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Edmund Burke
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On Target

12 December 2003. Thought for the Week: "I can imagine someone saying: "This is another Hidden Hand theory"… Every theory of events which has any soundness must at the present time be a 'Hidden hand' theory, because events are not controlled by Voting or Parliamentary Debate, but by Finance. A theory is neither more nor less likely to be true because it appears to be romantic, nor does it necessarily involve conscious turpitude on the part of, e.g., statesmen. If you train a man from youth, you can make him honestly believe anything, and I can assure you that there are very few 'accidents' in the rise to power of public men…."
"There is no fundamental difference between "Rationalization" as sponsored by Lord Melchett and Sir Herbert Samuel, and Nationalization as sponsored by the Socialist Party, and I believe the propaganda in regard to them comes from the same source. They are both of them policies for reducing the individual to an impotent unit in an overwhelmingly powerful mechanism."
C.H. Douglas in "Warning Democracy".

MARK LATHAM - DOES IT MATTER?

by Jeremy Lee
The coverage given in the major media to Crean's demise and Latham's ascendancy has rivaled that attending the onset of the Iraqi war. The speculation, arguments, assessments and predictions is unbelievable. It seems almost churlish to suggest that it will of itself have little bearing on Australia's immediate future.

The most telling interview I saw was on the street in the adjoining electorate to Werriwa - which Latham holds - that of MacArthur. The indifference of those interviewed was marked. They might just as well have been asked to comment on the Melbourne Cup. Not one policy was discussed. A few had heard that Latham was a 'larrikin' - anything as an alternative to the bland, boring, deceitful politics of the moment.

Ominously, spokesmen for "the establishment" felt they could work with Latham. It was felt that any deviation from a corporatised Australia could be controlled whoever was leader. If there is any expectation for a man like Latham it lies in the hope that he will attack sacred cows. But there seems little likelihood. His party faithful will adjust uneasily behind him, settle a few personal scores, hire a new consulting firm to create a new 'image' and we're back to square one.

If Latham was to offer any hope of a real alternative, he would say something like this:
"Ladies and Gentlemen - I'm not all that worried whether Labor wins or loses the next election - certainly not enough to stop me saying what I think. So here goes:
· My assessment of President Bush was accurate. He has been a disaster. I deplore the Howard Government's decision to paper over all the cracks in the Western Alliance and pretend that all is well. The Iraqi war has made things worse - not better.
· I believe no Australian Government can continue to ignore a widespread expression of conviction from ordinary Australians. A large majority was opposed to the Goods-and-Services Tax. An equally large majority was opposed to Australia's participation in the Iraqi war. An even bigger majority do not want to see a lucrative Telstra sold. We now urgently need a mechanism of some sort, a check and balance, to ensure Government truly reflects the desires of Australian people. This is not the case, and a managerial style of government that believes it knows best is one step away from dictatorship.
· There is a clear conviction in the Australian community that too much of our economy is foreign owned. The Government knows this, or it would publish a detailed analysis of the proportion of the Australian economy that is in foreign hands, and how much flows out of our economy in the way of interest and dividends annually.
· A large majority of Australians now know that the official employment figures published are well below the real position. Therefore, I will ensure that the figures provided are divided into "Full-time", "Part-time", and "work for the dole". We will also have figures for those who want work but have given up looking for it.
· We need a far better measurement for our economy than "GDP, growth and exports" These do not give an accurate description of the divide between rich and poor, the number below the poverty line, the number of homeless and those on the lower end of the wage-scale where even two incomes do not meet necessary costs.
· I am ashamed of an Australia where it is now conceded that home-ownership will be beyond the reach of young Australians in the future. It is an admission of failure and wrong direction, and must be reversed.
· I strongly believe that Australian jobs should be a priority, and that passing Australian labour across to low-wage nations is wrong. Likewise, I believe Australian-owned-and-controlled industries should have precedence over overseas workforces in Australian government contracts and private enterprise.
· I believe we must-re-think the current position, nationally and globally, where all human activity and progress depends entirely on debt-creation, now in private hands. Australia, in parts of its history, has shown that this is not true.
· I believe that we should aim to re-establish the small, family-owned farm and the growth of rural communities. Despite our small population, we are amongst the most centralized from a population point of view in the world. The loss of our farmers and the weakening of our hinterland has been short-sighted and callous.
· I believe that families are the best environment to raise children; but families with adequate income, rather than impoverished. The children of today are the Australians of tomorrow.
· I do not believe we can continue trying to "borrow our way" into the future. Therefore, Ill be opening a national debate, and a Government inquiry, into alternative ways of financing Australia. I believe everything I have outlined once existed in the traditional policy of the Australian Labor Party. I believe a return to these policies, and a return of a stronger say to ordinary Australian men and women is more important that winning the next election. I will demand that my Labor colleagues commit themselves personally on the points I have outlined, and commit themselves personally as to where they stand. The days of the anonymous backbencher and the film-star approach to party leaders has gone too far, and now threatens the democratic process. If we fail, I will accept responsibility, as will my colleagues. If we win, it will be because we have the genuine support of Australians, rather than simply a slick image."

