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17 April 1998. Thought for the Week: "Although it seems difficult to obtain general understanding of it, fundamentally a financial system is a matter of pure arithmetic, and the results which will be obtained depend entirely upon the arithmetical factors which are employed and only to a very temporary extent upon the particular brand of black magic which is superimposed. Whatever may be the case in other matters, compromise in arithmetic seems singularly out of place, and it is much better that the present defective system should be allowed to discredit its upholders, and so render genuine reconstruction possible, than that an alternative, of which the effects are not sufficiently beneficial as to place it in an impregnable position, should be substituted for it."
C.H. Douglas in The Monopoly of Credit
THE WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE WATERFRONT EXPLOSION
by Eric D. Butler
John Howard may genuinely believe that "globalism" is the way forward to a better and more harmonious world, but the politically cynical are entitled to suggest that his open declaration of industrial war on the Australian Maritime Union has more to do with party politics than it has with genuine reforms. And no doubt those ambitious party men like Costello and Reith have their own private agendas concerning the future.
The mentality of John Howard has been reflected in his comments concerning those waterfronts where wharf workers have been progressively improving rates of productivity. In Tasmania a gang of 30 full time wharfies have worked Tasmanian ports for stevedoring company Patrick. They moved around to work ships wherever they were docked and got to know their tasks and one another so well that, according to one observer, they began to operate "like clockwork".
Along with Adelaide and several other ports around Australia, they had steadily improved their productivity rate. In fact, the rate at several ports, including Adelaide, exceeded the rates mentioned by John Howard and his Minister Reith, as being acceptable. But when asked why should wharfies be sacked who were efficient even by his own standards, John Howard made the inflammatory comment that the sacking was the result of their membership of the Maritime Workers' Union.
In a balanced editorial of April 12th, entitled "Shock Tactics Cause Concern", the Melbourne Herald-Sun commented that "there have been significant improvements in terms of efficiency and lost working hours at most Australian ports, factors the government sometimes conveniently ignores".
If, as is generally agreed, there has been a steady improvement in the performances of waterside workers, and less rorts than there used to be, it is obvious that the talk about "reform" is a smokescreen for the Government's real agenda, which is to further in every way the programme of "globalism". As pointed out by a number of observers, in practice this means an attempt to create a World State in which not only do multinationals freely move capital around the world, but also labour forces. Globalism means the end of the nation-state and its cultures.
The World State, as envisaged by the idealists, will never become a reality. But in the attempt to make it a reality, there will be convulsion after convulsion with increasing social disintegration.
The emergence of the early Trade Union Movement was the result of the worst excesses of the industrial revolution and the failure of governments to grasp an understanding of how the financial system could be used to ensure that there was harmony between employers and employees. Original Trade Union leaders in Great Britain men like Kerr Hardie, were emancipationists not collectivists.
There was a period after the First World War when some British Trade Unionists started to promote the concept of "credit reform" along the lines suggested by the author of Social Credit, C.H. Douglas. This proposal was subverted by the Fabian Socialists and their spiritual bedfellows the Communists.
The same type of subversion took place in Australia where the Trade Union Movement was deeply penetrated by the Communists, who regarded the rank and file of the Trade Union Movement as little more than the raw material for their revolutionary programme. Strikes were regarded, not as a means of improving the conditions of the workers, but as a means of exhausting the workers financially and emotionally. The Marxist influence in the Australian Trade Union Movement was directed against any proposals for financial reform.
Generally speaking, the workers of Australia have been betrayed by Trade Union bosses who have demonstrated that basically they are monopolists insisting that unless workers join their union they should not be allowed to work. With the advance of technology and the bad image created by strikes, the Trade Union Movement is clearly in decline.
With large-scale unemployment, resulting from a combination of technology and economic rationalism, now a major feature of all industrialised nations, the individual worker is becoming increasingly helpless in the face of the power of Big Government and industrial conglomerates. But the shock industrial tactics encouraged by the Howard Government with the spectacle of waterside workers being exposed to violent treatment by security guards using dogs in the middle of the night has sent a tremor of fear through those Australians who still have paid jobs. They realise that everyone is now at risk.
Large-scale unemployment makes it relatively easy to recruit non-union labour to man the Australian waterfronts. But there will be deep bitterness among those who have been summarily sacked. While Australia's biggest stevedoring company P&0 has ruled out mass sackings similar to those of Patrick, it says that some jobs will have to go in an attempt to reduce financial costs.
