27 August 1999. Thought for the Week: "In the nineteenth century the North Country English had a saying of the mushroom rich - 'Three generations from clogs to clogs'. The explanation is fairly simple - riches and power are tools, and require a considerable apprenticeship to use wisely. There appears to be little doubt that some occult Power is willing and anxious that political adolescents should have sharp and powerful tools, and is determined that they shall not keep them when they have learned to use them wisely"
C.H. Douglas - " The Development of World Dominion", 1946
BEGGING THE QUESTION
by Jeremy Lee
All polls show that this is one option
the people do NOT want. This did not prevent one of the least
popular politicians of the last 25 years - former PM Malcolm
Fraser - pontificating on just why Canberra's politicians
should elect the president (The Australian, 9/8/99):
".... We have a responsible system of government in which
the prime minister and ministers are responsible to parliament.
They can be dismissed by parliament at any time. It is parliament
that is our elected instrument.... The point needs to be made
that these members are elected. They are our representatives;
we depend upon them to protect our national interest...."
Lamenting the widespread community indifference on the issue, and the farcical misrepresentations of the Australian Republican Movement (ARM), Susan Mitchell in an Australian article on August 9th commented: ".... Try as he may, Malcolm Turnbull cannot inject any fire into this debate. Most comments focus on his personal style rather than his line of argument. No one quite trusts what he says because he is a lawyer. And a banker.
Given the average Australian's opinion
of politicians, the more they are seen to be influencing the
outcome, the less people feel involved. Who, apart from the
media, really cares if Peter the Snarl (Reith) disagrees with
Peter the Smirk (Costello)? .... Most people understand the
minimalist model that is being proposed. What they don't like
are the people who are proposing it. Direct election has become
the most popular option of the electorate because it takes
the final decision out of the hands of politicians, former
politicians and the patriarchs of business, banking and the
law... Take note, Malcolm Fraser!
The Editorial in The West Australian (9/8/99) went further: ".... Politicians generally hate the idea of direct election and once the referendum was agreed they would shove a minimalist republic through because it is the least threatening option to them.... If this referendum fails - as it should - the groundswell of republican sentiment will ensure that there is a proper process to get a system, which the nation will embrace.... Most Australians realise that the republic model is a loser. The time has come for the supporters of the Yes campaign to admit it...."
We have a strong feeling that, as Australians consider the six key questions in the League's pamphlet "Why not vote for a republic?" - now achieving a steady circulation in all States - and see Arthur Tuck's brilliant little video The Service of Freedom, there will be an increasing swing away from the froth and bubble of the Turnbull republic back to the time-tested stability of the monarchical system.
SELLING OUR BASIC RESOURCES
by Philip Butler
What Victorians have dis(un)covered is the fact that the Kennett Government is on a course of privatising (monopolising) the water supplies; which includes the right of private corporations to charge for water that falls on private property. Told that the rain that falls on his own property should be included as 'run-off' into the Wimmera River system - and therefore having an unearned advantage which should have a charge upon it - an Elmhurst farmer has been billed $30,000 by Wimmera-Mallee Water authority even though he does not use their services! The same thing is happening to other farmers in the area as the Government moves towards controlling local water supplies, so that, like the road systems, transportation and energy supplies, the water supplies can be 'sold off' to multinational foreign-owned companies.
In South Australia the sewage works were sold off to a French company and said company was not maintaining the works as needed, with the result that a foul stench (known as the Bolivar Pong) began to pervade areas of Adelaide - depending on the direction of the prevailing winds. It was discovered the Government would have had a hard time suing the French company for any damages as the head office was back in France!
This push to sell off all our assets,
so we are told, is so that we can be debt free! What will
happen when all our assets are gone? The following letter
to the editor from Mr. Neil McDonald of Geelong (Herald
Sun) sums up our situation: "This is the 50th anniversary
of the greatest engineering feat of the 20th century, the
Snowy River Hydroelectric Scheme that has harnessed the waste
waters of the Snowy Mountains for the benefit of Australia.
