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14 February 2003. Thought for the Week: "Society
is a continuum. It exists through time. It does not consist
solely of those who happen to be alive at any given moment,
it is both an inheritance and a bequest. This continuity
is expressed through the universal moral law which is
superior to both transient 'majorities' and transient
....What is the remedy for our present predicament? It
is not to seek to defeat power with power, to cast out
Beelzebub by Beelzebub....Power properly resides in the
person....and nothing is so effective as individual initiative.
Certainly the collectivists both fear and hate individual
initiative, it is indeed the one thing they do fear."
FREE TRADE TALKS STUMBLE ON
by Jeremy Lee
But governments, with one eye over their shoulders at increasingly-restless electorates, are shuffling their feet. Among the most starry-eyed is Australia, which stopped protecting its farmers and industries long ago, and imagine it's only a matter of time before giants such as Europe, the US and Japan follow our enlightened lead. All of which is hard to sustain when we look at the massive subsidies the United States has agreed to pay its farmers over $US300 billion for the next ten-year period; while it keeps up the rhetoric of "free trade" for the rest of us.
Japan, too, is digging in its heels.
The Australian Financial Review (3/3/03) said:
SACRIFICING ANOTHER GREAT AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY
Australia's cane industry, which stretches from northern New South Wales almost as far as Cooktown, has produced prodigiously for well over 100 years since long before Federation. It has supplied Australia's sugar needs and exported onto the world market. It has prevented other countries selling sugar in Australia with tariff protection, thus keeping our own industry viable. All that is changing. At a time when world sugar prices have tumbled, and giants such as Brazil are stepping up their already massive cane plantations, the rug is being pulled out from under our own producers, threatening to destroy them.
Three recent reports, including a Federal Government report and a Queensland Government report, have recommended 'de-regulation' (that trendy "free market" word). No support for 'inefficient' farmers! Currently, the world price for sugar is half the average world price of production. Other sugar-producing nations make up the difference with subsidies. Australia won't. Of Queensland's 6,400 cane farmers about one-third (2,700) have an average debt of $428,000 each, and the industry's total debt is $1.2 billion about the same as the total value of the crop.
Already, the crisis in the cane industry is having a drastic effect on towns and industries. Five years ago, some 160 cane harvesters a year were being sold. By 2001 this had been reduced to 15, and in 2002 only nine. It is estimated that 50% of the farmers in the Burdekin were unable to pay their last water bill due to financial hardship. The farmer receives a miserly 16 cents a kilogram for sugar which retails to the consumer for $1.36.
World wheat prices are tumbling again. Wool is at the highest level for some time, but drought-beset producers are unable to take advantage. The drought has turned a slow destruction into a quick catastrophe. One hopes that it will shake Australia into the realization of how important its remaining farmers are. But there is no sign of such realism yet. They are still the sacrificial lambs on the altar of insane global policies which few nations take seriously except our myopic rural politicians.
AUSTRALIA'S TRADE DEFICIT
Our Trade deficit in December almost
touched $3 billion our biggest ever. Imports were up 12
per cent and exports down 2 per cent. The Government's response?
The Weekend Australian (2-3/3/03) reported:
As a reflection of this marvellous state of affairs a report by two sociologists, Peter Dawkins of the University of Melbourne, and Editor-at-large of The Australian, Paul Kelly, shows one Australian child out of every six living in a household with no employment. Conscious of how well the nation is doing, a report in The Australian Financial Review (3/3/03) told us that the average Coalition Federal MP spent $129,000 in 2001 on newsletters and stationary. Four backbenchers spent more than $300,000 each, no doubt to keep their electorate informed about what a marvellous job they were doing. In 1992-93 the average amount spent was about $12,000. They can't have had as much good news to report!
