Greens in Parliament won’t stop the concentration camps now or into the foreseeable future.

Only a mobilised minority, prepared to take on the government with militant demonstrations for basic human rights and decency for refugees, can win freedom for those Labor will lock up.  Such a campaign must eventually consider, if it garners sufficient people angry with Rudd’s disgraceful and racist actions, widespread civil disobedience to make the country ungovernable.

If we were to couple that with other demands – troops out of Afghanistan, real action on climate change – then we could shift the whole debate back in favour of our views.  The Greens could give the lead, but won’t.

A pipe dream? Perhaps.  But when the anti-Vietnam war demonstrations started we were a tiny minority. We built that into a majority through years of escalating protests and of course, on the back of the heroic resistance of the Vietnamese to the invaders.

We can do the same thing again.

If the Greens gave the call, that would speed up the process. But this is unlikely because that would contradict their electoral strategy of moving to the centre and not frightening doctors’ wives.

If the choice is between a Toorak toff and an asylum seeker, I’m with the refugees. We workers have more in common with them than we have with Rudd and his Government. 

Let’s fight together for their freedom.

Readers might also like to have a look at ‘Let the asylum seekers into Australia’ published almost 6 months ago.



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