THE CORPORATE STATE
by Betty Luks
The Housing Trust has for many years provided
low rental housing for the needier within the state of South Australia.
Many a young widow with children, has raised them in a "Trust'
home; many a low wage earner lived his life in reasonable comfort with
his family in a 'Trust' home. But the Housing Trust now finds itself
in financial difficulties, Advertiser, 10/5/04.
Here is a semi-government authority, set up in the 1960s to house low-income
earners, now 'cannibalising' itself by selling off the houses - which
the original loans (from the Commonwealth Government) were used to build.
One would have thought that after forty years the Housing Trust would
have been more viable. What gives?
IT'S THE MONEY - Some details:
We are informed by the article it will take the Housing Trust another
38 years to pay off its $700 million debt to the Commonwealth for loans
it took out in the 1960s. The Public Service Association has called
on the State Government to press for the debt to be waived, pointing
to a waiting list of 26,000 persons wanting public housing, but a spokesman
for Kay Patterson, federal Family and Community Services Minister, said
the Commonwealth had no intention of waiving the debt.
While the amount of the original loan and the interest terms were not
stated, the debt will not be fully repaid until 2042.
What we do know is that as at 30th June 2003, the debt was still $705.2
This is almost 60 per cent more than the Trust's annual budget of $445
This year's repayment of $43.5 million, of which $31.3 million is interest,
compares with the Commonwealth's housing grant to SA in 2002-2003 of
$47.5 million. Which means in this instance, the Commonwealth gives
with one hand and takes away with the other!
According to the figures, the Trust, for this
financial year, paid only $12.2 million off the balance of the $705.2
The repayment represented almost half the $91.5 million earmarked for
maintenance of the properties. Which means the necessary maintenance
of the properties won't be carried out.
The trust has already reduced its property numbers from about 65,000
in 1993 to 47,480 this year.
More than 600 Trust homes were sold last financial year
37 per cent of which were sold to Trust tenants. The homes are clearly
not going to the people who need them the most.
South Australia's Council for Social Services
claims that if the Federal Government doesn't change its policy position
then the Housing Trust will continue to lose about 1100 houses per annum.
One aspect, obvious to those with eyes to 'see' is that as Trust homes
were built 30-40 years ago, and most towns and cities having 'grown
around the Trust estates', means these homes are now occupying prime
real estate positions. You can be sure the real estate developers have
their beady, greedy eyes on the land!
It looks like the long-term plans are for the Housing Trust is to be
'privatised' - gradually.
The Programme begins:
Jeremy Lee, who has continually warned us what is happening to this
nation, published in 1995 "Local Government, Amalgamation, Regionalisation
& the Hilmer Report" where the programme was spelt out. It
was a programme that came with the arrival of the Whitlam Federal Government
in 1972, and the plans for its completion were anticipated somewhere
before the end of the century.
The programme included:
· A large reduction of the number of Local Authorities in Australia
· The formation of REDOs (Regional Economic Development Organisations)
made up in part of the amalgamated Authorities, with a mixture of elected
councillors permanent government commissioners and nominees from various
industry and social organisations, including trade unions in policy
implementation under central direction;
· The replacement of the existing States with the proposed REDOs,
through the redirection of funds from the financial monopoly the Federal
Government has acquired;
· The replacement of the Crown, with its reserve powers, by a
· The Introduction of a National Competition Policy, as set out
in the Hilmer Report; and
· The Integration of the Australian economy into a global model
in which the World Trade Organisation - the operative arm of the GATT
- is the principal decision-maker about productive, trade and workplace
practices in Australia.
Professor George Monbiot of Keele University
has exposed what happened in the UK as a result of 'new' Labor's policies
- you know Mark Latham talks of Blair's Third Way. Prof. Monbiot's efforts
will assist us to look past the 'smoke and smother' in this country,
and work out the details of how they are going about it here. We list
a few instances.
The Corporate Takeover of Government
· The Labour Party has continued the central project bequeathed
by their 'conservative' predecessors - essentially there is no difference
between the policies of the main parties.
