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19 March 2010 Thought for the Week:

"...The danger of royal absolutism is past; but the danger of Cabinet absolutism, even of Prime Ministerial (or Premier) absolutism, is present and growing. Against that danger the reserve power of the Crown, and especially the power to force or refuse dissolution, is in some instances the only constitutional safeguard.

The Crown is more than a quaint survival, a social ornament, a symbol, an automaton, with no public will of its own. It is an absolutely essential part of the parliamentary system. In certain circumstances, the Crown alone can preserve the Constitution, or ensure that if it is to be changed it shall be only by the deliberate will of the people."

- - E.A. Forsey, "The Royal Power of Dissolution of Parliament in the British Commonwealth" (revised reprint), Oxford University Press, Toronto 1968  


by Ian Wilson LL.B.
Against the Lawyers Series: A friend recently emailed me a copy of Professor (Emeritus) Michael Detmold’s manuscript, “Four Lectures on the Law of Love”, delivered at the University of Adelaide. Detmold taught law at the University of Adelaide Law School and gave these lectures to mark his retirement.
In this series I have been criticising “The Law” and lawyers primarily for their reductionism and lack of substance, but Detmold’s book shows that legal writing can transcend the present bog that it is in. Indeed, Detmold begins his lectures by saying that lawyers “have a somewhat spotty reputation at this time” and that there is a need to “do better” and “understand better”.

Based on the idea of the foundation of law being the “law of love”, the Christian principle of loving one’s neighbour by treating them as you would have them treat you, Detmold attempts to construct a metaphysics of law, something which hasn’t been tried in this detail for fifty years or so. Only in the dusty books on jurisprudence do we find such ambitious tasks.

Morality reduces to law
For example, Detmold argues that law does not need a moral foundation for, on the contrary, law does not reduce to morality but rather, morality reduces to law. Law historically came before morality and even today has a more basic nature than morality.

From there Detmold goes on to argue that freedom is the binding power of the laws of physics and the common law and he looks at the relationship between love, personhood and freedom. With my limited philosophical understanding, that is about all that I could make out of the text.

However, although he doesn’t discuss it, this sort of metaphysical framework would seem to allow a role for God to once again enter the scene both of law, physics and metaphysics, for God can be viewed as the source of the origin of the law of love, both in human society and the world. Interesting speculative stuff indeed!   


A devastating assessment of Kevin Rudd’s health care reforms from Tony Morris QC, who led the first royal commission investigating Bundaberg Hospital and Dr Jayant Patel: According to Kevin Rudd, the… real problem with our healthcare system is a chronic shortage of bureaucrats.... Take Queensland Health, the state’s biggest employer, with more than 65,000 people on the payroll, as many as 30 per cent of them doctors or nurses. How could anyone expect an efficient and effective hospital system, when up to three out of every 10 staff members are preoccupied with caring for patients?…

Rudd’s proposal will, he promises, “put an end to the tiresome cycle of the blame game between the Australian government and the states"… Hence, patients and taxpayers will have the comfort of knowing that state responsibility for inadequate services has reduced from two-thirds to two-fifths, while federal responsibility has risen from one-third to three-fifths.

Obviously, though, the problems go much deeper than not knowing the precise proportions in which the blame should be attributed; at present, there are simply not enough bodies to shoulder the blame. As Rudd points out, “There is too much blame and fragmentation, making it hard for patients to work out which level of government is responsible for the care they need.”

Introduce a third tier of bureaucrats
The Rudd solution is so self-evident that it is astonishing nobody thought of it sooner… Introducing a third tier of hospital administration will certainly ensure that the blame is distributed more equably…
Now... there will be three tiers of administration, each with its bureaucratic mechanisms to deal with the projected increase in complaints. A federal directorate will divvy up the funds that have been “clawed back” from the states. There will also be a federal “umpire”, who will ensure that funds are distributed fairly…

In addition, though, there will be new “regional networks” to run hospitals at the local level. Rudd’s announcement was a bit light on the details of who is to constitute these networks. But some lack of detail is only to be expected, when the Prime Minister is proposing (in his own words), “one of the most significant reforms to the federation"…
(I)f one did not laugh at the absurdity of Rudd’s “fix”, the only alternative would be to cry at the shamefully cynical political opportunism with which this retrograde package of non-solutions is presented as the universal panacea for a healthcare system already in extremis.  

