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John Passant

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March 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)



Labor and a better state in New South Wales

The Labor government in New South Wales faces a wipe out at the State election on 26 March. The polls consistently show its support in the 20s. On a two party preferred it has 36% of the vote compared to the Conservative Opposition on 64%.

Unions New South Wales is running a so-called better state campaign to scare workers into voting Labor.

Their advertisement asks whether the almost certainly incoming O’Farrell Liberal National Government will attack public services, cut public service jobs, sell off public assets and undermine workers’ rights.

‘Don’t risk it’ is their message to workers across the State.

There’s just one problem. Those are the same questions Unions New South Wales should also be asking of the Labor Government.

This is a government who for the last 16 years has attacked public services like health, education and transport, which has squeezed the pay and the number of public servants, which has privatised important public assets and only recently succeeded in privatising electricity generation against the clear wishes of the majority of its own party and the people of the state, and for a rotten price. 

As for workers’ rights, how many building workers died on site in New South Wales last year? Why doesn’t the NSW Labor Government accept and implement a policy of 1 nurse for every 4 hospital patients like Victoria has? Why is it that its teachers are overworked and underpaid?  How is it that public transport in Sydney is so bad? Why are the roads across New South Wales a disgrace?

Labor in New South Wales is the classic example of the failure of neoliberalism. While the Liberals and Nationals will attack jobs and services, it is Labor which has made these anti-working class policies respectable.

Labor has laid the groundwork for the Conservatives’ even more sustained attacks on working people that will come. O’Farrell for example is surrounding himself with advisers whose track record in power has been to brutally attack jobs and services.

Unions New South Wales have been at the forefront of supporting this rotten neoliberal Labor government. Instead of fighting for their members they have, except over electricity privatisation, rolled over and played dead.

The unions’ failure to fight Labor’s attacks has demoralised and confused ordinary members and given oxygen to the neoliberals on both ‘sides’ of politics. This demoralisation and confusion has seen workers desert Labor.

The Greens had initially picked up a little of the swing against Labor but this looks to have dissipated too, even though the Greens are likely to win Balmain.  The overwhelming beneficiary of the swing against Labor has been the Conservatives.  

The O”Farrell Government won’t be able to address the health, education and transport crises in New South Wales either. It is trapped in the same worldview as Labor – let the market rule, cut workers’ conditions and wages, and slash spending on public services.

When Labor disappears into the political wilderness in New South Wales in 8 days, there will be no Moses to lead it to the promised land. The Party is lost in the aridness of neoliberalism.

The real alternative to Labor and the Liberals is not ticking one box over the other on election day but organising in the workplace to fight against the bosses for better wages and conditions and public services. This is just the thing Unions New South Wales won’t do.

It is up to ordinary union members to begin the task of reclaiming and rebuilding their unions as fighting organisations to defeat the forthcoming attacks of O’Farrell and in doing that insulate themselves from the future attacks of O’Farrell’s twins in the Labor Party.



Comment from Tony
Time March 18, 2011 at 6:37 pm

The home of “left wing media bias”, the ABC, are running a poll: “Are The Greens ‘extreme’?”, simple YES or NO answer. At the time of viewing, 53% of people thought they were.

A now centre left environment and social justice party that has continued to drift to the right for 10 years and the tag “extreme” sticks. For most of their existence the Greens have done a pretty honest job of issue advocacy and are by no means extreme. It’s amazing how much misinformed preconceptions can stick.

However, the Greens don’t help their cause when they are hypersensitive to criticism and get aggressive with people that don’t agree with 100% of what their advocating. I’ve noticed Greens advocates rarely open a dialogue to explore why their views are being challenged. This was the first trait which put me off the Greens. In my opinion, their drift into neoliberalism came with the demise of the Democrats and the emergence of the inner urban brown-Greens.

Clearly this reputation as “extreme” will continue to haunt the Greens in the NSW election.

It suggests most people form opinions from glancing through media opinion and seldom seek information beyond that, even with the ease of access to information using the internet. This has negative implications for other currents of the left.

Comment from Ross
Time March 19, 2011 at 5:37 am

The way in which we get better conditions and pay John,is to stop this country bleeding to death via the banking system.Bring back the Govt banks which used to create money from nothing to build infrstructure and pay public servants.Now this new money for our productivity is created as debt by the private banking system. The present system is dysfunctional and insane.

In the USA the Fed a private group of banks have created $2 trillion from nothing in the last 2 yrs,loaned it to the US people with interest and bailed out their mates.

The result is that the US currency is losing value and money is not reaching the real economy,hence rising unemployment.The US people are paying to have money stolen from them in the form of inflation.It cannot get any worse!

End the fractional reserve system of lending now.Some of these banks in the USA had leverage of for every $ they could create in their computers $330 from nothing and loan it our at interest.

If we counterfeit we go to gaol.

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