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18 June 1976. Thought for the Week: "Two quite distinct influences have been at work for at least two hundred years. On the one hand, we have had the material progress of the industrial arts, which, as most people know, has been easily sufficient, considered by itself, to raise every member of the British public, by the use of power, to a position of economic independence, while at the same time reducing the necessity for economic labour to a small fraction of that available. Almost contemporaneously with this, we have witnessed a systematic expansion of legalism, of which Socialism is an increasing part, which ignores and in fact systematically attacks and distorts this situation. And the net result is insecurity more labour-hours, poverty, and war".
C.H. Douglas in 1941.
THE LEAGUE OF RIGHTS AND SIR JOHN KERR
Last week provided a carefully orchestrated campaign by subversive elements in Australia, working through sections of the media, to intensify the campaign to drive the Governor-General Sir John Kerr, from office. Like a two-edged sword, the campaign was also directed against the League of Rights.
A journalist from "The Age", Melbourne, rang League National Director Mr. Eric Butler on Monday, June 7th, concerning the League's campaign, through the Heritage Society, in defence of Sir John Kerr. The Heritage Society's campaign had been already running for weeks, so there was nothing new about it. But it so happened that Sir John Kerr was scheduled to attend a dinner of the Royal Commonwealth Society on the Wednesday evening.
On Tuesday morning "The Age" carried a front-page story with a bold heading "ERIC BUTLER DEFENDS KERR". (Note the denigration of the Governor-General by not giving him his proper title) Before Mr. Butler left for his office on the Tuesday morning he had been contacted by the Macquarie radio network. At his office he first did a TV interview for the ABC's "This Day Tonight". This was followed by an interview with Kate Bailleu for the ABC radio programme "P.M."
The line of questioning was significant: Was
the League of Rights planning a counter-demonstration at Sir John Kerr's
Melbourne dinner? Wasn't the League contributing to an emotional situation
with its campaign? And with friends like the League of Rights, does
John Kerr need any enemies?
During the afternoon Mr. Butler was rung from Canberra by a representative of "The Sydney Morning Herald". Although headed, "RIGHT-WING GROUP CAMPAIGNS FOR SIR JOHN", "The Sydney Morning Herald" report on Wednesday was factual and fair. It referred to the newly formed Society for Asserting the Constitution over Kerr (SACK), a new front for the anti-Kerr campaign. SACK told "The Sydney Morning Herald" "We feel that the backing of Sir John by the League of Rights has probably been the greatest single step forward in our campaign so far to discredit him". Sir John Kerr's private secretary, Mr. David Smith, told the 'Herald', "I do not believe Sir John is a member of the League of Rights."
Late on Tuesday afternoon Mr. Butler agreed to appear on Channel 9's "Current Affair" programme. Again the same effort was made to suggest that a discredited organisation like the League could do Sir John Kerr more harm than good. When the Channel 9 questioner suggested that the League could not be taken too seriously when it believed that the UN was a Communist organisation. Mr. Butler neatly turned this to advantage, observing that all well-informed people knew that the UN was an international Communist front-organisation and then went on to get in a comment concerning the World Anti-Communist League Conference in South Korea.
The Channel 9 interview badly upset local UN Association supporters, with a demand that Mr. Butler meet a UN Association representative on the same programme. This meeting took place last Friday evening, when a well-meaning but badly informed UN Association representative heard a few hard facts about the history of the UN. When he suggested that what happened in the past should be ignored and the "track record" be examined, Mr. Butler agreed and asked that the Angolan affair be considered. He pointed out that naked Soviet aggression had ended, not with the Soviet being censured, but the South Africans, who were not given one vote of support.
On Wednesday morning a man purporting to be from "The Herald" (Melbourne), rang Mr. Butler asking if the League would be at Sir John Kerr's Dinner that evening. Once again Mr. Butler explained that the League's campaigning was non-violent. He was pressed to say what League supporters at the Dinner might do if there was a demonstration against Sir John.
The ugly, violent demonstration against the Governor-General has been followed with more suggestions that he should resign. The anti- Sir John Kerr journalists keep up the theme that Sir John should go because he is dividing the Australian community, and that the only support he has is from the "right-wing extremist" League of Rights. It is also being suggested that by staying on Sir John is endangering the future of the Monarchy. This sickening double-talk comes from those whose ultimate objective is not merely to drive Sir John Kerr into premature retirement, but to destroy the institution of the Monarchy.
The League of Rights is feared because it has given a nation-wide lead in defence of the Governor-General, and because it has correctly warned that the campaign under way by the subversives is planned to continue up until the visit of the Queen early next year.
This brief survey of last week's events would
not be complete without reference to the contribution of Political Zionist
spokesman Isi Leibler, whose criticism of the League was featured in
"The Age" of Thursday, June 10th. In a classic display of dialectics,
Mr. Leibler first took "The Age" to task for the League's "unsolicited"
support for the Governor-General with the support of Idi Amin for the
Queen. Mr. Leibler explained how as a result of his exposures the League
had been reduced to a "splinter group of no relevance in the Australian
In a short letter to "The Age" Mr. Butler observed that Mr. Leibler was showing signs of delusions of grandeur if he thought that he could set himself up to say who could express loyalty to the Monarchy. In the meantime the Heritage Society's campaign in defence of Sir John Kerr goes from strength to strength. We would suggest that the anti-League campaigners had a bad week last week.
