6 September 2013 Thought
for the Week:
Obama set for holy Tomahawk war. The ''responsibility to protect'' (R2P) doctrine invoked to legitimize the 2011 war on Libya has just transmogrified into ''responsibility to attack'' (R2A) Syria. Just because the Obama administration says so…
What happens next requires concentric crystal balls - from Tomahawks to a barrage of air strikes to Special Ops commandos on the ground to a sustained air campaign lasting months.
In his long interview to Izvestia, Assad gives the impression he thinks Obama is bluffing.
What's certain is that Syria won't be a ''piece of cake'' like Libya; even depleted on all fronts, Gaddafi resisted for eight long months after NATO started its humanitarian bombing.
Syria has a weary but still strong army of 200,000; loads of Soviet and Russian weapons; very good antiaircraft systems; and full support from asymmetrical warfare experts Iran and Hezbollah. Not to mention Russia, which just needs to forward a few S-300 air defence batteries and relay solid intelligence.
So get used to how international relations work in the age of newspeak. General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's army in Egypt can kill hundreds of his own people who were protesting against a military coup. Washington couldn't care less - as in the coup that is not a coup and the bloodbath that is not a bloodbath.
No one knows for sure what exactly happened in the chemical weapons saga near Damascus. But that's the pretext for yet another American war - just a few days before a Group of 20 summit hosted by Putin in St Petersburg. Holy Tomahawk! R2A, here we go. - - Pepe Escobar, The Roving Eye, Asia Times 27 August 2013
A MESSAGE TO TONY ABBOTT ON THREAT OF WAR AGAINST SYRIA
To: 'Tony.Abbott.MP@aph.gov.au' - Subject: Syria, 28 August 2013
Use of chemicals in warfare is certainly reaching the limit, however Australia must certainly be very careful before it commits to any action in Syria.
At this stage, according to ABC radio broadcasts, there is no proof as to who may have been responsible for the use of chemicals. Was it the Assad regime, the rebels or even another force wishing to create grounds for the West to be involved.
Consequently, which group would be the target in any action from outside of Syria?
Whichever group was chosen, the result would inevitably affect a wider group meaning loss of life for innocent people.
Looking back at Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Egypt, has the involvement of the West delivered anything like peace? Of course not!
It has only delivered massive loss of life for local civilians, local soldiers and Western troops and converted cities and towns to rubble heaps.
Australia does not want to be a part of any more of these exercises. Please do not offer a commitment from Australia.
- - Ken Grundy, Naracoorte South Australia
To the Editor, The Age, 28 August 2013
It is encouraging to know that a recent poll found 60 per cent of American respondents opposed to US intervention in Syria ('Washington hardens but war-weary public says no', 28/8). It is not war weariness, though, but disbelief in the ethical credibility of the project.
The claim that the Assad government must be 'punished' for an alleged chemical weapons attack rings as hollow as the past 'weapons of mass destruction' excuse for an unjustified attack on Iraq.
It has been clear for some months that powerful interests have become frustrated by their failure to bring down Assad, using 'rebels' (funded by whom?) as proxies.
Your editorial assertion that 'the world cannot stand by and allow Dr Assad to remain in power' also rings hollow.
Why not, then, a crusade against Robert Mugabe and all the other brutal rulers around the world, to say nothing of US aggressors?
- - Nigel Jackson, Belgrave Victoria
DOES OBAMA KNOW HE’S FIGHTING ON AL-QA’IDA’S SIDE?
asks Robert Fisk, The Independent (UK) 27 August 2013
‘All for one and one for all’ should be the battle cry if the West goes to war against Assad’s Syrian regime. “If Barack Obama decides to attack the Syrian regime, he has ensured – for the very first time in history – that the United States will be on the same side as al-Qa’ida. Quite an alliance! Was it not the Three Musketeers who shouted “All for one and one for all” each time they sought combat? This really should be the new battle cry if – or when – the statesmen of the Western world go to war against Bashar al-Assad.
The men who destroyed so many thousands on 9/11 will then be fighting alongside the very nation whose innocents they so cruelly murdered almost exactly 12 years ago. Quite an achievement for Obama, Cameron, Hollande and the rest of the miniature warlords.
