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August 18 1978. Thought for the Week: "Speak boldly, man, the truth is on thy side!"
The Pilgrim's Progress
THE FRASER FACADE CRACKING
By Eric D. Butler
Irrespective of who had led the Liberal-National Country Party Opposition against the Whitlam Government, that Government would have been electorally crushed because of the widespread loathing and fear of its policies and style. Malcolm Fraser shrewdly exploited that loathing and fear. Most of the few firm promises made have subsequently been broken. Mr. Fraser received his loudest cheers in 1975 when he hit such issues as Australian financial support for terrorism. He scored heavily with statements such as "There will be no international safaris by Members of Parliament. The purpose and nature of overseas trips will be subject to clear guidelines, Australia does not need a tourist as Prime Minister."
If the Fraser Government had honoured its 1978 election promises to progressively reduce unemployment, to reduce interest rates by 2%, to reduce taxation, to establish a primary producers' bank which would provide long term credits at reduced interest rates, and to "get the economy moving", few would have cared that Mr. Fraser's overseas trips were making those of Mr. Whitlam appear moderate in terms of expenditure. But with none of his major election promises being honoured, it is reports of Mr. Fraser's extravagance on his last overseas trip that are like throwing a match into a room full of petrol fumes.
Australians being urged to practise "restraint"
are understandably caustic in their comments when they read of Mr. Fraser
and his advisers spending $80,000 in only a week in New York. Mr. Fraser
did not even receive the hoped for invitation to visit President Carter
at the White House. Not that a meeting with the disastrous Carter would
have served any of Australia's best interests. Thousands of dollars
were spent buying seats on a Concorde from New York to London, presumably
to save a few hours, but with the jet breaking down, losing four or
five hours, the total result was a waste of dollars by a Prime Minister
who insists that his Government is watching the expenditure of every
I repeat: all of this would concern few - Australia is a wealthy country - if the Fraser Government were honoring its major pre-election promises. But with those promises being broken, and with increasing recourse to the same excuse used by the Whitlam Government - "Australia is the victim of a global economic recession" -the facade of Malcolm Fraser the constructive statesman is cracking badly.
Needless to say, the media has had a "field day" with the Withers affair. The incident leading to the Withers affair was of no basic importance whatever. Withers' deserves little sympathy, not because of what he allegedly did, or his sacking by Prime Minister Fraser, but because he demonstrated during the Referendum last year that he is a pragmatic power politician, prepared to sacrifice principles for what Mr. Fraser felt was essential to gain a political advantage.
Like Mr. Fraser, Senator Withers saw nothing
strange about campaigning with Mr. Whitlam and the Communists for the
subordination of the Senate to the House of Representatives. Amidst
the froth and bubble of the Withers affair, it was the dramatic exit
of Mr. Robert Dunstan as a Victorian Liberal Cabinet Minister, which
highlighted the growing fear amongst even rank and file Liberal Party
supporters that the Fraser Government is on a disaster course. The press
reported Mr. Dunstan as accusing Mr. Fraser of ruining the economy and
the building industry. He said that unemployment was rising and Mr.
Fraser didn't care.
Although Premier Hamer was left with no alternative
but to accept Mr. Dunstan's resignation after he refused to retract
his highly personal attacks on the Prime Minister, it is no secret that
Victorian Liberals agree with the Dunstan view that it is the Fraser
Government's financial policies that are ruining their chances of surviving
the next Victorian State Elections.
Just as it was the Whitlam Government that resulted in the first Fraser victory, in 1975, so again it was the fear of a return of Whitlam that was primarily responsible for the Fraser Government's victory last December. But with Whitlam no longer available for exploitation, and Mr. Fraser's personal popularity now rated seven percent lower than that of Mr. Hayden by the polls, increasing numbers of backbench Federal Members are beginning to realise that continuation with Fraser policies means certain electoral disaster at the next elections. Not even Mr. Fraser's decision to create a special public relations unit, another example of doing what the Whitlam Government was condemned for, can improve the Fraser Government's image while it continues to impose policies, which ultimately must result in a revolutionary situation.