- - Source: Andrew Bolt's blogspot


The latest possible date for a general election is Saturday, 16 April 2011, although almost everybody thinks it will be this year. But a double dissolution election cannot be granted after 11 August; the actual election would be later.
I think it unlikely that the Prime Minister will go to an early election. He will hope as, Crikey’s Bernard Keane does, that Tony Abbott has peaked. That is unlikely, but advisors will warn the government that the public prefers a government to serve close to its full term, something the Prime Minister has repeatedly affirmed.

The particular interest for constitutionalists is not so much the timing of the election. It is that the path to the election is governed by a number of constitutional provisions, and that there will no doubt be calls for a simultaneous vote on a politicians’ republic. The Prime Minister has said that if the states refuse to sign up to his health plan, “we will take this reform to the people at the next election – along with a referendum by or at the same election to give the Australian government all the power it needs to reform the health system”. (Paul Kelly, The Weekend Australian, 6-7 March 2010. At the time of writing this was not on the web)

If a referendum to increase the Commonwealth’s power with respect to hospitals is held by or with the election, there will be demands addressed to Mr. Rudd from republicans to hold a referendum or plebiscite on Australia becoming a politicians’ republic. Seasoned political advisors will tell Mr. Rudd not to touch this.

The Senate and the referendum....
First, polling trends indicate a republic referendum or plebiscite will be lost. More importantly for the government, it would soak up too much media time which will be diverted from other issues. If the Senate rejects the referendum, or fails to pass it or passes it with an amendment unacceptable to the House, and three months passes, the government may try again.
If the Senate rejects it or fails to pass it or passes it with an unacceptable amendment, the Governor–General may submit the referendum to the people (Constitution, section 128). An undecided question is whether this is part of the reserve powers, i.e., does the Governor-General make this decision in her discretion?
There is good reason to suggest that the Governor-General should consider the government’s advice, but come to a decision which she considers correct. The analogy, I would suggest, is in the deadlock provisions concerning a double dissolution where the Governor-General comes to an independent decision as the Australian constitutional head of state.

A double dissolution?....
Second the prime Minister may advise a double dissolution. In exercising the power to dissolve both Houses, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) says the Governor-General acts on government advice. True, but the Governor-General is not bound to accept the advice. That was the view of the Labor Party in 1914 when Sir Ronald Munro-Ferguson granted Joseph Cook a double dissolution, to which they strongly objected. A double dissolution cannot take place if the term of the House of Representatives will expire within 6 months. This means a double dissolution can only be granted on or before 11 August 2010. (section 57) The writs must be issued within 10 days of dissolution (section 32) , and polling day follows between 33 and 58 days after that.

The AEC advises that while a double dissolution must be proclaimed by the Governor-General by 11 August, the actual election could occur as late as 16 October 2010 (based on maximum timetables), but with the usual minimum timetables, the latest date would be 18 September 2010.
The question is how likely is the Prime Minister to want to close down the Parliament on or by 11 August and have up to two months of campaigning and perhaps losing the chance of having a referendum. On the other hand he may prefer that, particularly if he thinks he would lose the referendum.

More than one Bill may provide the basis for a double dissolution. It is possible for a government to save up (or "stockpile") double dissolution bills as ‘triggers' during a term of Parliament, in order to get them all passed at the same time.
Just because an election is called on the basis of a rejected bill or bills does not of course mean that will dominate the electoral campaign. If the trigger were, for example the rejection of the bill to means test the private health insurance rebate, this is hardly likely to be the dominant issue in the election.

Six double dissolutions....
There have been six double dissolutions since federation and one joint sitting. In 1914 and 1983, the government lost the election that followed the dissolution and no further action was taken on the disputed bill or bills. In 1951 the government won the election with a majority in the Senate and so the deadlock was broken in that way.
In 1974 and 1987 the government won the election but did not have a majority in the Senate. In 1974 the six bills that had been the basis for a double dissolution were passed by the one and only joint sitting. One was subsequently found to have been invalidly put to the joint sitting.

In 1987 the Hawke government decided not to proceed with the bill which triggered the double dissolution. The double dissolution in 1975 was unusual. More than 20 double dissolution bills had been stockpiled when the Senate delayed three other money bills, including a key appropriation bill.
The Governor-General (Sir John Kerr) eventually dismissed the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) and asked the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Fraser) to take over as Prime Minister on condition that he would advise the Governor-General to dissolve both Houses and call an election held on 13 December 1975).

