Saturday 21st March 1998

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Recent stories exclusive to  (how to) subscribe/rs of the Australian National News of the Day:

The proposed privatisation of Telstra 16th March 1998
Queensland State Candidates meet the people 15th March 1998
One Nation, the First Year 12th March 1998
Pauline Hanson tackles the MAI in Parliament while the media re-writes history 10th March 1998
Feature: How did the Hanson phenomenon start? 8th March 1998
Presentation on "the level playing field" that ain't 7th March 1998
B A Santa Maria on Australia pre- and post- Hawke. 6th March 1998
Lateline report on the MAI - 80% of Australia's economic activity is controlled by multinationals. 5th March

Current topical links (available to all readers):
[Links to the MAI] [Queensland One Nation State Election website]
[Sign the "I'm so sorry Pauline" book]

Archive of weekly features (available to all readers):
[The Canberra Column] [Economic Rationalism]

Today's Headlines
an Aussie's viewpoint on Australia's first daily Internet newspaper.
Since October 1995

More One Nation state candidates to be announced tonight.

Several new One Nation Queensland state candidates are to be announced by Pauline Hanson tonight at a meeting in Beenleigh. Following these announcements about half of Queensland's seats will be represented by One Nation in the next state election.

The current list of candidates is available on the Queensland State home page.

News Limited launch an attack on detractors of the MAI.

In what can only be termed an act of self-preservation in these fast changing times News Limited's Courier Mail carry two articles on the MAI. Both of them show the ignorance and bias of the reporters - one identified as National affairs editor - Peter Charlton. They are carried on page 28 in The Monitor section of the paper.

The first by Charlton is headed "Conspiracy Theories"... here is an extract from the full report:

"And so it is with the information on the MAI. Take, for example, The MAI, a web page prepared by Global Web Builders on behalf of Pauline Hanson MP which makes the following claim, “The MAI is the international linchpin of what is, in the end, a totalitarian project for world rule”. Hanson’s page builders quote, with obvious approval, Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad: “The traders apparently make billions with each transaction. But when the funds at their disposal are huge and they are in a position to influence the values of the currencies with their investments and divestments, then the currency markets become cash cows to them.’....

"Hanson’s criticisms can be dismissed as those of an ignorant, illeducated person with a political barrow to push; Seid’s opinions, as an academic working in the field might be better regarded - until they are subjected to elementary critical analysis."

The second, like frequently asked questions attempts to explain MAI from a multinationalists perspective.

Here are some extracts from the second report:

Will the MAI hand over vast powers to multinational companies who will then plunder us in their search for a single world economy?

No, absolutely not. This kind of alarmist view is being peddled by the fringe political groups, many of which see the international finance as a ‘Zionist world conspiracy’. Their views are ignorant, ill-informed and dangerous.

Why have we not heard about the MAI before this?

It has not been an issue to excite the interest of Australian journalists so far. To be fair, the negotiations are slow and detailed and not regarded as ‘sexy’. On the other hand, Australian journalists and news organisations have not been swept up by the hysterical, biased and ignorant campaigns against the MAI being conducted in Canada and elsewhere.

email the editorFeel free to comment on what News Limited reported today.

Here are my views:

The ‘done deal’

In January this year Pauline Hanson brought the nation’s attention to the ramifications of the international treaty called the multilateral agreement on investments (MAI). Since this time the MAI has been rejected by a wide range of minority political groups and activists. As a result the major parties have been forced to changed their official tune that MAI is ‘good for Australia’. As a result the ‘Parliamentary joint standing committee on treaties’ has been established to investigate the MAI.

This standing committee is made up largely of politicians from the major political parties whose real concern in the MAI and previous international treaties is best exposed by the manner in which the financial services industry agreement (FSIA).

Like the MAI, the FSIA was kept out of the public eye when it was being negotiated and then signed in 1995 under the ALP. As was a revision signed by the Coalition in December 1997. When the initial agreement was signed in 1995 Senator Bob McMullins, Minister for Trade, said, ‘The financial services agreement will directly benefit Australian banks, insurance companies and securities traders.’

In December 1997 the World Trade Organisation web site tells us that the FSIA was amended by Australia, under the Coalition, with new clauses including the following:

‘That the FSIA eliminates a prohibition on the acquisition of control of any of Australia's four main banks. Also eliminates a measure which prohibits banks (resident or non-resident) from holding shares in the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and other entities from holding more than five percent of its issued share capital;’

How then can Australians believe the Coalition when they claim that foreign ownership in Telstra, once sold, will be limited to 35%. The Commonwealth Bank was sold by the government on the basis that it was to remain under Australian control.

We only have to look at what has happened to loyal bank employees in Australia and the costs associated with holding a banking account to realise that the ‘done deal’ the FSIA does not have the interests of Australian voters in mind.

How can we believe that the proposed sale of Telstra or the MAI will be treated any differently?

Making the news" -
an indepth exposé of media and political collusion at the highest possible levels in Australia.


State premiers walk out on John Howard

When the state premiers did not get their way from an unbending Prime Minister in Canberra yesterday they simply walked out of the meeting en-masse. The confrontation developed over the federal government's refusal to give the state's more money in the health area.

They are demanding an increase of Au$1.1 billion over the next five years - something Howard refused to do.

Howard called the premier's walk out "a kindergarten stunt".

Queensland's premier Rob Borbidge said, "I can assure all Queenslanders that despite the loaded dice from Canberra our hospitals will all remain open. Unlike other states, we will not have to close doors and reduce services."

Queensland was offered a base funding of Au$932 million by Canberra - Au$3 million less than last year.

"We would simply have to have rocks in our head to sign off on an offer which is an insult to this state," Borbidge said.

New South Wales ALP premier, Bob Carr said, "This is a contemptible attack. The people who will lose most will be the chronically ill, older Australians and people waiting for elective surgery".

The walk out meant that there was no discussion on gun laws.

email the editor

You say:


Finally I ran into your web site and now I understand what all the fuss is about. I am a regular reader of the Sydney Morning Herald via the internet. I am amazed at the success your fledgling party is enjoying. Please include me on your email listing. I would also enjoy any printed material you may wish to share with me.

Your party's goals are not inconsistent with mine and many millions of others of us here in the United States and in my state of Florida.

Thank you,
Phillip S. Berry

Subject: Re Petrol prices

So, petrol prices are set to drop in Australia. Does that also apply to Townsville and other towns in the far north of Queensland? Or will a gutless government still permit the pirates and profiteers up here to maintain artificially inflated fuel rices. As a matter of interest, at my local servo, the price for leaded petrol has increased by 5 cents a litre in the past two days.


Personal trivia, from the global office:

Another perfect day in paradise. Hot but cooling rains over night.

Have a good one.

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