It can be predicted that the cracks in the Fraser facade will widen as crisis conditions intensify. If Mr. Fraser's philosophy and personality prevent him from making the changes necessary to defuse the crisis, then it is essential that sufficient electoral pressure be applied to his colleagues to force him out in favour of someone prepared to form a Government, which will adopt policies to save the Australian Federation.
When the Communists achieved their victory in
Vietnam Aleksandr Solzhensityn observed that the Third World War was
over and that the West had lost. The West had in fact surrendered. One
of those responsible for the American no win policy was Secretary of
Defence, Robert MacNamara. MacNamara moved from Secretary of Defence
to Chairman of The World Bank. The World Bank has now approved a $US
90 million package loan to Vietnam virtually interest free. Under terms
of the loan the Hanoi Communists will have 50 years to repay the borrowed
money and will not have to make its first repayment until 11 years after
receiving the initial funds.
As we anticipated, after a little initial wrist tapping by some hypocritical Western political leaders, no effective action is to be taken against the Soviet Union because of the imprisonment of leading critics of the Soviet regime. It is business as usual. An American report states that before the "trials" of the dissident leaders, President Carter had offered the Soviet greater economic cooperation if no action was taken against the dissidents, The Soviet leaders treated the Carter proposal with contempt. One Soviet report says that the Soviet refuses to be intimidated by any American threats of economic sanctions, pointing out that Western economies would suffer if sanctions were applied. As pointed out by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the West has over years been providing economic blood transfusions to the Soviet even though millions suffered in the concentration camps. And what about persecution of critics of the Chinese Communists? The Fraser Government does not propose economic sanctions against Communist China. On the contrary, it is falling over itself to send more Australian exports to help the Communist criminals oppressing the Chinese people.
In a submission to the Arbitration Commission's wage fixation review on August 4th, Federal Government counsel, Mr. Keith Marks, QC, suggested that the quickest way to solve the nations economic problems is a complete freeze on wages for 12 months. This submission reveals the thinking of the Fraser Government and its economic experts. Assuming that such a complete freeze could be imposed, this would not prevent prices from continuing to rise because, as every businessman knows, he has costs other than wages. The result would be a further reduction in consumer purchasing power and less demand on the production system. There would be more business bankruptcies, and a further increase in unemployment. The Americans have tried wage, price and profit controls in the past without any success whatever. Cannot Mr. Fraser and his colleagues learn from past mistakes? What is required urgently at the present time is an increase in consumer purchasing power without stimulating inflation. Even a reduction in Sales Tax would have this effect.
S.A. readers- Dr. S.M.Draskovich and Eric Butler speak in the R.S.L. PRESS Hall, Adelaide, Thursday, August 24th. at 8pm.
WILL THE REAL CHRISTIANS PLEASE PROTEST?
The formal decision by the World Council of Churches,
meeting in Geneva, to donate $72,000 to the butchers directing the "Patriotic
Front" slaughter of Rhodesians, most of the victims being black, must
surely at long last result in a backlash amongst those Christians whose
Churches are members of The World Council of Churches. It is revolting
and blasphemous that those who use the name of Christ should be providing
aid for a group of terrorists who have not only butchered Christian
missionaries along with other Rhodesians, but have engaged in fiendish
acts which must sicken and revolt all those with any semblance of civilised
It is mind boggling that Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo and their murderous thugs can be called "responsible people". Recently returned from Cuba, Mugabe is a professed Marxist who openly boasts that he seeks power by the gun. He has not only spoken of killing Prime Minister Ian Smith, but now vows to murder the three Africans serving in the Rhodesian Interim Government. Backed by the Soviet Union and Cuba, Mugabe and Nkomo are both boasting that the "final blow" against Rhodesia will soon be struck. And in spite of all the bloody evidence, the Socialists in London and Carter in Washington still bleat about bringing Mugabe and Nkomo into a negotiated peace for Rhodesia.
As Rhodesia stands torn and bleeding, Prime Minister Smith's appeal to the civilised world is spurned while those taking the name of Christ send money collected from Christians to those savages serving the cause of the anti-Christ. We trust that all actionists will let their Church leaders know immediately what they feel about the policy of the World Council of Churches. If all giving were halted until Churches promise no more contributions to the WCC, this would produce some action. We also urge the widest possible distribution of the booklet, The Crooked Conscience, in which a Christian writer turns the spotlight on the double-standards of the WCC.
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