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2 July 1999. Thought for the Week: "England has become great by her institutions."
THE HIGH COURT AND THE "FOREIGN POWER"
by David Thompson
Although the decision was a majority decision, it was a narrow majority (4-3), leaving the clear impression that many distinguished jurists do not agree with the decision, which now becomes a part of the law of the land. The dissenting judges do not appear to challenge the reality of Australia's independence from Britain, but challenge the High Court's jurisdiction in the case. Justice McHugh took the view that it was the Parliament not the Courts that should initially be addressing this problem. It is also clear that the majority judges rested their case strongly upon the "evolutionary theory" (not principle, but theory, mind) that the status of "foreign power" evolved overtime. Part of that evolution has been renouncing access to the Privy Council, which might have been a useful back-up in this particular case, had we access to have it heard.
Another part of the "evolution" is the changes in the Oaths of Allegiance. If she had used the 1976 oath for citizenship, Mrs. Hill would have said: "I Heather Hill, renouncing all other allegiance, swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Queen of Australia, her heirs and successors according to law, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Australia and fulfill my duties as an Australian citizen." But if she used the insipid 1987 oath, the words "renouncing all other allegiance" were absent. Would the 1976 version have saved Mrs. Hill's Senate seat?
This theory of "evolution" increasingly undermines the Constitution, leaving it open to all sorts of strange interpretations, like the "discovery" of native title in 1992. In effect it means that while the Constitution can clearly say one thing, a High Court can construe it as meaning something completely different While the text of the Constitution can only be changed by a referendum of a majority of people in a majority of States, its operation can change almost by bureaucratic fiat without our approval at all.
The whole concept of "evolution" should be regarded with the gravest suspicion. It is the basis for the Fabian Socialist theory of "gradualism", so effective in undermining the free society. The petitioners (the Attorney-General and Mr. Henry Sue) acknowledge that the UK was certainly not a foreign power at federation. But neither of the petitioners can say just when it did become so. Justice Callinan makes the point in his dissenting judgment that in the absence of any clear date or statute that asserts Australian independence, the High Court would be establishing just that legal precedent by finding against Mrs. Hill. This, notes Callinan, means that there is considerable doubt about peoples' rights, status and obligations in law.
One important example of this is the status of hundreds of thousands of British people who have lived in Australia, brought up families, and even borne arms in the Australian military. We recall the case of the South Australian ex-serviceman who returned to Europe to visit relatives, and tour familiar theatres of war. Upon his return, he was refused entry to Australia, because he was technically an Englishman! No matter that he had raised Australian children here, and paid exorbitant taxes for years. Surely his ilk are entitled to know just when they became "foreigners"?
The reality is that, with each new "evolutionary" alteration in our constitutional status, the public confidence in stable government is undermined. "Evolution" implies an aimless drift, and certainly serves the centralists well. What might the High Court "find" in the Constitution next?
There was never much doubt that Australia was an independent nation. Monarchists and the more sensible republicans all agreed on this. But what made Britain a "foreign" power? The term "foreign" is almost a pejorative term (to anti-British activists), meaning "alien" or at least "not native" to Australia. Are Australian-born people "natives"? Contemporary fashion insists not - only aborigines are genuinely "native", Pauline Hanson was told. So are Australian-born Europeans of British stock native, or foreign to Australia?
Reality insists that, although a separate, sovereign nation, the United Kingdom is not "foreign" to Australia. As a matter of fact, Australia's political, cultural and certainly constitutional history comes directly out of Britain, brought here by British people, whose descendents still enjoy that heritage. There is nothing foreign about it. What was once "British" has organically developed into something that is now also "Australian". But every attempt is being made to sever Australians from their cultural and constitutional roots. This High Court decision will be manipulated to further that process.
CREATIVE ACCOUNTING LEADS TO DESTRUCTION
by Jeremy Lee
It appeared that Treasury saw nothing dangerous in the situation, so long as Australian ownership was considered unimportant. Henderson's article illustrated how far the philosophy of globalism has seeped into the thinking of Australia's administrators - and by implication into that of our politicians. He pointed out that Australians have launched themselves into the biggest debt-driven spending splurge in our history. This was in contrast to the borrowing binge in the 80s, which brought such high rollers as Alan Bond and Christopher Skase to their knees. The gamblers now are ordinary Australians, whose debts as a percentage of disposable income have almost doubled - from 50 to 90 percent. "... The weird thing is the boffins who run the Australian economy - the same ones who insisted in the 1980s that we all tighten our belts - don't seem worried about it. They have stopped worrying about the current account deficit and the level of national saving "
Henderson said this complacency was despite the fact that the current account deficit was at record levels; that household savings were at a record low; that the economy's expansion was being led by a consumer-binge that was blowing debt levels to a record high; and that household consumption was now outstripping production. Obviously this means that the consumer-binge is feeding on the very imports that are blowing out the current account deficit. Put another way, we are borrowing from international banks to buy foreign goods.
