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Christian based service movement warning about threats to rights and freedom irrespective of the label.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"
Edmund Burke
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On Target

4 December 1998. Thought for the Week: "Athenians! Certainly things are going badly and you are in despair. But in this you are wrong.
If having done all that was necessary to ensure that things should go well, you had still seen them turn out badly, you might have reason to despair. Yet hitherto things have gone badly only because you have not done what was necessary so that they should go otherwise. It is still open for you to do what you have so far not done. Then things will go well.
Why then should you despair so soon?"
Demos Thenes (385-322BC), Greek Orator

AUSTRALIA'S COMING YEAR OF DESTINY

by Eric D. Butler
The long campaign to tear Australia from its traditional roots will reach its climax next year, when the Howard Government will proceed to advance the Republican agenda for turning Australia into a republic with the consequent abolition of the Constitutional Monarchy. Media reports indicate that the Howard Government is currently engaged in the process of drafting the necessary Bill to facilitate the holding of the referendum concerning the Republican issue. The referendum will probably be held in October or November of next year.

For the referendum to be carried, it is essential that a majority of electors in a majority of States must vote YES. If what is proposed by the Republicans is carried, Prime Minister John Howard must be charged with having played a major role in the greatest act of treachery in Australian history.

I have long watched the career of John Howard, and have reached the conclusion that he is the most dangerous Prime Minister ever suffered by the Australian people. This is not a conclusion that I have reached lightly: It is based upon a close study of modern political history and a study of John Howard's history.

In 1964 I interviewed in London the former Prime Minister of the Central African Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Sir Roy Welensky, who attempted to put a brake on the proposed British retreat from Central Africa, particularly what was formerly Rhodesia. Sir Roy was scathing about the role of the British Conservatives, pointing out that the British Labor Party was straight forward in its intention to desert the mainly British population of Central Africa.
The Labor politicians attack you from the "front" said Sir Roy.

It was the British Conservative Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath who led the campaign to surrender British sovereignty to the European Common Market, setting in motion the developments which led to the fragmentation of the whole British family of nations. Australians and New Zealanders started to hear the same call of the necessity for such a new destiny - in Asia.

Posing as an Australian nationalist, John Howard, early in his political career, indicated he was prepared to surrender to internationalism while careful not to echo Paul Keating's blatant anti-British sentiments, realising that this would reach its Australian political base. He has whole heartedly embraced all major aspects of Keating's internationalism. Long forgotten is the fact that it was Paul Keating, when as Bob Hawke's first Treasurer, attempted to "reform" the taxation system with a version of the GST. The man who promised that he would "never ever ever" introduce a GST subsequently made the introduction of a GST one of his major objectives.
When Paul Keating paved the way for the internationalisation of the Australian banking system John Howard complained that Keating had stolen his policy. As Treasurer in the Fraser Government, John Howard was an early advocate of the "reform" of the Australian banking system.

A study of what might be generally described as the revolutionary movement against traditional society reveals that in its initial stages, it requires the support of "moderates", but once a momentum has been created, one which tends to feed upon itself, the next step is for the more dangerous revolutionaries to take over.

Momentum reaches the stage where all resistance is swept away under the slogan of "inevitability". Consider the politicians, along with some Christian leaders who have embraced the doctrine of "inevitability", a doctrine that is basically anti-Christian as it denies freewill. While one can feel contemptuous of those "conservative" politicians when they seek to justify their support for the Republican revolution, how does one characterise a Prime Minister who attempts to protect himself by attempting to prove himself as a neutral in the Republican debate? John Howard is quoted as saying that Liberal politicians and organisational members would have a free vote on the issue.

John Howard's attitude reminds me of the famous statement that the hottest place in hell will be reserved for those who in a time of great crisis remained neutral, while continuing to create the impression that he personally supports the principle of a constitutional monarchy. John Howard's support is so weak that he is not prepared to take the field of battle leaving it free to the Republican revolutionaries.

John Howard knows that the history of referenda debates in Australia indicates that major constitutional changes are difficult to achieve in the face of major party political divisions. But at present there is little indication of such a division. There is a well-financed and highly organised Republican movement, backed by Big Business and the mass media, the Labor Party, the Democrats, and prominent members of the Liberal Party. While the National Party continues to proclaim itself as a Monarchist Party, it is a matter of a Coalition Party dominated by a Liberal Party led by a man who insists that he is neutral.

The Australian Electoral Commission states "when a proposal is passed unanimously by Parliament a No case is not proposed". If an official NO case is to be prepared and distributed along with the Yes case, it is essential that at least a few Liberal or National Party members break Party shackles and vote against the coming Referendum Bill to ensure that a NO case concerning the Republican issue is prepared and distributed. The greatest possible pressure must be applied to Liberal and National Party members to ensure that the Republican referendum is not lost through default.

