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John Passant

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January 2012



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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)



I don’t use deodorant either, Teresa Gambaro

I doubt that Teresa Gambaro , Opposition spokeswoman on citizenship, is one of the intellectuals of the Coalition. Then again, we are talking about the Liberals.

But there it was on the front page of The Australian; Gambaro’s contribution to Australian pubic debate.  Let me quote the first line. ‘New immigrants should be taught about the Australian customs of wearing deodorant and waiting patiently in queues as part of a program to help them come to grips with local culture.’

So using deodorant is an Australian custom. I don’t use it. I guess that makes me, shock horror ‘unAustralian.’ 

Maybe, Gambaro, since I obviously don’t fit in here, I should go back to where I came from? Hmm, that’d be Wollongong. 

No doubt she will claim to have been misrepresented, or, that favourite of idiots, taken out of context. Perhaps she should retire from public life to spend more time with her family….You know, those Italian immigrants in the 1950s who made such a great contribution to Australian life.

Except for raising a Liberal fool. But I suspect that wasn’t their fault. It arises out of the culture of the Liberal Party and the hatred of foreigners it and its twin, the Labor Party, engender in their race to the bottom of the cesspit of refugee bashing racism and xenophobia.  

Let’s unpack Gambaro’s comments. Immigrants – Gambaro has gone beyond refugees to include all who come to our shores – are dirty. That seems to be the gist of what she is saying.

But never fear, deodorant will fix the problem.

Racism needs no response, but let’s just say deodorant is a poor substitute for a shower or bath.

Poorer people are more likely to miss a shower to save money for their kids. Unemployment is a good indicator of poverty. Immigrants are among the least likely to be unemployed. 

And the whole point about section 457 visas is workers are sponsored by employers to come here to fill a temporary shortage. So they at least are paid, although the bosses rort the system to underpay many 457 visa workers.

Deodorant is one of those unnecessary products foisted on us by companies keen to create needs that don’t exist and profit from them. A bit like the need to eat at Maccas.

And what about the queues? Evidently, apart from being smelly, these immigrants don’t stand in orderly queues. No? Maybe they jump them? Is that it?

So guess what. Immigrants are queue jumpers. Now, where have I heard that before?  QUEUE JUMPERS. Geddit? Nudge nudge, wink wink.

This is the rhetoric that is part of the lies Labor and the Liberals spread about refugees. Refugees, immigrants, 457 visa workers. What’s the difference?  she shrugs.

Let’s smear them all and see if it resonates. It doesn’t. ‘Oh, I was taken out of context.’

But there is a pattern here. Scott Morrison, the Opposition spokesman on Immigration, said the other day that temporary immigrants were not integrating into Australian society.

It looks like the Opposition is now targeting refugees, and temporary migrants. The racists are expanding their horizons from the cesspit to the shit hole.

This might have some resonance, especially with workers in industries where there are lots of section 457 temporary workers. However most unions seem to be putting protecting all workers ahead of lambasting ‘foreign’ workers.

Temporary workers are susceptible to exploitation because they often don’t have the language skills to understand or assert their rights or have the level of familiarity with workplace conditions in Australia to even know they have rights. 

Unions are trying to change that. Underpaying section 457 workers for example – there is lots of that – is a way of undermining all workers’ wages and conditions. Having 457 workers work in unsafe conditions threatens not just them but all workers as it sets a lower safety bar across industries.

Such is the skills shortage in Australia there were last year over 90,000 section 457 temporary visas issued, compared to 113,000 for the permanent skilled migration program.

They are temporary because they are designed to fill a temporary shortage. Many of the workers come from China and Pakistan.

In part this demand for temporary workers is due to the mining boom, and the more general expansion of the Australian economy. It is also due to decades of Government and employer neglect of skills training. And the lure for the bosses of cheap, underpaid, labour might explain some visas issued.

Recently the Government developed a scheme to bring Pacific Islanders in to do fruit picking. It is very hard work for very little pay and not surprisingly Australian workers don’t want to do it. But as well as bringing in Pacific Islanders to fill the gap, what about paying better wages? What abut the unions campaigning for big wage increases for all fruit pickers?

Given that the 457 visas appear to be a tool for exploitation and underpayment it is not surprising that  business applies for so many. If unions were strong and had real entry and industrial rights they could police the scheme for the benefit of all workers.

Now, I don’t want to let Gambaro disappear from sight in a debate about section 457 visas. Because there is more.

She also said there should be mandatory ‘cultural awareness training.’ Another name for that might be re-education camps.

Since I don’t spray under my armpits, should I be shipped off to a deodorant gulag? What do you say Gambaro?

But I do like the idea of giving real content to ‘cultural awareness training.’ It should be compulsory for all parliamentarians to be trained in our real history – the genocide of the Aboriginal people, the myths of ANZAC, the wars we fight side by side with imperialism, the exploitation that is capitalism, profit as theft.

I doubt Teresa Gambaro would be at the top of that class.



Pingback from I don’t use deodorant either, Teresa Gambaro |
Time January 10, 2012 at 10:25 pm

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Comment from Keith
Time January 11, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Until the day Australian employers are MADE to train or retrain Aussies first and not just demand more migrants to fill jobs that Aussies can do,I don’t see the need to wear deodorant.

Comment from john neeting
Time January 11, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Ha ha ha. Hitting the nail on the head. Typical case of poiticians opening mouth before engaging brain. I’n 64, my resume you could make feature film about, Iv’e forgotten what most experts today don’t even know about but am reduced to part time cleaner because!!!. Oh no, it’s not my AGE is it?. Estimated I could have saved a hundred lives and $100million in infrastructure cost in Oz but what do I know with 46 years of industry experience.

Pingback from En Passant » Bill Shorten is much more offensive than Teresa Gambaro
Time January 11, 2012 at 10:06 pm

[…] Readers might also like to look at my article I don’t use deodorant either, Teresa Gambaro […]

Comment from Jolly
Time January 16, 2012 at 10:41 am

Gambaro … that once sweet Italian girl. Her father was a migrant who first had to work as a farm hand to put food on the table for his family. Now that she is a Liberal Party lass, she wants to be more liberal than John Howard. That she is a migrant, that all of us are migrants (bar Aboriginals) is forgotten. Who is an Australian? A migrant. Who is the original Australian? An Aboriginal. That’s now settled.
I am certain that Gambro knows that, too. But perhaps there is an ulterior motive; all politicians have one for every statement they make. Gamboro must be having lots of shares in deodorant companies. With all migrants (ie all of us) running to purchase deodorants, imagine the profits coming her way (Hee..heee..heee). Or it could be something from the deep recesses of her past. Her dad toiling in the farm (good decent man) and probably stinking to high heavens (rightly so), with little girl Gambaro twitching her nose at every whiff of daddy. She now wants all of us to use deodorants. Poor misguided Liberal migrant lass.

Comment from Leslie
Time January 17, 2012 at 4:31 am

Love the blog

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