Australia’s slide towards a police state, which began with the mass confiscation of firearms in 1996, accelerated with the passage of dozens of “anti-terrorism” laws since 2001, and continues apace today with unprecedented censorship and a crackdown on whistleblowers in the name of “national security”, has not yet gone far enough to please the elites of the dying Anglo-American Empire. Via Transparency International (TI), a pseudo-NGO spawned by the highest levels of the British establishment and international finance and funded largely by the British, US and allied governments, the Empire now demands Australia establish an agency independent of the elected government, to erase dissent to the establishment agenda under the guise of “fighting corruption”.
Australia’s Liberal-National/Australian Labor Party duopoly government is, of course, fantastically corrupt; but because both “sides” are beholden to the same vested interests (banks, the minerals and energy cartel, et cetera), the brands of corruption they practice—like trading access to cabinet ministers in exchange for campaign funding; legislating or regulating in a way that benefits corporate donors; and taking up lucrative employment with those same corporations upon leaving public office (the so-called “revolving door”)—remain either wholly legal, or subject to flimsy controls that are easily subverted. What is more, a large and growing portion of the public understands this, and is increasingly disgusted by it. A 4 April draft report by TI’s local franchise in conjunction with Griffith University, titled Governing for Integrity: A blueprint for reform, plays upon this public discontent to suggest sweeping changes to Australia’s public-accountability rules. Some, such as the need for whistleblower protections, have genuine merit; but they are merely a Trojan horse for the trashing of what remains of Australians’ civil liberties.
Instead of adding certain types of conduct to those already proscribed by existing laws, TI demands the states and Commonwealth adopt “a modernised, broad definition for triggering anti-corruption processes”, and create a powerful federal agency to enforce them. As the Australian’s legal affairs editor Chris Merritt summarised in a 4 April article: “If enacted, the plan would create a national integrity commission with power to … crack down not just on corruption, but potential corruption and ‘undue influence’ in personal and professional relationships that might affect public sector decision-making. Instead of being restricted to breaches of the law, the new body would be empowered to target ‘violations with significant potential to corrupt’. Seeking and granting undue influence would be redefined as corruption, along with ‘corruptive’ conduct that undermines trust in public decision-making. Public officials, private businesses and private citizens would be subject to the new approach to undue influence, regardless of whether that was attained ‘recklessly’ or intentionally.” (Emphasis added.) The draft report also calls for “a new federal government regulator of the media”, Merritt continues, which “would have the power to investigate and sanction ‘misleading, deceptive and damaging breaches of editorial control by media organisations, especially open-source or social media’.”
Nowhere in the report is the term “undue influence” defined; in any case, even with the best of intentions it is a fundamental affront to democracy to create an unaccountable federal agency empowered to prosecute people and censor the media for legal acts it arbitrarily re-defines as offences because they might lead to the commission of crimes—or “undermine trust in public decision-making”, a category which conceivably includes publications, like AAS, whose truthful reporting reveals the untrustworthiness of our decision-makers. But whilst individual academics involved in this initiative may believe they are doing good, no noble intentions should be ascribed to TI itself, which from its conception has served only the interests of the corrupt Anglo-American oligarchy.
TI was officially founded in Berlin, Germany in 1993, and is now present in over 100 countries. A 1997 investigation by Executive Intelligence Review magazine, however, revealed that it was really created in 1989, inside the Anglo-American-controlled World Bank, as a tool to enforce the bank’s and IMF’s looting “conditionalities” on developing countries, by undermining and/or overthrowing independent-minded governments on the pretext of “fighting corruption”. EIR’s Umberto Pascali described how TI’s founding chairman Peter Eigen (who now chairs its international advisory council), then director of the World Bank Regional Mission for Eastern Africa, “established a well-organised group inside the leadership of the World Bank, and it was only because of the hostile reaction to this attack against national sovereignty that the group was asked to ‘go independent’, until the ground was ready to openly proclaim the principle of interference.” Pascali cites a 1996 essay by Eigen himself, in which he “expresses all the horror and hatred of the British feudal oligarch for North-South cooperation [i.e. between advanced and developing economies] for development … [which] is seen as synonymous with corruption. ‘Corruption allows leaders to cling to power while resisting government reforms’ [wrote Eigen]. ‘Corruption hinders the creation of free markets … [and] is conducive to fundamental mistakes in project selection and project design—often with catastrophic consequences for both society and environment.’ The nation-state and its lawful instruments created to defend its sovereignty become a manifestation of ‘corruption’ as well. ‘All too often, a corrupt environment channels resources to non-productive areas such as the police and the armed forces and other organs of social control.’” And this green-tinged anti-development ethos is a direct result of the influence of the British Crown. As EIR reported in July 1997, quoting an 18 April article in Italian daily Il Giornale: “The moral-theological foundations of the organisation received precious contributions from a series of meetings promoted, starting in 1984, by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth of England.” Philip co-founded the World Wildlife Fund in 1961, to prevent development in Britain’s former colonies across Africa and Asia, and has backed many fanatically anti-human green groups.
Australia today is neither an advanced, nor a developing, but rather a de-industrialising nation, thanks to the Liberal-ALP duopoly’s voluntary 1983 adoption of the same policies the IMF and World Bank had to force upon other nations’ governments. Now, however, that post-1983 “consensus” is breaking down, while more and more developing countries are throwing off the Empire’s shackles and adopting a more optimistic perspective, centred mostly around the China-led Belt and Road Initiative. Doubtless it is this “undue influence” TI’s anti-democratic prescriptions seek to forestall.