With such a statement, we'd really have a genuine election for once!


A MATTER OF INTEREST

The latest figures show that household debt as a percentage of income has climbed to the outrageous level of 134 per cent. Nothing like it has been seen in Australia's history. Household savings were a negative -2.2 per cent! In other words, Australia's households are slipping behind, and borrowing to live. The last figures for the farm sector showed an average farm debt of $252,000 in 2000. Since then, farmers have slipped further behind due to the drought, with the loss of crops and the cost of feeding stock wrapping more debt round their necks.

The number of farmers continues to fall. Every quarter-of-one-percent increase in interest rates adds a further direct cost of $631 to the average farm. What a Christmas present! And they can expect more next year. The Australian Financial Review (4/12/03) reported:
"…. Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show the household savings ratio - which was minus 2.2 per cent in the September quarter - has been negative for the past year and a half, although the September result was an improvement from the March and June quarters. Treasurer Peter Costello said the shift was partly due to an improvement in farmers' incomes, which had been pulling the figure down during the drought. But use of personal credit still rose 12.9 per cent in the year to September and household debt was now equivalent to about 134 per cent of household disposable income. On the latest statement on monetary policy released last month, the Reserve Bank of Australia confirmed that "households increased their borrowing to finance consumption"…."

Which raises the obvious question:
Isn't it foolish to believe that inflation can be contained by raising costs and sending thousands of Australians into bankruptcy? The argument is that such a policy places a restraint on borrowing. In the process it is an acknowledgement that the economy stands or falls on the rate that people can borrow money. But high interest rates also attract overseas funds looking for a place to profit.

Over the last year there has been a drastic fall in the value of the $US, as its current account deficit and massive debt-money creation has taken it to dangerous levels. Nearly every economy has seen its currency rise against the Greenback. The highest rise has been that of the South African rand, which has risen over 35 per cent. Australia has followed with 25%, and then Botswana (24%), New Zealand (23%), Canada, (21%), Brazil (20%), Chile (17%), Sweden (16%), The Euro, (15%) and Denmark (15%). As the American dollar continues to fall, all sorts of nervous investors, who have held their surpluses in Greenbacks, are looking for somewhere else to put their money. If it becomes a rush, the US will look very sick indeed.

Australia has been openly told to expect a further interest rate hike in February. That will be enough to break thousands with big debts, including many who gambled on investment properties when it seemed they would never lose value. Exporters, already hit hard by the rise in the value of the Australian dollar, will be further penalized by higher interest rates. Exports will suffer, while imports will boom because we can temporarily buy more with our dollar.

Living on imports will extend our foreign debt further - and so on, and so on, until somebody decides that Australia's current account deficit and its foreign debt make it a risky venture. Investment funds will leave Australia's shores as quickly as they are now leaving the United States. That's when we'll see the bare bones of our real economy. It won't be a pretty sight!

How would Mark Latham suggest we handle such a scenario? John Curtin would have had some idea. One wonders whether modern Labor politicians know anything of their own history.


THE WRONG DOING IS YOURS

Roger Scruton in The Spectator (15/11/03,) while rebuking the British public for disloyalty to its own Royal Family, touched on some fundamental truths we all need to come to grips with.

