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22 January 1999. Thought for the Week: "It is not too much to say that an International Organisation having almost unlimited control of money, and in consequence, of the Press, can produce any 'trend' which may serve its purpose. What it cannot do, however, is to avoid the natural consequences of the policies which it pursues."
C.H. Douglas, Whose Service is Perfect Freedom, 1940.
DRAWING THE BATTLE LINES FOR THE REPUBLICAN REFERENDUM
by Eric D. Butler
The founder of the Social Credit movement, C.H. Douglas, said that the basic cleavage in society was cultural, not economic. There was a worldwide attack, not only on the British Empire, but more importantly upon British culture. That culture, with an Australian flavour, was the foundation of the development of Constitutionalism and the Common Law legal system.
In his reference to the cultural cleavage, Douglas observed that the products of Big Business were the manifestation of a different type of culture. There was nothing new in what Douglas said; it had been said two thousand years previously by Christ in His scathing criticism of the rich and the powerful.
A distinctive Christian culture took root in the British Isles. In modern history that culture has been under attack, with the rich and the powerful playing a prominent role. Historically, what is generally known, as The Reformation was a revolt against the corruption inside the Christian Church. Unfortunately, one of the results of this revolt was a tendency to throw the baby out with the bath water. Energetic and able men like Calvin took the stage and taught that those who had achieved material success and power had done so because they had been ordained and chosen by God. The lesser had not been ordained and therefore should learn to accept their position in life. Clearly the meek should not expect to inherit the earth as taught by Christ.
The state of the world today is a reflection
of the teachings and policies of the modern Pharisees. Superficially,
the Republicans are on the wrong side in the coming Australian
referendum; they have the big Money; most of the party politicians
have, in spite of their oath of loyalty for the Constitutional
Monarchy, endorsed the Republican cause. Even leaders of the
organised Christian Church have joined the Pharisees.
Republicans said that the greatest social force in the world is integrity, the single mindedness of a little child. Let us all become as little children and ask the type of questions, which focus attention on what the Republican campaign really means. The result could be a national revulsion against what is proposed.
VIOLATION OF DEMOCRACY AND THE RULE OF LAW
by Jeremy Lee
Its weaknesses have been shared by many other countries- the centralisation of power, the party system, the debt-finance domination, the explosive mix of multicultures. The United States Constitution has it that an elected President who perjures himself or degrades his office can be tried by the Congress in a process of impeachment. For this to be done impartially the conscience of individual Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate must be allowed to be exercised without coercion.
President Clinton is being tried before a Senate presided over by Chief Justice William Rehnquist: Senators in effect becoming the jury. Each Senator will have taken the oath: "I solemnly swear (or affirm) that in all things appertaining to the trial of William Jefferson Clinton, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help me God."
The whole sorry debacle to date has been waged along party - not conscience - lines. Republicans are lining up against Clinton, Democrats (his own party) defending him. While Republicans dominate the Senate, they have not the numbers on their own to secure the two-thirds majority necessary for conviction. They need a few Democrat "defectors". For the fate of a nation to be decided this way defies any semblance of dignity and justice.
Whatever the outcome, Clinton himself has been stripped of the authority his office requires. Even the right decision cannot be trusted. This was never clearer than in the invasion of Iraq, announced the day the impeachment decision was made in the House of Representatives. Militarily, the decision may have been right - although many don't think so. But the President's position at home robbed his military decision of the authority it required, right or not.
The Newsweek section of The Bulletin, in its last 1998 issue, contained a reasoned analysis of Clinton's decision to invade: "In fact there is no strategic rationale whatever that justifies President Clinton's timing. There is a case for bombing Saddam Hussein's military strongholds, but it is a case that was strong a year ago and a month ago and would be as valid a month from now. In making this abrupt move on the even of the vote on impeachment, the President further eroded his desperately dwindling supply of credibility- at home and abroad..."
There is the nub of the sordid presidential crisis: it has robbed the office of its grandeur, the governmental system of its impartial justice and the United States administration of its believability.
