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9 September 1977. Thought for the Week: "If God does not exist, the world has no meaning, and nihilism is inevitable. It is nihilism, which is the true explanation of much that is so bewildering in modern art and modern literature. The cult of softness in art often reflects the cult of softness in morals. It is easy to attach too much importance to what is only one phase of modern decadence, the repudiation of traditional sex morality. This is merely a symptom of nihilism and must not be allowed to deflect our attention from the root of all evil, the explicit or implicit denial of God. The sins of the mind are more pernicious than the sins of the body, for pride, as the Church has always insisted, is the deadliest of sins.
The Cult of Softness, by Arnold Lunn and Garth Lean.
Nothing has so convincingly demonstrated the invincible stupidity of Prime Minister Fraser and his Cabinet colleagues than their view that the 1977 Lynch Budget was an election winner. The Government's Public Relations men concentrated on the alleged tax cuts in their pre-Budget publicity. Clearly Federal Treasurer Lynch did not even understand his own taxation figures.
Following bitter attacks by senior National Country Ministers that the Budget was grossly misleading, that some farmers would in fact be financially worse off as a result of the Lynch Budget, the Government has been forced to alter its Budget tax provisions to help primary producers, and to give some aid to the desperate beef industry.
While the alteration to the Budget is only minimal, the truth is that for at least a week Mr. Lynch and Mr. Fraser were attempting to defend a Budget without realising the full tax implications. The central feature of Mr. Lynch's "tax-reduction Budget" is that it provides for an increase in all taxation of another $3,000 million. That means that personal taxation - note, not a cent reduction in Sales or other indirect taxes - will increase 17 per cent.
Taxation continues to increase faster than inflation. Tax rates are increased for small private companies. We would have thought that the increase in company tax would have produced a roar of protest from the business community. It may be that, like the rural community, they are still in such a state of shock following the cynical betrayals of the Fraser Government that they have not yet been able to think of some constructive action.
The completely cynical approach to the disintegrating rural community was demonstrated by the old Rural Bank gimmick being mentioned yet once more. Mr. Lynch said that the Rural Bank has been "approved in principle. But that is all. Not one cent allocated to the establishment of such a Rural Bank. It is not surprising that rural action movements are even discussing the possibility of working together with Mr. Don Chipp's party.
Former Federal Director of the National Country Party, Mr. Barry Cassel, has deserted the National Country Party to become a National Director of radical Cattleman's Union, this move reflecting the growing unrest inside the National Country Party. Mr. Cassel has told The National Times "The Country Party is now in the greatest danger in its 60 year old history of suffering electoral losses the likes of which it has never experienced."
As we have predicted over the years, the National Country Party is threatened by the very policies it has espoused. And yet it could have been so different. The National Country Party could have given the lead to unite all Australians behind finance economic policies which would have constructively reversed inflation, made possible the development of a strong, stable rural community, served by genuinely decentralised towns. But its leaders, some of them amongst the most treacherous men ever to get into Federal politics, even turned their backs on their own stated policies, ran vicious campaigns against The League of Rights, and then resorted to falsehoods and half truths to attempt to black out the one ray of light in the darkening situation - the anti-inflation policy advanced by Queensland Premier, Mr. J. Bjelke-Petersen.
The reliable Morgan polls reveal that the Fraser
Government lost another two percent of electoral support following the
recent Budget. This means that an immediate Federal Election would almost
certainly witness the election of a Whitlam Government with a majority
approximating that which Whitlam gained at the 1974 elections.
The rumbles are growing inside the Liberal Party. "Fraser must go", is being increasingly heard. But the Liberal-National Country Party coalition is not going to save itself merely by changing leaders, even if it could bring itself to do without first suffering an election defeat. What is needed urgently is a change of policy. Only a change along the lines of the "Petersen Plan" now has any chance of defusing what is fast developing into a potentially revolutionary situation. Even if the Fraser Government could just save itself as a result of some diversionary issue like uranium, but continued with present disastrous financial policies, this would only bring the nation to flash point that much quicker.
REALITY ON RHODESIAN ISSUE
Because of its vital importance at a time when
the Fraser Government is desperately attempting to carry out U.N. directions
in the face of mounting opposition inside its own ranks, the following
extracts from a letter by Dr. Walter Henderson in The Age, Melbourne,
of September 2nd, are brought to the attention of our readers.
"That judgment must be respected by all countries not vested with lawful authority to overrule it. To one country alone is there an illegal Government in Rhodesia, that is the United Kingdom because of the judicial acceptance there of the legislative power of the Westminster Parliament over Rhodesia. I know of no other country that possesses such power. Australia does not. Nor does the UN. What the Security Council is doing is to attempt to amend the UN charter by its own fiat by incorporating the United Kingdom's legislative power into it. This is an insolent claim and must be rejected.
"Another factor in the right of Australia to reject the resolution seeking to close the Rhodesia Information Centre is that many of the Security Council's members are of countries in which there is not only no acceptance of human rights, but which have no rule of law on which such rights, to be operative, can be grounded.
"The object of the Rhodesia Information Centre is to bring to the Australian public facts of the murders and other odious felonies committed on Rhodesians, black and white, by terrorists harboured by adjoining countries, members of the UN. To prevent full facts of such crimes reaching our public is a purpose of the resolution that the UN has ordered our Government to carry out. Has Zimbabwe, which means a 'heap of stones', so bereft Mr. Fraser of moral reason that he believes he sees an 'obligation' to act in this way?"
Scheduled to speak next week at a Seminar at the Melbourne University, Professor Hans Eysenck of the London Institute of Psychiatry has been threatened with hostile demonstrations. His crime? Over many years his research work has led him to the conclusion that there is a link between intelligence and race. As Professor Eysenck observes, reference to this link runs contrary to "left-wing ideology that intelligence could be controlled by improving a person's environment". He also says, "in our democracy people are not allowed to study facts. Instead they are introduced to one sided propaganda". Never before have there been so many calling themselves "intellectuals", but never before has there been so much anti-intellectualism around the world.
Melbourne Age foreign affairs writer,
Mr. Michael Barnard, who has in recent times been displaying some refreshing
realism, commented on Sept. 3rd, "It has always baffled me how the Western
powers deplore the features of both Soviet and South Africa society,
yet seek detente with the former and pursue an aggressive policy of
isolation against the latter."
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