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John Passant

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June 2011
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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)



Plebiscites or real democracy?

Tony Abbott wants a plebiscite on the carbon tax. Of course this is just a cheap political ploy to wedge Labor since polls show about 60 percent of Australians oppose a carbon tax.

I might want a plebiscite on bringing the troops home, and on gay marriage. Polls show a majority support both.

I too might want a plebiscite on equal pay for equal work and on taxing the rich. Both might well get up.

I won’t want a plebiscite on the death penalty because it is likely to be overwhelmingly supported. So too might one on turning the boats back or blowing refugees out of the water.

Plebiscites are not about giving power to the people. They are about reinforcing and strengthening the institutions of capitalist power and the bosses overall framework of rule.

They are about enhancing vested political interests, often those in opposition but with a popular issue, pursuing their own highly selective agenda.

They are about entrenching the political elite in their positions of power as political elite, even if the immediate result is a shift of power within that elite.

Is there an alternative? Can we democratise society?

Our current democracy is limited to voting every few years for capitalism’s team A or team B. 

This democracy is confined to the ‘political’ arena. There is no democracy in the workplace. If there were profit would be under threat. 

In every great working class revolution the question of democracy rises to the fore.

Workers simply cannot assume power through capitalist institutions like Parliament. They are driven by their position in society and the way production is organised to set up their own democratic institutions of government.

They can only do this through winning democracy in the workplace – through every worker there discussing and debating the way forward and electing representatives to local, regional and national and ultimately international bodies of democratic working class rule.

From the Paris Commune in 1871 onwards, in every great working class upsurge workers have begun to organise democratically in their workplaces and in doing so to challenge the rule of capital.

The most obvious example of this was the Russian revolution in October 1917 and the short lived rule of the soviets or workers councils.

In a number of countries across Europe after the first world war workers set up similar democratic organs of rule.  

Jump forward almost 40 years and over the failed German revolution of 1923, the  Chinese revolution of 1925 to 1927 and the Spanish Civil War.

In Hungary in 1956 a workers’ revolution broke out against the Stalinist ruling class and workers began to set up their own democratic institutions. In 1979 in Iran workers set up shoras or councils which opened up the possibility of democratic working class rule.

These councils are democratic. In many revolutions representatives are subject to automatic recall if their workplaces don’t like what they are doing or have done; they are paid the average wage; meetings are daily and all workers on site can and do participate.

It is in the struggle that such democratic gains can be won and through which workers become fit to govern.|

Plebiscites are the creature of conservatism; of a time when politics and the working class are disconnected, even divorced; when workers feel alienated and sullen, defeated and despairing; when there appears no alternative to capitalism; when the left is weak and has no voice.

Democratic workers’ councils are an expression of the working class on the cusp of history; democratising society and organising production to satisfy human need. Only under such democratic arrangements – socialism –  can we truly be free.



Comment from Tony
Time June 21, 2011 at 12:27 am

It’s always been frustrating to see these instruments framed to deliver a narrow range of possibilities, specifically directed toward the bosses desired interests. Just as polling is framed to suit the interests of those conducting the research.

Gillard’s “Make the Workers Pay Carbon Tax” has been further exposed as a ploy for the rich by bringing NZ’s John Key into the discussion.

For a start, NZ had about 73% renewable energy generation in 2009, so a carbon tax is really small beer for their “adjustment.” It’s likely they will benefit in a common market carbon tax scenario with transfer payments through offsets against Australian emissions.

Mr Key’s life before politics says a lot about his interests. From 1995, Key headed up Asian and Global foreign exchange operations for Merrill Lynch. He was a member of the New York Federal Reserve Bank Foreign Exchange Committee from 1999 to 2001.

This would suggest Key’s interests are those of the wealthy, not the rest.

Once again Gillard lines up with the interests of the rich while peddling appalling social policy I would previously have only associated with the Howard era.

Comment from Duanne
Time June 21, 2011 at 10:30 am

Unfortunately we the people are never listened to by the governments (federal & state) They think of us as SHEEPLE and to control (enslave) us the use the age old divide and conquer rule. We have been led to beleive we live in a democratic society, but what is a democratic society in the eyes of governments? They regulary use this word but fail to elaborate on how they context their meaning of the word. At the present time our federal and start governments are spending a fortune on advertising campaigns to divide and conquer the people or should I say SHEEPLE. The carbon tax campaign, the tobacco campaign etcetera. This is used to turn the people for and the people against to concentrate and argue their points with each other, in doing this the governments can divert our attention away from their other issues and pass legislations which favour corporations and foreign investors.
The Commonwealth of Australia government is a registered company A.B.N. 122 104 616 and registered with the United States of America Securities and Exchange Commission, Number: 000 080 5157. All the state and territory governments of Australia also have A.B.N.’s
State of N.S.W. ABN 066 561 153
State of Vic. A.B.N. 054 558 619
State of Qld. ABN 066 102 930
State of S.A ABN 050 208 921
State of W.A. ABN 072 526 008
State of Tas. ABN 053 201 308
Trustees of the N.T. Gov. ABN 090 598 54
Australia is also a member state of the United Nations which is a foreign power and controls what we do. The United Nations are pushing for a ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT and their controlling body is the Iluminati.
Its time we stopped being SHEEPLE and returned to being people and research for the real facts as I and many others are doing to restore our inalienable rights and freedoms.