This, of course, will not be trumpeted by the Pentagon or the White House – nor, I suppose, by al-Qa’ida – though they are both trying to destroy Bashar. So are the Nusra front, one of al-Qa’ida’s affiliates. But it does raise some interesting possibilities.
Maybe the Americans should ask al-Qa’ida for intelligence help – after all, this is the group with “boots on the ground”, something the Americans have no interest in doing. And maybe al-Qa’ida could offer some target information facilities to the country which usually claims that the supporters of al-Qa’ida, rather than the Syrians, are the most wanted men in the world.
There will be some ironies, of course. While the Americans drone al-Qa’ida to death in Yemen and Pakistan – along, of course, with the usual flock of civilians – they will be giving them, with the help of Messrs Cameron, Hollande and the other Little General-politicians, material assistance in Syria by hitting al-Qa’ida’s enemies. Indeed, you can bet your bottom dollar that the one target the Americans will not strike in Syria will be al-Qa’ida or the Nusra front.
And our own Prime Minister will applaud whatever the Americans do, thus allying himself with al-Qa’ida, whose London bombings may have slipped his mind. Perhaps – since there is no institutional memory left among modern governments – Cameron has forgotten how similar are the sentiments being uttered by Obama and himself to those uttered by Bush and Blair a decade ago, the same bland assurances, uttered with such self-confidence but without quite enough evidence to make it stick.
In Iraq, we went to war on the basis of lies originally uttered by fakers and conmen. Now it’s war by YouTube. This doesn’t mean that the terrible images of the gassed and dying Syrian civilians are false. It does mean that any evidence to the contrary is going to have to be suppressed.
For example, no-one is going to be interested in persistent reports in Beirut that three Hezbollah members – fighting alongside government troops in Damascus – were apparently struck down by the same gas on the same day, supposedly in tunnels. They are now said to be undergoing treatment in a Beirut hospital. So if Syrian government forces used gas, how come Hezbollah men might have been stricken too? Blowback?...” Read further here…
PSYCHOPATHIC OLD MEN WAGE WAR FROM COMFORT OF ARM CHAIRS
While the psychopathic old men make war from the comfort of their armchairs, the young men of the nations do the fighting for them, with such horrible personal physical and psychological consequences.
Nations are alleged to have waged the first world war, but the casualties both of life and property fell upon individuals. There is no such thing as an effective ‘national responsibility’ – it is a pure abstraction, under cover of which, oppression and tyranny to individuals, which would not be tolerated if inflicted by a personal ruler, escape effective criticism.
- - C.H. Douglas in Social Credit - Relation of Group to Individual
NOT ‘MARKET FAILURE’ – IT’S A COSTS/ JUST PRICE FINANCIAL FAILURE!
Queensland dairy farmers are getting 51c to 53c/L for their milk at present, compared with 47.5c/L in 1992. "The amount people are being paid has only gone up 10 percent in 20 years," Mr McInnes said, explaining why there was a shortage of fresh milk in the state as dairy farmers went out of business. "Everything is in limbo - there has been a real market failure," he said.
- - The Land
People in rural Queensland are staring down the barrel of having no choice but to drink long-life or UHT milk, according to a dairy farmer and milk supply board chairman.
John Cochrane chairs the board that supplies Parmalat in Queensland, and says that the state is 100 million litres short of the milk it needs to supply demand.
"As the fresh milk disappears out of Queensland, processors will find it impossible to supply the bush," he said. "As a result, bush people will get nothing but long-life milk."
As well as putting the blame on the supermarket milk price war for forcing producers to sell up and leave a shortage of supply, Mr Cochrane said that UHT milk suited supermarkets and transport companies. "It's happening right now," he said.
"The biggest growth sector in milk in Queensland has been in UHT milk. UHT milk can be transported on a pantech without any refrigeration, and you can sell it for less." At Blackall last week, a litre of fresh full-cream milk was selling for $2.20, while the cost of a litre of long-life full-cream milk was $2.23.
