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5 June 1998. Thought for the Week: "The future brings us nothing, giving nothing; we who in order to build it have to give everything, our very life. But to be able to give one has to possess; and we possess no other life, no other living sap, other than all that stored up from the past and digested, assimilated and created afresh by us. Of all the human soul's needs, none is more vital."
Simmon Weil in The Need for Roots
CAN WE BANK ON THE BANKS?
by Eric D. Butler
A product of the Bretton Woods agreement during the latter part of the Second World War, the purpose of the IMF was allegedly for the purpose of providing countries with bridging finance to cover temporary balance of payments crisies. Even some advocates of credit reforms felt that there was nothing sinister about what was proposed, it appeared to be a commonsense proposal, which would enable the international banking system to operate more smoothly. Similar arguments were used during the Great Depression to establish the Bank of International Settlements in Switzerland.
The Bank of International Settlements was the first attempt to establish a type of world central banking system. The Bank of International Settlements continued to operate right throughout the Second World War, operated by representatives of both the Western Allies and Germany and its Allies.
What has been described as the "strengthening of the banking system" required a crisis. No objective student of economics disputes that the Great Depression of the 'thirties was triggered by the action of the Wall Street international banks in imposing a restrictive credit policy. Several courageous American Congressmen bluntly charged that the International Banks had deliberately created a worldwide crisis in order to pave the way for a world tyranny.
Australians soon felt the lash of the Wall Street debt merchants and their agents like the Bank of England. In 1930, the head of the Commonwealth Bank, which at the time acted as a Reserve Bank, issued an ultimatum to the Scullin Labor Government, which in desperation was heading the rather radical views of "Red Ted" Theodore, a Treasurer who was advocating an expansion of the money supply to deal with the Depression.
Sir Robert Gibson, Chairman of the Commonwealth Bank, said that the bank strongly disapproved of what was being advocated. Sir Robert was supported by a visitor from the United Kingdom, Sir Otto Niemeyer, representing the Bank of England. Sir Otto's travelling companion, Professor Guggenheimer Gregory of the Fabian Socialist London School of Economics, strongly endorsed what Sir Otto was saying.
"Australians had lived beyond their means and policies of restraint had to be implemented." Thus was born what was known as "The Premiers' Plan". All State Governments agreed, except the NSW Government headed by Premier Jack Lang. Lang said that if sacrifices were necessary, then the lead should be given by the debt merchants in London. Jack Lang was demonised and eventually destroyed by an organised run on the NSW Savings Banks, which Lang was using to try to offset the depression conditions.
History is repeating itself. The IMF and its representatives arrived in Indonesia to give instructions as to what was required by the International Debt Merchants. Upon arriving in Indonesia, IMF Director Condessus recommended that the weakest of the trading banks close their doors. Those who understand how the banking system operates, were not surprised when the IMF instruction resulted in a run on the banks and a fall in the value of the rupiah, which the IMF recommendations were allegedly designed to overcome.
Along with the demand that consumer subsidies
on basic items in the economy should be removed, the IMF set
in motion a revolutionary movement, which eventually swept
Suharto from office. The new regime has been told that, in
essence, if they wish to survive, and regain the confidence
of the International Debt Merchants, they must "reform" their
economy, including the banking system.
The "strengthening" of the banking system required the establishment of a "strong" central bank, linked to the Bank of International Settlements in Switzerland.
When Sir Robert Menzies came to office in 1949, primarily because of the follies of Labor leader Chifley, one of the worst being the abolition of consumer subsidies, he retained as his chief economic adviser Dr. H.C. Coombs, a Fabian from way back. Coombs and his fellow planners showed the Menzies Government how they could tame the banks without trying to nationalise them.
Which now brings Australia to a situation similar to that of the Great Depression years. And the solution is to start liquidating debt by selling off basic community assets like power and water supplies. The same type of "medicine" is being pressed upon the "Asian tigers", reducing them to being little more than tame pussycats.
The Grand Design is to centralise control of the basic resources of the world in order to establish the much-publicised New World Order. The IMF is playing a key role in this. But, as the old saying goes, "Can you bank on the banks". And the short answer is NO. What is happening in Indonesia and other parts of Asia may be the trigger for a revolt against the International Debt Merchants. Australia could lead the way. But a different breed of politicians is required.
HANSON AND THE QUEENSLAND ELECTION
by David Thompson
In order to shore up the big party vote, the who's who of Liberal Party leaders (and even ex-leaders) have now been wheeled out to condemn Pauline Hanson and One Nation. Prime Minister Howard is quoted as saying that a vote for One Nation is against the national interest, and that discontented electors voting against the mainstream parties "might get burned by the myth" that One Nation has easy solutions. The instinctive, grass-roots response is to compare available One Nation policies favourably against recent government policies on the test of "national interest".
