Do not donate: Update:
I have just sent this or something similar on 2 July to those supporters who donated money to me to keep my left wing writing going. If you did and have not seen my message below, PM me.
‘Dear XYZ, a week after I posted this [call for donations through gofundme], my health took a bit of an unexpected and sudden down turn. I begin five working days of radiation on Wednesday 3 July until Tuesday 9 July. It means I cannot post as regularly as I would like. This means I think I should refund your contribution because at least in the short term I cannot keep my end of the bargain. John’
Until Go Fund Me suspended his campaign, Israel Folau had raised about $765,000 in 4 days to support his legal action against Rugby Australia.
RA sacked him from his $4 m employment contract because he breached a term of it. He was to be inclusive, and his post about sinners (like drunks, adulterers, and homosexuals) going to hell if they did no repent was clearly not.
I had been thinking of setting up a similar page to support me and my left wing journalism. Once I saw Folau had done so, I decided to go ahead with my own attempt to raise some money for what seems to me, in this age of manufactured capitalist consent, to be an OK cause. This is what I say on my campaign site:
‘I am a member of the Canberra Press Gallery. I am a socialist opinion writer, critical of the Morrison government and its neoliberal cousin, the Australian Labor Party.
‘The funds received will help me continue my work in the Press Gallery and my articles on my blog, En Passant with John Passant (https://enpassant.com.au/). The mainstream media have to date not published my contributions. Some of the non-mainstream left-wing media is censorious, and supports patriarchal ‘heroes’ so I do not contribute to them.
‘I do not want my words to remain isolated on my own blog, read by only a few. A contribution from you will not only keep me going, but help spread my words through you (I believe.)
‘One caveat to this is I am undergoing tablet treatment for lung cancer and a recent MRI shows I may need surgery and/or radiation on some new growths on my spine. This may impact on my capacity to deliver my aim of 3 or 4 reports a week. I am fine at the moment, waiting for a radiation specialist to talk to me about the MRI results.
‘Help keep alive an independent voice of the left.’
In two days I have raised $310. In five days, before his fund raising was stopped, Folau raised about $765,000.
That $765,000 tells you a lot about the hold sport AND fundamentalist religion have over Australian society. Folau has a name and a following because of his undoubted skills as a rugby player. I do not (despite my undoubted skills as an opinion writer?)
One reason for this is the decades’ long swing to the right by the Labor Party and the denial and suppression of socialist ideas that the Party’s neoliberal program entails. We need to understand that mainstream media is part of the debate between the two major parties of capitalism – the ALP and the Liberals. Another is the popular uprisings that overthrew the Stalinist state capitalist regimes then falsely parading as ‘socialism.’
My freelance articles are rejected in part because of the ideas and opinions they contain. A free press is really only about freedom within the confines of capitalism and ideas acceptable to it.
It may also be that I write rubbish. I would hope my writing skills after decades as an academic and senior public servant are at least as adequate as some of those who parade as opinion writers in both versions of the mainstream media – Nine Media and not quite Nine Media (aka News Corp.)
Let’s not make Gerard Henderson my journalistic bar. I have higher aspirations than that – the liberation of the working class, by the working class. And articles that will make some readers think about the nature of our society and the way forward.
The hold sport has over working class people is like religion – it is our escape from the reality of exploitation.
If you want to donate to my gofundme campaign and help keep my left wing journalism alive, click here for the link.
Update on 1 July: I have to have radiation treatment for a tumor on my spine. That will be every working day from 3 July to 9 July for about 30 minutes a time. My back pain at the moment means an increase in pain killer strength, which is slowing me down. So I will not in the short term be able to write many articles here. I will contact those who donated to see about refunding their donations.