· Labour repeals daily any wholesome Act established against
the rich and provides more piercing Statutes daily to chain up and restrain
· Large numbers of houses have been built, ostensibly to solve
the housing crisis, but are sold abroad as speculative investments.
· As a result, prices for houses have risen astronomically and
local people simply cannot afford them.
· The Labour Government has removed some of the few remaining
safeguards designed to ensure that development responds to public need
rather than just corporate greed.
· Planning policies are even more hostile to the environment
and ordinary peoples' lives.
· The government repeatedly refuses to remove the financial incentives
which favour the rich buying two houses while the poor have none.
· At the same time they are insisting they don't want underused
housing brought back into circulation in order to reduce the pressure
on 'greenfield's' sites.
· British Labour's 1998 "Green Business Evening", hosted
by their Environment Minister was sponsored by the big quarrying company
· As a result of Aggregate's lobbying, an election-promised tax
on them 'to encourage recycling' was delayed three years and when finally
paid was not enough to clean up the damage caused by the quarrying carried
But what of the Corporate takeover of Education?
What is happening in the field of Education in the U.K. is alarming.
Most ideas being imposed on the people have been tested in the USA first.
Schooling in the USA is widely traded on the stock market and worth
The most widespread way of making money out of education is the use
of schools as an advertising medium. Education is now looked upon as
a 'commodity'. Children are easily swayed by advertising and in school
they are a captive audience. "The kids we're reaching," observed
one marketing executive "are consumers in training'.
The 'shape' of things to come
In 1998 the British government launched what it called 'a partnership
between businesses, parents, schools and Local Education Authorities.
Education Action Zones (EAZs) are clusters of schools whose standards
are lower than they should be, which apply to the government for special
treatment. If selected, their management is handed over to an 'action
forum', on which all the 'partners' are represented. EAZs are not allowed
to form unless businesses are involved.
As a result - some examples:-
The London Borough of Lambeth's Education Action Zone is run not by
the local authority but by the oil company Shell.
The EAZ in Wythenshawe, Manchester is run by Manchester Airport which
encountered furious local and national resistance when it built a second
runway through the region's most striking landscapes.
The weapons manufacturer British Aerospace helps to run zones in Hull,
Plymouth and Teesside.
In return for their financial contributions, the munificent companies
can reap both public relations benefits - as their good works become
known to parents and teachers - and potential recruits, as they can
guide educational policies better to meet their employment needs.
Note: Parents must ask themselves: what is the purpose of an education
system? What do they want for their children from an education system?
Would there be much difference between the finished 'product' of a Communist
education system than that of a Corporate/Fascist education system?
I think not.
Douglas Credit and the A.L.P.
For those who still hold a secret hope the Labor
Party is misinformed and all we need to do is explain to them the advantages
of a financial system that would serve all the people, the following excerpt
from "The Great Depression in Australia" provides an interesting
Douglas Credit and the A.L.P. by Baiba Berzins:
"Some movements, whose reform programmes advocated the correction
of specific grievances, used populist (populist, i.e., an advocate of
democratic principles) rhetoric in order to explain what they saw as a
temporary crisis. Other movements used populist rhetoric together with
reform programmes of wider scope and a vision of a future differing in
important respects, from the present. This article is concerned with the
relations between two movements of the latter type: the Douglas Credit
movement and the Australian Labor Party.
Populist opposition to established political parties and other highly
structured organisations makes it seemingly paradoxical that populism
should find a stronghold in sections of the A.L.P. This is a consequence
of the party's origins, and its diverse nature, for it sees itself in
various roles: as a trade union party, a working class party, and as the
party of the Australian people. Its ideology has contained many elements
but in general the Labor Party's analysis of society, as contained in
its programmes and rhetoric, has tended along populist rather than class-oriented
lines. At the same time the A.L.P. is conscious of, and zealously defensive
about, its position among Australian political parties, and hence distrustful
of any organisation which can be considered a threat to it
1930s, the A.L.P. broke with the Douglas Credit movement not because of
ideological reasons, but because of the organisational threat which the
movement eventually posed to the party
In other words, the party came before the policies: they had confused
the 'means' with the 'ends'.