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2 December 1994. Thought for the Week: "Almost from the beginning
of civilised life on this planet, the family has been the focal point,
the elementary building block, and the fundamental nucleus of civilised
society. Sap the foundations of the family, and the result is that
society and entity are thereby undermined."
INDUSTRIAL UNREST AND DEBT FINANCE
by Eric D. Butler
No genuine stability is possible under the debt financial system. One inevitable result is inflation. The certified economists and their financial masters, like the French Bourbons (who forgot nothing and learned nothing), keep on insisting that inflation can only be curbed by restrictive financial policies, blithely ignoring that one of these policies, "credit squeezes", higher taxation or higher interest rates, have never provided a solution.
In recent years the threat of large-scale unemployment has tended to force employees to modify demands for wage increases. The much-publicised "accord" in Australia was in reality an agreement between the Federal Labor Governments and the Union leaders that it was in the "national interest" (meaning the interests of the Federal Labor Government) that unionists accept "wage restraints".
But such restraints meant that the purchasing power of the average employee was being progressively reduced. Boasts about how this policy has resulted in a record lower inflation rate, obscures the fact that even a lower rate of inflation cannot be sustained indefinitely. The easing of the depression Paul Keating said, "we had to have" has only been possible with a slight easing of restrictive financial policies, these tending to favour the bigger industrial and commercial organisations, which are able to show much higher profits.
The banks, enjoying a privileged position, will increase their financial profits by $3.7 billion, an increase of 71 percent over last year. All the time total bank assets continue to expand. During the 10 years from 1983-84 to 1993-94, average award rates of pay increased by 51 percent while consumer prices increased by 70 percent. As in the U.S.A. real wages have been steadily falling in recent years. Now the financial experts claim that because of the alleged fear of an upsurge of inflation, interest rates must be increased. Any increase in the inflation rate will be one of the results of rising interest rates, which will be a further imposition on the great majority of workers.
While it is certainly true that increased wages, which must increase costs, will contribute to an increase in the inflation rate, they are not the basic cause of inflation. Employers naturally resist wage increases, not because they are "capitalist exploiters", but because any increase in their costs makes it that much more difficult for them to operate. There is a type of permanent civil war in every modern industrial society. No stability is possible under debt finance.
The claim that increased wages can only be justified by increased production ignores the elementary truth that modern societies have dramatically increased production ever since the industrial revolution. But so has inflation, whether "controlled" or uncontrolled. It is dangerously absurd to say that most people have a higher material standard of living than their forbears. Relative to what is today physically possible, standards have fallen.
There is only one period in Australian history when there was complete price stability at the same time as "full employment": that was for five years, from 1943-48, when a partial application of the Social Credit principle of averting inflationary wage increases was used to finance basic consumer price discounts. The same technique was used with success in every English speaking country, including the U.S.A. Until there is a policy of issuing debt free credits to consumers, both in direct social dividends and consumer price discounts, there will be more wage disputes and strikes.
ALEXANDER DOWNER ON HIS WAY?
From the moment that Mr. Alexander Downer attempted to evade the issue of addressing a League of Rights Seminar in Adelaide in 1987, dissembling, vacillating and even being careless with the truth, his leadership of Australia's conservative forces was in serious doubt. As Australian politics lurch further into the realm of the unthinkable, the Australian League of Rights becomes increasingly something of a "litmus test" by which political fashions are measured.
To place Mr. Downer's debacle in perspective, consider a similar situation only 10 months before the "Downer affair". A.L.P. backbencher Graeme Campbell had been invited to address the League's National Weekend in Melbourne, and had accepted. Under heavy pressure not to appear, Campbell boldly dismissed such pressure by maintaining that as a member of Australia's Commonwealth Parliament, he had every right to address whom he chose on whatever he chose, and would exercise that right. His critics were reduced to carping and sniping, and Campbell's political stature just continued to grow.
The suggestion that senior Liberal Party figures have sought out former N.S.W. Liberal Premier Nick Greiner as a possible replacement for Mr. Downer is an indication of the depths of their desperation. Even setting aside the most obvious difficulty that Greiner is not even a Member of the Parliament, such a selection could only emphasise the apparent inevitability of the Liberal Party decline. Mr. Greiner exemplifies a new breed of politician, relatively unencumbered by deep philosophical convictions. He is a "pragmatist", and in a businesslike, efficient fashion, pursued policies in N.S.W. that were designed to "manage" the economy like a business, except that instead of financial profits, it yielded votes for his government. Few matters of principle were permitted to intervene.