Jeff Kennett has also intervened, imploring Queenslanders not to support Hanson, arguing that her views are "a risk to our democracy and harmony". He claims to be disturbed that the views of One Nation were the views of an increasing number of Australians. This election has shown that Kennett's reservations are more than just a "perception". The reality is that the major parties are "on the nose" because they refuse to represent the views of their constituency, and insist on trying to mould us in their own ideological image.
But to wheel out former Prime Minister
Malcolm Fraser to condemn Hanson and One Nation is more likely
to win votes for One Nation than otherwise. In an arrogant
and self-righteous statement, Fraser appealed to Queensland
voters to take no notice of Coalition preference directions,
and put One Nation last. "On one issue alone One Nation stands
condemned: its policies are anti-Asian, anti-Aboriginal and
anti-Semitic. Its policies are racist," said Fraser. Mr. Borbidge
moved quickly to distance himself from Fraser, describing
him as "long-defeated".
The one factor that the opinion polls routinely fail to measure is that of the impact of Graeme Campbell's Australia First. From observation, the Australia First campaign appears to be at least as professional as any of the parties, but is the victim of a complete media blackout. When Campbell went to Queensland last week, his press conference was well attended, but press reports the following day omitted Campbell completely.
The only chink in the media blackout so far was a significant report that appeared in Sunday's Queensland edition of The Sun-Herald. This short report indicated astonishment that One Nation could be defeated in its 'heartland' - Barambah, by Australia First. The report quotes the views of Queensland Australia First director, Don Pinwill, as saying that his Barambah candidate, Mr. Rod Morgan, "could win with as little as 25% of the primary vote", putting him ahead of Labor, which normally scored about 23%. One Nation candidate Dorothy Pratt would need 40% of the primary vote to have a chance of winning, and would then need to rely on 'leaked' preferences. This seat is regarded as crucial to One Nation, as it overlaps the Federal seat of Blair, which Pauline Hanson has declared she will contest.
Although One Nation is the centre of press attention in Queensland, Australia First is certainly a factor, and the mathematics suggest that Australia First is just as likely to win seats in Queensland as One Nation.
PHASE TWO OF FINANCIAL GLOBAL RE-ARRANGEMENTS
by Jeremy Lee, author of the best selling
What Will We Tell Our Children?
With thirty-three thousand workers displaced every 24 hours throughout April in Japan, the pressure on Asian economies is being geared up to new levels of intensity. Those who believe the simplified line that ex-President Suharto was responsible for the Indonesian crisis have succumbed to a transparent form of propaganda, which explains world events by finding scapegoats to cover for bigger programmes. Bogeymen are useful covers. They can be used for hate campaigns, which in turn hide deeper and more devious programmes. Such was the case with Saddam Hussein.
Suharto is the latest victim. Mainstream Australian media have reported events in such a way as to suggest that Suharto alone was to blame, and that his removal would solve the crisis. No attempt was made to list his successes alongside his failures. American economic guru Jeffrey Sachs has pointed out that, during the 30 years of Suharto rule, Indonesia's poverty rate fell from 80 percent to about 20 percent. Over the same period, Australia's poverty levels have increased, with the latest report showing one third of the nation living in poverty.
Those who should be on trial are those IMF officials who insisted that subsidies on fuel and basic food items in Indonesia be removed as the price for debt relief. It was the resulting price rises which triggered the riots in Djakarta. Suharto's last act before stepping down was to restore the subsidies. The IMF extended its withholding of debt relief as a result. There will be no IMF relief until every Asian government is on its knees, surrendering control of its economy, and laying out the red carpet for the entry of the multinationals to take over local industries.
It is clear that major planning has gone into preparing for future mergers and takeovers throughout Asia. On April 14th The Financial Review reported that one of the biggest investment banks in the world, Goldman Sachs, was gearing up its Australian facilities under its Australian Managing Director Malcolm Turnbull (he of republican fame). Prime Minister Howard has made it clear he welcomes the idea of Australia becoming the financial centre for the Asia-Pacific region.
Goldman Sachs is taking him at his word: " Goldman Sachs' Australian target is to generate the same share of business as it enjoys in other markets. In 1997 Goldman Sachs topped the international league table in mergers and acquisitions.... Goldman Sachs' Australian upgrade coincides but is not dependent upon Prime Minister John Howard's Asian financial centre ambitions for Australia. Privately, Goldman Sachs executives believe the financial centre aim is achievable, but Australia needs to garner more Fortune 500 companies (it has 16 now), and create a friendlier foreign investment climate...."(AFR, 14/4198).
No wonder Treasurer Costello, PM Howard and Deputy Tim Fischer are so keen on the Multilateral Agreement on Investments (MAI)!
Those who think this programme has gone away should be warned. The Indonesian crisis has not disappeared with Suharto's demise. Now the "big-guns" (Japan and China) face a crisis as potentially grim as Indonesia's. More and more commentators are suggesting the crisis could well cross the threshold of the Wall Street Stock Exchange in the very near future. Such a possibility, on top of events in Asia and the chaotic situation in Russia (current interest rates are 150%) makes the seven months between now and the end of 1998 very uncertain indeed."
