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Edmund Burke
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22 June 2001. Thought for the Week: "A whole nation is now huddled around one tribal bonfire to lament its bitter fate, mourn its dead and ignore the dead of the other side. As usual, it views itself as the victim, turns the enemy into Satan and waits, inactive and bravely unthinking, for the calamity that is about to befall it and for which it is in no small measure to blame."
Gideon Levy - Ha'aretz, 10th June, 2001

NEED FOR DISCLOSURE AND REFORM

by Jeremy Lee
Following a small but growing number of articles (from some of which we have recorded excerpts) about the unsavoury nature and size of donations to the major political parties, the Labor Party, together with minor parties has called for changes to the electoral laws to ensure full disclosure of all donations to political parties. Perhaps the trigger for this move was the news that the collapsed HIH Insurance, with liabilities, we're told, of a possible $4 billion to be largely underwritten by taxpayers, donated about $375,000 to the Liberal Party. Will that party, like Jodee Rich and Brad Keeling of One Tel, have its assets 'frozen' until the report of a Royal Commission? Somehow, we doubt it!

The scandal of corporate donations - some disclosed and others not - with funding of party conferences, 'auctions', $1,000-a-plate meals and so on, has been the subject of critical articles in The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian Financial Review that we know of. 'Honest John', however, is not impressed. The AFR (14/6/01) reported:
"..... But the Prime Minister, Mr. John Howard, played down the need for reform and dismissed suggestions that the Government or his senior ministers could be influenced by corporate largesse to the Liberal Party.
"'Our donors do not control us. We listen to our donors, we listen to the business community but not any decision that I am aware of has been in any way influenced by a level of financial contribution,' Mr. Howard said. 'I run an ethical government.'
The renewed debate on political donations follows media reports exposing the link between corporate Australia and the major political parties ....."


It is now perceived by a growing number of Australians that, particularly in the area of free trade and globalism, both the major parties dance the piper's tune, and that there is no altruism in political donations by corporations, which are regarded as a straight-out business investment. Justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done, and this applies just as much to political parties as any other bodies in the community.


PRISON - THE BOOM INDUSTRY

A major review of Australia's prison industry by Geoffrey Barker in The Australian Financial Review (13/6/01) contained some disturbing statistics. Of Australia's 98 prisons 13 are privately-owned, all of which have been established in the past 10 years. The number of prisoners in all Australian gaols over the same period has increased by 52 percent. The imprisonment rate has jumped by 32 percent over the same period. The prison population is increasing at 4.2 percent a year - much faster than population growth. With a prison population of about 21,000 in Australia, average annual cost per prisoner is almost $56,000. Overall theft throughout Australia has increased at about the same rate as the prison population - 4.5 percent a year.

Australia's private prisons are managed by three companies: Corrections Corporation of Australia, Australasian Correctional Management and Group 4 Corrections Service. All of them are wholly-owned subsidiaries of foreign corporations. Sooner than simply building more prisons to house more criminals, sooner or later focus must be directed to the type of society which is producing increasing numbers of criminals. The sign of a healthy and happy society is ever-reducing rates of crime, accompanied with more security, responsibility and freedom for the individual. If ever there was a rebuttal of Costello's oft-repeated phrase: "Australia's fundamentals are sound" they can be seen in the prison figures, the growth in poverty, the reduction in debt-free home ownership, the diminishing opportunities for young people, the crime rate, the suicides and the family break-downs. Australia's record in the last 10 years is not a happy one.


THE POOR OLD NATS

That redoubtable figure Senator Ron Boswell, self-appointed leader of the glorious rural renaissance, addressed the Brisbane Institute on May 29th. An edited version of his address was carried by The AFR (30/5/01) The article quoted Boswell as saying:
".... we have a National Party that has served Australia well for more than 80 years. The present National Party has delivered more funding, services and infrastructure to the bush than any other government. The far Right's mantra persists that the state of the bush is one of unremitting doom; that we're pawns of an international conspiracy hell bent on imposing 'isms' - economic rationalism and globalism - that use National Competition Policy as part of a deliberate attempt to make rural Australia a basket case... The Nationals are not ideologically driven, we're realists who face the world practically...."

Boswell's assessment was in stark contrast with a full-page analysis of Queensland politics in The AFR (12/6/01) headed BANANA POLITICS, which said of the Queensland State election:
" .... The Nationals numbers were reduced from 23 to 12 (they have since been reduced to 11 following a by-election) .... Just days after the appalling result, the now leaderless Nationals - Borbidge resigned on election night - met to discuss their future. Those left standing were largely from the party's right wing and immediately decided that middle-of-the-road politics, tolerated under Borbidge, had to go ... the Nationals suffered a 40 percent swing in the seat Borbidge had held for them for the past 20 years, one of the worst by-election results in history .....