The replies given by officials to questions on this state of affairs were bizarre - or an indication that Australian sovereignty and ownership are regarded as expendable. " 'I would accept that private sector saving is low. Is that a problem? was how Treasury secretary Ted Evans responded to a query from ALP Senator Nick Sherry a fortnight ago. 'It depends on whether or not we are satisfied with the overall outcome. If we are satisfied with drawing on foreign savings to finance our investment, then it's not a problem as such. It is a problem if you have other objectives. If you would like the investment to be done by Australians rather than foreigners, if you have that particular objective as an objective in its own right, then yes, there is a problem.' "But that, Evans firmly told a Senate estimates committee, is 'not an economic question'..."
For Australians who believe in the constitutional
sovereignty of their country, that Australian ownership of
domestic industries is important, and that we should not rely
on foreign debt for survival, such thinking is inexplicable.
But that's the global argument, and its exponents are deciding
our policies, with either the agreement of our politicians,
or their ignorance as to what is going on - which provides
no barrier to the sellout of Australia: "... People are saving
less and borrowing more. But that is creating no problems
for policy-makers... This means households are now more vulnerable
to a hike in interest rates or a slump in asset prices such
as for housing or the stock market than once they were
REPUBLICANS HI-JACKING MONARCHIST CAMPAIGN
Following David Thompson's timely warning in last week's On Target, comes confirmation in an Australian article describing the debate in Old Parliament House on June 19th. The monarchist case was opened by republican Ted Mack.
The article by Mark McKenna continued: "..... When (Kerry) Jones was pressed repeatedly by members of the audience to explain why she believes the British monarchy is an appropriate symbol for Australia in the 21st century, she failed to answer. This points to the great vacuum at the heart of the No side's case. They no longer believe in the symbolism of the Constitution they are striving to protect. Their strategy is clear - 'Don't mention the Queen!'..."
It appears that a coup has taken place. $7.5 million has been allocated to the case for the retention of the Monarchy by the Howard Government. This sum is now monopolised by a strange mixture of "alternative republicans" and others who are mute on the values of the Monarchy. The fiercely loyal majority who have served the Queen in war and peace are thus deprived of an authentic voice. This simply confirms our view that the real battle for Australia's constitution and the Crown will be fought - as it always has been - by the "little people" - the ordinary Australians dedicated enough to contribute their own hard won dollars to the real argument, stating the truth fearlessly without consulting misleading opinion-polls.
It hardly needs to be said that those too timid to "mention the Queen" should at least share the financial allocation with others who will. But don't hold your breath! Our individual efforts are needed more than ever before.
THE GST SCRAPES THROUGH
Five Democrats abstained from voting in the Senate on the Howard/Costello/Meg Lees GST package. Only two had the courage to cross the floor. What were the five about? They knew that the majority of Australians, plus their own rank-and-file, were AGAINST the GST. They can now say "I never voted for it!" But they weren't game enough to vote against it, knowing their abstentions would make no difference to the outcome.
Wrong though she is, at least Meg Lees stuck to her guns. So did Senator Stott-Despoja and Queensland Senator Andrew Bartlett, who crossed the floor.
So Howard has squeaked his unwanted tax through. It will be an albatross round his neck. In 12 months time - after Australia's cornered Small Business sector has been forced to spend tens of millions on new computer software to tell a hot chook from a cold one - Australians will be turned into an unpaid tax department, with a whole raft of new conditions and penalties to add to the over-burdened log-jam of legislation.
Professor Peter Dixon of Monash University, who was commissioned by the Senate GST Inquiry to model the impact of the tax package, has now issued his own paper saying the GST will have a negative impact on Australia, and could eliminate 100,000 jobs. He criticised Treasury's advice for inadequate economic analysis. Dixon believes compliance costs will top $1 billion: "... 'These extra compliance costs arise mainly because the GST imposes record-keeping on 1.6 million Australian businesses,' he says. 'Once compliance costs are taken into account, the Government's package produces a long-term loss in economic welfare, even under the most optimistic assumptions' . . ." (Australian Financial Review, 23/6/99)
Professor Dixon is right. The Treasury officials who provided "inadequate" advice are the same ones who are unconcerned about Australia's debt position, who are committed to globalism, and who have complied with the International Monetary Fund's prescription for a GST.
