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John Passant

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Keep socialist blog En Passant going - donate now
If you want to keep a blog that makes the arguments every day against the ravages of capitalism going and keeps alive the flame of democracy and community, make a donation to help cover my costs. And of course keep reading the blog. To donate click here. Keep socialist blog En Passant going. More... (4)

Sprouting sh*t for almost nothing
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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/18-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-g20-meeting-age-of-enttilement-engineers-attack-of-austerity-hardship-on-civilians.mp3 (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. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2014/02/11/john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-2/ (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/4-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-end-of-the-age-of-entitlement-for-the-needy-but-pandering-to-the-lusts-of-the-greedy.mp3 (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
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Sick kids and paying upfront

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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. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2013/12/03/john-passant-australian-national-university-8/ (0)

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Saturday’s socialist speak out

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and Treasurer Joe Hockey enjoy cigars outside Parliament House in Canberra.

The Abbott Government’s Budget next Tuesday will attack pensioners, the sick, the disabled, the poor and the working class. There will be token tax increases on the top income earners, but so small as to not even impact on their cigar smoking.

The Thacherite attacks will basically increase poverty and misery and cut workers’ living standards.

The sacking of 25000 public servants, about 18% of all public servants, will consign many to the scrap heap of unemployment for years. The latest leak is that 3000 of those will be from Hockey’s own portfolio, in this case the Tax Office.

It would be a mistake to imagine that the destruction of jobs in the public service will only be a one off this year.

Take the Tax Office as an example. Given the KPMG accountancy firm background of the current Commissioner of Taxation and the apparent need for the Treasurer to be tough on his own portfolio, my guess is that the mooted 3000 sackings from the ATO in the Budget this year are just the beginning. It could for example be that the Commissioner’s 2020 Vision (get the joke?) is for an ATO of 13000 staff, just under half the size it currently is, in 6 years time.

To do that would require sacking a net 1500 staff every year for the next 6 years on top of the mooted 3000 by October. Thus if the Office were to recruit 500 people in one year (graduates and people with particular skills the Office desperately needs) that would require sacking 2000 other staff that year. Government revenue would plummet as the rich lurks and perks men rape the fisc.

Isn’t it time the Community and Public Sector Union organised its members to strike to stop the jobs massacre in the ATO and elsewhere across the public service? If not, then the best thing Abbott and Hockey have going for them is CPSU leader Nadine Flood.

The Abbott government has decided on a new Dad’s Army to ‘protect’ Australia’s border from asylum seekers and drug runners. The Australian Border Force is a farce, militarising the immigration and customs functions. It is part of a wider us and them circling of the wagons to protect profits in a declining economy, an economy which may go into reverse after the Budget.

The Education Action Group protest on Q&A in Sydney (with students from Socialist Alternative prominent) has raised questions about the nature of our democracy. It is in good hands.  In a Herald poll on the issue, 55 percent of the 28000 who responded supported them.

Even better, well almost 70 percent of those polled in a Fairfax survey oppose the government’s plans to raise the pension age to 70.

As a generalisation the population is well to the left of both parties on most issues. To build a socialist organisation expressing that political reality is one task for socialists today, as part of building a revolutionary oation to help worker overthrow capitalism.

I am thinking about going up to Bondi to bash a billionaire. I reckon it will be the best $500 I have ever spent.  Because surely we are all equal before the law and all I will cop is a criminal infringement notice and $500 fine like Packer and Gyngell.  Surely there’s not one law for the rich and one law for the rest of us.

I thought Derek from Gundagai summed it up perfectly:

In Nigeria Boko Haram has kidnapped hundreds of Christian schoolgirls. I have no truck with Boko Haram but imagining the butchers from the US or the Uk are really about helping them is madness. Even if they do, let’s start a campaign in memory of the girls and young women Barack Obama has killed and to stop him killing more. Wouldn’t want to be hypocrites now would we?

“Michelle Obama spared a moment between lavish tax-victim-funded vacations and celebrity outings to join this year’s version of the Kony campaign, which seeks military action in Nigeria to liberate 276 Christian schoolgirls who were abducted by Muslim militants.

“Mrs. Obama’s Twitter photo was revised and corrected by a revolutionary socialist group in Detroit to reflect the hideous reality behind the administration’s humanitarian posturing,” says William Norman Grigg.

In light of the justified concern of many Australians for the safety of the kidnapped girls, let me ask a few questions.

Where were all those Australians so concerned about the welfare of kids when their Australian government was stealing Aboriginal children as an act of genocide (the words of the bringing them home report, not mine)? Where are they now when the Intervention is doing the same?

