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16 March 2001. Thought for the Week: "The idea has
become established that the preservation of international
peace and order may require that force be used to compel
a nation to conduct its affairs within the framework of
an established world system. The most modern expression
of this doctrine of collective security is in the United
Nations Charter... Many persons believe that enduring
peace cannot be achieved so long as the nation-state system
continues as at present constituted. It is a system of
"...it is most frequently in the family that children
are infected with nationalism by hearing what is national
extolled and what is foreign disparaged... As long as
the child breathes the poisoned air of nationalism, education
in world-mindedness can produce only rather precarious
CHICKENS COMING HOME TO ROOST
by Jeremy Lee
The front-page headline in The Weekend Australian (March 3-4) proclaimed ECONOMY ON THE BRINK OF RECESSION. It gave the usual series of indicators: Business capital expenditure down 5.2%; Home building down 12.8%; Exports down 2.2%; Retail sales, in the quarter covering the Christmas period, up 1.8%, following a drop of 3.3% in the September quarter; and a further 24,700 people out of work.
Nowhere do these statistics deal in the human side of what is happening - family breakdowns, stress and illness, loss of hope and vision and human misery. It is left to welfare agencies to tell us that they are overwhelmed with human casualties, and that we now have thousands of families hard put to place food on the table.
Elections sharpen the political mind wonderfully. Even though voting has been robbed of genuine choices, it provides an opportunity to strike savagely at complacent fat-cats and self-satisfied politicians. The sorts of political swings we have seen recently in Western Australia and Queensland, the dismal polls for the Coalition in the coming bi-election in the Federal seat of Ryan, and the abysmally low esteem generally in which the Liberals and Nationals are held, indicate contrition at the Federal election later this year.
The non-productive pork-barrelling which is the stock-in-trade of frightened politicians is obvious. At every opportunity they spout a list of good things they have done - hand-outs to rural areas, more spent on roads, better telephone services, etc., etc. It doesn't seem to have occurred to political do-gooders that such promises increase rather than reduce the anger. What use is more money spent on country roads to rural voters who think twice before starting their cars? What use is a better phone system to customers who are wondering how to pay the last phone bill?
What everyone wants - the one thing that politicians cannot bring themselves to arrange - is an increase in effective purchasing power in peoples' pockets. This means being able to meet the cost of living and have some money left over. The politicians want anything that is left over so that they can do good to you, and climb in your estimation. They genuinely believe they can spend your money better than you can.
YOUNG VOTERS DON'T BOTHER
The Australian Electoral Commission is launching an initiative to persuade eligible young voters to enrol. The Sydney Daily Telegraph reported that fewer than half - 46% - of 18-year-olds had bothered to enrol for the coming Federal election: " .... Reasons for low enrolment ranged from apathy to ignorance and alienation from our political system ..... AEC research in 1998 found that while young people were alienated from politics, they still felt strongly about certain 'political issues' such as the environment, education and employment ."
Which leads to the obvious conclusion that many young people see no connection between the issues that concern them and the results which come from politicians. In other words, politicians do not solve issues!
THE ONE-AND-A-HALF CENT DROP IN THE BUCKET
The tiny drop in the petrol excise of
1.5 cents a litre, delivered with a lot of breast-beating
and humble pie by our noble Prime Minister, is so little and
so late that it has failed to gain for him the gratitude he
expected. It has been swallowed up as soon as it was delivered.
Terry McCrann (Weekend Australian, 3-4/3/01) put his
finger right on the issue:
"Good policy - and not exactly bad politics
- would have been to cut by 5c at the very least, and arguably
as much as 10c. Surplus fetishists take note that it would
slash the Budget surplus. Today's and tomorrow's. " Today's,
as a much more appropriate and effective stimulus to the slowing
economy than relatively small interest rate cuts. And one
that zeroed in precisely on a serious blow to the economy
- the sharp rise in world oil prices. " Tomorrow's, to stop
future governments spending our money - unwisely, to buy our
votes, or both.
