29 September 1995. Thought for the Week: "The battle for the subject has to be renewed and fought in every age. No sooner has one encroachment been swept away than another arises to take its place. The passion to regulate the lives of others is deep-seated and hard to root out. It is most dangerous and insidious when it arises not from motives of personal gain but from the desire to inflict benefit upon others. In this era, the greatest danger to human freedom is the specialist or expert, the man who has soaked himself deep in some pattern of conduct, which he thinks best.
Lord Douglas of Barloch in House of Lords, January 27th, 1954
OFFICIAL CONFIRMATION OF AUSTRALIA'S GREAT WEALTH
by Eric D. Butler
Even though the total external debt was
$200 billion in mid 1992, total assets were listed as being
worth $1,670 billion. The Bureau is quoted as saying that
its balance sheet is "experimental" and has been produced
as a "stepping stone towards the production of a 'green' national
accounts which will count the cost of land degradation, removing
mineral assets and so on, as well as cash benefits."
The real credit of a nation is its productive capacity. Broadly speaking, there are three major factors involved. The first two are labour and capital. Even in an increasingly technological economy, capital is dependent on some labour - in fact the very centralising tendency technology makes society extremely vulnerable to the withdrawal of labour. But labour without capital would reduce production to little more than subsistence level.
The major factor in the modern production system is what has been described as the cultural heritage - perhaps best summarised in the American term "know how." Over countless centuries a vast and ever-growing volume of knowledge has been built up. Discoveries concerning the nature of reality become part of the cultural heritage. Natural justice, logic and commonsense can only lead to the conclusion that as the cultural heritage is a common heritage, every individual is entitled as a right to have adequate access to a share of it, in the same way that he is entitled to an adequate supply of fresh air.
How the real credit of a nation is used is governed by how financial credit is made available. Currently it is only made available on terms, which misdirect the production system. It is impossible to sustain the policy of "full employment" without enormous economic waste, including "built-in obsolescence", the degradation of the environment, and mounting social friction, this in turn requiring more resources in an attempt to police it.
A realistic national balance sheet would
reveal that in a developed nation like Australia, the rate
of production exceeds consumption. All capital works such
as roads, etc., must be listed as assets. The greater the
building of permanent assets the greater the capacity of a
nation to produce goods and services. All Australians should
be regarded as shareholders in Australia Unlimited.
Inadequate though it may be, the Bureau of Statistics' "national balance sheet" and its publicising must help to lay to rest the nonsense that Australians are living in a country threatened with bankruptcy, and that more sacrifices are necessary. Australians' main concern must be to ensure that the Debt Merchants do not demand that they are forced to do what the Mexicans were compelled to do - to hand over their vast assets in order to liquidate debt. A realistic financial policy would eliminate personal debt.
OPPOSITION VULNERABLE ON FOREIGN DEBT CAMPAIGN
by David Thompson
The Prime Minister counters that "only four percent" of the foreign debt is owned by the Federal Government, with 60 percent owed by the private sector. This is also a little disingenuous, since the remaining 36 percent of the foreign debt burden must also be public money. Who owes it? Now that State Governments are borrowing overseas directly, some significant proportion of foreign debt must be State Government debt. But what Mr. Keating doesn't mention is that Federal Government statutory authorities, like Telecom and many others, also owe money overseas, which Mr. Keating does not count as Federal Government debt.
The Opposition "debt truck" is nothing more than a shallow pre-election gimmick, unless Mr. Howard and his colleagues can produce an alternative method of financing Australia's development. So far Howard can only suggest that a Coalition Government would gradually "bring down" the debt level over a period of years. How would he do this? Would all Government debt be repaid out of taxation revenue? Would this mean tax increases? And what about the non-Government debt, raised by industry, and the foreign investment factor?
The foreign investment aspect is also a vital factor of the debt equation. If the Coalition also supports Labor's National Competition Policy, leading to wholesale "privatisation", then how would Mr. Howard prevent a significant proportion of foreign equity in, say, Qantas? or A.N.L., the Australian Governments shipping line?
At present, the restrictions on foreign investment are pathetic, with the Foreign Investment Review Board all but dismantled. As Democrat Senator Kernot points out, "for every dollar we are paying as net interest on debt, we are now also paying a record and escalating 80 cents in net profits overseas". This is a devastating observation, to which neither Mr. Howard nor Mr. Keating have produced any intelligent answer. What alternatives does Mr. Howard have to foreign investment, which leads to massive profits being drained off by foreign owners?
AN INVINCIBLE STUPIDITY ABOUT FINANCE
The only way to provide intelligent alternatives to the present foreign debt and foreign investment "problem" is to first properly analyse what is presently occurring. Mr. Howard and especially his Coalition colleague, Mr. Fischer, apparently have not the faintest idea of where money comes from in the first place. Any suggestion that it is created as a matter of course by either Australian banks, or their foreign (public or private) counterparts, for either industrial or government purposes, is met with either absolute disdain, or simulated horror.
In the face of all available evidence, from even the most authoritative sources, Mr. Tim Fischer simply flatly refuses to concede that money is created at all! Such a suggestion is passed off as one of those nutty ideas promoted by the extremist League of Rights. It couldn't possibly be true! Not even a letter, in the simplest of language, from the New Zealand Reserve Bank makes any difference to Mr. Fischer. Such an attitude, shared by so many of his colleagues, could only be described as invincible stupidity. In the face of a form of financial illiteracy, what hope has Mr. Howard of developing an alternative financial strategy to deal with the foreign debt, or with the foreign investment problem?
