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6 February 1998. Thought for the Week: "So long ... as we are prepared to agree that the removal of industrial unemployment is the primary object of statesmanship and, ... that the capture of foreign markets is the shortest path to the attainment of this objective, we have the primary economic irritant to military war always with us, and, moreover, we have it in an accelerating rate of growth, because production is expanding through the use of power machinery, and underdeveloped markets are contracting. Any village which has two grocery shops, each competing for an insufficient, and decreasing amount of business, while continually enlarging its premises, is a working demonstration of the economic causes of war - is, in fact, itself at war by economic methods."
C.H. Douglas in The Monopoly of Credit
THE GROWING THREAT OF CIVIL WAR
by Eric D. Butler
Early in the history of the Social Credit
movement, during which the author of Social Credit,
C.H. Douglas, was optimistic that members of the British Trade
Union Movement might lead an attack on the monopoly of financial
credit, and the debt system it had spawned, the British Trade
Union Movement was captured by the Fabian Socialists and their
spiritual bedfellows, the Communists. The aim of the Communists
was to seek to exploit the legitimate grievances of the workers,
such as the progressive erosion of their purchasing power
as a result of inflation. The Marxists were consistently opposed
to any financial policy, which might alleviate friction in
Under the general theme that they are attempting to bring "labour reforms" into the coal and waterfront industries, the Howard Government has embarked on a strategy, which, while it may break the power of the waterfront and coalmining unions and help with the re-election of the Howard Government, will have dangerous long-term implications for Australian society.
Few would dispute that over the years there have been numerous rorts on the Australian waterfronts, and that like all industries, greater genuine efficiency should be sought. But it can be said without fear of contradiction that nothing proposed by the Government or the National Farmers' Federation will have the slightest effect on the disaster course on which Australia has been proceeding under both Labor and non-Labor Governments.
The major "wrecking" which the Australian Farmers' Federation talks of has not been the result of the restrictive policies of the Unions, but of the programme of economic rationalism and globalism. Much of Australia's manufacturing base has been closed down and moved to Asian countries, where labour costs are much lower than those in Australia. Much of the production which floods in to Australia from Asian countries is produced by near-slave labour.
Constantly told that they must become more efficient in order to compete internationally, sections of Australian industry lend a willing ear to all suggestions, which they believe will reduce their labour costs. Global corporations like Rio Tinto naturally tend to lose sight of the human factor involved in their operations. The bigger and more centralised industry becomes, the more difficult it becomes for the individual worker to negotiate his wage conditions. Evidence indicates that where unions are removed from wage bargaining processes, the real value of wages and salaries is being driven down.
The tragedy is that the present financial rules results in a type of civil war between people. Recently there was the Victorian strike of nurses and medical staff, which had its roots in the cost saving policies of the Victorian Kennett Government. Nurses generally felt guilty that they had to neglect their patients. The much-maligned waterside workers are also human beings, many of them with families and having the same concerns as the majority of Australians.
Contrary to what officials of the National Farmers' Federation claim, there is no evidence that waterside workers have no feelings about the plight of primary producers. It is not so long ago that the waterside workers donated over $63,000 to the drought appeal organised by the "A Current Affair" programme. There is good and bad in all individuals. Crisis conditions sometimes brings out the worst in some individuals, as witnessed by reports that some businesses are attempting to profiteer in the flood-ravaged township of Katherine. But generally speaking Australians do not seek to exploit the problems of their fellows.
All the available evidence indicates that in recent years there have been improvements on the Australian waterfronts. The workforce has been reduced, as have the turnaround times for ships. Except in times of a genuine national crisis, Government-sponsored strikebreaking is a dangerous and provocative policy. The training of strikebreakers can only further inflame tensions in Australian society.
The National Farmers' Federation can legitimately claim that the exporting of some Australian primary production has been affected by restrictive practices on the waterfront - although there appears to be no evidence that there have been any problems with the bulk shipping of grains and sugar - but the waterside workers are not responsible for the financial policies which have been a major factor in creating a deepening rural crisis.
