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John Passant

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October 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)



Abortion: Anna Bligh is the guilty one

A Cairns jury has found 21 year old Tegan Leach not guilty of procuring an abortion.  While this is a victory for Tegan and all those who supported her, the rotten law criminalising abortion in Queensland under which she was charged is still there.

Her 23 year old partner, Sergei Brennan, was found not guilty of assisting her to procure an abortion. 

The then nineteen year old Tegan took some smuggled-in RU 486 and another abortifacient to end her eight week pregnancy. 

The Labor Government’s police force in Queensland charged her with procuring an abortion.

Anna Bligh is Queensland’s premier.  She is the first woman to become premier of a State by winning an election.

Many women throughout Australia felt joy at her victory.  They mistook gender for politics.

Bligh did nothing to prevent the 2 year nightmare for Tegan and for women in Queensland.

One of the consequences of the case was that providers stopped abortions because the law as it stood possibly criminalised their activities. Women began travelling interstate for safe abortions.

Bligh amended the criminal law, not to de-criminalise abortion, but to restore the status quo to allow abortions in certain limited circumstances. Tegan was not protected by the amendments.

The nominally pro-choice Premier, Anna Bligh, refused to decriminalise abortion because to do so would have split the Government.  Her Deputy, Paul Lucas, is virulently anti-choice.

The majority of Australians clearly support abortion, yet their representatives refuse to express that view by de-criminalising abortion. So much for democracy.

This case was clearly an attack on abortion rights. 

The  Queensland ALP Conference certainly thought so. They passed a motion demanding that the crime of procuring abortion be abolished. The Blighborg ignored them.

Obviously ALP members are just for handing out how to vote cards, and running raffles (and attending boring soporific meetings).  They certainly aren’t there for influencing let alone determining policy.

The reactionaries in the ALP and the Conservative parties will use any opportunity to roll back progressive gains of the last 30 years.  Bligh is part of that reactionary push to criminalise abortion and force women into backyard abortions.

It is no accident she also wants to privatise many state assets and again will do so contrary to ALP policy.

The struggle for a just world is ongoing when the dictatorship of capital and its puppets in Parliament run things rather than ordinary working people.

Only a concerted push from below, organised by pro-abortion activists and mobilising significant sections of society will be able to pressure Bligh to repeal this odious law.

To all those who want to change the world, join us in the struggle from below for real change, a struggle against Labor in power. 

This is a harder way, granted, but the only real route to bringing about fundamental change, or  as is now obvious, real abortion reform.

Short of revolution, how can we win abortion rights? 

The gains of the past that women won through mass radical action give us a pointer.  In those days there was a women’s liberation movement.

Much is still needed – free and accessible child care, equal wages, long term fully paid maternity leave, free contraception, abortion on demand… 

Electing the likes of nominal pro-choice Queensland premier Anna Bligh or having Julia Gillard as Prime Minister isn’t going to deliver  any of that.

Only a mass movement from below can force the do-nothings from Labor to legalise abortion.



Comment from A NON FARMER
Time October 16, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Second try; first didn’t go ‘home’.

Hey John,
I’m anti-abortion. Its easy for me to be anti-abortion since I’m a bloke.
I also happen to be pro-choice. Its easy for me to be pro-choice ‘cos unlike Madam Bligh, that disreputable Mr. Bean lookalike of an AG of hers, and the qld police farce, I don’t go about stuffing with people’s lives.

Absolutely everything you’ve said is laudable and supportive of Tegan and Sergei but completely misses the point.

For those of you fortunate enough to live elsewhere let me explain how queensland operates.
Firstly, with regard to the qld criminal code and its implications to the treatment of Tegan and Sergei –
That code was compiled by Samuel Griffith who relied upon (plagiarised) various sources but mainly the Italian criminal code.
While reasonably progressive for its day the document can now be argued as being past its use-by-date with respect to matters these days usually considered to be victimless crimes.
That situation is compounded by the progression toward rolling the traditional Common Law over to some pretense of Civil Law but without implementing any of the customary features of the Civil code and practice.
In other words an inquisitorial system operated in an adversarial environment – a system where only those somehow backed by money, power, or influence win.

Meanwhile queensland, lacking a house of review, finds it inordinately difficult to curb the vexatious exercise of arbitrary power by supposedly ‘authorised agents’, and those within the inner circle, of monocameral government.

Without writing a treatise the possible future scenarios for Tegan and Sergei are much the same as continue for thousands of other Queenslanders vainly trusting upon an utterly compromised governance.

At this stage they appear to have been granted a ‘win’ by an insightful jury.
In fact their punishment will be years of debt and looming over their heads, the ongoing possibility that at any time an overzealous AG could declaim a retrial.

Perhaps it is time queensland took a leaf out of the logbook of the Bounty.

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