"In peddling royal scandals," he wrote, "newspapers are appealing to the depraved imagination of the public….Should we blame the butler? The tittle-tattlers of the royal household? The newspaper editors, the BBC, the general public? The cultural climate, British hypocrisy, the decadence of modern society, the Internet, the Decline of the West? Or should we blame the Prince (Charles) for something we know not what, " he asks. These are the questions, he insists, that should not be asked! If the rumour is false, then we should not be interested. If it is true then we should be interested even less.
"The wrong doing," he told his British readers, "for which you search the newspaper and the Google-box, is yours." Such would have been the response of the English people in his youth, wrote Mr. Scruton. English people would have believed that you sully your own soul by prurient interest in malicious rumours. He insisted they would have learnt the wise injunction of St. Paul, to think 'on whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report'. This was especially necessary when considering people, institutions and customs that demand our loyalty and which must be protected from desecration by the scoffers of the gutter press.

Allowing it is of small comfort now that the public, having been suitably titillated by the gutter press, had already gone through the latest frenzy of feeding on the malicious gossip, he reminded us all of the astonishing demoralisation (in all senses of the word) of British society. But, he noted, the depraved appetites of the public are partly caused by their own exploitation by the gutter press. Although, on the face of it, charged with responsibility for informing and instructing the public, it has taken to titillating them instead.

Nothing is more repulsive he contended, than the high-toned manner in which some of the worst offending newspapers masquerade as protectors of public morality, the conscientious defenders of the public interest, while ministering to the basest of human desires and embarking on the next fit of treasonable malice. And herein lies the reason:
"All this leads to a fundamental observation. The Prince attracts this kind of malicious character assassination because he is heir to the throne, symbol of our national loyalty… Some people…. believe that this situation can be remedied by declaring a Republic; thereby recognising that the head of state is, after all, an ordinary bloke….and invulnerable to the lust for desecration."

Collective treason
Mr. Scruton charges the British people with the act of "collective treason - treason not to the monarchy, but to themselves as a sovereign people." He acknowledges there are those who would welcome the national extinction of the British people, who see their national sovereignty and the culture that sustains it, as offences against the new international order and obstacles to the emerging superstate of Europe.

"If you believe in conspiracies," he wrote, "you might even see the marks of one in the treatment meted out over the past twenty years to the Prince of Wales. But such a conspiracy, if it exists, is a very short-sighted affair. A British people so demoralized as to recognise no common loyalty will not prove loyal to the new state of Europe, or to anything else that stands in judgment over its beastly desires."

He ended his lengthy article by reminding the British people the Christian religion teaches the way of forgiveness, and Prince Charles has given sufficient proof of his noble and public-spirited character to suggest that he is capable of forgiving his people. In fact, Roger Scruton would like to believe that for all their depravity this is what the British people are seeking from him - the recognition and forgiveness of their fault. Be that as it may, what is written of the present situation in England and the health of her people could just as easily have been written about Australia and her people.


AND WHILE THE PEOPLE SLEPT- INQUIRY INTO AN AUSTRALIAN REPUBLIC

The Australian Monarchist League's chairman, Phillip Benwell, has notified us the Senate Legal and Constitutional References Committee have now issued their discussion paper regarding their "Inquiry into an Australian Republic". The closing date for lodgement of submissions is the 31st March 2004." The paper can be obtained from: https://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/legcon_ctte/republic03/index.htm or, if this link fails, go to the main Senate page at www.aph.gov.au/Senate and click on to Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee and then to "Inquiry into an Australian Republic" or by phoning (02) 6277 3560 or emailing legcon.sen@aph.gov.au

Mr. Benwell writes: The Australian Monarchist League is in the process of preparing its submission and would appreciate any comments you may care to make. We are also preparing a submission to the Government regarding their proposals to amend Section 57 of the Australian Constitution. My letter to our members is set out below. With every good wish for the Festive Season. Yours sincerely, Philip Benwell, National Chairman, Australian Monarchist League.

AND - RESOLVING DEADLOCKS

The most immediate concerns we have regarding constitutional change come not from Labor or the Democrats, but from the Howard Government itself. Probably preparing for an early Federal Election, the Government has given only until the 31st December 2003 for responses to be made to their 51-page discussion paper called "Resolving Deadlocks" in which they outline their proposals to amend Section 57 of the Australian Constitution.

The Government canvasses two options:
· The first of which is to remove the requirement in the event of a deadlock between the Representatives and the Senate to go to the People at a Double Dissolution but instead to go direct to a Joint Sitting of both the Representatives and the Senate where the majority of the Government would be used to pass legislation earlier blocked by the Senate.
· The second option is to hold a Joint Sitting immediately following the return of a Government at a General Election.