The average voter may not have all McCrann's figures at his fingertips. But he can certainly recognise sheer political rorting when he sees it. Neither Howard nor Costello have been forgiven. What it will take to turn round the Coalition's fortunes is anyone's guess. What should the Howard government do now? With a combined tax-take (Commonwealth and States) exceeding $12,000 per head of population ($48,000 for the average mum, dad and two kids), it is absolutely obscene to be running a budget surplus when the country is in recession.
A budget deficit has often been used before to turn from recession. A budget deficit now should be spent on tax reduction with the intention of putting purchasing power back into Australia's pocket. But, as John Corzene, former head of Goldman Sachs, made clear to newly elected Prime Minister John Howard on June 6th, 1996, in the biggest gathering of international financiers ever held in Australia, budget deficits are verboten. By accepting this edict, Howard effectively stifled any sovereign use of Australia's nation credit. Treasurer Costello, a board member of the International Monetary Fund, has done nothing to restore Australia's financial sovereignty.
GROWING CRISIS ALARMS GLOBALISTS
Although the Multilateral Agreement on
Investments was officially put on the back-burner, the flow
of global capital has hardly faltered. The Australian Financial
Review (Weekend, 24-25/2/01) carried an article by Lenore
Taylor under the heading GLOBAL GAIN FOR THOSE WHO PLAY THE
GAME which said:
This has led to widely-conflicting views which weren't so evident a few years ago. The report's editor, Mr Laza Kecik, argues that, despite world-wide protests, there is no alternative to the "economic liberalism" of the moment. On the other hand: "For the prominent sociologist Professor Ulrick Beck, speaking to a packed auditorium at the London School of Economics, the phenomenon of the nation State being usurped by the illegitimate and unanswerable forces of global capital was so overwhelming as to necessitate a redefinition of the whole way sociologists think about power ....."
It says something for the turnaround in thinking that such views could be expressed at the London School of Economics, originally endowed by Sir Eenest Cassels as "the training ground for the future socialist state". The eradication of national sovereignty has for a long time been fostered by the London School of Economics.
A "PEOPLES' BANK" IN NEW ZEALAND
Giving his reasons for initiating a "peoples' bank" in New Zealand: "'.... We've become a colonial outpost,' the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Jim Anderton, told The Australian Financial Review. 'If a bank is in New Zealand hands, you can talk to people who have their allegiance in this country and who live here and are susceptible to the normal accountability mechanisms of New Zealanders. If the people are actually in Melbourne or Sydney, or London, how do you get hold of them?'"
What did he mean? " ....The four main Australian banks now dominate the industry, and the only New Zealand-owned bank among 18 banks registered is the Taranaki Savings Bank, owned by a community trust. " As in Australia, branches have closed and fees have risen. Since 1993, the number of branches has fallen from 1,510 to 866, while commercial and business bank charges have risen nearly 30 percent over a similar period ...." (The AFR, 20/2/01)
It was also reported that the four Australian banks were "... not happy about the latest scenario ...."
EUROPEAN UNION AND COMMON LAW
by Antonia Feitz
The ruling stated that the commission could restrict dissent in order to "protect the rights of others" and punish individuals who "damaged the institution's image and reputation". The case has wider implications for free speech that could extend to EU citizens who do not work for the Brussels bureaucracy. The court called the Connolly book "aggressive, derogatory and insulting", taking particular umbrage at the author's suggestion that Economic and Monetary Union was a threat to democracy, freedom and "ultimately peace".
However, it dropped an argument put forward three months ago by the advocate-general, Damaso Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer, which implied that Mr. Connolly's criticism of the EU was akin to extreme blasphemy, and therefore not protected speech. Mr. Connolly, who has been told to pay the European Commission's legal costs, said the proceedings did not amount to a fair hearing. He said: "We're back to the Star Chamber and Acts of Attainder: the rights of defendants are not respected or guaranteed in any way; the offence of seditious libel has been resurrected."
