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2 April 1999. Thought for the Week: "I was born a Russian, naturalised an American, but I chose to live in Britain under a constitutional monarchy, the best form of government ever devised."
Yehudi Menuhin

LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM THE BALKANS TRAGEDY

by Eric D. Butler
Like a faithful poodle, Prime Minister Howard endorses, without question, the Zionist backed policies, which the North Atlantic Organisation has unleashed against Serbia. With few exceptions, the world's mass media has endorsed the mass bombing of Serbia as the only available means of obtaining peace in Yugoslavia. As I pointed out last week, the creation of a multi-national and multi-cultural nation is an idealistic dream not rooted in reality.

As the conflict in Yugoslavia expands, it is appropriate to recall the words of the famous German military philosopher Clausewitz who said that military war is the pursuit of policy by other means. The alleged policy of the Second World War was to protect the independence of Poland. That policy was not achieved. The conflict ended with not only Poland, but the whole of Eastern Europe from the Baltic States in the north to the Balkans in the south under the domination of the Soviet Union, which only entered the conflict when forced to do so by Hitler's aggression. From a realistic point of view, there was only one major winner of the conflict: the Soviet Union; the Western Allies were defeated both in Europe and Asia.

What is the strategic thinking if any, behind the current NATO-American conflict with Serbia? If words mean anything, the main purpose of the massive air attacks on Serbia is to force the Serbian leader to agree to a "peace agreement" with the Province of Kosovo. In the absence of any in-depth knowledge of the turbulent history of the Balkans, including the period when they were under the domination of the Ottoman Empire, controlled by Turkey, it is impossible to express any meaningful opinion on the subject. But a few commentators with knowledge have expressed their doubts about the end result of the NATO exercise.

There are cries of horror that the Serbs are reacting to the NATO bombing assault by brutal acts of vengeance against the people of Kosovo. Did the directors of the anti-Serb offensive not understand that such reprisals would be a certainty? A flood of refugees from Kosovo into Macedonia is adding to growing tension throughout the whole area. Sizeable Serbian communities in countries like Australia and other nations are staging violent protests outside the Embassies of the United States and other nations backing the NATO offensive. Not surprisingly, the wily dictator of Iraq has seized the opportunity to intensify his own anti-Western activities. Boris Yeltsin of Russia has, along with Communist China, openly sided with the Serbs.

Most peoples' memories are notoriously short, so relatively few recall it is only a few years ago that Yeltsin was reacting to an attempt by the people of Chekhno to become independent of Moscow with a massive military assault on Chekhno in which there were enormous casualties. Apart from a little wringing of hands, there was no suggestion that the Western powers should force Yeltsin to stop his assault. Anyone with the most elementary knowledge of history is aware of the close historical association between Russia and Serbia.

Patrick Buchanan, who still remains a major figure on the American conservative scene, openly raises doubts about the wisdom of the American support for the NATO offensive against Serbia, raises the question of how are American legitimate interests threatened by the Kosovo affair, stressing that it could lead to a widening conflict. This raises the question of the growing military strength of Communist China, stressing that the Soviet Union is making a major contribution of building up China's military capacity. Buchanan provided details of the military support Russia is providing for China, including anti-ship missiles.

There is also Israeli involvement. Needless to say, there is no suggestion from the Zionist policy makers in the USA that Israel should be threatened with bombing if it does not permit the Palestinians the right to return to their own historic homelands. Buchanan asks the question, "Where does China get the hard currency to pay the Israelis and Russians?" and answers, "From a $60 billion trade surplus with the USA". Both Russia and China have their own long-term strategic objectives, as do the Zionist controllers of the USA.

As pointed out by Patrick Buchanan. a dedicated anti-internationalist, the best long-term interests of the USA will be best served by refusing to be drawn into international conflicts, by adopting a strategy of America-First. Australia should adopt an Australia-First strategy. The world is becoming increasingly unstable and under prevailing finance-economic policies, must continue to do so. Nations which are determined to survive must concentrate upon making themselves genuinely independent, economically and financially, and refuse to be drawn into international controversies beyond their control. The problems of the Balkans cannot be solved by Australians importing those problems into Australia under the guise of multi-nationalism.


NSW SAYS "NO" TO GLOBALISATION

by David Thompson
The recriminations over the electoral slaughter suffered by the NSW Coalition Parties last Saturday will go on for months, and will be well deserved. There are all sorts of good reasons for the Coalition's poor showing. But the crux of the problem for the Coalition is that they could not offer the people of NSW a good enough reason to vote for them - so they didn't. The basis for the Coalition defeat has to do with their arrogant disregard of one of the strongest messages coming from the electorate: don't privatise our electricity system! Even the Liberal Party's pre-election polling told them that this policy was a "loser", and it was the main policy that differentiated the Coalition from the ALP.