Where are all those Australians so concerned about the welfare of children when their current government has locked up 1000 kids in concentration camps on Manus Island and Nauru? The current Abbott government, and the previous Gillard/Rudd governments, were and are as big a threat to some kids as Boko Haram.

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.

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Comments

Comment from Ross
Time May 10, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Abbott’s strategy is to bring on the pain early and give us tax cuts before the next election.

OK Labor’s excesses needed to be cut back but Abbott announced doom and gloom with such fan fair,that he’s knocked the stuffing out of our economy in terms of confidence. He’s just another puppet idiot of the bankers like Rudd and Gillard.

If we do not move back to Govt owned banks ,we are totally stuffed because the next big collapse will not be covered up by Quantitative Easing ie money printing.

Comment from Chris Warren
Time May 10, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Abbott’s Sermon on City Hill?

Dearly beloved…

I BELIEVE SOCIAL WELFARE IS OFFENSIVE AND SHOULD BE REPLACED WITH PRIVATE CHARITY AND INDUSTRIAL CONSCRIPTION.

I BELIEVE PUBLIC HOLIDAYS ARE OFFENSIVE.

I BELIEVE THE SHORTER WORKING WEEK IS OFFENSIVE.

I BELIEVE MINIMUM WAGES ARE OFFENSIVE.

I BELIEVE LAND RIGHTS ARE OFFENSIVE.

I BELIEVE LEGAL AID IS OFFENSIVE.

I BELIEVE THAT MEANS TESTING IS OFFENSIVE.

I BELIEVE HERITAGE AND RELIGIOUS SITES ARE A SILLY WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY.

I BELIEVE COMMUNITY SERVICE OBLIGATIONS CREATE INEFFICIENT SUBSIDIES AND SHOULD NOT BE EXPECTED FROM CORPORATIONS.

I BELIEVE CAPITALISTS SHOULD GET TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN SUBSIDIES AND STIMULUS.

I BELIEVE IN UNEMPLOYMENT AND LOWER WAGES TO PREVENT INFLATION AND TO GLOBALISE OUR ECONOMY.

I BELIEVE CAPITAL HAS THE RIGHT TO STRIKE, BUT LABOUR STRIKES MUST BE BANNED.

I BELIEVE THAT CAPITAL SHOULD BE FREE TO MOVE ACROSS BORDERS BUT WORKERS MUST BE BLOCKED.

I BELIEVE IN COMMERCIALISING ALL AUSTRALIAN CULTURE AND SPORT AND USING THEM FOR MAKING PRIVATE PROFITS. I BELIEVE THAT PUBLIC MEDIA AND THE ABC SHOULD BE EMASCULATED.

I BELIEVE ‘FREE RIDERS’ ARE BLUDGERS EXCEPT FOR THOSE WHO REFUSE TO JOIN UNIONS.

I BELIEVE A SUSTAINABLE POPULATION WOULD LIMIT MY MARKET.

I BELIEVE A SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY WOULD DENY ME MY PROFIT.

I BELIEVE CARTELS AND MONOPOLIES ARE MODERN AND EFFICIENT BUT SMALL AND FAMILY ENTERPRISES ARE OUT-OF-DATE AND INEFFICIENT.

I BELIEVE THE NEEDS OF FAMILIES MUST NOT INTERFERE WITH PROFIT MAKING. BOTH PARENTS MUST WORK IF THIS MAKES PROFITS. BOTH PARENTS MUST BE UNEMPLOYED IF THIS MAKES PROFITS.

I BELIEVE NATIONAL PARKS SHOULD BE DESTROYED IF PROFITS CAN BE MADE. I BELIEVE WASTE AND POLLUTION SHOULD BE TOLERATED IF PROFITS CAN BE MADE. I BELIEVE THE EARTH IS COOLING.

I BELIEVE SCIENCE IS WRONG.

I BELIEVE THAT NUCLEAR WASTE SHOULD BE STORED ON ABORIGINAL LAND.

I BELIEVE CONSUMPTION MUST BE TAXED AND PROFITS MADE FREE. I BELIEVE WAGES MUST BE TAXED TWICE AND DIVIDENDS TAXED ONCE. I BELIEVE EXPORTERS SHOULD PAY NO TAX.

I BELIEVE CAPITAL SHOULD DICTATE WHAT HAPPENS TO SOCIETY IN THE FUTURE.

I BELIEVE THAT MINISTERIAL DECISIONS SHOULD BE SOLD TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER.

I BELIEVE THAT UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE IS TOO EXPENSIVE.

