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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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10 September 1999. Thought for the Week: "Has it ever struck you as odd, is unfortunate, that today, when the proportion of literacy throughout western Europe is higher than it has ever been, people should have become susceptible to the influence of advertisement and news-propaganda to an extent hitherto unheard of and imagined? ...Do you sometimes have an uneasy suspicion that the product of modern educational methods is less good than he or she might be at disentangling fact from opinion and the proven from the plausible?
We let our young men and women go out unarmed in a day when armour was never so necessary. By teaching them all to read, we have left them at the mercy of the printed word. By the invention of the film and the radio, we have made certain that no aversion to reading shall secure them from the incessant battery of words, words, words...they are a prey to words in their emotions instead of being masters of them in their intellects."
"The Lost Tools of Learning" by Dorothy L. Sayers, 1947


RECORD AFTER RECORD

by Jeremy Lee
Two Australian records have been broken in the last few days: firstly, Telstra has made its biggest profit ever - $3.9 billion. Secondly, Australia ran its biggest quarterly Current-Account-Deficit in history. The Bureau of Statistics showed an increase of 13 percent in the CAD to an all-time record of $9.4 billion over the June quarter. This means that Australia is blowing out on imports over exports by something like Telstra's annual profit every 30 days.
The June quarter deficit, reckoning on the new figure for Australia's population of 19 million, was approximately $492 per head of population, or just under $2,000 per family of four. The figure will be consolidated into the ever-growing foreign debt.

Ian Henderson, in The Australian (31/8/99), added: "... The burden of servicing both foreign debt and foreign equity investment continued to climb, with the former accounting for 6.6 percent of export income in the June quarter, and the latter accounting for 9.1 percent..."
Treasurer Costello managed - as usual - to make the disaster sound like an achievement, claiming the figures weren't as bad as expected.
Squealer, where are you?

The Editorial in the same issue was somewhat sombre: "... We should not fall into the complacency that 'she'll be right' and the rest of the world will gladly keep on financing external deficits ... When previously our external deficit has swollen to such proportion, foreign suppliers of capital have taken fright, sending the $A down sharply and interest rates up. Remember the 1986 "banana republic" crisis? .... The millions of novice investors who entered the stock market in the 1990s have yet to experience the stomach-wrenching effect of a sharp fall in the value of their portfolios. They may not be fully aware of the risk that a correction in Wall Street, for example, could suddenly make foreigners less willing to keep financing Australia's balance of payments shortfall...."


VICTORIAN STATE ELECTION

There has been a long-running battle between the Kennett government and the State's former Auditor-General Mr. Ches Baragwanath. The latter claimed that secrecy over many government deals prevented accountable audit. Receiving Free Speech Victoria's Voltaire Award on August 26th, Mr. Baragwanath spoke strongly on the need for open government, including these remarks:
"... Every time government in Australia reduces or abolishes the rights of access to courts to challenge or review the actions of government; every time common law rights, which have served us well for hundreds of years are constrained or removed; every time judicial or audit independence and discretion is threatened; every time rights are unilaterally or, worse, retrospectively removed by government decree or regulation, we should be massing in the streets against such erosions of liberty..."

Now another former Victorian staffer, Mr. Stephen Mayne, has called for a Royal Commission into a number of matters he claims were perpetrated by the Kennett Government in its business transactions. The suave and urbane Jeff Kennett appears undismayed. He has instructed all other members of his party to avoid debating Opposition members, or talking to major media outlets. The following assessment, by Victorian Phillip Butler, provides food for thought:


THE PARTY DICTATORSHIP

Many now think that individual MPs are becoming a total inconvenience when it comes to running a "professional" political party machine. They are no longer there to debate the issues and represent their electors. They are simply "numbers" to carry out the orders of party bosses. This has been brought home with a thud.

Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett has decreed that all Liberal MPs and candidates in this election are not to speak to major media outlets or be involved in any type of candidate forums or debates in their constituencies. They may only speak with their local papers. In defending this "gag", Mr. Kennett said he doesn't want candidates running round like "Brown's cows"!

