Red Norfolk is my first novel, written in six months. The main theme of the novel, the abolition of cash and an attempted takeover by Communists in Australia, may seem implausible, but to quote F. Scott Fitzgerald, my favourite novelist, “when I saw the improbable, the implausible, often the impossible came true.”
I wish to thank my wife Debbie for her support; and our
friend Janet Timberg who gave her expertise to many elements of the novel.
I also thank Zeus Publications and their editors who gave the novel its final content and form and my readers for whom I wrote the novel.
The redundancy of cash or money has been contemplated for many years. Although credit cards and other forms of electronic payment for goods and services have been increasingly replacing the use of cash, the eventual termination of the use of cash still appears to be a distant prospect.
The introduction of the carbon price in Australia in 2012 caused considerable controversy. It is therefore likely that the abolition of cash would also cause considerable controversy and opposition. The theme of this novel is that this opposition is used by a small group of revolutionaries to stage an armed uprising against the government in the state of New South Wales.
It may be considered impossible that an armed force of 100 persons could topple a government. However, as stated in the novel, the Russian Revolution was not a revolution involving thousands of people, like the French Revolution, but rather an amateur police operation of the Military Revolutionary Committee, some sailors of the Baltic fleet and a handful of Red Guards who took over the nerve-centres of the capital on the night of October 24th .
In the novel, the revolutionaries meticulously plan their operation to take over the police stations in Sydney. After the police have been eliminated, the revolutionaries effectively have control of Sydney. Only the army can remove them from power, but circumstances prevent the army from taking back the City of Sydney.
A key premise of the novel is the support of the Peoples’ Republic of China for international communist uprisings after it becomes the leading world economy, eventually supporting the Communist take-over in Norfolk Island. The only communist uprising supported by China in the twentieth century was in Vietnam and China subsequently has been following the policy initiated by Stalin of ‘Socialism in One Country’. However, the Chinese Communist Party openly follows the teaching of the founder of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin, who initiated the Cominterm in 1919 for the international overthrow of capitalism but also followed Lenin’s introduction of the ‘New Economic Policy’ which sought to combine elements of capitalism with socialism. It is therefore not improbable that the Chinese Communist will revert to supporting international communist movements after the economic policy introduced by Deng Xiaoping has succeed in established China’s economic supremacy.
The author does not seek to alarm citizens that a Communist takeover of Australia is imminent. However, only if authorities are prepared for such an audacious conspiracy can such an event be proscribed.
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May 1, 2031– The Prime Minister, George Mallory, is having some makeup applied in the media studio in Parliament House in Canberra, Australia. The Deputy Prime Minister, Suzanne Tang, is standing next to him.
“I always get a bit nervous before a live-to-air broadcast,” murmured the Prime Minister.
“The success of our government depends on your address, George,” exclaimed the Deputy.
The director called out “Standby on the set” and lifted up both hands “Ten seconds,” he barked. “Camera one, when you lose light, pan left and up a little.” As agreed, the director waved to indicate live broadcast.
The Prime Minister began: “My fellow Australians. The government of the Peoples’ Republic of Indonesia has been waging economic war on Australia. The Indonesian Government has been working to create almost perfect reproductions of $100 and $50 dollar notes and distributing them throughout Australia by Indonesian workplaces located in Australia. The counterfeit notes are termed supernotes because of the high-quality forgery. Only when subjected to sophisticated forensic analysis could the bills be confirmed as imitations.
“The Australian Mint has estimates that more than $250,000,000 of notes have been circulated. This has no doubt contributed to the increase in inflation in Australia from only three percent last year to nearly six percent last month.
“Last month, an Indonesian ship was intercepted by customs and more than $20,000,000 of counterfeit currency was confiscated. Today, Australia has broken diplomatic relations with the Peoples’ Republic of Indonesia and arrests have begun on chief executive officers in Indonesian companies which have participated in circulating the forged currency.
