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June 20 1975. Thought for the Week: There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.
BLOWING IN THE WIND
"The Federal by-election for the Tasmanian seat of Bass is in no way a national election, or a national referendum with national implications, the Federal Secretary of the Australian Labor Party. Mr. D. Combe, said yesterday." - The Australian, June 17th.
Our immediate reaction to Mr. Combe's assertion is - "tell us another one, do". Mr. Lance Barnard former Deputy Prime Minister of the Parliamentary Labor Party has obviously seen the writing on the wall, and has resigned to seize a cushy five-year job in Scandinavia, as an Ambassador for Australia. He will be left there by an incoming Liberal-Country Party coalition Government. As Mr. Barnard's majority in Bass at the last Federal election was rather slender many loyal Laborites will not blame him for scurrying to a Scandinavian feather bed.
We see that Mr. Whitlam has been over in the electorate of Bass, on the hustings on behalf of the new endorsed Labor candidate, Mr. J. MacRostie. That act, in itself, lifts the local campaign up to a national level. We are inclined to the belief that Mr. Whitlam's efforts will be little more successful than his efforts in Queensland, last November (1974) when he and other Ministers of the "Australian" Government barn-stormed the Queensland hustings at the time of the Queensland State elections with the confident purpose of disposing of Mr. Bjelke-Petersen once and for all. The result was a super-landslide victory on the hustings for Premier Bjelke-Petersen, and the worst drubbing the Australian Labor Party has received in decades, if not ever.
The decisive role of the Australian League of Rights in the Queensland State elections of December 2nd, 1974 is something of a political milestone in Australian politics. The mass media have put the lid on the affair; obeying some one's bidding (who owns the mass media?), but we are satisfied beyond doubt that "the message" penetrated right into the heart of Laborland, and the capital of Mass Media country. They got the message, loud and clear.
It is now interesting to witness the mass media turning against Labor. Before the 1972 December Federal elections, when the Australian Labor Party re-gained control of the Canberra Treasury benches after a period of some twenty-three years, the media were generally taking up the "It's Time" theme. It was time for a change. The campaign of the Labor Party at that time was pretty good, and the "It's Time" theme was a winner. We must bear in mind that the state of the then Liberal-Country Party coalition Government, under Prime Minister William McMahon was shocking, with Mr. McMahon its principal disaster. How unceremoniously he was dropped: yes, like a hot potato. One disaster followed another. Mr. McMahon; then the shock (to the Liberals) defeat; then another disaster - Mr. Bill Snedden.
But back to Bass. We shall be surprised if the Labor Party holds this seat, and we think that Mr. D. Combe is whistling in the dark when he states that the electoral issues will be primarily local. If the seat does go to the Liberal candidate, Mr. K. Newman, as we anticipate (and Mr. Newman is not an "islander", but a "mainlander") then this will put the seal of political waffle on all that Mr. Combe has said. Mr. Malcolm Fraser needs a good win here to cement his authority and standing as Parliamentary Leader of the Liberal Party, and as Leader of the Opposition.
What will happen after the by-election is to some extent in the melting pot. We feel confident that anxious political eyes will be riveted on Bass in the short time ahead before the by-election, and that strategy and tactics will then be re-shaped and re-drawn to fit the new situation. A win for the Liberals in Bass will make the Australian political climate even more changeable than it is at the moment.
WHIZZ KIDS ON PARADE
"The Prime Minister, Mr. Whitlam, last night appointed one of his whiz kids to a $32,500 top job in the Public Service." - The Sun (Melbourne) June 17th.
The whiz kid in question is Mr. J. Spigelman, who has been moved from his position as Mr. Whitlam 's principal private secretary, to become permanent head of the Media Department. This news won't bring any comfort to the mass media, who are now having second thoughts about the desirability of the continuance in office of a Socialist Government. This" change" has taken place in a relatively short time.
As mentioned in the previous item, the mass media was generally on the side of the Socialists at the time of the December 1972 Labor victory at the Federal polls. Probably there are many reasons for the mass media's growing coolness towards the Socialists, but one of the prime reasons, surely, must be the growing realisation that they, too, are for the eventual Socialist chopping block; as is the Australian Insurance Industry: and the Socialists haven't forgotten the private banks either - 1949 will come again!
One would really wonder that grown men, with a reputation for shrewdness and urbanity, such as "enjoyed" by the press moguls, could be so naive as to wish to work with a Socialist Department of the Media. Some princes of the media even said that they "welcomed" the Department of the Media at the time. Hope really must spring eternal in the human breast. Department of the Media means Department over the Media to us; always did from the outset, and always will.
The Whitlam Government's naked attempts to clip the wings of the T.V. industry, and bring it under more and more Socialist control have alarmed even the "shrewd" newspaper world. Perhaps some of the Left-wing ideologues employed to write the reams upon reams of political comment which gush forth from the city dailies each week have become uneasy as the realities of the Government control of the media sink in.
Two other "Whitlam men" have been given top posts as heads of Government Departments. Mr. Whitlam must be alienating the loyalty and support of a considerable section of the Commonwealth Public Service by his imperious appointments of outsiders over the heads of career public servants. The Whitlam-Connor C.S.I.R.O. grab will alienate much support for Labor in the academic-scientific field.
