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26 July 1996. Thought for the Week: "The Greek word from which 'economics' is derived, meaning household management, is much closer to.... reality....than the bloodless 'inexorable laws' which are at once the propaganda and the nightmare of the international financier; laws which, in the main, are merely the statement of the results which accrue from the operation of a purely artificial money and accountancy system."
C.H. Douglas in The Monopoly of Credit
DOWN THE HOLE WITH HOWARD AND COSTELLO
Early in June, representatives of the world's 100 largest banks arrived in Australia for a conference, which attracted relatively little media interest. Members of this group spent half a day discussing what they required from countries around the world who want them to bankroll them. According to a Financial Review report, Mr. John Corzine, Chairman of the well-known U.S.A. investment bank Goldman Sachs and Co., and a former central banker, outlined the rules which should govern lending:
Rule number one was that there was "no substitute for consistent, disciplined fiscal monetary policies....We should not lose sight of the fact that for individual countries, chronic account deficits are a symptom of structural imbalance taking the form of over consumption and under savings". In other words, nations which allegedly are "living beyond their means" must be "disciplined" by financial restrictions.
International banker Corzine then spelt out what was required from countries like Australia: "Commitment to privatisation, subsidy reduction, progressive tax policies, reduced public payrolls, pension reform..." According to Corzine these measures would "solidify credit-worthiness, enhance competitiveness, and send welcoming signals to investors".
Later in this conference, those described by Alan Kohler of The Age as "Financial monsters (who) reshape the world", invited Prime Minister Howard to address them. They wanted to hear from the Prime Minister of a so-called sovereign nation about his financial programme. John Howard was to be assessed on Australia's "credit-rating"; whether he should be permitted to borrow any more from those who were making it clear they were his financial masters.
John Howard was given top marks, as well he should considering his financial programme. He and his Treasurer Peter Costello have now informed Australians that the financial "black hole" they discovered after they had won the March 2nd election, was even bigger than they thought. The Australian public is being softened up for a "tough budget". Current cuts may have to be increased. Press reports state that more than a third of Australia's most prominent economists think that the Howard Government's proposed Budget cuts are appropriate, while a similar number are happy with the Government's progress in "reforming" industrial relations. Most of the economists quoted work for the big banks, these also desperately attempting to become even bigger and more centralised in keeping with the philosophy of centralisation.
In its determination to show its financial masters that it is determined that all Australians shall "toe the financial line", the Howard Government has now set in motion a new form of bureaucratic madness, "dole diaries" for the unemployed. The only extra work this will create will be for the paper manufacturers; there will be more useless forms to fill in, both by the unemployed seeking employment and those that are seeking to employ them. It is not surprising that a headline in The Age Business Section of July 22nd reads: ANOTHER TOUGH YEAR AHEAD.
In the mass of comment appearing none of the "certified economists" are asking why in a country like Australia should there be a reduction in the standard of living for the majority. Why should Australian families have to skimp and go without food, clothing and shelter in a nation, which is physically capable of producing an abundance of basic requirements? If there are necessary public works to be done, and it is physically possible for these works to be carried out, why should a sovereign government have to seek permission from international bankers to create what should be regarded as assets?
It is mathematically certain that the programme being followed by the Howard Government must increase total debt with higher taxation necessary to service the debt. The taxation "reforms" being called for by the International bankers are, of course, the consumption tax known as G.S.T. The G.S.T. was first promoted by the International Monetary Fund, one of the "financial monsters". John Howard is well aware that the Liberals lost an election because of the G.S.T. But the man who assured Australians before the last elections that there would be no increases in taxation under his Government has already demonstrated that he is a master of political trickery.
Before the last elections John Howard said, "The Diesel Fuel Rebate is an essential element of the international competitiveness of Australia's mineral, pastoral and other industries". But, now it is claimed, the discovery of that "black hole" has made it necessary to modify or completely change election promises. It was Communist dictator Stalin who said that promises were like piecrusts, "made to be broken".
John Howard and Peter Costello are both zealous devotees of the gospels of "economic rationalism." And they are "advised" by officials who worship the same god. Anyone who doubts the influence of the International Bankers should take careful note of how Yeltsin was returned to office in Russia. The Yeltsin campaign was masterminded by the International Bankers and their representatives. This was a bought election. No sooner had Yeltsin been reinstated than the internationalists were moving in with more loans and more economic "reforms". The continued brutal assault on Chechnya does not raise even a ripple of protest in the U.S.A., where President Clinton is dominated by the International Bankers.
Unless Australians decide to use their democratic rights to reverse the Howard-Costello programme, Australia will eventually be in a similar position to the people of Chechnya. They will be in a much deeper hole than that described by Howard and Costello. And fighting their way out might prove extremely difficult. Effective resistance must start NOW.
IN THE GRIP OF OLYMPIC MANIA
by David Thompson
It is ironic that in the grip of Olympic mania and the pursuit of "gold" that Australia's first gold medal is for a rather politically incorrect sport in Australia at present: shooting. Will the winner of Olympic gold for shooting be regarded as a "red-necked extremist rambo" who isn't to be trusted with a highly dangerous weapon of mass slaughter, or will he be feted as an Olympic hero? Will he be met at the airport by John Howard, demanding that he hand in his guns? Or will Howard be one of those shamelessly jumping on the "Olympic gold" bandwagon, too? It merely emphasises the point that vast majority of firearms owners are, if not Olympic champions, responsible, ordinary people.
One observer, Peter Robinson, columnist for The Sun-Herald (21/7/96) observes that the original nature of the modern Olympics was changed forever at Berlin, 60 years ago, from a contest between individual athletes to something akin to warfare: "Hitler changed all that with his grandiose visions of sport as a projection of national power. The Cold War reinforced the trend and television sealed the process. The Games....can only be compared to a military operation rather than to any normal sporting event (if there is such a thing any more....)"