“Last week, Cabinet made a momentous decision in relation to our currency. Today, the Currency Redundancy Bill will be debated in Parliament. The purpose of the bill is to abolish money, cash and coins, in Australia. If passed by both houses of Parliament, in eight months, banknotes and coins will be illegal currency in Australia. All financial transactions will have to be made by mobile phones, credit cards or by other electronic means.
“I know that this fundamental change to our financial system will be a monumental change to all Australians, but the benefits will be enormous. No country will ever again be able to release counterfeit bank notes in Australia. There will be other benefits such as reduction in crime. The proceeds of crime account for four percent of our Gross Domestic Product. Crime is one of the largest economies in the world, one of the top twenty economies.
“Ten years ago, the Peoples’ Republic of China became the largest economy in the world. Prior to reaching that achievement it did not support communist insurgency anywhere in the world, apart from Vietnam in the 1960s. But after that achievement, it bankrolled successful communist insurrections in Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia. Smuggling supernotes into Australia is clearly an attempt to weaken the Australian economy and may be part of the same strategy to export communism.
“I call on all Australians to make this change as seamless as possible and to co-operate fully in the introduction of Currency Redundancy.”
After the broadcast, the Deputy Prime Minister quickly walked towards the Prime Minister.
“Could not be better, George. Let’s go for a drink.” They walked along the corridor to the Members’ Bar where only Members of Parliament and their guests could enter. They sat down and a waiter quickly came to their table.
“A scotch and coke,” demanded George, looking at Suzanne for her nod of approval, “and a Crown Lager for me.” The waiter went to the bar for the drinks and returned promptly, placing the glasses on the table.
“You know George, alcohol was banned in Canberra until 1928 and was only served after a referendum.”
“Maybe we should have a referendum on Currency Redundancy,” exclaimed the Prime Minister. “Not if you want to implement it,” retorted Suzanne.
One week later, after the bills had successfully passed both Houses of Parliament, the Prime Minister sat in his office in Parliament House and glanced at the Cabinet minutes marked ‘Currency Redundancy’ and then at the Treasurer and Governor of the Reserve Bank, Ronald Robinson.
“Why is Australia the first country to abolish money if it’s such a good idea?” he asked. “Well... Australia was the first country to introduce polymer banknotes, so why not?” responded the Treasurer.
“We are not actually the first country to abolish money,” corrected the Reserve Bank Governor. “Pol Pot abolished money in Cambodia from 1975 to 1980, but he had nothing to replace it with. And banknotes are actually a fairly recent invention. The banknote was first developed in China during the Tang and Song dynasties, starting in the 7th century. In Europe, banknotes were first introduced during the 13th century, with paper banknotes not appearing until the 17th century. Now everyone has credit cards. Last year, in 2030 over ninety-five percent of purchases in shops were being made by credit or other electronic means. The abolition of cash, of money, is inevitable.”
The Treasurer added, “There are 945 million banknotes in circulation in Australia. The cost of one banknote is nearly seventy cents. That’s 945 million good reasons to abolish banknotes.”
“I only hope that we have thought through all the consequences,” whispered the Prime Minister to the Treasurer. “Of course I’m still not one hundred percent sure this won’t have any negative consequences. You talked me and the Cabinet into this. Why was there no serious debate in the Parliament when the ‘Currency Redundancy Bill’ was debated?”
“Because politicians from the government and the opposition can list lots of good reasons to abolish banknotes apart from the cost of printing them,” emphasised the Treasurer. “How can anyone profit from crime if there is no money in circulation? How can people avoid tax if all payments are made by credit cards or EFTPOS? And what if you lose your wallet? Won’t it be a relief to know you can’t lose any money? You just ring up your bank and cancel your credit cards.” Although the Prime Minister looked impressed at these arguments, he was still not completely convinced.
“I’m well aware of all those arguments,” retorted the Prime Minister, “but when there is no more money in circulation in six months, I am sure that there will be consequences which we have not anticipated. I think I know how my great grandfather’s brother felt when he was climbing Mount Everest back in 1924. My parents named me after him because they wanted me to follow in his footsteps, so to speak, and become famous. Just like him climbing Mount Everest, I find this reform breathtaking, and dangerous.”
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