- - - Source: David Flint’s Opinion Column.  


by Betty Luks
Governments of all persuasions have plans to ‘measure our carbon footprint’. Those with internet facilities can just type in climate change and carbon credits and will be amazed to see how far advanced are the schemes. (See the New Times Survey February 2010). Below is just a few of those listed on google:
• Department of Climate Change - Australian Carbon Trust - Think Change10 Oct 2009 ... The Australian Carbon Trust is being established to further support individual action by households and businesses, with the Government ... • www.climatechange.gov.au/government/.../aust-carbon-trust.aspx - Cached - 

• [PDF] Post Cabinet comments, Australian carbon trust, Copenhagen, Carbon ...File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View 21 Jul 2009 ... SUBJECT: POST CABINET COMMENTS, AUSTRALIAN CARBON TRUST,. COPENHAGEN, CARBON POLLUTION REDUCTION SCHEME, STERN HU. E & O E – PROOF ONLY ...www.climatechange.gov.au/~/media/Files/minister/.../tr20090721.ashx - 

• Australian Carbon Trust | Kevin Rudd in Brisbane21 Jul 2009 ... Mr Rudd said the Australian Carbon Trust was a practical body which would provide help to businesses and households save money by altering ... www.brisbanetimes.com.au › Queensland 

• Australian Labor Party : Helping Australians do their bit on ...4 May 2009 ... The Rudd Government will establish the Australian Carbon Trust to help all ... The $75.8 million Australian Carbon Trust will incorporate: ... www.alp.org.au › News -
• Australian Carbon Trust The Australian Carbon Trust is an initiative of the National Trust of Australia (WA) to provide an opportunity for the private sector to work with the ... www.naturalheritage.org.au/Australian_Carbon_Trust.html - Cached - 

• Carbon labelling expands internationally | Carbon Trust30 Jun 2009 ... The world s first carbon label for consumer products is set to go global with the announcement today that Australia is to join the UK in ...www.carbontrust.co.uk/News/.../carbon-label-australia.htm - Cached - Similar - 

So it was not surprising to read the following report of the introduction of microchips in wheelie bins in the United Kingdom:
“The growing threat of a stealth tax on the rubbish we throw away was exposed by startling figures yesterday. More than 2.5million homes now have wheelie bins fitted with microchips to weigh their contents. This is an increase of nearly two-thirds in just a year. The bins, which can be electronically identified and weighed, are designed for 'pay-as-you-throw' rubbish tax schemes.

Stealth tax: 2,629,052 homes have now been given bins with chips:
Under such schemes - which are likely to be hugely unpopular - families who put out more waste will pay higher taxes to their local council. Disclosure of the rapid spread of chipped bins followed the announcement this week of the first council to bring in a bin tax. Bristol City is presenting its scheme as a reward for recyclers, with cash payments to homes that leave out less rubbish.

The spread of chipped bins marks the revival of a tax idea that the Government appeared to have abandoned last year. Gordon Brown promised to ditch bin taxes in the spring of 2008, at a point when the unpopularity among voters of fortnightly collections, strict bin rules, and the threat of pay-as-you-throw was at its height. In January last year, ministers acknowledged that not one council had applied to test pay-as-you-throw schemes. But yesterday, research by the Big Brother Watch campaign group showed that the use of chipped bins has quietly spread over the past year.

In March 2009, a survey based on Freedom of Information inquiries showed there were 42 councils which used bins with microchips. But the latest check, also based on FOI requests, put the number of authorities with electronic bins at 68 - one in five of all those that collect household rubbish. According to the responses from town halls, 2,629,052 homes have now been given bins with chips.
Alex Deane of Big Brother Watch, said:
'The number of local councils placing microchips in bins is increasing, despite the fact that only one of them has volunteered to trial the Government's pay-as-you-throw scheme. 'Councils are waiting until the public aren't watching to begin surveillance on our waste habits, intruding into people's private lives and introducing punitive taxes on what we throw away. The British public doesn't want this technology, these fines, or this intrusion. 'If local authorities have no intention to monitor our waste then they should end the surreptitious installation of these bin microchips.'