"WHY I TRAVELLED TO BELFAST"Councillor Bevan O'Regan of New South Wales and Editor of the little newsletter From The Parish Pump, has long warned that the establishment of a New Republic in Australia could be through the regionalisation of local government across State borders. Bevan O'Regan has provided hard evidence to support his view. Was the technique of the "Cross Borders" being used in Ireland to produce a centralised control of the whole of Ireland? At his own expense Bevan O'Regan travelled to Belfast to study what was happening. He provides a most fascinating report in the May issue of his Newsletter. We recommend it to all students interested in Irish politics. Send a small donation to Bevan O'Regan, Narrabri, NSW, 2390.
CALLING MR. PETER REITH
Although it is probably true that Mr. Peter Reith has not improved his prospects concerning the leadership of the Liberal Party after John Howard, primarily because of his handling of the waterfront battle, he is still regarded as one of the most influential of the Howard Government's Federal Ministers. As the next Federal Election draws closer, the issue of Citizens Initiative Referendum is a key question.
The time is most opportune to ascertain whether or not Peter Reith is a man of integrity. It has generally been forgotten that as Shadow Attorney General, Peter Reith was the man who played a major role in destroying the Hawke Government's proposals concerning the Constitution. On that occasion Reith waxed eloquently on the value for the Federal Constitution, which, of course, includes the Constitutional Monarchy. There was no sign of support for Republicanism. But now Mr. Reith advocates not only a Republic, but a "popularly elected President". There was a time when Mr. Reith also supported the concept of a Citizens' Initiative Referendum. He wrote a White Paper on the question and had it circulated throughout the Liberal Party.
In 1984 he joined with the then Democrat Leader Kernot and Independent Ted Mack to back the CIR concept. Peter Reith even staged a national convention on the concept - although he felt it necessary at the Canberra convention to criticise the Australian League of Rights. It is not so long ago that Reith was suggesting a type of referendum on tax reform. That idea was strongly criticised by Treasurer Peter Costello who, like John Howard, is determined that Australia must follow the direction of the International Monetary Fund concerning a GST.
In spite of some setbacks inside the Liberal Party, there is no doubt that he still hankers after the leadership of the Party. We suggest that as many actionists as possible write to Mr. Reith and ask him if he still supports CIR and will he attempt to make it a major political issue.
RSL CONDEMNS MULTICULTURALISM
The Victorian RSL has called for an end to multiculturalism, charging that British migrants are being discriminated against. In a paper being sent to all Victorian State MP's, the report condemns ethnic groups, education bureaucracies, the ABC and the "politically correct thought police who infest human rights and equal opportunity bureaucracies".
Actionists are urged to write and support the Victorian RSL. No doubt a copy of the RSL report may be obtained from local RSL branches. But we recommend that as many actionists as possible write to Victorian RSL President Mr. Bruce Ruxton and commend the RSL on its initiative. The address of the RSL is Anzac House, 1 Collins Street, Melbourne, 3000.
HOWARD STRANGLING IN GST
It is unclear whether Mr. Howard, his 'minders', ministers and even back-benchers are completely out of touch with voters, or whether they are simply wishful thinking in regard to their proposed GST. Although the Hewson experience with attempting to win an election campaign with the introduction of a hated new tax was a disaster, Mr. Howard apparently believes his attempt can prevail.
The most damaging element in the GST proposal is Mr. Howard's previous promise that there would "never, ever" be a GST under his leadership. This was after the 1993 election disaster, when Howard was attempting to completely kill the "Fightback!" package that destroyed Hewson. We predict right now that an ALP slogan in the campaign will be "Never, ever", perhaps with television footage of Howard shaking his head dolefully.
Such is the kiss of political death of the GST that advertising agencies who have been asked to pitch for the selling of the GST have all been wary. Almost without exception, they have advised the Coalition that the GST cannot be successfully sold without changing its name! As one television comedian said of the GST: "the trouble with the GST is that no-one can tell the difference between the GST, and paying 10% more for everything they buy".
Mr. Howard's latest promise that the GST rate - whether 10%, 12%, or whatever - would never rise - "set in concrete" was the expression - has been met with universal derision. One wit mimics Howard, shaking his head: "It'll never rise, - never ever". Unless a clever ploy is found to sell the GST, it could become Howard's Waterloo, as it was Hewson's before him.
FROM THE PRESS
'Indonesia joins the club'
'What a sorry day'
"It is about time we Poms said sorry
to the aborigines for bringing the Irish to Australia."
"Now the Sorry Day is over, would it
be too much to hope for some acknowledgment, a 'Thank You
Very Much But Forget It' Day?"
But there are few other countries, Phil, which combine compulsory voting with an ever-changing variety of voting systems. No wonder the often-reluctant voter, seldom faced with genuine choice in policies, is confused, and permits himself to be led about like a sheep!
|© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159|