The vice-president of the Queensland Dairyfarmers Organisation, Ross McInnes, agreed that there was a risk of rural Queenslanders seeing less and less fresh milk on their shelves, because UHT milk could be discounted. "Shopkeepers can sell it for $1.30 versus having to sell fresh milk for $2.30," he said. "As margins get tighter, fresh milk will get less competitive. It will be driven by smaller outlets saying it's not worth their while having fresh milk available."
He said that while there was nothing nutritionally wrong with long-life milk, nothing beat fresh food. (Lots of folk would not agree with that statement…ed) Mr Cochrane said it stopped people from having a choice, and said that some had issues with the palatability of long-life milk. Queensland dairy farmers are getting 51c to 53c/L for their milk at present, compared with 47.5c/L in 1992.
"The amount people are being paid has only gone up 10 percent in 20 years," Mr McInnes said, explaining why there was a shortage of fresh milk in the state as dairy farmers went out of business. "Everything is in limbo - there has been a real market failure," he said. Source:
CUTTING LOOSE, HUNGARY PAYS OFF IMF DEBT
Cutting Loose: Hungary pays off IMF debt, may eye EU exit. Hungary is about to pay off its debt to the International Monetary Fund and then wants the creditor gone.
The country was ‘saved’ by Washington-based group with $25 billion loan five years ago but isn't renewing the aid in order to avoid closer scrutiny of its policies. Alexey Yaroshevsky looks at how Budapest is cutting loose.
SWEET, SWEET, JUSTICE?
Homeowner forecloses on Bank of America
A bank foreclosure story you've got to see to believe. A Collier County couple turned the tables on Bank of America, the bank that tried to foreclose on their home. The family foreclosed on the bank! Even bringing trucks and deputies ready to seize the bank’s property.
The foreclosure nightmare started when Warren and Maureen Nyerges paid cash for a home owned by Bank of American in the Golden Gate Estates. They never had a mortgage whatsoever. But, the bank fouled it up and wound up issuing a foreclosure through their attorney.
The couple took their case to court and after a year and a half nightmare the foreclosure was dropped. A Collier County judge said Bank of America had to pay the couple's $2,534 legal fees for the error.
After more than five months the bank still hadn't paid up. So, the homeowners' attorney did just what the bank would do to get their money, legally seize their assets.
FAMILY FIRST: QLD MAJORITY LNP CANDIDATES SUPPORT GAY ‘MARRIAGE’
Family First to issue split tickets
Family First plans to issue split tickets in most Queensland electorates as the majority of LNP candidates have indicated they will support gay marriage in a conscience vote.
Less than one third of LNP candidates have stated they will vote against gay marriage in a conscience vote.
• Ross Vasta – Bonner
• George Christensen – Dawson
• Stuart Robert – Fadden
• Bert van Manen – Forde
• Keith Pitt – Hinkler
• Rod McGarvie – Lilley
• Malcolm Cole – Moreton
• Luke Howarth – Petrie
• Scott Buchholz – Wright
Family First will preference Labor before the LNP in the seats of Blair and Fairfax. In those seats, ALP candidates Shane Neumann and Elaine Hughes support Family First’s position, while the LNP candidates have indicated support for gay marriage.
Queensland senate candidate, Aidan McLindon, said that it was a concern so many LNP candidates support gay marriage. “The LNP cannot be trusted on gay marriage. The LNP are pretending to oppose gay marriage when it is clear that the majority in the party room support it,” Mr McLindon said.
“As such, it is very concerning that the LNP will only commit to working out their position on gay marriage after the election. Given the majority of the LNP candidates in Queensland support gay marriage, Family First will not directly preference the LNP across the board.”
“This is the same LNP that went to the state election opposed to civil unions. Three months after the election they voted unanimously in favour of civil unions. The only way to send a message to the LNP that you don’t support gay marriage is to vote for Family First and then issue your preferences to the poison of your choice after that.”
“Family First will only encourage voters to support a major party candidate in seats where Family First has received an assurance from that candidate that they will vote against gay marriage in a conscience vote.”