The campaign group complained that the bins allow councils to examine household rubbish and sell the information to commercial concerns as well as to impose taxes. It also warned that collection of data from chipped bins could show when households were on holiday, opening the way to abuse by criminals.
The Local Government Association said that microchips were only put in bins to improve services to the public, for example by helping the elderly. A spokesman said: 'Microchips simply identify the house to which a bin belongs, they do not mean councils can analyse what people are throwing away or issue fines. Putting microchips in people's bins can allow councils to provide people with a better service that costs less.
'If an elderly resident needs help getting their bin collected and returned, a microchip quickly flags it up to the refuse collector, saving time and money.'

However, using a microchip to identify a bin means that technology on a dustcart can then weigh it and the information can be used to prepare a tax bill.
Tories said they believed there were even more than 2.6 million homes equipped with microchipped bins, numbers of which have been notoriously hard to track in recent years. Tory local government spokesman Caroline Spelman said: 'Labour Ministers are secretly planning to roll out bin taxes across the country after the election if Gordon Brown can cling to power. The Government have already forced through bin tax laws and have been funding the bin technology to collect the taxes.'

A spokesman for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: 'There are no Government plans to introduce microchips in bins. Any use of microchips is a local authority decision - some councils use them to monitor levels of waste. This is not about spying on people or fining them.'

However, in 2008 nearly 100 councils ran investigations into the contents of their residents' bins, in some cases to check on what rubbish they dump and in others to try to obtain information on their incomes and lifestyles. (emphasis added…ed)

Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1255565/Spy-chips-hidden-2-5-million-dustbins-council-snoopers-plan-pay-throw-tax.html#ixzz0hjXM219v  


"A lot of money goes to money-heaven," shrugged Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson, the London-based investor who co-owned 41pc of Icesave's parent bank, Landsbanki. "The value that has been wiped off the stock markets, and the deposits in the banks and investment funds have gone. They have evaporated. It's a common misunderstanding to ask, 'where did the money go'?"

Icelandic voters went to the polls over the weekend and delivered an overwhelming blow to bankers and governments attempting saddle the people with billions of dollars in debts to foreign states stemming from the failure of a private bank.
Partial referendum results were announced Sunday, revealing that more than 93 percent of Icelanders rejected the proposal to pay back $5.3 billion allegedly owed to the British and Dutch governments. Less than two percent voted yes. And afterward, Icelanders celebrated in the streets with fireworks. "This is a strong 'No' from the Icelandic nation," said economist Magnus Arni Skulason with InDefence, a group which rallied opposition to the plan. "The Icelandic public understands that we are sovereign and we have to be treated like a sovereign nation - not being bullied like the British and the Dutch have been doing."

Debts not responsibility of the people
According to the organization and other critics of the proposal, the debts are not the responsibility of the Icelandic people, and the government bailouts to British and Dutch depositors on behalf of Iceland may have been illegal. Under the 5.5-percent-interest repayment plan worked out by governments before talks fell apart last week, each Icelander would have been forced to pay about $135 per month for almost 10 years - about a fourth of average family income, according to an Associated Press report.
When the economic crisis began, Iceland’s overstretched banks began to feel the crunch. The currency was almost obliterated as furious Icelanders protested in the streets and brought down the government. The three largest banks collapsed.
Eventually, British and Dutch authorities began a series of actions culminating in a bailout of citizens who had money deposited in the banks, particularly the Landsbanki Internet bank known as IceSave. Some analysts even pinned at least part of the blame for the collapse of IceSave on the British government, which froze the bank’s assets using anti-terror laws back in 2008. But still, European authorities asked the Icelandic government to force its 320,000 citizens to pay back the British and Dutch treasuries for the bailouts.

And while the Icelandic parliament agreed to make Icelanders foot the bill, President Olafur Grimsson refused to sign the repayment agreement because he objected to the terms. This sparked the referendum. Grimsson also noted that the people were not happy about being forced to repay the debts of “greedy bankers.” British officials seemed confident that they would get the money despite the referendum result. “We've tried to be reasonable,” said British Treasury chief Alistair Darling. “The fundamental point for us is that we get our money back, but on the terms and conditions and so on, we're prepared to be flexible." However, he told the BBC, “There is no question we will get the money back.”

