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John Passant

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October 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)



Labor’s left feint is cover for the right


It is now looking pretty clear that some sections of the Parliamentary Labor Party Left are distancing themselves from the Bill and Tony comedy duo. I wouldn’t be surprised if this tactic is part of the right’s attempt to win back disaffected supporters and voters. Let the left have a little leeway, not too much, but enough to attract support for a new Labor that will be in fact just like old Labor – neoliberal economically and reactionary socially.

We can see this strategy more generally in the vacuous photos of Labor leader Bill Shorten and other Party luminaries with signs condemning racism and bigotry.

Embedded image permalink


Yet Labor, both left and right, supports the very policies stirring up Islamophobia right now and when in government did nothing to fight racism, hatred and bigotry. Its support for the Northern Territory Intervention, its demonising of refugees and locking them up in offshore and onshore concentration camps, its warmongering,  all add to racism, hatred and bigotry.

The decision to cut a little bit of slack to the Left is another attempt to put lipstick on the Labor pig.

Yesterday it was the turn of former leadership contender, the man with 60% membership support, Anthony Albanese. According to Katharine Murphy in the Guardian Australia:

Anthony Albanese has signalled Labor has gone too far in supporting the Abbott government’s national security agenda, particularly the new “draconian” restrictions on press freedom which would see journalists jailed for between five and 10 years.

But not to worry. Albanese makes clear in the same article he is a true blue warmonger supporting the latest senseless western intervention in Iraq, an intervention that will only in the long term increase the power and appeal of fundamentalists like ISIS.

Albanese voted for the legislation. I dunno Anthony but complaining about legislation you voted for the day before looks like hypocrisy to me. If you were serious, you could have voted against the legislation when you had the chance. You didn’t. This law is your law.

This comes on top of Melissa Parke voicing her opposition to the national security laws in Parliament and abstaining (so I have been told) on the vote.

A few weeks ago Parke and former speaker Anna Burke addressed a Canberra Refugee Action Committee meeting to argue refugee policy must change.

It is good to see this sudden bout of conscience from sections of the group formerly known as the Left in the ALP. It reflects I think the concern within the membership and that section of society horrified by the bipartisan Labor and Liberal onshore and offshore concentration camps and dismayed with yet another Labor supported war and the attacks on our rapidly dwindling rights that entails.

However we need to be clear. Albanese, Parke and Burke not only support the racist, misogynist, warmongering ALP; they are integral to its racism, its sexism and its war mongering, not to mention its ‘caring’ neoliberalism.

Their opposition provides left cover for the dominant right wing. It gives false hope to left wing Labor members. It might even win back a few voters from the Greens.

Our task has to be to point out this reality and to talk to those with illusions in Labor not to repeat the same errors of the past.

Let these champions of freedom and refugees actually join the campaigns and mobilise ALP members and supporters. Why do you think they don’t?



Comment from paul walter
Time October 12, 2014 at 11:28 pm

Agonising, isn’t it?

Would love to add more but the black dog is biting.

Will just add, I was chatting with someone on FB, a really good woman but more of an optimist than me. My points roughly followed yours.

Comment from Kay
Time October 13, 2014 at 8:39 am

Well, of course any party that hopes to be elected into government needs to reflect the views of at least half the population. The fact remains, the general view of voters tends to the centre of politics – not the extreme left nor extreme right. From time to time, the voters veer slightly to the left of centre (Labor), and then veer slightly to the right of centre (the Coalition). Thankfully, this is how democracy saves us from both extremes.

And how many voters would support socialist ideas? Hardly any, which is why you socialists don’t run for office, I guess. The support you would get would prove quite depressing! How many people are members of socialist organisations? A few hundred? You socialists can’t even agree with each other, let alone mount a platform that would attract other disaffected voters. And there are a large number of disaffected voters out there in the community! There are many aspects of our political system that are crying out for change. But you socialists simply don’t engage because you are holding out for complete societal destruction via your longed for ‘workers’ revolution’. The outcome you are holding out for is very unlikely to come about, and if it did, it would mean societal and economic chaos, much loss of life (and quality of life) and a new, equally corrupt political structure that would quickly become totalitarian. We’ve seen it all before!

Comment from Lorikeet
Time October 13, 2014 at 2:35 pm

To support asylum seeking and immigrants taking Australian jobs is to also support the worldwide redistribution of populations and wealth, both of which are drivers of UN capitalist agendas.

Comment from Bonzodog
Time October 13, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Let’s ignore that the blogger is a socialist. I am assuming he is but I don’t know. Still, many of his comments I agree with. (I’m responding to his ideas here and not blagging him because of his political affiliation). I think his assessment of the Liberal/Labour ‘coalition’ is correct. I generally agree with his assessment that “Albanese, Parke and Burke not only support the racist, misogynist, warmongering ALP; they are integral to its racism, its sexism and its war mongering, not to mention its ‘caring’ neoliberalism.” The ALP is no real alternative to the government. It offers no real alternative policies. It goes along with offshore processing, is soft on so called climate change deniers, is gutless when it comes to gay marriage, is afraid to oppose yet another invasion in Iraq, doesn’t stand against the rapid loss of freedoms for Australians in the sleight of hand that is the war on terror (so-called again), gets into bed with anything the Empire wants. In fact we have no credible opposition in Australia. If the blogger is a socialist well that’s his problem. I agree with many of his ideas though. BD

Comment from Lorikeet
Time October 13, 2014 at 5:45 pm

I’m afraid I can’t agree with Kay that there won’t be a workers’ revolution. Workers need to belong to unions which aren’t affiliated with the ACTU and don’t give any money to Labor, Greens or Coalition.

If workers do not start a revolution IMMEDIATELY, they will be crushed by the police and armed services personnel who have been specifically trained according to UN standards for dealing with everyone who doesn’t follow the corporate neo-communist agenda. That’s to do as you’re told, accept poorer wages and working conditions, including a loss of penalty rates.

Constant attempts to take away our democratic rights support this.

I have a much broader concept than Bonzodog of the roles of race, religion, gender etc in the global plan, and that is to reduce all of these things to subliminal chatter, while the Capitalist Carbon Religion takes over.

Once governments and their capitalist mates throughout the world have created enough social problems, they will have a good excuse for a wholesale crackdown on various forms of individualism.

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