A professor of politics at Brisbane's Griffith University, John Wanna, says the Labor Government now has a seemingly unshakeable hold on the State. ..... If we go into the next election with One Nation, the Nationals, the Liberals and Independents contesting every seat against Labor, Beattie could well hold all his seats .... My view is that One Nation should merge with the Nationals and then the Liberal Party should work out whether they could live with that arrangement .... or whether they join with the Democrats or Labor ......"

Wanna's view seems more realistic than Boswell's.
The latest Bulletin-Morgan Poll - by far the most accurate of the various polls (June 2/3/01) - points out that, after a brief rise following the Budget, the Coalition's popularity has slumped again, with the Liberals dropping 2.5 percent to 28 percent, and the Nationals unchanged on 2.5 percent. One Nation, meanwhile, is polling 6 percent, 2 per cent ahead of the Greens and 3.5 percent ahead of the Nationals.
Never mind! Senator Boswell is on the war-path!


A 'HAWAIIAN SUPREME' VICTORY

An all-Australian fast-food chain, Eagle Boys pizzas, has gained a major victory over the foreign-owned Pizza Hut chain. Pizza Hut took Eagle Boys to court for daring to claim that Pizza Hut profits went overseas, while those of Eagle Boys stayed in Australia. The Eagle Boys advertisement to this effect apparently upset Pizza Hut.
In an interim judgement, Judge Murray Wilcox of the Federal Court in Sydney ruled that Eagle Boys could continue the advertisement over the next four weeks until a full hearing of the case.
Whatever the final verdict, by the time full judgement is given most Australians will know which is the Australian-owned-and-made pizza, and which is foreign-owned. There's no doubt that the fast-growing "Buy-Australian" campaign is hurting the multinationals, and they don't know what to do about it. Going to court is not going to help their case.

THE POSSIBLE DANGERS OF MEDIA MONOPOLY

We have no brief for Jodee Rich and Brad Keeling , directors of the collapsed One Tel. Both have had their assets frozen, and may only leave the country under strictly-controlled conditions. Their fellow-directors on the Board of One Tel include Lauchlan Murdoch of News Ltd. and James Packer of Consolidated Press. Each of these are empires far larger than the apparently shonky One Tel.
Is there any suggestion that the young Packer and Murdoch also have their assets frozen? And can we be sure that news articles in the papers controlled by each will present the full facts completely objectively?
As we said earlier, justice must be seen to be done, and both Rich and Keeling have copped plenty of flak in the Murdoch and Packer press, owned by their fellow directors.

UNKIND CUT

Most unkindly, The Australian Financial Review (5/6/01) reminded us of Costello's remarks about Australia's foreign debt while Labor was still in power. The article said: "In February 1996, the then shadow treasurer, Peter Costello, claimed that the rise in Australia's net foreign debt to $180 billion, or 39 percent of GDP, was 'the final indictment of [then prime minister Paul] Keating's economic mismanagement.' ... The release yesterday of data showing Australia's net foreign debt at a record $317 billion, or 48 percent of GDP, either says something about the economic management skills of the Coalition over the past five years or an error of judgement by Costello in 1996. The foreign debt issue has assumed a low profile in recent years, despite the sharp deterioration in the debt position. But it is being reflected implicitly in the performance of the Australian dollar, which in recent weeks has reached a record low ......"


A net foreign debt of $10,000 per head of population during Paul Keating's last period was, as Costello pointed out, "economic mismanagement".
A net foreign debt of $16,000 per head of population under Howard and Costello? Well, how would you describe that?


NO TO HOMOSEXUAL 'MARRIAGE'

by Antonia Feitz:
Back in April it was reported that two Australian homosexuals planned to 'marry' in Amsterdam and then challenge Australian law when they return in a couple of years time - Weekend Australian, 14-15/4/01. One of them, Darren, said, "Basically if we fill out any forms that asks about our marital status we'll be ticking married." And Tom said, "Darren will legally be my husband and we both want that acknowledged. It's not a political statement ..."
For the moment the Australian Tax Office thinks differently. It does not recognise homosexual marriages and a spokeswoman said, "As far as we're concerned they would be treated as individuals." But what will happen if and when the pair squawk discrimination and take their case to the human rights commission at the UN?
Let's have a reality check about marriage. The Oxford Dictionary gives the following definitions for the word 'spouse':
1. A married woman in relation to her husband; a wife, a bride. 2. A married man in relation to his wife; a husband, a bridegroom.

