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John Passant

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April 2013
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Keep socialist blog En Passant going - donate now
If you want to keep a blog that makes the arguments every day against the ravages of capitalism going and keeps alive the flame of democracy and community, make a donation to help cover my costs. And of course keep reading the blog. To donate click here. Keep socialist blog En Passant going. More... (4)

Sprouting sh*t for almost nothing
You can prove my 2 ex-comrades wrong by donating to my blog En Passant at BSB: 062914 Account: 1067 5257, the Commonwealth Bank in Tuggeranong, ACT. More... (12)

My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/18-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-g20-meeting-age-of-enttilement-engineers-attack-of-austerity-hardship-on-civilians.mp3 (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. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2014/02/11/john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-2/ (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/4-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-end-of-the-age-of-entitlement-for-the-needy-but-pandering-to-the-lusts-of-the-greedy.mp3 (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
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Sick kids and paying upfront

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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. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2013/12/03/john-passant-australian-national-university-8/ (0)

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Strike to destroy Thatcher’s rotten legacy

There will be lots of people celebrating the news of Margaret Thatcher’s death. It shows how successful as a ruling class politician she was that she is so hated by so many workers.

She owes her success to a number of factors, including 5 years of Labor in government, the collapse of the fighting wing of the British working class movement, Labour’s shift to the right economically and politically and her use of state power to smash militant unions and keep the meek ones mild.

It was Thatcher who introduced the policies we now know as neoliberalism. Her election in 1979 marked the first salvo in the global ruling class assault on wages, public services and unions.  So successful was she that her even more vicious than normal version of neoliberalism is called Thatcherism.  It is a name too that describes the austerity the one percent are imposing across large parts of Europe today.

She has the blood of many on her hands, from Chile to Argentina (the Belgrano) to Ireland, and her main victims, the British working class.

The current British government is mounting attack after attack on workers and the poor to restore profit rates and shovel more and more of the wealth workers create to the rich bludgers. That is Thatcher’s legacy. That and her warmongering.

Thatcherism also spawned a British Labour Party of repectable neoliberalism hidden in tosh about the Third Way, code for attacking workers.

Dancing and partying at Thatcher’s death won’t change that. It won’t combat and redress the horrible anti-working class policies that Thatcher put in place and which the Cameron government has continued, extended and deepened. It won’t challenge the warmongering. A general strike can.

Of course people feel immense joy that the woman who destroyed millions of lives in Britain and elsewhere has died. But once the hangover wears off let the organising begin again, renewed and reinvigorated, against Thatcher’s legacy today, the Thatcherite Cameron government.

Here in Australia Thatcher’s global legacy is two parties fighting over how best to implement neoliberalism. Hawke and Keating begat Howard who begat Rudd and Gillard who are bringing forth, enceinte, Abbott.

We shouldn’t forget either that mass protests defeated Thatcher.  When she introduced the poll tax – a tax where the billionaires paid the same as the poor in council taxes, a mass movement sprang up that saw demonstrations across Britain sweep her but not her party from office. Here is a link to a video of the poll tax riots.

That too is what we should remember – we can fight back. We can win. But more than remember it, we should make it a reality today where ever Thatcher’s legacy of neoliberalism is in power.

The best way I reckon to respond to Thatcher’s death would be to bury her legacy – the current British government – with a general strike, something major unions have been discussing.

Some pictures to evoke memories.

With her friend and ally, Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet

She supported South African apartheid.

She rejected society.

She refused to recognise Irish political prisoners.

She attacked unions, including the miners.

Here is a video of one part of the great miners’ strike of 1985-85.

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Comments

Comment from Obaid Karki
Time April 9, 2013 at 9:09 am

English coal miners used to stay back in the pits until they die outta disgrace. Look at UK today. It is beyond repair. That’s what Thatcherism all about. Glorified Obituary of Margret Thatcher is bad business lest little minds take her memory seriously. Especially when the world weaning away from Seigniorage Banksters Sharia Scam. The best way to respond to Thatcher’s death would be to bury her legacy. Pedophile Jimmy Savile was her favorite Deity. I thought you should know that her Prodigal Kid Mark Thatcher was knighted by Queen of England for State the Art of Bribery in Saudi Yamama Scandal. Oh Maggie! Since then Britons given-up putting women in Ten-Downing-Street. She exploited Ronald Reagan’s dementia and dyslexia to outsource US Fed to keep printing fiat money on behalf Bank of England to print Sterling Pounds overseas outta thin-air as architecture of Weak Dollar vs. strong Pound. This scam is sold to fools, adored and admired by East European Idiots as we speak as modern globalised economy – monetarism, privatization, deregulation, small government, lower taxes and free trade.

Comment from Ben Rose
Time April 9, 2013 at 10:55 am

I totally agree with your sentiments about Thatcher John. You omitted the Falklands war; no doubt fatalities could have been reduced there too if she’d been more diplomatic.

Re neo-liberalism I wonder if she’s been over-rated; I think she was more a willing puppet of the corporate finance class and being a woman, ‘got away with murder’ so to speak – enabling them to further their ambitions to re-allocate to themselves the wealth and power they had lost in the post – depression / WW2 period.

Comment from Ross
Time April 9, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Obaid Karki,very well said.

Comment from Denis L White
Time April 9, 2013 at 10:01 pm

I cannot celebrate anybody’s death, Thatcher’s or any of the millions who have died as a clear result of the dominance of neo-liberal economics of which she was a champion. Poor woman she knew not what she did. To quote just one example, anybody who has been confronted with the obscenities of Pinochet’s regime of whom both Thatcher and Reagan were supporters must be numbed by the continued and blind dominance of Freidmanite economic theory.

I will bring out the champagne when the economists of the world bring about a sensible return to Keynesian Ideology, the Glass Steggal Act and the re-establishment of the control mechanisims which enable soveriegn countries to determine their own futures.
There is nothing wrong with a free market so long as it is played on an even playing field but that is patently not the case.What we have at the present is a situation where the powerful corporate players are sucking the life out of the workforces of the poor slaves in non-developed countries with whom it is impossible for the workforces of the richer countries to compete. Either the economists and governments change the rules of the game or the people must by whatever means. John’s revolution may be the only way forward.
Den 71

Comment from John
Time April 10, 2013 at 5:42 am

Thanks Den 71. I suspect I would for example have celebrated Hitler’s death. Indeed I would have celebrated his assassination. But of course you can’t simply transfer me today back to 1945. Keynesianism cannot address the crisis of profitability that arises from the very way production is organised under capitalism. That makes revolution the only way forward for humanity.