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John Passant

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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)

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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


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Me on Razor Sharp this morning
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It’s time for unions to move against Alan Jones

Alan Jones’ comments about Julia Gillard’s Dad dying of shame have produced an outpouring of outrage and disgust. Social media and main stream media have been swamped with condemnation.

Most people have seen this as a continuation of Jones’s hatred of women and the sexism and misogyny deep in our society.  Jones still has a job because of that sexist current in society.

But the backlash has turned into a tsunami of complaints and even suggestions of action. These include a demonstration at 2GB in Sydney and calls to boycott Jones’ s advertisers.

Woolworths is under pressure because one of their employees, Simon Berger, attended the function and brought along the chaff bag  jacket that was auctioned off. Berger is their Government and Community relations person. One wonders how he can relate to Government and the Community in these circumstances?  Woolworths must sack Berger now. They have been defensive so far trying to distance themselves from the comments but Berger remains in his Government and Community relations post. That’s a recipe for success, a community relations manager who has alienated most of the community. Keep it up Woolies.

The oppression of women is vital to capitalism, and sexism and misogyny are but one expression of that. They are part of the ideology that flows from lower pay for equal work, the cheap child care, the extra house work, the rape, the violence, the degradation, the second class citizenry.

How can we address this as a society? One important way is to reward women economically – equal pay for equal work.

This economic recognition can then flow into other areas to reinforce the point that women are equal, not some group of sex objects. It is not a cure all but a part of changing the perception of women as lesser citizens.

And how can that goal be won? Capital won’t yield equal pay for equal work without a fight. Indeed whether it be the vote to weekends and penalty rates to the 38 hour week, to sick leave and holiday pay, capital never yields anything that will cost it without a fight.

The only way to win equal pay for equal work now, immediately, and to give women economic respect is for unions across the country, whether they are in female dominated or male dominated industries, to strike.

Across the country conservative governments are attacking the female dominated industries of health and education and wanting to sack tens of thousands of nurses and teachers. The way to win respect for these professions and the woman who work in them, and women more generally, is for unions to shut down the States until their conservative governments withdraw the mass sackings.

Empowering women includes empowering them economically both in terms of pay and job security. 

It also means Government providing free child care to enable women to work.  Tax the rich to pay for that.

After Jones’s comments and the rape and murder of Jill Meagher, society is searching for answers to the oppression of women and the violence against them whether it be physical or oral.

The trade unions can make their contribution to that societal questioning by fighting here and now for equal pay, for the defence of jobs and for free child care.

Even if that is not on the agenda, we can take a stand against Alan Jones. Jones works for radio Station 2GB. Unions NSW could immediately ban all work and supplies to 2GB until Jones is sacked. It could ban all goods and services to all of Jones’s advertisers until they abandon 2GB.

Individual unions could do the same. Workers at 2GB could walk off the job until Jones is sacked. Such actions would of course be illegal under Labor’s industrial laws. But it would be the right thing to do.

Outrage and disgust about the mistreatment of woman needs an outlet that will and can change society. The danger is that our anger ends up in reactionary hands with debates about the death penalty and longer sentences and more CCTV cameras. In doing that we only reinforce the current situation and the oppression of women that is systemic to capitalism.

Male and female workers as workers have the power to change the world. Let’s use it to make Australia a better place for women here and now.



Comment from Kay
Time October 1, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Actually, if I was looking for some shocking examples of discrimination against women, I would look no further than the Taliban and other like-minded Muslim zealots. Need I list the many ways such people have killed and maimed women and girls, and otherwise conspired against any possibility of women and girls having the same rights as men. But no – you rather rail against the UN for taking action against them.

But then, you demand unions take action against Alan Jones who has done nothing more than utter a distasteful and cruel tirade against a (albeit female) politician. Your reaction is a little bit over the top and hypocritical, don’t you think?

Comment from John
Time October 1, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Not over the top and hypocritical. Perfectly warranted to help smash the forces of reaction which impede women’s progress at every step and have done so since the beginning of capitalism.

Comment from John
Time October 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm

If you think we are in Afghanistan to free women you’d believe we invaded Iraq to stop Saddam getting weapons of mass destruction, or whatever the current lie is for any Western invasion. I suggest you read what some women in Afghanistan think. People like Malalai Joya who has survived six assassination attempts on her life because of her principled stand against the Taliban and western imperialism and its invasion of her country. Or the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan. Here is a link to Malalai Joya speaking in Melbourne earlier this year.

Or here

Comment from Kay
Time October 1, 2012 at 5:34 pm

I think the UN going into Afghanistan was one of those “it seemed a good idea at the time” scenarios. I agree – we should now all get out of Afghanistan. As I said in another blog topic here, corruption rules supreme in Afghanistan – the Taliban, the UN-supported Kazai government, the war lords, the drug runners etc. Clearly the military invasion didn’t achieve as much as was hoped in Afghanistan – women are still suffering. At the end of the day, it appears external intervention cannot really help Afghanistan. I just hope the Afghanis will find some form of democracy and equal opportunities for women in their own way. But I suspect that once the UN leave, Afghanistan will once again dissolve into a power struggle between corrupt vested interests and religious extremists. And the high death toll will continue. I despair for that country.

Comment from Ross
Time October 1, 2012 at 7:55 pm

You are preaching subversion here John.Allan Jones like you, should be allowed to say whatever he likes.

