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2005 Thought for the Week:
GOVERNMENT BY TRICK AND DECEIT
by Betty Luks
latest 'smoke and mirrors' trick is designed to further whittle away our freedoms.
There is so much media hype about the 'counter terrorism legislation', but little
or no mention of the changes to our federal system - never mind what will happen
to those brave individuals who will dare to criticise our illustrious Leader and
his party hacks.
ANOTHER ATTEMPT AT BILL OF RIGHTSWe need to be reminded of the background history behind the attempts to impose a "Bill of Rights" on the Australian people.
It was on the 18th December 1972 that Australia under the Whitlam government, signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The signing of such an international covenant, (or treaty) is an undertaking by a government to look at the provisions of the covenant, with a view to introducing them as the law of Australia.
The next step is the ratification of the treaty, or the covenant. Once a nation has ratified a Covenant, it would be obliged in international law, to introduce it into its own internal legislation.
On the 13th August 1980, the Australian government ratified the Civil and Political Covenant which became known as the Bill of Rights. That is, the Australian government of the day undertook to introduce the Bill of Rights into the law of Australia.
Was that a Labor government? NO IT WASN'T! It was a Coalition government! It was a Coalition Government, led by Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser. Need I remind readers John Howard was also a member of the Fraser government?
In the early eighties after Bob Hawke and his Labor party came to power they attempted to introduce the Bill of Rights, but the public outcry forced them to withdraw it from the legislative programme. But don't lose sight of the fact that neither party has withdrawn from the international commitment to legislate a Bill of Rights into Australian legislation!
THE INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTSAs a practicing Christian I am particularly interested in Article 18, no.3 of "The International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights" which says: "Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations AS ARE PRESCRIBED BY LAW and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others." (emphasis added ed)
So, my freedom "to manifest my religion" will be determined in so far as a government prescribes it! That is, I can 'manifest' my religion as the Government dictates by law. The word 'manifest' could cover many facets of a person's religious belief, from going to church to attending a peaceful protest because you are opposed to 'same sex marriage'. Why you might be against the war in Iraq.
In the case of Pastors Danny Nalliah and Daniel Scot of "Catch the Fire Ministries" under the Victorian 2001 Racial and Religious Vilification Act, they overstepped THE LAW by discussing the religion of Islam in relation to the Christian Faith.
We Australians of British descent don't take kindly to United Nations bureaucrats from all sorts of countries, with all types of political and legal systems, civilised and uncivilised, telling us we can manifest our religion within the limitations prescribed by LAW.
Surely they must be aware it was the British people who gave the world - Freedom of worship - Freedom of assembly - Freedom of speech - Trial by a jury of one's peers - Innocent until proven guilty - The Rule of Law - The protections of Habeas Corpus - Independent courts of law?
(Someone is going to tell me the systems are not working well at the present time. That we know. But that is because those we trusted have betrayed us. They have perverted or corrupted the systems for the wrong purposes.)
FREEDOM OF RELIGION IS GUARANTEEDMy freedom to worship, my freedom to practice my religion (without the State taking upon itself the power to prescribe that freedom) is firmly embedded in the Commonwealth Constitution Act with those freedoms having strong roots going back deep into the history of the British peoples.
Section 116 of the Commonwealth Constitution Act is clear:
"The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth."
THE CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHY IN THE COMMON LAW
It is important to have a good grasp of
the basic principles involved in this matter. It looks like the people, that is,
you, me, (us) will have to defend those rights once again.
THE FOUNDATIONS OF ENGLISH FREEDOMIn an address to the Aquinas Society in 1942, Richard O'Sullivan, K.C. told his audience the Common Law of England is the only great system of temporal law that came out of the Christian centuries.
It came out of the age that gave us the Cathedrals and the Abbeys and the Parish Churches of England, and those ancient centres of learning Oxford and Cambridge.