Mr. Colomer wrote in his opinion last November that a landmark British case on free speech had "no foundation or relevance" in European law, suggesting that the European Court was unwilling to give much consideration to British legal tradition. Mr. Connolly now intends to take his case to Europe's other court, the non-EU European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
NZ ROYAL COMMISSION INTO GENETIC ENGINEERING
Leaders in the field of genetics, Dr. Arpad Pusztai and Dr. Susan Bardocz, recently addressed public meetings in Auckland, New Zealand, along with Mr. Edward Goldsmith, founding editor of The Ecologist magazine. The scientist Dr. Arpad Pusztai, Hungarian by birth, was the man sacked from the Rowett Research Institute, in Aberdeen, Scotland, for revealing the out of ordinary gut reactions in rats after being fed genetically engineered potatoes and the effects on their vital organs. Dr. Susan Bardocz, a colleague of Dr. Pusztai at the Rowen Research Institute, was formerly Principal Scientific Officer and Head of Research of the Food-Gut-Bacterial Interaction Group.
After his revelations, Dr. Pusztai's was dismissed after 35 years of working for the Rowett Institute, he was also publicly criticised by people he believed were friends and long-time colleagues. For a man held in the highest regard within his profession for decades, and who had published many more highly respected scientific papers than most, all this was a shock.
Monopolies take over
Having recovered a little from his shock
dismissal, Dr. Pusztai was in New Zealand with his associates
to present their research findings to the New Zealand Government's
Royal Commission into Genetic Engineering (GE). At question
time, he told the well attended meeting he had discovered
there was 'life after death'. Drs. Pusztai and Bardocz were
accompanied by Dr. Stanley Ewen, chief pathologist from the
Royal Aberdeen Infirmary. Dr. Ewan is also an Expert Consultant
on foods derived from biotechnology, to the World Health Organisation
and Food and Agriculture Organisation.
The Globalisation factor
The World Trade Organisation acts in favour of the multi-nationals in almost every instance when it comes to legal disputes. Mr. Goldsmith explained, in spite of the massive propaganda to the contrary, food exported by the developed world to the poorer countries, particularly from the US, is often highly subsidised. The US Government spends several billions every year on agricultural subsidies. While this usually does little more than simply allow American farmers to carry on for another year, it does result in massive food surpluses. These surpluses are sold, and sometimes donated, to distributors in countries like Ethiopia, forcing local producers, and even subsistence farmers, out of business.
Multi-national corporations do not want local food production. They view the world as one single economy, taking no account of differing cultures, traditions and food customs. They seek to have most, if not all, food transported over thousands of miles. Aside from economic factors, this could lead to catastrophes in the event of natural disasters or war in any part of the world.
Large acreage not necessary
In warning against Genetic Engineering Mr. Goldsmith of The Ecologist listed technologies that "science" had once supported but which later proved dangerous: DDT, atomic power, etc. Member of Parliament and co-leader of the Green Party, Mrs. Jeanette Fitzsimons, chaired the meet-ing. As an almost humorous aside, idealistic youngsters outside the meeting hall, handed out leaflets promoting a group called the Socialist Workers Organisation which condemned global capitalism and GE. Whilst opposing GE, they have yet to realise, as a number of leading Socialists themselves have pointed out, that the closer monopoly Capitalism comes to its goal, the more it approximates to the ideals of Socialism. Socialism means centralised power and the planned State, and ultimately, a centrally planned world - exactly what the Western global monopolists are forcing upon us.
Soviet Union as an example
The young as 'cannon fodder'
An interesting closing comment by Dr. Pusztai was to humorously quote another scientist, whilst apologising for the language, that "we know s--t all about biology". Despite all the decades of so called "scientific wonders" and discoveries are we now discovering that the mysteries of nature are so deep we have barely scratched the surface?
