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8 October 1999. Thought for the Week: "Christianity, Democracy and Social Credit have at least three things in common; they are all said to have failed, none of them is in the nature of a Plan, and some of the most powerful organised forces in the world are directed to the end, not only that they shall never be accepted but that as few persons as possible shall ever understand their nature."
NO-WIN WAR IN EAST TIMOR
by Jeremy Lee
The idea of a "no-win" war is born in the minds of politicians who have never, and never will, be in action themselves. There is an ominous similarity between the idea of a "safe-zone" for the militia and possibly Indonesian troops in West Timor, and the "off-limits" North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The Vietcong were provided with almost complete immunity to rest, arm, recruit and deploy in North Vietnam.
In the early part of the Vietnam war the League published a statement by a large number of senior military US experts who stated they could win the war in six months if they were allowed to cut the enemy's supplies from port-of-entry Haiphong right down the Ho Chi Minh trail to the South. This essential provision was never allowed, resulting in a needlessly protracted war with endless casualties eventually lost by the West as public opinion turned against the obviously pointless continuation.
Australian Minister for Defence John Moore - for whom we generally have a low opinion - has, nevertheless been unjustly taken to task by media pundits and internationalists for his statement that Australia would pursue any militia attacks into West Timor. It is the only realistic position to show Australia means business, and won't sacrifice the lives of its young soldiers in a "no-win" situation. If John Howard does not want to squander the current approval for Australia's entry to East Timor, he will take every possible action to ensure we don't end in a protracted stalemate, with a continual harassment from belligerents working out of a safe-haven in West Timor. On this one, John Moore should be encouraged.
Recent On Targets and Jeremy Lee's latest "How Bright the Vision? have carried material on the successful development of community banks - many in partnership with the Bendigo Bank, which is Australian in sentiment, making provision for the return of some local profits to the community. We are alarmed, therefore, to record what appears to be a raid on Bendigo shares by the international merchant bankers Salomon Smith Barney, which has now become Bendigo's largest single shareholder, with 6.3% of the Bank's stock.
Commenting, The Australian Financial Review (Weekend, 2-3/10/99) said: "... Suggestions that Bendigo is an attractive takeover target for a local or offshore financial institution have been fuelled by the Board's move to alter the company's constitution at the shareholders' meeting at the end of this month. "Directors have included on the notice paper a resolution that aims to reduce the possibility of a predator gaining control through a partial takeover offer "
It's obvious Bendigo Bank's progress is being scrutinised closely. Community Banks would do well to take any action which helps protect Bendigo from foreign control, safeguarding their own positions at the same time.
A DIVIDED COALITION
by Phillip D. Butler
Australians are being led to vote for the future direction of this nation in a referendum on November 6th without knowing about the signposts, let alone why they should retain them by claiming their rights. Those most responsible for this unforgivable neglect in teaching the younger generations about the signposts of our Constitutional Monarchy are the so-called 'conservatives'.
Just as the Fabian Socialists 'identify' with the working class - but are not of them, so do the so-called conservatives 'identify' with the Liberals and Nationals - but they are not of them. Certainly not with those who knew about the importance of the signposts. It is as well that Liberal and National voters know where their Member of Parliament stands.