For the Good of the Whole World:
O'Sullivan quoted the memorable words by Pollock and Maitland in History of English Law:
"Of this there can be no doubt, that it was for the good of the whole world that one race stood apart from its neighbours, turned away its eyes at an early time from the fascinating pages of the Corpus Juris, and, more Roman than the Romanists, made the grand experiment of a new formulatory system
Those few men who gathered at Westminster round Patteshull and Raleigh and Bracton were penning writs that would run in the name of kingless commonwealths on the other shore of the Atlantic Ocean; they were making right and wrong for us and for our children."
They were: Martin of Patteshull, Archdeacon of Norfolk and Dean of St. Paul's; William of Raleigh, Bishop of Norwich; and Henry of Bracton, Archdeacon of Barnstable.
The Courts Spiritual and Temporal:
It was declared by Gelasius another Father of the Church in Letters and Tractates:
"In Christian society the spiritual and temporal powers are entrusted to two different orders, each deriving its authority from God, and each supreme in its own sphere and independent within its own sphere of the other; nevertheless each of these powers is, in a way, dependent on the other and obliged to have relations with that other; so that while each is supreme in its own sphere, each is also subordinate in the sphere of the other."
Christian Sense of Personal Freedom and Responsibility:
The teaching of our Lord put an end to ancient doctrines of State absolutism: 'Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's'.
Behind the declaration of Gelasius lies a development of the concept of human personality and of liberty that was unknown to the ancient world...
The Church maintained that the moral and spiritual life of man shall be beyond the power and reach of the political officers of the community.
The Church insisted there are aspects of human life which are not and cannot be under the control of the laws or the authority of the State.
"Here is the heart of what we may call the Christian revolution," declared O'Sullivan.
The sense of Christian dignity (of the free man under God) and the principles of Christian philosophy converted the nation into a society, an association of families of free men and women living in the fellowship of a free community.
Constitution Orientated Towards God:
Men, declared the Christian philosophy, hold their lives on a lease from God, not from the State.
Throughout the creative centuries of the Common Law, the orientation of the mind and life of the nation was towards God: Godward.
Everyman, it was said, should be free from control by the political officers of the community, and so to avoid the danger of totalitarianism.
This is the history, this is the philosophical concept of Law, this is the heritage of all Australians.
NAME A MODERN STATE WE CAN LOOK UP TONow which of the Communist and/or African nation-states would the politicians have us look to as examples of flourishing, free and democratic nations?
How many, out of the 192 countries represented at the "Talkfest, Wine and Dine Club" known as the United Nations genuinely respect human rights? China? Zimbabwe? Russia? America's examples in the prison systems in occupied Iraq?
How many such countries have judiciaries capable of enforcing civilised laws? How many are Rule of Law nation- states with judiciaries independent of the executive?
Just imagine trying to enforce the U.N. Human Rights Covenants within some of these nations - such as Mugabe's Zimbabwe.
Many years ago another Doctor of Law, Walter Henderson of Adelaide, expressed his opinion on Article 50 of the Covenant:
"There is a peculiarly insolent provision in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The provisions of the present Covenant shall extend 'to all parts of federal states without any limitations or exceptions.'
One supposes that the academic bureaucrats of the U.N. are so used to seeing governments grovel before them that they can say whatever they wish to say."
Australians would do well to look closely at how Canadians are faring under their Bill of Rights as presently applied. They will begin to have some idea just what awaits them under such UN inspired legislation.
BASIC ANNUAL FUNDIt is good to report the Basic Fund has got off to a good start, thanks to some generous contributors, and has reached $4,413:55. We ask all our supporters to give generously and help us to reach the target of $60,000. Now is the time to make your contribution.
A THREAT THAT'S JUST TOO 'CONVENIENT' TO BE TRUE?The following letters appeared in The Age, November 3, 2005:-
HOW OPPORTUNE: a terrorist threat on Australia just popping up out of the blue while state and territory leaders attempt to make a bad piece of legislation acceptable. John Howard knows full well that irrespective of the accuracy of the intelligence no one but a handful of Government members have access to all the intelligence.
If you look at the Government's history in bending and altering intelligence to suit its agenda at the time, there is every possibility that the intelligence this threat has been based on has been laundered by the PM to give him the outcome he wants - and in this case the outcome is to have his regressive piece of legislation fast-tracked by state and territory leaders.
