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John Passant

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June 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)



Labor’s refugee petard

Bill Shorten has denied that Labor ever paid people smugglers to turn back their boats. His weasel words were: “I am informed that Labor did not pay people smugglers to turn around boats.” The important words here are ‘to turn around boats.’

It appears the people smuggler disruption programmes run by say ASIS (Australia’s offshore spy agency), the AFP and/or others involves paying people smugglers not to leave port for Australia.

As Fairfax media has been reporting:

‘Cash payments have been made to members of Indonesian people-smuggling rings by Australian intelligence officials for at least the past four years – including under the former Labor government.’

When Labor accused the Abbott government of paying people smugglers to run boats around, most Ministers and the Prime Ministers refused to say yes or no and hid behind the smokescreen of on water operational matters. (At one stage Dutton and Bishop said no payments had been made but changed their tune after presumably being told the truth and adopted the mantra of not talking about operational matters).

When it became clear that ASIS may have been making payments to people smugglers under both Labor and Liberal governments, Labor, like the Liberals, found a convenient bolthole. As Fairfax reported:

‘A spokeswoman for shadow immigration spokesman Richard Marles said: “It’s unlawful for the government or the opposition to divulge security or intelligence information.”‘

Shorten joined in the rush to hide behind the national security excuse. When questioned about ASIS payments to people smugglers during Labor’s most recent term in government Shorten said:

‘You know it doesn’t matter what party the politician is from, when it comes to security matters, we simply don’t comment.’

How convenient. The same rotten politics the Liberals use to avoid scrutiny Labor adopts. And so it was that on Monday in question time every Labor question was about paying people smugglers. On Tuesday, after news broke of Labor doing the same, there was not one question on paying people smugglers.

On Monday, Labor demanded the PM give a one word answer – yes or no – to whether the government had paid people smugglers. On Tuesday, Shorten refused to answer that very question.

On asylum seekers Labor has been hoist with their own petard. It would be laughable if it were not so serious.

The time has come for Labor to abandon the stink bomb that is their refugee policy and welcome those fleeing war, rape, imprisonment and persecution.

I know that will not happen. It is up to refugee activists to continue our long fight to defend asylum seekers. Instead of Labor and Liberal lies, that means, as a start and as Red Cross has shown, telling the truth about our abandoned brothers and sisters and exposing Labor and the government for the liars and criminals they are.

It means pointing out too that the government (of whatever neoliberal persuasion) that is attacking workers and the poor also attacks asylum seekers. We are all in this together.





Comment from Sienna
Time June 17, 2015 at 9:03 pm

But according to you, government should have unlimited powers , remember, so you have no ground to criticise you snivelling turd.

Comment from David Tanner
Time June 18, 2015 at 10:41 am

We haven’t abandoned asylum seekers at all. We are still welcoming the many thousands who come to our country by legitimate means such as the UNHCR.

Comment from John
Time June 18, 2015 at 2:29 pm

There is no queue. UNHCR wil take over 100 years to go through. Read the Red Cross survey and responses.

Comment from John
Time June 18, 2015 at 2:30 pm

Thanks Sienna. I am for a society without government. Keep up the good work. Your insults are especially enlightening.

Comment from Ross
Time June 18, 2015 at 6:39 pm

” Society without Govt” Who will make the decisions for policy directions ?

The present system is evil beyond anyone’s imagination. A few elites now rule this planet and they are intoxicated enough with the drug of power to bring on a nuke war because Russia and China now have the upper hand economically.

This is what Malcolm Fraser was alluding to when he was alive.

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