I BELIEVE THAT COMPULSORY VOTING INFRINGES MY FREEDOM.

I BELIEVE IN WAR.

I BELIEVE THAT PRIVATE SCHOOLS FOR THE FEW SHOULD MORE FUNDING THAN PUBLIC TRANSPORT FOR THE MANY.

I BELIEVE IN COMMERCIAL PRACTICES THAT ARE THE ANTITHESIS OF DEMOCRACY IN THE WORKPLACE AND IN SOCIETY AT LARGE.

I BELIEVE THAT ONLY THE STRONG SHOULD PROSPER. I BELIEVE THAT ABORIGINALS SHOULD LOSE THEIR CHILDREN, INCOME, FAMILIES, HOMES, LANGUAGES, AND CULTURE.

I BELIEVE IN STRONG NATIONAL LEADERSHIP BASED ON COMMERCE, BUSINESS AND INTERNATIONAL FINANCE.

I BELIEVE IN FASCISM.

Comment from Kay
Time May 11, 2014 at 8:16 am

I must say I find this constant blaming of the US for just about every bad thing in the world, and the constant excusing/turning a blind eye to the atrocities carried out by terrorist organisations such as Boko Haram, very nauseating! It reminds me of the propaganda we used to believe at Communist Party meetings in the 1950s – you know, all that ‘US imperialism’ stuff, and how the USSR would prevail because it was such a wonderful place where everyone was happily toiling for their own and the community’s benefit, in a free and just society. What a load of crap that turned out to be – you know, the gulags and all that! Western democracies have many many faults, but they’re the best thing going at the moment!

Boko Haram is nothing more than a group of vicious murdering thugs pretending they are doing the work of Allah. Neither the US nor the UK have intervened until requested by Nigeria, and being urged on by most other civilised societies. I find the doctoring of Michelle Obama’s photo quite disgusting. Get real!

Comment from Ross
Time May 11, 2014 at 10:09 am

Kay you need to do wider reading.http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/ See his latest article ‘ Call the Cops at Your Peril.’

On average 500 US citizens pa are killed by the police in the USA by the police. Their kill rate on citizens is 66 times greater than ours. Police State USA is far worse than many realise.

Mostly they kill blacks and Latinos but here you will see a father at a school meeting being arrested by the police for objecting to explicit sexual material being given to his daughter.

Read also ‘Confessions of an Economic Hitman’ by John Perkins. He as paid by the US Establishment to bribe and undermine countries all around the planet. This has been happening since WW2 when US Military might ruled the planet.

In fact the West is far worse than the Russians could ever dreamed of becoming.

We are lucky that the BRICS Nations are standing up to our Nazis because our future does not look bright.

Comment from Kay
Time May 11, 2014 at 4:04 pm

Ross

Yada, yada, yada! You must be joking! How many millions died under Stalin’s rule, just for starters! The Americans are no angels, but let’s get things into perspective, for gods sake!!

Comment from Chris Warren
Time May 11, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Stupis Kay;

In the 1950′ she would have only been a smelly, wingeing infant.

Her “what we used to believe” in the 1950’s is just fantasy.

Those who actually drove agendas in the 1950’s are now in their late 80’s and into their 90’s. They were largely ex-service men and women, and Kay’s aspersions are, at best, fatuous, and at worse, deliberate psywar by a rusted on capitalist.

Comment from Kay
Time May 12, 2014 at 9:43 am

Chris

Ah, my friend – you can’t help jumping in to insult me again! And, once again, you are so wrong.

If you were paying attention, I have always said my parents were members of the ACP – not me. But I was a primary and lower high school student in the 50s (I was born in the early 1940s), and went, with my parents, to all ACP meetings and activities. I believed all the ACP propaganda at the time. I saw how badly ACP members were treated in government employment – I saw a couple of HS teachers and uni lecturers/profs get treated in a very discriminatory manner because of their ACP membership. I was a keen Communist Party supporter until my early twenties, at which time I switched my allegiance to the ALP.

So you really do talk a lot of unsubstantiated BS!!!!!

Comment from Chris Warren
Time May 12, 2014 at 12:12 pm

Which all goes to show that kay is part of the problem – not the solution.

Maybe she should have paid more attention so that she would not have to carry such a mighty chip on her shoulder.

You cannot resolve past angsts from the 1950’s by deliberately disrupting life in 2014.

kay exemplifies the spoiled, bribed, middle class that emerged in the 1960’s fundamentally based on global exploitation of cheap labour both in the ex-colonial states and as refugee labour from Europe.

