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Christian based service movement warning about threats to rights and freedom irrespective of the label.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"
Edmund Burke
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On Target

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 power.
It's overthrow by power-seekers, however temporary, can only result in catastrophe. As St. Thomas Moore, Lord Chancellor of England, put it, 'England is hedged thick with laws, which, if they were uprooted, such a gale would blow through the realm that no man could stand.'
Charles I stated the same thing regarding the rights of the subject: 'Their liberty does not consist in making laws, but in having Law.'

....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."
Anthony Cooney, "The Moral Implications of Centralised Power", 2002


FREE TRADE TALKS STUMBLE ON

by Jeremy Lee
By the time this is read, Trade Ministers from 25 countries will be meeting at the Imperial Hotel in central Tokyo to map out this year's agenda and programme for the "Doha Round" – the World Trade Organisation's pursuit of 'free trade" in about every area of life. Looming large on the agenda are the two issues of free trade in agricultural products, and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), which would open up every area of domestic services – health, transport, water, sewerage, welfare, electricity, road-building and other public works, communications, etc. – to "international competition", including Competition Commissions and accountancy standards. The cheapest tender, including labour required, would, of necessity, be compulsory. Any idea of Australian projects for Australians would be abolished. Add to this list international conformity in taxation and budgets and the need for national governments would no longer be required. The proposal is so "globally totalitarian" that few have heard of it and those that have find it hard to believe it could be an actuality.

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:
".... In Japan, the peak farm lobby, the Central Union of Agricultural Co-operatives (Zenchu) has flatly rejected any US and Cairns Group proposals for sharp reductions in farm tariffs, including a top-tariff cap of 25 per cent. "If that happens it would destroy Japanese agriculture," says Zenchu's manager of international policy, Masahiro Konno. 'From the standpoint of agriculture associations in Japan, we cannot find any midpoint between our stance and the stance of exporting countries; and we think we should not make any compromise ....' "
Asked about the status of the farm talks, an Australian official simply sighs and says: 'We are shaping up for a stalemate' ...."


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:
" ... The Federal Government said strong imports were a sign the Australian economy continued to outpace the rest of the world ..." Pardon me? Does this mean that if our imports had been 24% higher, rather than 12%, we'd be better off still?

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 WAR

The 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 DESTRUCTION

Whatever 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 BIRTHRATE

The 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!

MULTICULTURAL-IMMIGRATION TIME-BOMB

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 up process'.
In fact, Douglas Christie was here as a guest of the Australian League of Rights, and he warned us of the long-term impact of the proposed war crimes trials on our national sovereignty. He explained that once we had accepted the practice of the trial of any one national, of any one country, in any other country, we were on the way to accepting 'world justice' – in other words, 'world government'. He warned us the proposed war crimes legislation was part of the process of 'softening up' Australians to accept the rule of the United Nations and International Law. Ten years down the track it has happened! Not only has the little lemming, John Howard, by-passed Parliament in his collusion with the Bush Administration, but Opposition leader, Simon Crean, continues to bleat about the ALP not sanctioning the commitment of Australian servicemen in an aggressive war against Iraq – unless the United Nations Security Council agrees to it!


THE NUCLEAR BOMB HOAX

by Imad Khadduri, former Iraqi nuclear official
We believe we have clearly stated our opposition to John Howard's dictatorial decision to involve our young servicemen and women in a war of aggression against Iraq and had decided there was not much more to add till further developments took place. But Imad Khadduri's response to Colin Powell's speech to the United Nations from Yellowtimes.org is surely worthy of circulation. A MSc in Physics from the University of Michigan (United States) and a PhD in Nuclear Reactor Technology from the University of Birmingham (United Kingdom), Khadduri worked with the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission from 1968 until 1998. He was able to leave Iraq in late 1998 with his family. He now teaches and works as a network administrator in Toronto, Canada. He has been interviewed by the Toronto Star, Reuters, and various other news agencies in regards to his knowledge of the Iraqi nuclear program. The following is an edited version of his response:

"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.
It was becoming apparent that Blix was succumbing to the American pressure tactics and leaned backwards to provide them with flimsy "proof" at the expense of his supposed fairness and mandate as a UN official. Powell grasped even this straw.

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:
Where is the scientific and engineering staff required for such an enormous effort when almost all of them have been living in abject poverty for the past decade, striving to simply feed their families on $20 a month, their knowledge and expertise rusted and atrophied ...
Where is the management that might lead such an enterprise? The previous management team of the nuclear weapon program in the eighties exists only in memories and reports...
Where are the buildings and infrastructure to support such a program? The entire nuclear weapon program of the eighties has been either bombed by the Americans during the war or uncovered by the IAEA inspectors... Powell should only take a look at North Korea's atomic weapon facilities, or perhaps even Israel's, to realize the impossibility of hiding such structures with the IAEA inspectors scouring everything in sight...

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.
Comment .. ed: Those who plan to attend a meeting near them should pose the question to Peter Lewis beforehand, thus enabling him to publicly respond to the concerns.

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."
"What Kind of Democracy is This?", New York Times, 4/1/97.


BASIC FUND

Donations 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' CLUB

Adelaide 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' CLUB

The 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.
© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159