The original charter of the Commonwealth Bank (which preceded the "Reserve Bank) did have a strategy to deal with such problems. In a very simple, realistic way, the Commonwealth Bank was charged with issuing the credit of the nation, on strictly controlled terms, that an expanding economy required. This is the true purpose of the Australian banking industry. There is very little to prevent Mr. Howard going back to such an arrangement. Except, of course, his own enslavement to financial orthodoxy.
One of the few stumbling blocks to asking
the Australian banking structure to issue Australian credit
for Australian development is the fact that the structure
is no longer Australian. The "Australian" public banking sector
has gradually been sold off to foreign investors, and even
the private banks have an element of foreign investment. The
latest public bank to be sold, was the Western Australian
State Bank, Bank West, formerly the Rural and Industries Bank.
Bank West has been simply sold to the highest bidder, which
turns out to be the Bank of Scotland. This is apparently Mr.
Court's idea of "privatisation"!
LEGISLATING TO FRUSTRATE THE HIGH COURT
The Commonwealth Government's announcement that it will legislate to overturn the High Court's ruling on the Teoh case has infuriated the internationalists and human rights lawyers, but is an essential step towards the restoration of the role of the Parliament. In the Teoh case, the Court ruled that Australia was bound by an international treaty, which the Executive Government had ratified, but Parliament had not implemented, or even debated. This led to the intolerable situation that all the Executive had to do was ratify any treaty or agreement, and the bureaucracy would be authorised to implement it in any way it chose. This further usurped the proper role of Parliament.
The Administrative Decisions (Effect of International Instruments) Bill is intended to restore the situation to that applying before the Teoh case, but does nothing to ensure that Parliament must be consulted before any international treaty is agreed. The internationalists complain that the present Bill undermines Australia's international integrity, since any treaty signed includes a commitment to implement the provisions. The Bill is one small step in the right direction, and the Opposition has not opposed its passage through the Parliament. Justice Minister Kerr noted that Australia was a party to "more than 920 treaties" ... How many more?
LOUD SILENCE FROM MR. JOHN HOWARD
As previously noted in On Target,
we are awaiting a response from the Leader of the Opposition,
Mr. John Howard, to the League's challenge for him to substantiate
the wild allegations he has made concerning the League. David
Thompson wrote to Mr. Howard on August 25th, asking if Mr.
Howard would care to indicate where the League is "incompatible
with Liberal principles", and whether we are entitled to expect
qualities of honesty and integrity from the leader of the
It appears that such questions are a little too difficult for Mr. Howard to answer. He must be extremely busy, because so far we have not even received an acknowledgement of the National Director's letter. Perhaps the Australia Post service is worse in Sydney than elsewhere?
Subscribers to the League's monthly Intelligence Survey will note that we published the letter to Howard in full in the September edition. Perhaps supporters might like to send a copy to Mr. Howard, or to their own Member of Parliament - State or Commonwealth - and ask if Mr. Howard has overlooked this matter? Of course, it might be a little embarrassing for Mr. Howard if Labor M.P's. were to receive such mail, but 'the ball is in his court'. We shall report on any response from Mr. Howard.
KEEPING THE FLAG ALOFT DOWN UNDER
from This England, Autumn, 1995
'The United Kingdom Settlers Association, of which British Heritage, whose own fight to defend Queen and Flag was featured in Cornucopia (Customs & Curiosities, etc., section of This England O.T.) last autumn, is now a part, is not taking it lying down. "Among its endeavours on behalf of Aussies with British blood in their veins - and that is 74% of the population - has been a dedicated campaign to remove the iniquity whereby Australian-born children of British migrants lost their Australian citizenship if they acquire British nationality.
'The Association supports British Heritage in its annual celebration of St. George's Day, has a widely-circulating newsletter and makes its voice heard wherever and whenever possible to promote the maintaining of British traditions Down Under and, in particular, loyalty to the Constitutional Monarchy.
"Never were its efforts more greatly needed. According to Australia's forthright Sunday newspaper, the Herald-Sun, in an article about the disintegration of the 'special relationship', the old friendship has been savaged in order to impress new allies in Asia and to advance republicanism. "The Anglo-Celts have become an ethnic group, it says, subject to racial discrimination, and: 'Their culture is denigrated, the institutions the British brought to Australia are under fire and even Britain's wartime record in our region has been attacked... by academics pursuing political causes rather than truth.'
"All is not lost. Alan Bouch, the Association's President, is encouraged by the backing of opinion-makers like the Herald-Sun and by politicians who, like West Australian Labor M.P. Graeme Campbell, deride the 'chardonnay socialists' behind the republican movement who are actively engaged in the unmaking of British Australia.
"Derision, perhaps, is the best weapon. Eight million British people have relatives in Australia, one in 35 Australians visits Britain each year, and both countries export to, and invest in, each other extensively. The 'chardonnay socialists', insists the Association and its many sympathisers will find they have taken on more than they can swallow...."
LARGE HOLE IN OZONE REPORTfrom The Australian, September 25th
"Of course there's a big metaphorical 'hole' in the ozonesphere over Antarctica at present (The Weekend Australian, 16-17/9). The six month-long Antarctic 'night' has just ended. Ozone (03) is made by the zapping of 02 by sunlight. So, no sunlight, no Ozone.
"Also, cosmic rays continually make nitric oxide in the lower stratosphere. This gas 'eats' Ozone. When the sun is off-peak during its 11-year cycle of activity, nitric oxide gets a fair go at Ozone. When solar activity peaks, Earth's magnetic field peaks, shoves off cosmic rays, and less nitric oxide forms. Ozone then 'recovers'. "Why are the specialist scientists of this discipline so laryngitic?"
(Arthur Negus, Tuggerawong, N.S.W)
"On Target" is published by the Australian League of Rights, Box 1052. G.P.O. Melbourne 3001.