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John Passant

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October 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

Talk is cheap and in the case of Liberal back-bencher Don Randall,  it was worth about $5400 for a few hours chatting to the then Opposition Whip. Oh, and picking up the keys to his new Cairns investment property, thousands of kilometres from his Western Australian electorate.

When I say ‘it was worth about $5400’, I mean he claimed reimbursement as parliamentary expenses for his little jaunt. Who paid for this? You and me, until Randall repaid the amount after being found out.

Corruption is intrinsic to capitalism. It is not just that the one percent and their mates rort the system.  The system is corrupt. It is based on wage slavery. In essence we are paid enough for us to come back to work refreshed, fed, clothed, housed, etc the next day and able to raise the next generation of workers. Yet we make products worth more than this, and the difference is the surplus value that becomes profit, interest, dividends and rent.

I suspect Angela Merkel doesn’t think talk is cheap, and given her apoplexy about the Americans tapping her phone, neither does Barack Obama right now. The hostile siblings Obama and Merkel will cut a deal.  So too will the US and the other 34 heads of state the US listened to.  They are all together in this ‘capitalism under US leadership is great’ club.

Industrial and commercial espionage is de rigeur for ‘intelligence’ agencies to help benefit their own politicians and capitalists. Since 90% of the world’s major companies are headquartered in the US it is no surprise its intelligence agencies undertake actions for the benefit of the most powerful politicians and companies in the world, the US ones.

In some of the 35 countries the US has been spying on it is presumably illegal to monitor or tap the phones and other communications of ordinary citizens let alone heads of state. I can confidently predict not one US spy will be charged let alone prosecuted.

Australia wasn’t on the list of the spied upon. That might be because there will be more revelations to come. It might also be because Australia helped with this spying. And the final reason might be because our politicians tell the Americans directly what happened in Caucus, Cabinet etc. Bob Carr and Tony Abbott strike me as prime candidates for being snitches to the US.  Along with ASIO, ASIS, and all the other acronymed enemies of freedom.

Speaking of enemies of freedom, Campbell Newman’s misnamed ‘anti-bikie’ laws are the most brutal attack on freedom of assembly, association and speech in decades, and the jury system too. The High Court will find them unconstitutional. In the interim clubs will close down, bikies will be jailed without a fair trial and with no chance of bail, and face 25 or more years for, say, drug offences.

The laws aren’t limited to bikie groups. Any group and crime can be declared illegal for the purposes of the Act. Trade unions could be next. Political organisations like Socialist Alternative could be after that.

The Abbott Government is gearing up to take on unions. This is a vicious reactionary government. Its reaction is obvious. For example, apart from sharpening the meat axe for the public service and reviving the Frankenstein Building and Construction Commission to strangle unions defending workers on building sites, this pack of science deniers in practice repudiate climate change. Their direct action to address climate change is a joke.

And then the bushfires in New South Wales broke out. Tony Abbott has described those saying that the increased risk of bushfires is linked to climate change as talking out of their hat and the whole idea is hogwash.

The Environment Minister Greg Hunt has used Wikipedia to defend the view that there is no link between the bushfires and climate change. Wikipedia? Seriously ‘Minister’? Here’s some information which might challenge that. The graph is from Wikipedia.

Major bushfires by decade

Hunt prefers Wikipedia because scientists do make the link between climate change and the increased likelihood of bushfires, something the fossil fuel politicians don’t want to be made.

But the bushfires reveal something else about the Abbott government. The day after the fires broke out, the Abbott government changed the rules for entitlement to government assistance for people adversely affected by them. People who only a few weeks ago would have been entitled to disaster relief payments have, through an act of sheer but I suspect typical bastardry, been disentitled by Abbott and co.

Just as the Abbott government doesn’t care about climate change, they don’t care about its victims either. As the cuts to bushfire (and other) emergency relief show, they don’t give a toss about ordinary Australians whose lives have been affected or destroyed by the fires. If they feel confident enough to attack bushfire victims, imagine what cuts they have planned for the rest of us.

In the Australian Capital Territory during the week the Legislative Assembly passed a Bill allowing equal marriage. It will soon be law and with a 28 day notice period for intention to wed in place, the first same sex marriages in Australia could be taking place in the ACT in early December.

The Liberal government has rushed to the High Court to get an expedited hearing as to the laws constitutionality and legality and it looks as if that will be held before Christmas (although it may be many many months before a decision is handed down.)

The Liberals haven’t rushed to the High Court to uphold the Constitution over the basic attacks on freedom that Queensland’s anti-bikie laws represent.

Welcome to Abbott’s world – where those who want to profess their love are banished and those who want to take way our freedoms supported.

Three and a half years ago I wrote that Obama was a war criminal. It seems Amnesty International now agrees, sort of. Late, but at least they agree.

I look forward to the International Criminal Court prosecuting this war criminal. Oh hang on. That’s a court the rich Western nations set up to control only certain war criminals – the ones they have fallen out with or don’t like.

It is mainly African leaders who have been prosecuted.  There can be no justice until Barack Obama and George W Bush are in leg irons at The Hague on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity alongside Tony Blair, John Howard, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott.

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



Comment from Chris Warren
Time October 27, 2013 at 6:53 am

Good piece;

The Abbott Government is gearing up to take on unions. This is a vicious reactionary government. Its reaction is obvious. For example, apart from sharpening the meat axe for the public service and reviving the Frankenstein Building and Construction Commission to strangle unions defending workers on building sites, this pack of science deniers in practice repudiate climate change. Their direct action to address climate change is a joke.

Attacks against unions and against climate change (and etc) stem from a single cause.

Capitalist expropriation.

Comment from Ross
Time October 27, 2013 at 7:07 am

You cannot link bushfires to climate change. In the northern hemisphere they are experiencing record cold temps. This is not global warming.

CO2 is a plant food and yes plants are growing better. Eucalyptus leaves are the most explosive on the planet. The Greens have fought back burning operations for 30 yrs and this will explain the intensity of fires. The Aboriginals also used fire to survive.

The biggest environmental threat on the planet is Fukushima. It is poisoning the entire planet and getting worse. All reactors leak and there are 100’s around this planet just like the 6 at Fukushima. If 1300 rods in Unit 4 go up ,Dr Helen Caldicott says they will have to evacuate Tokoyo. How do you evacuate 35 million people?

All Blue Fin Tuna caught off the Coast of the USA have up to 10 times the amount of radiation than normal. Hot particles such as Caesium are the worst since they are not easily detected, mimic other elements in our bodies and are concentrated up the food chain.

Comment from Rigby Taylor
Time October 28, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Good piece, as usual. Thanks.

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