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John Passant

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May 2011
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Keep socialist blog En Passant going - donate now
If you want to keep a blog that makes the arguments every day against the ravages of capitalism going and keeps alive the flame of democracy and community, make a donation to help cover my costs. And of course keep reading the blog. To donate click here. Keep socialist blog En Passant going. More... (4)

Sprouting sh*t for almost nothing
You can prove my 2 ex-comrades wrong by donating to my blog En Passant at BSB: 062914 Account: 1067 5257, the Commonwealth Bank in Tuggeranong, ACT. More... (12)

My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/18-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-g20-meeting-age-of-enttilement-engineers-attack-of-austerity-hardship-on-civilians.mp3 (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. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2014/02/11/john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-2/ (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/4-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-end-of-the-age-of-entitlement-for-the-needy-but-pandering-to-the-lusts-of-the-greedy.mp3 (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
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Sick kids and paying upfront

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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. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2013/12/03/john-passant-australian-national-university-8/ (0)

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Super rich woman smashes the glass ceiling?

Gina Rinehart’s wealth more than doubled last year to over $10 billion. She is now, according to the Business Review Weekly Rich 200, the wealthiest person in Australia. 

It is unlikely working women across Australia were dancing in the streets at the news. The gender pay gap is at least 17 percent and has been growing under Labor.

Gina Rinehart is at the heart of a system that perpetuates that gender pay gap and, as her $10 billion wealth shows, one of its main beneficiaries. She is not going to challenge the very structures of exploitation that result in her being super rich.

The ongoing campaign by Australian Services Union workers in the community sector for equal pay for equal work has won in principle support from Fair Work Australia.

However the size of the increase and its timing are yet to be decided. The Gillard Government has given no guarantee it will increase funding to the community sector if the increase is substantial, as it should be.

If the funding doesn’t materialise then the workers may lose jobs unless they fight.

The wealth of those on the rich list increased 23 percent over the last year, roughly the same increase needed to give community sector workers equal pay for equal work. Rinehart’s increase in wealth – % 5 billion – would pay for the community sector pay increases and have plenty left over for public schools and hospitals, for public transport and investment in renewable energy.

Rinehart’s rise to the top of the super rich tree in Australia does absolutely nothing for poorly paid women workers. It might even hinder them as the stupid idea that you can get to the top if you slog your guts out might seem vaguely plausible to some workers.

And Rinehart’s wealth is of course due solely to her hard work. Oh, and the fact her Dad was a rich miner who died and left all his money to her. These property relations, her ownership of the mines, hide a deeper truth. We do the work and they get the profits.

Rinehart’s riches are built on mining. She is diversifying into the media in anticipation of the China bubble bursting. 4 of the top 5 on the rich list made their lucre from mining.

Labor’s rotten backdown on the resource super profits tax has cost the revenue on average about $10 billion a year, according to Treasury. Others estimate it could be double that.

In the second half of 2010 the underlying half year profit of BHP Billiton was almost$15 billion. Xstrata’s profit last year rose by 75 percent to $7.7 billion.  Rio Tinto’s annual net profit almost tripled to $14.2 billion in 2010.

We as a nation are of course too poor to provide decent public health care, schools, transport and shift to renewable energy. We are ‘too poor’ to do this because they are rich and the gutless ALP won’t really tax them.

Labor’s gutlessness is part of a wider malaise, the disease of class collaboration and the idea that what is good for the boss is good for workers. This sickness has pervaded what passes for the leadership of the the Australian trade union movement for the last 30 years.

The end result has been a massive shift in wealth to capital from labor, a deliberate strategy by all sections of the bourgeoisie and their lapdogs in the labour movement to address declining profit rates. As Labor member of Parliament Andrew Leigh puts it in Mind the gap:

[B]y 2007 the top 1 per cent had 10 per cent of household income, double the share in 1980.

The position for the top 0.1 percent is even starker. Leigh again:

 [B]y 2007, the richest 1/1000th of all Australians again had 4 per cent of household income.

This is but a surface expression of something much deeper going on – a profound redistribution of wealth from workers to bosses.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions is hardly a bastion of radicalism. However according to an ACTU Economic Bulletin last year:

 The profit share of national income is now near the record highs it reached in 2008, while the wages share of income is the lowest since 1964.

There is  a reason for this – the class collaboration of the union leadership. It’s time for workers to fight for real wage increases to end the obscenity of the super rich wallowing in their untaxed billions.

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Comments

Comment from Ross
Time May 26, 2011 at 10:49 pm

She is not part of the super rich John.Bill Gates,Gina Rinehart etc are just the pin up boys/Gals of global distraction.The super rich are the Rockefellers and the Rothschilds who have wealth in the trillions $ .When their names are mentioned,our Govts/Corps go weak at the knees.

Since the inception of the US Federal Reserve in 1913 ,the private banking system has taken possession of the increases in GDP in the USA/Europe and loaned it back to the people as debt.In the USA alone ,they are taking and average of one $ trillion pa.The few have subjugated the many.

It is all now coming to a head in the form of popular rebellion and the threat of global wars.