Not only has the NFF failed to attack the basic cause of the devastation of rural Australia but has endorsed the programme of internationalising the Australian economy, which includes the flooding of Australia with rural production from other countries. What is emerging in Australia is a strategy, backed by Big Business, particularly that which has been internationalised, to break the waterside and coal industry unions as a preliminary to expanding a programme of forcing all workers and salary earners into a position where they must try to negotiate individual contracts with employers.
Obsessed with maintaining and using power themselves, Trade Union leaders have failed to see that they have been manipulated into a situation where they are pawns in a much bigger game than they understand. The only political movement in Australia which appears to have any understanding of what is required to start easing the tensions in Australia, is Australia First led by Graeme Campbell. It is his Labor background, which probably enables him to take a nonpartisan view of the situation.
One aspect of the present industrial crisis should be thoroughly investigated: Where is the NFF obtaining the big sums of money to finance its clandestine operations? The NFF says it is not using the NFF fighting fund. And why is it attempting to set up business on a Melbourne waterfront, which does not handle primary produce? Is the NFF receiving funds from one, or more, of the big multinationals?
SECRET NEGOTIATION OF A DEADLY TREATY
by David Thompson
Since the collapse of the rupiah, which has lost more than 80% of its value since July, Indonesian importers have been unable to pay their foreign debts. As a result, about 92% of Indonesian companies on the Jakarta stock exchange are technically bankrupt. It is clear that the IMF is attempting to pave the way for the 'Asian tigers' to be locked into a new international treaty which is being promoted under a cloak of secrecy - the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI).
In the last few weeks, the Australian business and financial press seem to have "discovered" the MAI, and are asking why the Government has nothing to say on the matter. The answer is provided by David James in an article in Business Review Weekly (26/1/98): "This (secrecy) is not entirely accidental. Most recent trade negotiations in Australia have been conducted in relative secrecy by Canberra bureaucrats. According to New Zealand journalist, Colin James, (Business Review Weekly 15/12/97), "Publication of the treaty was forbidden by the OECD, under whose auspices it is being negotiated. "(Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).
Why the secrecy? Because if we accept
the MAI it means the end of national sovereignty. Is this
just another League of Rights beat-up, to try to get attention?
Not according to Jim Anderton, the leader of the left-wing
Alliance Party in New Zealand: "We sign away our sovereignty
when we sign the MAI."
David James reports further: "Transnational
corporations, especially those based in the US, have been
able to establish a global web of influence, and the MAI is
intended to give it legal and institutional force. The implications
for national sovereignty and democracy are profound.
From our research, once signed, no government
can refuse foreign investment, except in specified "reserved"
areas, which will be gradually reduced by the OECD. Alan Griffiths
is a senior researcher for the Stop MAI in the USA. He is
quoted by Business Review Weekly (26/1/98):
In New Zealand, the National-New Zealand
First coalition government has refused parliamentary debate
on the treaty. But such has been the resistance from the grassroots
of both the Labor Party and other groups, that New Zealand
has published the draft of the treaty. As a result Colin James
writes: "Spectres have been raised of Government assets having
to be sold to foreigners, of floods of foreign workers being
brought in by foreign companies, and of environmental and
labor standards being undermined
While the political parties
in New Zealand are supporting the MAI (even New Zealand first,
which campaigned against foreign investment) resistance at
the grassroots is growing quickly.
Such is the scope of the MAI that Geoffrey Barker, writing in The Financial Review (19/1/98) quotes Marjorie Cohen, Professor of Political Science at Simon Fraser University, who says that "the MAI is designed solely to discipline nations in the interests of the one class which enjoys world citizenship - the international investor".
Barker writes that the Australian spokesman for Stop the MAI, Mr. Richard Sanders, says the MAI will become a major issue in Australia when people become aware of the possible implications. "There is little point in talking about a new Australian republic if we sell out our democracy through the MAI," says Sanders.
It is clear that, as we have reported previously, the structure of the global state continues to emerge bit by bit. While the IMF may be the global enforcer for the international banking groups, it appears as though the MAI is intended as the global enforcer for the multinational corporations. It is not a question of whether the MAI should be resisted, but how it can best be done. It may be that a coalition of extremely diverse groups, including the political left, and the democrats, will be required to defeat the MAI.