LIBERALS AGAINST WARThe former President of the Liberal Party, John Valder, has launched a movement called "Liberals Against War", with one or two other former front-benchers. One wonders whether there are any current Coalition MPs who are opposed to the war. We'll never know, unless a miracle happens. They are all subject to strict party orders that they must keep their consciences to themselves and vote as they are told. Simon Crean was asked whether he would move for a "conscience vote" in parliament over a war against Iraq. He declined, preferring the same "party solidarity" as the Coalition. It makes an absolute mockery of the parliamentary process.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER AN INVASION?Rory Steele, who was Australia's Ambassador to Iraq from 1985-1988, in a comprehensive article in The Australian (5/3/03) has warned that an invasion of Iraq would be the easy part, but would usher in what he calls "the mother of all messes". He pointed to the diverse and hostile groups waiting for a chance of revenge, from the Kurds to the North to the bitter divisions between the two hostile elements of Islam, the Sunnis and the Shias. Steele contends that the idea of producing a stable leadership from exiles is as preposterous as the hope of a stable leadership in Afghanistan. He concludes:
".... Who will oversee this mother of all messes? It's unlikely to be the UN. The international community, after all, has no stomach for invasion, let alone possibly years of subsequent crackdown. The invaders and their allies must do it ....The peacekeepers' role could be thankless, dangerous and open-ended ...."
FINANCING DESTRUCTIONWhatever happens, it's not going to come cheap. Under the heading BUSH WAR CHEST TO LEAVE U.S. IN THE RED, The Australian (5/3/03) reported:
"The US will run record deficits for the next two years and remain in the red for a further three under a $US2.23 trillion ($3.81 trillion) budget plan published by President Bush yesterday. "The White House proposals seek a massive and sustained boost to military spending, accelerated tax cuts and a squeeze on most domestic programs. Over the next five years the US budget deficits will total $US1.08 trillion, starting with $US304 billion this year and $US307 billion next year. ... The money is earmarked for elite special operations forces, more unmanned drones, new warships, a boost in military pay and more testing of the President's planned missile defence shield ...." So far we haven't discovered whether this added budget spending will include fridge magnets for all American households!
WORLD'S FALLING BIRTHRATEThe United Nations releases a report every two years on projected global population growth. The latest report has surprised the doomsayers by releasing the news that the world's population has peaked and is beginning to fall. A Sunday Times (UK) report told us:
"... In 2000 the average fertility figure for 2050 was estimated at 2.1 children the replacement level but recent shifts have been so remarkable that the forthcoming report for 2002 will reduce this projected world average to 1.86. The current Western average is 1.6. Alarmist predictions of a world population of more than 10 or 11 billion by mid-century would not be reached ...." And George Bush is doing his little bit to help!
For some electors, the policy of 'multi-culturalism' has produced some bitter fruits and is now being examined closely. It has dawned on them there is in their midst a 'multicultural-migration-time-bomb', which has been 'ticking away' during the politically correct years. Newspapers now see fit to publish letters on the worrying subject, something that would have been unheard of ten years earlier. Many are questioning why these policies were allowed to be pursued in the first place. Some ask why were migrants encouraged to form enclaves and why were they not encouraged to assimilate as were the post WW2 immigrants?
Electors need to be asking their federal politicians these questions and demanding answers. The League warned that Australia was heading for disaster; pointing out there was, as yet, no country in the world that demonstrated 'multiculturalism' worked successfully. It is tempting to say 'we told you so'! Especially when one remembers all the smears and personal attacks League members endured for daring to publicly question the bipartisan multicultural policies of the major parties.
BOIL THE WATER SLOWLY NOW
In the early 1990s changes were made to the immigration laws as a means of preventing men such as David Irving visiting Australia. His most recent application to visit his daughter, who now lives in this country, was again refused. At the time, the Australian Jewish News (17/11/92) registered its approval of the proposed legislation as it "could be used to bar the entry to Australia of people like the holocaust revisionist David Irving or his lawyer Douglas Christie, who visited Australia some months ago and spoke in support of historians who deny the holocaust".
