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John Passant

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June 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)



Saturday’s socialist speak out – have your say

Downsizing is much on my mind.

Julia Gillard has seemingly downsized Labor’s primary vote to a 4 decade low 27 percent. Actually it isn’t just Julia Gillard and her conservatism that is doing this. It is the nature of the social democratic beast.

If you want to see the real face of reformism look no further than Greece with the ‘socialist’ party leading the brutal attacks on workers and the poor. That is the ALP in a few years if they are in power and the Australian economy tanks along with the rest of the global economy.

Barack Obama is downsizing too – he’s cutting the number of troops in Afghanistan and doing it faster than the military want.

That’ll show them.

But these cuts are more like productivity improvements – Obama wants a leaner meaner killing operation in Afghanistan and at the same time to be able to pontificate he has a plan to bring the troops home. Over time, and just in time for the Presidential elections.

Labor plans to downsize workers’ living standards to ‘fix’ climate change. There are no reports emanating from Canberra of plans to downsize the polluters’ profits.

Across Australia governments are downsizing their employees’ wages, and in the case of New south wales doing so by getting rid of unions’ bargaining role.

Australian governments continue to downsize aboriginal life expectancy. The only up-sizing going on is in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders going to jail.

And there is no downsizing for the mining companies. They continue to make super profit after super profit and mega-rich parasites like Twiggy Forrest and Gina Rinehart want us to downsize for their benefit.

Forrest’s Fortescue Metal Group complained bitterly the other day about unAustralian taxes. FMG has paid no income tax in Australia for 16 years and with losses of more that $700 million probably won’t do so for many many more years. That is really downsizing your tax

From the US and Greece to Egypt and Australia it is time to fight back. Upsize strikes to defend jobs, wages, public services and conditions.

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



Comment from Terrance
Time June 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm

I reckon you’re a touch harsh on poor old President Obama. He can’t bring all the troops home overnight, to do so would collapse the Afghan economy and infrastructure, so I’d say he gets a few brownie points for starting to end this disaster. It’s Australia’s involement that is the problem – we should be removing the 1,500 soldiers from there by year’s end.

Obama has wanted out oif Afghanistan since the day he took office. This shows how little power a US president can have when they don’t control Congress and the military wields such influence. I share your view that they shouldn’t be there – never should have been there – but at the same time I think credit is due for starting the process of withdrawal.

Comment from John
Time June 25, 2011 at 6:39 pm

I think you’re being very soft on Obama. This is a strategic reduction in troops to give the impression of change without changing anything. Why not bring them home tomorrow and give the Afghans billions in compensation?

Comment from Terrance
Time June 27, 2011 at 3:07 pm

I don’t disagee John – we shouldn’t be there and is a corrupt polocy – but I would say there is a reality that logistically if all troops were removed within a few days, the Taliban would overrun Kabul and the south and impose a harsh, barbaric reprisal and punishment.

Like Vietnam, its going to take a lot dead Americans before they work out what to do, which I would argue is a strategic withdrawal over six-nine months to allow all parties to work out how to govern the country.

Comment from John
Time June 27, 2011 at 4:01 pm

The defeat of the US would be a step forward for humanity. The revolutionary association of the women of Afghanistan calls for the removal of all foreign troops.

The Taliban might then win, but RAWA says to organise against them. Certainly there would be a civil war. It is not our role or psotion to tell Afghans who should rule them. That logic leads to intervention e.g. in Iraq and of course Afghanistan. But these ‘humanitarian’ reasons are only cover for empire.

Comment from Terrance
Time June 28, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Not sure about this John. It’s very complex to mind. Are we to always to be bystanders and never intervene or step in? Is there no cause, no actions, that warrant our intervention?

Surely when injustice is perpetrated at the extreme levels – Pol Pot springs to mind given the current war crimes tribunal – are we to observe with impotence as millions die? I certainly agree with your argument on Iraq and Afghanistan, but as a hypothetical, had the US not f-ed this up and invaded, is your view that no matter what the Taliban did, there is no role for the West in preventing murder, rape, persecution etc?

I ask this in light of actions like boycotts, which we ran against South Africa and look like happening against Syria (and some say israel too). Isn’t that an intervention, albeit from afar, into the domestic situation of a sovereign nation?

I admit to grappling with this. The US and Aust are so wrong on Iraq and Afghanistan and we are cuplable of myriad crimes in these countries. But at the same time, I wanted someone to protect the Kurds from being massacred, to protect women from the Taliban, the Chin and Karen people from the Burmese military and so on.

Is there a solution that is justifiable?

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