WILL CLINTON GO TO WAR TO COVER UP?
Although the opinion polls in the US appear to show that President Clinton has regained the confidence of the majority after the allegations of philandering in the White House, and attempts to cover up, the legal bloodhounds still pursue him. If further evidence emerges about sexual indiscretions, Clinton may be tempted to do something desperate to divert attention from his domestic problems.
What about a good war? The obvious 'victim' would be Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
If Clinton could find an excuse to send the bombers in, he might be hailed as a warrior President protecting the free world from the Islamic infidel. Much could be forgiven such a saviour.
What, then, are we to make of the report from the business pages of the Herald-Sun (31/1/98) by Peter Coster, who writes: "Sam Lipski, publisher of the Jewish News, told a Centre for the Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) lunch yesterday that 'on February 11 or 12, the United States and Britain will launch three to four days of aerial bombardment of Iraq'. No ifs, no buts."
How can Mr. Lipski be so certain? Does he happen to know that Israel has received certain promises from the Zionist-dominated US Presidency? Such an attack would also take some of the political heat off Israeli Prime Minister Netenyahu, which would also be very convenient.
CRACKING THE SECRECY ON THE MAI
The new Multilateral Agreement on Investment
is being negotiated almost entirely in secret in Australia,
apparently on instructions from the OECD (Organisation for
Economic Co-operation and Development). Few Australian politicians
even know what it is, let alone what it will do to us. We
believe they have been kept in the dark by our bureaucrats,
who would like to slip this treaty through without too much
debate. But we know enough about the MAI to know that it is
The strongest efforts should be made to wring some answers from the politicians on the MAI. What will it do to the Foreign Investment Review Board? What will it mean for Australian ownership of industry? What powers will it give multinational corporations over governments, and what scope exists for individuals to protest?
TURNING GRAEME CAMPBELL INTO A NON-PERSON
A letter by Denis McCormack a senior official of Graeme Campbell's Australia First movement, which appeared in the Melbourne Age of January 27th, provides further confirmation of our view that there is a nationwide campaign to ensure that Campbell and the Australia First movement get the minimum of media publicity.
Commenting on a statement by Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett concerning the necessity of Australia to produce more great visionaries like those of the past, Denis McCormack pointed out that those mentioned by Kennett, men like the great Alfred Deakin, were all supporters of a pro-European immigration policy. The first Australian Governor General. Isaac Isaacs, a strong Jewish opponent of Zionism, also supported the restrictive immigration policy.
Denis McCormack chided the Premier for failing to mention the policies of the great visionaries he had mentioned. But we are informed that The Age letter was sent on an Australia First letterhead. This was deleted. It is clear that while the media is prepared to provide publicity for the Pauline Hanson One Nation Movement, even if the publicity is critical, there is a blackout concerning Graeme Campbell's Australia First Movement.
With the mass media against him, Graeme Campbell and his supporters must start to devise ways and means of generating grassroots publicity, which will break the mass media censorship.
ADVICE TO ALL PENSIONERSA highly revealing report by the Commonwealth Ombudsman, Ms. Philippa Smith should be carefully noted by all Australian pensioners. The report says that thousands of Australians have been losing money due to false or misleading verbal advice given by Government agencies, as a result of the cost-cutting strategy of the Commonwealth Government. A high incidence of shoddy service has been uncovered. Rather than provide written communications, which can, of course, be more easily checked, verbal advice is becoming increasingly popular. Some agencies allow a 5 percent margin of error on their verbal advice. All those who are in doubt about their entitlements are urged to put their queries in writing, also to write down verbal answers for cross checking.
"HOLLYWOOD'S JUST A JEWISH FANTASY"
The following article, by Richard Jinman appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald on November 19th, 1997, under the above heading. Seen through Elliott Halpern's lens, Superman is the "ultimate Jewish fantasy" and My Fair Lady a classic immigrant story about "fitting in". The slaughter of pioneers in Hollywood westerns? According to the Emmy award-winning Canadian documentary maker, such scenes can be read as a metaphor for 'jack-booted Cossacks burning and pillaging Jewish settlements in Eastern Europe".
