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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)



Red Flag rises in Canberra

I went to the Canberra launch of Socialist Alternative’s new fortnightly newspaper Red Flag. So did another 35 people, a great turnout for the radical left in Canberra to celebrate this, we hope, significant event.

The first edition of Red Flag.

Ben Hillier, one of the editors of Red Flag spoke, as did a leading Socialist Alliance member in Canberra, Duroyan Fertl.

The message was pretty simple. We need a newspaper of the revolutionary left to challenge the lies of the bourgeois press, one that comes out regularly and deals with the issues of the day.

The rich are getting richer under capitalism in Australia.

Some of their newspapers promote this state of affairs directly – think the Australian Financial Review, The Australian when the editors have taken their meds, and the Age, Sydney Morning Herald and other ‘quality’ tabloids in the Fairfax stable.

Others, like the Daily Telegraph and the Herald Sun, reinforce the ideas of individualism – lose weight, watch the footy, enjoy the sales and cheap prices. They cover anything but the issues which might question capitalism and its reality or push the likes of anti-refugee racist messages to distract workers from that reality.

In a market where 90% of all the newsprint media is owned by the big 2 media companies News and Fairfax, the case for a socialist newspaper that challenges the dominant messages of the rich and powerful is overwhelming. But a socialist newspaper like Red Flag is more than just a collection of anti-capitalist articles and reports on the struggles against the beast.

It is also about helping build a revolutionary socialist organisation, giving members like me the ideas and arguments to explain the world through the day to day issues that we can more adequately address with a fortnightly. For example the first edition of Red Flag has as its front cover a photo of Bradley Manning and a headline screaming he is a hero. He is, as an article in the first edition explains.

Also in the first edition Tom Bramble debunks the myths about the leadership battle between Gillard and Rudd, pointing out the bleeding obvious that somehow seems to have escaped all the bourgeois commentators with their bourgeois thinking in the bourgeois press. As Tom suggests, Labor should, but won’t, abandon neoliberalism, tax the rich, lift restrictions on the right to strike, spend much more on public schools, abandon defence spending increases, grant same sex marriage rights, end mandatory detention and stand up for Julian Assange, to name a few.

Other articles deal with what Red Flag is about, the nature of a revolutionary paper (very interesting despite its seeming potential to cure insomnia), Labor’s latest $2.3 billion in cuts to higher education, Obama’s massive spying regime and an interview with a woman union delegate taking on and beating sexism in a workplace in Melbourne. Two important features cover the new stolen generations and what it will take to revive our union movement.

There is much, much more in this first edition of Red Flag, including workplace reports, prisons at railway stations, marriage equality,welfare control spreading to public housing and Turkey in revolt.

If you want to know what Socialist Alternative stands for, then the first edition of Red Flag is a must too. Our principles can be found at this link and in the first edition of the paper.

Red Flag, to be relevant, must be the paper of its readership, with lots of contributions from ordinary workers and members, a paper of debate and discussion.

Red Flag is the paper for all those who want to fight back against capitalism and its oppressions. It is the paper for all those who want a new world of democracy where production is organised to satisfy human need, not one where we work long hours so Gina Rinehart can treble her wealth to $17 billion while Labor throws about 90,000 single parents (90% of them women) onto Newstart and deeper poverty and 100,000 Australians are homeless while unoccupied homes and hotel, motel and rental vacancies are much much more than that.

Here is the link to subscribe to Red Flag. But a newspaper like this can’t survive and prosper without a political organisation behind it making the arguments day in and day out for that better world, for socialism.

If you like Red Flag, if you want to fight back against capitalism and all its rotten ideas and outcomes, then you should not just read this new paper of the revolutionary left in Australia, you should sell it. If you want to smash the system then join with hundreds of other committed revolutionaries fighting for a better world. Join Socialist Alternative.

Details of Socialist Alternative branch and other contacts can be found here.

Like all posts on this site comments (see the link under the heading) close after 7 days. Reactionaries, racists, anti-refugee xenophobes and other ne’er-do-wells can spread their filth elsewhere.


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