24 July 2010

Richard Pratt a racketeer?

Pratt, it seems, was not just corrupt himself but a major corrupter of others through bribery and intimidation. Ex-PMs Fraser, Whitlam and Hawke, according to the Age, were on the Visy payroll. (It does not mention that a more recent ex-PM Kevin Rudd was embarrassingly compliant, even visiting the dying Pratt and temporising with his demand that charges against him be not merely dropped but declared untrue.)  A huge issue of politicians being "retrospectively bribed" by the business community is opened up by these revelations.  http://www.news.com.au/ offers a convenient precis  (reproduced below), of the Age's story but a fuller account can be found at http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/corruption-behind-pratt-wealth-report-20100725-10q1u.html and http://m.watoday.com.au/victoria/the-shadow-side-of-a-cardboard-king-20100724-10pr5.html

"The paper says it has unearthed allegations that the cardboard box cartel with Amcor, for which Pratt was fined $36 million, actually started a decade earlier than previously believed, ripping a potential $2 billion out of the Australian economy."


The ripples from this investigation may go out to many associates of Pratt. 

One of the more innocent may be Andrew Markus, the Richard Pratt Professor of Jewish Studies, who is a prominent population booster, known for  suggesting that opposition to Australia's high immigration is racist, and associated with the Scanlon foundation which has a pattern of similar claims. The Scanlon Foundation is the subject of a scathing article by John Masanauskas, who suggests it reflects rather the business interests of its founder Peter Scanlon. See www.heraldsun.com.au/business/scanlon-backs-population-growth/story-e6frfh4f-1225806873049   

Pratt himself used the racism slur to deflect critics, claiming that he was suffering Nazi style persecution from the National Crimes Authority because of his Jewish background.  

Closely associated with Pratt in his $2 billion rip-off was Amcor, the same company that set up the notorious A-Team which infiltrated various Green organisations and reduced them to impotence in opposing the logging of Victoria's old growth forests. See http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2006/s1754114.htm 

The extent to which the Australian Greens' lack of a population policy may be due to  infiltration of this sort would be a worthy subject for a separate investigation. (The word "population" cannot even be found on the home page of the Australian Greens.)  Note that the amount of money to be gained by logging additional forests in Australia is petty cash beside the vast sums to be gained by those in the property and construction or even the retail markets through pushing up Australia's population.





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