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John Passant

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October 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)



Vile comments

Yesterday someone posted a comment about Curtin University issues as ‘Jess’ on my blog. That was the only name they used. It was a vile piece of filth threatening violence against people. I want to make it crystal clear. That foul commentary was not posted by Jess McLeod. I have removed the comment and its threats of violence.



Comment from JA
Time October 4, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Did the post explicitly reference Jess McLeod or did you assume your readers are too stupid to determine the difference between the two?

Comment from John
Time October 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm

I agree with you JA. The only reference is the name – Jess. I didn’t think my readership would be so stupid or politically motivated as to draw that conclusion especially given the nature of the shit that was written. Apparently however for whatever reason that is not the case for every single reader.

Comment from Luke
Time October 5, 2012 at 3:58 pm

You must be new to the internet.

That is a joke comment people say.

I’m sure you will choose to interpret it as right-wing hate though.

Comment from John
Time October 5, 2012 at 8:49 pm

I removed the comment because some people were alleging Left Action posted it and demanding action against them. That is no joke. It shows you how disgusting the anti-Left Action groups are at Curtin are and how low they will stoop.

Comment from Yvonne
Time October 6, 2012 at 10:18 am

Vile comments need to be removed regardless of which side of politics it comes from.

Am I the only one getting absolutely sick of the levels of vitiriol making its way into the public sphere and then discussed ad nauseam? As if it adds anything to any discussion.

Comment from John
Time October 6, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Thanks Yvonne. The response of students on this blog to Jess McLeod’s article on the left at Curtin winning amazes me with the ongoing attacks ad hominem. I suspect they have little intellectual capacity and so have to resort to silly name calling, and of course hiding behind childish names like IP Freely, Ben Dover and Phil McCrackin. Or they send my name illegally to the Liberal Party to receive their newsletter. They misuse my email address as their own. Not many of them have the guts or moral standing to use their real names.

The post I removed threatened violence against people. It was clearly off the planet with discussion about SEAL training and ability to kill in so many different ways. When I read it I wanted to leave it on to show the sort of weirdo response a sensible article about the Left winning at Curtin could produce, but the post was then being used by the Right against the Left. A link has since been posted presumably by a Curtin student to its use elsewhere, with the almost mandatory comment that it is a joke. Except the right wing posting that shit on my blog gives the right wing at Curtin (Labor and the Liberals for example) an opportunity to bash Left Action by saying Left Action posted it. It is of course bullshit, as the fact that the poster who put the link to its use elsewhere can no doubt attest.

It looks like posting it was or could be part of a right wing strategy. It looks to me like it is part of various pathetic and hamfisted attempts by immature and conservative students to undermine the Left Action success at Curtin and drag them down to the level of the right with its silly little games and nonsense.

Then there is the defence of the indefensible – the use of Nazi slogans and homophobic chalking over Left Action so it read Fagtion. The poster ‘Better dead than red’ was put up by the Curtin Capitalist Society over Left Action posters. As Rhys Williams makes clear this was a slogan used by the Nazis to physically attack left wing meetings. No investigation, no police, no University reprimand.

Compare that to the reaction to the ‘behead all those who insult the Prophet’ placard.

By way of contrast, Alan Jones has made a range of comments I think are worthy of investigation. “The woman is off her tree – and quite frankly they should shove her and Bob Brown in a chaff bag and take them out as far to sea as they can – and tell her to swim home”. This was one of five times that Jones suggested this method of disposal for the Prime Minister in 2011. It wasn’t his only option for bringing about her death. In response to a listener’s criticism of Gillard, Jones replied “Yeah, that’s it. Bring back the guillotine”.

No police, no investigation, no capsicum spray, no riot police, no DOCS visits to kids of his audience making sure they are being looked after adequately after this sort of shit. Jones also said before the Cronulla riots: “This Sunday every Aussie in the Shire get down to North Cronulla to support the Leb and wog bashing day …”

Messengers of hate and inciters of violence, as long as they are serving the interests of capital or are on their side, are immune from any real investigation.

I think it is indicative of a society for whom neoliberalism has become the accepted ideology that it creates the environment for incivility. So too do the wars we wage and our killing of innocent women and children in Iraq and Afghanistan. We dehumanise the enemy (broadly understood to include women and children) to legitimise our own lack of humanity in killing the innocent.

I think there is something else going on too. The economic changes of the last few decades and the GFC have cut the ground of certainty from the middle class, especially its older section. That group – for example self funded retirees and small business – are angry with the changes and loss of income and the possibility they could fall into the working class. That anger expresses itself against refugees, Muslims, Indigenous Australians, and the ALP under Gillard. It is the sort of middle class and less unionised working class anger Hansen appealed to as well.

Jones is one of many lightening rods for that anger and his intemperate outbursts are an expression of the middle class and its feeling of being trapped between big business (eg the banks) and big unions, with arguments about wages being ‘too high’ for small business, removing weekend penalty rates etc etc.

Again and again on my blog the ‘it’s just a joke’ defence has come out. It shows a complete lack of understanding of what is a joke compared to what is a vicious attack. And for gays and lesbians the homophobia on display is part of a wider societal homophobia that leads to higher suicide rates among young gays. ‘It’s a joke’ is an apologia for repression.

Comment from Luke
Time October 7, 2012 at 4:12 pm

“And for gays and lesbians the homophobia on display is part of a wider societal homophobia that leads to higher suicide rates among young gays. ‘It’s a joke’ is an apologia for repression.”

Are you friends with any homosexuals? Because it really doesn’t sound like it. What I have found among my numerous homosexual friends is that they prefer to be treated like a normal person, not a statistic for you to quote in your attempt to champion social justice nor a fragile being that requires you walk on egg shells around them.

All the homosexual friends I have call each people “fag” and say things are “gay”. They recognise that context is everything and they know they are not being derogatory to homosexuals, and when I do the same they recognise my context too. It is the 21st century and the meaning has changed, you can’t go around getting offended because you choose to interpret things in the older meaning, context is the only meaning that is important.

Stop generalising people and stop jumping to conclusion. Not everyone is as sensitive as you.

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