John Howard is quoted as saying that he is in favour of money being made available for the preparation and distribution of the NO case against the republican Referendum proposal. If John Howard can be persuaded to keep at least one promise, and the keeping of that promise helps to ensure that the Republican threat is defeated, he could yet redeem himself and be listed in Australian history as a genuine patriot.


BANKS UNDER FIRE

by Jeremy Lee
Suddenly across Australia a long-repressed resentment of the major trading banks is bursting into open expression. It says much for long-suffering producers and consumers that this has not happened before. The long-drawn-out war of debt-attrition against the Australian public has gone through intensifying stages over the last few decades, hitting hardest at the weak. Interest rates, which went to between 20 and 30 percent in the early nineties, impacted mainly on farmers and small businesses, whose complaints could be written off as the moans of traditional "whingers".

The trading banks, buoyed by their seeming immunity to criticism, were less and less discreet in masking their contempt for their customers, who they regarded more as a nuisance than their reason-for-being. They wrote off in bad debts huge sums of money following the October 1987 stock market crash - sums which would have bankrupted normal businesses in quick-time. But the banks simply boosted their lending programmes, rationalised their operations, sacked thousands of workers and began closing branches, as part of a programme to eliminate face-to-face banking and customer service.
The ultimate aim is a situation where all transactions in Australian society are conducted electronically, recorded by remote and centralised computer centres requiring the minimum staff, where a fee-charge is exacted on every transaction of every description, which once was effected by notes and coin.

Even the most long-suffering have reached the end of their tether. People who through their lifetime have cashed their cheques at a local branch, and remember nostalgically the days when the local bank manager was a friendly and familiar face, are now discovering the local branch has gone; that their welfare or pension cheque is paid into a bank whether or not they like it; and that the familiar practice of drawing some cash for day-to-day expenses is made difficult or impossible.

So the current "bank-bashing" appearing in papers, talk-back radio and TV programmes every day is along-postponed response to prolonged "people-bashing" by immense, globalised corporations which have lost any touch with ordinary individuals, families, small businesses and the usual loyalties people have for their community or even their country.

Under the heading BETTER THE BANK BASTARD YOU KNOW, Peter Switzer in The Weekend Australian (28-29/11/98) commented:
"Apart from sound thinking business analysts and some lucky shareholders, the community rates banks, and in particular our Big Four banks, as bastards ... To maintain their billion-dollar bottom lines they have simply started playing around with fees. And it is this very deceptive action which makes the community even more suspicious of banks..."

Peter Switzer was referring to the latest revelations described on the front page of Queensland's Courier-Mail (25/11/98) in these words: "A national outcry over rising bank fees heightened yesterday, with new figures showing some fees had more than doubled in the past year. Almost all fees charged by major banks have increased, prompting aged groups to predict that hefty charges on over-the-counter transactions would add $100 a year to the cost of banking for elderly households.
A raft of new charges, including account-keeping fees, were introduced in the past year as the new five major banks built their annual revenue from non-interest income to the $10 billion mark..."
(The fifth bank referred to in the article is St. George Bank.)

A look at the assets and profits of the "gang-of-four" show they have not shared in any way the economic restrictions the rest of Australia has had to face since the Asian collapse began.
The National-Australia Bank (which, we're told, is re-naming itself simply "The National") now has assets of $250 billion, and made a net profit after tax of $2.19 billion.
The Commonwealth Bank has assets of $130 billion and an after-tax net profit of $1.25 billion;
Westpac, assets of $137 billion, after-tax profits of $1.34 billion; and
ANZ, assets of $116 billion and after-tax profits of $1.17 billion.

The asset-growth of Australian banks is staggering. The Australian Pocket Year Book gives the following figures for the assets of all Australian Banks (not just the "gang-of-four"):
1994- $360.5 billion;
1995 -$381.7 billion;
1996 -$422.9 billion;
1997- $503.3 billion.

The latest figures show the "gang-of-four" (excluding all the smaller banks) have, between them, combined assets of $633 billion - over $35,000 for every living Australian, or $140,000 for each average family of two adults and two children. The assets are, of course, in large part the title deeds of property and other securities that borrowers deposit with the banks in exchange for loans and mortgages. The "trick", by the way (graphically explained in the excellent little booklet The Money Trick), is that the credit offered by banks in exchange for tangible assets, is created out of nothing, each transaction adding to the "Volume of Monetary Aggregates" (in plain English, the amount of money) in Australia. The figures showing money-supply growth are recorded month by month in the Reserve Bank Bulletin, available across the counter or by phone from any branch of the Reserve Bank in Australia.

The right of banks to lend money and to make a fair profit is not questioned. It is an essential service, best governed by genuine competition between lenders. But the creation of additional money in the nation? That's another matter altogether. Section 51 of the Constitution lays the responsibility for this on the Commonwealth Government.