Comment from Graham Dooley
Time May 27, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Yes tear it all down Comrades, strip the rich of their assets, distribute them equitably back to all others according to their need. Surely people in the street see the rolled gold common sense in getting behind this type of movement. Why won’t they spontaneously join the struggle and put all the elites to the sword? Aren’t they listening? Good God, how selfish of them to get on with their lives. Do they want a picture painted? Aren’t you being clear enough for them? Hmmm, maybe if we had some consensus on definitions perhaps? Like who is rich? Who is not? What needs are worthy of inclusion in the redistribution efforts and which are not? Who decides who gets to say (i) live where they want, (ii) wear what they want, (iii) eat what they want? Hmmm, we need leaders to make these important decisions, yes? But won’t they just become corrupted like all the others? (Bastards). God, this revolutioneering is a bit hard to figure out at the detail level, once you get past all the empty sloganeering. Hey, I think Master Chef’s on …

Comment from John
Time May 27, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Up to your usual standard GD. A belly laugh for this one.

Comment from Ross
Time May 27, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Sir Graham of Pavlov is suffering from too much stimulus reponse yet again.Visions of the wads of easy money has him yet oozing and drooling saliva at the expectation of the ultimate easy ride on the backs of the workers, the real producers of wealth.

The Central Banks.IMF,World Bank and bank of International Settlements produce nothing and take almost everything.

This should be ringing alarm bells around the planet in terms of the perversion of our economies to suit the power of a few.This economic collapse is no accident.Either we stand up and fight or they will grind us into overwhelming poverty.

Comment from Gradool
Time May 27, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Evening gents – irony aside – after a much needed break from this blog I feel refreshed. Good to see old Pass has a sense of humour. I was thinking of a better blog name John, perhaps “en passant vent”? It’s damn catchy I think. Anyway, Ross, you keep your big picture stuff going there old son, I do hope you check Chris Leithner out viz. fractional reserve banking, you are kindred spirits, though I suspect his end game is a little different to yours. OK, back to the footy …

Comment from John
Time May 28, 2011 at 4:43 pm

GD tries to wind me up.

Comment from John
Time May 28, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Gotta love the English language.

Comment from Arthur
Time May 28, 2011 at 8:32 pm

They used to have this equestrian game in Central Asia where they used someone’s severed head as the ‘ball’.
Pity we don’t live in Central Asia so’s we could get back to a decent game of ‘ball’.
G’day Drools.
I reckon Gina would enjoy such a game.
The rich tend to go that way in later life.
Always seemed to have lent a certain ‘frisson’ if the ‘ball’ belonged to someone of ‘rank’.
Reckon you’d be ‘rank’ enough to ‘play the ball’?

Comment from gradool
Time May 29, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Hahaha Artie, your tortured prose reminds me of someone. Hmm, it’ll come to me. In the meantime I’m sure you’ll find ways to amuse yourself.

Comment from Arthur
Time May 29, 2011 at 8:54 pm

The topoc, Doofus Dooley, is glass ceilings.
Women.
Their inordinate power when they break through.
The way things seem to crumble when that happens.
The ultimate destiny of sycophants and toadies.
The unfairness of it all for the disadvantaged.

I merely put out a hook hoping that someone would reply and offer a little input of their own experience or about something they may have read.
Something interesting would have been nice.

Maybe a Women’s Weekly-esque account defaming Gina’s latest soiree.
Or some in-house snippet about whether she makes her financial decisions by playing pin-the-friggin’-tail-on-the-goddamned-donkey by blu-tacking her share portfolio on the wall, blindfolding herself, and going at it with a pin.

Anything would be welcome other than your constant ‘meep, meep, meep’.
You remind me of John Howard.

Comment from Arthur
Time May 29, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Besides which, Drooles, eight lines is hardly ‘tortured prose’.

Comment from John
Time May 29, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Arthur, re your comment: ‘Or some in-house snippet about whether she makes her financial decisions by playing pin-the-friggin’-tail-on-the-goddamned-donkey by blu-tacking her share portfolio on the wall, blindfolding herself, and going at it with a pin.’

The astrologer is leading the field in the Australian Financial Review investment race. Unfortunately the dartboard thrower is coming last, but only just behind the chartist.

Comment from Arthur
Time May 29, 2011 at 10:39 pm

John – Chartist as in technical analyst?
Gut, Alles ist in ordnung.
Danke Gott !

Sorry. I have these fits
Comes from reading schoolboy history.

So you say the astrologer is ahead – even of the dartboard?
Maaaaaa !

May I email you about this tomorrow?
There’s money in this – bound to be!

Comment from John
Time May 30, 2011 at 10:37 am

Arthur, yes Chartist as in technical analyst. The astrologer or dart thrower often leads when the market falls. Off point, it reminds me of a story of the editor in one of Rupert’s London newspapers writing to sack the astrologer. ‘As you would no doubt already know…’ he began.

Comment from Arthur
Time June 1, 2011 at 9:58 pm

That CEO of Rupert’s?
Trying to upstage Churchill, was he?