THE 1976 CENSUS
"And, when in addition people are told that unless they fill in the form and answer all the questions properly they might be taken to court and fined, there will be a tendency to wonder whether perhaps if it still is a democracy that they are living in. -"The Australian" (Editorial) June 15th.
This passage sums up very well our own feelings
on the Census. There is no doubt that Big Brother, once he gets away
with a few liberties, then develops a sharp appetite for more and more
of the individual's freedom. "Empire Building" takes place within the
bureaucracy itself. Ambitious little pen pushers look around for ways
and means of expanding their little shreds of power and influence. New
intrusions into the privacies of citizens are thought up, not necessarily
for that specific purpose, but as a lever to lift their own positions
within a State or (particularly) Commonwealth Department, and so they
ask for, and sometimes receive a "reclassification" of their little
branch within the Department, which gives them more staff and a higher
salary - at the expense of the substance and liberty of John Citizen.
And so it goes on.
"The Australian" Editorial (June 15th)
wisely raises the point concerning the inviolability of a citizen's
confidential information. How can this be guaranteed? "The Australian
" asks: "what is there to stop some unscrupulous person from steaming
open the envelope provided and reading and perhaps even using the details
We can safely ignore the bleating of the bureaucrats concerning Departmental "safeguards", "Legal penalties" etc. Communists don't accept such limitations and constraints; such Public Service incursions into the privacy of individuals were less alarming in an earlier era when the integrity of public servants was taken for granted. Anyone who now takes such integrity for granted is a Bo-Peep; a source of peril to himself and others.
League supporters must encourage their fellows to resist all Big Brother snooping into the privacy of the individual.
THE VICTORIAN RANDOM BREATH TEST LEGISLATION
Whilst on the subject of constraints on the individual we can raise the matter of the new Victorian random breath test legislation, which has just been rammed through the Victorian Parliament. Let us be quite clear that we, like all other responsible motorists, are fiercely opposed to drunken driving. This new legislation gives the police (who to their credit don't want the legislation) the power to pull up any driver on Victorian highways at random, any time of the day or night, and then submit the driver to a spot breath rest. Penalties for refusal to take the test are severe.
The Victorian Attorney-General has said that some drivers appear to be driving quite safely, yet are under the influence, and the random test will pick these up. This is all a bit Irish to us. We believe that the legislation in Victoria is as satisfactory as possible at present. The police can apprehend any motorist whom they consider, by his manner and driving, is under the influence.
Mr. John Galbally, of the Victorian Legislative Council has well made the point that this new "random" legislation transgresses legislative tradition, in that it harasses the vast majority of law-abiding citizens for the ostensible purpose of apprehending a handful of law-breakers. We think that there is more to it than even that. The hand of the Communist, or at least the Fabian Socialist is showing!
Victoria was the first State to introduce the
compulsory wearing of sear-belts in cars. Seat belts are probably a
safety factor; it is agreed that they protect more of life and limb
than they damage - the "compulsion" irritates. So now that this practice
has been accepted throughout Australia, what happens? More "compulsion."
Now the "random" breath test. The "compulsion"' process is moved up
The Victorian Parliamentary Labor Party is officially opposed to this new legislation, even though, as a sop to an alarmed Victorian motoring public, the legislation is to be reviewed in twelve months from the date of its introduction, otherwise it ceases to be law.
We are pleased to read that the N.S.W. State Government won't have a bar of these random breath tests. In "The Herald" (Melbourne) June 4th, the N.S.W. Transport Minister, Mr. Cox, roundly condemned the Victorian random breath tests. What then, should be done? More police on the roads; there's nothing like the sight and nearness of a marked police car to improve motoring manners. Stiffer penalities; tougher licence testing. The police say that 5% of motorists should not be on the roads at all, as they are psychologically unfit for the responsibility of handling an automobile. It is impossible in a modern community to legislate against every hazard.
The Federal Opposition spokesman on Treasury matters, Mr. Chris Hurford (London School of Economics!) is in full cry. He attacks the pruning of the Public Service (Federal) by the Fraser Government claiming that it would add to unemployment. This is obvious, but in the Public Service, staff constrictions are effected by non-replacement of retiring staff. Recruitment is curtailed. But he is right enough here.
We disagree, however, with Mr. Hurford's claim that cuts will not mean increased efficiency. Those with any direct experience in the Public Service well know that the whole structure is top heavy; there are too many people on the pay roll. No private company would last any time at all if it had to carry a Public Service-type bureaucracy. We are of the opinion that if the average public servant knew that there was an eager applicant waiting outside the door to take his job that "productivity" in the public sector would enjoy a marked jump upwards.
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