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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

In Australia our fake democracy is abuzz again with the Julia and Kevin comedy as a sideshow to Labor’s inexorable march to political death on 14 September. In Brazil 1 million people are demonstrating across the country showing a glimpse of what real democracy could look like.

In Australia the debate is over which version of neoliberalism to adopt. In Brazil it is how to smash the neoliberalism of their corrupt Labor Party, a party ironically called the Workers Party.

In Australia we rejoice at out sports circuses designed to divert our focus from the lack of bread. In Brazil they are demanding better health and education systems, not football stadiums.

In Australia the Labor government kills another refugee by detention. In Brazil they are challenging the system which detains them all.

Australia is not Brazil. The difference may be time.

Across the globe ordinary people have or are challenging the bosses’ beast that is neoliberalism. The Arab Spring, the rise of SYRIZA in Greece on the back of massive demonstrations and strikes, the turmoil in other Southern European countries, the demonstrations and strikes in Turkey, the spread of discontent to Bulgaria, the strikes and demonstrations in China…. Fill in the country of disquiet.

Neoliberalism – the idea that the market rules and everything must be subservient to that – is creating its own gravedigger. Workers and others see through the lies of market ideologues in practice as the market destroys the welfare state and decent public health, transport and education services in the name of profit for the few.

As they get richer we are impoverished.

The traditional social democratic left in country after country has been the champion of neoliberalism and in times of rebellion against the market people can move beyond the politics of reform that isn’t to a vision of a new world. Certainly 3 decades of collaboration with the neoliberal enemy mean that when the upsurge comes the discredited representatives of capital in the labour parties and trade unions can be incapable of riding the rising tide.

In Brazil the spark was fare increases. We can all relate to this as governments across Australia increase prices for not just transport but power, rates and cut services.

In Turkey the spark was an attempt to cut destroy a public park. The Arab Spring began with a slap to the face of an illegal vegetable seller.

From little things big things grow. Which country will be next to rise up against neoliberalism? In which country will the working class as working class begin to mobilse? Therein lies the key.

Can Australia join the list of rebel countries? The question might seem ridiculous but the underlying issue – the destruction that neoliberalism wreaks on workers – is the same here as elsewhere. The difference may be that Australia’s economy, built on the increased exploitation of its workers and the growth of the Chinese economy, has until now grown, even during the global financial crisis.

The warning signs are there that the Australian economy is slowing markedly. Couple that with the election of the conservative Opposition on 14 September, with its even more austere version of neoliberalism than Labor, and the dry grass of Australian capitalism awaits its flame. It may be a fire that the thoroughly discredited Labor Party will not be able to control or put out.

As the peoples of the world challenge their neoliberal overlords in country after country these are times of great hope for humanity.

We on the revolutionary Left can dare to dream.

The choice is not Gillard or Rudd or Abbott. It is neoliberal business as usual or struggle.

In other news, Labor’s barbarity to refugees continues, the defence forces continue to be sexist pin up boys, as do major sports, Barack Obama’s huge spying program continues, as do the drone bombs and the defeat of Western imperialism in Afghanistan is almost complete. Tell me again why 39 Australian soldiers and tens of thousands of Afghan civilians died?

Climate change continues unabated and ignored.

To have your say or see what others are saying hit the comments link under the heading. Like all posts on this blog comments close after 7 days.



Comment from Lee Boyer
Time June 25, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Still, hatred of the working class continues apace. The US population has waged war on the New Deal since Ronald Reagan ran against it and won in 1980. Even Barack Obama says the New Deal is dead, reiterating Bill Clinton’s epitaph. Yet Obama has done more than any other politician to put a stake in the heart of the New Deal, proving first that he is a Reaganite and second that he is a hardcore neoliberal, since neoliberalism has defined itself in opposition to the New Deal.

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