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5 September 2003. Thought for the Week: It has been said that conservatives neither write nor read books. If this is true then the domination of the printed word in book form lies with the scribblers of the left and those pseudo-conservatives whose chief value is political correctness. The republican issue has seen a clear domination of the field of popular books by globalists, multiculturalists, feminists and other nasties. Often conservatives can seemingly collapse, perhaps from mental strain.
Tony Abbott got off to a good start with The Minimal Monarchy (1995) but by the time of his book How to Win the Constitutional War and Give Both Sides What They Want (1997) Abbott had compromised with republicanism:… Republicanism in the past… was based upon nationalism and a desire for independence. Republicans today are globalists and internationalists, who wish to be "swallowed" up by the world…"
"The Republic of the Rich" by Bruce Ruxton 1999

THE ABBOT, THE LAW AND THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS

by Jeremy Lee
Sections of Australia are agog with recent revelations about Liberal Minister Tony Abbot and his slush fund, allegedly founded to save us all from a democratic fate worse than death. The only member of the trio who set up and ran One Nation to escape prosecution was former Abbot staffer David Oldfield. It is quite clear that Abbot did not trust the Australian public to make a wise choice about who they wanted to represent them. He, on the other hand, was wise enough to know, and his selfless act was to save us from ourselves. Or that's his line, at any rate.

How many dictators, dressed in the cloak of democracy, have believed they knew best? And what of the law itself? A number of senior politicians have argued with a modicum of self-righteousness that the charge and sentence against Pauline Hanson was none of their making. It was simply the law running its course, and the law is there to be obeyed. The argument becomes increasingly flimsy, and it is the law itself that should come under scrutiny. More and more regulations have been piled on top of each other when it comes to voting, and it is time to ask whether the whole process is beginning to interfere with genuine choice.

But it is hardly likely the major parties are going to review a series of stumbling blocks designed to herd the voting electorate in a predetermined direction. The only part that comes under insufficient scrutiny is the registration and counting of votes - a process with so many loopholes that there is little belief among voters that the system is above board.

The following article is by Antony Green, an election analyst with the Australian Broadcasting Commission, deals with some important issues in this connection and can be found on: https://www.smh.com.au/2003/08/21/1061434983325.html

Perils of Pauline: her breach of 'club' rules was technical rather than deceit

AnthonyGreen August 22, 2003
"The jailing of former One Nation leaders Pauline Hanson and David Ettridge on Wednesday has understandably dominated talkback radio airwaves ever since. Hanson's supporters have been outraged at the three-year sentence, while her more vocal opponents have struggled to contain their glee. The majority in-between have been astonished at this turn in the Hanson phenomenon, with general concern at the harshness of the penalty imposed. It is important to remember that Hanson and Ettridge have not been convicted of offences under electoral law. The charges were of fraud under the Queensland Criminal Code, including dishonestly inducing registration of a political party and dishonestly obtaining benefit in electoral funding. No offence of falsely registering a political party exists.

Legislation governing political parties did not exist until the 1980s, and even now provides only a bare framework. Registration was introduced to facilitate the inclusion of party names on ballot papers, to allow the central nomination of candidates, and to regulate the payment of public funding and associated donation disclosure laws. There are no rules on preselection, on the process of forming party policy, or indeed any requirement for internal democracy.

Before the case that de-registered One Nation, the view was that almost any structure was valid for the registration of a political party. Hanson's criminal charges came about as a result of a civil action by an ex-One Nation candidate, Terry Sharples. In August 1999 the courts backed his claim that One Nation had not had the required 500 members when registered, merely the triumvirate of Hanson, Ettridge and David Oldfield as members. The members' names put forward had been part of a Hanson support group. After the civil finding of fraud, a criminal case on who perpetrated the fraud was always bound to follow. The Sharples case had been defended by the Commissioner Des O'Shea for the Electoral Commission Queensland (ECQ).

One Nation had submitted 1000 members for registration. The ECQ verified 530 as being on the electoral roll, wrote to 250 of them to verify they were members of the party, and 217 replied that they were. On that basis, the commissioner ruled the party had the required number of members. The finding in the Sharples case acknowledges that the constitution put forward for registration was in fact the one used earlier to obtain federal registration from the Australian Electoral Commission. As Hanson was a federal MP then, the federal registration was valid even though the members had no say in the party. Indeed, had either Hanson or Ettridge been state MPs, the registration in Queensland would also have been valid. In other words, the rules greatly favour parties with MPs in Parliament, but make it harder for outsiders to gain entry to the club.

