ga('send', 'pageview');
John Passant

Site menu:

February 2012



RSS Oz House



Subscribe to us

Get new blog posts delivered to your inbox.


Site search


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)



Gillard, Rudd, Abbott: What about real democracy?

If the polls are to be believed Kevin Rudd is about twice as popular as Julia Gillard among voters. Yet Gillard won more than double the votes of Kevin Rudd in this morning’s caucus vote for ALP leader and hence Prime Minister.

Polls similarly show Malcolm Turnbull as much more popular with the voting public as preferred Liberal Party leader than Tony Abbott . Abbott of course won the leadership over Turnbull by one vote. One Liberal Party member, a Turnbull supporter was too sick to attend the meeting.

So why doesn’t the popular will reflect itself in the parliamentary make-up and we see Rudd battling Turnbull for the Prime Ministership at the next election?

One answer might be that the polls are not accurate. Given they have consistently reflected this 2 to 1 support for Rudd, that is unlikely.

Another answer might be that the polls are not a guide to who should be running the country. After all, as Gillard remarked when Rudd tried to enrol people power in his push to overturn her, this is not an episode of Celebrity Big Brother.

My answer would be: why not? Surely the popular will should find expression among parliamentarians?

Well, not under capitalism. Indeed, that is the whole point of bourgeois parliament. To give the impression of change or even to implement change if a mass movement demands it, but not before.

Among others, members of Parliament square the circle or try to between labour and capital. They rule in the interests of capital and, depending on the economic circumstances, at the expense of workers. Certainly the economic crisis in parts of Europe, Greece for example, has seen the one percent attack the living standards, the jobs, the wages and pensions, of the rest of society.

This squaring the circle role is especially true of Labor members given the links the Party has with the trade union movement. Trade union officials can sell the party line of class collaboration into the working class.

Representative democracy isn’t representative. It represents the interests of the one percent.

But it also isn’t representative because it operates on and reinforces the false dichotomy between economics and politics.

There is no democracy in the workplace.

Socialists on the other hand argue for spreading democracy into the factories, the offices, the mines, indeed every where we work.

Representative democracy is also limited because those elected are in their positions for a period of time and not subject to our wishes once elected. Once every 3 or 4 years we get to kick them out or re-elect them.

Is there an alternative?

During every major working class revolt, workers have organised in their workplaces and elected representatives to workers councils who were immediately recallable. (And I might add, they were paid the average wage to ensure they understood what it was like to be living as a worker).

If the workers didn’t like the position their representatives had taken they could vote them out immediately.

Let’s take that idea into the current Labor imbroglio.

Imagine being able to get rid of Gillard immediately. Of course if we had that power it would only have been won by immense struggles and the alternative wouldn’t be Rudd or Abbott but an entirely democratic system in which every worker governs.

That is what I am working for – a truly democratic society in which we workers, the people who produce the wealth of society, decide what will be produced to satisfy human need, not to make a profit.

Then neoliberal nobodies like Gillard and Rudd and Abbott would be consigned to the museum of recent history and our really democratic and fulfilling lives could begin.



Time February 28, 2012 at 2:26 am

[…] En Passant argues for real democracy and by extension that public opinion, as represented by polling, should have received critical attention from the politicians voting for their party leader and the Nation’s PM. Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

Comment from Eddie
Time February 28, 2012 at 10:42 am

get onto twitter then, grow a following. Blogs are old tech, as your appallingly low readership attests.

Comment from John
Time February 28, 2012 at 11:27 am

Appallingly low? 200 a day is OK. I am on twitter. I send a message every day of my latest article. It may be people don’t read me because the ideas of revolutionary socialism are not where their heads are at, at the moment. Also twitter doesn’t allow the development of ideas.

Comment from johnonomous
Time February 28, 2012 at 2:40 pm

“.. we workers, the people who produce the wealth of society …”
that would be the wealth produced by academic lawyers who spout this tripe to their students?

Comment from John
Time February 28, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Had to laugh. Yes, that is right. But no I didn’t talk to my tax students about this. Tripe – why so sheepish? Maybe you’ve had a gutful.

Comment from Eddie
Time February 29, 2012 at 1:05 pm

200? Hits or unique sessions? How many people (1) red and (2) are affected by your posts? Twitter is capable of supporting development of ideas, just limits the prolix to 140 characters. What a challenge to all the wind bags, to be succinct.

Write a comment