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John Passant

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March 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)



Bob Carr: another ugly carcass in Gillard’s cabinet

Just when you thought Labor couldn’t get any lower, you remember Bob Carr exists, writes Diane Fieldes in Socialist Alternative.

He’s a worthy addition to the Gillard cabinet, where he’ll fit right in with all the other neoliberal scumbags.

Another ugly carcass in the ALP Cabinet

It’s not surprising that Carr’s elevation is the only part of Gillard’s new cabinet to be deemed newsworthy. The rest of the interchangeable nobodies of the “left” and right, elevated or demoted according to their loyalty in the recent leadership contest, can’t even arouse the interest of the media, let alone the mass of Australian workers.

None of the media even thought fit to notice the hypocrisy of the appointment of this former consultant to that “millionaire factory”, Macquarie Bank, on the same day as Treasurer Wayne Swan’s populist attack on the mega-rich was published in The Monthly. The revolving door between the corporate world and the big political parties operates to deposit politicians into corporate board rooms, and vice versa. Today Bob Carr just completed the circuit.

But none of this made the headlines. All the focus was on whether this appointment would save Labor’s election chances. Bob Carr no doubt thinks so. In his blog of 27 February he came up with this gem: “And there is an obligation on the National Secretariat to start the training, the coaching, the mentoring and the management of talent which is needed to lift the skills level of the next Labor generation.”

Like the rest of the Labor government, Carr cannot admit that the problem is not lack of mentoring, but what Labor actually does in office. In fact, with his record as NSW premier, he’s even less likely to want to go there.

From Labor’s return to government in NSW under Carr in April 1995, they went out of their way to be the party of conservative financial management, encouraging market forces, and being “tough on crime” (where “crime” was a synonym for “Lebanese”). Always with an eye to the national stage, in 2001 Carr entered into an unholy alliance with Liberal Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock to draft screening measures to weed out prospective immigrants with military training. It was an easy way of further demonising refugees and others fleeing from regimes like Saddam Hussain’s Iraq, with its three years of compulsory military training. The effect of Carr’s “tough stand” was an increase in racism directed towards Arabs and Muslims in Sydney.

They weren’t his only targets. When tens of thousands of anti-globalisation protesters blockaded the World Economic Forum meeting in Melbourne in September 2000, Carr denounced them as “fascists” who “deserved everything they got” from the cops.

In its first year Carr’s government cut the welfare, education, health and transport budgets. Private contracts poured billions into the coffers of the tollway builders – with guarantees that no extra public transport would be allowed to compete with the roads. In 2000, his government massively cut workers’ compensation payouts. Macquarie Bank’s profits rose enormously during his premiership.

And his efforts did not go unrewarded. Just two months after he resigned from parliament in 2005, Carr became Macquarie Bank’s registered political lobbyist in the NSW and federal parliaments.

Since leaving parliament, Carr has kept up his rabid hatred of anything left wing, attacking the Marrickville Greens councillors’ stance in support of the BDS campaign against Israeli apartheid. Predictably, the protests against Gillard and Abbott at the 40-year anniversary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy raised his ire. The following day he thundered as only a pompous racist can: “I agree with Tony Abbott and think his remarks entirely sensible. The tent embassy in Canberra says nothing to anyone and should have been quietly packed up years ago.”

But the Cold War tone went deeper than just attacking the Tent Embassy: “Anyway here we have again the bankruptcy of the old Leftist approach: throw a demo. Every time some respectable body does this – the ACTU or Unions NSW or a pro-refugee group – the same thing happens: on the street the extremists take over. The Trots love a blue, ‘the worse things are the better they are’ and by radicalising everyone and breaking heads it all hastens the World October, onto revolution, comrades.”

Channelling the ghost of “Reds under the bed” US Senator Joe McCarthy is also a perfect accompaniment to the job that Carr now has as Foreign Minister. He will be a perfect fit in Washington as a long time enthusiast for the US alliance. Together with Australian Ambassador to the US, Kim Beazley, another ardent fan of US imperialism, Carr will be an important advocate for US-Australian schemes now under way to stymie China’s rise in the Asia Pacific. Australia’s imperialist interests are in safe hands with these two.

Former Labor leader Mark Latham’s memoirs included Carr in a list of “A-grade arseholes”. He’ll be amongst his peers when he joins the Cabinet.



Comment from Eddie
Time March 8, 2012 at 9:11 am

Bob’d love this splenetic fury from the ultra left. Mark him as potential PM in due course. He’ll go far…

Comment from M. D. Fisher
Time March 8, 2012 at 9:34 am

It is ridiculous for one who displays the pictures of the ugly Trotzky, Marx and Lenin to refer to Carr as ugly.

Comment from John
Time March 8, 2012 at 7:07 pm

We called him an ugly carcass. That is different.

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