It's pretty clear: the state of being a husband or wife - i.e. of being married - only exists in the union of two sexes. A man can no more have a husband than a woman can have a wife because the words, 'husband' and 'wife' only have meaning in relation to the opposite sex. Homosexuals and even the UN itself have no authority to unilaterally change the commonly understood meanings of words. Nor does the UN have any authority to proclaim that homosexuals have a 'right' to marry. St. Thomas Aquinas, the 'angelic Doctor', held that human laws bind from the fact that they aim for the common good. Once laws don't have the common good as their aim they lose their power to oblige.
A government's true role is to protect individuals' rights such as the right to property and to freedom of speech and association. Granting spurious socialist rights to minority groups - such as homosexuals' 'right' to marry - is nothing but social engineering against the expressed wishes of the majority.


PST, DON'T MENTION THE JAPANESE

by Antonia Feitz
Back in February, journalist Paul Toohey wrote a telling article on the anniversary of the 1942 bombing of Darwin by 242 Japanese planes. It seems that none of the dignitaries attending the ceremony - including the Governor General Sir William Deane, the Prime Minister Mr. Howard, the Leader of the Opposition Kim Beazley nor the US ambassador Edward Gnehm - could bring themselves to utter the J-word. As Toohey wrote, "Those planes were Japanese. And we should be allowed to say it - not so as to foster hate, but because polite political sidestepping belittles those who were here." Australian, 20/2/01.

Toohey is right. How utterly contemptible that our so-called leaders were so craven. As there weren't even any Japanese people present at the ceremony, why our leaders were all so inhibited and politically correct is a mystery. Nevertheless none of them dared mention the J-word. Deane spoke about un-named "foreign aggression"; Howard talked about the ANZUS alliance; Beazley said Darwin people knew that they had to defend themselves and bury the dead, but he didn't say against whom or who killed the dead they buried; and the US ambassador said that the military attack that day threatened the very existence of the Australian nation, but he didn't say who attacked Australia. The Asian nations must despise us for being so disrespectful about our own history. The Japanese especially, who honour their own ancestors, must be appalled.


UNDER THE VOLCANO

by Gideon Levy
There has never been such unity here. Listen to the Israeli public discourse and you hear only one voice. From one terrorist attack to the next, the nails are being driven into the coffin of the concept of pluralism (multiculturalism in Australian terms - editor) in Israel; the attack at the Dolphinarium in Tel Aviv was the last nail. The horror of the event sent everyone into a state of paralysis: children and parents, right and left - everyone agrees with everyone else.
Fear became the teacher and brought about a consensus that would shame no totalitarian regime. One nation, one stand. Its basic elements: there is no one to talk to, Arafat is not a partner, we have to do "something", to deliver a final crushing blow once and for all. We offered them everything and they chose war, there will not be peace in this generation, we will live by the sword for all time. And overlaying it all, an appalling wave of hatred for Arabs has seized everyone. Who doesn't hate Arabs a little these days? Who still believes them? Who thinks it's possible to make peace with them?
Where are the days when it used to be said that for every two Israelis there were three opinions? Now, every three Israelis have barely one opinion. From being an ultra-involved nation, where every social gathering and every taxi trip was always accompanied by lively political arguments, the nation in recent months has become a choir that sings one song, in one voice. Beyond the monotony, and the danger such a development poses for democracy, it holds out a more immediate risk. The fact that no one is asking tough questions, that no one is proposing bold alternatives and that the public agenda is becoming so uniform, wholly aimed at the next war, should be cause for great concern. Like a village living below a volcano and waiting complacently for the next eruption, Israel is watching events unfold as though watching a natural disaster over which no one has any control, and muttering its well-worn slogans. So we're headed for another terrible eruption of bloodletting, that's how it goes.

Above all we are witnessing the evaporation of the left; but there is hardly anything left of the centre, either. "We are all settlers," say people who not long ago styled themselves leftists and centrists; it is not only writers' widows, such as Edna Shabtai, who are turning right. The thin shell of the peace camp broke apart in an instant, after its enlightened members found out that the Palestinians were not managing their affairs exactly according to the model the peaceniks had created for them. The Palestinians resorted to violence and dared to demand the right of return.

