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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)



The Greens are wiped out in Ireland

Until recently Ireland was the boom economy. The global financial crisis destroyed it.

Unemployment is now officially over 13 percent and people are deserting the country looking for jobs in Europe and elsewhere.

The coalition Government of the bosses’ party Fianna Fáil and the Greens accepted an International Monetary fund bailout of 73 billion pound and the austerity package that went with it. They brutally attacked workers’ jobs, pensions, wages and public services.

On Friday there was a general election. The Fianna Fáil vote fell from 42 percent at the 2007 election to less than 15 in this one. The Greens’ vote fell from just under 5 percent to 2 percent and they lost all their 6 parliamentary representatives.

The radical left – called the United Left Alliance – made significant gains. It won 5 seats.

The newly elected MPs in the Alliance are Richard Boyd Barrett for the People before Profit Alliance, Joan Collins of the People before Profit Alliance, Joe Higgins of the Socialist Party, Clare Daly of the Socialist Party, and Seamus Healy of the Tipperary Unemployed and Works Action Group.

The vote for the Labour Party almost doubled, to just under 20 percent. It is likely they will form a coalition with Fianna Gael. Both parties supported the IMF bailout and the savage austerity program that went with it. 

Sinn Fein won over ten percent and 13 seats. It could be the largest opposition group,assuming that Fianna Fáil goes quiet and supports the new neoliberal coalition of Fianna Gael and Labour in its attacks on workers.

The Irish people rejected neoliberalism in power by election its twin. That’s because the reformist leaders of the Irish trade union movement derailed the strike campaign against austerity last year.  As a result the focus of resistance shifted from the workplaces and the streets to the elections.

However the presence of 5 parliamentarians from the United Left Alliance offers the hope that they can build extra parliamentary resistance to austerity and help workers break the stranglehold in Ireland of the parties of business and the reformists in the trade union movement.

The way to defeat the parties of austerity is to fight back on the streets and in the workplaces, not to cosy up to them.



Comment from marianK
Time March 2, 2011 at 7:24 am

A pity about the Greens, but there should be interesting times ahead for Irish politics.

For the first time, a very organised and determined socialist left-wing has moved into the main political arena. The Sinn Fein, ULA and progressive left-wing elected independents total well over 20 seats – about 1 in 8. Add to that, the election of Gerry Adams – arguably the most demonised statesmen of the era, yet a towering intellect and leader – is bound to stir up the smugness of the 3 majors.

The Irish left have noted the lessons of history, whereby destitute financial climates traditionally spawn far right reactionism. They have been seriously planning and organising this left-wing fightback since things first went belly up about 3 years ago.

So far, a serious right-wing reactionary movement has not materialised. However, as conditions worsen over the next 12 months as the $12 billion in bailout interest alone has to be met, things could get very ugly.

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