As a graduate of Harvard Business College, no one should have been surprised about Mr. Greiner's political pragmatism, nor the fact that upon leaving politics, he immediately pursued a successful business career. But his advice to the Liberals has always been "pragmatic": abandon the monarchy and embrace the republican debate. If drafted into federal politics (on condition that he immediately become leader of the Liberal Party) Greiner may well be an instant success as a pragmatic manager of policy. But which policy? As Mr. Greiner is not a conservative, he would simply be presiding over the certain demise of the Liberals as a conservative political force. By comparison, Mr. John Howard begins to look almost statesmanlike!
CANBERRA-BASHING, OR SIMPLY TICKLING EARS?
Mr. Alexander Downer's attack upon the "Canberra establishment" as being out of touch with the aspirations of ordinary Australians has yet to assume any substance. As a tactic for a desperate leader, it is a tried and true short-term remedy. But Downer needs more than this. He needs a long-term policy platform to reverse the trend of Fabian gradualism of Canberra absorbing State powers. If Downer is to be taken seriously on curbing the parasitic nature of Canberra, he must address the issue of centralised power. The most critical issue at present, is the abuse of international treaties by the Commonwealth. Will the Liberals act, or not?
Last week, a meeting of State Premiers in Melbourne, demanded an end to the erosion of State powers by international treaty, and proposed a "treaties council" along the same lines as the Loans Council, giving the States the chance to review the impact of new treaties. However, it should be noted that the Loans Council is almost entirely a function of the Commonwealth, distributing taxation revenue to competing States as it sees fit. No "treaty council" can operate successfully on this basis unless the States have the power of veto over new treaties.
One proposal to deal with international treaties has come from A.L.P. backbencher Graeme Campbell. In the D.H. Drummond memorial address to the University of New England, Campbell suggests a constitutional change: a new section making it clear that no government has the power to sign foreign treaties or U.N. resolutions that compromise our sovereignty without the mandate of an election or referendum.
How serious is Alexander Downer? It is clear that he is desperate to establish himself as a political leader, but so far has refused to tackle the critical issues. His attack on the "Canberra establishment" must embrace an assault on the centralised power structure otherwise he is merely tickling our ears with political rhetoric that he hopes we wish to hear.
THE SYDNEY AIRPORT DEBACLE
After congratulating themselves that the third runway for Sydney's international airport was completed ahead of time and ahead of budget, those responsible are now beset with demands for compensation for the noise pollution that blasts residents out of their houses every time a jet roars down the new flight path. Despite all assurances, the noise is unbearable, and residents now face a drop in the value of their properties in the order of 20-30 percent. But what compensation is available?
In Victoria, when Premier Kennett successfully bid for the Grand Prix to be run through the streets of Melbourne, residents affected by the noise and disruption threatened legal action to protect their businesses from financial disaster and their home from being uninhabitable. Mr. Kennett's answer was to change the Victorian constitution, ensuring that no such legal action is possible.
If big government proposes to submerge the interests of the private individual in the pursuit of "progress" then the individual must have some redress. Sydney residents blasted from their homes by jet noise, or Melbourne businessmen blasted out of business by screaming engines could at least be offered reductions in rates and taxes. Such subsidies could then be applied to double-glazing, or re-location.
The principle of the corporate state submerging the interests of the individual to the mob is a new form of fascism. The fact that it may take place under a Liberal Government makes it no less so.
ATTACK REVEALINGfrom Northern Star (Lismore, N.S.W.), September 12th
I am not a supporter of any political party in Canberra, nor am I a member of the League of Rights but I have independently investigated all of these for a long time. So I find the Labor Party's attack on Alexander Downer for addressing a League of Rights meeting most revealing. "Why do the Labor Party politicians especially dislike the League of Rights? Is it because the first object of the League is 'to promote loyalty to the Christian concept of God and to a society in which every individual enjoys inalienable rights derived from God, not from the State'? "Is it because the Socialists, Fabians and Humanists of the Labor Party want only a world socialist dictatorship under the United Nations and the international central bankers, via the Australian Association of International Affairs? "Is it because the League exposes the destruction of Australian industry by adherence to the Lima Declaration, the restructuring of Australia as a third world country and 20 big corporations to replace 250,000 independent farmers? "Is it because the League points out the dangers in the excessive centralisation of power in Canberra and the 'inevitable' republic?"