The ALP is no different - although it is getting plenty of mileage out of the Kennett censorship. Opposition leader Steve Bracks - one day after the Kennett 'gag' was announced - sacked two of his pre-selected sitting MPs, replacing them with high-profile candidates. His excuse? "Labor will be taking no passengers. I want the best possible team." (Herald Sun, 1/9/99)

History shows that an all-powerful party relegates the elector into irrelevancy. Both the Communist and Nazi political parties showed this to be so. Consider the latest situation in Venezuela: "Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez yesterday achieved through peaceful means what he attempted to seize militarily in 1992 - absolute control of his country ... Chavez supporter-dominated constitutional assembly yesterday stripped the country's Congress of its remaining authority ... banning any further congressional sessions..." (The Australian, 1/9/99)

While commentators cite the present "turnaround" in Victoria as an improvement on earlier gross mismanagement by Labor, the Kennett Government has become a law unto itself, as rationalists flog off assets to foreign interests. The Coalition - with National Roger Hallam at the Local Government helm - destroyed Victoria's Councils. With the Kennett gag in place, Victorians are now getting a preliminary taste of what could happen Federally if the republic succeeds - a change Jeff Kennett supports. Mr. Kennett's machine controls both Victorian Houses of Parliament.

Victoria is one of only two States where the State Constitution can be changed by politicians without a referendum. Currently, Victorian Liberals could rule without the Nationals: a fact, which has kept the Nationals silent, as their rural constituencies have been assaulted. If National leader Pat McNamara decided it was time his Party took a stand on a few issues, it could claw back some self-respect.


THE PROSPECT OF EXTINCTION

by Alfred King
Australians are currently being subjected to a most insidious from of conditioning on perhaps the most important issue they face. Many popular TV shows slyly include a guest celebrity who finds the time and the opportunity to let the audience know that he is strongly in favour of the republic. This message is invariably reinforced by the show's host. The subconscious message is: "I like this programme and the people on it, they are clever and make me feel good. This celebrity is happy and successful in his chosen field. His judgment is sound and I would like to emulate him. It follows then that he is also able to make the best decision about which type of constitution."

However, when the celebrity tries to explain why he is in favour of a republic, only the vaguest, 'feel good' statement is made. Such as the one recently on "O'Loughlin On Saturday Night": "It's like the baggy green cap of the Australian cricket team. It about bringing it on home.... We've grown up and can look after ourselves." This ABC programme is entirely tax funded.
When were we last consulted on whether we wanted our tax money to be used to indoctrinate us in a perverse social engineering experiment?

We've all heard the 'cutting the apron strings' argument ad nauseam. If the self-appointed, self-righteous media elite were sincere in wanting an Australia that is strong and independent and free, they would be raising hell about the following issue. Instead, most newspapers and TV programmes employed the non-coverage method of censorship. The Australian Financial Review carried it as a small story towards the back of the paper.

The Federal Government launched an international legal challenge against Japanese over-fishing of the blue-fin tuna stock off the southern Australian coast. It reported "the Attorney-General, Daryl Williams told an international tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg that Japanese fishing beyond an agreed quota was endangering the depleted blue-fin stocks and should be halted immediately. The southern blue-fin tuna is one of the word's most valuable fish species, capable of yielding up to $90,000 each at Tokyo's fish markets. An agreed annual cap on the catch of 11,750 tonnes has been in place since 1989, with Japan's fishing fleets permitted 52 percent, Australian fleets 45 percent, with New Zealand taking the rest. But Japan ignored the cap last year harvesting 1,400 tonnes of tuna (worth $60 million) above its quota and has continued to do the same this year.

Canberra has often been accused of pulling its punches in trade related disputes with Japan, and has never launched formal dispute settlement action against Tokyo in the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Earlier this year, Canberra ignominiously backed down from a WTO complaint against Japan's 390 percent tariff on rice imports, after furious protests and veiled threats of commercial repercussions."

