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John Passant

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December 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)



Of frog droppings and tax avoidance

I read Craig Thomas’s letter in response to my article in Monday’s Canberra Times on big business tax avoidance (‘Companies have tax questions to answer as working class taxpayers pay more tax than them‘) first in anticipation and then in dismay. (Letters, Wednesday 30 December about half way down the page in the link.)

Thomas says, under the heading Tax ideas misguided:

‘I refer to the article “Companies have tax questions to answer” (Times2, December 28, p5). What a load of frogs’ droppings. Mr Passant’s paradigm of working-class taxpayers has long vanished and the thought that there is a ruling class in Australia is kept alive only by himself and other sandal-wearing, muesli-chewing, bike-riding pedestrians.

‘Did the corporations pay their share of the tax burden while he was assistant commissioner of the ATO?

‘Craig Thomas’

Nowhere in the personal abuse of me does Thomas actually address my main point, namely that the release of the corporate tax transparency report puts the onus on big businesses to explain their tax affairs. (I am ruling out the extremely remote possibility that Thomas’s letter was satire.)

The fact that Thomas has to resort to puerile name calling rather than rational analysis highlights the paucity of logical arguments those defending tax avoidance by big business have.

Thomas also asserts that there is no such thing as a working class or a ruling class. Tell that to those workers whose penalty rates are under threat.

The popularity of the article online among a wide audience including workers and the left might suggest that a class analysis of tax avoidance and an exposé of how little tax big business pays appeals to a large number of people.

I have a question for Mr Thomas. Are you the same Craig Thomas who stood for the Liberal Party against Kevin Rudd at the 2007 election?

There is one benefit arising from the personal abuse Thomas heaped on me. I could never have imagined, adopting his description of me, that I would be able to sign off a letter with the following words.

Yours in frog droppings, sandal-wearing, muesli-chewing and bike riding on pedestrian walkways



Comment from Eric Smith
Time December 30, 2015 at 8:35 am

Though the problems of the world appear increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple – Bill Mollison

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