The Australian Government has been aware of bribe payments for Iraq wheat sales for five years, it has been claimed today.
The United Nations sent official warning to the Prime Minster and the Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2000, according to Opposition Foreign Affairs Spokesman Kevin Rudd.
Mr Rudd asked today:
What did [Trade Minister] Mark Vaile do in response to that cable?"
"What did [Foreign Affairs] Alexander Downer do in response to that cable given that it went to his office as well?
"What did John Howard do in response to that cable - it went to his office as well.?"
In Australia, foreign bribes are tax-deductable
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has found Australia should increase fines for companies that bribe foreign officials
It's also concerned that lining the pockets of foreign officials to "grease the wheels of progress" will get you a discount at the Australian Taxation Office. The ATO calls the bribes "facilitation payments"
The Australian-based company that the world knows best for bribery is Halliburton. A subsidiary company, wholly owned by its U.S. parent, Halliburton organises construction projects worldwide from its offices in Adelaide, South Australia. With many projects in many countries, many wheels could need greasing.
Australia’s Donald Rumsfeld, Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Robert Hill, offered a pious rebuttal of Kim Beazley’s call last week for the withdrawal of Australian forces from Iraq (‘No Question Of Walking Away’, Herald, January 12).
Next to the UK, Australia was the most vocal supporter for the illegal war of aggression mounted by the US against Iraq, with Howard, Hill & Downer at times seeking to outdo each other with their hyperbole in support of the draft-dodging George Bush’s middle-east military adventure (two days before Hill’s piece was published, Lord Downer unpacked another of his shrill performances by declaring that pulling out of Iraq would be 'catastrophic').
“In view of the uncertainties about climate change and possible effects, it seems premature to take major action either reacting to possible effects or to limit greenhouse gas emissions."
- McFarlane (1990)
“It is not proven that climatic changes will occur and the effects are not predictable with our current state of knowledge… it remains to be proven that a greenhouse effect is, in fact, occurring.”
- McFarlane (1990)
Ian McFarlane, Federal minister for Industry and Resources is founder of Central Pacific Minerals and South Pacific Petroleum and former oil company CEO. Ian is one of the key delegates at the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate Change (AP6) argues for no caps on greenhouse emissions, stating that the private sector, with "incentives" will solve our greenhouse problems if we leave them to it.
ABC Radio's AM has revealed that the Department Of Defence has made a secret compensation payout over copied equipment designs.
"It seems as though it's in the order of one million dollars that's been spent either in compensation or legal fees, perhaps a bit more than that, and that is money that could have gone to properly equipping our troops, Quite frankly it's a scandal." Opposition Defence spokesman Robert McClelland told the ABC
Mr McClelland has called on Defence Minister Hill to investigate "systematic flaws, if not corrupt practices" within the defence force's procurment arm, the Defence Materiels Organisation.
Several Adelaide-based US Defence Corporations are disguising themselves as small businesses to "loophole" US Legislation, according to a US Survey.
In the chase for Australian Defence contracts, some of the same
companies have subsidiariaries mirroring the questionable US practices.
Defense Industry Daily reported yesterday that that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has ordered the U.S. Small Business Administration (USSBA) to release to the American Small Business League (ASBL) a draft report on the awarding of government contracts.
It is sorely tempting to accept Professor Mirko Bagaric’s thesis that Australians would not benefit from a Bill of Rights Your Right Not To Have A Bill of Rights
The good Professor’s smooth but superficial arguments in support of his thesis range from the simplistic contention that we are already the happiest people in the world (whatever that is supposed to signify), through to an argument that our politicians can’t be trusted with the task anyway.
Merry Christmas to all at Your Democracy...
What are we to do
with this site in the new year? My thoughts are that it should be taken
off my hands. I've been inconsistent in maintaining it at best, and am only getting busier with Webdiary.
John, Richard, Gus? You are the core of the continuation here. Nigel, David? You built this site. What do you guys want to do? This thread is for that discussion.
... and a beaut new year to all.
If you thought the devil was behind it, you’ve confused a couple blatant liars who strut when they walk!
After well over three years of lying, prevaricating, misleading, and confusing the American people, after killing, maiming and destroying the livelihoods of tens of thousands of Iraqis and Americans at a healthy 20-to-1 ratio, and after the unprecedented destruction of Iraq’s infrastructure, let the record show, on December 14, 2005, Dubya said "I am responsible!"
All this time I've been thinking that Christmas was just mid-financial year orgy of consumerism, required to prop-up the retail market. But now Prime Minister Howard is saying it's all about Christianity! I wonder if he would be back in the papers taking it all back if we all took him up on his request, and went to church, or spent time with the family unit instead of going to the shopping centres!
But seriously, we have quite a good separation of church and state here, and it is a shame to see it interfered with. If people wanted shopping centres to show the nativity, then I'm sure they would oblige. But the PM calling for the reenforcement of Christian ritual unnecessarily marginalises non-Christians, and potentially adds fuel to the fiery bellies of some misguided Anglo-Saxon Christians.
‘This is a story that implicates all of us. Torture, and fear of torture, are factors in holding costs down in our new-age globalized production system. Take just-in-time delivery, add a touch of submersion in shit, fear of beating, fear of drowning, and voilà! You get Wal-Mart’s everyday low prices.
That’s not quite how the story gets conveyed in the business press, however. When American economists and executives opine about China, you don’t hear about the jailing and abuse of workers who seek decent living standards. There’s nothing new in this: Our guys in the oil business have never said word one about the repressive Saudi regime, and United Fruit was always the Latin American banana-republic dictator’s best friend.
HELP! Wanted: Transcript of John Howards Address to the Nation dated the evening of the Global Anti Protest Day - Sunday 16th February 2003??? (I was protesting at the base of Parliament House in Adelaide).
I specifically remember a line within the Address that I wish to revisit as spoken by our Prime Minister John Howard that night. I could not believe it at the time and yet I wasn't surprised. I remember the line rekindled my thoughts about the direction that Australia (following the UK and the US) could be heading during and possibly post Iraq invasion. Since early 2003 what I have seen and heard confirms it.
It may come as a surprise to many people but banks 'print' money, the government has no real control over monetary policy and as a result has almost no control over the economy at all.
What do you mean banks print money?
When you go to a bank and get a loan on a mortgage the bank is not lending money which someone has actually deposited with them. They just record your debt and create electronic money by recording a credit in someone else’s account. You pay interest on the money they just created. Why do you pay interest on something which cost nothing to create? - because banks decide you should and there is nothing we can do about it.