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John Passant

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August 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)



What would an Abbott Government look like? Let me introduce Campbell Newman

What would a Tony Abbott government be like. What would it do?

I think you can find the general answers in the Liberal National Party government of Campbell Newman in Queensland.

What has it done and what is it proposing to do?

  • Axing the Office of Workplace Rights.
  • Sacking thousands of public servants with devastating consequences for services, families and employment. (7,517 job cuts announced so far).
  • Refusing to guarantee job security in negotiations with its own workers over new enterprise agreements and offering 2.2% pay increases. There may be strikes as early as Friday in response.
  • Refusing to negotiate with teachers over proposals to increase class sizes. There are threatened strikes in October as a result.
  •  Threatening to privatise school cleaning.
  •  Scrapping the Aboriginal employment service.
  • Abolishing the Tenants Advice Service so poor people can be screwed even more by their landlords.
  • Abolishing the Premier’s Literary Awards.
  • Abolishing state-sanctioned ceremonies for same-sex couples.
  • Banning gay couples from using a surrogate mother to have a child.
  • Cutting back the Family Support Program.
  • Dismantling the statewide cancer service BreastScreen Queensland.

All of this in only 100 days. Its homophobia is clear. The racism and misogyny of the LNP are just waiting to explode. Its anti-working class actions are being cranked up.

On 16 July 5000 members from  public sector unions Together and United Voice held the biggest union rally since WorkChoices in response to Newman’s attacks. 

Apart from the public service and teachers’ strikes mentioned above, there will be a state wide strike day on 12 September, the day after the Queensland Budget.

It’s too little, and it is too late. You can’t play by the Marquis of Queensbury rules when you are taking on political, economic, social and industrial thugs.

The Newman government of course tells Queenslanders the lie that the cuts are necessary and there will be more of them because the state is in debt. It warns that Queensland could become the Spain of Australia.

The warning is bullshit wrapped in crap and immersed in manure. Queensland has low unemployment, low government debt and a booming economy.

This is extreme neoliberalism – cutting down the forest to let the weeds grow. It might provide short term profits to some sectors of business but small business in Brisbane is already feeling the effects as public servants and other consumers disappear from the cafes, pubs and other stores in the city.

The Budget deficit is fairly modest and could be addressed easily by Queensland taxing the rich and business more. Queensland is a low tax State compared to other States.

The incessant lies about the deficit and what supposedly needs to be done is the same neoliberal madness and budget surplus fetish that Abbott and Hockey sprout every day at a federal level.

Their lie will be the Budget ‘black hole’ Labor has left them. So of course they will have to, just have to, sack 20,000 Commonwealth public servants and cut funding to a wide range of vital services. That will give them the money to fund more business tax cuts.

The Liberals are helped immensely by Labor’s embrace of neoliberalism and its budget surplus push for this financial year, paid for by public service job cuts, cuts to social spending and tax bracket creep.

The targets of Newman in power and Abbott when he comes to power will be similar too – public servants, teachers, nurses, firefighters in Queensland, Commonwealth public servants and funding for nurses, teachers and firefighters federally.

Both will attack unions and workers more generally.

Like Queensland, an Abbott Government will axe government program after government program.

Of course some will respond that is why we need to vote Labor.

 Let’s be clear. Labor is part of the the problem, not the solution. And the next election is too far away for many. The irreparable damage is being done now.

Labor’s neoliberalism during a period of relative economic boom in Australia has been to covertly shift wealth to the rich and powerful.  Abbott’s strategy will be to be more open and brutal about it, as Newman is.

The solution – striking – remains the same.

Fight Labor to fight the Liberals. We can’t prepare for the championship bout against Abbott without some practice.

We need to make ourselves match fit and fighting Labor does that, as well as putting the bourgeoisie on notice that if they want their profits to keep flowing they’d better take account of what we workers want.

The lack of a real union fight against the Bligh government laid the groundwork for a vicious anti-worker Newman government. The same lack of a union fight against the Gillard government is laying the groundwork for a vicious anti-worker Abbott Government.

The resistance in Queensland is important. If workers there can stop Newman then Abbott will be much more circumspect, fearing class struggle from our side. Such a struggle might also give a fillip to Labor electorally.

If unions capitulate to Newman, then Abbott will be emboldened.  A defeat of the resistance in Queensland could see Labor’s stocks in the polls fall even more.

The time has come to stand up against the Bobbsey twins of job slashing wage cutting neoliberalism, Labor and the coalition.



Pingback from En Passant » What would an Abbott Government look like? Let me introduce Campbell Newman | The Left Hack
Time August 7, 2012 at 8:04 am

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Comment from Hasbeen
Time August 7, 2012 at 9:23 am

Roll on the revolution.

It’s about time we fought back against the feather bedding of all that is useless. It’s time for the lazy, the no hopers, the bludgers, & particularly the bureaucrats to join the race, the rat race the rest of us have been having to run with a bunch of useless peanuts strapped to our backs.

Comment from M. D. Fisher
Time August 7, 2012 at 9:44 am

At least we still have unions, and they can fight back.Under Lenin whose picture you post unions were emasculated and were littlwe but transmission belts for party propaganda.

Comment from Bazz
Time August 7, 2012 at 10:13 am

This what happens when you stare at an empty bankbook !

Comment from Michael Navaratnam
Time August 9, 2012 at 2:09 pm


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