WEAPONS INSPECTION COVER UP FOR SPYINGThe League's Intelligence Survey for December cited the evidence that UNSCOM, the United Nations team of weapons inspectors under Australian Richard Butler, had contained a number of Mossad (The Israeli Secret Service) intelligence spies. Further evidence of the misuse of UNSCOM, and Iraq's obviously angry reaction, has appeared in The Australian Financial Review (8/1/99):
"..... the confirmation of the co-operation (i.e. between the US and UNSCOM) could give Iraq crucial ammunition in its attempt to end the weapons inspection regime and remove its head, Australian diplomat Richard Butler. The Washington Post and the Boston Globe reported on Wednesday that UNSCOM spied on Iraqi government communications for the US. Unnamed sources said the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was convinced the activity went further than UNSCOM's mandate to gather intelligence on weapons sites and delved into the security network protecting Saddam Hussein.....No mention was made in the AFR article about Mossad. But with the dominant position of Zionist Israeli sympathisers in the US State Department, it must be obvious that Islamic nations throughout the world increasingly see the protracted military and sanctions war against Iraq - with over a million dead, and about 6,000 women and children dying monthly - as essentially an Israeli operation.
MORE FINANCIAL CRISIS
Just when the global financial policy-makers were congratulating themselves that the perils of the Asian meltdown and the Russian crisis were behind them, the next financial crisis - Latin America - is looming on the horizon. The IMF fixed a rescue package of $US41 billion in the second half of last year. It has not staved off a Brazilian crisis. Brazil has devalued its currency by 8%, sending jitters through neighbours like the Argentine, Peru and Mexico right to the doorstep of Wall Street. There has been a 3% drop on the New York Stock Exchange in response to the news.
The IMF has been shunted quickly into
the front line, despite its sorry record in Asia. Its policy-prescriptions
for Brazil are depressingly similar - cut government expenditure
and pay its debts. The Australian Financial Review
OPPOSITION TO GST GATHERS
An Australian law firm, Gadens, has circulated a letter to financial institutions seeking a fighting fund against the GST. The Australian Financial Review (8/1/99) reported:"... We need to co-ordinate all industry bodies and significant industry participants, report on the financial impact of the GST on businesses and develop workable changes to the GST which will be acceptable to Government,' the letter said..."
Gaden's argument was that smaller financial institutions would have to pay GST on all outsourced services, while the larger banks, which provided the same services in-source would not. This would obviously be of concern to the growing number of fledgling community financial associations. For example, a small community bank that employed an outside auditor would pay GST on the fee. A bank, which employed its own auditor, would be exempt.
In a further development The AFR (8/1/99)
said: "..... While Iraq was being bombed in December, Professor
Peter Dixon of the Centre of Policy Studies (COPS) at Monash
University presented evidence to the Senate Inquiry into the
GST. The Monash group had earlier been described as 'world
famous' by a British econometrics professor whose life's work
has been to evaluable economic models round the globe... The
Monash modeling results were devastating. They included estimates
that the Government's tax package would:
PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE ON BANKINGA House of Representatives Committee on Economics, Finance and Public Administration has apparently been inquiring into ways of providing regional banking services since October 1997. Its chairman, Victorian Liberal MP David Hawker, is expected to table a report next month on ways to provide better banking services to the bush. If there are any constructive proposals, and we're not holding our breath, they then have to be sent to the bureaucracy for drafting into Bills - probably couched in a language which nobody, least of all the bureaucrats themselves can interpret - and then returned to Parliament for several readings as it finds its interminable way past the Lower and Upper Houses. Of one thing we can be sure: if the proposals are not to the liking of the "gang-of-four" trading banks, they'll be put in the "too-hard-basket" or dropped altogether. By the time the bureaucratic fire brigade arrives, the fire will be long-since dead!
WILL JOHN HOWARD "RUN DEAD"?
Prime Minister Howard claims to remain a monarchist, despite offering virtually every comfort to the republicans. He even proposes not to campaign on the question of the Constitution during the period leading to the referendum. He encourages his Party, Coalition and Cabinet colleagues to choose their own "line" on the republic, and pursue it. In most cases, this latter attitude would be regarded as a virtue, but the hypocrisy in the Howard position is that whilst his colleagues are free to campaign on the Constitution as conscience dictates, they must toe the Party "line" on, say, the GST!
The hypocrisy is heightened when one considers that the Liberals once had a set of values. They once had something that they believed in, which led them to join the Liberal Party, as opposed to something else.
What were those values?
WE BELIEVE IN THE CROWN as the enduring embodiment of the national unity and as the symbol of that other unity which exists between all the nations of the British Commonwealth."
What happened to that, Mr. Howard?
