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John Passant

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February 2017



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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)



Left winger resigns from Labor to set up socialist group

Mr President, I rise to inform the Senate that this morning I have resigned as a member of the Labor Party.

I consider it my duty to inform the Senate of this decision prior to making any public comment.

After a membership in the Labor Party spanning my entire adult life, having held various positions in the party machine, this has been a very difficult decision for me – perhaps the most difficult of my life.

I stand here today both reluctant and relieved; reluctant because this decision has weighed heavy on my heart but relieved because, whilst difficult, it is the right thing to do.

When, as a younger man I first joined the Party I was in awe of its traditions and the great captains that had guided us on our way. But now, as the seas through which we sail have become more challenging, the respect for the values and principles that have served us well have been set aside for expedient, self-serving, short term ends. This approach has not served our nation well.

There are few, if any, who can claim that respect for politics and politicians is stronger now than it was a decade ago.

In short, the body politic is failing the people of Australia and it’s clear we need to find a better way.

Because of 34 years of neoliberalism, started by Labor, the level of public disenchantment with the major parties, lack of confidence in our political process and concern about the direction of our nation is very strong. This is a direct product of the political class being out of touch with the hopes and aspirations of the Australian people.

Politics at its best has always been the shared contribution of working class men and women who bring their skills to bear for the nation. It is not in the interests of our class to yield to the temptation of personality politics which shrink the debate to the opinion of the few whilst compromising the good sense and values of the many.

For many years I have warned of the consequences of ignoring the clear signs. I have spoken of the need to restore faith in our political system and to put principle back into politics. I regret that too often these warnings have been lost on those who needed to hear them most.

It really is time for a better way; a democratic socialist way.

The enduring beauty of the democratic socialist tradition is that it looks to the working class to inform the future. It is a rich paradox where the established equips us for the new.

And so today I begin something new, built on enduring values and principles that have served the Labor Party and the nation so well for many decades.

It is a political movement of Australian socialists … a community of working class Australians who will share their unique gifts and talents to chart a democratic and socialist way.

We will be united by a desire to create a caring and sharing society where the worth of a person is not measured by the size of their wallet.

We will give hope to those who despair at the current state of Australian politics and who demand a better way for their class, themselves, their children and their country.

The journey ahead will not be for the faint of heart but worthwhile ventures rarely are.

And every journey begins with a first step.

Today I take that step, knowing the direction in which I will head and hoping that those truly concerned for the future of our nation will choose to join me.

La lotta continua.

Workers of the world unite. You have nothing to lose but your chains.



Comment from Mhab
Time February 9, 2017 at 5:37 pm

I loved this article, John.

From looking round the web, it sometimes seems that you are the only real socialist in Australia who is willing to stand for something on the web. There’s dozens of right wing sites, full of argument and passion, with tens of thousands of eccentrics, idealogues, strategists, campaigners etc, all arguing and pushing their point. But on the left? There’s a handful of socialist sites with their “newspapers”, full of dense analytical articles and overseas news. But no characters. No debate. No introspection or genuine wondering of any sort. And definitely no poetry.
All except you. And even on YOUR blog, there are very few correspondents. So do you have any theories as to why you are the only socialist chatterer that I can find?

Comment from John
Time February 9, 2017 at 6:40 pm

Interesting question Mhab. I haven’t really thought about it before. I was going to say there are other individual socialists who blog but, and it is a big but, they have a tendency to be somewhat theoretical. Let me think about it.

Comment from John
Time February 27, 2017 at 10:06 am

I think there are a number of socialist chatter sites, mine included, and on Facebook they proliferate. There are also socialist sites like Solidarity ( and others.

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