So this case has nothing to do with any requirement in legislation for internal democracy in political parties. One Nation's party structure was Byzantine, but perfectly acceptable for anyone who is an MP. True, Hanson and Ettridge should have known the structure they were putting forward was suspect. But their breach of the rules does tend to look technical rather than deceit, and there is no doubt One Nation existed as a structure seeking to achieve political office.

At the 1998 Queensland election One Nation polled 439,121 votes or 22.7 per cent, more than either the Liberal or National parties, with 11 MPs elected, several of whom were unknown in their electorates. They were elected entirely on the back of endorsement by Hanson. Whatever the structure of the party, there is no doubt that One Nation existed, there is no doubt those involved thought they were members, and it is equally clear that votes were won by the association of One Nation candidates with the name Pauline Hanson.

In the end, Hanson and Ettridge received little financial benefit from claiming public funding. Perhaps they received inflated public standing, thanks to being satraps of their own political party. But if self-aggrandisement is to be a crime in Australian politics, then there are many more politicians than just Hanson likely to find themselves in jail." (end of article)

Which raises a few questions. It seems logical that a candidate who wants to stand for either State or Federal election should pay some sort of application fee, simply to curtail frivolous nominations. Provided each pays such a fee, why should not those who wish to band together in a party or with a common policy, and be listed on the ballot paper, without the tenuous business of having to prove 500 members? It's just an added complication - which we never had for 80 years - to help the major parties. It is a misuse of the law. And it is time the use of millions of dollars of tax-funds to pay some candidates was stopped.


CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT BLOWS OUT TO A RECORD

Australia's trade balance blew out in the June quarter to the highest level in Australia's history - $12.6 billion. During that three month period the amount Australia imported exceeded exports by $140 million a day, or nearly $6 million an hour. As has been pointed out, this takes us back to the level where former Treasurer Paul Keating declared Australia "a banana republic". But this time, declared Treasurer Costello with portentous gravity, it wasn't his fault. The drought and the global crisis is to blame. Now that the drought is ended and America is recovering, Costello assures us, we'll soon be back on top. All of which would be nice if it were true.

Australia's economy is in an even weaker state than when Keating was treasurer. More farmers have left their industry, our manufacturing is weaker, there is a greater degree of overseas ownership, more profits and dividends leave Australia. We have major defence and immigration costs that were not there when Keating's hand was on the tiller. The degree of poverty in Australia has increased as the divide between rich and poor has widened. Taxation is at the highest level in Australia's history. Household debt has more than doubled as a percentage of income.

All the slings and arrows cast by Costello at Keating while in Opposition have turned into boomerangs. Socially, we are in mess, with health, education and defence in trouble. We've cooked the employment figures to make things look better. But many more Australians are awake to what is really going on. Each quarter's Current Account Deficit is added on to Australia's foreign debt, which now represents some $18,000 for each man, woman and child in the country.

"Ah! But America's economy is recovering," we are assured. Pardon me? With total debts now rising towards $50 TRILLION, half its States broke, mass poverty and unemployment, and an estimated expenditure of over $1 billion a week trying to stave off chaos in Iraq, America's position is disastrous. All of a sudden, Bush's popularity polls show a large drop. Half the population of the US want America to pull out of Iraq. About the same number no longer believe they were told the truth about the reasons for war. Afghanistan looms large among Bush's problems.

The Democrats, who were largely silent in the build up to the Iraq war, are now demanding answers. The knives are out for Bush. If he has to campaign for re-election while GIs are still dying in Iraq and Afghanistan , he will soon join Bill Clinton on the benches. We are now entering one of the most turbulent and convulsive stages internationally for decades. It is in such a period that establishments begin to lose their grip on the reins of power, and ordinary people, if they work together with some faith, can make breakthroughs.


