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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)



Saturday’s socialist speak out

It was a tale of two interviews this week. Leigh Sales from the 7.30 Report destroyed Tony Abbott and exposed the Leader of the Opposition for the fool he is.

Then the next day Prime Minister Julia Gillard destroyed the tsunami of lies about her activities 17 years ago as a solicitor that the misogynists and nut jobs (yes, that’s The Australian newspaper to a tee) have been campaigning on against her.

The same day she was doing that The Australian issued yet another apology for the lies it has spread against her.

However as she said this just means the misogynists and nut jobs will continue to spread the lies and make up new ones.

One can only hope that the mainstream media begins displaying as much rigour in pursuing Tony Abbott’s past. They won’t because he is their puppet, and a pretty vicious and attack dog one he will be in his war against workers.

If I were the ruling class I’d be starting to have real doubts about Abbott and the other buffoons in the Coalition shadow front bench and begin to think that maybe, just maybe, the Labor Party is the best vehicle for delivering class peace and increasing the share of wealth the rich get. However their short term ‘all is profit’ thinking seems to preclude such depth of thought.

A demonstration in Civic in Canberra for refugees and against Labor’s Pacific ‘Solution’ today on fairly short notice attracted 80 people. My invitations to former Chief Minister Jon Stanhope, current ACT Labor Party Minister Andrew Barr and Labor4Refugees organiser Solly Fahiz all went unanswered.

A very sane Anders Breivik was found guilty of murdering 77 Norwegians in an act of right wing political terrorism.

His conviction exposes the link between ‘respectable’ right wing opinion and the extreme right with their common themes of protecting European identity and the lies about the ‘threat’ of Islam, coupled with an undying commitment of our bourgeois rulers to violence, violence and more violence at home and abroad and attacks on their working classes to make them bear the burden of economic crisis.

Champion of the rich, Julia Gillard, announced more and more of our money would go towards the education of the super rich, and Oppositon leader Tony Abbott outbid her by saying current education funding arrangements were unfair, for the rich.

Meanwhile a man on over $25,000 a day, ANZ Bank head Mike Smith, called for the dole of $34 per day to be cut. No doubt he, his kids and grandkids would be very happy with Gillard’s rich school funding arrangements.

This refugee bashing, dole bashing and spending more on the rich seems normal to many people in the new Australian dystopia.

It is an old trick. Blame some convenient scapegoat – Aborigines, blacks, the Irish, Muslims, asylum seekers, dole bludgers – as you put the boot into a distracted working class and spread even more of the wealth we create to the rich. The ruling class are suckering us with their pea and thimble game.

The revolution in Syria continues. Victory to the Syrian revolutionaries.

In Tunisia strikes have broken out demand food and freedom, justice and jobs, the very things that the first stage of the revolution could not and cannot deliver.

In Russia Pussy Riot got 2 years for a political protest against Putin and the system he runs, capitalism. Julian Assange rots in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London with the Swedes and US not prepared to say they would not extradite to and charge him with crimes punishable by the death penalty. Until such time as the US Government, Assange is right not to submit himself for questioning in Sweden.

Free speech is all well and good evidently, but when it exposes our leaders for the mass murders and lairs they are, then the bourgeoisie ditch their commitment. It is time they believe to remove the messenger.

And in late news, as votes are counted in the Northern Territory election, it looks as if the story could be that indigenous voters have rejected Labor.

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



Comment from John Richardson
Time August 27, 2012 at 11:56 am

An enjoyable wrap on the week that was John, although there were a couple of really newsworthy items I would like you to have included, like …
Gina Rinehart’s dummy-spit with Fairfax, trying to trash their share price by dumping a big load of her portfolio on a disinterested market, & …
Elisabeth Murdoch’s gob-smacking defensive pap for her poor old dad, delivered as a suitably faux-indignant cry on behalf of ‘freedom of the press’, not to forget …
the 2nd biggest scandal of the century from the most sacred treads of corporate Australia, with Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens revealed as being just as frail in the corporate governance stakes as any of the AWB boys & girls were, with the biggest scandal not being Julia’s embarrassing affair with a union cad but the negligence of her & her government in not initiating an enquiry into this sordid affair.
Who needs TV when this rich fabric of entertainment abounds all around us?

Comment from John
Time August 27, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Thanks for raising the Murdoch dynasty. I write about them sometimes (eg Why isn’t Murdoch in jail yet? and my more recent unpublished News letters). I thought Glenn Stevens’ defence in Senate Estimates was pretty good.

Comment from John Richardson
Time August 27, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Pretty Good?
You are generous John.
When the effete Alexander Downer claimed a faulty memory in respect of the AWB scandal, the whole world laughed, so how is it that Glenn Stevens, allegedly in charge of the most critical levers governing the management of the Australian economy can get-away with similar nonsense without even a snigger?
The Reserve Babk scandal is bigger than quo vadis, in my humble view, but no-one is asking the right questions eg: did Glenn Stevens, or his side-kick, Deputy Dawg, Ric Battellino, inform the Bank’s Board about the allegations of criminal behaviour & if so, was anyone in the then Howard government informed?
Let’s remember that Ken Henry, then Secretary to the Treasury, was also a board director & little ‘Rattus’ Howard was about to face a rampant Kevin Rudd at a general election & the last thing he needed was another bribery scandal exploding in the upper reaches of financial awstrayla, only a matter of months after his government & a number of senior ministers, including ‘fishnets’, had been dragged kicking & screaming through the mud of the AWB bribery scandal!!
And if Glenn & Ric kept silent about the allegations, how come Glenn’s still on the Board, let alone still employed as Governor?
This is a huge scandal that must be addressed by a Royal Commission with, unlike the Cole Inquiry into the AWB affair, full powers of unfettered enquiry.
The beat goes on ….

Comment from John
Time August 27, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Because there was a review at the time, and independent analysis and they acted on that.

Comment from John Richardson
Time August 28, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Sorry John, I don’t ‘buy’ that at all.
If you think a review by Freehills constitutes an adequate investigation of alleged criminal behaviour, when Freehills has no legal authority to question witnesses or pursue evidence, then I’m afraid you must be niaive in the extreme.
The fact that the ‘whistleblower’ who raised the alarm was subsequently ‘tipped-out’ of the business is concern enough, but how about the fact that Stevens can’t even remember if he was advised about the allegations at the time or not, which would certainly suggest that he never saw the written report.
And my question remains: was the Board advised about the allegations or not? If they were advised, what action did they initiate to pursue these major issues of probity? Was anyone in the government advised? If yes, who?
If the Board wasn’t advised, why wasn’t it advised?
I would suggest to you that the Howard government was aware of these allegations, in the same way as they were aware of the AWB allegations, but that they were desperate to keep them hidden in the run-up to the 2007 election.
I also can’t believe that Stevens did not advise the Board of the allegations, if he had been informed of them, as appears to have been the case. Stevens as Governor of the Bank & Chairman of the Board would understand his legal duties & as a seasoned senior bureaucrat, would not leave himself exposed to that kind of criminal risk/scandal.
Ken Henry was then Secretary of the Treasury & also a Board Member, so if he was informed, who in government, if anyone, did he inform … the then Treasurer, Peter Costello? If he didn’t, why didn’t he?
If Costello was informed, do you really believe that Howard wouldn’t have been?
Only an official enquiry, with the powers of a royal commission, will get to the bottom of this sordid affair.
As the AWB scandal before this affair made clear, senior members of the government & the bureaucracy considered it acceptable to bribe foreign officials, contrary to Australian & International law.
Is that the kind of government you want in power?
Not this little black duck!!!

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