Eliciting Union sanctions on 2GB makes you no better than those who want to impose austerity on the people of Iran.

“I may not agree with what you say but will defend to the death for your right o say it”

Comment from John
Time October 1, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Alan Jones is free to speak from whatever public corner he wants.

Comment from Kay
Time October 2, 2012 at 8:31 am


And he is free to speak at dinner events and from his radio program.

Comment from John
Time October 2, 2012 at 9:31 am

Unlike the rest of us…

One rule for the rich, another for the rest of us. Just as the law in its majesty forbids the rich and the poor from sleeping under a bridge.

Free speech is the free speech of the rich owned by the super rich.

Comment from Chek
Time October 2, 2012 at 10:07 am

When a sheik compared scantily clad young women on a night out with displaying meat in front of cats he was roundly condemned.

But Alan Jones is free to pedal whatever he wants to bolster his $4M pay a year, however vile in itself, or in the derogation of our culture.

It seems that the sheik was pissing into our tent from outside! That just won’t do, no matter what truth we might salvage from his a-cultural advice.

why do we need to feed and breed demagogues like Alan Jones? Is it a reflection of our soul, so lost that we always need someone to kick in the guts? So depraved that we always need to hide under some invincible principle?

Comment from RANK FRANK
Time October 2, 2012 at 10:42 am

Most stupid post of the year.
You also outdo Allan Jones as being
a whopping fool. Who looses out the
workers by striking you dim dim.

Comment from Leo Lane
Time October 2, 2012 at 11:12 am

Everyone knows that the PM’s father was a lefty and a trade unionist, who was proud of his psychotic liar of a daughter.

The irony of the remark would have been good for a laugh, before the death of humour some years ago, effected by the scourge of political correctness.

Jones will have to relinquish the idea that we still live in a democracy.

Comment from John Bennetts
Time October 2, 2012 at 11:14 am

Alan Jones is a thug and a bully.

That is not a rerason for suggesting that unions or any other person or organisation should also act like a thug or a bully in response.

This is not union business – it is theatre.

Alan Jones is an entertainer. Not quite mmy cup of tea, but an entertainer just the same.

His business model is built on giving the maximum amount of offense possible to those who he believes are his audience – and a pretty scrappy lot they must be. If he was not playing silly games, he would be nothing but another voice on the airwaves. Instead, he has made a caracature of himself, one who says and does things which his spineless audience members can point to and say “If only I had the guts, I’d like to do what you are doing”, whether that be anti climate science ranting, sexist nonsense, baiting leftwingers such as our PM, leading a (very small) bunch of truckies to Canberra in the Rally of No Consequence, or any other of a long series of public antics.

He is a performer, speciallising in the art of provocation of public anger on behalf of his chosen audience.

The success of his performances can be measured by the amount of anger which they stir up. This is exactly what he wants to happen and this is what he does best. The value adding part of this charade is the effect which he has on his chosen few. They come together, huddled against the onslaught from the “left”, “pinkos”, and worse. He hands out labels to identify those who are against him and his sullen band, which in his former mate John Laws’s lingo may have been the “Little Assie Battlers”. Goodness knows what Jonse’s crowd could be collectively called, but Alan Jones knows what he is doing and who he is targeting, and he certainly does not see a problem when 70,000 sign an on-line petition or front page headlines say that he should apologise nicely.

Of course, he won’t apologiose nicely – that would go against every tenet of his sleazy business plan.

Comment from Bazz
Time October 2, 2012 at 11:31 am

What is worse, Alan Jones bad taste off the cuff comment or Julia using her father to beat Jones and Tony Abbott over the head with Jones’ comment ?
Make no mistake the ministers would not come out like they have without Gillards approval.

Comment from John
Time October 2, 2012 at 12:23 pm

The point the article makes is that he is part of the system that oppresses women and a leading sexist. One way to fight back is to win better wages and defend jobs for women and men. And to destroy his joint through bans.

Comment from John
Time October 2, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Yeah, yeah. As if. Free speech for rich sexist and racists bastards. None of the same sweep for the rest of us.

Comment from John
Time October 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Thanks RANK FRANK. I hope Alan is running a competition and you can enter mine for the most stupid post of the year. What’s the prize? A chaff bag? Workers by striking create an alternative worldview and ideology that challenges the dominant ideology and the woman hating racist rat bag and have the potential to win better treatment for women.

Comment from jack
Time October 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm

John, why do you hate white male heterosexuals so much?
Do they make you feel inadequate?
I’d like to see you spouting your vitriol in a muslim country. You’d be up for a beheading. Sadly, the Australian government, who you hate so much, would fight to save you.

Comment from Dana
Time October 2, 2012 at 3:24 pm

People, really Alan Jones has passed his use by date.

Comment from Gil
Time October 2, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Women should indeed have equal or better pay and should indeed have the right to work but Govt handouts to support their children is another question entirely.
With too many people on this planet already the emphasis should be on discouraging more offspring, not encouraging even more humans to pillage our only home, Earth.

Comment from John
Time October 2, 2012 at 5:36 pm

My government loves me. Actually I would fit in quite well in say Egypt with my comrades from the Revolutionary Socialists of Egypt. I dont hate white male heterosexuals? I love youse all. Except for mouthpieces of the rich. BTW Alan Jones is gay.