The debt financial system creates a state of permanent civil war. Not so long ago it was the nurses who were on strike. The basic cause was financial. Even the Victorian police are now mooting the possibility of strike. Once again the basic cause is financial.
Time will tell if John Howard has scored
any political points out of his open assault on the waterside
workers. At the moment public opinion appears to be evenly
divided. But with a volatile electorate, and probably 50 percent
not yet definite who they will vote for at the next election,
there could be a number of unrehearsed events, which could
seriously affect the election results.
Australia is in a new political era, which offers the prospect of Australians being able to exercise more control over government. The shape of things to come will be clearly indicated at the coming Queensland State elections, which will be held before the Federal elections. These elections will reveal whether Graeme Campbell's Australia First and a few Independents can strike the first blow in breaking the monopoly of political power as it currently exists.
"EXTREMISTS OF AUSTRALIA UNITE"
by David Thompson
When answering a "question without notice"
in the Parliament on March 5th, Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander
Downer told Bill Taylor (Groom) that it was rubbish to suggest
that the OECD treaty on the Multilateral Agreement on Investment
(MAI) was being negotiated in secret... people like the League
of Rights, the Member for Oxley and their kind - the kind
of Far Left and Far Right - are running around saying that
the MIA is some sort of deathly secret. . ." Mr. Downer said.
And who posted the treaty there? Was it Downer's department, taking out newspaper advertisements alerting Australians to the fact that this far-reaching treaty was coming up? No, it was not. Neither Downer and certainly not the DFAT or Treasury bureaucrats bothered to tell anyone about it since 1995. They had to be forced by Parliamentary pressure from the Democrats and the ALP to announce the "inquiry" by the "treaty committee".
Other groups in other countries have complained of the secrecy surrounding the issue. As previously reported, journalists have trouble squeezing information out of the bureaucrats, the OECD "suggested" that treaty drafts not be distributed, and in New Zealand, the government initially refused to debate the issue in Parliament.
But the League is the main group singled out by Downer for "running around with what could only be described as a childish scare campaign." For some reason Mr. Downer appears a little sensitive about the League.
In an obvious reference to Downer's "extremist"
charges, former SA Labor Premier, Don Dunstan opened his address
at a major rally in Adelaide on March 15th with a humorous
touch: "Fellow extremists, I acknowledge my extremity! Extremists
of Australia unite - you have nothing to lose but a voice
in your own future."
TOWERS OF BABEL TREMOR
However, even while grandiose schemes like the MAI treaty are being cobbled together globally, they are also in danger of falling apart before they become operational. For example, the last great global structure, the World Trade Organisation, which was constructed to police "free" trade on a global scale, is in danger of foundering. It now appears that the WTO finds its huge powers too expensive to fulfill.
Reports in The Economist from Geneva suggest that the arguments taking place in trade disputes have to be translated into several different languages; probably lawyer's language, at that. WTO rulings on major disputes are taking about four months to be translated and distributed. On top of this, the WTO appeals body is hopelessly understaffed and underfunded. It was assumed that trade disputes would be settled before reaching appeal, but in fact every single case is being appealed, swamping the four lawyers staffing the appeals body. The problem is compounded by the WTO funding being frozen, with the US insisting that the freeze be maintained for five years.
US Congress is pressuring the administration
to limit funding for multilateral institutions, with even
the US contribution to the UN and IMF being closely examined.
The US contribution to the UN is years behind, and the UN
is examining what action can be taken to recover operating
funds, like suspending the US from the Security Council.
Perhaps, like the tower of Babel, the modern-day towers of babble will implode under the weight of their own verbosity, in the vain attempt to reach the god of their own making.
MURDOCH ON MONOPOLIES
In an address to the global financial and bureaucratic elites in Birmingham last week, News Ltd's Rupert Murdoch charged that "state-owned broadcasters" had unfair advantages in media markets, and should be privatised. No doubt he would be a buyer! In particular Murdoch was highly critical of the BBC, which he claims enjoys a 2 billion pound guaranteed income from compulsory license fees.
While he is decrying the power of state-owned monopolies, News Ltd. is being accused of predatory behaviour in Europe and Britain in particular. The criticism comes not only about Murdoch's media monopolies or near-monopolies, but about his influence in British politics. The News Ltd. BSkyB satellite broadcaster has taken almost all sport away from free-to-air television. Murdoch's political influence comes, of course, through media ownership.