Family First wrote to all ALP and LNP candidates asking their position on gay marriage early last week. Family First preferences have been decided based on each response.
AND THEN THERE IS 'FAMILY VOICE' IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA
The following is from Family Voice in South Australia. You can click on to their website here.... (click on https://www.fava.org.au/election-surveys/commonwealth/
Family Voice has obviously put in a huge effort to help South Australians vote responsibly. They write:
The federal election on Saturday week (7 September) is looming fast – but how should we vote?
Our election survey (click on https://www.fava.org.au/election-surveys/commonwealth/ ) shows some clear differences between the parties on family, faith and freedom issues.
The page with party replies show that Family First, Australian Christians, Rise Up Australia Party, Katter’s Australian Party and the Democratic Labour Party have all scored 100 – while the Liberal National Coalition scored 55, Labor scored 39 and the Greens, just 23. Many minor parties such as PUP (Palmer United Party) said they didn’t have a policy on any of our questions, so they scored 10 (“no comment”).
If you vote in the House of Representatives number one for Family First, Australian Christians, or one of the other top scorers, followed by the rest of the high achievers, then the major party of your choice and the low scorers last, you would send a clear message to those major parties that Christian values are important to you.
For House of Representatives candidates’ responses in all electorates, please click on: House of Reps candidates responses
If you are not sure of your electorate, click here and type in your postcode: http://apps.aec.gov.au/esearch/
THE COLLAPSE OF THE MODERN ROMANS
by Brian Simpson
At the tail end of the Roman Empire citizenship was awarded for money. Roman society did not attempt to expand the number of Romans, but instead incorporated by immigration, non-Romans, into a multicultural, multiracial empire. How did that work out for them? According to our multicultural lobby, pretty well. However according to history, this was one of the forces that led to the decline and fall of Rome.
John Man in “Attila the Hun: A Barbarian King and the Fall of Rome”, (Bantam, 2006) says:
“With continual barbarian incursions across the Rhine and Danube, Rome… tried to defend itself with a range of strategies from outright force, to negotiation, bribery, intermarriage, trade and finally, controlled immigration.
This last was in the end the only possible way to stave off assault, and yet it also led inexorably to further decay.
Barbarians were good fighters; it made sense to employ them, with confusing consequences for both sides.
Enemies became allies, who often ended fighting their own kind.
Peace came always at the price of continued collapse: the army was strengthened by the influx of barbarians, but taxes rose to pay for them; faith in government declined, and corruption spread.
By the late fourth century the empire’s borders resembled a weakening immune system, through which barbarians crept in direct assault or temporary partnership, while the army – the ultimate arbiter of political authority and guardian of the frontiers – were like the blood platelets of this aging body, always rushing to clot some new wound, and never in sufficient numbers.” (p.34)
Replace “barbarians” with “Immigrants” in the above argument and we have an accurate description of the plight of the West. At the mercy of Globalism because of our demonic financial system, the West replicates the endgame of the Roman Empire. With endless migration, National identity is lost.
Globalists, of course, want just that, to deliver them more power and profits. But because these power elites are criminally insane they refuse to see that the long term consequences of their actions will be the destruction of the societies in the West that they now feed off of. When we go, the global elites go too, but that is small consolation.
MADE IN AUSTRALIA CAMPAIGN - FOOD SECURITY
Survey finds widspread support among Barker (SA) candidates for Australia's Food Security
Barker will be contested by 7 candidates listed here in alphabetical order:
Phil Golding, Aust Labor Party
Miles Hannemann, Nationals
Balwinder Jhandi, Palmer United Party
Mark Keough, Greens
Kristin Lambert, Family First
Tony Pasin, Liberal Party
Richard Sage, Independent
Each candidate received a questionnaire containing three questions concerning Australia’s future food security and ultimately its national security. Candidates were asked to respond with a YES or NO and then offer their commitment, if elected, to work in the House to achieve the results according to their answers.
The campaign director, Ken Grundy from Naracoorte believes the signed commitment to be essential in discovering genuine candidates. His campaign offered to give as much publicity as possible to the survey results.