For the 1996 Olympics, a legal adviser is just as essential equipment to an athlete as his running shoes. Each team will have legions of medical advisers, and even chemists to advise on "banned substances." No athlete dares even drink a Coke or a cup of coffee for fear of being banned for using drugs. The International Olympic Committee, described by an Australian journalist in a new book as The Lord of the Rings, appears to be almost a law unto itself.
Vast amounts of sponsors' money goes practically unaccounted for as members of the I.O.C. fill a glamour role in luxurious travel and the world's best hotels. As the governing entity for the Games, the I.O.C. seems to wield more clout than most national governments. In fact, there is almost a suspicion that the war against drugs has little to do with sporting fairness, or the health of athletes, and more to do with keeping the "images" of the I.O.C. and their multi-million dollar sponsors unsullied. There are allegations that some doping charges following the Barcelona Olympics were quietly dropped, rather than embarrass sponsors with public disgust over steroid-enhanced robots winning medals. It isn't quite the "image" McDonalds, Coke or Kodak are trying to project.
The financial imperialism driving the Olympics is epitomised by the near-total madness of the international television contracts for covering the Games. There is no longer any pretence that the Games have anything to do with culture, and even sportsmanship is only paid lip service. What this might be like by the next McOlympics in Sydney hardly bares contemplation. As Peter Robinson concludes - many Sydney siders might prefer to be somewhere else - "but then, that's a very natural response to war".
THE STATES COLLAPSE ON GUNS
The sight of the Queensland State Premier and his Party colleagues collapsing in the face of pressure from the Prime Minister on the firearms issue is a sorry spectacle. It is also a testament to the stand over tactics and sheer thuggery that has accompanied Mr. Howard's self-righteous appeal to "majority public opinion".
Premier Borbidge, in an attempt to recover the position of the Queensland Nationals, warns his Party grassroots that it is best to submit to Howard, rather than submit to a nationwide referendum, which the Commonwealth would definitely win. But who says the Commonwealth would win a referendum? For Mr. Howard to grab the States' powers to legislate on firearms, he would have to achieve a change to the Constitution, which does not allocate such powers to the Commonwealth. This can only be done by referendum.
Democrat leader Cheryl Kernot has a Bill ready to introduce to the Senate for a referendum to pass firearms control to the Commonwealth. But this is only the beginning of the matter. In order to win a referendum, the Commonwealth must achieve a majority vote in a majority of States. If a majority vote could be achieved in N.S.W. and Victoria where the city ant-heaps dominate, this still requires a majority in two other States. Which two other States would give Mr. Howard State powers over gun controls? South Australia? Tasmania? W.A. or Queensland?
The debate preceding a nationwide referendum would be much broader than technical matters of rim-fire, centre-fire or "crimping", which only a minority of people understands. It would focus on such issues as the balance of Federation, the centralisation of power, the right of the individual to defend himself in his own home, and even the Prime Minister's ultimate agenda. Why does he want these powers? To completely disarm all civilians? The Commonwealth would be obliged to fund the case against Federal gun controls as well as the case for the measure, to be distributed to every Australian household. Who would write the case against centralised powers? If the Liberal Party and the A.L.P. both campaigned for Federal gun controls, what would the National Party do?
There are a great many imponderable variables involved in a nationwide referendum. Howard's claim, repeated by Borbidge, that the Commonwealth would certainly win such powers, is little more than bluster. If Mr. Howard is so certain, why not hold the referendum? We believe the real reason is that Howard cannot be certain of a Commonwealth victory, which makes the surrender by Premiers like Mr. Borbidge all the more pathetic. Perhaps W.A. Premier Richard Court is made of sterner stuff? Passage of the Tasmanian legislation is taken for granted, but it has so far been overlooked that the Tasmanian Legislative Council has yet to even debate the issue as we go to press.
APPLYING THE RAZOR TO THE 'RED NETWORK'
The howls of indignation, led by the staff themselves, over proposed cuts to the ABC's budget should come as no surprise. As a government-funded broadcaster, the ABC has become something of a sacred cow in that any "tampering" with it is construed as being motivated by some sort of political attempt to corrupt "freedom of the press". In effect, this has developed into something of a blank cheque for an ideologically motivated clique of journalists whose inflated value of their own opinions has produced the most blatantly biased news coverage in the nation.
One of the ABC's most trenchant critics is former ABC Chairman in 1982-83, Dame Leonie Kramer, Chancellor of Sydney University. Dame Leonie is quoted by The Weekend Australian (20/7/96) as saying that the ABC has "a real problem" with staff who are more concerned about presenting their own opinions than objective reporting. "I have always believed the ABC should represent a wide range of views from people in the community but it is quite a different matter altogether for ABC staff themselves to use the microphone or TV camera to express their own views to the public," she said.
According to Kramer, the damage was most pronounced when news and current affairs staff vented "ideological positions" on subjects where evidence and documentation was lacking and where public debate had been limited. For many years there has been rising frustration over a public broadcaster that accepts taxpayers' dollars, and then consistently derides and belittles the views of a large proportion of those taxpayers. For example, on the issue of firearms ownership, the ABC has, together with the bulk of the press, campaigned for Commonwealth control of firearms legislation.
The public broadcaster was long ago captured by the political "left" and used as a weapon for ideological purposes, being commonly known in some circles as the "GayBC" or "the Red Network". In the shark-infested waters of the global, media, there must certainly be a role for a public broadcaster if it would provide impartial reporting, and effectively counter the monopolistic global media empires like those of Murdoch, Packer and Black. But if the ABC itself is immune from criticism and accountability, the faster it is abolished the better.
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