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John Passant

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August 2021



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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)



Tag: Budget surplus

What this Budget does …

What this Budget does for: (a) the environment – nothing (b) jobs – nothing (c) falling real wages – nothing (d) job insecurity – nothing (e) homelessness – nothing (f) housing affordability – nothing (g) poverty – nothing


Government budgets aren’t household budgets: a cartoon

The bullsh*t Budget

The next time Abbott or Hockey tell us to ‘have a go’, our response should be ‘you have to go, ya mugs.’

A Budget of the rich, by the rich, for the rich

Hockey tells us the pain is necessary for future gain. You’ll get pie in the sky when you die too. This is a budget of the rich, by the rich and for the rich. Only class war by our side can stop the attacks now and into the future on our jobs, wages, health care, education and other elements of the social wage.

Let’s have a great big new tax – on the rich

Let’s be clear here. Australia’s budget deficit is around ten percent of GDP, a very modest amount compared to other developed countries, and half of it a consequence of Abbott government decisions. Australia is a low tax and a low spending country. If we moved to the average tax rate of OECD countries we’d raise about an extra $100 billion a year. It is time not just to chant tax the rich but to mobilise around it as part of a wider push for socially progressive policies on jobs, the environment, indigenous Australians, asylum seekers, gays and lesbians, public health, public education, public transport, disability, pensions, child care and the like.

If this is how the Liberals treat bushfire victims, imagine what they plan for the rest of us

Let’s prepare right now for the conflagration the Liberals want to unleash on us in the May Budget and the spot fires the government arsonists have already been starting. Be Abbott aware now.

A more humane and just society where all bushfire victims are treated fairly can be won, but that means joining with all those under attack from the Liberals. Most importantly it means workers taking action to defend their own interests against the attacks of the one percent and their Liberal government. We can beat them back with strikes.

Fix the budget deficit – tax the rich

Gillard has not ruled out tax increases either, but her talk about sharing the pain means that the burden of tax increases will be borne by you and me, not the rich. It is all about priorities.

Labor won’t tax the rich. Instead it has attacked the vulnerable, like single parents and those sectors it wants to further privatise, even if under government tutelage, like universities.

Is there an alternative? Labor could tax the rich. It isn’t rocket science. Here are a few examples.

Want a surplus and decent public services? Tax the rich

Tax the rich and business to pay for better public services for all Australians and to fully fund a totally renewable energy society by 2025.

The Budget – a vignette on who is really paying for the ‘surplus’

Increases in unemployment, disguised and not so disguised attacks on the poor and low wage earners – oh this is a Labor Budget alright. It’s another example of Labor’s neoliberalism and lack of progressive vision, making workers and the poor pay for its surplus fetish.

The neoliberal fetishism of Budget surpluses

Labor governments have always been consistent in adopting the latest ruling class philosophy. They govern to make sure the capital accumulation process is working.

So they have adopted and believe the bullshit that is neoliberalism.

Part of that bullshit is a balanced budget. These buzz words hide a grim reality – to shift the burden of crisis on to the working class.

As the Australian economy begins to slow, the last thing it needs is massive government cuts. That will only worsen the slow down.

The idea that expansionary austerity works has been proven wrong in Europe and the UK and will be proven wrong in Australia. Expansionary austerity is effectively about cutting down the government forest to let the private enterprise weeds grow.