There is a sense in which the NSW election was a vote against "globalism" as represented by such things as the privatisation of public utilities, and even the Howard GST tax package. Premier Carr's ALP was unable to make a distinct virtue of their policy of not selling off the power system, because it is well known that Carr and Treasurer Egan would dearly like the sale to go ahead. But they were told in no uncertain terms by their own party rank and file in 1997 that this policy had to be abolished from the ALP platform. Even the risky Coalition proposal to give each electricity consumer $1,000 from the power sale (or $1,100 in shares) failed to visibly move the electorate. In fact, it may well have been counter-productive, seen instead as more of a shonky political bribe.

The motive for selling the power system came from the "big end" of town, where bankers, brokers, consultants, admen, advisers, etc., stood to make around $300 million in fees and commissions if it went ahead. The only chance of the sell-off was to have the Coalition elected, and Chikarovski was seen as the best chance of pulling it off. Thus the backroom men in the Liberal Party arranged the dumping of former leader Peter Collins, for Chikarovski, last December. When it became clear that the privatisation of power was deeply unpopular, the policy had to be downgraded in the Coalition campaign - but there was little with which to replace it.

In a lack lustre campaign, there was no sense of outrage with the Carr administration. If Premier Carr fails to generate intense enthusiasm, neither does he generate intense loathing. There was no good reason to punish Bob Carr by voting against him.


ONE NATION FIRES IN THE BUSH

The sense that the NSW election was a vote against 'globalism' was enhanced by the strength of the vote for One Nation. As we go to press, it appears almost certain that One Nation will win a Legislative Council seat (David Oldfield), and perhaps even a second seat. The real strength of the One Nation vote was in rural and regional areas, where the Party polled strongly. For example, One Nation polled 19% of the primary vote in Dubbo, Over 20% in Barwon, 16% in Cessnock, 18% in Murray/Darling, 19% in Oxley. In other rural seats, a 10% vote for One Nation was not uncommon.

The reason for this is not immediately obvious to city dwellers. But there is a resentment in 'the bush' that regional concerns are glossed over, and a deep suspicion that rural people will have to pay the highest price for the new 'globalist' outlook. The National Party has absorbed this outlook, and a sense of betrayal in country areas is not to be underestimated. Even the timing of Mr. Howard's disastrous Preamble to the Constitution had an impact. The sense that the central question in the Preamble debate has to do with recognition of aborigines makes rural people distinctly uneasy. Will this translate into a greater emphasis on aboriginal 'rights'? At the expense of whom?

Even the question of native vegetation - almost unknown in the cities - is a serious issue in country areas, and concerns are inadequately represented by the National Party. There is now serious discussion among Nationals about dumped leader Ian Armstrong's claim that the National Party should not be in coalition with the Liberals in Opposition.


FEDERAL RAMIFICATIONS

The One Nation vote is a healthy sign that the revolt against the political elites is not over. It has found limited expression through One Nation, and the rejection of the Coalition. Although he shows no sign of hearing it, this sends a message to Mr. Howard and his colleagues. The message is that the electorate is fed up with "privatisation". Tread cautiously with Telstra. Mr. Howard. Don't sell it all off to the multinationals! Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett seems to accept that the NSW result has wider ramifications. It is clear that the Liberals in Victoria have backed off an early election, and need to wait until (perhaps) the privatisation of Victoria fades in the electoral memory.

LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL FIASCO

NSW voters faced the largest ballot paper in the world last Saturday when they voted for the Legislative Council. 246 candidates spread across 80 parties and groups made for an enormous ballot paper, and a high informal vote. Early counting shows that the raft of minor parties will share about 25% of the primary vote. Of these, One Nation and the Democrats appear certain of one seat each, with Fred Nile and the Shooters Party struggling to win a seat. The Unity Party, set up to counter the influence of One Nation, made no significant impact. It appears certain that Premier Carr, with Opposition support, will cynically seize this excuse to 'reform' the Legislative Council, in an effort to wipe out the influence of minor parties. This almost certainly requires a referendum to change the NSW constitution, which could be held as early as September's local government elections. Measures such as raising the number of members for a legitimate party and setting a minimum quota to gain a seat are being canvassed. In the new era of 'globalised' politics, there is no room for small, single-issue, parochial groups.

HOWARD THE CHAMPION OF PREAMBLE SHAMBLES

It is not often that the Prime Minister suffers from such an overt attack of confused motives and distorted agendas. But this is what it must be for Mr. Howard to place the cart before the horse in wanting to rewrite the Preamble to the Constitution. The result is a thorough shambles: a mish-mash of odd-sounding phrases that seeks to place an ideological slant on a "mission statement" for the nation. Even Les Murray, who was enlisted to assist with penmanship, appears embarrassed by the final result.