Sooner or later the most gullible Australians will start to twig that the PM has held onto power by doctoring the truth and feeding inherent fear.
D. J. Fraser, Gold Coast, Qld
OH WHAT A CON! "Oh, how convenient for John Howard's push for draconian legislation. A real terrorist threat. Maybe. But not sufficient a threat to warn anyone or raise the nation's security status - just enough of a threat to rush through legislation, the day after the horse race that delayed it.
I can't see a burning Reichstag, but I can sure smell a rat. Is there no one who can explain to Lance Corporal Beazley that hard cases make bad law?
David Langsam, Flemington Hill
YOU DON'T SCARE ME: So, John Howard can't reveal anything about the specific terror threat reported to him by Australian intelligence because "the Australian people would never forgive him" if he ruined the operation to catch the nasty terrorists.
You know what, Johnny? I plain and simple don't believe you. This "specific threat" has come at a very convenient time, hasn't it? When the Government is trying to rush through draconian anti-terrorism legislation.
If they keep us scared enough, they will deprive us of liberty after liberty until we are all bar-coded, separated and, more to the point, silent. Come off it, Johnny. You don't scare me.
Kristen Inchley, Westmeadows
THE POLITICS OF FEAR: For Michelle Grattan (Opinion, 2/11) to declare that Labor has no alternative but to buckle meekly to John Howard's police-state legislation demonstrates that not only our politicians but also our senior political commentators are so subjugated to the politics of fear that their imaginations conceive of no alternative path of political courage.
Had Kim Beazley reacted with strong consistent indignation to Tampa and declared that, whatever the piffling threat of a few thousand desperate refugees, Australians demand and command a dignified response, thus embarrassing Howard for his militant, alarmist response, Beazley would not be painted in this current political corner.
It's too late now, I fear, as the framing of the debates has been set, and were he suddenly to develop a backbone, no one would believe it.
The Arts are intimidated:
Freedom of speech is a fundamental right which we tend not to notice until we've lost it.
A healthy democracy needs people who feel free to investigate, critique, satirise and mock our politicians and their policies.
A healthy democracy needs alternative opinions and films, plays, novels and artworks that take risks and challenge the status quo.
Censorship takes many forms and self-censorship is perhaps the most pernicious. Over the past few years both the media and funding bodies have become more cautious; stories abound of pressure put on artform boards and production houses not to bite the hand that feeds them, and on individuals in the media to tone down comment or reject certain cartoons.
The new measures in the anti-terrorism laws relating to sedition as they now stand will curb artists, writers, filmmakers, producers, publishers and journalists.
Without fair comment provisions as safeguards, sedition can be made to mean whatever the government of the day wants it to mean.
The Prime Minister declares that he doesn't wish to silence legitimate criticism or catch writers and artists in the net. He asks us to trust him.
We need rather more than that.
THE EPIC CRIME THAT DARES NOT SPEAK ITS NAMETaken from: Information Clearing House, 10/27/05, by John Pilger:
A Royal Air Force officer is about to be tried before a military court for refusing to return to Iraq because the war is illegal. Malcolm Kendall-Smith is the first British officer to face criminal charges for challenging the legality of the invasion and occupation. He is not a conscientious objector; he has completed two tours in Iraq.
When he came home the last time, he studied the reasons given for attacking Iraq and concluded he was breaking the law. His position is supported by international lawyers all over the world, not least by Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general, who said in September last year:
"The US-led invasion of Iraq was an illegal act that contravened the UN Charter."
The question of legality deeply concerns the British military brass, who sought Tony Blair's assurance on the eve of the invasion, got it and, as they now know, were lied to. They are right to worry; Britain is a signatory to the treaty that set up the International Criminal Court, which draws its codes from the Geneva Conventions and the 1945 Nuremberg Charter.
The latter is clear: "To initiate a war of aggression... is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole "
AUSTRALIANS UNLIMITED - THE SHAREHOLDER IDEATaken from an earlier article by Jeremy Lee.
For the best part of the 20th century Australia staged a regular courtroom battle between two contenders - trade unions versus employers.