THE COSY CLUB OF THE MAINLINE PARTIES

by Betty Luks
The news services in Australia have been fairly 'zinging' with revelations of what the deceitful, lying politicians have been up to. Whether it was about the Liberal ruling party 'sexing up' its case for taking this nation, and our fine young servicemen and women, 'all the way' with the U.S.A's, (and the U.K's) lying lot, into the war of aggression against Iraq; or the revelations of their devious intrigues (and 'whopping porky pies' when found out) whilst planning to 'get' Pauline Hanson; it reveals the sorry state of corrupt power- politics and the disgraceful 'wheeling and dealing' of politicians now 'reigning' over us.

Having seen at first-hand the way mainstream political parties 'close ranks' when their power-base is threatened, the news did not surprise me that the Liberals thought they had the God-given right to set out to destroy Pauline Hanson and One Nation and deprive the more than one million voters of representation in Parliament. Tony Abbot said it all when he admitted on a TV programme that the grassroot's support for Pauline Hanson and One Nation could have destabilised politics in this country. What he really meant was, the grassroots groundswell could upset the cosy arrangements of the elite political club to which he belonged; a cosy club the members had built up over the years.
Goodness, there was the chance they could lose the perks of office, the perks they had voted themselves over the years. Whether Liberal, Labor, Democrat, Green and/or National, this cosy clubby clique don't want to share 'the perks of office' with any of those One Nation upstarts. Why, the situation might arise where they have to listen to, and act upon, what the Australian people want.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge since Pauline Hanson first set out to take on the establishment elite and delivered her 1996 Maiden Speech 'whammy' in the House of Representatives. In 1997 the release of "Pauline Hanson: the Truth" by George Merritt caused much fury and "gnashing of teeth" by these "trendoid" ideologists. If an example could be made of this woman, no one else would raise their heads above the trenches and try to 'take them on'. Ordinary Australians have no right to 'rise above their station' and insist on more control of their own destinies. A scapegoat was what was needed, for a very public 'execution,' and Pauline Hanson was just the one. Such a 'sacrifice' would send out a very clear message to any who had ideas above their 'station'; hence the media and political vilification of Pauline Hanson and One Nation.

"Pauline Hanson: the Truth," is available from all League Book Services.


NEW ZEALAND'S MOST EMBARRASSING TAX

by Bill Daly
New Zealand can't claim to have been the first to introduce a Goods and Service Tax, Canada beat us to that. But we can now claim a real first, though few would want to shout it from the roof tops. The Clark Labour Government is introducing a Flatulence Tax. No, this is not a joke. We wish! Some people with a better edumacation than myself say - and they claim to have science on their side - that the flatulence of cows is contributing to the atmospheric loss of ozone. New Zealand is the second largest milk producer in the world which means we have lots of cows which means our farmers are going to be up for a few more hundred dollars a year in tax. Somehow this tax is going to help stop the world from getting too warm. In the meantime a few heroic farmers have been posting small parcels of another matter emitted by cows to members of Parliament.

NEW ZEALAND LAND RIGHTS' CHICKENS COMING HOME TO ROOST

by Bill Daly
Australians will relate to the following revelations of the 'land rights' agenda in New Zealand. They too are realising the real 'land rights' agenda is not about the aboriginal people on their own land, the real agenda is about tying up of vast tracks of land - the Fabian Socialist's agenda, no matter which political party is in power - for control of the land itself.

"Back in the mid-1970s the then New Zealand Labour Government established a body called the Waitangi Tribunal. Its supposed function was to investigate any outstanding injustices over land taken from Maori tribes unjustly or illegally in earlier times - and there were some injustices. But the number and extent of injustices has over the intervening years been grossly exaggerated, and instead of the Tribunal being a temporary body, it is now well and truly established as part of the permanent bureaucracy. And, as can be guessed, the claims for compensation or return of land has become a never-ending business, and big business at that.

Very few ordinary Maoris have received any benefits from the hundreds of millions of dollars that have been transferred from taxpayers to a handful of Maori trusts. The real beneficiaries have been the little elite coterie of lawyers and 'negotiators', Maori and European. All this is public knowledge.
There have been plenty of 'exposures' over the years in the press and the main television channels have aired a number of quite good documentaries.

