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September 12 1975. Thought for the Week: "Our rulers will best promote the improvement of the people by strictly confining themselves to their own legitimate duties - by leaving capital to find its own lucrative source, commodities their fair price, industry and intelligence their natural reward, idleness and folly their own natural punishment - by maintaining peace, defending property, diminishing the price of law, and by observing strict economy in every department of the state. Let the government do this - the people will assuredly do the rest".
Thomas Babington Macaulay.
POLITICS IN THE GUTTER
"The Queensland Premier, surely the greatest maverick Australian politics has known in recent years, has not earned the sobriquet 'Holy Joh' for nothing. The League of Rights, waving a sword in one hand and a Bible in the other, is stronger in Bjelke-Petersen's peanut farming bailiwick around Kingaroy than in most other parts of Australia. Apart from that, an increasing number of younger Australian voters question the sincerity of the 'holier than thou' attitudes of the Queensland Premier". - Don Whitington. political commentator in article "Mixing Religion and Politics is so explosive", in The Herald, Melbourne, September 9th.
Prime Minister Whitlam's description of Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen as "a Bible-bashing bastard" has caused nearly as much comment as did the Premier's appointment of Mr. A. P. Field to represent Queensland in the Senate. If Mr. Whitlam believes that he can use the language of the gutter against a man who is his better in terms of civilised conduct, and not suffer further electoral backlashes, he clearly holds a low opinion of the majority of the Australian people.
His lowest-ever personal abuse of the Queensland Premier gives further credence to the report that he told a protesting migrant woman in Brisbane last year that she was a "Nazi bitch". Mr. Whitlam may be brilliant in terms of intellectual capacity, but he has demonstrated that he is also a vulgar man. Even Mr. Whitlam's numerous friends in the press have been alarmed about his latest personal abuse of Mr. Bjelke-Petersen not because they do not share his sentiments concerning the Queensland Premier but because they fear that the Whitlam image, already badly dented, might collapse completely.
The hypocrisy of sections of the daily press
is even more nauseating than the Prime Minister's behaviour. Mr. Don
Whitington, in the article from which we have quoted, cannot resist
having a gibe at the League of Rights attempts to defend Mr. Whitlam
by claiming that his background is such that he cannot be charged with
engaging in sectarianism. He continues,
While we are aware that some of the most inhuman policies have been imposed by men claiming to be God-fearing and devout Christians, and have the gravest suspicions about some who never tire of loudly proclaiming their Christian Faith while never doing anything to make it a reality, the state of the world demonstrates that the humanists driven by ideologies are capable of crimes of terror which know no restraint. Mr. Bjelke-Petersen's real "crime" is not that he is a "Bible-bashing bastard", but that his Christian convictions have led him to a no-compromise stand against the Canberra Socialists and their destructive policies. Whitlam is incensed because the Queensland Premier is determined to stand up to him.
Contrary to Don Whitington's sneer about the Premier's "pious protestations", the Premier has made it clear that he was not going to shirk his constitutional responsibilities concerning the appointment of a Queensland Senator because of some "convention" arranged by the parties at Canberra. Why should the Queensland Parliament send a man to Canberra who was pledged to work to destroy the State's remaining powers? A majority in that Parliament endorsed the Premier's stand.
Mr. Bjelke-Petersen's stand on principle brought
a torrent of abuse from most of the media. Some of this abuse was just
as bad as that of Mr. Whitlam's. The Age, Melbourne, provided
a typical example of abuse and then, when Mr. Whitlam felt that he should
try to better the "vitriolic" (Mr. Whitlam's term) press comment, The
Age in a sub-editorial on September 9th, smuggly suggested that
"It would have been better if Mr. Whitlam had not made his persona1
abusive attack" on Mr. Bjelke-Petersen.
It is significant that while Mr. Whitlam and his media friends abuse the Queensland Premier because he opposes them, the "Petersen Plan" is not even publicised by attacking it. Those who wish to turn Australia into a Socialist State fear that as the national crisis deepens the "Petersen Plan" is going to become the central issue in Australian politics, just as it was necessary to attempt to destroy the impact of the League of Rights by smearing it, so it is felt necessary to destroy the effectiveness of the Queensland Premier by smearing and abusing him. In this way it is hoped that his anti-inflation policy will also be discredited. Nothing is more important at present than to publicise the "Petersen Plan" in every possible way.
We are sometimes accused of not being constructive. Nothing could be more constructive than support for the "Petersen Plan", which in practice would put Australia on the road to a stable economic and social order.
THE LURE OF THE PARTY GAME
By Eric D. Butler
I can still hear the late Sir Wilfrid Kent-Hughes telling me one day at Canberra about how "deadly" Canberra was. He insisted that all Federal Members should serve in State Parliaments before going to Canberra. "The centralists are the biggest party here", he said. Sir Wilfrid told of how he had seen the corrupting influence of Federal politics upon Members of all parties at Canberra. He confirmed my own views.
