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John Passant

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May 2015



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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)



Rescue the Rohingya refugees

The Australian government must provide the urgent humanitarian assistance needed by the up to 8000 Rohingyan asylum seekers in boats, at risk, in the Malacca Straits, says the Refugee Action Coalition.

“The Australian government is playing with asylum seekers’ lives,” said Ian Rintoul, from the Refugee Action Coalition. “It is suddenly obvious that offering ‘turnback’ advice to Malaysia and Indonesia cannot save lives at sea, but only endanger them.”

Rohingya boat


“The boats must be welcome in Indonesia and Malaysia, and Australia. Australia must immediately lift its ban on accepting UNHCR refugees from Indonesia and offer Rohingyan refugees safe passage to Australia. An international rescue effort can guarantee that no lives are lost.”

The Australian navy that patrols within hours’ steaming time of the Malacca Straits should already be providing search and rescue assistance and ensuring that they can get safely to land. Every day and every hour that passes without that assistance puts more asylum seekers’ lives in danger.

In other emergencies, such as the earthquake in Nepal or the tsunami in Aceh, the Australian government offers aid and material assistance; but when it comes to asylum seekers’ lives – the government is offering only dangerous rhetoric.

“It is obvious that Australia’s policy of turning back asylum boats from Indonesia and Sri Lanka has created a dangerous precedent in the region, and turned asylum seekers into political footballs. Asylum seeker boats turned away from Indonesia and Malaysia are also at risk of being turned back by Australia.

“Australia’s turnback policy has always been a ‘go die somewhere else’ policy and that is exactly what’s playing out in the Malacca Straits. The rhetoric of blaming people smugglers is a shabby excuse to deny assistance to those in desperate need. The whole world knows the Rohingyans are victims of ethnic cleansing,” said Rintoul.

To its credit, Indonesia has offered support to around 600 Rohingyan asylum seekers who have landed in Aceh. But to the shame of the Abbott government, foreign aid to Indonesia was cut by 40 per cent, even as the crisis unfolded.

Meanwhile Europe has announced a policy of proportionally sharing asylum seekers arriving from Africa or rescued in the Mediterranean, among participating European countries.

“It has never been more obvious that Abbott’s slogan of ‘stopping the boats’ is a costly sham that costs lives. The government could have saved the budget and saved lives by scrapping offshore processing and its monstrous Border Force ministry,” said Rintoul.

Sydney protest – May 22, 5pm, Sydney Town Hall.

Melbourne protest – May 22, 5.30pm, Bourke St Mall.

Canberra protest – May 22 5 – 6 pm Cnr Barry Drive and Northbourne Ave.



Comment from Kay
Time May 19, 2015 at 8:05 am

My impression is that the rest of the world is finally waking up to the fact that the best way to stop drownings and destroy the people smugglers bloody business is to “Turn back the Boats”! It’s worked here. We went from nearly 1200 deaths under Labor/Greens policies to just 1 in Manus under the Coalition. A big improvement.

The rest of the world cannot safely absorb ALL those fleeing from Islamic violence, and other violent political/religious catastrophes. And the only way to get the UN and the rest of the world to properly focus on the CAUSE of the problem is to force the strife-torn countries to deal with their own problems, and their own populations. The Middle East is a cot-case! Maybe borders have to be redrawn to separate Sunni and Shia Muslims, and other minorities, given that they apparently can’t peacefully co-exist.

Comment from John
Time May 19, 2015 at 1:42 pm

You should get your facts right. The Rohingya are a persecuted Muslim minority in Myanmar. The Middle East is in turmoil because of Western interference for over 100 years.
The treatment of the Rohingya shows the complete failure of another of Abbott’s unthinking slogans – turn back the boats – both here and overseas/ It isn’t about saving people’s lives; it is about exporting their deaths elsewhere.

Comment from Kay
Time May 19, 2015 at 6:32 pm

I am fully aware that the Rohingya come from Myanmar – and what the issues are in that country. I referred to that in my comment “….other violent political/religious catastrophes.” But they are just another group of Muslim asylum seekers on top of those fleeing the Middle East. As I said, there needs to be more pressure from the UN and the rest of the world to properly focus on the CAUSE of the problem and to force the strife-torn countries to deal with their own problems, and their own populations. Otherwise there will be no end to these asylum seeker disasters.

The Middle East is in turmoil for many reasons – including Western interference for the past 100 years. But the primary issue is Sunni versus Shia. Western interference, like Sykes-Picot Agreement and recent US invasions, has added to the problems, but such is the hatred between the two groups that no country borders, no matter how carefully devised, could really solve the problem.

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