The International Monetary Fund has jumped into the fray on the side of governments and bankers, promising to loan Iceland more than $4 billion to revive its economy if it agrees to pay back the foreign governments it allegedly owes. But the Icelandic people are clearly not convinced and do not necessarily agree that the foreign governments should be reimbursed by taxpayers.
"I think it's the same kind of message that people all over the world would like to give to their government about the bailouts: 'We don't want to pay for a system that isn't working'" said one Icelandic voter interviewed by the BBC after the vote. "I think that what's happened is that people have said that they are not willing to accept being put into any sort of debt slavery," said another. A third said that people should not be forced to pay for the debts of a few “idiots.”

Iceland is at a crossroads. It can either suffer years of unnecessary economic pain by accepting the fraudulent claim that the people are responsible for the “odious debt” incurred by bankers and governments; or it can reject that notion and start over again.
Some commentators are hopeful that the Icelandic people could even throw off the whole corrupt system of debt-based fiat money and fractional reserve banking. Others predict that the nation will eventually cave in to the demands of governments and the banking elite. But the results of this referendum illustrate that a rebellion against debt slavery is brewing.  


For several hundred years those who controlled the media dictated people’s thoughts. They call the Press the Fourth Estate but in fact it is the First Estate: It is omnipotent. Because the media moulds opinion to its owners wish it is hardly surprising that it was the first castle to be captured by those who want to change things – or capture countries: it is the Trojan horse.
If the controlled media can topple governments, and it does, rebellion by conventional means is a flea bite on an elephant’s backside. They have the keys to the castle doors. The nature of racial-nationalism, being the natural order of things, is to react to events: It is those who seek change who initiate revolution. For this reason racial-nationalists and revisionists are always playing catch-up.

The internet changed everything. It offers uncontrolled freedom of expression yet is still in its infancy. It gives the little man equality of influence that matches that of media magnates but only if he uses it intelligently, which he rarely does. The medicine-carrying syringe never reaches the victim’s skin. Information that could undermine the media and weaken government is wasted on the converted. Each day, thanks to the internet, I receive information that would never be published in mainstream media. If a better way could be found to pipe it into living rooms revisionists would be more powerful than the Washington Post, The Times, Der Spiegel, Le Monde put together.

Try this for a start
Media content; comment, information and news have changed radically. Tens of thousands of journalists and commentators have lost their jobs. Most of what you read is universally downloaded from online news wholesalers. Reuters (Jewish owned) once supplied most of it. Today there are tens of thousands of people-owned news agencies (ezines) desperate for your input.

What happens to your submitted content? Just like the goods in your wholesalers, news stories and comment is stacked on online shelves where browsers can check it and use it if they wish. Your take on world events can now be accessed and used by media across the world. It subverts conventional media.

Basically an ezine is an online news and information agency so simple that everyone with a computer can use it. Typically they are sales oriented: For instance you might have a book to sell so you write a review article and add your contact details in the resource box. You then tick the box most appropriate to your subject; health, business, news, current affairs. You quickly get the hang of it.
Your copy then goes live. Media throughout the world, including those looking for web content, can download and publish it free of charge. The protocol is that if they do so they must publish your contact details. Basically it is an opportunity for you to set your stall out free of charge. If your article is well written then some will buy your book – or your take on world events!

Do it intelligently
If writing isn’t your thing then leave it to others. Those responsible for accepting material are not political censors but they will reject badly written copy or copy posted inappropriately. Some will peruse content so if your input is as crude and transparent as Der Sturmer, leave it to the more intelligent. Crude propaganda helps only the enemy. Some can be censorious; others seem to let most stuff through. Another no-no is plagiarising material. If it is another author’s work either leave it alone of ‘skim it’ (re-write it). This is normally frowned upon but most revisionists shouldn’t mind.
Get a feel for it. I am sure you will be comfortable in your new role as Press baron within a week. Keep sending your stuff to the converted but make sure the world reads it too.

Here are a few to get you started
Note: If you register with the first, ezinearticles.com it is wise to register on their members’ forum too. There is a wealth of advice on there, and lists of other ezines.
Finally: Why not forward this information to everyone in your address book. We could change the world tomorrow. Have fun!
• Ezine Articles: https://www.ezinearticles.com/about.html
• Amazine: https://www.amazines.com/index.cfm
• Articles Land: https://www.articlesland.com/
• Articles Pro: https://www.submitarticlespro.com/
• Read Your Articles: https://www.readyourarticles.com/index.php
• Articles Links Directory: http://articlelinksdirectory.com/
• Free Article Directory: https://www.freearticledirectory.co.uk/

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Source: Reporternotebook by Michael Walsh.  

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