How richly has this country of ours been blessed! On top of everything else, we have excellent stocks of one of the world's most valuable fish just off the Tasmanian coastline. These fish are in Australian waters and therefore belong to Australians - right? Wrong! It seems our logic is too simplistic on this one. Japan is thousands of miles away, there are many countries closer to us than Japan, and yet they have the right to take more of these fish that we do! One wonders how we could possibly prostitute ourselves more.

In the liberal free trade doctrine there is nothing that is not for sale. Furthermore, Australia cannot even sort out this simple issue itself. Gentle reader, please raise your hand if your local pollie has asked your permission to take away the sovereignty of Australia over its fishing grounds and give it to an unelected body based in Hamburg? Some would call it treason.

Again we see a vivid illustration of how the surrender of our own interests has been developed to a fine art by our so-called 'leaders'. We can't even use the international court to its full potential, for fear of upsetting those who are already taking advantage of us. Western business schools teach the aim of negotiation to be a win-win situation. Orientals still see the desired outcome to be: we win, you lose, we defeat you. There is no room for anemic, counterproductive liberal thinking in their tactics. That's why Australian coal and iron ore is exported to Japan at rock bottom prices, and then we buy back goods we once made ourselves at premium prices. Every time, without exception, they win and we lose.

Recommended reading: "The Asian Mind Game" by Chin-ning Chu. Available from all League bookstores $23.00 posted.

This book unlocks the hidden agenda of the Asian business culture. It reveals the Asian mind-set that influences every aspect of Asian behaviour. It has long been recognised that the Japanese see free trade doctrine as something far more for foreigners to practise - but not for the Japanese to do so. A great deal of publicity has been given to covert discrimination against manufactured imports practised by the Japanese. We are the suckers of the global economy.
While our leaders see the system in terms of the liberal ideal of the world economy in which everyone plays the game in accordance with the rules, the Japanese see it as an opportunity to exploit us. This is a cultural reality.
The ideal is the enemy of the real, so let's get away from liberal ideals and deal with realities. We should respect Japanese culture, and they should respect ours.
Bureaucrats at the WTO cannot change cultural differences. The Japanese never look at the world from the point of view of their competitors and would not put their (competitors) cause above that of their own people. They will always see their interests as different from ours, and will not deviate from the pursuit of those interests, whatever our pleas to them to behave as 'world citizens'. And, too bad if that means the blue-fin tuna is fished to extinction.


A SHAMEFUL PIECE OF HISTORY

by Philip Butler
If one was to believe everything that passes for 'history' today, it would be believed that it was predominantly the Jews who suffered during WWII. Those who publicly question the 'politically correct' versions could find themselves labelled 'anti-semitic' or 'fascist'.

Over the years this publication has been critical of the ruthless and inhuman treatment handed out by the Victorious Allied powers, especially the treatment meted out by the Eisenhower-commanded US armed forces to those who fled westward before the advancing Soviet armies. All too many of these helpless people were forcibly handed back to the Soviets, they were 'repatriated' to the Communist powers from whom they had fled. They knew what their fate would be (the dreaded gulags or the firing squad) and many committed suicide rather than be forcibly returned.

The August 1999, edition of The Canadian Intelligence Service carries excerpts from a column on the subject by Peter Worthington, a courageous and highly respected Canadian journalist. Worthington's column appeared in the Toronto Sun, 13/7/99, under the heading: Tolstoy: Apologise for Britain's Shame: "In light of Britain's declared determination to bring 'war criminals' to trial for atrocities committed in Kosovo, historian Nikolai Tolstoy has urged in a letter to British foreign Secretary Robin Cook, that Britain formally acknowledge and atone for its 'war crime' of forcibly sending men, women and children back to the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia and certain death after World War II."

