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Christian based service movement warning about threats to rights and freedom irrespective of the label.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"
Edmund Burke
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"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" John 8:31

TWO MASTERS?

The anti-colonial era that began in the 'fifties led many to suppose that the age of imperialism was over. Britain, France, Germany, Portugal, Belgium and others were forced to divest themselves of their colonies. Newly emergent nations - most without any heritage of the rule of law and economic viability - thronged into a young United Nations. Few foresaw that they would soon be trapped into a completely new form of imperialism, cloaked in the deceiving garb of "foreign aid", and "development loans".

Bereft of any sense of true service, tin-pot dictators, from Kwame Nkrumah to Idi Amin and, more recently, Robert Mugabe, stashed billions in Swiss bank accounts while their peoples starved and fought. Great North-South conferences pontificated on the need for a New International Economic Order, without ever touching upon the core of the issue confronting them - how such an achievement was to be financed. This was the confusing scenario behind which the new form of imperialism exerted itself - centralization of the power of money, and those who had carved for themselves a monopoly in debt-creation.

Nations old and new began to lose control of their own title-deeds and their sovereignty. Power shifted to the legions of the new monopoly - the multinationals. These had no national stamping ground. They invested wherever labour was cheapest, politicians were most easily manipulated, and profits most attainable. They spent fortunes on their own images, sponsoring sport and the arts, funding political parties and advertising their caring outlook.

Control of trade

They extended Adam Smith's 'free-trade' nostrums into an art form, convincing every national economy that it was "export or perish". Emerging countries that should have looked first to self-sufficiency in food, clothing and shelter for all, were persuaded to snatch the food out of the mouths of their suffering in order to export, goaded by the ever-increasing need to pay debts. Usually, they couldn't keep up with interest. After years of debt-rescheduling, they were forced into "debt-for-equity swaps".

The key to all this was the Almighty Dollar, which the world had misguidedly been seduced into accepting as the sole means of payment for trade. It has gradually become clear to an increasing number of commentators that the current world struggle, while played out in terms of "East versus West" or "Christianity versus Islam", or even George Bush's preferred "Good versus Evil", is really a struggle to maintain the dominance of the American Dollar as the world's trading currency.

Kenneth Davidson, writing in The Age on March 20 gave as a major reason for the war against Iraq:
"…what currency will be used for the development of oil and water resources." He continued: "It would be fatal to America's global strategic ambitions if countries in Europe began to ask for euros instead of US dollars for their exports, or if China demanded settlement for their accounts with the US in yuan instead of US dollars. …. In 2000, Saddam's regime had the temerity to demand payment in euros for the trickle of Iraqi oil the US has allowed onto the international market. Iran and Venezuela are following Iraq's example. This is the real threat to US hegemony …."

Dr. Gavin Putland, from the Queensland University of Technology, wrote:
"In 1999, eleven member states of the European Union (EU) adopted the euro as a common trading currency. Greece joined the Euro Zone a year later. On January 1, 2002, the twelve countries withdrew their old money from circulation, completing the biggest currency reform in history. The Euro Zone already has a bigger share of world trade than the USA and is the main trading partner of the Middle East. It offers higher interest rates than the USA, but does not have a huge foreign debt or trade deficit…. It is perhaps for that reason that in 2002, China started converting some of its currency reserves from dollars to euros, while North Korea abandoned the dollar and started using euros for trade …"

Clash of currencies

Well known Canadian author and writer, Professor Michel Chossudovsky, sets out the scenario:
"In both Europe and America, monetary policy, although formally under State jurisdiction, is largely controlled by the private banking sector. The European Central Bank based in Frankfurt, although officially under the jurisdiction of the European Union, in practice is overseen by a handful of private European banks including Germany's largest banks and business conglomerates. The US Federal Reserve Board is formally under State supervision, marked by a close relationship to the US Treasury. Distinct from the European Central Bank, the 12 Federal Reserve banks (of which the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is the most important) are controlled by their shareholders, which are private banking institutions. In other words, "the Fed" as it is known in the US, which is responsible for monetary policy and hence money creation for the nation, is actually controlled by private interests on Wall Street. In Eastern Europe, in the former Soviet Union with the Balkans extending into Central Asia, the dollar and the euro are competing with one another. Ultimately, control over national currency systems is the basis upon which countries are colonized. While the US dollar prevails through the Western Hemisphere, the Euro and the US dollar are clashing in the former Soviet Union, Central Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East …."

Who controls?