Unlike most other 'Westminster' style democracies, Australia's Constitution is based on the power to implement change or resolve deadlocks in the Parliament being held in the hands of the People and not the Parliament itself. If the Parliament had the power the Howard Government is seeking, Gough Whitlam would have been able to pass all his legislation and Paul Keating would probably have made us into a republic by now.

Copies of the Government's discussion paper "Resolving Deadlocks" can be obtained from: Constitutional Change Legal and Culture Branch, Dept. of the Prime Minister and Cabinet 3-5 National Circuit, BARTON ACT 2600. Phone: (02) 6271 5530. email: constitutionalchange@pmc.gov.au Or visit the web-site www.pmc.gov.au.


BASIC FUND

Contributions are only very slowly coming in to Melbourne headquarters. We make a special appeal to League supporters to get behind the annual appeal and make a contribution before the end of the year - a major boost is urgently needed. It is amazing just what the League is able to achieve with the funds it receives - in comparison with many other groups the figure is quite modest - but it does need to have that support. Please give generously this coming week to the Fund.

TO LEAGUE ACTIONISTS FROM EVE HILLARY

Thank you to all those who wrote to your elected representatives regarding Lisa and her family. I have had occasion to see some of these correspondences, some originating from the office of Jacinta Collins shadow minister for children and youth. Her concerns were conveyed to the present DoCS minister by her female staff, none for the child - more to do with the logistics of politics. Very disappointing. No I will be honest and say I was repulsed, especially since these are women, one would think with children of their own. I hope voters in her Victorian electorate will bear that in mind.

The attached letter (published in O.T. Vol.39 No.46 …ed) challenges DoCS on a number of issues. They haven't answered or shown just cause for their allegations, but rather have succeeded in threatening and intimidating publisher(s). Meanwhile DoCS has decided to take the matter to Court to apply for gag orders to be placed on me regards the Lisa article. These extraordinary lengths are to prevent the facts being revealed that Australia forces risky medical drug treatments on children based on no medical evidence and the child welfare authorities make the forced treatment compulsory. Who benefits from compulsory drug treatments? That is for the community to decide. That is why I wrote the article. Instead they will try to keep the lid on the whole sorry mess. I will do my best to prevent this from succeeding, but I need your help. I hope you will refuse to accept any form of corruption in your hearts and minds, and set an inspiring example to our children who so need us to take on our responsibilities. If you would like to contribute and are so inclined, please pray for justice, truth and freedom of speech on Thursday December 4 and please direct your prayers to the Supreme Court of NSW.
Thank you, Eve Hillary, PO Box 745, St. Ives, NSW 2075

**Late news: Eve spent Thursday in court but no decision was made.

*** Late, late news: With the support of Labor votes, a Liberal 'ASIO amendment bill' was passed in the Senate. Further report next week.


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

G.M.Crops: The Editor, Stock Journal 26/11/2003.
We have one last chance to influence the plan to release Genetically Engineered crops. A Parliamentary Committee will receive submissions about designated areas for such crops and any impact GE product may have on markets. I consider it is essential that the whole of South Australia be designated GE free to maintain the status of our current produce which is not only sold to consumers within Australia but exported to overseas customers.

Segregation not achievable
Despite all the best efforts, nobody can guarantee absolute segregation of GE free and GE crops of the same species. One frequently learns of yet another instance where contamination has occurred at trial sites and overseas where GE crops are permitted. Buffer zones between crops, presumed to be adequate, have been proved in some instances to be ineffective in containing a crop. Contamination may occur at numerous times from planting the crop right through to consumption. I refer here to cross-pollination while the crop is flowering; also during the harvest/storage process when harvesters, augers, bins and trucks all pose a situation where contamination is likely to occur.
I must stress to the un-initiated that it is a wonderful theory that segregation can be achieved during harvest and storage. Practical farmers however, know it will fail. Why would we take such a risk?

Insurance not available
The risk of likely contamination has been recognised in the insurance industry as evidenced by them absolving themselves from any responsibility for legal liability claims. This speaks volumes and should alert everyone!

