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John Passant

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August 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

What to think about the Craig Thomson debacle?   Here we have a former union official who is accused of misusing his union credit card. A successful prosecution would see him lose his seat and the Gillard government fall.

The situation highlights two issues for me.

The first is the lack of control rank and file unionists have over their leadership. A leadership under the constant control or even scrutiny of its rank and file has less chance of misusing funds.

Second, its says much about the degeneration of the Labor Party that such a shonk from such a shonky union could win preselection and then the seat.

Tony Abbott, the Opposition leader, is on a mission from God to bring down the one seat majority Government.

The petit bourgeois convoy of no confidence, which he joined and spoke to, was a failure.

This is not 1975 revisited. The ruling class still to some extent supports Labor, although the more short sighted or self interested or both back Abbott. 

Labor’s stampede to the Right on issues like gay marriage and refugees, its invasion of the aboriginal communities of the Northern Territory, its Workchoices Lite, its neoliberal policies to shift wealth from workers and the poor to the rich have all combined not only to make Tony Abbott’s ideas respectable but they have made him electable.

And that is the real story behind the Craig Thomson affair. Labor is a minority Government because of its rotten right wing policies. Labor wouldn’t be dependent on Thomson if it had abandoned neoliberalism and begun to rule in the interests of labour, not capital.

Reclaiming our unions from the officials, rebuilding them from the bottom up, must be an integral part of that.

Meanwhile in Libya the co-opted revolution has begun its tortuous journey to some sort of resolution. 

To have your say on this or any other issues hit the comments button.



Comment from Debate blog-Julio
Time August 27, 2011 at 11:29 am

I think that as the world starts to look at the politics of labor as a major economic force in the country and in synergy with others can be improved in different ranges. Leaders today are conditioned because the synergies are going hand in hand with capitalism.

Comment from Chris Warren
Time August 27, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Marx understood this at a deeper level. Leaders are not conditioned because of synergies (????).

Australia has a privileged position within global political economy and, like other OECD nations, has extracted much wealth and economic resources from the world beneath. This has enabled them to fund a tawdry welfare state and fund the vital ‘countervailling tendencies’ necessary to stave off capitalism.

Marx knew that the British workers were in fact bourgeois and he hoped that a change in conditions would wipe their eyes.

This never happened in his time, but now looms as a distinct possibility now.

Comment from Tony
Time August 27, 2011 at 4:26 pm

True, colonialism let most of the British workers “enjoy” a lesser form of serfdom, the real form was reserved for those in the colonies. Globalisation and the electronic/free movement of capital without the free movement of labour has constructed a situation where manipulations can be played out to the advantage of capital.

Today, servitude is possible with the abolition of the welfare state, the extension of credit where there is little reasonable expectation of it being repaid by people and governments and the subsequent enforcement of property rights as the veil to legitimise “consequences”.

Of course, this process gets a respectable name. In the past it was “adjustment”, but when applied in the developed world, it’s called “austerity measures”.

Wouldn’t it be better called what it is, a sleight of hand justifying theft, a “racket”?

Watch what happens in the US over coming years as their welfare state is dismantled in the name of preserving crony capitalism.

Obama’s debt ceiling charade was the pretext to legitimise such a course by “liberals”, previously such an overt position was only respectable for “conservatives”.

Comment from MarianK
Time August 28, 2011 at 2:21 pm

I think the lowest of the lowest point for me in this whole Craig Thomsom affair was when Christopher Pyne made that uber-philistine comment about not letting Malcolm Turnbull and Simon Crean attend Margaret Olley’s funeral – because it was ‘not appropriate for a funeral service to take precedence over an important vote in Parliament’.

I just wonder if he’d been so sanctimonious if the funeral had been for another dead soldier back from Afghanistan. It makes my head spin to think how quickly his pro-war buddies would have put such ‘an important vote’ before a ‘funeral service’.

At that moment I believe I’ve never felt so ashamed to Australian.

Comment from John
Time August 28, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Marx didn’t know ‘British workers were bourgeois’. That is a misunderstanding of Marx. Workers as workers can’t be the bourgeoisie since the bourgeoisie survives by the labour of the worker.

Comment from alfred venison
Time August 28, 2011 at 8:59 pm

dear comrade
i’m with MarianK on this one – couldn’t have put it better. my two-bits worth: what a shallow, narrow-minded, supercilious turd/prig is that one c. pyne, m.p. he’s a total disgrace.

whatever one might think about her politics or her taste in art, m ollie was a notable australian artist, arts patron & an exemplary generous public benefactor.

the nation should have been represented at the service that honoured her. mps turnbull & crean were appropriate to the role & would have done a good job of it, too, imo.

what was missed was a unique opportunity to celebrate public-mindedness/philanthropy, on behalf of all of us, via the presence of appropriate national representatives adding their peculiar gravitas to the occasion. the kind of thing that was once beyond even political disagreement. an opportunity to do some small thing good for the country – durable, exemplary, positive for posterity. but bozos botched it. sad.
yours sincerely
alfred venison

Comment from John
Time August 28, 2011 at 11:09 pm

I agree.

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