The conclusion: the left was wrong. The result: an almost wholesale drift to the right. The media, the leaders of the peace camp, together with Labor, the Likud and Rehavam Ze'evi - all are declaiming almost the same message. Can anyone seriously point today to substantial differences not only between Ariel Sharon and Shimon Peres, but even between Yossi Sarid and Limor Livnat? The right says, honestly, that it aspires to fighting a war, while the left says that war is inevitable because of Arafat. That is a very minor difference - too minor.

The lip service the left is paying in the form of calls for a freeze on construction in the settlements or for the establishment of a Palestinian state, is pathetic: too little and too late. It didn't have to be this way. The voice that has been muted is now more essential than ever. Israel needs another voice now, not just that of the brave but minuscule Gush Shalom (the Peace Bloc). Where are the intellectuals and the statesmen to assert that the Palestinians could never have accepted what Ehud Barak offered, that the way it was offered outraged them even more? Who will declare that a just solution to the conflict must include not only a fair territorial solution but also a just solution for the refugees, including recognition of their right of return?

Who will speak out in a loud voice to offer a truth different to the one now sweeping the country from end to end?

Who will state that the occupation is an act of violence, the most terrible of all, that terrorism is not only suicide bombers but also firing missiles at inhabited homes?

Who will assert the truth:
That there are too few differences between a person who blows himself up outside a discotheque and kills 20 boys and girls, and a person who frivolously fires shells at a house in which an infant girl has just finished drinking milk from her mother's breast?

That depriving a whole nation of freedom of movement and placing that nation in a prison is an act of violence more cruel than any in the past, and stirs a people to fight using whatever means it has?

That the incitement in the Palestinian media is not that much worse than the incitement on Israeli radio and television?

That the present war is first and foremost a war over Netzarim and Yitzhar, and that if they or all the settlements did not exist our situation would be immeasurably better?

That the roots of Palestinian terrorism have to be sought in the Israeli occupation and not in the Palestinians' genes?


Almost no one is asking these questions. A whole nation is now huddled around one tribal bonfire to lament its bitter fate, mourn its dead and ignore the dead of the other side. As usual, it views itself as the victim, turns the enemy into Satan and waits, inactive and bravely unthinking, for the calamity that is about to befall it and for which it is in no small measure to blame. - Taken from Neil Baird's e-mail


WESTERN CIVILISATION ACCORDING TO JATRAS

by Antonia Feitz
In a thought-provoking paper delivered to a conference in Chicago in 1997, James George Jatras said that the 'values' usually described as characterising Western civilisation actually only characterise its "current decrepitude". America's Intervention in the Balkans, paper presented at Chicago, February 28th-March 2nd, 1997.
What did he mean? Well he disagreed with what Samuel Huntington claimed were the core values of the West: "individualism, liberalism, constitutionalism, human rights, equality, liberty, the rule of law, democracy, free markets, the separation of church and state". The Clash of Civilizations.
To the contrary, Jatras claimed that for most of its existence European (Western) civilisation was characterised "primarily, by the Christian religion (though divided into a number of communions) and shared ethnic and linguistic origins ... a discernible local ethno-religious culture, occupying a definite homeland in the northern part of the planet". Huntington's list of 'core values' of Western civilisation only recently arose out of that much older civilisation.
Jatras believes that in World War I the West indulged in "an orgy of autogenocide that has probably never been equalled at any time on any continent". It's hard to disagree. So how tragic that after WWI ... Europeans "gave it another go 20 years later, and then the Cold War after that". The result of the West's 'autogenocide' is a perhaps fatally wounded culture, now "culturally, morally, religiously moribund" which most alarmingly, isn't even managing to reproduce itself.

Incredibly, morally debased Western elites labour under the delusion that their 'values' have prevailed. Nothing could be further from the truth. As Jatras wrote, "... man does not live by 'Big Mac' alone." That people all over the world eat Western fast food and listen to pop music is superficial flim flam. Healthy cultures don't grovel for their history. Healthy cultures breed. So isn't it amazing that Australian governments have deliberately made breeding so financially difficult for the majority of young couples that they defer it in many cases until it's too late. And isn't it indicative of those governments' moral debasement that they simultaneously uphold the 'right' of [well-off] single women to artificial insemination when as most people agree, the much-maligned family of mum and dad and their rels is the basic unit of society and the best environment for raising children.
J.G. Jatras is a policy analyst at the US Senate.