Chossudovsky continued:
"… The Dollarisation of national currencies is an integral part of America's Silk Road strategy (SDS). The latter consists in first destabilizing and then replacing national currencies with the American Greenback over an area extending from the Mediterranean to China's western border. The underlying objective is to extend the dominion of the Federal Reserve System, namely Wall Street over a vast territory. What we are dealing with is an "imperial" scramble for control over national currencies. Control over money creation and credit is an integral part of the process of economic conquest, which in turn is supported by the militarisation of the Eurasian corridor…."

Chossudovsky's explanation was part of an extensive analysis of the strategic position of Europe, led by Germany, Russia, the US and an emerging China for control of Central and Far Eastern Asia. The excerpt is taken from his book "War and Globalisation; the truth behind September 11". It can be ordered online from https://www.globalresearch.ca

Which master?

Interestingly, the nations threatening to abandon the US dollar have been listed in Bush's "axis of evil". A behind-the-scenes titanic struggle is under way for control of the world's reserve currency. It may be tempting for ditherers like Tony Blair and John Howard to believe they must throw in their lot with either the Dollar or the Euro. When the Islamic nations produce their own reserve currency - the gold dinar - there will be three choices, as George Orwell foresaw in "Nineteen Eighty Four".

But what a chance for an imaginative and well provisioned state such as Australia to re-think the need for being corralled into a financial and political bloc! We don't have to export to survive. We can trade the surplus of others for our own - on fair and just terms. We don't have to have foreign investment or a world-approved credit rating for a stable future. We need to go back to first principles, which start from the 2000-year old proposition that none of us can serve two masters. That stark choice is more obvious than ever before.

THE PEOPLE MUST DECIDE THEIR FATE

The Spectator (UK) April 25, 2003, The government must not be allowed to adopt a European constitution without the consent of the governed, says Paul Robinson. Here he explains how we can hold our own referendum

In 1825 Russian Decembrist revolutionaries in St Petersburg tried to inspire the peasant masses with the slogan 'Constantine i constitutsia' (Constantine and a constitution) as they pressed for Tsar Nicholas I to abdicate in favour of his brother Constantine. Unfortunately, their pre-spin audience simply assumed that Constitutsia was Constantine's wife, and failed to see the advantage of a different Romanov and his lady over the one already reigning. Here today, Britain is about to get its first ever written constitution, drafted by the obliging Eurocrats of the Convention on the Future of Europe, and binding on us all. Yet 'we the people' in whose name this document is being produced have not been asked for the slightest whisper of a comment.

Our Dear Leader Mr Blair seems to be hoping that the British are as ignorant and uninterested as the Russian peasants of 1825. Consulting Agreed, the British people are more likely to vote on Pop Idol than to debate the latest directive from Brussels about the Eurobanana. It would be remarkable, though, if a whole new system of government were to be implemented without any reference to their views. But that is what our national leaders seem poised to do.

Asked if the government would hold a referendum to ratify the new European constitution, Foreign Office spokesman Neill Sharp hedged that, 'In the UK the government is committed to the existing system of parliamentary democracy, rather than public referenda.' According to my cereal-box decoder ring, that means 'No way, José.' Mr. Blair seems determined to ratify whatever nonsense the Convention produces without so much as asking the people of Britain their opinion. We should not be surprised.

The two sentiments heard most often among the peace marchers in London on 15 February were: 'The government lies to us, and it doesn't listen.' And how right they are. The response from Tony Blair was: 'I want them to listen to the arguments.' Sorry, Tony. They did listen, they didn't believe you, and now they want you to listen to them. The 'demos ' part of democracy is not just a verbal frill.

Disenchanted
Most of us feel that the time has passed for the assumption that the public are idiots who cannot understand complex issues, while MPs are more intelligent, better informed and better qualified to make decisions on our behalf. (Indeed, a lot of people probably think that the opposite is the case.) Disenchanted with repress-entative forms of democracy, many now feel that the only way to get their voices heard is through some means of direct democracy, in particular referendums.

Referendum voting is a relatively recent innovation, but referendums are now an accepted part of the political process, especially with regard to constitutional issues. The current government and its predecessors have held votes on diverse issues such as EEC entry, Scottish and Welsh devolution, and the establishment of a London mayor. Outside the circles of a few dedicated proponents of Victorian-era parliamentary procedure, nearly everyone now accepts that significant constitutional changes need to be ratified by a popular vote to gain legitimacy.

Even the government accepts in theory the principle of popular consultation. It is committed to holding a referendum on the single currency, even though that is an issue of policy content rather than one of constitutional change. It seems that the public is allowed a say on whether Hartlepool can have the right to elect a monkey as mayor, but not on whether our Queen should find herself subordinated to a European president (one of the likely clauses in any European constitution).

