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John Passant

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July 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)



Labor values: see you on the Coles picket line then Prime Minister?

The ALP has been attacking the Greens and talking about Labor values.  Here’s how the Prime Minister described Labor values in a  speech last year. She said:

Opportunity for allnot as a theoretical concept but as a call to arms, to be expressed every day in making sure men and women have jobs and that every Australian, child and adult, has access to the transformative power of education, no matter where they come from or what their circumstances in life.

Not leaving any one behindonce again not said as a platitude but as a powerful statement that age, disability, ill health shouldn’t spell the end of decent life.

Recognising our responsibility to the Australians of the future, to Australia’s children. 

Just as parents work hard to give their children a better life, we work hard to give Australian’s children a better life.

Our sense of love and responsibility for the nation’s children drives us on to make the social, economic and environmental reforms which will create Australia’s future prosperity and share its benefits. 

Proud to call ourselves a Labor Government and proud of our union heritage and union links, always ready to fight against conservative forces, who simply don’t accept our core values and who represent the interests of the privileged and the powerful and friends, they are circling again, as the Liberal Party prepares to launch another attack on the rights of Australians at work. 

These are our values, our Labor values, the values I have put at the centre of our government and at the centre of what we strive to achieve for the nation.

So Labor is about opportunity for all, a good education, not leaving anyone behind, loving our kids and making sure they have a future. It is anodyne stuff really. These are values for the valueless, visions from the visionless.

They are platitudes Tony Abbott could sprout; mum and apple pie nonsense, totally devoid of meaning.

Gillard even mentioned unions.  This is all part of the spin about Labor being in power for working people. She can counterpose the ALP and its union history and union links to the Coalition’s rule for the rich policies.

There’s only one problem. Labor rules for the rich just as much as the Coalition. Its role in government is to manage capitalism.

It is, just like the Liberals, a party of neoliberalism, a party committed to shifting our wealth to the rich and powerful.

At the Coles distribution centre at Somerton in Victoria, ordinary working Australians, the sort of people Gillard claims she is in power to help, went on strike against their boss, Toll Holdings, for better pay and conditions.

These workers do the same work, organising and distributing the same goods to the same Coles supermarkets, as those employed in other Coles distribution centres, including in Melbourne, but are employed on lower wages and worse conditions. Through taking this strike action, these workers are pursuing a new collective agreement that would provide parity in pay and conditions with their colleagues at other distribution centres.

So whose side are you on Julia Gillard? Are you on the side of the striking workers or the Coles boss and his $15 million annual pay check? Are you on the side of the striking workers or Coles and its $1 billion profit?

Yesterday it looked as if other Coles workers would take solidarity action. Coles went to Fair Work Australia to stop them. It ordered the workers to return to work.

Whose body is Fair Work Australia, Julia Gillard? Labor’s.

Under whose anti-strike laws does it operate, Julia Gillard? Labor’s.

Toll Holdings is talking about the picket being illegal, Julia Gillard. Under whose laws? Labor’s.

It is Labor values which make strikes illegal except in certain very limited circumstances. It is Labor values that force workers to fight for pay equality against companies which make massive profits. It is Labor values which turn picketing into a crime in the eyes of the bosses.

If you were serious about representing ordinary working Australians and not big business, Julia Gillard, you’d join the Coles’ picket line at 6 am on Friday morning and mobilise the ALP and its members in Melbourne to be there to support these ordinary working Australians in their just fight against two greedy and very tough companies.  

Even a word in support of the strikers would be a great reinforcement of supposed Labor values.

You could get a lift to the picket from Trades Hall at 6 am with Socialist Alternative. And a right royal ear-bashing.

See you on the picket line, Prime Minister.

The picket is at the Coles Distribution Centre, Union Road and Somerton Road, Somerton.

This Sunday – get everyone down to the Toll workers’ picket line for a community rally! Let’s show the Toll workers that the whole union movement and the rest of the community are behind them 100% in taking on the corporate giants Toll and Coles in their struggle for equal pay and conditions!

Sunday at 12:00 at Union Road and Somerton Rd, Somerton
Readers might also like to have a look at Coles: the bell TOLLS for thee



Comment from paul walter
Time July 12, 2012 at 7:53 pm

That pack of cowards?
keep fighting, Coles workers!

Comment from Lorikeet
Time July 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd have both been running a Slave Labor Trade for the benefit of their corporate mates.

I thought her speech (printed here) also obliquely alluded to making everyone work, regardless of age or disability.

Comment from Ashley
Time July 14, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Last I looked they are supposed to be representative government. I would like to know in which way the politician of today represents the people. They are no longer the friend of the people they are indeed the enemy of the people and should be counted amongst the most common of criiminal. The state of polotics in our country is disgusting but that that is the case is not what saddens me the most. What saddens me the most is that there is nothing being done about it! everyone sits about waiting for the one thing or person to lead they way and that is never goignt to come. It is our responsibility to hold the government to account for what it is doing. Though I do not believe in violence I stand in disbelief every day that there is not rioting in the streets it seems my fellow Australians are content to feed their children scraps of the governments table. STAND up together and do something about it and let these most insipid of filth know how you feel.

Comment from Duanne Brooks
Time July 16, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Many, many, many decades ago the Labour Party was for the people of Australia. They fought for peoples rights. Not any more, now they are only interested in lining their own pockets. Now they take from the people and give to themselves. Julia Gilliard and political party Labour members wont help Australian workers WHY? because there is nothing in it for them.
Ashley you are correct in what you have stated. The Australian people have become to complacent and are all to ready to accept whatever is dished out to them, unlike are forefathers who fought for and gained our democratic rights. The Trade Union Movement no longer exists with the same ethics and principals as original, instead the higherarchy line their own pockets and wait for the opportunity to become a member of Parliament in the Labour Party.

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