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John Passant

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June 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

A group of yesterday’s men (they are almost always men) gathered, er, yesterday, to ‘celebrate’ the 30th anniversary of the Accord. This gathering of Labor and union sell outs like Bob Hawke, Simon Crean and Bill Kelty and business representatives like Bert Evans sang the praises of this document of class collaboration which saw real wages cut and destroyed rank and file control of unions or any prospects of it.

Before the Accord union membership stood at around 50 per cent of the workforce. It began to plummet under the Accord and the restraints the Accord put on the union movement, stronger than ever today, see union membership in Australia now well below 20%. The share of national income going to capital is at its highest ever and that to labour its lowest (although the slowing economy might be changing that slightly).

And before the apologists for class collaboration say that the Accord defended jobs, the 1991 recession destroyed jobs. Second, unemployment in Australia is and has always been much higher than official figures. Unemployment is officially hovering around 5.5%. Official unemployment in Australia went up from 5.4 per cent to 5.6 per cent last month. Real unemployment according to Roy Morgan is about double that and underemployment adds another 8 or 9 per cent or so to the figures for people wanting to work or wanting more work. That figure is now almost 20 per cent.

The deep crimson thread of Australian racism has been on display all week. Our society is deeply racist, from its treatment of Aborigines to its attacks on refugees and hysteria over Muslims.

Turn back the boats is just another slogan appealing to the racist current in our society and is as racist as ape or King Kong allusions. Indeed Australia’s detention centres are concentration camps like those from the Spanish-American War, the Philippine-American War and the Boer War.

The two major parties stitched up a deal for more public funding and after a huge public outcry the deal fell apart. The fools from the ALP are campaigning on this arguing it show Abbott can’t be trusted. Really? Good strategy idiots.

The funding is driven by a collapse in membership support for the Liberals and more so Labor. No longer do young idealistic people join the party to change the world for the better. Sleazy slime balls and apparatchiks join it for a seat in parliament or other perks.

Labor doesn’t have too many people prepared to do the shit work to get people to vote for them in the forthcoming catastrophe. Even the long term members are quitting or playing dead. Hence the run to state funding. The less real and active support the Party has the more state funding it needs and wants.

A schoolkid – a future University student perhaps – threw a salami sandwich at Gillard when she turned up at a Canberra school to sign Gonski with the ACT government. The kid missed. But Universities are reeling form the $2.3 bn in cuts designed to pay for the modest Gonski reforms. An assault on wages, ‘unprofitable’ courses or staffing levels, and in all likelihood a combination of all 3, isn’t far away.
Indeed the wages attack is already underway with Vice-chancellors using the Budget cuts as an excuse to attack wages in a round of enterprise agreements going on right now.

In Syria Hezbollah has abandoned any pretence of being a resistance movement and joined with the Asad dictatorship in attempting to destroy the revolution. The conflict is dragging in Lebanon and Israel, and has already drawn in Turkey.

In Turkey huge anti-government protests, initially against repression but now covering bread and butter issues, have erupted.

In the US during the week Barack Obama gave an all things to all people speech which again justifies killing civilians in drone attacks. Australia is buying surveillance drones.

And for those Islamophobes who present the tired old cover for racism that Islam is not a race, neither is Judaism, yet anti-semitism is racism. Vilification is about defending ‘white society.’ It anoints the other as a threat to this fake and delusinal homogeneity. That is what racism does. It is what anti-semitism does. It is what Islamophobia does. Read this. But racists be warned. It has some big words in it and goes for more than 100 words. The Islamophobia Studies Journal has some good material in it.

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