1. Will you work for and vote in the House, for accurate labelling, including country of origin for all ingredients on all foods?
2. Will you work for and vote in the House, to prevent any imports which may potentially threaten Australia’s Bio-Security?
3. Will you work for and vote in the House, to permit land sales only to Australian citizens or corporations?
Greens and Palmer United candidates had only a short time to reply due to their late nomination which may explain their failure to reply.
Mr Pasin, (Liberal) also failed to respond even though he had several months to do so.
As a result, the campaign can give no publicity to the views of these three candidates.
Phil Golding, ALP* : YES to questions 1 and 2. NO to 3
Miles Hannemann, Nationals: YES to questions 1, 2, 3.
Kristin Lambert, Family First : YES to questions 1, 2, 3.
Richard Sage, Independent *: YES to questions 1, 2, 3.
*Mr Golding wishes to leave it to the Foreign Investment Review Board.
**Mr Sage will legislate to stop foreign farm sales “if it is legally possible”.
(One presumes the MP’s pass legislation which is legal -- editor).
It has been refreshing to discover many candidates concerned about our future food and national security as well as our self-sufficiency.
Their signed commitment to work for the policies shows they are genuine and they deserve consideration on polling day.
Splitting the vote - a myth! Voters may vote for one or more Independent or Minor party candidates ahead of their desired Major party candidate. If they are unsuccessful, under our preferential voting system, the voter’s preferences then flow to the their chosen Major party candidate.
Every effort has been made to present the survey in a fair manner.
Election comment authorised and distributed by Ken Grundy, 34 Martin’s Rd., Naracoorte SA 5271.
0458 624 701
August 14 2013
THE SPIRITUAL VISION OF J.R.R. TOLKIEN
by James Reed
Sometimes it is good for the soul to take a little “time out” and immerse oneself in great literature and the literature about those who write, and have written, great literature. I have just worked through two books on J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973), philologist and author, of among other works, “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings”.
Humphrey Carpenter’s “Tolkien: The Authorised Biography”, (Haughton Mifflin, 1997) is a fascinating journey through Tolkien’s life, a life of Christian humbleness and devotion to scholarship. There are none of the affairs with women, as in Bertrand Russell; there is just the passion for writing and for truth. Tolkien played a role in converting C.S. Lewis to Christianity.
In one such debate between Tolkien and Lewis, as both men puffed away at their pipes, Tolkien summed up his philosophy of life and literature:
“We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed, only by myth-making, only by becoming a ‘sub-creator’ and inventing stories, can Man ascribe to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic ‘progress’ leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.” (p.147)
Stratford Caldecott in “The Power of the Ring: The Spiritual Vision Behind the Lord of the Ring” (Crossroad, New York 2005) locates the Lord of the Rings in the great romantic heroic traditions of literature, weaving a modern mythology.
Tolkien himself felt that the mythology of the Nordics (Northern European man) had been lost or buried by Celtic and French influences and one of his goals in “The Lord of the Rings” was to recapture living myths.
As Tolkien said in one of his letters:
“Legends and myths are largely made of ‘truth’.”
Tolkien attempted to capture a spirit of Northern man and the mystique of “Northerness,” as seen in the Icelandic saga of the “Elder of Edda”.
Through mythopoeic thinking, appealing to universal constants in human nature, Tolkien produced a modern work which was very much opposed to the moral relativism, absurdism and nihilism of much of the literature of the 1950s and 1960s.
His world is one of moral absolutes, where good and evil clearly exist. Christian virtues are embodied in his characters such as Aragon and Frodo – integrity, sacrifice, justice, courage and mercy. All of this in sharp contrast to the anti-Western, anti-Nordic literature of today.
It is not surprising that the Peter Jackson film version of “The Lord of the Rings” which, apart from the different (and vastly inferior) ending, captures some of the spirit of Northerness, and produced something resembling moral panic among the multiculturalists. Cultural diversity, it seems, is fine, so long as we Nordics, have none.
If you are in need of having your spiritual batteries recharged from the grinding psycho-political warfare, there is always the work of Tolkien to turn to, a power source for the spirit!