Over the years the League of Rights has received many suggestions that it "is not going to get anywhere until it becomes a party and obtains power". Those making these suggestions have failed to face the reality that if the League of Rights formed yet another party and therefore became involved in the power struggle, it would depart from the basic educational field which has been a feature of its history. Its influence would be weakened. Party politics in one form or another will probably always exist, but the League of Rights concept is that an independent political "watchdog" is essential if representative government is to be made a reality.
As observed by the great British Constitutional author Professor Keeton in his classic, The Passing of Parliament (1952), effective representative government has been rapidly eroded during this century. Early this century Hilaire Belloc and Cecil Chesterton resigned from the British House of Commons and wrote their little-known work, The Party System, in which they used their considerable authority to urge that electors associate to obtain a more effective control over their political representatives. This is what the League of Rights is about: encouraging informed electors to concern themselves about policy making. The League's founding principles have never been changed. Events have consistently proved its views and predictions correct.
Some of my best friends are involved in party politics and can argue that they have had some influence. My own view is that they can devote so much time to trying to push against party political bureaucratic structures that they have insufficient time to devote to effective politics of freedom. But each individual must make his own judgment as to where he is going to work. But I shudder to think of what might have happened to me if I had joined a political party, become a Member of Parliament, and then had to start compromising on principles in order to continue getting the support of my party.
"But you could join a different type of party" my friends of the latest party, The Workers' Party, tell me. Or at least the League of Rights should support our party, instead of being critical. I cannot see why the Workers' Party should be regarded any differently than other non-Socialist parties. But one critic writes to inform that "one must surely doubt your sincerity when at last a political party, whose platform is exactly this (anti-Socialist) is ridiculed by you twice now in On Target". I am informed that the Workers' Party is being run by people "who basically want the things you want for Australia". And I am advised to study the Party's platform and "get your facts straight".
I have had lengthy discussions with prominent figures in the Workers' Party and have noted that their philosophy is the "Objectivism" of the Russian-Jew Ayn Rand, whose trenchant criticism of Christianity reveals a poor knowledge of history. Before some Ayn Rand devotee writes and advises me to read her brilliant writings exposing Big Government, collectivism and Socialist policies, I record that I have read and enjoyed, in part, all of Ayn Rand's writings. But her knowledge of real economics is limited. And her ignorance of the realities of modern credit-economic system is reflected in the platform of The Workers' Party, which I can assure my critics I read carefully when first issued.
Under the heading "Money and Banking" we read that the Workers' Party would "restore confidence in the Australian economy by replacing the Australian dollar (based on nothing) with new currency (or a revaluation of the present currency) based on an objective standard, such as gold". It is, of course, absurd to say that the present Australian dollar is based on nothing. Credits are issued against Australia's real credit, its productive capacity. The proposition that the use of Australia's real credit should be at the mercy of whether or not a relatively rare metal can be dug out of the ground is breath taking to the point of being absurd. My reading of the literature of the Workers' Party on finance convinces me that the writers know little or nothing about the operations of the modern finance-economy.
Needless to say, I agree with the stress on the importance of individual freedom. But there are social implications concerning the use of freedom. However, the framers of the Workers' Party platform state under the heading "Crime", that the Workers' Party would "repeal all laws which control or prohibit any sexual activity, including homosexuality and prostitution, between consenting adults". I presume that incest between "consenting adults" is also acceptable, as now advocated in Canberra. Also the Workers' Party would "repeal...all laws restricting or controlling the productions, transportation, sale, possession, or use of any food supplement or drug".
The statement that "no law shall discriminate against any individual on the grounds of race", together with the policy statement on immigration, means, of course, that members of all races should be able to flood into Australia providing they can pay their way. Even if the Workers' Party looked like getting into office, long before that the usual opportunists and power men would have joined, as they join all political parties, paying lip-service to objectives which do not really interest them.
I am afraid that the nature of human beings will not change inside the Workers' Party any more than it has changed in many other parties. The plea "But we are different" is but wishful thinking. This is no criticism of sincerity, but a statement based upon an understanding of the truth about power and how it affects individuals. All the political parties have their wishful thinkers. But more than wishful thinking is required for the survival of Civilisation. The League must therefore suggest that candidates for the Workers' Party be treated individually on their merits and commitments before elections, along with all other candidates.
A LAST REMINDER FOR NATIONAL SEMINARWe regret that some applicants were not able to be fitted in to The New Times Annual Dinner. But bookings were exceptionally heavy this year. However, all can attend the National Seminar. "Christianity and The Social Order", at The Victoria, 215 Lt. Collins Street, Melbourne, starting at 2 p.m. A brilliant panel of speakers and other items interspersed between the Papers. Come early and examine the most comprehensive book display. Adequate supplies of the Seminar brochure still available at head office, Phone in your-request for supplies and distribute. Have you informed your local Minister?
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