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John Passant

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February 2011



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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)



Revolutions in the Middle East – Saturday’s socialist speak out

The magnificent revolutions in the Middle East are an inspiration to us all. They promise a better life for the repressed of the region. They challenge the US backed and other dictatorships. The people are rising up demanding food and freedom, jobs and justice. Will the masses defeat their tyrants? What role will the working class and parties of the left play, if any? Is this the beginning of the end for US control of the region and American imperialism itself? Hit the comments button to have your say.



Comment from Magpie
Time February 5, 2011 at 11:26 am

Well, Johnny boy, I think we are being unfair here.

No one has mentioned the role the IMF and the World Bank played in this story. Fortunately, some people have dug deep in this:

World Bank and Egypt

IMF and Egypt

As you can see, Egypt may just be another capitalist patient electrocuted by the IMF-World Bank (electro)-shock therapies.

And not only that! Thanks to the link below, I remembered something I was vaguely aware of, but had forgotten: Prez Bush promoted the US housing fiasco (inspired by Baroness Thatcher’s ownership society BS), as a way of enhancing right wing power in the US.

You’ve gotta love the greedy, immoral, moronic bastards!

Comment from Ross
Time February 5, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Magpie,It is not only the IMF and world Bank,it is also their own banking system which pays a dividend via the fractional reserve system of banking to the US Federal Reserve and Bank of International Settlements.They constantly milk countries and keep them in perpetual debt slavery.

Comment from Magpie
Time February 6, 2011 at 12:08 pm


You might find this piece by BBC’s Paul Mason very interesting:

Twenty reasons why it’s kicking off everywhere

Comment from John
Time February 6, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Good links Magpie. I think I did mention neoliberalism in one post but not in any detail. Yes, this is objectively a revolt against neoliberalism.

Comment from Walter
Time February 6, 2011 at 6:49 pm

John, don’t you find it interesting that there is massive unrest and social upheaval in Tunisia and Egypt, Jordan and Syria are trying to quell dissent; Yemen is simmering away, Iran is in lockdown and Saudi Arabia has no opposition to rise up.

Yet in only one country is there no rioting for democracy – Israel. Perhaps the 1.5 million Arabs who vote and have elected members and prefer that to Hamas (who ban and kill trade unionist, femonists and social progrssives) recognise the vakue in multi-party electoral systems.

The reality is that there is only one multi-party democracy in the middle-east, and not surprisingly, it is not about to boil over because of corruption, poverty etc.

And it is not just because the US aids Israel – when I pointed out that the US gives $1 billion to Egypt, I was attacked for not saying this didn’t go on weapons.

Comment from Calligula
Time February 6, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Basic logic flaw happening again there Walt –
If Israel is so great ‘cos It’s a democracy with a few parties fighting over ‘who controls what, this week’ –
And if that is the vaunted democracy –
Then what is wrong with the populace of those other nation states you mention wanting to establish something similar?

Or have they become wise to the fact that the same faceless buggers financing an aspect of Israeli policy are also buying the same service from surrounding nations.

Standard operating procedures of Empire –
Divide and conquer
Keep the peasantry uneducated and busy
Keep the middle class busy with ‘good works’ and fiddling their tax
Keep the oligarchy busy with intrigues so that they can be arrested at any moment
Keep the satraps of client states flush with money and perks
Ensure that the satraps can afford to purchase ‘private police’
Never reveal true intentions (‘need to know’ only)
Never put in writing how all the above is managed

By being the focus point for all this in the ME – Israel is denying the first basis for its existence (remember the holocaust).
For the first time in well over six decades we have a chance that the money and resources wasted on this sorry game can be diverted elsewhere.
That chance deserves our support.

Comment from Walter
Time February 6, 2011 at 8:16 pm

I don’t disagree Calligula – they all deserve the opportunity to create free and open societies. My point was simply that the country some call a puppet or aircarft carrier of the US is in fact not experiencing the same social uprsinings and there is a reason for that.

I was in Israel, Egypt and Jordan for work a few years back when the disengagement from Gaza occured, and there was not one death in Israel as the troops forcefully took their own citizens from Gaza and handed it back to the Palestinains. Quite a feat – reminded me of the amazing scenes I saw (on TV) in South Africa when Mandella took the ANC to power with little violence, or the Orange Movement etc.

So I am not at odds with what you say; I just like to highlight the the USA and us here in Oz are not all evil capitalist imperial bastards and that our systems and way of governance has many praiseworthy aspects – such as free assoication, trade unions, strikes, good pay, choice, lots of goods, rugby league, women’s rights, equality before the law, fair work practices and so on.

And yes, lot’s of consumer goods that my good socialist friends mysteriously seem to purchase!