AND WHAT OF KEVIN RUDD?... ACCORDING TO JANET ALBRECHTSEN…
It’s not my words – in 2010 Labor MP Steve Gibbons called Rudd a “psychopath”.Janet Albrechtsen (The Australian 21 August 2013, p.14) explores that theme and the artwork to her article has a cartoon of Rudd look like a Hannibal Lecter type from The Silence of the Lambs.
Drawing on books about corporate psychopaths, she notes that a psychopath “relies on superficial charm, makes great first impressions, is glib and grandiose, callous and manipulative, adept at conning people, refuses to accept responsibility for mistakes, is armed with an impressive supply of excuses, hates monotony preferring constant stimulation, and – most critically – has no empathy.”
Does Albrechtsen call Rudd a psychopath? No, not exactly. But the article and the art work would lead an ordinary reader like myself to draw that inference. I certainly don’t like Rudd or Abbott as politicians, and from what I have seen of their personalities, as people too.
Yes, the latest story about Rudd being rude to a make-up artist before the People’s Forum in Brisbane is another blotch in his copy book. But it is unjustified to make some sort of medical diagnosis of a person, one, without being medically qualified, and two, with only second hand evidence, if that. Albrechtsen’s remarks quoted above pretty much sum up almost all politicians; it seems that modern politics produces this sort of person.
I have no sympathy for Rudd but we should be aware that he is right in saying that the Murdoch press has basically declared open season on him. Could it be that the vessel of big business dislikes Rudd’s mild restrictions on 457 visas and prefers Abbott’s even more open borders approach? The Australian has produced much good critical material on asylum seekers, but I feel that this is a smoke screen to take away attention from “legal” migration which is socially and ecologically destroying us.
Asylum seekers are but a drop in the bucket compared to the massive population movement and demographic shift, which is being undertaken with no democratic consent.
Listen to Denis McCormack discuss the population issue with David Suzuki
Don’t forget: ‘Reduce Immigration’ on ballot papers - have a close look at...
ELYSIUM: LIBERAL IMMIGRATIONISTS IN SPACE
by Peter West
Elysium is a science fiction movie showing at cinemas at present. It shows a dystopian future of Los Angeles in 2154. As expected Los Angeles is virtually Mexico – in fact the movie was shot, so to speak, in Mexico City.
The once City of Angels is rundown, decaying and approaching post-apocalyptic proportions. Violence is widespread and brutal robot police attempt to maintain some shape of order.
Pretty much like today, only worse.
Elysium is a space station floating above the decaying Earth. It is largely inhabited by White people. Elysium is upper class, civilised and clean; LA is lower class, barbaric and dirty.
The capitalist class live in Elysium and fly down to Earth to exploit the poor Brown proletariat, then return home to Elysium.
The masses want to get into Elysium and some of Elysium’s elites want this, but most do not and willingly repatriate “boat people”.
But in the end the pinkos who believe that the non-white masses have a right to Elysium win out, and open migration rules the waves.
The film does not detail the long-term future of Elysium. No doubt the space station will ultimately crash from lack of maintenance.
If LA has become a decaying ruin from the dying city of today, then why should a space ship be any different?
For anti-immigrationists the unintended meaning of Elysium is that ultimately there will be nowhere on Earth, or in space, for the elites to hide from the multiracial juggernaut that they have created. Equalitarians will rejoice that we will all be equal, on the bottom of the wheelie bin. Immigration will also come to an end because there will be no place worth migrating to.
The film "Elysium" could have been based on an earlier science fiction "The Machine Stops" by E.M. Forster. This story was first published in the Oxford and Cambridge Review in 1909.
A UK science fiction TV show called Out of the Unkown did an adaptation of E.M. Forster's 1909 techno-dystopia, The Machine Stops, on 1966-10-06.
MORE ON TTP: PUBLIC CITIZENS ‘GLOBAL WATCH’
TPP deal could monopolize pharmaceuticals and police the Internet, 19 Aug 2013:
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the proposed trade deal between 12 countries. Since the Bush administration, leaders of these 12 countries have mostly met in secret to discuss and on Thursday another round of talks will take place.