(William G. Lake, Alstonville, N.S.W.)
from The Maryborough Advertiser (Vic.),
October 2 5th
"The first tentative move towards trapping this monkey was made in 1949 when the then Minister for Post-War Reconstruction in the Chifley Government (Mr. J.J. Dedman) published a paper, 'Regional Planning for Australia'. The change of government at the end of that year put the program on hold. "With the election of the Whitlam Government in 1972 the Department of Urban Development came into being with plans to regionalise Australia. The first crumb was thrown early in 1973 by the Minister, Tom Uren, when he assured councillors from all over Australia that the Commonwealth would alleviate their desperate financial plight.
"In May 1973 the Grants Commission Bill was presented to Federal Parliament creating a direct line of payment to local government. Whitlam knew that it was unconstitutional, the Coalition had mis-givings but voted for it on the pretext that being seen to oppose extra funds for local government would be political suicide. "The heavy defeat of the 1974 referendum, proposing to bring the Grants Commission within the Constitution makes a mockery of the Coalitions reason for passing the Grants Commission Bill.
"Constitutionally or otherwise the Grants Commission still holds the purse strings over local government via the State governments. Whether Tullaroop's assumption that these funds will dry up is well founded remains to be seen. It would, however, be consistent with a government determined to centralise all power in Canberra to do so. That would in fact be the final act in trapping the monkey.
"One of our Founding Fathers, Alfred Deakin, foresaw in 1903 that the power of the purse held by the central government would effectively destroy decentralised self-government in Australia. His prophecy is being fulfilled." (Ron Fischer, Talbot, Victoria)
THE RISE AND RISE OF THE NEW ETHNIC COALITION
from The Australian, November 23rd
"If a group of businessmen of English background
set up an organisation with others from Ireland, Scotland, and Wales,
would they then represent all people of British background in Australia?
"The 'Ethnic Coalition' is a creation of the former president of the
Zionist Federation, Mark Liebler, specifically formed to lobby for the
passage of the racial hatred Bill. Is the media so afraid of this lobby
that it is afraid to utter the truth?"
BIGOT BLAME 'WRONG'
from Herald-Sun, November 24th
"I believe that Anglo-Australians are the most laid back and accepting of all the racial groups in Australia because they have lived a protected and sheltered life, isolated for so long from the major areas of world racial and cultural conflict. Ordinary Anglo-Australians are not stupid, however. They are fully aware that the attacks on Muslim Australians during the Gulf War, the bombings of Jewish synagogues, the attacks on Greek and Macedonian churches are not earned out by 'racist' Anglo-Australians, but by the ancient enemies of these cultures, who have brought not only their cultures, but also their ancient hatreds to Australia with them.
"Many Anglo-Australians, of whom I am one, are also aware that people of different cultures and races find great difficulty in accommodating their own cultures with those of others, and history shows quite clearly that sooner or later, they find it impossible. It is also clear, at least to me, that it is the ordinary people, of whom I am one, who will ultimately pay for the failed efforts and grandiose schemes of politicians in their attempts at outlawing bigotry and building 'multicultural societies'." (Anglo-Australian, Clayton, Vic.)
RUTHLESS POWER QUESTfrom Herald-Sun (Melbourne), November 7th
Congratulations, Graham Richardson, for confirming what the silent majority has always suspected: some politicians don't give a damn for the people or the country. "Friendship and mates seem of no consequence to such people. "They can be discarded in a moment in that insatiable quest for power and perks of office." (George Washington, Cranbourne, Vic.)
LEGISLATION IS 'DRACONIAN'
from Herald-Sun (Melbourne), November
"Contrary to Rubenstein's impression that the racial hatred Bill is 'a judicious and balanced attempt', the prison sentence of up to two years for racial violence or 'incitement to violence' is savage and repressive. Racial harmony can't be legislated into existence with draconian laws. It will come through education in proper attitudes. Overseas experience has been that laws of this kind have been used selectively against white races. Let no one imagine that 'it can't happen here'." (Geoff Muirden, Secretary, Australian Civil Liberties Union)
|© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159|