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John Passant

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June 2011
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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
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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)



Saturday’s socialist speak out

Liberal Premier Barry O’Farrell has banned unions from negotiating public sector wages and conditions in New South Wales.

This is an attempt to use public sector workers as a benchmark to drive down all wages and conditions. It removes any role for the traditional agents of bargaining between labour and capital, the trade union bureaucracy.

This meas they might actually lead a real fight against the laws. We shall see.

Labor Party Senator John Faulkner has pleaded for more rank and file influence in the Labor Party. The party listens more to people who are not members than to people who are.

It is too focus group and poll driven he argued in light of focus groups showing extreme disaffection with the Labor Government and polls showing support for the Labor Government at round 33 percent. And the Party doesn’t have many activist members. (Hint John, many of them are now in the Greens.) 

The carbon tax continues to dog the Gillard Government with polls showing up to 60 percent of Australians oppose it. That is one poll I hope the Labor Party Government listens to. It won’t. It wants to give the impression of doing something about greenhouse gas emissions without actually doing anything real. And the carbon tax mechanism is one that will over time impose a greater and greater burden on workers as consumers.

Another dead soldier came back from Afghanistan. That’s 27 over the last 9 years, and 3 in the last fortnight. All these soldier deaths and those of countless Afghan civilians for the US alliance in an unwinnable war. Troops out now.

Internationally the empire that is the United States and its acolytes in Israel and Europe and the rest of the globe continued to kill civilians.

The US is developing a strategy to contain the Arab revolutions, a strategy based on Saudi Arabian repression in Bahrain, softly softly on Syria, support for the army dictatorship in Egypt and getting European NATO members to destroy the Gaddafi regime. Victory to the Arab revolutions against their local dictators and US imperialism.

On a personal note some sections of the readership of reddit socialism are trying to ban me from posting on the site.  I will be writing about this attempted censorship in a post soon. Or maybe not. Shouldn’t sweat the small stuff really.

To have your say or see what others are saying hit the comments button.



Comment from paul walter
Time June 13, 2011 at 1:25 am

Its amazing how “touchy” many “progressive” organisation get when certain issues are raised, also the left has often been its own worst enemy (thinks back to the Moratoriums, with various factions and sub-factions of Trots, Maoists, Anarchists, counterculture and Stalinists, New Left and Socdems used to exhaust themselves in constant vituperation between themselves, such that issues like Cambodia and Vietnam fell into neglect.
And, of course underpinning that edgy atmosphere, always was the thought that a government scab might be about, reporting you back to special branch, Commonwealth police or ASIO, or whoever other institutional fascists might or might not have been sloping around digging dirt.

Comment from Gavin R. Putland
Time June 13, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Want a campaign to make payroll tax more progressive by introducing a per-employee threshold, thereby exempting entry-level jobs? If so, see .

Comment from John
Time June 13, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Payroll tax is essentially a value added tax like a GST.

Comment from Gavin R. Putland
Time June 14, 2011 at 7:24 am

More precisely, a value-added tax at a given rate is equivalent to a payroll tax at that rate PLUS a profit tax at that rate, except that a value-added tax is “border-adjusted” so as to exempt exports and deny input credits for imports.

For “payroll tax” you can substitute “PAYE income tax” provided that the “rate” is calculated on a tax-exclusive base rather than a tax-inclusive base.