JERRY ROBERTS. Alan Jones charges into the cash fight

Mar 16, 2020

The Senate Economics Legislation Committee Report on the Government’s cash-ban bill is a dismal whitewash of our banking cartel that betrays the fine work performed during the inquiry by Senators Alex Gallacher and Rex Patrick.

Under-stated academic critics of the Government’s Currency (Restrictions on the Use of Cash ) Bill 2019 were “disappointed” with the Senate Committee’s report into the proposed legislation tabled in the Senate on Friday 28 February. They are too polite. The report is pathetic but has the saving grace of a dissenting report by Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson. It is a tragedy of our times that Labor Senators lacked the courage of their convictions and failed to add their names to Senator Whish-Wilson’s signature.

The Tasmanian Greens Senator is a former Wall Street banker. It ironic that the Greens — mocked by a generation of Labor hard-heads pretending to know something about economics — now have in the Parliament greater expertise in high finance than can be found on either Labor or Liberal benches.

In a superb summary of the Bill’s technical and philosophical faults, Senator Whish-Wilson wrote: ” This bill is a classic case of the cure being worse than the disease. By criminalising the use of legal tender, and by taking a rose-coloured view of a world without cash, this government is blithe to the fundamental freedoms provided by hard currency, and is instead laying down a path towards surveillance capitalism and negative interest rates.

“This government should drop this bill and start doing what is needed to tackle the wholesale tax avoidance and money laundering that makes anything that this bill might stop look like child’s play.”

Economist John Adams has fought a Herculean battle against this appalling legislation and looked stunned in his You Tube appearance with financial analyst Martin North, who spoke of the Parliament’s betrayal of trust and betrayal of personal freedom. Adams knows the ropes in Canberra, having worked on the staff of Liberal Senator Sinidinos. He said our politicians are over-paid, don’t read the legislation they pass, don’t understand the issues and do deals behind the scenes.

Just when the battle appears lost, on to the field charges the Sir Lancelot of Australia’s air waves, Alan Jones. Can this domineering disc-jockey persuade Scott Morrison to drop the cash-ban hot potato? I think he has a better chance than anybody else in the Commonwealth.

After a hard day I returned to the ranch and started surfing the television channels looking for light relief. On came Alan Jones on Sky News, which goes free-to-air in the North West. Alan admitted that he had only just heard about the Currency (Restrictions on the Use of Cash) Bill 2019 after a chance encounter at Melbourne airport — months after the legislation sailed through the House of Representatives and is perilously close to passing the Senate and becoming law. Apparently Alan and his research staff do not read Pearls and Irritations.

With his long experience in politics Alan quickly identified the key points and he is now blasting away on Sky and Radio Station 2 GB. His voice is heard all over Australia and it reaches the ears of conservative politicians with distinct clarity. The best hope of getting rid of this disgusting legislation rests with Alan and the Coalition. It should never have got through the joint Party room.

Jerry Roberts is a member of the ALP

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