A Royal Commission into banking held in 1937 was explicit in saying the Commonwealth Government could create additional money when required without interest, or even without the need for repayment. This is of crucial importance. Every nation is now facing breakdown through the escalation of compounding debt and interest. No system can survive through a total dependence on borrowing in perpetuity.

As referred to in last week's On Target, The Weekend Australian (21-22/11/98) carried a front-page story on the surge of small communities into alternative banking. This had been prompted by the closure of traditional bank branches, causing hardship and widespread resentment. The favoured arrangement so far is a type of franchise-partnership with the Bendigo Bank. A thoughtful letter on this subject appeared in the following Weekend Australian (28-29/11/98) by a Mr. John Hermann of Adelaide, who asked some pertinent questions:

" I would like to know whether these institutions really are banks. Or are they, for example, a form of credit union?
It is not clear from the article whether they are licensed as banks under the Banking Act 1959, whether they have shareholders, whether they are agencies for other financial institutions, and whether they have the ability to create credit.
I am motivated to ask these questions because only licensed banks can create credit. This vital function (which contributes to the annual increase in our money supply) distinguishes banks from all other financial institutions. It also explains why we have a Financial Corporations Act which is separate from the Banking Act.
Even though they both profit from interest margins on loans and deposits, each institution operates under quite different specialised legislation."

Mr. Hermann is quite correct. His letter makes it clear that the task of increasing Australia's money supply, which many still think is carried out by the Commonwealth Government, has for some time been "privatised", becoming an instrument for immense profit in hands whose chief interest is not primarily the best interests of well-being of the Australian people. Currently the Australian Government likes to perpetuate the illusion that deregulation of the financial system has resulted in a "healthy competition" between banks, providing better and cheaper services for Australians. This line was first put forward by Paul Keating when Treasurer in the Hawke Labor Government. He did not believe it himself, haying stated that deregulation would do the exact opposite in election statements prior to the 1983 Federal election.

So far the Howard Government has stated it will not allow mergers between the "gang-of-four". Now a qualification has been added by Teasurer Peter Costello - "unless it can be shown it is in the interests of the Australian people! There is nothing, however, to stop even bigger banks overseas taking over one or more of the "gang-of-four".

Following the biggest bank merger ever seen, recently completed in the US, the possibility of a takeover of one or more of Australia's four major trading banks is being openly canvassed. Thus, another Orwellian "Animal Farm" slogan will, in all probability, be added to the global lexicon, so ably parroted by our politicians: "Bigger monopolies make for more competition!"


JABILUKA - HAVE WE LOST CONTROL?

Once again global Big Brother attempts to dictate the terms under which Australians will live in their own land. The UN World Heritage Bureau should never have been permitted to poke about in our affairs, much less attempt to impose poorly informed or ill-advised decisions on Australians. The demand that the Jabiluka mine be stopped is outrageous. It consists of 20.5 hectares, and is not part of the Kakadu National Park, which consists of 1.93 million hectares. The perception created suggests that the "aborigines" are strongly against the mine proceeding. This is false. There are 360 aboriginal people who claim to be affected. Twenty-seven of them - the Mirrar - oppose the mine. Thirty-five aborigines are employed by Ranger. The UN agency did not consult the three aborigine groups who support Jabiluka, nor Ranger's 35 aboriginal employees.

The UN is completely out of order, and appears to be following a pre-determined agenda. This is not an environmental issue. This is a social and political issue. If aboriginal groups have suffered with alcoholism and other problems, these should be addressed, as they should be for all Australians. But it can't be addressed by the United Nations. We suggest that this message be stressed to all political representatives, in both State and Federal Parliaments.


ANTI-SEMITISM AND CULTURAL IMPERIALISM

When media and advertising guru Phillip Adams discusses the Jewish dominance of Hollywood, and by extension, American culture, it is "academic discourse" in the field of film review. When anyone else dares to discuss such issues, it automatically becomes "anti-Semitism", and Adams is casting the first stone of condemnation. If the League of Rights dares to suggest that a book like Neale Gabler's An Empire of Their Own is a useful contribution to explaining what has been done to "American culture", we are condemned as a matter of course. Why? Racial hatred towards Jews! But people like Phillip Adams are free to praise Neal Gabler's contribution to a film series on exactly the same issue, and there is not a murmur of discomfort.

Adams, in his television review column last weekend, confirmed that Hollywood has become the most influential Jewish city since Old Testament Jerusalem. He refers to the "celluloid rabbinate" that dominated the film industry from the very beginning. He draws attention to the fact that many Jewish actors "Americanised" their names, like Issur Danilovich Demsky, who became Kirk Douglas and Adams confirms that the US cultural direction was set by Jewish influence, and even suggests that this influence "invented" the America we know today.


