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Edmund Burke
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On Target

22 February 2002. Thought for the Week: "The process of weighing the precious metals in each transaction was indeed a nuisance for everyone concerned, but these ancient arrangements had one great advantage that would vanish once coinage arrived upon the scene. When money was just pieces of metal of varying weights, it had no nationality... "
Thus, while our ancient forbears functioned with the one form of money that was acceptable everywhere, modern experts - having experienced the original sin of national monies - dream of a supranational currency but have no idea how to implement it."
"The Power of Gold: the History of an Obsession" by Peter L. Bernstein, 2000

THE QUEEN'S MESSAGE TO THE AUSTRALIAN HERITAGE SOCIETY

"Prince Phillip and I have been deeply touched by the many kind messages about the Golden Jubilee. This anniversary is for us an occasion to acknowledge with gratitude the loyalty and support which we have received from so many people since I came to the Throne in 1952. It is especially an opportunity to thank all those of you who help others in your own local communities through public or voluntary service. I would like to think that your work will be particularly recognised during this Jubilee year. I hope also that this time of celebration in the United Kingdom and across the Commonwealth will not simply be an occasion to be nostalgic about the past. I believe that, young or old, we have much to look forward to with confidence and hope as we have to look back on with pride.
I send my warmest good wishes to you all." Elizabeth R.

PLEDGES OF LOYALTY

It was with much pleasure Mrs. Maureen Burton, loyal and hardworking Secretary of the Australian Heritage Society passed on to us the above message from Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. The message was in response to the many Pledges of Loyalty already received at Buckingham Palace, the first of which went out with the Christmas/New Year edition of the Heritage journal. We also include the note from Mrs. Deborah Bean, Chief Correspondence Officer at Buckingham Palace, for your interest.
Copies of the Pledge of Loyalty went out with last week's On Target. We ask our readers to get behind the initiative.

To The Secretary of the Australian Heritage Society
"The Queen has much appreciated receiving the many Pledges of Loyalty which the Australian Heritage Society has organised and which have been signed by hundreds of Australians. Although it is not possible for her Majesty to reply personally to each of the signatories, she hopes that you can arrange for the enclosed message to be made known within your society."
Mrs. Deborah Bean, Chief Correspondence Officer, Buckingham Palace. February 7th, 2002.


INSURING THE NEW WORLD ORDER

by Jeremy Lee
Among other reports flowing back from the recent World Economic Forum, those of Robert Gottliebsen who represented The Australian are interesting. On February 6th he reported discussions he attended dealing with the financial fall-out from the Twin Towers disaster and other collapses as far as the insurance industry was concerned.
".... For decades two strategies have underpinned the business community – greater economies of scale and the willingness of the insurance industry to insure many of the increased operating risks so created at lower premiums ....the World Trade Centre payout will absorb most of the capital backing of the insurance industry. If there was another major disaster this year, then the insurance industry would not be able to pay, so effectively insurance cover does not have the same certainty ....For many US enterprises, the September 11 repercussions underlined their vulnerability to a systems breakdown..."

Nothing is more certain than the fact that, as financial debt and economic conflagration escalate round the world, the demand for insurance of all sorts will burgeon and premium costs will put insurance beyond the reach of a growing number. This is merely a repeat of events in the Roman Empire, where the State argued it could protect citizens against every hazard, until it became so burdensome that it broke down. The old saying Caveat Emptor (Let the buyer beware) came out of the breakdown. Each person had to take responsibility for himself, and bear the consequences of failure. The huge litigation industry, where everyone sues for every real or imagined injury, cannot be sustained much longer. It's all part of the breakdown of civilisation.


CENSORSHIP AND SUSPENSION OF FREE SPEECH

Like his counterparts in the US, Britain and the European Union, Attorney-General Daryl Williams is introducing more draconian legislation in which tradition rights are eliminated. One or two journalists are speaking up. The Australian Financial Review (7/2/01) carried a full-page report by Brian Toohey, giving a history of Security legislation from August 1914, when Billy Hughes introduced the Crimes Act into Parliament. The legislation remained essentially unchanged through World War II, until 1995, when the then Attorney-General Gareth Evans tried to toughen up the Act.