When the Waitangi Tribunal was established, one of the finest criticisms of where it might lead, and the future problems that would result, was made by a youngish member of Parliament in the National Party Opposition. He was Doug Graham, a lawyer with a sharp mind. Later Graham was to serve as a Minister of Justice, and Minister of Treaty Settlements, and in those roles seemed determined to do as much as he possibly could to take us into the very quagmire he had earlier warned against. As an aside, it is interesting that a couple of years ago Graham spent some time in Italy at an expensive resort provided by the Rockefeller family while he worked on some paper concerning the rights of indigenous peoples. All of which demonstrates that no politician, irrespective of his label, can be trusted with unchecked power.
It is probably unrealistic to expect anything else when there are insufficient checks and balances within government and when the people have no effective sanction over MPs.

One third of all coastline in New Zealand now in 'private' hands: But even the sillier do-gooder liberals and power-crazed politicians have had 'lumpy throats' over the latest round of land claims. The most publicised of these is the return of all shoreline to the variety of trusts that claim to represent Maoris. There was a time when 'the Queen's Chain' ensured that most coastline and most river edges were common property. The shoreline claim has brought to public attention that almost one third of all coastline is now in private hands, some of it foreign owned. The Helen Clark Labour Government now finds itself squeezed between its long established support for 'Maori rights' and knowing full well that appeasement over this issue will cost the party dearly, would probably be impossible to implement, and could result in compensation claims amounting to billions of dollars.

Other claims before the permanent bureaucrats at the Tribunal include the foreshore of our Capital city, Wellington; large parts of Auckland city; un-mined minerals throughout the country, hundreds of miles of coastal fishing waters and even claims to the sea out to the 200-mile limit. This may sound astonishing but it has been taken seriously for years by the more liberal of the politicians, bureaucrats, lawyers, journalists and the rest of the chattering class. Whether most of these care at all about Maoris is a debatable point, but it certainly serves as a useful battering ram against what remains of the Western European Christian culture and the old system of private ownership of property and personal responsibility. What happens next is almost anybody's guess.

Most Maoris never have and never will see a cent from the big claim settlements; many Maori profess Christianity, some leaders of the mining industry have said they would rather negotiate with Maori tribal leaders than wade through the never-ending paper trail set by environmental and government planners. And, believe it or not, there is no official definition of who is a Maori. Almost anyone can claim the title and city Maoris aren't counted as belonging to any of the tribal trusts receiving the massive compensation payments.

Far from providing solutions the approach of the last 30 years has led to chaos and anger."

Recommended Reading: "Red Over Black" by Geoff McDonald; "It's not the Money, it's the Land," by Bill Bunbury - from all League Book Services.


MARKETING THE INVASION OF IRAQ

Bill Berkowitz: WorkingForChange.com

Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber's new book ("Weapons of Mass Deception") will not sell as many copies as Hillary Clinton's memoir, the latest Harry Potter book or Ann Coulter's most recent bestselling work of fiction, "Treason." There won't be a major motion picture deal and there's no made-for-TV flick in the works…They haven't even been invited to discuss their timely book on the Today Show, Good Morning America or any of the nightly cable news channel talk-fests. And most mainstream dailies haven't seen fit to review it… If there is one work of non-fiction you read this summer, make it Stauber and Rampton's "Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq."

Raising questions
As the Bush Administration's rationales for going to war with Iraq continue to unravel, questions are finally being asked about how we got into the mess in the first place. How could an invasion of Iraq - based on administration-orchestrated misinformation, disinformation and outright lies - have been sold to the American (and Australian ..ed) people? Who did the selling? And what are its ramifications for democratic discourse and/or future American overseas adventures?

Rampton and Stauber are veteran PR industry watchers. Co-authoring such books as "Toxic Sludge Is Good For You: Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry" (1995); "Mad Cow U.S.A.: Could the Nightmare Happen Here?" (1997); and "Trust Us, We're Experts: How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles With Your Future" (2001), they've relentlessly focused on decoding the manipulative monkeyshines of the PR industry… "Weapons of Mass Deception," drops the veil on a number of stories that have not been covered adequately, or not reported at all, by the mainstream media. Of particular interest is the book's focus on the critical role of public relations companies hired by the government to sell the war.