GAP BETWEEN RICH AND POOR WIDENS FURTHERThere has been a further denying of the gap between Australia's poor and those at the top end of town. During 1997-98 (the latest figures) the bottom 20 per cent of households in Australia accounted for 3.8 percent of all wages, salaries, pensions and benefits, superannuation benefits and business incomes. The top 20 percent received 48.3 per cent. The bottom 60 per cent received only 27.8 per cent of all income - a drop of over one-half percent on a year earlier (The Australian, 6/8/99)
CONTINUING RUSSIAN DEBACLE
Since Boris Yeltsin took over from Mikhail Gorbachev in 1992 the IMF has bailed out the ailing Russia to the tune of $US27 billion. Most has disappeared without trace amid continuing deterioration. With a foreign debt of over $US150 billion (almost on a par with Australia's), Russia is expected to default on most of the $US17.5 billion in principal and interest due this year.
Commenting, Ariel Cohen of Washington's Heritage Foundation said: ".... Thus, Russia has all but joined the sorry roster of economic basket cases that includes Afghanistan, Congo, Iraq, Liberia, Somalia, Sudan and Yugoslavia. (Australian Financial Review, 16/8/99).
The sorriest story, however, concerns the $1,000 shelf-company FIMACO, set up in the Channel Islands. Ariel Cohen continued: ".... The Paris-based Eurobank, owned by the Russian Central Bank and some Russian tycoons, set up FIMACO in 1990 using $US1,000 in start up capital. The Shelf Company never did have its own office or staff. "Beginning in 1993, FIMACO handled up to $US37 billion and approximately $US13 billion in other currencies from the central bank reserves, including the IMF credits. With these funds FIMACO executives played the highly lucrative Russian short-term bond (GKO) market, where yields were up to 280 percent per year. Nobody knows where these astronomical earnings or FIMACO commissions went...." (It makes Christopher Skase look like Mother Theresa!)
NO ROOM AT THE TOP FOR EXPRESSION OR THOUGHT
by Alfred King
The Times newspaper reported the
very next Monday that "Labour and Liberal democrats issued
an unprecedented joint challenge to the Conservatives to denounce
Baroness Thatcher over Europe... urged William Hague (Conservative
Party leader) to 'slap down' the former prime minister's view
that Britain should pull out of the European Union. In a joint
statement they said there was no room at the top of British
politics for those who thought Britain should leave Europe".
These 'representatives' of the people in parliament are making
it clear that they actually refuse to represent in parliament
any view of their electorate that does not agree with that
of their party.
In reply, the Tory chairman merely whimpered that the party's policy was to be in Europe. This shows the difference between the so-called left and right of mainstream politics. The former is continually on the offensive; it is aggressive, noisy and demanding. It will not take what it sees as injustices lying down. By contrast, the so-called 'conservatives' are continually on the retreat. They are passive and cowardly, declining to battle for anything.
As we see in the Australian Liberal Party, surrender has been developed into a fine art. Furthermore, it is the most insidious party in Australia because it is the least honest in the declaration of its objectives. The Liberal Party poses as the conservative, patriotic party, while in fact it is working for the very opposite aims. As it has been said, "a Labor man is always preferable because you are in no doubt he is the enemy. He will come rushing at you with dagger raised. The Liberal is different. He will smile and shake hands with you, and then, when your guard is down, he will stab you in the back."
The New World Order policies that could not be achieved by Keating's up-front aggressive, abrasive style have been achieved under John Howard's leadership. GST, Republic Referendum, gun control, massive cuts in public services to the point that Australians are literally dying, etc., etc.
We cannot look to the main political parties for salvation. They do not consider the needs of the individual to be more important than the 'greater good' the Establishment elite are determined to impose on us. Regeneration can only come from the bottom up - from individuals working together voluntarily in grassroots movements.
DE-AMALGAMATION OF COUNCILS?
As Australia's population has grown - we're about 19 million now - the number of local councils has dropped. For example, in 1910 there were 324 Councils in New South Wales. Today there are 177. In the first six years of the '90s the number of Councils in Australia dropped from 826 to 658. In this period Queensland's number dropped from 134 to 125, South Australia's from 122 to 107, Tasmania's from 46 to 29. However, the number in New South Wales rose from 176 to 177, despite desperate attempts by both Labor and Coalition parties to enforce amalgamation in the '70s against fierce community resistance; and WA's from 138 to 142.
The most drastic reduction came in Victoria in 1993, when Premier Jeff Kennett cut the number from 210 to 78, besides vastly increasing State Government control.
In the Sydney area the Councils of Balmain, Leichardt, Annandale and Glebe amalgamated in the late 'forties. Now Balmain is seeking to re-establish itself as a separate Council. The Australian Financial Review (6/8/99) commented: ".... There is a view that small may be beautiful, and that it is not size that counts but how to get value for money. Lawyer and town planning expert Mr. John Mant said that in a big city like Sydney, tiny councils with a good ratepayer base might be more efficient because they could shop around for the best deal for their services, even from the council next door...."
