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John Passant

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July 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)



Australia’s political divide and neoliberalism

(Image via


In Independent Australia I discuss Australia’s shifting political divide in light of growing global austerity and the rise of extremism. I call for unity against the rising tide of reaction:

‘The threat is real, and it is growing. We cannot rely on the leadership of the major parties to mobilise a mass movement against the forces of reaction. We need a united front of members of the Labor Party and Greens, of rank and file unionists, of people like me to the left of the mainstream and ordinary members of the targeted groups to unite to fight the racists and drive them back under their rocks.’

To read the article In Independent Australia click here. Neoliberalism and Australia’s political divide.



Comment from Lycaon
Time July 26, 2016 at 9:19 pm

The correct verb is spout:

Not sprout:

Comment from Kay
Time July 27, 2016 at 7:27 am

By “extremism” I assume you mean Islamist extremism that is currently the most obvious form of extremism taking lives right around the world – mainly Muslim lives?

By “reaction” I assume you mean the quite understandable rise of the right wing in reacting against these extreme acts?

Well, how about the Left shows some leadership in helping the fight against the further rise of Islamist extremism rather than fighting the normal human reaction of the general population to fear this extremism?

The Sonia Krugers and Pauline Hansons of this world are simply reactions against the prevailing PC-riven Left-dominated media and its hysterical efforts to silence any concerns about Islamist terrorism. The approach of the Left is simply to denigrate ordinary people’s genuine fear by attacking the character of the people expressing fear. The Left just churn out ad nauseum the words “racist” and “bigots” etc. How insulting, and how wrong in most cases. These insults only serve to harden the views of these fearful people – whether or not you think they have any legitimate reason to fear Islam.

It is interesting, for example, that in Qld at least, Pauline Hanson attracted significantly more first preference votes than the Greens. And she started from nothing, not having any presence at all in the election until the last few weeks.

It would appear that our police have a pretty good handle on stopping planned Islamist attacks in Australia. I hope they continue to be successful. I travel a fair bit, so I am much more at risk than those here in Australia. Why not show leadership in supporting the police efforts to prevent any terrorist activities here. The Left would gain more respect and support if it did than by pretending that there is no reason for concern, and just running around shouting profanities at ordinary people.

I agree that extreme right wing movements need to be nipped in the bud, just like extreme left wing movements. But that is best done by not providing them with any rationale for their rise in the first place. And that would mean supporting police efforts at detecting and preventing any violent plans by either side! Just as extreme left wing ideas have little support in this essentially wealthy country, so extreme right wing ideas will have little support unless their ranks are filled by those who are merely fearful.

Comment from John
Time July 27, 2016 at 7:53 am

I showed my leadership in 2003 when I joined with hundreds of thousands of Australians in marching against invading Iraq. That invasion spawned ISIS. Where were you?

Comment from Kay
Time July 27, 2016 at 7:56 am

A good article – although you won’t like it because it shows the problem with encouraging a ‘victim’ mentality.

Comment from Kay
Time July 27, 2016 at 8:07 am

I think that ISIS arose because of several reasons, including the removal of the ‘strong man’ Saddam Hussein. ISIS is part of the age-old conflict between the Shia and Sunni adherents.

I concede I was happy to see Saddam Hussein removed because of the barbaric way he oppressed Shia and Kurd peoples. But now we just have an even more violent Sunni movement/reaction. Saddam would approve! All it shows me is that these countries where there have been centuries of Shia/Sunni conflict are best ruled by strong-arm dictators of one sect or the other! My mistake to imagine that democracy might arise there! The Middle East is a picture of strong dictatorships and Sunni/Shia violence.

It’s a pity there can’t be more largely peaceful Muslim democracies like Indonesia. But, in Indonesia, well over 90% (some say 99%) are Sunni, so not so much Sunni/Shia conflict.

Comment from Fred
Time July 27, 2016 at 9:25 am

Funny, I didn’t hear anyone at the time warning against a new Islamic Caliphate.

Most of the opposition seemed to come from whether it was sanctioned by the UN.

Comment from John
Time July 27, 2016 at 8:02 pm

I would not feed janet Albrechtsen. A reactionary nonsense writer.

Comment from John
Time July 27, 2016 at 8:04 pm

ANd some also said the results would be unpredictable, perhaps catastrophic. As to the UN stuff, that was the ALP’s pathetic line. So I take it you supported the invasion at the time. So you are part of the problem, like George W Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard.

Comment from John
Time July 27, 2016 at 8:06 pm

Hmm, the same Saddam the West had no qualms in supply arms and gas to against the Iranians. Yes, religious conflict. Catholics versus protestants has killed more people than Shia versus Sunni. Pity 99% of Northern Ireland aren’t Protestant eh? But that is what the Empire tried to achieve didn’t it? But glad to see you admit you lined up with Bush and Blair and Howard while the rest of us told the government this would be a disaster. Stop giving credence to imperialism. But given your thirst for freedom around the globe and the view that Western arms can win it, when is the US invading Saudi Arabia? West Papua? Ah, they are our allies aren’t they?

Comment from Kay
Time July 31, 2016 at 12:16 pm

Are you saying you are looking forward to the US invading Saudi Arabia and West Papua? No. You were clearly quite content to watch Saddam Hussein’s barbarity towards the Kurds and Shia, plus his previous outing invading Kuwait. So I guess you are also happy to let the Wahhabi barbarity in Saudi Arabia continue too? And the oppression by Indonesia of West Papuans? That is in line with your earlier views on Iraq. Ah well….. I doubt anyone is keen to intervene given previous invasions in the Middle East. Both the US and Russia have been badly burnt.

The Arab Spring home-grown uprisings didn’t turn out so well either! And they were lauded by all, especially the Left. It’s just a cot-case of a region! And always present is the 1400-year-old Sunni/Shia conflict which is more powerful than anything the US or Russia can dish out! More lethal.

Hard to obtain actual numbers, but my guess is that Sunni/Shia killings outnumber Catholic/Protestant killings over the centuries. Do you have actual numbers? During ‘The Troubles’ in Ireland, I believe the total deaths were around 4,000. Mind you, if I had my wish, there wouldn’t be any religions – they are all lethal!

Comment from John
Time July 31, 2016 at 1:40 pm

Rubbish. I have been a long term supporter of the Kurds. The solution to dictators lies with the people of the country he or she is ruling, not Western (or other powers’) imperialism. I wrote an article in 1990 or 1991 from memory for the Canberra Times in support of the Kurds fight for self determination, sparked by the jailing of the leader of the PKK.

BTW how many died during the various religious wars (or seemingly religious wars but in fact perhaps really about something much deeper such as the economic system and who gets what from it) in Europe? During the English Civil Wars? Etc etc….

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