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John Passant

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February 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)



Sanders’ New Hampshire victory shows establishment politics in the US is cracking up

Bernie Sanders, who openly calls himself a socialist, at a campaign rally in New Hampshire (Pic: @people4bernie/Twitter)

Charlie Kimber in Socialist Worker UK looks at the rise of self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders and argues that ‘the old politics is under extreme strain, and millions of people are looking for an alternative.’ However Sanders is not that alternative because ‘he is prepared to stay within the limits of the thoroughly capitalist Democratic Party.’

Bernie Sanders, who calls himself a socialist, has won a thumping victory in the New Hampshire state election for the US Democratic Party presidential candidate.

Sanders won 60 percent of the vote, 20 percentage points more than the establishment candidate, Hillary Clinton.

Exit polls showed his biggest support came from younger and poorer voters.

Sanders took more than 80 percent of the votes of those under 30. And he took 70 percent of the votes of those earning less than £20,000 a year and two-thirds of those earning less than £35,000 a year.

Clinton won only among voters over 65 and those earning more than £140,000 a year.

At this victory celebration, Sanders said, “What began last week in Iowa, what voters here in New Hampshire confirmed tonight, is nothing short of the beginning of a political revolution. It is a political revolution that will bring tens of millions of our people together.

“Together, we have sent the message that will echo from Wall Street to Washington, from Maine to California. And that is that the government of our great country belongs to all of the people and not just a handful of wealthy campaign contributors”.

Broadcaster CNN said, “In less than a year, Sanders has turned a hopeless quest into a serious threat to Clinton’s ability to win the Democratic nomination—and has already stopped a coronation.”

Over the last few days Clinton tried to sound more radical, and to claim that she was anti-establishment because she was a woman.

This turn was backed up former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, who implemented the murderous sanctions on Iraq in the 1990s. As Clinton looked on laughing and clapping, Albright had told the media, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!”

Such desperate tactics wholly failed. Sanders won among women by 55 percent to 45 percent.

Bernie Sanders took 70 percent of the votes of those in the lowest income bracket

One sign of the enthusiasm for Sanders was a record turnout at the polls. And Sanders also did better than the surging Barack Obama in 2008.

Sanders’ policies are less radical than is sometimes presumed—and he lines up with key parts of the US imperialist agenda.

But he partially reflects the insurgent mood that produced Occupy Wall Street in 2011 and the Black Lives Matter movement. He also reflects the recent signs of more militant workers’ action and the growing climate change movement.

This is what is really significant—the old politics is under extreme strain, and millions of people are looking for an alternative.

But at his victory speech Sanders also underlined his readiness to unite with Clinton in the future.

He said, “I also hope that we all remember, and this is a message not just to our opponents, but to those who support me as well, that we will need to come together in a few months and unite this party and this nation because the right-wing Republicans we oppose must not be allowed to gain the presidency.”

That means he is prepared to stay within the limits of the thoroughly capitalist Democratic Party.

The fact that establishment politics are cracking up was also reflected in the Republican poll, with a big win for the thuggish billionaire Donald Trump. Trump has never held elected office and plays on being an “outsider”.

In truth he slavishly follows the interest of big business and the generals. His racist populism is dragging politics rightwards.

Exit polls in New Hampshire found that 66 percent of those participating in the Republican primary supported Trump’s call for an outright ban on Muslims entering the United States.

Trump’s win, following a second place in Iowa and with a clear lead in the national polls, means he is in a strong position. There is no obvious single competitor for the party establishment to unite around in order to stop him.

And, given the deep distaste with politics as usual, it’s not obvious that one would beat him anyway.


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