February 28th 2004

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Don't torch the sugar industry!

CANBERRA OBSERVED: New tactics needed to handle Latham challenge

TRADE: Where does new free trade pact leave us?

NCC holds successful 2004 National Conference

DRUGS: Sweden turns off teenage drug tap

STRAWS IN THE WIND : Alabama's got the bomb / Swords into ploughshares / Closed minds

Free trade and sugar (letter)

Rethink US-Australia FTA (letter)

A Cuban's view of Fidel Castro (letter)

Political correctness in schools (letter)

Superannuation a tax on families (letter)

FAMILY: Marriage under attack

TAIWAN: Cliffhanger election will affect China relations

MEDIA: Confronting sloppy journalism

HISTORY: The continuing legacy of the 1960s

COMMENT: Getting history wrong - Ross Fitzgerald's 'The Pope's Battalions'

BOOKS: The Electronic Whorehouse, by Paul Sheehan

Books promotion page

holds successful 2004 National Conference

by Patrick J. Byrne

News Weekly, February 28, 2004
The recent National Civic Council 2004 Annual Conference at Melbourne University focused on the issues to be driven hard in the Federal political arena in this election year.

Held on the weekend of February 7-8, key conference speakers included:

  • Peter Westmore, NCC National President, who outlined the political and strategic issues facing Australia;

  • Pat Byrne, NCC Vice-President, who analysed the moral challenges posed by Globalism (or corporate capitalism), and the economic policies that are needed to blunt the economically and socially corrosive effects of corporate capitalism;

  • Colin Teese, Australia's former Deputy-Secretary of the Department of Trade, who spoke on the problems likely to be faced in a free trade deal with the United States, which had not been agreed to at that stage; (see pg 4-5)

  • Dr Bob Birrell, Director of the Centre for Population and Urban Research, who outlined the findings of the report, Men and Women Apart, commissioned by the Australian Family Association, and described the impact of the growing underclass of low income men on family formation and fertility;

  • Richard Egan, WA NCC State President, who outlined steps for urgently strengthening the legal framework of marriage because of the way the institution of marriage is being weakened by the States, as they amend their laws to grant gay couples equal legal status to heterosexual married couples; (see pp 12-13)

  • David Perrin, Australian Family Association National President, who spoke on the key issues facing the family, including the need to emulate Sweden's highly successful, teenage anti-drug policies; (see pp 7) and

  • Chistopher Pearson, leading social commentator and former speech writer for the Prime Minister, who delineated the contending sides in Australia's "history wars".

A half-day rural conference followed the main conference. It examined the key policy issues on which farmers from different rural industries need to unite and bring about policy change before there is a collapse of a number of major agricultural industries.

Campaign issues

The Conference formally decided upon the key NCC campaign issues for 2004.

Responding to comments by some High Court justices, that the definition of marriage could be changed by judicial interpretation, and a campaign by gay activists for legal recognition of homosexual marriages, the Conference called on the Federal government to reinforce the existing understanding of marriage as the permanent union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others.

The organisation also agreed to continue cooperation with the Drug Advisory Council of Australia and other anti-drug community organisations, to oppose the policies of harm minimisation, including measures such as injecting rooms, needle exchanges, and liberal cannabis laws, and to promote and lobby for policies on illicit drugs based on prevention, suppression and rehabilitation to a drug free state.

The organisation also undertook to help distribute and publicise the report, Men and Women Apart by Dr Bob Birrell et al, to ensure that governments start to confront the consequences of economic policies that helped to create a large underclass in Australia.

The NCC also undertook to expand contacts with favourable farm leaders and organisations with a view to building an alliance on rural issues to defend the rural sector against the policies of globalism/economic rationalism. In particular, there was endorsement of the campaigns undertaken in the sugar and dairy industries.

To assist small business and farmers, the NCC undertook to promote the concept of a new development bank.

Free trade agreement

As the Federal Government pursues a free trade agreement with the US, and has undertaken to pursue more such agreements, including possibly one with China, the NCC undertook to ensure that any such agreement only be signed after it has been shown to be in Australia's national interest.

Freedom Publishing

It was also reported to the Conference that Freedom Publishing had undertaken major expansion, under the direction of Anthony Cappello, Victorian NCC State President. This enterprise provides an expanding array of books on social, cultural, political, historical, philosophical and religious issues.

Freedom Books is now regarded as the leading conservative publisher in Australia.

Freedom Publishing provides not only a mail order book service, but is also penetrating the wider book markets i.e. into mainstream book stores, and publishing important new titles.

Recent titles include titles include: Demons and Democrats by Gavan Duffy, Meaninglessness by Dr Michael Casey, Becoming Fire by Fr Ken Barker, Good News About Sex and Marriage by Christopher West, Twilight of the Elites by Professor David Flint, and Daniel Mannix: Wit and Wisdom by Michael Gilchrist.

  • Pat Byrne

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