Far-fetched? Not according to Halpern's new film, Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies & the American Dream. It tells the compelling story of a small group of Jewish immigrants - studio heads like the Warner brothers, MGM founder Louis. B. Mayer and Paramount's founder Adolph Zukor - re-inventing themselves as Americans. Driven by a desire to assimilate and inspired by immigrant fantasies of white picket fences, virtuous heroes and simple truths, they created Hollywood and the American Dream.
"They completely sublimated their Jewish identity, yet they infused their movies with Jewish concerns and made an attempt to turn them into universal themes," said Halpern in Sydney yesterday for his film's first public screening. They created a dream of America, an immigrant' s dream that Americans came to believe. Today the dream, the Hollywood "fantasy structure" created by the Jewish studio heads, is alive and well.
Halpern's film points to the 1996 blockbuster Independence Day as a contemporary example. "Independence Day is clearly a throwback to the kind of film the movie moguls loved," said Halpern. "It's part of that studio tradition and the themes they brought into the language of everyday life."
Basing his film on Neal Gabler's book An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood. Halpern struggled to raise finance from nervous television networks. He admits the subject could be "explosive" in the wrong hands.
"Jewish control of Hollywood ... has become a staple of anti-Semitic rhetoric and it traumatises people," he said. "But the film is a way of redressing that. The explanations aren't sinister and there are interesting cultural and historical reasons the industry evolved the way it did."
An Empire of Their Own, by Neal Gabler, is available from some League Book Services: $26.00, or $29.00 posted.
TECHNOLOGY - SERVANT OR MASTER?
When the pilot strolls down the aisle of a commercial jetliner in flight, invariably soliciting the tongue-in-cheek question of who might be flying the plane he often replies, "The computer." But in light of reports from some pilots about the electronic systems of modem aeroplanes, the joke is not so funny.
In a recent edition of the US high-tech magazine, Upside, one pilot complained about the quality of airline computers. "The biggest misconception about the airline world is the assumption that we pilots have all kinds of high-tech equipment at our fingertips. Here's a sad fact. You probably have more computing power in your carry-on bag than your airliner du jour has. On the 727, if we want to know when we'll get somewhere, we grab a pencil and do seventh-grade time, rate and distance computations.
"The obvious answer to the lack of good computers in airlines would be to offer the service of your laptop to the captain "
FROM THE PRESS
"Chance in life came from being a 'stolen
"Cathy herself and Yvonne Cawley before her, and several leaders of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Commission and other Aboriginal organisations, got their chance in life because they or their parents or grandparents were removed from the conditions she describes. "Was Hasluck's attempt to give such children a better life really a form of genocide for which nonAboriginal Australians should apologise and sign a 'sorry book'? I think not, and I shall not sign." Geoffrey Partington, Adelaide. The Australian, 28/1/98
"A draft-doging, pot-smoking, womanising President of the United States of America. That leaves plenty of choice for our Australian president." David Meredith, Singleton, NSW. The Australian, 27/1/98
"Flag stands out from drab offerings
(We would like to draw attention to inaccuracies within what is otherwise an excellent letter. In 1953 the Prime Minister was not Mr. Chifley, but Robert Menzies, and by then Elizabeth II was the Queen. We believe the reference was to Menzies'1953 National Flag Act. )
"UN Locusts not wanted
KEATING ADVISING SOEHARTOan unpublished letter
"There is no veil over the money power as they mow down the Asian currencies. I like Keating's admission that he organised Australia' currency status in early 1990s and the recession to create a climate for restructure.
"As Soeharto contemplated the IMF proposal he was pressured by contact from all the leaders of the region, including John Howard. Soeharto's (read IMF) budget is for zero growth. 20% inflation and elimination of subsidies to the community on oil and electricity. This is praised by Johnnie Howard. I wonder whether he would be game to have his treasurer plan a similar budget?
"Australia proceeds with scant regard to Asia's problems - it must be like the Emperor's clothes. Next on the list must be Japan and Australia. From this background it is difficult to say Happy New Year- it will be a challenge in any case."
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