Markets
Markets, whether domestic or export, need to be guarded jealously. They are generally difficult to establish and the customer is always looking for a tool to use in seeking a price reduction, or to threaten to take his custom elsewhere. The introduction of GE crops will play into his hand at the expense of producers.

Related products affected
Another important aspect of GE crops is the impact on livestock and subsequently the meat industry including; poultry, beef, pork and lamb. With intensive feeding of pigs and poultry being now also practised widely to produce quality lamb and beef, it is likely that GE grain will find its way into fodder at feedlots producing white and red meat. The producer will need to divulge the ration he has fed if he is to comply with all the elements of Quality Assurance. Now, it could be that the producer does not deliberately feed, say GE Canola in his ration, however he may easily buy barley reaped from a crop contaminated by remnant plants of GE Canola. Can we afford to jeopardise our meat markets?

Trial crops
The risk of contamination is so great that trial plots of GE plants should only be permitted in a totally sealed environment which is likely to be available at Research Institutions.

GE - irreversible
The efforts of the scientists in achieving GE technolgy is not to be denied but its application or release into the field provides for no turning back unless preserved identity can be absolutely guaranteed. Until such a guarantee is available, the risks of release is obviously too great.

Action needed
Concerned consumers and farmers should voice their opinion to their MP.
Yours sincerely, Ken Grundy, Naracoorte SA 5271

Letter to On Target editor
A People's 'credit'
Sir, A couple of weeks ago, Australia's largest bank, the National Australia Bank, announced a record profit of four billion dollars for the last twelve months. If that profit were distributed to every Australian we each would have received about $200. Even though banks have shareholders buying and selling shares, and profiting and losing, the actual money involved in these transactions is bank created 'credit', recorded somewhere within the system as a debt. One wonders whether the reason banks are listed on the stock exchange is to make the issue of 'credit', i.e., debt creation, fuzzy in the minds of the public. Or, perhaps, the banks reckon they can profit even more - read 'rip the public off' some more.
Assuming that the four billion dollars is roughly 5% of outstanding loans, for interest rates have been about that in the last twelve months, then borrowings must be about $80 billion. The eighty billion dollars has been 'created' out of thin air; once it didn't 'exist'- now it does. The bank says the money belongs to it, so therefore it is a debt.

Let's suppose the bank decided to be honest
However, suppose the bank decided to be honest and admitted that it made the 'dough out of nothing', and didn't have a claim on it (but don't hold your breath whilst waiting). And, instead of issuing the 'new money' to those who could trade it for real estate, (read security or mortgage) suppose the bank made the radical decision to distribute it equally amongst all Australians, it would equate to about $4000 each. Add to that the $200 above and it brings the total to $4200. The average family of four, Mum and Dad and two kids would collect $16,800 - and that is only from one bank!
What if all the banks' fraudulently collected resources were treated in the same way? At present, if a family has been able to save some money in a credit account (meaning it is money they could use without another debt somewhere else) somewhere in the banking ledgers exists the same amount, recorded as a debt. At the moment, in the case of the National it holds debts of $16,800 for each family of four. What if all the banks' debts were added to each family? The totals must be frightening to contemplate.
If we consider the difference between the $16,800 presently owed by each family to the National Australia Bank and the possible scenario of $16,800 credit to each family, every family would be $33,600 better off. (The $16,800 debt would be wiped off the slate, and they would have $16,800 to spend.) Again, if we involved all the banks' numbers, it would stagger the mind.
Well? What about it banks? Will your governing bodies take the necessary action? Or perhaps the governing authority of Australia, the Federal Parliament could legislate to force the banks to comply. And, if they didn't, perhaps the government could close them down and start afresh with a bank that does.
When can we expect this to happen? Or, do we have to wait for that moment Henry Ford (car manufacturer) once suggested might come. If the general population suddenly became aware of how the system operates, there would be a revolution by tomorrow morning. As some members of our Parliament profess to live under the authority of Jesus Christ, a question that could exercise their minds is: Would Jesus Christ favour the present system of credit creation recorded as a debt or a system of credit creation recorded as a credit? And, perhaps after getting their heads around that one, some additional questions could be: To whom does the credit of a nation belong? How could it be better distributed?
As governments are made up of representatives of the people, perhaps it is up to us to ask the relevant questions of our members of parliament. (Yes Daryl, indeed it is…ed.)
Daryl Carter, Murray Bridge, S.A.

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