THE QUESTION OF CANNIBALISM

"Aboriginal activist" Charles Perkins threatens legal action through the Human Rights Commission against One Nation's David Oldfield, on the issue of aboriginal cannibalism. There is little doubt that Oldfield is correct on the history - cannibalism took place in Australia as it did elsewhere and in other cultures. But why does Oldfield raise the issue in the course of political campaigning? He makes the legitimate point that aboriginal history has been re-written to sanitise it of politically incorrect issues, as has European history. He implies that the politically correct claim that "whites" are guilty of barbaric treatment of aborigines, but that aborigines were innocent of any such behaviour. This is a question of the "politics of guilt".

If land is being handed over, and special treatment exists because of white guilt, there are two points to be made:
1. Assuaging white guilt will not necessarily assist disadvantaged aborigines by "throwing money" at the problem.
2. When the problem of aboriginal disadvantage persists, even after huge sums have been spent on it, resentment rises.

There is no hope of "reconciliation" in such an environment. And threats of Human Rights Commission action will only further influence the issue. HRC action was threatened over the book Pauline Hanson - The Truth, in which evidence for aboriginal cannibalism is examined. No action was taken. The book is still available through League Bookservices.


PRESS ON THE LEAGUE AND ONE NATION

Attempts to link the League with One Nation continue, indicating that for some reason, unidentified political forces fear that the League of Rights may intend to "exploit" the grassroots political dissatisfaction that is expressing through support for One Nation. Last weekend a report was published in The Sunday Sun Herald (29/11/98) in Melbourne by Gerard McManus, which quotes One Nation's David Oldfield as denying that the League had donated $10,000 to the party last year.

McManus writes: "The allegation has been made in a statutory declaration by former Victorian One Nation media liaison officer David Graham, who says the cheque was presented to Mr. Oldfield at a One Nation supporters meeting in the Gippsland town of Drouin early last year at which several League of Rights supporters were present.... Mr. Graham, who resigned from One Nation in August last year, says in a statutory declaration that the cheque presentation was witnessed by a One Nation member… The unnamed One Nation member, who is also a League of Rights member, later became a One Nation candidate at the federal election…"

McManus' report also quotes Eric Butler (correctly) as saying that the League did not make any such donation, and has enough difficulty funding its own activities without helping One Nation. This report raises more questions than it even attempts to answer. Did Mr. McManus research the allegation with the Electoral Commission? By law all party political donations must be registered with the Electoral Commission, and a register of such declarations is available for public scrutiny. Did "the League's" donation appear? Did Mr. McManus look for it? Why did Mr. Graham take the trouble to swear out a statutory declaration? Who prompted him to do so? Who is the "unnamed One Nation member, who is also a member of the League"?

That the allegation is nonsense is only the beginning. The fact is that no member of the League stood for Parliament at the last Federal election in Victoria. The League certainly did not give One Nation a cheque - for any amount at any time. McManus points out in his report that signing a false statutory declaration can carry a penalty of four years imprisonment. Assuming there was such a document, Mr. Graham might like to give this matter of imprisonment some thought.

McManus quotes Mr. Tony Abbott, Liberal Minister for Employment Services, as being quick to claim the allegation as confirmation of strong links between the League and One Nation. "The League of Rights is the dark, racist underbelly of extremist politics in Australia", according to Tony Abbott. Why Mr. Abbott's views are pertinent is not clear, except that Abbott has taken great pains to seize upon whatever means are available to him to inflict political and financial damage upon One Nation. No doubt he is still smarting from the implication that Oldfield deceived him. Mr. Oldfield originally left Abbott's employment as electoral officer in order to join One Nation. Perhaps eventually the motivation for this report will become clear.
All that is clear at present is that someone, somewhere, still regards the influence of the League of Rights as a threat.


THE OTHER IRAQ PICTURE

An advertisement, in the form of a "Message to Mr. Howard" which appeared in The Australian (26/11/98) carried some telling comments. Without in any way justifying the brutal regime of Saddam Hussein, the following nevertheless deserves consideration:

"Since 1991, over 1 million people in Iraq have died as a direct result of the economic sanctions against them, and Iraqis are still dying, at the rate of 4,500 each month, from lack of food and medicines (UNICEF). Many of the victims are children. None of them have defied UN resolutions. "The denial of food and medicines to the people of Iraq violates UN Security Council resolution 661 of August 1990, which specifically excluded food and medicines from the embargo against Iraq. Despite these exceptions, Iraq is suffering a man-made famine.
Sanctions do not affect the government of Iraq, but enable the government to incite further hatred towards the West. They are destabilising, in one of the most unstable places in the world… Iraq is one of at least eight nations with such weapons. The United States has more than any other nation…"

© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159