Tolstoy has increasingly exposed aspects of this forced repatriation, a policy, which sent tens of thousands of Russian prisoners of war, White Russians, Cossacks, Serbs, Slovenians, Croatians, refugees, women and children back to virtual execution. He points out that British Governments pressed for German and Japanese Governments to compensate British victims of their wartime atrocities, and is now urging the Blair Government "to make some public attempt to atone for what happened in May and June of 1945 when British soldiers in Austria committed savage crimes against Russian soldiers and civilians." This is especially pertinent in light of Britain's outrage at atrocities in Kosovo, its demand that perpetrators be brought to trial, and fresh confirmation of the facts of forced repatriation after WW II "which no one seriously challenges."
Election comment authorised by B. Luks, 145 Russell Street, Melbourne, 3000.


INDONESIAN REALITIES

by "Q.B."
With the East Timorese election in the news, it might be timely to remind ourselves of a few truths about Indonesia. The State of Indonesia resulted from the activities of three older nations. The Dutch first established an administration over the archipelago to trade its spices, and, later, Shell Oil was born of Sumatran hydrocarbons. When the Japanese occupied these islands during World War II, they established a puppet "government" in Java, and brought Sukano, the later President, into prominence. When America dictated the peace, their influence excluded the Dutch, and Indonesia was born under President Sukano.

While many believe that the United States were anti-colonial because of their own history, a larger factor was probably their resentment that they had been largely excluded from trading with, and financing, countries of European colonisation. Third world countries with an independent government could be used more in the style of the South American "Banana" republics - their major industries could be dominated by US financial interests, while no direct responsibility or obligation for their broader well-being was incurred.

Because Java was the more fertile populous and advanced island, and provided the inaugural leadership, Indonesia was, and continues as, a Javanese empire. Like other empires, it had an eye to enlarging its borders. While the Dutch had retained the administration of West Irian, this came under armed assault during President John Kennedy's period of office in the US. The Dutch were not up to defending West Irian without assistance. Australia was not prepared to assist without American assistance. President Kennedy, no doubt under pressure from other priorities, looked away from the annexation. The Dutch threw in their hand.

The Melanesians of West Irian are simply one of hundreds of dissimilar peoples (racially, lingually, religiously, culturally, etc.) who live under the Javanese empire. The appeasement of Indonesia succeeded in its main intent of denying the region to communism. It was, however, a close run thing towards the end of President Sukano's tenure, and may well have only been averted by the large American presence in Vietnam during the late sixties and early seventies.

Fears of East Timor becoming a type of "Cuba" to Australia brought Western appeasement of this country's conquest. Indonesia's economic crisis has made it vulnerable to diplomatic pressure, just now, thus their amended conduct towards East Timor.

While our politicians will no doubt always mouth platitudes and reassurances about and to Indonesia, the Australian public might contemplate a few real questions. Will the various peoples ruled by the Javanese always be comfortable, or at least submissive, about it? Will we be likewise, especially given evidence - as we have in West Irian - which the locals may want "out"? Can we be sure that no power will emerge which might provide wherewithal to those who prefer independence from Java? Would some future breakup of the Javanese empire be against Australia's interests? While good relationships with one's neighbours are wonderful, it does beg the question: "Is all carrot and no stick good for any donkey, child or country?"

There has been an atmosphere in Australia, encouraged by our politicians and media that one mustn't speak in this way. Is it time to end this, or at least open the door a smidgen to more realistic public discussion?


RESISTANCE TO MULTINATIONALS GROWING

The latest opinion poll (The Australian, 3/9/99) shows almost half those surveyed opposed to genetically-modified foods: "... The AC Nielsen survey found 47 percent of Australians were sceptical about GM foods and would not consume them, while 28 percent believed in their benefits and would eat them. "An overwhelming majority of Australians (90 percent) felt they did not know enough about GM foods and expected them to be labelled..."
This, we tend to believe, is only a foretaste of things to come.