Britain's largest-circulation daily tabloid
is New Ltd's. The Sun, which is strongly opposed to
Britain's participation in the new European single currency,
the EMU. Murdoch explains this: "I've always been in favour
of (Britain's integration into) Europe, I just don't happen
to be in favour of EMU", he said. "If Britain is to integrate
with Europe, as I think it should, media make better economic,
commercial and social glue than a forced convergence of currencies."
IMF SAVAGES JAPAN
* * * *
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir again
seized an opportunity to lecture the West at the Asia-Europe
Meeting last weekend. He also effectively blocked Australia's
participation in the group, because we are not an Asian nation.
Criticising Western capitalism and attempts to tie European
human rights standards to trade policy, he said, "If you are
starving and you are allowed to speak and to vote, it means
nothing. I believe that Asians have their values, and those
values are as good and as universal as European values".
* * * *
The NSW Auditor-General Tony Harris has recommended that NSW Parliamentary Superannuation Scheme be scrapped, as it is completely open to abuse. This is the scheme that was changed in the dead of night on the last sitting day of Parliament last year to give MP's a 30% increase in super. Although Premier Carr has promised to reverse the decision, the repeal was bungled, and is still waiting to be passed. As it was, MP's were contributing only l0 cents for each superannuation dollar contributed by taxpayers, making it one of the greatest rorts in the country.
* * * *
As a third tuberculosis patient was admitted to a Brisbane hospital last month, concerns about corruption in the immigrant screening process have arisen. An Indian student died of TB last month, and a student from Botswana is also in hospital in Brisbane. Now a Gold Coast man was in hospital with suspected TB. Another benefit of globalism?
VICTORIA'S LOCAL GOVERNMENT REVOLUTION
"The evil that men do lives after them," wrote Shakespeare. The political career of Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett is coming to an end. But the disastrous effects of his Crown Casino gamble, the mass reconstruction of Melbourne's road system, and the forced amalgamation of Victoria's municipalities will be felt for years to come.
As the League of Rights predicted, the forced amalgamation programme would eventually be seen as an expensive economic and social tragedy. Recent mass meetings of protest in different parts of Victoria are manifestations of a deep and growing concern among ratepayers. The Geelong Advertiser of April 3rd carries the headline, FIGURES SHOW AMALGAMATION A DISASTER, SAYS ACCOUNTANT.
The story concerns Mr. Bob Cook, who has worked with a number of major firms for over 30 years, and is quoted as saying, " from a financial point of view the outcome of amalgamation must be classified as disastrous. Financially, Greater Geelong has been living from hand to mouth for the past three years. The City is most certainly not in a much stronger position than the six former Councils."
Mr. Cook points out that Greater Geelong had inherited a combined surplus of $8 million from the original Councils, but that only $204,000 was left. Mr. Cook moots the necessity of rate increases and reduced expenditures to meet the situation.
From all parts of Victoria come reports of declining services. Substantial rate increases are clearly on the way. But Jeff Kennett will probably be political history by the time Victorian electors have the opportunity to express their anger at what has happened. The tragedy is that a Labor Party led by the colourless Brumby offers no real alternative. Not surprisingly there is increasing talk on the possibility of a number of Independents contesting the next Victorian State Elections. There was a time when two Independents held the balance of power in the Victorian Parliament. It could happen again. In the current Victorian Parliament there are two Independents.
SEXUALITY DISCRIMINATION BILL NEEDS ATTENTION
The Festival of Light (SA) advise that a 1995 Bill introduced into the Senate by Democrats Senator Spindler is to be revived by Democrat Senator Andrew Bartlett (SA). This Bill sought to legislate to give effect to recommendations from the McKiernan Report of the Senate Legal & Constitutional Affairs Committee, which would ban any group from receiving any form of government funding if they 'discriminate' against homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, transvestite, or 'transgender' people. That is, Christian schools, hospitals, childcare centres, etc., who failed to employ such people could have all funding public denied.
The Democrat proposal to re-introduce the Spindler legislation has met with heated opposition, and the letters received have reportedly shaken them. The message is that letters of protest count. Let's step it up. We recommend contacting Democrat Senators in each State, and asking what they intend to do about this nonsense.
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