Union advocates argued - rightly - that rising costs justified increased wages for workers.
Employers argued - rightly - that wage increases made industry less competitive, forcing further price increases that negated any benefits.
The government hovered between the contending parties, estimating the electoral effect of taking sides.
· On the whole the ALP sided timidly with its working electorate.
· The Liberals opted for the industrial and corporate base that funded its machine.
The Trade Union movement was born in the worst period of the Industrial Revolution, when new technology was debasing the value of manual labour. Men, women and children worked impossible hours in shocking conditions for the price of bread. The idea that this should never be allowed to happen again was the main ethos of the Unions, which won increased benefits and safeguards for working men and women.
But the real competitor with manual labour - technology - remained unscathed by either side. The background pre-occupation in Trade Unions from the sixties on was not so much wage levels as redundancy. What to do about the avalanche of technology that replaced humans in the workforce?
The greater the demands for higher wages, the greater the shift by employers from human labour to machines, robots and computers.
The result is a scandal which the Unions have evaded. They'll fight for a worker's rights while he still has a job, but once made redundant, he slips from the Union's screen.
The 'curse of Adam' has largely been lifted from the back of humanity. But without an alternative means of living other than "having a job and a wage", the benefits of the technology we have developed is turned into a hideous parody of reality, rendering more and more into a life of poverty in the midst of plenty.
The Bank of Technology To Benefit Us All:
This is why the Social Credit - as opposed to the Social Debt - concept is the idea whose time has come. It depends on changes to the accountancy mechanism we call finance.
It starts by saying that the huge bank of technology now available to all societies is in reality a workforce in its own right, the benefits of which belong to us all, whether or not we are still employed. It adds that this accumulated heritage should result in a financial benefit allowing the distribution of an adjustable dividend to each man, woman and child entirely separate from 'employment-earnings'. This would not replace the need for some employment, but would mitigate the penalties and stress the current situation attaches to it. It would provide greater choice, would improve quality as opposed to quantity, and would introduce a proper environment for individual creative choice. Phrases such as "Get-big-or-get-out", "Work-or-starve"; and "Export-or-Perish" would become relics of a black past.
What would be the Source of this Dividend?
Certainly not taxation. It would require changes to the money-creation process. By way of example, Australia's money supply is currently expanding at the rate of $100 million every 24 hours - all lent into the economy at interest. The change would require accountancy appraisal, a national balance-sheet, and the creation of the ascertained money-supply increase to be distributed as a credit rather than a debt.
Like the people in Alaska, Australian men, women and children would receive a cheque regularly, depending on the audited performance of the nation as a whole.
There would be no means test. It would go to all as a natural birth-right, whether employed or not. Taxes would be vastly reduced. Leisure would increase.
Pork-barrelling by politicians as to what they would do with tax revenues would largely cease. And the impossible gap between rich and poor would narrow in a general and shared atmosphere of prosperity, freedom and security.
Warnings - 20 % of the Global Workforce:
We might well consider the warning given by the Chinese delegate to the World Economic Forum in Melbourne in 2000. He frankly asked why western industrial nations would welcome China's entry into the World Trade Organisation in a globalised, free-trade regime. "Don't you realise that China will cut your economies to pieces?" he asked. "Our wage rates are thirty times lower than yours."
Nobody answered him. But he was merely confirming the findings of Mikhail Gorbachev's State-of-the-World Forum in its 1995 San Francisco Conference, which agreed that the consumer needs of an imminent world would require no more than 20 percent of the global workforce.
The rest would live in grim, hand-to-mouth poverty. Surely, Australia can do better than that?
AN OPEN LETTER TO NON-PARTY POLITICIANSfrom David Barton, Collarenebri, NSW:
I am very pleased to hear the words of caution in regard to the anti-terrorist legislation. I do not believe such laws will make Australia any safer from terrorist activity. For instance, the gun-laws the Hon. John Winston Howard worked so hard to implement when he came to office in 1996 after the terrorist attack in Port Arthur Tasmania, on 28th April 1996 has done little, if anything, to prevent armed crime in Australia.