The issue has become white-hot in the Northern Hemisphere. A report in the UK paper The Guardian (25/8/99) says that Europe's biggest bank, Deutsche Bank, has advised investors to sell their shares in leading companies involved in developing genetically-modified organisms because of consumer resistance. The Bank's report said: "We note that Monsanto has spent more than $US1.5 million to persuade English consumers of the rectitude of their position, but alas, to no avail. Monsanto is little match for Prince Charles, an anti-GMO advocate, when it comes to sensitivity for the English peoples' desires..."

A further report added: "GMOs are being demonised by their opponents. What food manufacturer will 'take a bullet' for GMO corn in the face of such controversy? ... Farmers who planted (Monsanto's) Roundup Ready soya could end up regretting it..."

Since the circulation of the Bank's report, shares in named companies have fallen. In six months Monsanto's stocks had fallen 11 percent, and Delta & Pine, a seed company that owns the terminator gene - which Monsanto is taking over - has lost 18 per cent of its value.


HOSPITALS A HEALTH HAZARD

Adding to the general concern about health matters comes this news (The Weekend Australian, 28-29/8/99): "Almost 100,000 patients admitted to Australian hospitals each year contract fatal or serious infections while in the wards, one of Australia's leading infectious diseases experts has warned. "Director of Canberra Hospital's microbiology and infectious diseases department, Peter Collignon says poor hygiene, the over-use of anti-biotics fostering drug-resistant bacteria, and a lack of isolation wards are turning hospitals into breeding grounds for bacteria and adding millions of dollars to the cost of patient care…"

Collignon went on to say the problem was being ignored because relevant data was not being collected. "A lot of problems caused by infection that are very serious are because of what doctors and nurses and the medical system has done to the patient.... Half of all serious infections that occur in hospitals are in the bloodstream and yet we don't collect this information very well.... In Australia there are probably four to five thousand cases of bloodstream poisoning.... More people die of hospital-acquired infections than do of HIV/AIDS...."


DOES WORKING PAY?

A recent report in London's Financial Times dealt with the stress factor of those in employment. Job insecurity was at a 50-year high: "...The most insecure employees are professional staff who used to be the most secure group. Many employees believe their willingness to take on additional responsibilities, work longer hours and work harder has not been adequately rewarded..."

The huge costs of employing someone in the welfare state - payroll taxes, holiday loading, superannuation etc. now far beyond the actual wage paid - forces employers to extract every possible advantage from wage earners. The Australian Financial Review (319/99) confirmed a similar situation in Australia. "The majority of employees are working more than 40 hours a week at the expense of their work performance, family, health and safety, according to the ACTU. Union movement research, aimed at tapping into the issues of the modern workplace through surveys of 10,000 members, suggests Australians are working more than they did a year ago, but feeling less secure, less satisfied, more stressed and unhappy about the balance between work and family...."

In a world where there is fiercer competition for the diminishing number of jobs, the pressure on both employed and unemployed MUST increase. Until it is recognised that the only solution is to introduce a means of income distribution OUTSIDE the employment system, the human catastrophe must continue. Which is why Social Credit is more relevant than ever before.

The "Citizen-Dividend" operating in Alaska (see Jeremy Lee's How Bright The Vision? - available from League bookshops, $12.00 posted) is a starting point worth considering. The diversion of Australia's annual money-creation-increase to such a concept would solve many currently insoluble problems.


TIMOR - ANOTHER KOSOVO?

Indonesia is playing a devious game under international pressure on Timor - in Toynbee's words, "denying with their lips what they're doing with their hands". Any escalation in bloodshed following the referendum will result in a mass exodus of refugees towards Australia.

The Australian Financial Review (3/9/99) reported: "... Dr William Maley, of the Australian Defence Force Academy said.... 'If violence intensifies and pro-independence supporters want to come to Australia because they fear persecution for their political opinions, then they would clearly be legitimate refugees. But if people leaving East Timor were members of pro-militias fearing retribution, then they should be accepted by Jakarta as Indonesian citizens ... "'

What a neat, bureaucratic solution! But who's going to tell the difference? Alexander Downer?

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