Legislation was part of the 'softening
THE NUCLEAR BOMB HOAX
by Imad Khadduri, former Iraqi nuclear
"In his speech in front of the UN Security Council on February 5, 2003, Colin Powell did not offer any viable new evidence concerning Iraq's nuclear weapon capability that Bush and his entourage continue to wave as a red flag in front of the eyes of the American people to incite them shamefully into an unjust war. On the contrary, the few flimsy so-called pieces of evidence that were presented by Powell regarding a supposed continued Iraqi nuclear weapon program serve only to weaken the American and British accusations and reveal their untenable attempt to cover with a fig leaf their thread bare arguments and misinformation campaign... Powell, in a theatrical query, asked why the Iraqi scientists were asked to sign declarations, with a death penalty if not adhered to, not to reveal their secrets to the IAEA inspection teams. Exactly the opposite is true. The four or five, as I recall, such declarations, which I read in detail, held us to the penalty of death in the event that we did not hand in all of the sensitive documents and reports that may still be in our possession! Had Powell's intelligence services provided him with a copy of these declarations, and not depended on "defector's" testimonies who are solely motivated by their self-promotion in the eyes of their "beholders", and availed himself to a good Arabic translation of what these declarations actually said, he would not, had he in any sense been abiding by the truth, mentioned this as "evidence".
This is exactly the cause of the second
untruth brandished by Powell; that Iraq is hiding or is still
working (it is hard to discern from the tangle of his word
what is really meant) on its "third" uranium enrichment process
by referring to the cache of documents seized in the house
of Faleh Hamza... this was well documented and explained in
our final report to the IAEA inspectors in late 1997, which
they confirmed and referred to in their own final report on
the matter... Arrogantly, the Americans are wondering why
other scientists are not coming forward. Even worse, Blix
chose to wave this torn flag in front of the Security Council
in his report on Monday, January 27, 2003. This fact alone
was one of the reasons I have decided to come out. Even Mohamed
Baradei, the head of the IAEA, chided Blix the following day
for not taking into account IAEA's knowledge on this matter,
which was that the 3000 pages of documents were financial
statements and Faleh's own lifetime research work, and had
nothing to do with the nuclear weapon program. That is why
he kept them at his home.
Powell only accused but did not provide
any evidence that Iraq had tried to get nuclear grade fissile
material since 1998. He vainly gave the impression that everything
was set and readily waiting for just this material to be acquired
and the atomic bomb would be rolling out the other door. He
did not bother to ask himself the following questions:
Finally, the infamous aluminium pipes that are supposed to be used in a centrifugal enrichment process. Powell and Bush should be able to relax regarding this point, for they would have at least a ten-year attack period before Iraq would be able to militarize these pipes... According to the "American experts" themselves, such a process would need kilometres of strung out, highly tuned, delicately controlled spinners to fulfil their ill-wish for Iraq... This is not even mentioning the lack of a stable electric power supply in Iraq or the phantom of highly technical staff to run these kilometers long "very high grade and expensive" mortar casings ...
Powell said: "Let me now turn to nuclear weapons. We have no indication that Saddam Hussein has ever abandoned his nuclear weapons program." This verges on being humorous. But as the Arabic proverb goes: The worst kind of misfortune is that which causes you to laugh."
CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION PUBLIC MEETING
The following report of the public meeting held in Mount Gambier, February 4th, 2002 came from a League supporter
About 80 to 90 people attended the meeting. It was broken up into smaller groups where ALL of the eight questions were discussed by each group. This was better than certain groups discussing only some of the questions. Peter Lewis briefly outlined, as did the Chairman, what had led to South Australians having these meetings. Then speakers from the Steering Committee spoke briefly about the issues. First was ALP Michael Atkinson who likes the concept of CIR. Next came Liberal Robert Lawson who said there had been numerous small changes to our State Constitution. He explained the State Constitution could be changed by a simple Act thus amending legislation. However, some matters, such as the abolition of the Upper House could not pass without a referendum because it is considered "entrenched". He could see no reason to change things at this stage if it 'aint broke don't fix it'. He thought CIR could be influenced by big money and possibly the city could dominate any outcome. Comment...ed: Someone should have pointed out to Robert Lawson 'big money now influences political parties and politics in this State and the city already dominates over the country.
ALP politician Ron Roberts spoke nicely
and said nothing. Peter Lewis then spoke (with passion) that
"the people should be in the driver's seat". He said CIR was
needed to avoid the "excesses" or problems that already exist.