I have seen figures indicating the situation has worsened. What those gun laws have done, is concentrate the work of police towards the law abiding sector of the community, leaving less available police time to concentrate on the criminal element.
It appears the anti-terrorist laws will have a similar effect creating problems for law abiding citizens, and removing Intelligence Officers from their proper function.
The Hon. John Winston Howard has a long record of introducing unwanted laws and taxation programmes such as the Never Ever GST. Why should we expect him to change the policy to centralise power which he has certainly been constant in implementing?
The anti-terrorist laws seem modelled on present laws in Canada. I have received a letter from the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada dated 31st August, 2005 in regard to the solitary confinement of an Historical Revisionist, one Ernst Zundel who has no criminal record, and who was in solitary confinement in Canada for over two years - without charge or conviction.
Is this the situation we want transplanted into Australia? It is pure Orwellian Thought Crime legislation!
ZUNDEL SUES CANADAPaul Fromm reports: Zundel Sues Canada for $10-million for Detention in Solitary Hell Hole The Zundel case remains alive in Canada.
On November 1, All Saints Day, his lawyer, Peter Lindsay filed a $10-million Statement of Claim in Federal Court for gross violations of Mr. Zundel's Charter Rights. The German publisher seeks an order that the relevant sections of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act - secret hearings, anything can be received in evidence, lack of appeal, and unlimited detention in horrific solitary confinement - are egregious violations of Mr. Zundel's rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and, therefore, these sections of the law are "not saved by section 1 of the Charter and [are] thus of no force or effect pursuant to section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982."
The indomitable freedom fighter, Ernst Zundel, and his tenacious lawyers are not giving up.
We continue to need your help: Please send contributions to help Ernst Zundel's defence to CAFÉ, Box 332, Rexdale, ON., M9W 5L3, Canada or e-mail us your VISA number and expiry date.
SYDNEY CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUBSupporters please note new venue.
Please be advised that our next meeting on Thursday Evening 24th. November (last for the year), will be held at the Russian Club at Strathfield. This venue is close to the Railway Station and has the benefit of a Bistro open for evening refreshments. Strathfield is central to all Sydney suburbs, and it is hoped that this will revive the interest of supporters from the Northern and Eastern suburbs.
MELBOURNE 'GLOBALISATION ALTERNATIVE' SOCIAL FORUMWe have been asked to give a plug to a planned meeting by various groups in Melbourne during the month of November to constructively look at ways to counter the "neo-liberal globalisation" agenda.
"It is a not-for-profit event organised by volunteers from their passion and vision for a better world."
It will be held Saturday and Sunday 19-20 November at CERES Environmental Park in East Brunswick. Do you want to participate, hold your own workshops, put forward proposals and alternatives to globalization, even have your own stall?
For further information contact: email@example.com or look up the website: www.melbournesocialforum.org
OUTSTANDING NEW BOOKS"The Radical Prince," by David Lorimer.
This "practical vision of the Prince of Wales" has to be one of the most positive and constructive books published for quite some time. It provides an overview of Prince Charles' ideas on ecology, organic agriculture, holistic health, religion, education and much more. It offers ideas for local communities to begin the regeneration processes if they don't want to die out all together.
You may not agree with all of the Prince's projects but, as one reviewer put it: "If you are not afraid to think and to deepen your understanding of a man who may one day become King, this is the book for you."
It is highly recommended and would make a wonderful Christmas gift. Price: $37.00 posted.
"Terror Laws: ASIO, Counter Terrorism & Threat to Democracy," by Jenny Hocking:
Detention without charge, indefinitely? Organisations banned without trial? Children kidnapped off the street, strip-searched, and interrogated without charge? Those things don't happen in Australia you say?
Wake up Aussie or you are in for a rude awakening! Our once jealously guarded civil and political rights - freedom of expression, freedom of association, protection from arbitrary detention, the right to independent legal advice - have been deceitfully and cunningly tossed aside in the name of the "war on terror".
Jenny Hocking traces the growth of Australia's internal security organizations to the powerful 'counter terrorism' networks that now reach into every corner of our lives. Price: $43.00 posted.
|© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159|