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John Passant

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If you want to keep a blog that makes the arguments every day against the ravages of capitalism going and keeps alive the flame of democracy and community, make a donation to help cover my costs. And of course keep reading the blog. To donate click here. Keep socialist blog En Passant going. More... (4)

Sprouting sh*t for almost nothing
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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)



The National ‘Reform’ Summit is about screwing workers

The Fairfax bosses’ paper the Australian Financial Review and the Murdoch flagship of reaction The Australian are combining to hold a National Reform Summit in Sydney on 26 August.

According to the Fin (linked above):

‘About 80 leaders from major groups, including The Australian Council of Trade Unions, the Business Council of Australia, Australian Industry Group, the Australian Council of Social Service, National Seniors Australia and COTA Australia, will meet in Sydney.’

The last time the ACTU involved itself in a ‘reform’ summit we workers ended up being screwed by the Hawke Labor Government’s Accord, a social con trick which over time cut strikes, held wages down and saw the share of national income going to capital begin its historic explosion.

The Fin again:

‘ACTU secretary Dave Oliver said he wanted a return to the “constructive” relations between unions, business and government that existed under under previous Labor governments.’

Alarm bells should already be ringing. As I have pointed out above, those ‘constructive’ relations were class collaboration on a massive scale that benefited the bosses, not workers. Be afraid, be very afraid.

What is on the agenda? Fiscal ‘responsibility’, sustainable retirement policy, tax reform, and productivity and workforce participation.

All well and good, but the direction the discussions will take is anti-worker. For example tax reform in the era of falling profit rates globally is essentially about cutting taxes on capital and, if they could get away with it, increasing and broadening the GST to tax workers and the poor more.

Any discussion about productivity and workforce participation will be about the rewards of massive labour productivity increases going to capital.

It is the bourgeois reform impasse and the search by capital for ways to break out of it which is driving this summit.

The reform impasse arises because the essential social democratic desires of the working class, born of the necessity to sell our labour power to survive, conflicts with the needs of capital to extract even more surplus value from us in the form of profits and the like, a profit which we create but which the bosses purloin as our unpaid labour.

Let’s hope that the impasse continues and ruling class inertia and fear protect the working class.





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Time July 16, 2015 at 4:02 am

[…] Posted by John, July 15th, 2015 – under Australian Financial Review,Reform, The Australian, The National Reform Summit. Comments: none […]