SYDNEY CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUB

Due to the National Director's decision to withdraw the invitation to Mr. Graeme Campbell to speak at the June 26th CSC, Mr. Jason Rafty has been invited to speak in his place. His subject will be "Democracy and the Decline of the Soviet Union". Our speaker has spent some time in Russia and is competent to analyse the political future of this nation. The meeting will be held at the Estonian Club, 141 Campbell Street, Sydney - commencing at 7.30pm. The cost of attendance is $4 per person (a steal at that price!). Books from the Heritage Book Service will be on display. For enquiries phone: (02) 9759 4450.

Dates for your Diary:

Tuesday, July 31st - Mr. Ian Murphy. Subject: "The Question of Australia's Defence"

Tuesday, August 28th - Annual General Meeting. Guest Speaker: Mr. Welf Herfurth

Subject: "The Threat to Freedom and Democracy in Germany Today".


ADELAIDE CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUB

Monday, July 2nd: The next speaker for the Adelaide CSC is Mr. Jack King, a well-known identity to the conservative movements. He will speak on his recent trip to the Middle East, where he accompanied a group of folk on a mercy mission to the peoples of Iraq. The Iraqi people are in dire straits because of the economic sanctions placed upon them by the United Nations. It will be a heart-rending story Jack King will have to tell. The meeting will be held at the Public Schools' Club, East Terrace (cnr. Carrington Street, Adelaide). Make your bookings for the dinner by phoning: 8395 9826.


SCHEDULE for Australian League of Rights Tour July/August 2001 with speaker Mrs. Betty Luks, National Director:

Day/Date Venue Contact Telephone No.

Sunday, July 29th Cranbrook Murray & Jan Pope 08 9826 8055

Monday, July 30th Albany Murray & Jan Pope 08 9826 8055

Tuesday, July 31st Ravensthorpe Alan Burton 08 9839 6025

Wednesday, August 1st Collie Norm Wiese 08 9734 4066

Thursday, August 2nd Harvey Nigel Offer 08 9729 3325

Monday, August 6th Bullsbrook Helen McKenna 08 9571 3595

Tuesday, August 7th Moora John Broad 08 9654 9030

Wednesday, August 8th Morawa Ed Valentine 08 9971 1175


WEST AUSTRALIA'S STATE WEEKEND

Saturday, August 11th - 35th Annual Seminar & Dinner for the Australian League of Rights

Sunday, August 12th - Australian League of Rights "Action Day":

Venue for both days: Perth - Rose and Crown Hotel - Guildford - Phone: 08 9574 6042

For further inquiries and information please contact Maureen Burton, State Secretary:

Phone/Fax: 08 9574 6042. After hours: 08 9574 6260


SOUTH AUSTRALIA'S STATE WEEKEND

August 18th-19th, to be held in Adelaide. Speakers for the SA seminar include Mr. Jeremy Lee and Mrs. Wendy Scurr, who will recall what she saw and experienced at the Port Arthur massacre. After having heard her and former policeman Andrew McGregor at the Inverell Forum we believe her story needs to be told. Keep these dates free.


Wendy will be doing a series of meetings prior to the SA Weekend. At this stage meetings have been arranged for Melbourne, Horsham, Nhill and Apsley in Victoria. Further details as they come to hand.


NATIONAL WEEKEND

A major shift is planned for the National Weekend. The event will be moved to the Victorian/New South Wales border to enable more of the country League supporters and those New South Welshmen - and women - to get to it. It will be held in Albury. The venue will be The Hume Inn Motel, and the theme will be on The Celebration of Federation. The Hume Inn Motel is situated opposite 17 acres of delightful parkland near the Murray River. At a later date we will circulate information on accommodation available, e.g. Motels (including the Hume Inn), Caravan Parks, Bed and Breakfasts. For those interstate visitors planning to fly in, there is an airport at Albury.

QUEENSLAND SEMINAR TAPES

The following tapes are available on speeches made at the very successful Queensland seminar of the Australian League of Rights:

1. Welcome and Opening; An exercise in Social Credit - Terry Rogers.

2. The Victorian Racial Vilification Legislation - Betty Luks.

3. Port Arthur Revisited - Wendy Scurr.

4. Deceit or Terrorism - Andrew MacGregor.

5. The Strategy of Tactics - Sunday Session - Graham Strachan.

6. What is Social Credit? Betty Luks.

7. The Current State of Rural Queensland - Selwyn Johnston.
A Challenge from a Young Australian - Damien Symonds.

8. The League of Rights, The National Party & the Rural Disaster - Jeremy Lee

9. The State of the Dairy Industry in Queensland - Dr. John Kingston MLA.

COST: $5.00 per tape, including postage. Money, with order, from: CVA TAPES, PO Box 987, Inverell, NSW, 2360.


BOOK

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