Toohey wrote: " ...The then Opposition leader, John Howard, vigorously condemned the proposals as authoritarian. When it was clear that Howard would not let the changes through the Senate, the proposal lapsed. Nothing further happened during the first five years of the Howard Government. Then an about-turn occurred on the last parliamentary sitting day before the 2001 election, when the Attorney-General, Daryl Williams, introduced the Criminal Code Amendment (Espionage and Related Offences) Bill .... It covers all official information, whether or not it has anything to do with national security.

"Williams now acknowledges this is the case, but denies it will be used to plug politically embarrassing leaks on topics such as the misuse of ministerial entitlements. If there is no intention to use it in this manner, however, he has not explained why he did not ensure the bill's contents more accurately reflect its title, which only refers to espionage and 'related offences'.....Despite his less frenetic manner, there is no doubt that Williams is following in Evan's footsteps in trying to toughen up the 1914 Act. The question is whether Howard will step in and stop him, as he stopped Evans in 1995."

In the same issue of the AFR, veteran journalist and former editor-in-chief of that paper, Peter Robinson, under the heading MUZZLE MEDIA, KILL TRUTH, commented:
"The terrorists are already on the way to winning a notable victory in Australia – and no-one seems to care very much. "The amendments to the Espionage and Related Offences Bill are already passing through Parliament .... It is not exaggerating to say that this represents a serious attempt to limit the dimensions of Australian democratic processes since no democracy, let alone a true, multicultural one, can function properly if the voters are not aware of the truth about government activities.

"The excessive attempts to muzzle disclosure of material that the Government wishes to be kept secret have been dressed up as a natural strengthening of anti-espionage measures in an uncertain world and a tightening of controls over so-called whistleblowers. This is flummery of the most self-seeking kind. Yet it is being implemented under the cover of the 'war on terrorism', an emotional term which is steadily being escalated by governments to the status of a 'war on open information'.
After some 50 years in journalism, I believe this is the most serious assault on the essential base of the democratic structure in Australia since World War II .... "In a state of total censorship at source, rumours will flourish, and denials will be discounted, imagination will be rife, conspiracy theories will proliferate, governments in such a fetid atmosphere will be desperately grasping at truth as their salvation. But like the boy who cried 'wolf' once too often, no-one will believe them. No-one will believe anything. Is that what we want?"

Like the current leaders in the United States, the unsmiling Attorney-General, Daryl Williams appears to believe that he and his colleagues are competent to decide what the rest of us should or should not know; "in the national interest", of course.


WHEN IS CONSPIRACY NOT CONSPIRACY?

A few years ago anyone who suggested that the European Economic Community was an embryonic super-state, designed to remove national sovereignty from its members was laughed off as a 'conspiratorialist'. Now it's openly touted as fact. Stephen Hall, from the Faculty of Law at the University of NSW gave details of the secret planning behind Monetary Union in The Australian Financial Review (Weekend, 9-10/2/02)
"Jacques Delors .... was the driving force and the main architect of the single currency. For Delors and his followers, every economic development in the EU is but a step in the direction of their Holy Grail: a federal European super-state. This goal is not shared by many Europeans, if opinion polls are any guide. Therefore, stealth is required and Europe's peoples must be made gradually worthy of the shimmering future long desired by the Euro-federalists. The single currency is not so much about economics as politics .... Politically, the Euro is the Trojan horse from which a federal Europe can be sprung on an unwilling public as an unavoidable necessity. The euro is the only currency in the world which does not have a government. This will expose it to enormous pressures as a single interest and exchange rate policy cannot long survive a fiscal policy fragmented among numerous member countries, many of whom have a culture of fiscal incontinence ...."

To see such sentiments expressed in a mainstream newspaper shows how far we have come along 'conspiracy road'.


EVEN THE RANKS OF TUSCANY

Commenting on Her Majesty the Queen's Golden Jubilee the Editorial in The Australian (7/2/02), unashamedly committed to the republican cause, nevertheless paid some personal compliments to the Queen.

"During her reign, the Queen has seen nine British prime ministers come and go and a succession of 30 corgis. She has outlived all other monarchs reigning at the time. At the age of 75 she is still going strong ... The fact that after 50 years she still holds the respect of many people and remains a symbol of their faith in the monarchy says a great deal about her charm and determination – not to mention her ability to remain above politics".

