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John Passant

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July 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)



Kevin Ovenden reporting from Athens on the No! rally

Real social forces were rallied tonight!

Tonight’s rally was a big success.

The sheer size of it will be felt outside of Athens in the towns and villages and regional cities. The private media is very bad. But it was enormous and it has forced its way into the broadcasts with no one in a position to gainsay its size.

There was no big speechifying, except the address by Tsipras. I’ll include in a dispatch later on some of what he said. But it was what he has been saying all week, though more combative. He speaks very well in any case.

Tonight, though I was on air for some of it, his style was brilliant. Really confident and “laiko”, the popular touch.

This was a rally. Forces were rallied.

Several international journos on floor seven of the Athen Plaza where the improvised studios are were gob-smacked.

And the overall feel of the rally had a clear tactical focus in the run-up to Sunday.

There was a leak earlier today from New Democracy of their game plan for the last 48 hours until polls close on Sunday evening at 7pm.

Their private surveys and polling have identified that there are 30 percent of those Syriza voters who came over from Pasok who were undecided mid-week. (I am not sure what the baseline is as to when they came over from Pasok. Need to read the document with Greek friends in a bit to be accurate.)

So their tactic is to avoid this looking like a fight between left and the old right. The ND leaders fear that if that is the sense of Sunday, then they will lose.

That’s why they are promoting everywhere they can centre-left figures as the face of the Yes campaign – Kaminis and Boutaris, the former Pasok centre-left mayors of Athens and Salonika.

The overall feel of tonight’s rally – the music, the working class faces, Tsipras’s speech, the joyful atmosphere and the slogans aimed to appeal to that old Pasok sentiment and social base, which Pasok the party has lost but which has yet to establish historical traditional attachment to a new party. They vote Syriza, but it is not like voting for Pasok for 20 years.

As I discussed it with friends on the packed (free!) Metro I could suddenly name the feeling I had tonight in Syntagma.

More modern staging and projection screens, allowance for the passage of 30 years – but this felt like old Pasok, at a time when Andreas’s government had not disgraced itself and he had that combative, witty, laiko, intelligent style.

More later. Bits and pieces here. But I want to think a little and hear more before writing something longer and more considered as a dispatch.

Will link to the leaked ND document in a bit.

NOTE – if you find this useful, then please feel free to share, copy and paste onto blogs or discussion boards or whatever.

JP: This video of the rally gives a good view of the No! demonstration.

The excellent Left Flank has A selection of KEVIN OVENDEN’s live posts from the massive No protest in Athens, 3 July 2015 – See more at:


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