Mr. Fraser will score well over his outspoken support for the C.S.I.R.O. Mr. Fraser seems right enough when he refers to the "dying Government" of Mr. Whitlam. The tragedy appears to us to be that an incoming Fraser Government will be unable to handle a depressed, explosively inflationary Australian economy soon to plummet still further.
ON WITH THE CLASS STRUGGLE
"The Federal Government must do a Left-wheel not a Right-wheel a top Victorian union official said yesterday." The Sun, (Melbourne) June 17th.
The Secretary of the Victorian Metal Trades Federation of Unions, Mr. Percy Johnson made the statement above. His Federation is pressing for a $20.00 weekly wage increase for all its members. This would "flow on" to other unions. The "Australian" Government of Mr. Whitlam is calling for restraint over wage claims from unions. You can imagine how much "restraint" the Communists will allow. They will press on for wage increases more than ever now that the Australian economy, on the very brink of hyperinflation, is so sensitive and can be rendered chaotic by such heavy wage demands.
Senator James McClelland, quite a mysterious figure really, is the Federal Minister of Labor. He is calling for wage restraint on behalf of the Government. Mr. Johnson says that the Government is on a collision course with the Trade Union Movement. And so it goes on. The union movement demands higher wages to maintain its pace with inflation. Commerce and Industry want less and less wage demands to maintain a viable profitability. Each suspects the other. The Communists have a field day exploiting the antagonisms, which are spun off.
Neither wage demands nor profitability are the basic causes of inflation but the workings of the finance-economic system itself. It is "inbuilt". This has been admitted by no less an "Establishment" economist than Dr. Paul Samuelson himself. Indeed, Finance produces the crises in Western societies for exploitation by Communism. (Read "Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution" by Professor Antony Sutton. Price $9.00 post free from G.P.O. Box 1052J, Melbourne. Vic. 3001)
WHEN YES IS NO
Mr. J. D. Anthony, the Leader of the National Country Party, wrote a letter to a League of Rights supporter who lives in the New England region of New South Wales, dated February 25th, in which he (Mr. Anthony) stated that a consumer subsidy on beef would be of some value at this time. Mr. Anthony is known to have received letters of congratulations as a result of this letter from desperate cattlemen. Since cattlemen have been losing money, and thereby subsidising beef consumers, the domestic market has increased by 50% from 90 pounds per head of population per year to 140 pounds. A consumer subsidy of, say, 20 cents per pound would bring a further increase in consumption. If Australians ate another 2 ounces of beef per day, this would solve the beef crisis.
If Australians wished to eat an extra four ounces of beef per day the Australian cattle industry could not supply the domestic market. Apparently Mr. Anthony's common-sense suggestion has now been "misinterpreted" (according to Mr. Anthony). In recent letters he now says that a consumer subsidy on beef would be of value, but that this should not be taken to mean that he is actually advocating such a subsidy. (Now you see it, now you don't). Mr. Anthony is now circulating a letter in which he says: - "I agreed with him (the League supporter) that if the Government was prepared to do this (subsidise sales of beef to the Soviet Union), then there were Australians who would benefit from similar action on domestic sales. I did not advocate such action."
It seems that the beef crisis is not yet serious enough for the Leader of the National Country Party to agree to a solution. Even though he says that a consumer subsidy would be "of value" and "would benefit Australians", he does not advocate such action.
We suggest that those supporters vitally concerned
with the beef crisis should send letters to Mr. Anthony to point out
that a consumer subsidy of 20 cents per pound will solve the cattlemen's
marketing problems, even if it only brings an increase of 2 ounces per
head of population per day in consumption.
Supporters are aware that we have raised the
East Timor issue many times in past months. We have given the issue
plenty of coverage in these pages. The kernel of the issue is that East
Timor is marked down to become a Russian base, right on our Northern
doorstep. It is still Portuguese: the Government of Portugal is virtually
under Communist control, and we expect will be openly Communist before
too long. The Communists in Australia have been instructed to float
a campaign to prevent Indonesia from taking over the whole island of
Timor, which (Indonesia) could do "in twelve hours"; as one Indonesian
military leader said recently.
Mr. Kenneth Davidson in The Age (Melbourne)
June 17th, reports on the recent meeting in Paris of the Board of Governors
of the International Monetary Fund. The "American" view could be predicted:
the demotion, preferably abolition of the role of gold in the International
Monetary System. The French monetary authorities aren't having any of
this. They (the French ever the supreme realists) naturally hold a high
quantity of their international reserves in gold. The "American" view
is that S.D.R.s (Special Drawing Rights) should now be the basis of
the International Monetary System, rather than gold and national currencies.
This, we believe, is the wish of the highest circles of International
Finance, with (of course) International Finance rigidly controlling
the issue of S.D.R.s.
Effects of AutomationUnder the present financial system automation is something to be feared because, while increasing production, it reduces the amount of money paid out as wages in production (thus aggravating the chronic imbalance between prices and money supply). Occasional attempts have been made to deny this, with the claim that automation will not reduce employment, because for every job it does away with, another will be created in the manufacture of automated equipment. Apart from the fact that if this is so, there is no point in introducing automation into the industrial system, a little thinking will show the "theory" to be nonsense anyway. A manufacturer will only install automated equipment if he believes that its price, spread over its lifetime, will be less than the wages of workers it displaces, over the same period. As the price of the equipment will be based on the wages, which were paid to workers during the course of its manufacture, this is proof that automation destroys more jobs than it creates.
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