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September 8 1978. Thought for the Week: "The direction of society has been taken over by a type of man who is not at all interested in the principles of civilisation"
Ortega y Gasset.
CAN DEMOCRACY BE REVIVED?
It is now over 50 years since Lord Hewart, a former Lord Chief Justice of England, warned in his great classic (out of print for many years), "The New Despotism", that there was a conscious policy to make Parliament and Government subservient to a permanent bureaucracy of unelected officials. The sequel to Lord Hewart's warning came after the Second World War with Professor Keeton's chilling work, "The Passing of Parliament".
It is encouraging that the Speaker of the Commonwealth
House of Representatives, Sir Billy Snedden, has called for a reform
of Federal Parliament to enable Members of Parliament to control the
Executive, which he says is exercising too much power. Sir Billy's comments,
made in an address to the Commonwealth Speakers' and Presiding Officers'
Conference in Canberra on August 31st, tend to confirm the view of those
who believe that Sir Billy Snedden as Speaker has demonstrated qualities
not obvious when he led the Liberal Party. His courageous pro-Rhodesian
stand early in the year has been recalled by those who hold this view.
He added that while party solidarity had brought stability and strength in government, its rigid application to every issue had been unnecessary and excessive. He said, "The result is that legislation is seen by many as a rubber stamp for the executive and therefore of little importance. Although Sir Billy correctly observed that party solidarity was a major obstacle to reform, he did not point out that one of the major reasons for this "solidarity" is the fear of losing party endorsement, and a lucrative position, by party Members.
He did say that a Government is supported by a "majority of Members who can see that their seats rely upon the executive remaining in power." But some Members refrain from criticising the Government primarily because they fear that without party endorsement, and the financial support provided by the Party machine, they would have little chance of survival. Which leads to the obvious conclusion that the necessary reforms of Parliament will only take place when enough electors free themselves from party domination and unite to make it clear to their Member that he can take an independent stand in Parliament providing he accepts his role as being the servant of the electors.
We agree with Sir Billy when he says "If members broke ranks occasionally, particularly on matters affecting the affairs of the legislature itself, the parliamentary institution could only gain. Members will wait a long time for an executive, which willingly supports significant parliamentary reform, which is not in the executive's, own interests. Almost certainly, significant reform will only arise out of action by members." But, we repeat, most Members will only move against their Party if they are confident that they have sufficient electoral support.
The revival of genuine democracy must start at
the grassroots, amongst the electors. However, Sir Billy Snedden is
to be congratulated for warning of the danger of increasing power being
taken by an Executive dictatorship.
THE UNHOLY ANTI-RHODESIAN ALLIANCE
Prime Minister Ian Smith of Rhodesia may have
been unwise in agreeing to meet secretly with terrorist leader, Nkomo,
in Zambia. But we have no doubt that the desperate plight of his nation
has forced him into a situation where he feels that every possible risk
should be taken which might achieve something of value for Rhodesia.
Mr. Smith has summarised the current situation by charging that the U.S. and British Governments had joined the Soviet Union and Cuba to wreck the internal settlement he is attempting to bring about. He says, "Our principal problem has been that the British and American Governments have gone out of their way to undermine our plans and at the same time has given assistance and encouragement to our opponents the terrorists."
Speaking of "a sordid chapter of Anglo-American history," Mr. Smith charged "they led us up the garden path into accepting their ideal, one man, one vote." One of Mr. Smith's biggest mistakes was to fail to understand the deviousness of the British and American Administrations. Informed Rhodesians are of the opinion that this failure stems from Mr. Smith's lack of understanding of the realities of the international power game, and the major groups involved.
Australian politicians are little better informed, as witnessed by the fact that there is no outcry against the Government's clear intention of accepting the explosive implications of the "New International Economic Order", the essence of which is an international banking monopoly and the control of the world's basic raw materials by international commodity boards. This is all carefully documented in Jeremy Lee's book, "Upon That Mountain - A Plot to Betray Australia's Independence" ($1.25 posted).
The "rights" of Africans have nothing to do with
the real purpose of the unholy international alliance against Rhodesia,
and South Africa. Which African State has " one man, one vote"? No,
the massive mineral wealth of Southern Africa is one of the key factors
in the situation. The world's media makes no reference to these factors.
But it does lend its support to the smearing of Rhodesia, the latest
example being the publicity given to a report from an impressive sounding
organisation the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. It
was described as " a Brussels based non-government organisation with
consultative status at the UN".
Clearly a desperate Rhodesian Government is now playing for time, time, which it hopes, will see the consolidation of a mounting pro-Rhodesian sympathy into concrete political action. Where are all those strong pro-Rhodesians of yesteryear in the Fraser Government? Could we hear from Defence Minister Jim Killen? And from Mr. Peter Nixon? Or do they fear they would be disciplined by Prime Minister Fraser if they spoke out?
As the Rhodesians fight for their lives, this is a time for some straight talking. The Fraser-Peacock support for the inclusion of the terrorist leaders Nkomo and Mugabe in a Rhodesian settlement must be repudiated by every decent Australian. It was pleasing to learn that this repudiation took place at the League of Rights Sydney Regional Dinner last week, when an appropriate motion moved by Dr. Charles Huxtable of the Australia-Rhodesia Society, was carried unanimously.
The Victorian Department of Health has directed the Colac Waterworks Trust to comply with the Health Fluoridation Act, 1973 - passed by a Government, which says it believes in freedom of choice! - and to fluoridate the Colac water supply by 1980. Several commissioners expressed opposition to compulsory fluoridation. At the recent Horsham (Victoria) Municipal election, over 96% of those who voted used the opportunity to express their views on fluoridation. The NO vote was 84.6%! The one candidate prepared to state unequivocally that he was opposed to fluoridation, was elected. But, as a correspondent writes, "In spite of this, Comrade Hamer says he will fluoridate our water supply by 1980." Fluoridation could prove a decisive issue at the next Victorian State Elections.
In a weekly electorate radio talk last weekend, Prime Minister Fraser said, "An inflation rate of 5% by May or June next year is a reality and not just wishful thinking." We have observed previously that we have no doubt that the Fraser Government can get the inflation rate down much lower, but that under present financial rules the inevitable result must be greater unemployment and economic disaster. This means revolution. But Mr. Fraser says he sees a rosy future. Unfortunately for Australians, coming events are going to prove Mr. Fraser wrong, as they have proved him wrong in the past.
BOOK NOW FOR NATIONAL WEEKENDYes, we know you just have not got around to booking for the League's National weekend! But it is now only 14 days to the first big event, "The New Times" Annual Dinner, at the Victoria, on Friday, September 22nd. Seats still available. Bookings MUST be in by September 20th AT THE LATEST. $9 per person. A great night promised. What could be more topical than the theme of this year's National League Seminar on Saturday, September 23rd.Let all the young people know. Be present yourself and bring friends. Starts at 2 p.m. at The Victoria. Entrance $2. Students $1. National Action Seminar, starting with non-denominational Divine service at 9.30 a.m. and continuing all day. Those attending MUST book. Lunch provided for nominal charge.
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