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John Passant

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March 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)



Occupy Queensland Nickel

The situation at whichever one of Clive Palmer’s companies owns Queensland Nickel is grim. Having sacked over 200 workers in January, today the remaining 550 workers are unemployed. It is not clear they will be re-employed in the short term or the long term.

Workers want their jobs back. How can they win that?

As the Commonwealth Liberal and Queensland Labor governments do nothing, and Palmer blames every one but himself, desperate times demand desperate measures. The time for talk is over.

The sacked workers could consider occupying the plant and demand Palmer pay them all out of his own wealth until money starts flowing again from refining nickel. It appears it will take at least 2 months before new contracts can be negotiated and ore shipped to the refinery. Palmer can afford it.

He can also afford to pay the workers out of his own wealth till the price of nickel improves.

Five hundred workers occupying the plant would change the game. Unlike constant but fruitless talks, this at least has a chance of winning and gives workers real bargaining power, especially if the community mobilises behind them, which it is likely to do.



Comment from Lorikeet
Time March 14, 2016 at 9:03 am

I am well and truly over the constant witch hunt (or wizard hunt) on Clive Palmer being perpetrated by the major parties (Liberals in particular) in order to ensure they remain the only parties with any say in how the state/country is run. This is of course supported by a large section of the media.

Both state and federal governments should do the right thing by Clive Palmer’s workers and offer an assistance package. But I know this will never happen as their main aim is to discredit Clive and leave him without any election funding.

Clive Palmer and PUP Senators (both former and continuing members of his party) have actually voted down a lot of bad legislation.

If the major parties succeed in their continuing undemocratic attempts to keep the little people out of the parliament, forcing us to vote for 6 people above the line, I will be ensuring that my vote will go solely to independents and minor party candidates, which might include Glenn Lazarus IND, formerly of PUP.

I am also hoping that the seat of New England is not retained by Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce or his main opponent, who has clearly crawled out of the woodwork to ensure the duopoly remains in power.

I am also concerned that Barnaby Joyce’s former staffer, Matt Canavan, has been made Minister for Northern Australia. At the last federal election, Liberals spent a huge sum of money trying to oust Bob Katter from the seat of Kennedy in Northern Queensland. I am worried that Joyce/Canavan will get together and make a further attempt to achieve that aim.

Barnaby Joyce has had more than sufficient time to prove himself to be a pro-Australian politician, but he is clearly only interested in furthering his own career and feathering his own nest.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time March 14, 2016 at 9:05 am

I certainly support workers from the nickel mine occupying the plant. However I think they should be screaming for government assistance, since this is an Australian owned mine. If it were foreign owned, no doubt the government would be kissing backsides and bending over backwards to assist.

Comment from Fred
Time March 14, 2016 at 5:11 pm

Won’t refining Nickel contribute to climate change?

Comment from John
Time March 14, 2016 at 7:08 pm

Yes, which is why in the act of occupying they should demand they be paid wages from Palmer for effectively not producing it. Palmer is now saying nothing till July. By challenging property relations and defending their occupation from the forces of the State and capital their ideas can change and they can begin to think about how to run the world without destroying it and that includes what other uses the refinery could be put to, uses that satisfy human need.

Comment from John
Time March 14, 2016 at 7:09 pm

Palmer has bought it on himself. His support in his electorate at the moment is running at about 2%.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time March 15, 2016 at 2:09 pm

Plenty of help there from the media.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time March 15, 2016 at 2:11 pm

What is nickel used for?

Comment from Lorikeet
Time March 15, 2016 at 2:14 pm

It seems to be used for making stainless steel. I reckon we need to start producing our own high quality product instead of importing it from China. If you want a place to live in and vehicles to travel in, you need stainless steel.

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