Comment from John
Time February 6, 2011 at 8:58 pm

And Israel’s freedoms are built on the enslavement of the surrounding populations, hence their support for Mubarak. It is the classic colonial settler state, like South Africa and Australia. Our current freedoms Walter were won by struggle against capital, just as will be the case in Egypt, and eventually Palestine. Arab democracy threatens US imperialism, hence its scrambling for a new dictator to replace the old one. Omar Suleiman of course tortured Australian citizen Mamdouh Habib.

Did you read any of my article on America’s main export being tyranny? Maybe the US support for dictators around the world might make you think again about its sincerity? Lift the scales from your eyes?

Comment from Calligula
Time February 6, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Walter –
In the midst of all this bickering there has to be a few boulders of truth.
But throw out rugby league.

I prefer rifle shooting (at targets only) and gliding – both egocentric and individual pastimes, I regret to say.

I tell you what.
I wouldn’t mind betting me saying that reveals some of my makeup that condemns me as being far from a good collectivist.

I only mention this by way of seeking out what makes us all different – causes the bickering when essentially we seen to agree about so much but from different points of the compass.

F’r instance – you mentioned western consumer goods bought by bolshies – when I can tell you for a fact that ‘capitalist flunkies’ here, in the US and everywhere are paying top dollar for a whole range of superbly crafted kit from nations that were once behind the Iron Curtain.
Brilliant stuff. They can’t get enough of it.

Meanwhile look in our dime stores here.
You couldn’t buy the raw materials at the price the finished product is selling for here.
She’s economic warfare and China is winning the engagement.

Look; here first is my advice.
See what’s actually happening and think about what this disparity is doing to livelihoods, occupations and vocations here (stuff jobs – jobs are a nothing – boring unhealthy and soul destroying).
Now if you can accept that – that our people should have a ‘quality of life’ – then think about those who might be our allies – not in conflict but in accord.

Could it just possibly be that those people there in Northern Africa and the Levant have had enough of crappy goods and services – being told to go boil their heads when they attempt to complain.

How would you feel if you couldn’t even afford to buy something crappy enough to complain about?
Mightn’t it be that they’re pissed off about the same things in life that has us hitting the keyboards.

HooooRaaah ! But now they’re even being denied hitting the keyboards?

Mightn’t you accept that these Wily Oriental Gentlemen who, some of whom, might trace their ancestors back to the Pharaohs, have a stake in wellbeing?
On my part I’d like the good ol’ US of A to get its arse into being preoccupied with what it once professed but never exercised.

Comment from Walter
Time February 7, 2011 at 5:48 am

“How would you feel if you couldn’t even afford to buy something crappy enough to complain about?”

That’s such a great line it deserves repeating. Nicely put mate. Well said.

John, yes I may be blinkered, having been educated in North America I find what we see/read/hear from afar is not the same as what many within think.

It’s like blaming all Australians for John Howard and Pauline Hanson and the genocide and white Aust policy.

All true but not necessarily representative of us all.

Comment from Calligula
Time February 7, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Aha Walter –
By the way – when I call you Walt – do you remember Bob Newhart?
One of my favourites was his interview with Sir Walter Raleigh about how to smoke a cheroot.
“Okay Walt – you put it in your mouth (the cheroot) –
Then whattya do, Walt?
Take a coal and light it? Riiiiight, Walt.
Then whatya do? Inhale?
Okay Walt, (skeptical)whateverrrr”– etc..
I mean no offence whatsoever to you but it will not go away from my mind.

Back to business –
Were you blinkered having being educated in North Am?
Is what you saw/ read/ heard while being educated different from education elsewhere and do you have a basis to make out the difference?

Howard and Hansen. Open the book and one was on that page and one on the other.
They were both borrowing sentiment to forward their politics but one was genuine while the other was a charlatan opportunist.
Hansen wanted to harness conservatism towards an impossible ideal.
The other wanted to be prime minister at any cost.
That cost was war and the destruction of our crumbling social contract.
History will be kind to one and utterly condemn the other once the dust has settled.
Lazarus Rising – f’r chrissakes!
Not necessarily representative?
Doesn’t have to be.

I’ve come to realise it’s all too short.
Years of waiting about for some progress and the odd political coup (which we seem to manage so gutlessly and amicably) and the turnout is all the same.

For what it’s worth I love hearing that poor plucky little lady in NSW.
Bit of a seppo isn’t she. Reminds me of Blackadder’s Queen Elisabeth1 when I hear her voice.
But what chance does she have running herd on that mob of useless dropkicks that accidentally won the big raffle into her parliament.
Basically Walter, I don’t care if you have spare cash aplenty or where you were educated.
All I’d like to see is some of us someday able to put together an administration that works equitably for every man (and woman) jack of us.
Ah. I can hear you smiling.
You agree then?

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