Exactly what are Howard's motives? For a "Monarchist" who does not want the Constitution changed to produce a republic, he certainly goes about things in a strange way. Why is it necessary to change the preamble to introduce the republican Constitution when we don't have a republican Constitution? Yet. In fact not ever if the Australian people live up to their reputation of seeing a dodgy proposition from a mile away. Does Howard want the republic, or not? If not, then why fiddle with the Preamble? If he has suffered a change of heart, let him come clean, and announce that he now favours a republic, as a long and sorry line of his fellow Ministers have done.

It almost appears as though the Prime Minister, uncomfortable at being cast as "old-fashioned" and yesterday's man, saw the Preamble as a chance to spruce up his "image" by being the Preamble-champion. As journalist Paul Kelly wrote (The Australian, 24/3/99) there may be an additional factor. "Many people and many republicans are hell-bent on voting down the republic. But they can purge their guilt by voting for Howard's Preamble". Why feel guilty about voting "no"? In fact, many Monarchists and even republicans who hate the idea of a president appointed by the politicians can't wait for the chance to vote "NO!" without a shadow of guilt. But if Kelly is right, and the republic is defeated, but Howard's Preamble is accepted, the result is a thorough mess. An appallingly framed unnecessary Preamble.

Without venturing further into the shambles of the Howard Preamble, consider the anomaly of the first line: "the Commonwealth of Australia is constituted by the equal sovereignty of all its citizens." The Constitution does not mention "citizens". We are "subjects". It is typical of a messy result that can only have occurred as the result of confused and messy thinking.


CAMPBELL'S NATIVE TITLE INITIATIVE

Since leaving the Federal Parliament, Graeme Campbell has taken a close interest in the Native Title issue. In his introduction to a petition on Native Title. Campbell writes: "I fully support all measures that provide genuine assistance for Aboriginal advancement. The key to this is housing, health, education, training and employment, which must be attacked simultaneously, for if one is not addressed then the whole lot will fail. "The taxpayers who fund ATSIC, as well as the expenditure on Aboriginal affairs by the States, have a genuine right to expect accountability and see tangible results for the tax they contribute. "We must remember that the High Court found Native Title in Common Law, which means that Parliament can introduce Statute Law to override the Court. "Given the economic uncertainty Australia is still facing, it has become an issue of national survival that we stop pandering to the machinations and greed of small minority groups, of which white lawyers are a large part. The Australian people have been let down by both the courts and supine politicians. We have been delivered into our own keeping and must act NOW to bring to heel 'the servants who would be our masters."'

Campbell proposes a petition of a million signatories as the beginning of an in-depth campaign against native title. He is spearheading the campaign, and is appealing for help from all Australians concerned about the issue. For copies of the petition, or further information: "Native Title Petition", Box 10398, Kalgoorlie, W.A., 6430.


CONFLICTING NEWS ON BUG

Mr. Michael Sinclair, executive manager of the Electricity Association of New South Wales, says he is satisfied the lights will be on at the end of the century. Reliability was 99.98 percent. The Institute of Chartered accountants of Australia has said that small and medium-sized businesses should stockpile production materials in preparation for January 1st, 2000: "... the manufacturing industry should brace for panic buying of raw materials by suppliers to store for large forward orders... the panic would create a strain on working capital, storage, credit, and cash flow for a range of expenses such as utility costs, wages, taxes and rent..." (The Australian, 16/3/99).

Meanwhile the Federal Government is only part way ready: "The Federal Government's latest report on its $600 million year 2000 project shows a wide range in the progress of the various government agencies, with the department responsible for compliance the least prepared for the problem... 'significant progress' had been made in the past 18 months to address the Y2K problem, with the number of critical systems back online rising from 44 percent to 59 percent in the past quarter. However, the report shows that Senator Alston's department, which lists Y2K issues among its areas of responsibility has declared only 36 percent of its systems to be back online or compliant. This was the lowest recorded by the 17 portfolios of budget-dependent departments and agencies listed…"(The Australian Financial Review, 18/3/99).


JAPAN'S PROBLEMS

The world's financial gurus are all bewailing Japan's financial crisis. However, reports list a number of "problems" in the Japanese economy, which Australia would be happy to take on board. Interest rates are 0.08 percent! Individual savings of the Japanese people are 1.3 trillion Yen ($175 billion) two-and-a-half times GDP. The Japanese save a quarter of household income. Japan has a massive export surplus. Over the past nine years the Japanese have created about $Al.3 trillion to stimulate the economy.

An Australian Financial Review survey (17/3/99) said: "... Japanese governments, both national and local, have immense unrealised wealth locked away in land and assets valued at cost price - assets acquired decades before the asset bubble of the 80s and the Japanese are the world's largest investors in US Treasury bonds, and some of these holdings could be sold - a suggestion that sends Americans weak at the knees..."

Most of the created money has been spent on capital works programmes along classical Keynesian lines, without success. The article explained: "... With the latest packages, public works appropriations have risen more than 10 percent but they are concentrated on the same old civil engineering projects which all too often have been highways to nowhere, bridges over nothing..."
Notwithstanding, Japan cannot be written off as so many of the "experts" are suggesting.

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