The stupidities of the 1960’s cohort were astounding – yippies, hippies, druggies, and anarchists of all hues. Richard Neville’s “Playpower” also reflects this nonsense.

All she can do now is cast all the aspersions she can manufacture as deliberate ploys to protect capitalism in its dying days.

Her cartoon comments are precisely the debased views that lead to people being discriminated against even today.

Comment from Luke Weyland
Time May 12, 2014 at 4:04 pm

Both Abbott and Hockey were product of Jesuit schools. Yet this budget goes against everything I understand that the Jesuits have ever stood for.

Comment from Kay
Time May 14, 2014 at 6:56 am

Chris

“kay exemplifies the spoiled, bribed, middle class that emerged in the 1960′s” What???? No middle class welfare then, I assure you!! The excesses of today were completely unimaginable back then!

“The stupidities of the 1960′s cohort were astounding – yippies, hippies, druggies, and anarchists of all hues.” What????? I was a hardworking stay-at-home mum during this period, raising 4 kids on a meagre PhD student’s stipend!

Honestly, you come up with such uninformed rubbish – and all to explain why someone might be brought up as a Communist, but later see the fallacy of all the propaganda we were fed. Face it, many people dramatically change their views as they mature and experience real life. And their views are very legitimate, albeit different from yours. But you still choose to live in your propaganda bubble.

What is it about you lefties that you feel impelled to personally insult anyone who dares to disagree with you?

Comment from Chris Warren
Time May 14, 2014 at 10:29 am

yes, most of those who went through PhD’s (successfully) then went into the public service at well above average wages.

They often point to the short period when they were supposedly on a megre stipend as somehow reflecting their lifestyle. These types are just trying to pull wool over everyone’s eyes.

Notice how kay never mentioned the amount, the source, or the date. As I recall Commonwealth Postgraduate Scholarships (obtained by the better candidates) were quite adequate.

Why did kay not mention child endowment payments?

So just more camouflage from kranky kay. Noone personally insults kay until AFTER it has insulted, ranted, provoked and disrupted.

Kay gets paid in its own coin. Plenty of people are able to disagree – so why is kay the only perpetual eyesore?

Comment from Kay
Time May 14, 2014 at 4:44 pm

Chris

How ignorant you are about scientific research in the 1960s. Commonwealth Scholarship? No, my husband had a privately funded scholarship – a couple of thousand dollars a year, well below the minimum wage – for 5 years. Child endowment? Yes, about $3/week total for 4 kids – that sure was a windfall!

Why is it that your standard of written English completely deteriorates when you get your paddy up? You do write a lot of ill-informed bunkum!

Comment from Chris Warren
Time May 14, 2014 at 9:04 pm

Kay at full spleen:

“ignorant”, ‘ill-informed”, “bunkum”.

As usual these labels just pile onto itself.

Just to show how fake this kay is; in the early 1960’s the truth is not that child endowment was $3 as kay lies, but 15/- per week per child (up to age 21 if they were still in education).

4 children would have been entitled to 60/- per week. That was a boost of around 20% for the low paid – so why does kay try to pin false innuendos on it?

Many private scholarships and cadetships had dependent allowances and paid different rates for different years of study.

In the early 1960’s a couple of thousand dollars was a excellent income for early entrants in the workforce. Experienced graduates employed as senior research officers by NSW government received less than 2,500 pounds.

I actually know a huge amount about public service scientific reseach in the late 1950’s through to the mid 1970’s.

Poor, poor kay, displaying more ignorance and making false statements, hiding facts, and disrupting others – will not save it.

Comment from Chris Warren
Time May 14, 2014 at 10:52 pm

What else did kay cover up?

Apart from a quite decent scholarship – notice how it did not give details – kay did not point out that taxpayers had access to generous spouse and dependent tax allowances – over 8 pounds per week for a single taxpayer with dependent spouse and 4 dependent children.

This means that a scholarship holders income could have been tax free after deductions.

Child endowment was 5/- for first, 10/- for second and 15/- for each thereafter, so with this, plus allowances, there was no meagre student stipend.

Kay’s “a couple of thousand dollars a year” was more than a minimum wage earner received [$37 pw – 1963].

It was all kay playing the victim.

The RBA website has all the necessary data to put kay back in its box.

See: Australian Economic Statistics 1949-1950 to 1996-1997 – Occasional Paper No. 8

Comment from John
Time May 15, 2014 at 6:47 am

It is time to end this silly spat. Discuss the issues please.

Comment from Kay
Time May 16, 2014 at 6:28 am

John

Fair enough! A pointless exercise. Chris knows more about my life than I do.