It might be added that she has also seen 10 Australian prime ministers come and go. The office she holds has never been subjected to the tawdry and corrupt struggle for power that typifies republican elections in the US – or anywhere else for that matter. What is more, the institution of the Crown does not depend on the quality of the individual who temporarily holds it.

The coronation and the oath taken on that occasion symbolise a value system largely spiritual in content, whose passing represents a step backward rather than forward. It is a value system still supported by countless people in Canada, New Zealand and Australia and envied, without necessarily knowing why, by detractors of the Monarchy. Included among such detractors is the young generation which has never been introduced to the real reasons for keeping the head of nations beyond the reach of politicians or popular and money-directed elections.

How fortunate Australia is to forego the distasteful farrago seen in the year-long "Bush v. Gore" scramble for power, which cost billions of dollars and divided the nation. The crowning of a monarch is infinitely more seemly than the election process. The monarchy may shine more, rather than less, brightly as the corruption of the republican arrangement becomes evermore self-evident. When this happens, the personal dignity of Queen Elizabeth II will have had something to do with it.

Like Australia, Britain is moving towards its own final moment of destiny. The majority, according to the polls, appear to reject monetary union and the European super-state. But whither will Britain go if she can resist the financial allure of Europe? To the values of her own history, enshrined in her parliamentary system, symbolised by the Coronation oath? Back to her old alliances in the Commonwealth? There is nowhere else to go. Pray that Britain – and Australia – stand firm!


SOUTH AUSTRALIA'S ELECTION RESULTS

by Betty Luks
It's amazing what a difference a day can make! While the Liberals weren't supremely confident they could win another term in government, and it was expected the results would be close, I don't think anyone envisaged the present state of affairs. Peter Lewis, now Independent Member (formerly Liberal) for the seat of Hammond, has given his support to the Labor Party – which gives them the numbers to form a government – on condition they will bring in parliamentary reform. At the time of writing this article the Liberals had not conceded defeat. Counting of postal and absentee votes for the Lower House has only just closed. Peter Lewis has always been a bit of a maverick within Liberal ranks and was expelled from the party by disgraced former premier John Olsen. Lewis stood as an Independent in his old seat of Hammond and while the Liberal candidate polled more primary votes, Lewis won on preferences.

The five-page "Compact for Good Government" Peter Lewis got both major parties to sign include:
• Promotion of open and accountable government.
• Clear plans to address the urgent needs of rural South Australia, includes employment opportunities, rural infrastructure such as roads, rail, water, power and gas. Improvements to rural health, police, education, emergency, environmental and human services.
• Freedom of Information legislation to be rebuilt to give full and proper access to government documents.
• The new government to move within six months to set up a Constitutional Convention to report to Parliament by June 30th next year.

Issues he wants discussed are:
• Citizen-initiated-referendums.
• A reduction in the number of MPs – The Lower House reduced from 47 to 35. The Upper House from 22 to 17.
• Reform in the Upper House: constituting the Legislative Council as a House of Review.
• Ministers to come only from the Lower House.
• Standing Orders, the rules which govern the operation of the Parliament are also singled out for review. He wants a minimum number of sitting days of 69 a year.


LEWIS QUOTED AS SAYING

"They (Labor) either do the job or the Liberals will be back in power. If they don't perform according to the terms of the agreement then they lose my confidence." (Adelaide Advertiser, 14/02/02)

The Member for Hammond admitted the decision to support the Labor Party had not been an easy one. "Nonetheless, I have given my support to the Labor Party because it will have to deliver on the agreement it has signed." He said he had more faith in Labor sticking to their word than he did in the Liberals doing so. He has warned he will withdraw support if Labor "demonstrates mismanagement or misuse of public funds, is found to be corrupt or abuses the spirit of democratic parliamentary practice and procedure".

He agrees that to provide stability he will vote with the government on:
• Appropriation and Supply Bills.
• All motions of no confidence, unless there is evidence of fraud, mismanagement, misuse of public finance, misappropriation, illegal activities or breach or non-performance of any of the other terms and provisions of the Compact of Good Government.
• He wants future appointments of the position of Auditor-General be ratified by a special committee of the Legislative Council.

