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Should we sell resource companies offshore?

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Citizens Electoral Council of Australia

Media Release 4th of June 2009

Craig Isherwood‚ National Secretary
PO Box 376‚ COBURG‚ VIC 3058
Phone: 03 9354 0544 Fax: 03 9354 0166

God doesn’t need to save the Queen—she’s got Barnaby

As the June 15th deadline nears for the Australian Government’s decision to allow or disallow Chinalco to increase its stake in Rio Tinto, opposition to the move is playing out like a 19th century English comic opera, with Barnaby Joyce playing the “very model of a modern” toady of the Queen.

His crusade to protect Rio Tinto from the Chinese on the grounds of Australia’s national interest is high farce—it is a British company, owned by Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth herself.

The history of Rio Tinto is full of ironies with regards to the flap over Chinalco’s share bid:

  • It was founded in 1873 by Hugh Matheson, of the Jardine Matheson drug running firm, which wrested Hong Kong from China for Queen Victoria in the Opium Wars.
  • Lord Alfred Milner, who’s infamous British Round Table repackaged the British Empire as the British “Commonwealth”, chaired the company until 1925.
  • In World War II, the British-owned Rio Tinto produced pyrite in Spain for the Nazi war effort.
  • In 1962, it merged with the British-controlled Collins House firm Consolidated Zinc, to form Rio Tinto-Zinc (RTZ) and its Australian subsidiary Conzinc Rio Tinto Australia (CRA); CRA’s founding chairman, Sir Maurice Mawby, doubled as the chief fundraiser for Prince Philip’s newly established Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), which spawned Australia’s entire “green” movement.
  • When RTZ became embroiled in international scandal in the 1970s, its chairman, Sir Mark Turner, formerly a top official in the British Ministry of Economic Warfare, expressed concern that, “You’re running into problems of what the government is going to say about the Queen’s involvement.” In 1977, it was revealed through a question in the British parliament that the Bank of England set up a special nominees company to hide investments of the Queen’s portfolio.
  • In Australia, Rio Tinto, formerly CRA, has played a central role in all of the major assaults on Australia’s economic sovereignty in the past three decades—the sacking of Whitlam; union-busting; environmentalism and land rights; and the Hawke-Keating economic “reforms” of free trade, privatisation, the Hilmer Commission into National Competition Policy, and the Productivity Commission.

Since 1983, the “reforms” of Australia’s economy initiated by Hawke and Keating, and fully supported, and continued, by the Howard Coalition, have decimated Australia’s once-proud manufacturing sector and family farms, and reduced the economy to little more than a giant quarry of raw materials, for the globalised world economy, of which the chief beneficiary has been Rio Tinto.

Why is a Queensland Senator in Australia’s Commonwealth Parliament trying to protect this British looting operation, from the Chinese government?

Barnaby, stop kissing the Queen’s arse; if you seriously oppose foreign control of Australia’s resources, support the CEC’s call to nationalise all of Australia’s resources, so they can be developed for our national interest.

Written by Greg Naylor

7 June 2009 at 12:00 am

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