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John Passant

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August 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)



The Canberra Times – my unpublished letters tell a tale

I thought I would include some of my unpublished Canberra Times’ letters to show the degeneration of the newspaper from the Fyshwick Pravda (always an overstated claim by hyperventilating conservative politicians) to a liberal’s version of The Australian.  Of course it is not just the refusal to publish my letters. That is but a symptom of a greater disease – both the narrowing down of opinion in the paper and a stampede to the right reflected in its conversion to tabloid form and much tabloid content, or regurgitated Age and Sydney Morning Herald articles.


The first two letters on Tuesday deserve a response. (Letters, August 9.)

James Allen misattributes Voltaire as saying that ‘man will never be free until the last politician is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.’ In fact most people attribute it to Diderot, although it is not clear that he ever said that exactly. But I digress.

The call for violence against religious people is unworthy of what used to be a journal of record but is now becoming a tabloid in form and content. Violence against religion will not free humanity; it will replicate the patterns of violence that currently help to enslave us.

R James complains that Shane Rattenbury has vilified Pauline Hanson and others for pointing out that her return ‘ … demonstrates that religious intolerance is alive and well.’ (Letters, Tuesday August 9). Rather than priests, Hanson’s target (and that of R James) is Muslims. It is a case of the same horse, different jockey. Vilifying Muslims is as bad as vilifying priests.

Worse, as we see from the arrest of Reclaim White Australia right wing extremist Phillip Galea, you cannot divorce hate speech from alleged hate crimes.  One creates the conditions for the other.

Of course, religious vilification laws won’t stop the hate or its expression. Indeed such laws could well be used by certain groups to defend their homophobia during the plebiscite on  same sex marriage.

Muslims are not the cause of growing inequality, falling real wages and the increasing precarity of employment.  Neither are priests, or refugees, or Aborigines, or Asians, or blacks. [Fill in your favourite target for bigotry here.]  This means that, as Jeremy Corbyn, the next Prime Minister of the UK  has done and is doing, the task of the left is to explain that it is the economic system which produces these outcomes. We can and must offer hope of a better world to those who in the absence of any serious and real left wing alternative might be tempted by the siren song of racism or Islamophobia or violence.


Where are all the white leaders condemning the alleged terrorism of Reclaim (White) Australia members?

(Name and address supplied but in the interests of safety not published.)


With news coming through that Nauru refused to provide visas to Amnesty International to investigate conditions in our gulag there, maybe the time has come for the ABC’s Four Corners to apply for visas to travel to the Island. Given the wonderful job Four Corners did in exposing the hidden torture and abuse of Aboriginal kids in detention in the Northern Territory, I am sure Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Dutton will support their application one hundred percent. After all, these humanitarians wouldn’t want to hide any abuse or torture being done in our name on Nauru would they?


I don’t hate Hillary Clinton because of her gender, Jenna Price. (‘Hillary’s ascendancy glorious for women here’ The Canberra Times Tuesday August 2, page 17). The idea is as absurd as voting for someone merely because of their gender, an absurdity however that Jenna Price and other conservative feminists share.

I oppose Hillary Clinton because she is the candidate of Wall Street. Her election will not improve the lives of most women in the US. It will make them worse. Clinton is the candidate of the elite, and their agenda is to drive down the living standards of working women and men to restore profit rates.

I also oppose Hillary Clinton because she is a warmongering imperialist who, like Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama, will slaughter tens of thousands of innocent women, girls, boys and men in her wars and drone attacks. Which side will Price be on when that happens – the side of the mass murderer Hillary Clinton or the side of those women and girls Clinton murders?


Great to see you did not publish my letter to the editor [see below – JP] criticising the Canberra Times for ignoring the protest of over 100 people in Canberra on Saturday against the torture of Aboriginal kids in Don Dale remand centre. At the same time you printed two from Gary J Wilson. Priorities eh? Do my letters interfere with your business model so you censor them?


On Saturday I, along with over a hundred other people, marched from Garema Place to Parliament House to protest against the torture of Aboriginal kids in Northern Territory detention centres. There has been no report of this in your august journal. Once again The Canberra Times has failed to report on a significant Aboriginal protest. When it comes to addressing the systemic racism and genocide at the heart of this abuse and mistreatment, clearly The Canberra Times is part of the problem, not the solution.


Will there be a Chilcot style inquiry in Australia to expose the lies of our own leaders in 2003?


J R Hugget asks if ‘Emperor Rupert owns Fairfax now?’ (Letters July 6.) Not monetarily, but certainly intellectually. In fact my suspicion is that the jump to the right of The Canberra Times is just the next step in its ultimate sale of the newspaper to the Merdeochracy. After all, as his ownership of The Australian shows, making losses is not a problem for Murdoch if he thinks the political and economic influence he buys with a loss maker is worth it.


The Coalition’s plan? Pensioners to pay for multinational tax cuts.


My thanks to Jack Waterford for his wonderful slap down of the arrogant, out of touch, thin skinned Chief Minister Andrew Barr, prompted by his recent outburst in response to questions about the rotten smell from his government. The lack of transparency from this Labor/Greens coalition should be a worry for all citizens in the Territory.

However, Barr did make one comment in his ugly outburst that does contain some truth, and it is a truth I suspect Fairfax headquarters are struggling with. Barr said that ‘The Canberra Times is in a decaying form …. in terms of readership and interest.’ Certainly the collapse in paid readership reflects that and the tired, uninspiring and predictable commentary team (Jack apart) hardly inspires confidence in the ability of what was once our newspaper to reignite interest. Going tabloid in form reflects the deeper slide into tabloid content the paper has adopted in recent years. It won’t change the paid readership decline. It will I suspect only worsen the problem.

As the left in places like the US and the UK grows in strength because it reflects the lived everyday experience of most workers and others, The Canberra Times jump to the right will only further condemn it to irrelevance.



Comment from ross
Time August 9, 2016 at 9:15 pm

There are now at least 5 people who have died mysteriously being detractors of Hillary.Recently the Rothschild Bankers had a $100,000 US fund raiser per plate ,for Hillary. She is the choice of the Global Fascists.

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