A number (albeit small) of deeper thinkers have long warned that the development of technology without also a deepening inner awareness will always lead to one disaster or another. Dare we say it, but this implies the need for a religious attitude. - Adapted from On Target, New Zealand, Jan-Feb,2001
BASIC FUNDThe Basic Fund is seriously lagging at this time and we make a special appeal to our supporters to give get behind the appeal. As of this week the Fund stands at $19,973.80 - a long way from the target of $60,000. We must not fail now - please give generously.
RACIAL AND RELIGIOUS VILIFICATION' CAMPAIGN
Over the next few weeks the League will produce a number of form letters, aimed at particular groups who will be affected by the 'race-hate' legislation. When the form letters are sent out, we ask supporters to photocopy the form letter, personalise it by designating to whom it is written, (space will be left at top of letter for this purpose) and post out to the persons or groups targeted, or, take information from the form letter and write a personal letter to the selected persons or groups.
The first form letter will be aimed at the Christian churches and schools warning them of some of the ramifications that will result from such legislation. We will ask our readers to set aside the time to select from their local phone book 20 churches or schools in their area and write to them. If you know of another actionist in your area, consult with him/her as to which groups each will contact - so as not to double up. Don't forget letters to the newspapers - this multiplies the effect. Usually, a well written letter is welcomed by the editor.
Look for the first form letter next week. But at the same time, letters must be sent to the Members of Parliament, both Upper and Lower Houses, insisting this proposed Bill is scrapped.
BRACKS' LEGISLATION JUST THE BEGINNING
Max Teichmann, News Weekly, 10/3/01, has warned, "There seems a real danger of the Liberals, who earlier had said they would block this Bill in the Upper House (in Victoria), starting to cave in." Naming the groups who are opposed to the proposed Bill, and there are quite a number, he asks why should the Liberals give ground on this issue? "One can only surmise that some MPs are being lobbied by generous souls from the big end of town - or part of it. Rather in a way the Clintons were..."
Mr. Teichmann suggests the conservatives in the Upper House should pass a Bill calling for a referendum on the Racial and Religious Tolerance Legislation - good idea! He continues, "I have been told that the passing of Bracks' legislation would initiate a campaign at the Federal level to force Howard to accept a more draconian version of the existing legislation."
COMING DATES FOR YOUR DIARIES - STATE WEEKENDS
QUEENSLAND: May 26th-27th, 2001, to be held in Toowoomba
WEST AUSTRALIA: August 11th-12th, 2001, to be held in Perth
SOUTH AUSTRALIA: August 18th-19th, 2001, to be held in Adelaide
QUEENSLAND BOOK MAILING SERVICESQueenslanders please note the Conservative Book Mailing Service is now located in Toowoomba. You can contact the Book Mailing Service at: Post Office Box No. 7108, Toowoomba Mail Centre 4352, and Phone: (07) 4635 7410. Mr. Gerry Patch, who took over from Margaret McFarland, says to tell Queenslanders the service is "up and running".
SYDNEY CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUB 2001Tuesday Evening, March 27th, 2001. Guest speaker: Mr. Welf Herfurt. Subject: "The Threat to Freedom & Democracy in Germany Today" Venue: The Estonian Club, 141 Campbell Street, Sydney. Meeting commences at 7.30pm. The usual excellent supper will be provided. Entrance is $4.00 per person. A wide selection of books will be available for purchase. 2001
INVERELL FORUM COMING UP - March 23rd-26thWe are pleased to 'give a plug' for the 2001 Inverell Forum. Over the years this annual event has gained the reputation of providing a platform for speakers of all shades of political opinion - from the most conservative to the most controversial. The organisers of the event aim to attract those who are genuinely concerned as to why Australia is going in the present direction. The speakers are lined up for the purpose of answering the question, WHY, and what to do about it. For further details contact Inverell Forum, PO Box 987, Inverell, NSW, 2360. Phone (02) 6723 2351, Fax (02) 6723 2364. E-mail: email@example.com
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