THE BIG POLITICAL SELL
With a massive "educational" barrage on the benefits of the GST due shortly, it is obvious that Federal Coalition Members have been told to "Sell! Sell! Sell!" Government policy. Two examples in my own area are probably symptomatic of what's happening across Australia. Being on the edge of a Federal electorate, I receive the usual "blurb" from my own Member and the Member next door. My own Member Cameron Thompson got into office on Pauline Hanson's preferences. She beat him hands down in primary votes. His newspaper-style "Blair Bulletin" tries to justify on its front page why the Federal Government has taken $5.4 billion more in taxes than it aims to spend (the Budget Surplus). I looked in vain for a good argument. After all, the Surplus represents $300 for each Australian, or $1,200 for a family of four. Mr. Thompson assures me it's all to pay off the horrendous public debt left by Labor! It's quite true that our public debt is reducing - but at the cost of more and more poverty, homelessness and suicides amongst Australians, as household debt goes out of control.
Next door, we have a new Member in Groom, Mr. Ian MacFarlane, who distinguished himself by taking the usual oath of loyalty to Her Majesty and then declaring himself a republican! That fact alone has cost him a few votes in his electorate. The indefatigable Mr. MacFarlane is a natural committeeman. He is already on the Joint Standing Committee on Primary Industries and Regional Services. He is also on a "Special Prime Ministerial" committee to fast track the proposed Melbourne to Darwin railway. Fine! But the consortium behind this project, Transport and Energy Corridor Ltd. - whose spokesman is Toowoomba businessman Everald Compton - is made up of multinationals and foreign banks. There is no sign yet that Mr. MacFarlane has examined how an even longer railway - the Trans-continental - was built during the First World War by Australians and Australian finance. So Ian MacFarlane will, presumably, "rubber-stamp" the continued foreign takeover.
A special issue was made by the Commonwealth Bank for the project, which was progressively "retired" as the railway was built. The multinational conglomerate Transport and Energy Corridor Ltd. will seek freehold title over the proposed railway. It's irritating that I am one of the millions forced to pay for this Party propaganda.
NEW VIDEO FOR MONARCHISTS' MOMENT OF TRUTH
Since our suggestion last week (On Target) that Australians for Constitutional Monarchy deliberately neglect to promote the merits of monarchy, we have received a number of disturbing reports confirming that suggestion. One subscriber, an active campaigner, and member of ACM, has been approached to speak on an ACM platform, on the condition that he does not mention the words "Crown" or "Queen". We are aware of another high-profile monarchist who has had the same experience, and has refused to co-operate with such nonsense. It now appears that the Government funded 'No Case Committee" is dominating the "vote no" campaign by virtue of being in charge of the Government funds. If you hope to be allocated Government funds, you go along with the "No Case Committee" strategy for the campaign, and it appears that the Committee has decided that it is not in their interests to mention the Crown or the Queen.
The Committee has only two declared republicans - Ted Mack and Clem Jones - serving on it. However, research into the voting at the Constitutional Convention reveals that three others on the "No Case Committee" (Ferguson, Zwar and Ron Boswell) voted at least once for a 'republican' option at the Convention. This may or may not be significant. What is significant, if it can be confirmed, is that it has been claimed that the Chair of the "No Case Committee", Ms. Kerry Jones (ACM leader) has publicly stated that she 'has never considered herself as a Monarchist'. We doubt the veracity of this assertion. How could the leader of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy take such a role without being a committed Monarchist? Perhaps someone should check with Ms. Jones?
We strongly disagree with the "No Case Committee's" strategy of not mentioning the Queen or the Crown. In our view, there is an instinctive disposition towards Monarchy in the human psyche. Many, many small indicators point towards this. For example, why are so many children's stories and fairy tales about princesses, princes, kings, queens . . . Monarchy? One of the most popular and best-selling animated video productions ever was "The Lion King" - the essential ingredient being Monarchy!
What is required is a competent, committed and unapologetic champion of the benefits of Monarchy as a system of government. We believe it would receive tremendous support, and completely turn the tide of the current "debate". It is appalling that groups like ACM appear to vacillate on the issue, being embarrassed to champion Monarchy.