Pretending
To cover up their refusal to listen, New Labour mandarins are reduced to pretending that the proposed constitution is too trivial to hold consultations about. A government spokesman thus claimed that 'an EU constitution will not fundamentally change the relationship between the EU and its citizens', and we are told that the document will merely be a restructuring of existing treaties. This is most strange, since the Convention is labelling its product as a 'Constitution', the British government has itself published its own draft 'Constitution', and Jack Straw has openly admitted that he favours a constitution for Europe rather than a mere redrafting of treaties. Can we stop this act of deceit?

Already a small band of dedicated democrats are endeavouring to make their voices heard. The Frankfurt-based European Referendum Campaign has established groups of activists in a dozen European countries including the United Kingdom, and is planning a series of meetings to mobilise the public to demand a Europe-wide referendum on the proposed constitution. One must hope that even those supporting the new constitution have seen the benefit of this: to have legitimacy their constitution must have proof of public approval.

More needed
Past experience, however, suggests that no amount of lobbying will get the commissars in Whitehall to do what the voters want, rather than what they think is best for us. I therefore suggest that if the government will not give the people a referendum, the people simply hold one of their own. Although under the current laws a privately held referendum would lack binding authority, what people often do not realise is that the same is true of government-sponsored ones. In both cases, legitimacy depends not on official sanction, but on getting a sufficiently large turnout to prove that the votes cast represent the true nature of public opinion. In fact, a private referendum would have the advantage of preventing the government from abusing the process by asking misleading questions.

Referendums are not without peril. In 1995, for instance, the Quebec government held a slyly worded referendum which asked the people whether they wanted their government to negotiate a 'new partnership' with Canada. Many voters thought that they could vote 'Yes', and still remain part of Canada, while in practice the government planned to interpret a 'Yes' vote as a mandate to make an immediate declaration of independence. As the Quebec premier Jacques Parizeau notoriously gloated, the people would be caught 'like lobsters in a pot'. Those particular crustaceans swam away, but the danger of putting governments in charge of popular consultations is clear.

Confusion
In the case of the EU constitution, there are fears that the British government might consent to hold a referendum on the constitution but do it simultaneously with one about the single currency. In that way, it would hope to confuse the voters as to the issues involved in both instances, and divide the anti-single-currency camp, as some of those opposed to the single currency will likely oppose the constitution, while others will support it. Were the people of Britain to hold their own referendum outside of official circles, they could avoid these perils. Certain countries do allow private initiatives to force governments to hold referendums or carry out legislative change. Public participation in such initiatives is often quite high, as witnessed by experience in Switzerland and parts of North America.

British Columbia
The best recent example comes from British Columbia, which has nurtured some of the flakier political concepts of the past 100 years, such as the nutty philosophy of Social Credit. The province's latest contribution is the idea of Voter Recall. By law, if any individual manages to collect the signatures of 40 per cent of registered voters in a given constituency demanding the recall of the local member of the legislative assembly, the member has to resign and a by-election must be held. So far, nobody has managed to rustle up the necessary number of votes, but last month John Bayne, an eye doctor from the little town of Tsawwassen, came exceedingly close. For less than 10,000 (the maximum permitted under the law), Dr Bayne gathered the votes of some 38 per cent of registered voters in his constituency in an effort to unseat the unpopular local MP, Val Roddick. Bayne's example proves that individuals can mobilise a very large percentage of the popular vote for private initiatives. And they can do this with limited resources.

Extrapolating the above figures to the United Kingdom, the citizens of the UK could solicit a similar percentage of votes in a private referendum held in all 650 constituencies across Britain for a cost of only £6.5 million.

Compared with parties
To put that sum in perspective, compare it with the £20 million that the late James Goldsmith spent on his Referendum party in 1997. For that amount he could have held three referendums of his own, and had a really top-notch champagne party with the change. Goldsmith spent £7.5 million just on mailing leaflets to voters, and for all his efforts got only 3 per cent of the vote. How much more effective to have written a question, and sent out ballot papers with stamped addressed envelopes to every voter in the country. He could also have used some of his money to encourage voters to return their ballots, perhaps by holding a raffle with some multi-million pound prizes, so that everyone who voted entered the raffle.

Representative democracy made sense in past eras, when problems of distance and communication made it impossible for Members of Parliament to consult their electors on every intricate detail of national government. Even today, most of the general public are content to let their representatives get on with the day-to-day running of the country. But in the modern era of easy and instant mass communication, there is no excuse for not consulting the people on matters of great significance. The people should insist on their right to be heard, and for once not take 'no' for an answer. Send comment on this article to the editor of the Spectator.co.uk

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