The Rendon Group's information war
"Weapons of Mass Deception" takes a close look at the Rendon Group, a relatively unknown yet powerful public relations outfit that has had its imprint all over U.S.-Iraqi affairs for more than a decade. Founded by John Rendon, a former consultant to the campaigns of Democratic Party politicians Michael Dukakis and Jimmy Carter, the company "has worked... during the past decade on behalf of clients including the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency."… "Saddam Hussein was the beloved ally of the senior Bush Administration right up until the point he decided he could go in and take over the oil fields in Kuwait," John Stauber told Amy Goodman, the host of Pacifica Radio's Democracy Now, in a recent interview.
"Part of the PR campaign against Saddam twelve years ago was (the relatively easy task of turning) him into an evil dictator." According to the book, after the war, "during the first year of Rendon's post-war contract with the CIA...(it) spent more than $23 million, producing videos, comic books ridiculing Saddam, a traveling photo exhibit of Iraqi atrocities, and two separate radio programs that broadcast messages from Kuwait into Iraq, mocking the regime and calling on Iraqi army officers to defect."

A Rendon 1992 Protégé
The Rendon Group's "most significant project" was helping to organize the Iraqi National Congress (INC) in 1992. The INC is described as a coalition of "Kurds and Arabs, Sunnis and Shiites Arabs, secularists and Islamists, liberal democrats, old-style nationalists and ex-military officers." Ahmed Chalabi, the "colorful" Rendon protégé was appointed to head the group in October 1992. ABC News' Peter Jennings reported in 1998 that the Rendon Group not only came up with the (group's) name, but had passed along more than $12 million of CIA money to the organization.
Chalabi will soon take the reigns (for a month) of the newly formed Iraqi Governing Council, the first national Iraqi political body since the fall Saddam Hussein's regime in April…

Australian TV cameraman involved
One incident "during the war itself provided a rare breach in the wall of secrecy." The incident involved the murder of TV cameraman Paul Moran by a suicide bomber in northern Iraq in late March. His obituary, published in his hometown of Adelaide, Australia, noted that Moran's activities "included working for an American public relations company contracted by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to run propaganda campaigns against the dictatorship." John Rendon attended Moran's funeral in Adelaide.

September surprise
"From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August, "White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card Jr. told the New York Times in September 2002. Rampton and Stauber write: "Card was explaining what the Times characterized as a 'meticulously planned strategy to persuade the public, the Congress and the allies of the need to confront the threat from Saddam Hussein.'" From that point forward, the administration rolled out a heavy arsenal of misinformation, disinformation, and highly dubious intelligence to sell the war to the American people.
The late-March invasion of Iraq was the culmination of this campaign of "perception management."

Post-war planning was obviously not nearly as attentive to details
After manufacturing pre-war consent, the administration has been confronted with a number of unexpected challenges including chaos and instability, a burgeoning guerilla resistance, and mounting U.S. casualties. At home, the Bush Administration continues to receive criticism about ginned up intelligence and the failure to find Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.

Among the lessons gleaned from "Weapons of Mass Deception" is how this administration readily pulls together a dream team of spinmeisters and story tellers - government agencies, highly paid public relations firms, political hacks, and a willing media - to market its message.

Campaign likely for September
In the coming months, expect the Bush Administration to launch a campaign to convince the American public that it has found Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, or what it now prefers to call "weapons of mass destruction programs."

"Weapons of Mass Deception" available from all League Book Services.


BASIC FUND

The final total raised for this year's appeal is $56,036.50. A most satisfactory result. A sincere thank you to one and all for your votes of confidence in the work of the League by your financial support.

NATIONAL WEEKEND - IMPORTANT NOTICE

The Hume Inn Motel bookings must be made before SEPTEMBER 10TH, 2003.
Mrs Gilda Waters of the "The Hume Inn" motel has requested those League supporters planning to stay at the motel must make their bookings by September 10th. She advises that accommodation bookings for that weekend are already heavy. She has put aside rooms for us, but wants definite bookings by the 10th September. Phone: 02 6021 2733 without delay to make your bookings if you plan to stay there.

A flier will soon be sent out listing other accommodation venues, and details of Seminar speakers and times of the meetings. Mark the dates in your diary now:
New Times Dinner, Friday 10th October;
Seminar, Saturday 11th October;
& Divine Service and Action Reports Sunday 12th October.

All activities will again take place at The Hume Inn Motel, 406 Wodonga Place, Albury.

"On Target" is published by the Australian League of Rights, Box 1052. G.P.O. Melbourne 3001.
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