The following list appeared in the Melbourne Age, 4/9/99:
Yes: Those who want a republic and attended this week's meeting supporting an Australian head of state
Richard Alston, Larry Anthony, Fran Bailey,
Bruce Baird, Phil Barresi, Julie Bishop*, Mal Brough, David
Brownhill, Bob Charles, Helen Coonan*, Peter Costello, Alan
Eggleston, John Fahey, Chris Gallus, Joanna Cash*, Robert
Hill, Joe Hockey, Jackie Kelly*, Sue Knowles, Lou Lieberman*,
Peter Lindsay, Ian McDonald, Ian McFarlane, Judi Moylan*,
Gary Naim*, Peter Nugent, Warwick Parer, Manse Payne*, Geoff
Prosser, Christopher Pyne, Andrew Southcott, Sharman Stone,
Grant Tambling, Andrew Thomson, John Tiemey, Judith Troeth*,
Amanda Vanstone, Mal Washer*, Daryl Williams, Michael Woodridge,
No: Those who signed 'not this republic' petition
Tony Abbott, John Anderson, Kerry Bartlett,
Bronwyn Bishop, Alan Cadman, Ross Cameron, Ian Causley, Bill
Heffernan, Kay Hull, Tony Lawler, Jim Lloyd, Gary Nehl, Brendan
Nelson, Alby Schulz, Stuart St.Clair, Mark Vaile, Danna Vale,
Ron Boswell, Warren Entsch, Kay Elson, Teresa Gambaro, Gary
Hardgrave, David Jull, Robert Katter, De-Anne Kelly, Brett
Mason, Margaret May, Paul Neville, Bruce Scott, Peter Slipper,
Alex Somlyay, Cameron Thompson, Warren Truss, Grant Chapman,
Alexander Downer, Trish Draper, Alan Ferguson, Jeannie Ferris,
Nick Minchin, Patrick Secker, Eric Abets, Paul Calvert, Brian
Gibson, Jocelyn Newman, John Watson, Kevin Andrews, Bruce
Billson, John Forrest, David Hawker, David Kemp+, Rod Kemp,
Stewart McArthur, Julian McGauren, Peter Reith+, Michael Ronaldson,
Tsebin Tchen, Ian Campbell, Winston Crane, Barry Haase, Ross
Lightfoot, Wilson Tuckey.
The Rest: Includes the undeclared and/or those who chose not to align themselves with either group this week.
John Howard, Neil Andrew, Petro Georgiou, Peter McGauren, Chris Ellison. John Moore, Philip Ruddock, Kathy Sullivan, Barry Wakelin, Tim Fischer.
GST PLUS PAYG
One of Australia's foremost accounting
firms Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), observes uncertainties
about GST in their August edition of 'Tax Talk", including:
PWC are saying: "PWC urges the Federal Government to finalise the regulations as soon as possible." "Without knowing the rules, organisations cannot set up the appropriate systems..."
If you are still hazy about the details, relax! even the top accounting firms don't know yet either - nor does the government apparently. Business largely supports GST because they hoped to pay less net tax under this system. Few yet realise that five separate income tax returns will now have to be lodged, as well as GST returns. We reproduce excerpts from the PWC article below:
Pay As You Go (PAYG) - A plain business
For companies who balance on 31 December the instalment system will apply from 1 January 2000. This will affect every business.
Watch your cash flow, as tax withheld or income tax instalments may have to be remitted earlier. It will also affect the hiring of contractors who may have to rethink their strategies.
How PAYG instalments are calculated: instalments of income tax will be payable 21 days after the end of each quarter and calculated on a quarterly basis by applying an "instalment rate" to the amount of an entity's actual "ordinary income" (ignoring deductions) for the quarter. The instalment rate is notified to the taxpayer by the ATO and determined by reference to tax payable for the most recent assessment. During the year, particularly if a new assessment issues, the ATO may notify a new rate - and subsequent instalments will be based on the new rate.
Running Balance Accounts
The following example is given to explain an income tax instalment rate:- "Bloggs' Sparkling Wines Pty. Ltd.for its most recent assessment was liable for tax of $600,000 (excluding tax on capital gains) and in that income tax year had gross ordinary income of $10 million. The Australian Tax Office (ATO) notifies an instalment rate of 6%." "McClurk, the CFO for Bloggs, now has to prepare the equivalent of five income tax returns a year - one for each quarter (ignoring deductions), and a final return, which recognises deductions as well as income! McClurk orders himself a case of mineral water for the festive season."
We will all be drinking the health of
our Treasurer, Mr. Peter Costello, come Christmas 2000 - and
showing our appreciation at the polling booths in 2001?
REMEMBER WHERE SOME OF THE RURAL ROT BEGAN
by Phillip D. Butler
However, before Steve Bracks has his feet under the Treasury benches just remember where he comes from, as pointed out by Diana M. Seeley in The Age (Melbourne, 28/9/99): "I do hope that the advice given to John Cain and Joan Kirner by their 'advisers' was not trashed when they left government, but archived... (for) Steve Bracks' potential frontbenchers... Mr. Bracks who was also an 'adviser' to Mr. Cain and Mrs. Kirner which resulted in the loss of the State Bank and decimation of our credit rating... Do our hardworking country Victorians remember under which government the rot set in for country Victoria?"
