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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)



Saturday’s socialist speak out

A spectre is haunting Australia – the spectre of unemployment.

Jobs went backwards in 2011, and if disillusioned job seekers hadn’t dropped out of the search, unemployment would have been 5.5% instead of 5.2%. 

Job figures are headed south, with Treasury estimates of 5.5% without work by June looking very optimistic. One bank says it will be 6% by then.

And what does Gillard Labor do in light of worsening unemployment? Reaffirm its commitment to a Budget surplus. Not to jobs, but to a budget surplus.

Remember, this is the Party that at its December conference specifically rejected a proposal from the Left to put job creation before a Budget surplus. Whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.

Opposition leader and likely next Prime Minister, Tony Abbot, said on radio yesterday that the Costa Concordia was one boat that did get stopped. 

I think Abbott is trying to divert attention away from his Costa Concordia ‘stop the boats’ revelation by being a little more nuanced but with the same message. Page one of today’s Australian has an article about how turning back the boats will be Australia’s asylum seeker policy. My take is he wasn’t joking on air yesterday because the end result will be lots of Concordias in our waters.

In the US the Republican primaries are shaping up as a fight between Romney and the anti-Romney forces and it looks as if those forces are coalescing behind ‘bunga bunga’  Newt Gingrich.

Some on the left are mistakenly supporting Ron Paul whose brand of economic libertarianism would destroy the living standards of US workers overnight.

It shows the lack of a genuine mass left wing in the US that some on the left support this anti-working class zealot. His rhetoric has appealed to some on the left because there is no genuine mass left wing working class movement.

The task is not to create illusions in the politicians of profit – some of the people who fell for Obama are falling for Paul – but to build that movement and eventually a mass revolutionary party of the working class. The International Socialist Organization in the US is trying to do that. So too is Socialist Alternative in Australia.

From Syria to Iran imperialism is shaking the sabre of intervention or war. Our job is to oppose intervention and the best way to do that from afar is to argue for the victory of the masses in Syria and Iran against their own national bourgeoisie and its regimes or prospective regimes.

In other news Europe continued its long slow descent into the abyss, the US pretended to increase jobs and the bosses in Australia continued their screaming about productivity and the ‘restrictions’ that Fair Work places on them. 

They see the opportunity for a  return to even more draconian industrial relations laws now or in the near future under an Abbott government in 2013. In fact much of their current screaming is to soften Abbott up to introduce even more draconian anti-worker laws than Labor’s Fair Work Australia.

After 30 years of class collaboration, the trade union bureaucracy has emasculated the organised working class movement and left it in a poor position to fight an incoming Abbott Government. In fact their lack of real action now makes an Abbott Government more likely and defeats in the future possible.

The one hope is that the rank and file can reclaim our unions and begin the fight back now or very soon.

To have your say or see what others are saying hit the comments button. Like all the articles on this site, comments close after 7 days.



Comment from Howard Marosi
Time January 21, 2012 at 2:35 pm

If a budget surplus is so important, Gillard should not be cutting taxes for the wealthy or the corporations- and she should stop subsidizing them.
Also, we dont need to justify Government spending by the jobs argument. Governments should provide good services whether unemployment is high or low.
Unemployment can be solved without growth in GDP. By constantly connecting jobs to growth, we cause environmental destruction and unnecessary work.

Comment from John
Time January 22, 2012 at 9:57 am

I agree Howard. In another of my articles I argue for using the car plants and the skilled workforce there to build buses, solar farms, wind turbines etc to address climate change. But to break the growth/jobs cycle, ie to create real jobs to satisfy human need, we need a completely different society based on democracy and the overthrow of the profit system.

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