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15 February 1980. Thought for the Week: "The defect in the money system, common to the entire Western world, which was the cause of the Depression of 'the dirty thirties' is likewise the cause of the equally universal rampant inflation of today. It is just common sense that if, as Lord Tankerville points out, prices must always exceed incomes due to the built in defect in the system, then prices must keep increasing faster than incomes: further, that any attempt to halt the inflation spiral will result in economic depression. Either way the people lose out and the financial institutions gain."
L. Denis Byrne, in his Introduction (1977) to Poverty Amidst Plenty by the Earl of Tankerville.
THE MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR
"The Prime Minister is on the way home from his magical mystery tour, still tight lipped about what happened in his talks with world leaders." The Sun-Herald (Sydney) February 10th. Well, what HAS happened?
The statement above, irreverently made by the Sydney Sun-Herald is a question mark to a great number of Australians. We cannot think otherwise that President Carter and Mr. Fraser are gaining as much political mileage as they can out of a situation they can't really do much about at their level of political thinking. Our opinion is that the Afghanistan crisis has virtually guaranteed President Jimmy Carter a second term of Presidential office, whereas his chances were not formerly good, with the Establishment obviously backing Senator Kennedy. We shall have some more to say about this below.
One point has been made obvious by President Carter's firm reaction against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan - the American people will respond warmly and favourably to strong leadership: the people of the West are starved for it. Similarly, any chance that the Federal A.L.P. had of gaining office at the end of this year, and we think it definitely did have a good show, has now receded. It might still have a show: Harold Wilson said that a week is a long time in politics.
The Australian people have responded
to firm leadership as have the American people: but where
do we go from there? Mr. Fraser and his Ministers will have
to do more than call for a ban on the Olympic Games, which
would certainly have a damaging effect inside the Soviet,
but most probably the ban won't take place as too many interests
in the West are geared to the Games. Big Money is involved,
and the athletes want to compete.
Britain is choking in the Common Market, and will be dragged along. China may well see an opportunity here for even more favourable trade negotiations with the West if Western Nations do impose some sort of trade bans with the Soviet, and will order up big on goods and services she can't supply to herself, to be financed by the suppliers. This is already happening, and is likely to keep happening, but now with knobs on!
If there is no effective action against the Soviet this time, then the West will have suffered yet another reverse, and Western leaders like President Carter and Mr. Malcolm Fraser seen to be just jibbering poseurs. Electors will soon get sick and tired of leaders flying here and there; having conferences all over the place; striking poses. If they don't come up with action - they'll be swept away like so many before them.
THE CHAPPAQUIDDICK KID"Senator Edward Kennedy made a frantic last-minute bid to save himself from embarrassing political defeat in his native New England today." The Sun (Melbourne) February 11th. Senator Kennedy's chances of ousting Jimmy Carter as Democrat Presidential candidate were good before the Afghanistan crisis. This is yet another example of the unexpected and unrehearsed event, overnight altering political fortunes, so that one can never really take too much for granted in the political arena.
President Carter's show of strength, as mentioned above, closed the American people behind him, their elected leader. What can "Teddy" Kennedy then do? He has made the mistake of talking about "over-reaction": but the American people are in no mood to listen to that sort of soft talk. As he loses popularity more ears are now listening to the Chappaquiddick scandal, where formerly those ears were closed. Things don't look too promising for the future career of Teddy Kennedy.
THE CHIPPOCRATS GEAR UP
"The Australian Democrats will use their Senate numbers to try to stop Governments breaking election promises." The Age (Melbourne) February 11th
Senator Don Chipp may well be right when he claims that his Party could gain the balance of power in the Senate after the next Federal elections: we agree that this could happen. We agree with his view that the hold of major political parties over their senators should be broken to make the Senate a true House of Review. But we wonder whether Senator Don Chipp really thought this when he was a Liberal Party Minister: circumstances alter cases.
We don't doubt that he is right enough when he observes that... "every backbencher wants to be a Minister and therefore they toe the party line at all costs." One Government Minister went further, and stated that every backbencher sees himself as a potential Prime Minister. Surely such ego can't dwell in every backbencher's breast!
We are interested in his idea that..."no Ministers be appointed from the Senate": Senator Chipp's idea being, of course, to free Senators from Party pressure. But would it? Senators, although nominally appointed by their State Governments, still have to come up through the party structure, and "misbehavior" in the Senate along party lines could still militate against them when up for re-election on the Senate ticket. But there seems little doubt that Senator Chipp's idea could be a move in the right direction.
We must have "five bob each way" on this one, as Senator Chipp himself has had so many times before on various issues. The point is that a particular Senator may have the right type of ability for a particular portfolio - not possessed by any frontbenchers in the Lower House. At the same time, we cannot see the major parties passing this type of legislation: the Senators are not going to vote themselves out of Ministerial perks, or the right to have them. Again, we wonder if Senator Chipp would have come up with this idea were he still a Liberal Party Minister? He now has Buckley's chance of any sort of portfolio: they don't go to non-Government senators. Readers may recall the Fable by Aesop about the fox that lost its tail!
THE SACK RACE
"The vast gulf between the practices of...small business and the procedures of Government and great bureaucracies is not fully understood or appreciated in Australia." John Gilmour in Business Age (Melbourne) February 9th.
John Gilmour has a racy punchy style
with his financial journalism, and by means of this he gets
his points across very effectively. His main thrust is that
the termination of the services of employees ("the sack",
"the boot", "the chopper") who are useless is necessary to
maintain viability in, particularly small businesses; they
just cannot be carried. We know that the large American commercial
houses are ruthless in removing inefficient workers, and inefficient
LEAGUE LAUNCHES BOLD NATIONAL OFFENSIVEThe League took a half-page advertisement in The Australian (Feb. 15th Friday) headed: "Afghanistan: The Soviets are Laughing". The main thrust of the advertisement was that unless strong finance economic pressure is applied to the Communist world, concentrating on the Kremlin, then nothing is going to stop the Russian Bear from gobbling up still more countries. It is not realised anywhere near sufficiently that the Soviet Union and her satellites are heavily dependent on Western technology, raw materials, even food. After more than sixty years of "glorious Revolution" they can't feed themselves. Western politicians in general do not understand these points. This advertisement is the opening shot in an on-going campaign. There is a coupon incorporated in the advertisement to provide us with feedback, and there will be pulls of the ad with which actionists may begin campaigning. More details in the next issue of On Target.
Short Papers on Money by the Marquess of Tavistock, who was active in monetary reform proposals during the years prior to World War 2. He was greatly influenced by the proposals of C.H. Douglas. Price $1.35 posted.
Poverty Amidst Plenty, by the
Earl of Tankerville, who was fully aware of the defect in
the West's monetary system and spent much of his time in lecturing
to audiences in Britain, and abroad to shed light on a "forbidden"
area. Price: 85 cents, posted.
Southhampton Chamber of Commerce (Report of the Economic Crisis C/tee.): This Report exposes the glaring faults in the monetary and pricing system of orthodox finance. Price: $1.00 posted.
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