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John Passant

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June 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)



Even in death, class matters

The rich die differently. Prime Ministers weep for them, extolling their contribution to society.

The poor and working class die alone and forgotten. No politician cries for them.

Refugees risk all and perish at sea. Australian politicians talk about turning the boats back.

5 Australian mining company executives died in a plane crash in Cameroon a few days ago. Australia spent a lot of money on the search and will spend even more retrieving their bodies and bringing them back home. 

Kevin Rudd, voice trembling, told Parliament that ‘our thoughts and our prayers are with all these Australian families and other families at this tragic time. ‘

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott joined the commiserations. He called it a ‘dreadful disaster.’ 

‘All of us in this house feel for their family and friends at this terrible time,” he said.

OK, so we are all terribly upset.

One of those to die was Ken Talbot, a mining magnate worth about $1.2 billion. He was to face criminal charges in August of bribing former Queensland Labor Government Minister Gordon Nuttall. Nuttall is in jail for receiving bribes. 

Talbot’s  death preserves his reputation and his innocence.

Now I am not going to belittle Kevin Rudd for commiserating with the family of Talbot and the other mining magnates.  But why is it just the super rich who get the condolences of our politicians? 

Ever since John Howard introduced the Australian Building and Construction Commission in 2005 deaths on building sites have doubled. In the year before the ABCC was set up there were no deaths on sites in Victoria.  In 2008 there were ten. According to LaborNet:

Deaths in the construction industry increased, from 3.14 per 100,000 workers in 2004 [before the ABCC was set up] to 3.86 in 2005, 5.6 in 2006, 4.48 in 2007 and 4.27 in 2008.

I wonder when Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard will express their regrets for those deaths on site their draconian ABCC  – Labor refuses to abolish it – has possibly contributed to? Never.

In the Labor Party view of the world workers are expendable; bosses are indispensable and god-like.

Rudd Labor rushed to organise a search and rescue mission for the lost mining executives. 

They do nothing for refugees. 12 died at sea this month. Estimates are that up to 170 have drowned trying to come to Australia since Rudd Labor came to power in 2007. 

In the mining industry there are up to twenty or more deaths a year. There are no tears from Kevin Rudd for those workers killed for mining profits.

No apologies, no condolences, no tears, no nothing.

We as a nation would be better off spending our money on safety at work and safe passage for refugees to Australia than wasting it on the likes of Ken Talbot.

Even in death, class matters.


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