While saying that, it is quite obvious that the Nationals were not listening at the time and, in fact on reaching government, inflicted even greater damage on rural Victoria. It is time that the Nationals take the gloves off - sit in the cross benches and seriously dictate to both major parties that Rural Victoria - all Victorians - are given some help to survive against the further centralisation of financial and, eventually, political control. At least the Independents are giving some voice with nearly half the seats of the Nationals.
A POLITICAL LESSON
by Alfred King
Contemporary Australia is hopelessly lacking in any kind of moral leadership. We have lost sight of the fact that it is the duty of the nation's rulers to set a moral tone, primarily by personal example. Political leaders today seem frightened of venturing into the realm of individual morality and private behaviour, no doubt because their own lives, in many cases, would not stand up to any kind of scrutiny. The result is complete moral anarchy. This is consistent with our multicultural society. "Multicultural" literally means "the worship of many different beliefs" - we don't know what we believe in any more!
Today's identikit pollie can live in our cities and see moral, spiritual, cultural and human degradation all around him without being the slightest bit affected by it. Of course, other nations recognise this and exploit us for it. I can't blame them for doing it. That is human nature. But I do strongly object to our own so called "leaders" not putting the interests of those they are paid to represent first, and for making Australia the doormat of the world. Where is their national pride?
They have no national pride, they have
no traditional values, they focus on only maintaining their
diseased grip on power by "whatever it takes".
Once again we are presented with an illustration of the fact that there are no fundamental differences between the three main political parties. The Richardsons of this world dialectally justify this development by claiming that John Howard has won the benefit for all Australia of stable government, that he has overcome the main difficulty of governing in Australia today - passing legislation without a clear majority in the House.
Following this argument through to its logical conclusion, we should remove all such obstacles by not having any elections at all . . . that would leave our leaders totally free to govern. Or we could follow the Soviet system of having "free" elections every so often: the proviso being that there would be only one party to vote for.
Graham Richardson goes on to congratulate John Howard on brokering an agreement with Aboriginal Senator Aden Ridgeway over the expression of regret to indigenous Australians. In doing so, the Coalition have taken the middle ground of Aboriginal politics, sharing it with the Democrats. In the process, Labor has been pushed out further to the left.
There is a very important lesson in political
deceit being played out here that has been used successfully
by the main so-called conservative parties in every western
nation. Let us observe and learn from it. The practice is
that of making policies, which are wrong and unacceptable,
seem to be the epitome of "reasonableness" and "moderation".
This done by changing the location of what is regarded as
the centre ground of an issue by moving it, subtly and almost
imperceptibly, to a new position to the left of the old one,
and then condemning all those who stand a long way from that
position as "extreme."
Invariably, if one were to ask the critic of extremist policies why they were wrong, he couldn't tell you. He has no basis for describing such policies as extreme other than a vague feeling that they are, and this is induced by those who determine the fashionable attitudes of the moment. The maneuver is variation on the gradualism theme, and goes like this.
A policy of surrender is decided upon,
which represents the end of the road. On this issue, a separate
Aboriginal homeland is most likely at the end of the road.
A point in that direction, but some way short of it, is then
arbitrarily selected as representing the middle ground that
all rational and respectable people are expected to adhere
In other words, "moderation" represents the difference between these two poles, which favours surrender by a series of slow, gradual steps, each wrapped in such dressings of cotton wool that it permits official spokesmen to stand up in public and state that it is not surrender at all! So let us look and learn.
On close inspection, the Establishment are not as frightening as they might at first appear. Their tactics at a basic level are clever, it is true, but they have shown little true innovation or variety in the last hundred years. This gives us the opportunity to understand and counter them effectively. For it is our source of inspiration only who offers true regeneration and fulfillment. In Jesus' name we pray to the Father.
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