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John Passant

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June 2014



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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)



Who will buy this wonderful writer?

I keep waiting for the call. [Dream, or nightmare, begins.]

Rupert here, John. Look, we’re a fairly broad church and I want you to write a column every week in The Australian really bagging out the status quo. I have been reading your stuff avidly ever since July 2011 when you wrote that piece asking ‘Why aren’t I in jail?‘ Very perceptive on your part young man, very perceptive.

Not only that but that gun journo Nick Cater sang your praises the other day in The Australian too. I liked what he said:

In today’s world of eff-you politics, John Passant is an anachronism, and not because he wants to see the overthrow of capitalism. He is an oddity because he insists on articulating his case. (‘Abbott haters put rage before reason’ The Australian 3 June 2014 page 12. It is behind a paywall.)

Even the soft left recognises your talents John. Remember what Crikey said the other day?

…. John Passant … blogs politically — and very well — as En Passant.

So what do you reckon John? $1000 a column for 48 weeks a year, locked in for 3 years. Write on anything. Be as outrageous as you want – you couldn’t match Bolty for that anyway. Better still, as Cater says, articulate your case. That would be an oddity, in my papers at least.

[Reality re-enters the room.]

Of course this isn’t going to happen in any form. The mainstream media is there to reflect the views of the ruling class, and ram them down our throats. Sometimes like the Australian it takes a particular one-sided approach to the major debates in capitalism.


Other newspapers, some in the Fairfax stable, are a little more even handed. This just means as Chomsky says that they allow some debate within a narrow spectrum. However the Australian Financial Review has shifted to the right and is trying to outdo News Corp in the neoliberal stakes but not the Abbott worship.

Part of the reason newspaper readership is falling, just as support for the major parties is falling, is that they all offer much the same – the bland small differences between the two major parties of neoliberalism beaten up as major differences. This has opened up a space for social media, but that doesn’t mean people are rushing socialist sites.

The flight away from the major parties has been to other capitalist parties. So too the flight of disenchanted Labor supporters and other left wing people has been to the comfort of social democratic sites which reinforce the desire for ‘progressive’ change without actually offering a platform or organisation to do so. Or understanding that the era of progressive social reform is over. The surplus value created relative to capital invested is not great enough to sustain a welfare state in Australia in the long term.

Socialist newspapers and websites are getting more readers but we are still small.  Certainly my readership has increased steadily over time.

Our growing audience is because a small minority in Australia have understood, especially after 6 years of Labor neoliberalism and the brutal Abbott budget, that both parties rule for the rich, in slightly different ways, sometimes, but essentially both manage capitalism.

The fact that the working class in Australia is still by and large inactive industrially and hence politically means that this minor status for socialist media will continue for a while. It will make some inroads as a small minority realise, courtesy of the demands of capitalism itself, the need for a fight back against capital and to fight for a new and democratic society.

It is part of the reason why you are never going to see me offered a regular spot in any mainstream media. Of course, once the lion rises from its slumbers the bosses’ media aren’t going to give any space to the enemy. So to understand what is going on you’ll just have to keep reading my blog and other sites like Red Flag and Green Left Weekly.



Pingback from Who will buy this wonderful writer? | OzHouse
Time June 25, 2014 at 10:11 pm

[…] Jun 25 2014 by admin […]

Comment from singletonengineer
Time June 30, 2014 at 10:17 am

Great column.

All the best with your dream project. Maybe you could offer “Bolty” a job as a researcher when Rupert tires of him.

Comment from John
Time June 30, 2014 at 12:45 pm

Ha, thanks. I doubt my brand of factual veracity would suit the bolter.

Comment from Kay
Time July 1, 2014 at 9:09 am


I don’t think you are any closer to “factual veracity” than Andrew Bolt. You both give your own slant on issues – diametrically opposed to each other, but both personally biased. Within the writings of each of you, some gems of “factual veracity” may be found. You know, some ‘inconvenient truths’. Actually, reading both you and Bolt gives the two sides of any issue, but the ‘truth’…….well, is there such a thing?

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