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John Passant

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August 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)



More rich bastards rattle their pearls in protest

The Greens are evidently the devil incarnate when it comes to education, mining and building. Or to be more accurate, they are the devil incarnate to rich private schools, mining magnates and building billionaires.

Their ‘outrageous’ plans to redistribute school spending from rich private schools to poor public schools has got the wealthy complaining and warning parents not to vote Green. 

According to Stephen Doherty, the Chief Executive of Christian Schools Australia, speaking on ABC Radio program PM on Wednesday night:

It’s all very well to raise these moral questions about environmental issues but on the questions that matter to Australians about where they can send their kids, whether there’s fair funding, the Greens policies are divisive and would be quite disastrous.

Greens leader Bob Brown reasonably defended the policy as taking from the rich and giving to the poor. But I want to quote from a more remarkable source to defend the Greens – Julia Gillard.

According to Anna Patty in the Sydney Morning Herald in her article Labor counts cash and votes in funding debate:

[In 2000] Gillard challenged the [Howard] government claim that additional funding for independent schools was about providing choice. She said what it was really about was ”creating an education market in which the wealthiest have the most choice”.

What a difference ten years and being Prime Minister makes to truth. Gillard will now keep in place the current funding arrangements which a decade ago she described rightly as flawed. Not least are they flawed because those arrangements reinforce amassed wealth and traditional privilege, ie they continue massive educational inequality.

Here’s Anna Patty quoting the PM in her truthful days:

…we in the Labor Party understand that, if you genuinely want choice, you must support a properly funded government system and a properly funded non-government system with all schools funded on the basis of need.

Gillard’s decision to continue those flawed arrangements is about further entrenching class differences into the school system. It is a capitulation to the rich at the expense of the poor.

But of course that is Gillard’s modus operandi. She capitulated to the miners and is foregoing $14 billion in resource super profits tax as a consequence.

There is a wonderful Sydney Morning Herald video of outraged billionaires protesting  in Perth against the mining tax as then proposed. The rich were rattling their pearls.

Gillard gave them almost all that they wanted, but that wasn’t good enough for some of the miners whose total tax bill might – shock horror – increase two percent in 3 years’ time.

It’s the same story with the big polluters. Labor’s proposed Emissions Trading Scheme was a massive transfer of wealth from working class taxpayer to the big polluters.

Then Rudd and Gillard pulled the plug even on that and promised to do nothing before 2013. Other than, in one of Gillard’s many sleights of hand, to promise a citizens’ assembly on climate change.

There’s a pattern here. Labor backs down to the rich and powerful as of course.

It’s the interests of the rich schools, the rich miners, the big polluters and the other billionaire bludgers whom Gillard and her Labor Party serve.



Comment from Marco
Time August 19, 2010 at 11:18 pm


Well, I believe the rich bastards have plenty reasons to be happy.

Imagine Gillard and the Labs win and please tell me: what on earth is the NBN meant to do? Why is it any more needed than, say, hospital, education, water, sanitation and employment?

I am pretty technologically challenged, I confess. But, to me, this sounds like The Simpsons monorail episode: useless, unnecessary, expensive and ultimately, counter productive. But, above all, completely unexplained.

Then, if Abbott and the Libs win, they will create bonds (subsidised by the Federal Government, through 10% tax exemptions) to finance the cut down NBN.

Those bonds will be sold to the public: so they better sell them at $15, because otherwise, I can’t see how people like me is going to have money left at the end of the fortnight to buy them.

In other words: these bonds will be yet another way to transfer money to the wealthy and the banks, because I suspect even the middle class will have to leverage to acquire the bloody bonds.

Then there’s Abbott’s maternity leave scheme: higher paid mothers (say, lawyers and bankers) will be paid more (because it’s not a social security benefit, but a “work entitlement” and, thus, proportional to their original pays, said Mr. Abbott). For this, there is no means test.

The checkout chick, the tea lady, or the cleaning lady, on some $18 an hour and working part-time, will get less, as the maternity leave payment will be proportional to their pay.

But Abbott has thought of all the pros and cons: to protect female workers (which keeps Mr. Abbott awake at nights), the government will also contribute to the maternity leave pay (said by Mr. Abbott a couple of nights ago, at Lateline).

So we have that employers and government will contribute to the pay, until the levy on employers is removed (Mr. Abbott could not precise when: maybe in a few years, maybe in 10 years), when the government will be left to pay for this by itself, with taxpayers’ money and still without means test.

So, what is it that makes this “work entitlement” (paid by bosses and government) any different from a social security benefit (paid by the government), other that Mr. Abbott’s word (and the lack of means testing, that is), is a mystery to me.

And I would not rule out a rise in taxes (who said GST) to help fund it!

So, if it falls heads, they win; if it falls tails, we lose. And more social wealthfare! Woo hoo!

Comment from dl
Time August 19, 2010 at 11:48 pm

I agree Marco. The NBN hasn’t had proper Cost-benefit analysis applied to it, and carrying a hefty price tag of $42 billion, It’s not nugatory sum of money.

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