The Service of Freedom
The Australian Heritage Society (a Division of the League) has been able to obtain stocks of "The Service of Freedom" for distribution to Monarchists who are not ashamed of monarchy. This video can be used as a tool among a generation of people who have been robbed of their heritage. Although primarily an educational video, in the right hands it may have a significant impact on the referendum.
THE GST AND THE DEMOCRATS
Meg Lees naturally attempts to play down the internal friction within the Democrats over the GST 'deal' but in reality that friction must be very considerable. We are quite sure their Senators are feeling the electoral heat on the GST, as well as strong protests from their own members. In our view, the opposition to the GST is very considerably greater than the opinion polls show. Evidence for this view is supported by an extraordinary survey that has been undertaken throughout Victoria's LaTrobe Valley. A League actionist has now completed a survey of 600 small businesses throughout the region. This includes any type of small business, with the exception of lawyers and doctors. The results are staggering. Just a straight question about the GST often produces a venomous response, and almost always a negative response. In fact, over 600 small business proprietors, only 9 support the GST!
Meg Lees' name is mud, but Natasha Stott-Despoja, having just voted against the GST last week, enjoys massive support. This means the Democrats are in serious trouble. Mr. Howard has assured his backbench that the GST will not be an issue by the time of the next election, which could be late in 2001. We do not believe this. By mid-2001, the first effects of the GST might be just beginning to 'bite' - and they could bite very hard indeed. Especially if there is also an "economic downturn" at the time, let alone a full-blown financial crash.
It should be pointed out to the Democrats that they are in deep electoral trouble, and that the GST will become known as the Democrats' GST. Mr. Howard is a smart enough political operator to get Ms Lees to sign on the dotted line, and he is smart enough to make sure she gets the blame when the backlash really sets in!
MAHATHIR SPEAKS OUT
Reviews are appearing of a new book by Dr. Mahathir, Malaysia's Prime Minister, called A New Deal For Asia. Dr. Mahathir argues for a new Asian economic region headed by Japan, to counter an aggressive move by Europeans for world domination. He likens the Asian meltdown to a war situation. Among his comments: "... The Europeans are warlike and acquisitive. Peace is anathema to them. They must have war. To have war they must find enemies. Now that the Europeans are more or less at peace with each other, it is time to turn on the non-Europeans... However, the Europeans have seemingly lost their appetite for death and glory for themselves... New weapons are therefore being developed continuously which could be launched from a long distance with no risk to the personnel launching them. And the weapon is money or capital. By buying or borrowing the currencies of countries and then selling them down, it is possible to devalue them and consequently impoverish these countries and their peoples. Although we have not been victims of conventional warfare, the task of rebuilding ravaged economies is not unlike that of rebuilding a country after a devastating war. One crucial difference ... we have no clear picture of who our allies and enemies are..."
While one might argue with Mahathir's depiction of all Europeans being tarred with the same brush, his description of what "international money" is doing to national economies is accurate. We wonder who he was thinking of when he described the enemy as "warlike and acquisitive"? Goldman Sachs? Or Alexander Downer?
MEDIA GOBBLE-UP CONTINUESIndependent newspapers are few and far between these days - and even those still operating are forced to depend on "channelled" overseas news through one or two giant press agencies. Irishman Tony O'Reilly's newspaper chain APN News and Media Ltd. has purchased seven regional papers in Queensland, including the Gympie Times, from Rural Press Ltd. Rural Press is Australia's largest agricultural and regional media newspaper. Ownership includes the Queensland Country Life.
Y2K BILL KEEPS RISING
Latest news reveals that Governments in Australia will have spent $600 million on Millennium Bug compliance, while Australian businesses will have spent more than $21 billion. The Federal Government claims that its departments and associated agencies are 81percent compliant.
Last week delegates from more than 170
countries attended a United Nations conference in New York
on the "bug". The Australian Financial Review (23/6/99)
reported: "... The session, which included US chief Y2K spin-doctor,
Mr. John Koskinen, representing North America, and his counterparts
from Asia, South America, Central America, Africa and Europe,
was held behind closed doors and the press was not privy to
the raw findings
The article concluded: "...While US residents
should, at a minimum, prepare for the potential Y2K emergency
by stockpiling two or three days supply of food, water, flashlights
and batteries, Mr. Koskinen suggested that in other areas
more might be required."
|© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159|