The Australian Alert Service is the weekly publication of the Citizens Electoral Council of Australia.
It will keep you updated of strategic events both in Australia, and worldwide, as well as the organising activities of the CEC.
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In this week's Australian Alert Service
15 March 2017
Mass strike forces policy reversals, even Glass-Steagall
15 Mar.—Australian Labor Party frontbencher Matt
Thistlethwaite indicated yesterday that the ALP's banking
royal commission could lead to the break up of the Big
Four banks. Without using the name, Thistlethwaite made
clear to Peter van Onselen on Sky News that he was talking
"Is it possible that Labor might look at legislation to
break up the banks?" van Onselen asked. "Yeah", Thistlethwaite
said. "There's a whole host of people who argue
that we should break up the retail banking sections, so deposits
and mortgages from the wealth management, the insurance
that they've added on over recent years, and it's an
approach that was taken in the US, it was watered down unfortunately
by Bill Clinton. It's something that they're doing
in the UK and there's calls for it to happen in Australia…."
There sure are—repeated calls, mainly from one clear
voice, that of the Citizens Electoral Council. In April 2016
Thistlethwaite's leader Bill Shorten acknowledged as much
when he answered a question at a public meeting on GlassSteagall
by saying: "Sometimes this question gets asked by
the Citizens Electoral Council." He then dismissed the idea:
"We're not going to introduce the Glass-Steagall law."
So what's changed? Political reality, that's what, driven
by economic reality. People all over the world who are economically
on their knees have started rising up and voting
against Establishment policies and politicians who represent
the vested financial interests of Wall Street and the
City of London who have impoverished them. Since Shorten
brushed off Glass-Steagall in April 2016, blue collar voters
in the UK's former industrial heartland have rocked the
world by voting for Brexit, and a similar demographic in the
USA have given the world another shake by voting Donald
Trump into the White House. It wasn't lost on Australian
politicians that Trump campaigned for Glass-Steagall,
as did Bernie Sanders, and since taking office Trump has
twice reiterated his support for the policy.
There are multiple other signs in Australia that the mass
strike among angry voters is driving distinct policy shifts.
Western Australian voters, suffering a post-mining boom
economic collapse characterised by rising unemployment
and falling house prices, brutally punished the Liberal government
at the 11 March state election, voting it out in a
landslide. The Liberals had proposed to privatise the state's
electricity system—a policy that Australians have come to
loathe. Significantly, the victorious Labor Party, once indistinguishable
from the Liberals on neoliberal policies such
as privatisation, campaigned strongly against the sale.
The South Australian Labor government has just announced
its intention to override the National Electricity
Market. Much of its proposal is inadequate and misguided,
but nevertheless it asserts the principle that a government
obligated to the common good, and not "market forces", has
the responsibility to ensure adequate infrastructure. Similarly,
federal Liberal treasurer Scott Morrison this week proposed
to address the crisis in housing affordability by establishing
a government bank to fund community housing. This is a
sharp break from his predecessor Joe Hockey's 2009 declaration
that "governments should not be involved in banking".
The CEC has stood firm for the policies that the mass
strike is driving the major parties to adopt. Thus it was especially
laughable when senior Murdoch columnist Dennis
Atkins in the 13 March Courier-Mail praised retired National
Party Senator Ron Boswell, who for decades had attacked
the CEC for leading the fight against the neoliberal
globalisation policies of free trade, deregulation and privatisation
that the major parties, including the Nationals,
had embraced. "He took on the Citizens Electoral Council
and exposed them as conspiracy theorists who offered
nothing but comfort in ignorance", Atkins drooled. Well,
voters are repudiating everything Boswell represented, and
in desperation the major parties are abandoning their neoliberal
policies and turning to policies consistently championed
by the CEC.
Articles include the following:
- Showdown of the real vs. bubble economies
- Italian finance committee examines bank separation
- China begins countdown to international Belt & Road Forum
- Maglev proposals continue
- Testimony on Maryland House Resolution HJ4
- President Trump reiterates Glass-Steagall
- Glass-Steagall for Australia
- Petition to Parliament Break up the big banks now
- American 'colour revolution' faltering
- 'UMBRAGE': WikiLeaks burns down CIA false-flag factory
- Will Trump clean up Obama's mess in Syria?
- Gas cartel threatens energy security
- Glass-Steagall's time has come—organise for victory!
- 'A symphony performed by all participating countries'
- ALMANAC: Understanding Russia's role in today's world (Part I)
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