How to catch a Katter Fish

For Non-Australian readers, the Katter fish is a bottom feeding fish that resides in northern Queensland. It feeds principally on sugar subsidies, but will nibble on any variety of pork. Before we attempt to catch the Katter fish some background reading is required.

In a previous post, our resident contrarian Antisthenes produced a post quoting Gary North. It was concerned with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s dubious and inconsistent past.

Roosevelt offered an explanation for the depression. He demonized the bankers. This, of course, had been part of the Democrats’ political tradition ever since William Jennings Bryan hijacked the Party with his Cross of Gold speech in 1896. Roosevelt announced:

And yet our distress comes from no failure of substance. We are stricken by no plague of locusts. Compared with the perils which our forefathers conquered, because they believed and were not afraid, we have still much to be thankful for. Nature still offers her bounty and human efforts have multiplied it. Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply.

Primarily, this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind’s goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and have abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.

Money changers. Where had Americans heard that term before? In church. Jesus chased the money changers out of the temple. Roosevelt made it clear that he was prepared to do the same.

True, they have tried. But their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit, they have proposed only the lending of more money…

The great irony of this speech was lost on the listeners, and has been lost on, or buried by, the history textbook writers and even the historical monograph writers. Franklin Roosevelt had been one of these money changers. He had been the well-paid agent of the bond industry prior to his election as Governor of New York in 1928. Beginning in 1921, after he had lost his position as Undersecretary of the Navy under Wilson, and after he had gone down to defeat with Cox as the Party’s Vice-Presidential candidate in 1920, Roosevelt became Vice-President of Fidelity Deposit Company of Maryland.

He had gone to Groton, the elite prep school. He had gone to Harvard. He was the heir of the Delano fortune, which had been made in part by selling opium in China. He was a rich only son of a wealthy New York family.

His inaugural address looked as if it was the product of a rich man who had seen the moral light. On the contrary, it was designed to divert the public’s attention from a new deal for big business, which would strengthen the hand of the biggest corporations, whose managers desperately wanted price floors and protection against new competition[Emphasis mine, AW].


Then we read From the Couriermail:

BILLIONAIRE casino mogul James Packer has backed maverick MP Bob Katter’s state election gamble with a $250,000 donation in a highly unusual splash into Queensland politics.

Katter’s Australian Party now has the support of three of Australia’s most powerful men: Mr Packer, talkback king Alan Jones and advertising guru John Singleton.

The massive donation and an extra $50,000 from Mr Singleton gives the fledgling party a major financial shot in the arm as it prepares to field 76 candidates in the state’s 89 seats in the March 24 poll.

“The Packers have always been our people,” Mr Katter told The Sunday Mail in a statement.

“James’s grandfather started business with, and was a close friend of, one of my greatest heroes, Red Ted Theodore. They were great supporters of the labour movement … in the late 1800s.

“There is no surprise to have this support for our patriotic line of defending Australia and Australian industry.”

Of course, they’ve always been your people, Mr Katter, and now more so. Let us preview some of Katter’s core principles (his words) of his party’s platform. I’ve chosen just a few, that will be of interest to our fishing expedition.

6. Governments must ensure that every Australian is, and in particular employees, farmers and franchisees are, able to bargain collectively to protect and promote their economic interests and that all, wherever practicable, have access to compulsory arbitration.

 7.  In principle non-government monopoly power should not be allowed and limits should be placed where possible on the proportion of the market any entity controls.

Principle 6 and 7 are clearly mutually exclusive, much like Roosevelt’s speech and actions. To be clear Collectivism is:- unions for employees, monopolies/duopolies for corporations, cartels for industries and special interest groups/ lobbyists for the disgruntled.

19. It is the duty of government to:

  1. ensure that bank lending provides real wealth creation in terms of improvements to the quality of life of the average Australian;
  2. prevent the flow of credit creation into speculation and predatory activity; and
  3. ensure that the wealth creators and risk takers are not subject to a one sided and unrestrained banking foreclosure policy.

20. Governments must ensure that all Australians have access to necessary finance at affordable prices and that financial institutions do not abuse their financial powers. If necessary, governments should intervene in markets to ensure that these principles are achieved and that government is involved in the process of the provision of finance and credit to provide inter alia a bench-marking.

The principle 19 is a mass of contradiction, and the principle number 20 can be summed up as another Sub-prime fiasco. Mr Katter understands little about banking, although he would have us believe that financial institutions do not abuse their financial powers. Bankers love nothing more than easy credit which is what principles 19 and 20 ensure.  Of course, then will come a credit crisis, and the banks will demand a bailout, because refusing it would cause a collapse in voters’ assets. There is a reason why some people are refused credit, and finance is unaffordable, because it creates debt problems. Indirectly Katter is a friend of the banks.

To be honest there is much I like about the rest of Katter’s party platform and I’m sure much of it would be popular among the population. The problem I have with Katter and which was remarked by Antisthenes in his Bob Katter is Aurtalia Party is the deficit of any anti-establishment actions.

I recall Big Bob making an impassioned speeches at the rallies when his/Howard’s government planned the media pleasing anti-gun laws. How stupid, how undemocratic! How strongly he was against them! And what ovations he was getting! The man of the people. The man of the hour. But just for an hour. Then, obediently, pragmatically, quietly and unblushingly voted with the government.

Katter frequently paints the well worn paradigm of the honest bush battler against the city slicker intriguer. Except for a minor thing – he isn’t about ending government power just expanding it and misusing it in his own agrarian way. He IS the insider.* Just like all those inner-city hippies with their Marxian jibe railing against the establishment, when in fact most of them are associated with all sorts of pressure groups and what not, funded by rich puppet masters and ambiguous government bureaucracies. They all want something from the government tit, and that means playing the game of government, hopefully outwitting the devil in his demands. It all requires loss of principles, more concessions, expansion of power and eventually realisation that you are the government. Maybe not officially, but Packer and Singleton already regard themselves as a part of the government thanks to Katter. And that, dear reader, is the problem. Happy fishing.


{*} Bob’s father, Bob Katter Senior was a federal member for Kennedy from 1966 to 1990. The junior was a Qld State member from 1974 to 1992, when, on the eighth recount, he miraculously won his father’s old federal seat, which he holds to this day. Bob Junior was a minister in Qld parliament and both father and son changed parties to advance their political careers. Bob the younger now even created one in his image. 38 years out of 67 in politics. Who can better such a ‘maverick’, an ‘outsider’ and a ‘new broom’ ? Newt Gingrich?

About Avadoro Worden

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2 Responses to How to catch a Katter Fish

  1. Abigail says:

    Really nice article, thanks for the good post

  2. Taurus says:

    One can get the confirmation of the depth our ‘democratic’ systems sank to from the great number of party-political hacks trying to remodel themselves as ‘mavericks’ or ‘independents’. Your Katter, our Gingrich and just about everybody else dissociate themselves from the past horrors they had inflicted on the citizenry and pretend to be suddenly someone else, better and honest. Chameleons change colors to catch insects; politicians to catch the similarly intellectually challenged voters.

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