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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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On Target

1 June 1990. Thought for the Week: "Some floating opinion in Australia striving for importance is saying that the place of Australia and its people in the world is now with Asian countries to the north of it, mainly Indonesia, China and Japan. According to that opinion the Western world, its civilisation and values, have lost their significance for the Australian people. It is an inept view, and an ignorant one. It is a trading notion, merely, and absurd at that. It confuses value or price (material things and their fleeting ownership) with values (spiritual things and their permanent possession)..."
Dr. Walter Henderson, in Conservation and Society .. (1976)

MOSCOW MYSTERIES

"Shocked Muscovites expect food rationing in a fortnight and are blaming the Soviet President, Mr. Gorbachev, for panic buying before the planned introduction of a controlled market economy." - The Australian, May 28th

The National Director, in his address to the Melbourne Conservative Speakers' Club on May 7th last, made the observation that it would be difficult for observers to predict just what would happen in the Soviet Union from one month to the next; if not from one week to the next. The sheer inefficiency and hopeless reduction of decision making under the Communist system, have virtually brought the general functioning of the Soviet State to a halt, despite the prods of the secret police and overall control of propaganda by the State.

Other factors are the great burden of having production channelled into Defence (offence!), and the general resentment of citizens against Omnipotent government; a type of passive resistance. The satellites are feeling stronger (Lithuania, Armenia, etc.) as the Kremlin stumbles and fumbles, and shows an unwillingness to crush resistance, unthinkable only a couple of years ago. Other factors at play are the rise of anti-Semitism (historical) as world Zionists attempt to hose down Jewish opposing opinion with the Soviet Empire by instructing Jews to "work with Gorbachev". The West? The West also, obviously, wants to "work with Gorbachev"; Lithuania received the "Hungarian treatment" from the West when it tried to assert its independence from Moscow. It got what the Hungarians got in 1956. NOTHING. We think Gorbachev is losing position.


WHAT IS THE TREASURY UP TO?

"Paul Keating's scuttling of A.N.Z. Bank's takeover of National Mutual Life will have immense implications for all Australian businesses, not just those in banking and insurance." - Financial Review, May 25th.

One may easily be forgiven for raising this question. Why? Because an informed political observer in Australia (and elsewhere, for that matter), would expect the Fabian Socialists to foster centralisation of political and economic power whenever and wherever they are able. Mr. Will Bailey, chief executive of the A.N.Z. Bank, is complaining that the Treasurer is re-regulating the Australian economy after having championed its de-regulation after the victory of the Hawke Government in March 1983.

Some may recall that Mr. Keating made an extended visit to the United States almost immediately after the victory, and came back, only a few weeks later, a fierce advocate of deregulation. What happened? Well, he was taken up into the High Mountain, and shown the world! He has been the favourite son of International Finance ever since. There is some radical "re-think" going on in upper Australian financial circles, and it may not necessarily be Australian: the "order" may have come to Mr. Keating from superior financial power, off shore.

The Chief Executives of A.N.Z. and N.M.L. are talking about a "critical mass" (this is a new buzz phrase in the columns of finance commentators). It means being "big enough" (having enough financial "strength") to compete internationally. The current thinking at high government financial levels is that this "critical mass" is not a valid factor in the viability of giant financial houses. What about the other Life Offices? All relieved, is the belief of most commentators. Why? The A.N.Z.-N.M.L. move would have given this combination a great fillip and advantage over competitors: the very structure of some Life Offices, now, puts them at a disadvantage. Life Offices will have to "demutualise". This means a change in the structure of such an organisation to allow it access to more funds. A "mutual" office is not owned by shareholders, but by policyholders.

The stock market crash of 1987 sent more than ripples coursing through Australia's finance houses, and the resultant demand for superannuation funds, as an example, has put much pressure on some life offices: the mutual offices particularly. The financial savings thrust of the future will be much more into superannuation, than just savings. The tax system promotes superannuation; the Government must do something about its growing burden of pensions. Future governments will be attempting to cut down pension payments by promoting general superannuation provisions. The tax system takes around half of the interest gained from bank savings, as against the 15% the taxman takes from super funds!

Why Our Suspicion? There is much being swept under the carpet. The Labor oriented media pack of journalists are NOT raising the question of the reasons for Mr. Keating's decision against the A.N.Z.-N.M.L. merger. They are just parroting the phrase "not in the national interest". WHY isn't it in the national interest? Well, we, ourselves, do have views on this matter. We think that Mr. Keating (and others, perhaps in Washington and New York) feel that if the major banks and Life Offices here merge, there could be created a financial Frankenstein, which could not be controlled. Indeed, such a monster could well grow into such a position of political and financial strength that it could dictate terms to the Treasury. We think that Paul Keating received the danger signals, and that is why he knocked this merger on the head.

Banks Under Pressure
Reserve Bank regulations may soon be changed (and probably will be in our view) which will put added pressure on the lending of banks. Following a Bank of England lead, our Reserve will probably force Australian banks to reduce their liquidity base by having to deduct their holdings in other banks from same. This means a contraction of their loan operations. They may also be forced to hold added capital to cushion funds management uncertainties and also interest rates payments; further restricting their loan operations.

