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John Passant

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July 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)



The mainstream media and the airbrushing of dissent

This is a letter I sent to the Australian Financial Review in response to an article in Monday’s edition.


Mark Textor lambastes the newly arrived Guardian Australia online for just representing ‘the view of a clique.’ (‘En garde for the leftist Guardian’ AFR 29 July page 38.)

Given that mainstream newspapers like the Australian Financial Review, The Australian and the rest of the Murdoch and Fairfax stables represent the views of the ruling class, the one percent, this critique is hardly compelling.

Let me give an example. Over the weekend ten thousand people across Australia demonstrated against the Rudd government’s racist policy to deport refugees to Papua New Guinea.

Clearly the issue is very important for a large minority of Australians, important enough to see so many march against the disgraceful policy of the Labor government.

As far as I can tell neither The Australian (representing the fruitcake faction of capital) nor the Australian Financial Review (under the editorship of former Murdoch man Michael Stutchbury, moving in that direction) ran any reports of these demonstrations.

To me this highlights the fact that under the present mainstream media duopoly the views of a large number of Australians are silenced.

The Guardian Australia is a mild but hardly radical challenge to the duopoly of the Fairfax and Murdoch media and the stranglehold of conservative views both attempt to impose on Australian society.


Of course you could always subscribe to Socialist Alternative‘s newspaper, Red Flag.



Comment from Hasbeen
Time July 30, 2013 at 10:03 am

John how’s your math.

Ten thousand people demonstrated & you think that is a big deal.

That means about 23,000,000 didn’t.

In other words you’re jumping up & down about less than one tenth of a percent of the population. They get ten times that many at a football match, in just one city.

You’re going to have to lift your game a very long way, if you expect to have any attention given to your few activists.

Tell us when you have

Comment from John
Time July 30, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Ah Hasbeen, the fact that we can get that many out shows some real level of dissent in Australian society. The biggest demos in years. But on your logic, no one has demonstrated in favour of stopping the boats so why all the media coverage?

Comment from Shockadelic
Time July 31, 2013 at 1:30 am

Your own medicine not tasty enough?

“Leftists” have controlled all political and social debate for years, with conservatives and nationalists ignored, vilified or misrepresented.

Get used to the taste, it’s only going to get worse from now on.

Comment from tony o’brien
Time July 31, 2013 at 9:24 pm

John’s comment, that the 10,000 (reminds me of Xenophon’s expedition, and probably just as influential on history) “shows some real level of dissent” is ironically true: that is what the dissent on this matter amounts to, according to Hasbeen’s calculation. John’s people are out there pissing in the wind yet convinced that their action is going to cause a revolutionary flood.

While John provides the occasional useful critique, his comments have about them a somewhat musty air of papers written long ago by devotees of Lenin, Marx, Stalin and co, redolent of an age long gone, yet desperate to seem du jour. That John can talk only of the ‘duopoly’, as the tired, irrelevant warriors of the old Australian CPA used to complain of the ‘capitalist press’, today in an age when we have access to news sources from around the world, from any country and from any ideology or none in particular, and can filter thru dozens of accounts of events, shows how irrelevant he and his soi-disant ‘revolutionary’ cohorts actually are. It’s all a bit pathetic, really.

Comment from John
Time August 1, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Looking forward then to an explosion of different ideas and votes in the forthcoming election with all this extra social media available. And you know AAP and Reuters are of course at the forefront of cahllenging capitalism. Or maybe most of the new outlets are filled with the usual crap and follow the agenda set by capital and its press in the form of Murdoch and Fairfax. Soi-disant. Oh well, we are a minority, but as the refugee demos show there is a wider left minority some of whom may be questioning the nature of the ALP and many of whom understand at least intellectually the need to resist. The first demos against the Vietnam War were very small too.

Comment from John
Time August 2, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Ah one of the ci-devants dares criticise me. Ha! What insight. What wit. What rubbish.

Comment from tony o’brien
Time August 4, 2013 at 9:25 pm

As John knows nothing of me apart from my earlier posting, I wonder that he could describe me as ci-devant. However, his responses show no evidence to support his belief that his is the wave of the future, and his latest response is, I’m afraid to say, adolescent, in the pejorative sense of that word.

Tony O’Brien

Comment from John
Time August 4, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Adolescent? Unlike soi-disant you mean? Ah of course you are right. I am tired of debating know-it-alls who think coming on here and immediately rubbishing me and misrepresenting what I argue is debate, let alone intelligent debate. Go somewhere else with your smart-arse insults. I’ll stick to talking to those who show a bit of fight, who attend the rallies in defence of refugees, for equal love etc and argue for action in my union. I don’t claim to be the wave of the future. I argue for building a revolutionary party from the very small beginnings we have today. The minority of the minority is my focus in helping build a revolutionary organisation. It is not an easy task and will and is taking a long time, but we cannot hurry history nor the working class.

Comment from John
Time August 4, 2013 at 9:55 pm

And you know nothing of me but feel confident to misrepresent my views and call me a soi-disant revolutionary. Physician heal thyself.

Comment from John
Time August 4, 2013 at 10:20 pm

Here is something I wrote quite a while ago called Socialists: running to where the ball will be. Marxists can’t predict the future, but it seems likely that at some stage class struggle in Australia will return, perhaps even explode, despite the deadening influence of the Labor Party and the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

The more people who are prepared practically and theoretically for that day the closer we will be to a truly democratic society where production is organised to satisfy human need. Then begins our liberation.

Join us in running to where the ball will be.

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