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John Passant

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February 2013



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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

To lose one Minister may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness. Well, actually Mr Wilde, it looks more like rats leaving a sinking ship.

Of course it is all about family. We want to spend more time with our families. I am sure if Labor were in a dominant position in the polls, looking likely to be returned with a big majority, they would still go. And I might also believe in Santa Claus.

It is not only that. Former Labor member and now independent, but generally pro-Labor MP, Craig Thomson was arrested during the week and charged with 150 fraud counts, all to do with his time as a Health Services Union leader. The charges relate basically to him allegedly using union money to pay for prostitutes, dinners, and the like.

In New South Wales the Independent Commission against Corruption has been revealing the dirty linen of the Labor Party in Government in that state. Labor Party power broker Eddie Obeid will appear and his son Moses has appeared before ICAC. The highlight for me of Moses’ appearance was his denying that the Obeid family would benefit to the tune of $100 million from coal licence corruption. Without admitting any wrong doing, Moses said it was more like $75 million.

Losing 2 Ministers, seeing former Labor and now cross bench MP Craig Thomson arrested and witnessing the long string of allegations against the Obeids and former left wing Minister Ian Macdonald and one might conclude it has not been a good week for Labor.

This is not a case of sudden family syndrome or a few bad apples. It is all part of the capitalist system that Labor manages.

It is not only Labor who have their share of alleged crooks. Peter Slipper was a Liberal Party and then Liberal National Party member protected by the Conservatives before he jumped from the good ship Tony last year with the Gillard inducement of the position of Speaker.

Justice Rares was scathing of some Liberal Party machinations when he threw out the Ashby case against Slipper. He said:

Even though I have not found that the combination was as wide as Mr Slipper alleged in his points of claim, the evidence established that there was a combination involving Mr Ashby, Ms Doane and Mr Brough of that kind. Mr Ashby acted in combination with Ms Doane and Mr Brough when commencing the proceedings in order to advance the interests of the LNP and Mr Brough. Mr Ashby and Ms Doane set out to use the proceedings as part of their means to enhance or promote their prospects of advancement or preferment by the LNP, including by using Mr Brough to assist them in doing so. And the evidence also established that the proceedings were an abuse of the process of the Court for the reasons I have given. Accordingly, I am satisfied that the exceptional situation that enlivens the Court’s power to dismiss (or stay) proceedings as an abuse has been proved to the heavy standard required: Williams 174 CLR at 529. The duty and power of the Court to protect its own processes require that I give effect to the findings I have made by dismissing the proceedings under r 26.01.

Tony Abbott supports Mal Brough – ‘Mal is a friend of mine’ – and looks forward to him winning Slipper’s seat.

We shouldn’t accept the few rotten apples argument. Parliamentarians are about running capitalism, a ruthless dog eat dog society of brutal competition to claw one’s way to the top and ‘earn’ more profits. Parliamentarians fiddling travel or corruptly enriching themselves are a reflection of the outcome of capitalist competition – the more dollars you have the better.

There is something else in this. Labor is a capitalist workers’ party. Its role is to manage capitalism and its first loyalty is to profit. The great crime here is the exploitation of labour by capital to take the wealth we create and use it to make more profit.

That Grundnorm rubs off on some of the ALP members of Parliament. Defending systemic profit elides easily into making individual profit. Without a strong radical current in politics the shift to the right of the ALP and its total embrace of the market means that individuals can succumb to the temptations that managing capitalism offer.

In Queensland the reality of 12000 public service job cuts hit home during the floods. The sometime slow response to the crisis is a consequence of the under-staffing of emergency and other services, a direct result of the axe Campbell Newman took to public services.

A report during the week could basically have been retitled See the Great Barrier Reef now before it disappears. The damage coal and gas mining and unregulated use of fertilizers are having on the Reef are stark. Goodbye Reef becuase profit comes before one of the natural wonders of the world.

Julia Gillard announced the election date – 224 days into the future on 14 September. Sheer genius. Sarcasm alert.

I am so looking forward to over 7 months of Tony Abbott and his grinning negativity. Given Labor’s abandonment of any sort of progressive and pro-working policies, this means 7 months of Abbott lapping up the undeserved adulation before he marches into the Lodge.

In the US, war criminal Hillary Clinton has retired from 4 years of killing innocent people and will contemplate running for the Presidency in 2106, in other words to become the Commander in Chief of Terror to replace mass murderer Barack Obama.

There is hope. The Egyptian revolution has entered stage 2 and the possibility arises of the Egyptian working class entering on to the stage of hsitory and moving eventually towards a socialist revolution. We live in expectation and anticipation, and indeed hope, not just fr the Egyptian working class and poor and peasantry, but for humanity.

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