No wonder that prominent bankers are preaching gloom: the outlook for them, by their standards, is gloomy. This means that the gloom for all, in the immediate future, is real. From what some senior banking executives are saying, this position (re mergers) could be reversed by a change of government. Maybe. Some are saying that the advocates of the Multi-Function Polis Rainbow will now have a field day by promising Australians that "pot of gold" at the Rainbow's end. The M.F.P. will lift us out of the financial mire we are now in, and line our pockets with the good stuff. A very big "maybe".


BRIEF COMMENTS

The Government's chief weatherman, Dr. John Zillman, says we should not allocate moneys for reversing the Greenhouse Effect just to satisfy political demands. Which implies that Dr. Zillman has at least some reservations about the credibility of what we still call the Green-Hoax. He does agree that global warming could be under way but there is no general agreement what this means in various areas of our globe. In the next 40 years the world's temperature could (not "will") rise by 1 degree Celsius. Now the United Nations has come more into the issue. It has come up with a much more detailed analysis on the world's environment: even Maggie Thatcher has been swayed. We are still not swayed: we see the U.N. Report on the Environment as a precursor to a United Nations Convention on the Environment, on which Fabian Socialist governments, like our Hawke Government, will be delighted to legislate to promote policies of economic and industrial centralisation.

It is unquestioned that a global bank liquidity squeeze is on Moody's the U.S. credit-rating agency, has downgraded some 28 U.S. bank holding companies and four Japanese trust banks this year. This raises the cost of the funds of such banks (they have to pay a higher rate of interest to attract deposits to augment their liquidity bases). Now Japan is nervous that the chill winds of recession may strike home, and the main reason is property. The Japanese banks have advanced enormous property loans. Mitsui Trust, one of the giants, has advanced some 55% of its loans for property development. Some Japanese property experts expect that some property prices could fall 40%. Could all this affect Australia? Most certainly, it could. There may be some Japanese "giants" who think that, if the worst happened at home (Japan), then the Australian investments could provide a nice "cushion". Maybe. But in any event, there will be the large Japanese concerns that will have to divest themselves of overseas holdings (if possible!) to save what they have at home.

The first war crimes trial in Canada has resulted in acquittal. One, Imre Finta, a Hungarian, was the victim charged with various war crimes, was acquitted after the jury of 12, after hearing evidence for six months, returned its verdict. Mr. Frank Dimant, of local B'nai B'rith said, "We are in a state of shock".


DOES THIS REMIND YOU OF ANYTHING?

from "The Civilisation of Ancient Egypt", by Paul Johnson, published by Book Club Associates, London, 1978 (page 213)
"Decline and Fall of the Pharaohs: Under the Saite kings, foreigners poured into Egypt and formed a growing number of permanent colonies. Many of these groups were no longer poor men - economic refugees - forming a category of second-class citizens who could be used for unskilled labour, as in the past. These immigrant colonies were often richer and more skilled than the native Egyptians: the proud kingdom of the 'Two Lands' was now technically backward compared to the rising cultures of the first millennium B.C. Indeed, the Saite kings, to raise taxes, even awarded privileges - forerunners of later 'capitulations' - to foreigners. "At Naucratis, Greek traders were allowed a city of their own; a Greek-style polis, where Greek law, customs and religion flourished: not essentially unlike the older colonies of Magna Graecia now scattered about the Mediterranean coasts. Thus trade, once a royal monopoly, fell into alien hands. It was only a matter of time before the rest of the country became booty.

MINISTERS HAVE TO CARRY THE BLAME

from The Age (Melbourne), 7/5 "As a recent immigrant to Australia who has some knowledge of the Westminster system of government (I was a parliamentary candidate in the U.K.), I think it should be said that John Cain's understanding of the Westminster doctrine of ministerial responsibility is a complete departure from the accepted norm. "It is simply not the case that ministers are required to resign only when they have been dishonest, misleading, or grossly incompetent. The whole point of 'ministerial responsibility' is that the minister does carry the can for the foolishness, ineptitude, dishonesty, or mistakes of his or her underlings. "The purpose of this doctrine is to ensure that ministers keep a very close eye on the activities of public servants, because it's their neck too, they'll be much more concerned about vast financial losses, deliberate falsification of documentation, or whatever." (Stephen Yolland, Nyora, Vic.)

MIGRANTS
from The Australian, May 23rd: "As a migrant myself, it would be hypocritical of me to say that Australia should reduce or even cancel its migrant intake. Indeed, as a naturalised Australian, I say 'welcome' to all who come to this wonderful country. I would, however, offer the following guidelines to potential migrants.
1. Learn to read, write and speak English, our national language, before you come. This country can ill afford an army of E.S.L. (English as a second language) teachers and interpreters and I find multilingual social security literature particularly galling.
2. Bring your culture to enrich us, but leave your enmity behind. Australia should be seen as a new start, not a new battleground.
3. Accept that by leaving your old country you surrender your right of influence over that country. If you do not like what is happening in Belfast, Beirut or Beijing, then take your protest back there. Do not block innocent Australian streets with your imported hatred and violence.
"If, in some people's eyes, this stance makes me racist, then so be it, but I believe these simple rules will speed assimilation and make Australia a better place for us all." (Trevor Hay, Minning, W.A.)

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