It is early days yet, but what a change in the political environment. It is now up to South Australians to make sure the Labor Party delivers on the important reforms. The League has been pushing for Citizens' Initiative and Referendum for many, many years. A good lesson here – never, ever, ever, give up! One wonders what the power-brokers of both parties and their backers think of the situation. You can be sure they will be looking for ways to ensure it is 'business as usual' for them and their agenda.

Greg Kelton laments "The electoral system in South Australia is now a shambles and the damage done to its credibility may never be fully recovered". Oh really? Sounds more like the 'sheep' did not vote as tweedledumb and tweedledumber intended they should. To me, it seems more like the 'sheep' have out-foxed those sly old foxes!


WHAT OF THE SA UPPER HOUSE RESULTS? 1500 SEPARATE COUNTS?

Political analyst Dean Jaensch says the Upper House "is even more a hung parliament" than the Lower House. Greg Kelton, Adelaide Advertiser, 14/02/02, writes, "The final result for the Legislative Council might need more than 1,500 separate counts to decide" and "will not be known for up to two weeks."

PRIMARY-VOTE-PERKS AND PUBLIC-MONEY-TROUGHS

Whilst we have yet to see the final tallies, the oppressed taxpayer should take heart at the election-night news that Liberals in South Australia gained only around 39 percent of the primary vote and Labor around 36-37 percent. Remember? They set up the perk of paying themselves a certain amount of taxpayers' money for every primary vote received. The good news is, this means less snouts in the public-money-trough. While each individual vote is not worth much, political parties stand to receive a sizeable sum when the votes are tallied in both Upper and Lower Houses. The Electoral Commission's handbook reveals this amount is increased in line with movements in the consumer price index! In the 1993 federal election, the Labor Party collected $7.1 million and the Liberals $5.7 million. The details are kept for public inspection in the Electoral Commission offices for anyone wanting to look at them.

CITIZENS INITIATIVE AND REFERENDA : Democrats

Skimming through my files on CIR, I am reminded that for some years the federal Democrats introduced Bills into the Senate for the adoption of this system. Democrat Senator Michael Macklin, produced a 1983 paper titled, "Popular Initiative: Let the People Decide" and he stated then, the Democrats have had legislation proposing a system of popular initiative before the federal parliament since 1980.

If the South Australian Democrats got right behind Peter Lewis on this issue they may 'redeem' themselves in the eyes of their disaffected supporters. They lost a huge support base in the recent state election. South Australians should put it to Mike Elliott the leader of the Democrats in the State's Upper House.

Liberals
Former Liberal, Peter Reith, once produced a 'Green Paper' on CIR and the West Australian Liberals were keen on CIR in the 1980s.

Labor
Plus, don't forget, CIR was part of Labor's platform from early in the last century until the 1960s when through the influence of Don Dunstan it was removed from the party's platform.

National Party
The Queensland National Party government at one time favoured the idea and my file records show the then Minister for Justice, Mr. Clauson, spent several months shepherding a bill to the point where it was ready for introduction into the Legislative Assembly. But, the party machine, led by Sir Robert Sparkes, came out strongly against CIR and forced the parliamentary wing to shelve the bill. At one time there were over one hundred associations and groups in Australia promoting CIR, both bodies formed specially for the purpose and mainstream organisations such as the RSL who were actively promoting the idea.

Alarm bells ringing in halls of power in Mordor
You can bet your last bottom dollar, the idea of the people setting their own legislative priorities has set alarm bells ringing in the halls of power in the land of Mordor. The 'half-lings', the 'hobbits' are on the move! You don't know who or what is 'Mordor'? Go and see 'Lord of the Rings'. It is good advice to 'know thy enemies'!

Historically it can be shown real social changes start at the grass-roots and move upwards. And the present power structure needs to be broken up. Politicians need to be made our servants once again – not our masters! This is one of the ways in which it can be done. Peter Lewis is to be commended for setting in motion a means for us to break the shackles that bind us. We must rise to the occasion. Get your paper and pens out, get on to your political representatives – now is the time for resolution and action.