If the TPP deal is completed it could have alarming effects on people's access to medicine, online freedoms and financial regulations.
- - Melinda St. Louis with Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch has more. Watch:
LETTER TO THE PRESS
The Editor, The Chronicle:
The explanation by Rural City of Wangaratta Mayor Roz Parisotto and Victorian Local Government Minister Jeanette Powell MP that the referendum on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government will not be held with the Federal election is welcome (Chronicle 7th August 2013.)
The controversial appointment of a representative of the Australian Local Government Association on the Council of Australian Governments is still an issue. The role of the Council of Australian Governments is an issue for the Federal Election.
Originally a discussion meeting of the State Premiers and the Prime Minister a format of Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has developed. Control is held by a secretariat in the Office of the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister calls the meetings, sets the agenda and chairs meetings. A Local Government Portfolio was given to a Federal Minister, usually combined with Regional Development.
When Rudd Government N0 l began, the profile of COAG was lifted to introduce the Labor Party Social Inclusion policy. A process of using COAG to channel funding from Federal Government to introduce policies without parliamentary scrutiny has developed.
There have been threats from State Governments, particularly West Australia, to withdraw from COAG. A COAG Reform Council has been established. John Brumby former Victorian Labor Premier is current President.
This is an issue for the Federal Election. Major political parties research and debate issues to form policy, The Katter Party policy is based on historical research of Government and parliamentary experience presented in the published book “An incredible race of people”. Clive Palmer is paying to have his policy presented to electors. A vote for an Independent Candidate with no policy is like a gamble on a poker machine.
- - Alison Walpole, Whoroully South, Victoria.
BOOK REVIEW - - Beata Luks
“The Precariat" by Professor Guy Standing, Bath University, UK. Price $35.00 + postage.
“The Precariat, The New Dangerous Class" is described as, “promoting an incisive account of how the precariousness is becoming the new normality in globalised labour markets, and offers important guidelines for all concerned to build a more just society”.
Trends toward precariousness started some 30 years ago when governments embraced globalisation and economic liberalization of labour markets thus trebling the labour supply. There are now 19 million out of work in the Eurozone alone.
Precariousness is caused by a downward trend in jobs security, work security, benefits of employment, including wages. No matter how “ﬂexible” one is, and “ﬂexibility” is now a buzz word, it results in anxiety, anomy, alienation and anger. The demand for human labour in exchange for a wage (really wage-slavery and that is where most are today) is the only means of survival for millions in e.g., ‘Chindia’ (Guy Standing uses the term) being now herded into cities and paid employment; their right to live apparently hangs on more production, progress and development, ad nauseam.
History repeats itself, here is the industrial revolution revisited.
The West is paying the price of being industrialised early by being told that all their wealth needs to be re-distributed. Life becomes very insecure in many aspects for all but the few at the top.
While reading “The Precariat” I have discovered that I am one of the precariat. Being an artist, I do not fit into the mould easily. For years I have been watching all the interesting jobs that were perfect for my abilities, training and experience, simply disappear. No longer is there a need for a theatre with its elaborate decorations that gladden the soul.
The woman’s role as a carer for a growing family or ageing relatives, has been totally ignored in the ‘job’ statistics. How strange our perceptions have become.
Being an aspiring social crediter I was hoping for answers, such as a social credit dividend. The book is strangely silent, not mentioning any history of the ideas or of the interested following the Social Credit movement gained. There is frequent mention of liberté, égalité and fraternité, together with words prefixed with ‘re’, such as re-distribution.
Taxation is often mentioned as a means of re-distribution, which sounds like more trouble to me. Social crediter Geoffrey Dobbs explained in his Basic Income For All article a personal, unconditional basic income/dividend cannot be achieved through income tax.
A PERSONAL BASIC INCOME FOR ALL*Book Review: by Geoffrey Dobbs “Home” Journal August/September 1988
Professor Guy Standing is right to promote the concept - there are the restless, dangerous, precariat millions to be taken into account. It is how they are financed that is the crucial political question.