He outlined an idea he has for reforming the election of Upper
House members. It would mean the electors of the whole State
electing 9 members for the Upper House, then the electors
within 6 zones across the State electing 2 members each (12)
to give more rural representation. This would see the Upper
House numbers reduced from 22 members to 21. It appeared a
good idea at first, but in our group discussion it was pointed
out that a quota needed to be elected would be higher than
now, thus lessening the chances of minor groups or independents
being elected. This needs more discussion and consideration.
It was well worth attending, if only to steer the CIR debate back on the rails. Some people think there will be too many referendums and that power groups will influence the outcome, etc. Another concern is the proposal for a massive threshold of petitioners required to trigger the processes for a referendum. The task of gathering the large percentage of signatures suggested would be a mammoth task for individual electors. It was noticeable in the large meeting, as well as in the smaller groups, there is considerable support for what Peter Lewis is proposing. The hoary old chestnuts to put people off the idea of CIR were trundled out. Example: Californians voted to reduce taxes and subsequently the roads and footpaths all fell into disrepair, etc. This was answered by observing, "They already had CIR, so all they needed to do was have another referendum to reverse the first if the results were that bad."
SOME THOUGHTS ON THE DISCUSSION PAPER
The Steering Committee would have us believe, "Like the Commonwealth, the State of South Australia is a representative democracy with a parliamentary system of government." The committee would have us believe that under a financially controlled, centralized system of 'majority vote' rule, South Australians live in a democratic State. It would also have us believe, "One of the main characteristics of a parliamentary system is the concept of responsible government."
So sure are electors that they do not live in a democracy, and that the electoral/political processes are so weighted against them, they are opting out by refusing to vote in elections. The ALP's Mark Latham made reference to this fact in the Adelaide Advertiser, 15/8/02, "Net is key to downloading a new view of politicians": "One of the most disheartening aspects of the last federal election was the large informal vote."
His article clearly demonstrates that politicians have not yet grasped why people are opting out. A lesson in democracy now Mark, repeat after me: Electors are withholding their vote in protest against the lack of choice between the policies of the parties and the policies between the parties. Electors are withholding their vote because of the lack of consistent representation. With the continual changes of electoral boundaries, more for the benefit of the major political parties and not in the interests of the electors, people are opting out of the process of democracy. Electors are withholding their vote because politicians are not accepting their responsibility for the results of their policies!
For too long the political parties have
used the political processes to shore up their own controls
and power over the people. This system of centralised power
cannot be called a democracy. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn insisted
'freedom of the press' is only an instrument of democracy,
and so are the institutions of government! They are simply
a means of attaining democracy! "Democracy", he said, "in
the unarguable sense of the word means the rule of the people
that is, a system in which the people are truly in charge
of their daily lives and can influence the course of their
own historical fate."
BASIC FUNDDonations during this last week have brought the fund up to $17,117.50. Once again, thank you to those who have given so generously. But we need a greater surge of funds to take us on to the target. To those who have not yet made a contribution to the annual appeal, we need your contribution for the ongoing work of the League, will you please determine to do so during this coming week?
ADELAIDE CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUBAdelaide supporters please note the February meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 18th. Guest speaker will be Port Lincoln mayor, Mr. Peter Davis. The title of his address is "What the Big Money is doing in Port Lincoln". Port Lincoln is a town of significant size and geographically unique. He tells us the problems of power and water supplies are increasing at the same time as the growing population. He will tell us of the future hopes and plans for the region which may involve some large business investments. Peter's address will commence at 7.30pm. A Two-Course Dinner will be served (from 6.30pm) for $18 per person (new caterer) and Dinner bookings must be in by Thursday, February 13th. Phone/fax: 8395 9826/7.
SYDNEY CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUBThe next meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 26th, at the Lithuanian Club, 16 East Terrace, Bankstown. There is ample parking at the Club, situated only 600 metres from the Bankstown Railway Station. There are nearby facilities for a meal before the meeting. The cost of your attendance is $4 per person. The guest speaker is Mr. Keysar Trad (Executive Director of the Lebanese Muslim Assocation). His subject will be "Iraq and the Middle East". Mr. Trad is an excellent speaker who will explain the implications of the pressure on Iraq.
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