A DOWNER FOR DOWNER AND THE ICC

In correspondence to a supporter, Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer extols the virtues of the International Criminal Court and sets out his reasons why Australia should be a party to this Rome Statute. Mr. Downer is obviously unaware many Australians are expressing grave misgivings about the ICC and its proposed powers which could and would over-ride the Commonwealth Constitution.

We mention just a few of the concerns raised by Charles Francis QC and Dr. Ian Spry QC in the Endevour Forum Newsletter, November 2001:
• In our opinion the Commonwealth is not empowered by the Australian Constitution to ratify the Statute, and indeed express terms of the Statute are contrary to the Constitution.
• The proposed International Criminal Court (the ICC), to be set up in The Hague, will have an extraordinarily wide jurisdiction which is in many respects vague and uncertain.
• The ICC will, in its sole discretion, be able to over-ride national courts (including the High Court) by the simple device of finding (on any ground, whether well-founded or not) that the relevant state is unwilling or unable to carry out a prosecution.
• The ICC Statute is clearly inconsistent with section 49 of the Australian Constitution. That section provides for powers, privileges, and immunities of the members of the Commonwealth Parliament. In effect, section 49 prevents legislators from being sued or prosecuted for carrying out their functions. Therefore ratification of the ICC Statute's attempted negation of the Constitutional protection is prevented by the Constitution.
• Indeed, ratification of any provisions removing section 49 protection could not be achieved without an amendment of the Constitution under section 128.

Mr. Downer needs to be told he has overstepped the line. He was elected to serve the people of his electorate, and, in his function as Minister for Foreign Affairs, the overall interests of the Australian people. He was not elected to undermine our constitutional safeguards and impose a foreign legal jurisdiction over us. It is the People only who have the power to change the Commonwealth Constitution – not the hired help, the caretakers.


QUEENSLAND JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS

The Australian Heritage Society invites all supporters around the Toowoomba district to a celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II to the throne. The celebration will be held on Saturday, February 23rd, commencing with Divine Service conducted by Rev. Fred Ailwood. It will be held in St. James' Hall, Cnr. Russell and Mort Streets, Toowoomba. The Service will be followed by a two-course luncheon after which Mr. Bob Sellars will speak on "Gallipoli Dawn". National Director Betty Luks and Mr. John Brett will also speak. Cost is $22.00 per person, punch-drink included. Those wishing to bring along something stronger may do so. Mr. Arthur Tuck will conclude the day with a presentation of the video "The Service of Freedom". Limited seating is available, therefore all RSVPs must be in by Wednesday, February 20th. Please contact John Brett, (07) 4698 7505, or Tony Symonds, (07) 4667 4172, for further details.

BETTY LUKS FOR NORTH QUEENSLAND

Betty Luks will be speaking at a number of meetings around the Nebo-Mackay region from Tuesday, February 26th, through to early March. The theme will be "Australian Women on Line and our Constitutional Monarchy". Those who would like to know more about the meetings, please contact Mr. Ken McFadzen of Nebo. Phone: (07) 4950 5164.

CANBERRA CSC

Betty Luks will be addressing the Canberra CSC on Thursday, March 14th. The title of the address will be "Australian Women on Line and our Constitutional Monarchy". For further details phone (02) 6282 2243.

SYDNEY CSC

The next meeting of the Sydney Conservative Speakers' Club will be held on Tuesday, February 28th. Guest speaker will be Mr. Don Woodland, OAM (Lt. Col. Salvation Army Ret'd.). The title of his address is "Coping with Life's Experiences". Don was a commissioned officer for the Salvation Army for 38 years. His chaplaincy included service with the Fire Brigade, ACT Police Force and the Royal Australian Army. He served in Vietnam with the 8th Army. Notices will be sent out to all supporters for this meeting. Phone: (02) 4358 3634 for further details.

INVERELL FORUM

The annual Inverell Forum will take place once again – March 8th to 11th. As usual, there is a great line-up of speakers including Dr. Viera Scheibner: the connection between vaccination and deaths in infants known as 'shaking baby syndrome'; Jeremy Lee will introduce the 'new' Freedom Potentials; and Betty Luks will speak on another League initiative, Australian Women on Line. For those who would like more information, contact: Inverell Forum, P.O. Box 987, Inverell, NSW, 2360, or visit the Inverell Forum website: www.northnet.net.au/~rub
© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159