THE DEVIL IS IN THE GST DETAIL
by David Thompson
The ASPCA confirm that when (if) the package is passed by Parliament, the Government will then launch a giant new campaign to explain the new tax system after June 30th. What is this? Explain the new tax system? But surely the system was "explained" ad nauseum before the election that gave Mr. Howard a "clear mandate" for it? Apparently not. We recall that vast sums of taxpayers' money (around $10 million) were spent in an "educational campaign" before the election. How come we are still ignorant of the GST? Presumably the $10 million was to convince us that we needed the GST!
ASPCA senior tax counsel, Paul Drum,
is quoted as saying that the politics of the election campaign
created vast misunderstandings about the workings of a GST.
It will not be "simple", it will not be "cheap to administer",
and it will impact heavily on business and consumer alike.
The ASPCA and tax publisher CCH have published a 1,650-page
guide to the GST, which is supposed to offer advice about
how to avoid the nightmare.
The easiest way to avoid the nightmare of the GST, of course, is to take political action to prevent it becoming a problem. As the old proverb goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" (metrics notwithstanding). The Howard administration is nervous about this possibility, and has set the deadline for the Senate to pass the package at June 30th, because, after this date, the new Senators take their seats in the Senate, and the numbers tilt against the passage of the GST.
PUTTING ARMSTRONG TO THE SWORD
The NSW National Party performed a leadership coup last week, in which Ian Armstrong was despatched, and replaced by George Souris. No one seems quite sure why Armstrong was axed, except that the Liberals had recently sacrificed leader Phillip Collins for the more photogenic Kerry Chikarovsky. It is true that Souris is more photogenic than the crusty old farmer Armstrong, but does this now govern National Party thinking? The National Party traditions has been to show loyalty to their leadership, and if dissatisfied with them, to face the issue honestly. "Look me in the eye as you shoot me," as Armstrong lamented.
What does Souris have that Armstrong does not? Well, he has "image", and is articulate, from a multicultural (Greek) background, and is a professional (accountancy and economics). He has also attempted to make a virtue of forcing the Nationals to place One Nation last in allocating preferences for the coming election.
How will the elevation of the accountant/economist son of Greek cafe owners assist in appealing to the disaffected Nationals who have deserted to One Nation? We are not too sure. On paper, Souris sounds more like a Liberal than a traditional National Party MP. In the flesh one gains the same impression. It appears very much as though the NSW Nationals, aping the Liberal desire for change for its own sake, may have further alienated their traditional base. If National Party survival depends upon emphasising differences between Nationals and Liberals, with different constituencies and different value systems, the promotion of Souris to lead them is difficult to understand.
TRUTH ABOUT MAHATHIR EMERGING
The media shark-feeding frenzy round the Inwar Ibrahim affair in Malaysia, obviously hoping for an Indonesian-like revolution, coupled with US Deputy President Al Gore's boorish speech at the Kuala Lumpur APEC meeting, were all aimed at painting Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir as another Asian dictator in the mould of Cambodia's Hung Sen.
The truth is that Dr. Mahathir had bravely tackled the world's financial exploiters - and didn't mince his words. At the end of December Australian diplomat Richard Woolcott wrote in The Australian (30/12/98): "Malaysia's autocratic Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir is not about to be toppled by street demonstrations ... This is what consumers of western media have probably come to expect. But this is a distortion. The reality is different, much as western democrats and journalists might wish it otherwise. . . Anwar misread the Malaysian mood. There is not a comparable collapse of credibility in the Government Neither is there the same degree of popular pressure for reform. Mahathir is still quite widely respected in Malaysia, if not the West, for the nation's impressive economic progress... Al Gore's intrusive speech during the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forums heads of government meeting in November has been politically counter-productive. It has set back the reformasi movement Gore sought to support..."
On January 8th, 1999, the author of a
new book on Asian economies, Michael Blackman, reinforced
the point. After taking the western media to task, Blackman
went on: "..... Politically incorrect though it might be to
say so, Dr. Mahathir is one of Asia's greatest leaders. Modern
Malaysia is very much his creation. His crowning glory is
the fact that in the face of the most serious economic collapse
that Malaysia has endured, the country has not been wracked
by anti-Chinese riots as has Indonesia. Indeed, there has
not been a single racially motivated attack on any Malaysian
Chinese business since the advent of the economic crisis.
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