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John Passant

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January 2016



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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)



Is there a brig big enough for Briggs?

A few days before Christmas, Jamie Briggs resigned as a Minister in the Turnbull government. His behaviour towards a female departmental employee while on a Ministerial trip to Hong Kong was described by the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, as serious and warranting resignation. Turnbull should know. He was part of the committee, along with Julie Bishop and Warren Truss, that examined the complaint and the evidence against Briggs.

As Turnbull said:

“This is a serious matter.

“It was considered very carefully with due process, consultation with senior colleagues, it was considered very, very carefully.

“Ministerial standards were breached. His conduct did not live up to the standard required of ministers and as a consequence, he reflected on that and made a decision to offer his resignation which I accepted and it was the appropriate course of action.”

Briggs was a supporter of Tony Abbott and is part of the sizeable reactionary group in the Liberal Party. They supported him after he resigned. Their basic line was that it was a minor indiscretion and Briggs would bounce back one day into the Ministry. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton thought he was texting Briggs when he described one female journalist reporting on Briggsgate as a mad fucking witch. The incompetent sent it by accident to the journalist.

While that re-installation now appears dead, the spirit that protects Briggs isn’t. Sexism as an expression of women’s oppression infects significant sections of society – ‘she was asking for it,’ ‘she had it coming,’ ‘she must have led him on’, all come to mind.

The oppression of women under capitalism is systemic. It arises from the need of capital for the development of the next generation of wage slaves on the cheap. One role of women is to provide that unpaid ‘raise the kids’ labour.

The Liberal Party has had a stellar rise in the polls since Malcolm Turnbull replaced arch sexist Tony Abbott as Prime Minister in September this year. The Liberal National Party government will comfortably win the next election, especially if the vote is held before the May Budget. According to a recent poll in The Australian, women have flocked to the Turnbull led Liberals.

It is the classic two card trick. The abrasive Abbott exposed the systemic sexism of his government. Turnbull hides the systemic oppression of women with silver tongued words.

However, Turnbull has a new Briggs’ problem. News Corp papers on Saturday and Sunday had pixelated photos of the woman who complained about Briggs’ behaviour and details about her university and other life matters sufficient to identify her. The aim is of course to scare her, and to scare any woman in the future who might even contemplate complaining about the actions of a born to rule man. Women need to know their place and that is to be the grateful recipient of unwanted advances from drunken ministers and not to complain.

As ABC News says:

‘According to News Limited, Mr Briggs said he took the photo in question and then distributed the image to colleagues before and after she made an official complaint.

‘It is unclear who then leaked the photo to the media.’

Why did Briggs distribute a photo of the female victim to colleagues before and after this blew up? Did he discuss the photo with anyone? If so, what was the nature of those discussions?

We know from the Royal Witch Hunt into Trade Unions that this is a government keen on stamping out bullies and referring all ‘errant’ behaviour to the relevant authorities. Well Mr Turnbull, here is your chance. Refer the photos and their leaking to the Australian Federal Police and Fair Work Australia for investigation. The AFP can see if taking the photos, distributing them to colleagues and leaking them to the press are crimes, and who did what in relation to the leaking and publication. Fair Work can protect the female victim from the bullying that is the leaking of the photos and their publication by investigating and then taking punitive action against the bullies. Over to you Mr Turnbull. Or are you just a smarmy version of Tony Abbott?



Pingback from Is there a brig big enough for Briggs? – WRITTEN BY JOHN PASSANT | winstonclose
Time January 4, 2016 at 5:19 am

[…] Posted by John, January 3rd, 2016 – under Women’s oppression, Malcolm Turnbull, sexism, Jamie Briggs. Comments: none […]

Comment from Lorikeet
Time January 4, 2016 at 10:22 am

I think trivial issues such as this one and comments made by Peter Dutton are designed to deflect our attention from far more important matters such as further welfare cuts, a proposed large increase in the GST, a plan to cut penalty rates, and a total disinterest in creating manufacturing jobs.

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