Efficiency is not the only reason for smallness. The late Professor Gates from the University of Queensland, an expert in local government, said that once a council has a population exceeding 10,000, Councillors rapidly lose touch with ratepayers. This is even more true today, when local government receives so many instructions from planning departments and bureaucrats at State and Federal Government level.
Councillors need a sharp reminder from time to time that they are elected to serve ratepayers as their first priority. In other words, they are the elected servants of local people - not faceless bureaucrats.
The story of a community backlash in a small rural shire in Queensland is symptomatic of a general awakening in a number of areas. The little town of Nebo, some 120 kilometres from Mackay, with only a few hundred residents, was suddenly confronted by a policy that every household would have to have a 'wheely-bin'. Rubbish collections would take place weekly by contract with a Mackay firm, 120 kilometres away, which would come out and take the rubbish to the local dump. Naturally, this would add another $130 or so to household charges. The change was part of an environmental planning requirement from the State Government.
The peaceful people of Nebo decided, "enough was enough". They've disposed of their own rubbish for years, and were quite happy. Seems a small enough issue; but the Council foolishly ignored local opinion - although Council-run polls had told them what the people wanted. Nebo-ites became annoyed and intractable. They confronted the Council head-on, and told members they were the "servants of the people" - a concept which had apparently escaped councillors. As anger swelled and the people got organised it became a test of wills, which the people finally won. Councillors wavered and then retreated.
Simple though the issue sounds, the principle is vitally important. Councillors are elected by the people - not by State Government officials.
Resorting to pettiness, one Nebo dog-breeder was told by a Council official that the sign on her gate, which read BEWARE OF THE DOG, was politically incorrect. The next time he came round the sign had been changed. With a picture of a dog catching a tennis ball, the sign now read MY DOG CATCHES BALLS! The bureaucrat retired defeated, shaking his head! It was a valuable, and apparently enjoyable experience for local residents, who have realised that the Council is there for them - not the other way around.
'NAZI SCIENTISTS' CLAIMS A 'BEAT UP'The following letter to the editor appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald (18/8/99):
"The article claiming an influx of Nazi scientists into Australia after 1945 (Herald August 16) is a beat-up. The files are not 'previously classified', as I have read most of them. "I have a full list of the names, home addresses and occupations of all 137 entrants under the scheme to mid-1952. The list was given to ASIO to defuse its concern that there existed security risks among the arrivals.
Many of the participants were functionaries in the German war machine. How could they not be? Yet the truth is far more pedestrian. The previous history of all participants is documented in their personal files. Australia became party to the scheme which escalated out of a desire to keep German scientists and technicians out of the hands of the Russians. Newspapers published details of the individuals and their prospective employers as they arrived.
In Australia, the scheme was generally oriented towards facilitating industrial 'best practice'. For example, the Snowy Mountain Scheme was a belated enthusiastic supporter of the scheme.
The progress of the scheme is accessible in six-monthly Cabinet reports, and the tedious minutiae of relevant committees' minutes.
Nazis under the bed, in a budding down-under military campaign? Unlikely"
Dr. Evan Jones, Department of Economics, University of Sydney.
"MONARCHISTS ENLIST HITLER"
accuses journalist Richard McGregor in The Australian (20/8/99). It is acceptable for the republicans to insult and sneer at the Queen in the 'dirty tricks' campaign they have been conducting - but the monarchists are accused of a fear campaign when they suggest what could happen under power hungry politicians if Australia became a republic.
The Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy (ACM) have brought out a hard-hitting newspaper claiming the yes vote being urged by "elite baby-boomers could lead to a Hitler-like dictatorship" should the referendum pass in November. The campaign director of ACM, David Elliott, is unrepentant and defends the hard-hitting newspaper articles.
Malcolm Turnbull gets a serve in the
McGregor of The Australian observes,
"The (ACM) newspaper lampoons 'Citizen Turnbull and his millionaire
mates' in a preview of the tough campaign monarchists will
run in coming weeks."
Excerpts from Intelligence Survey article
by David Thompson
Send for "Republic: The Door to Dictatorship" by David Thompson in the Intelligence Survey.
"On Target" is published by the Australian League of Rights, Box 1052. G.P.O. Melbourne 3001.