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19 September 1980. Thought for the Week: "Politics is a terribly non-creative scrimmage and a place for second-rate talents"
Clare Booth Luce
WHAT WILL THE FEDERAL ELECTIONS DECIDE?There are several reasons why Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser should have declared the Federal Elections on October 18th instead of later. Contrary to the constant claim that the finance-economic problem is being overcome, all the indications are that it is going to get worse. The increase in the unemployment rate is one sign of what is before us. The second is that Mr. Fraser hopes to stage a short election campaign, an election in which the print media will have the minimum opportunities of asking Mr. Fraser any searching questions. Most electors have to be content to see Mr. Fraser and his colleagues on television or to hear their voices on radio. Mr. Fraser will, of course, concentrate on the basis that the memories of most electors are short-lived. Mr. Fraser will not want to be reminded that he called the Federal election, in 1977, twelve months early, on the basis there was so much speculation about an early election - for which he was mainly responsible - that he wanted to remove uncertainty to enable the electors to provide him with a firm mandate to continue on with the programme of economic recovery his Government had embarked upon with considerable success. Before the last election Mr. Fraser had given a firm assurance that within three months his Government would restore the economy. Now Mr. Fraser is saying he requires five years.
Capitalising on the deep anti-Whitlam feeling while still in the Australian community, and that it is the tradition in Australians to give everyone every chance to prove himself, Fraser had himself re-elected with another big majority. Firm promises were made that taxation would be reduced, and that the Inflation rate would contribute down. But by the middle of 1978, increasing numbers of electors started to realise that none of the promises made were fulfilled. Taxation has been increased to new record 1evels.
We predict now that if the Fraser Government is re-elected and perseveres with its present policies, the finance-economic situation by the middle of next year will deepen. Even some Liberals agree privately that the much-publicised mineral boom is not going to affect the overall depressed economy. Remember similar talk of a boom resulting from massive foreign investment in Australian mineral development was made before the last Federal Elections. A boom in the development of Australian mineral resources is dependent not only on massive capital investment, but also on foreign markets. The truth is, as admitted reluctantly even by the International Monetary Fund, the finance-economic outlook for the industrialised world is gloomy. Almost every day come more reports of manifestations of the growing international trade war.
Australia's basic problems can only be solved by reversing present finance-economic policies. If Australia puts its own house in order, it is then in the position to demonstrate to other nations that it does not need to contribute to the growing international friction resulting from the "fight" for foreign markets. Before the 1975 Federal Elections, Mr. Fraser, in criticising the Hayden Budget, pinpointed a basic aspect of the finance-economic problem, of which inflation is a most insidious and subversive manifestation. Mr. Fraser correctly charged that heavy taxation was a basic cause which had to be removed.
After five years in office, the Fraser Government stands condemned by its own record. It has failed badly, It has broken promise after promise. In both domestic and foreign policies it has continued on from where the Whitlam Government left off. This truth must be faced by electors as they consider what they are going to do on October 18th. If the Australian electors re-elect the Fraser government with another big majority, it will demonstrate that they are 'gluttons for punishment'. Also, that if they haven't suffered enough, it is their God-given right to suffer some more. But fortunately the evidence suggests that a large number of electors have had enough and that Mr. Fraser s self-righteous arrogance will at least be dented.
However, what is the alternative to Mr. Fraser? Mr. Hayden? Mr. Hayden is as much enslaved by the mumbo-jumbo of financial orthodoxy as is Mr. Fraser. Mr. Hayden offers a form of drug which could temporarily stimulate the economy but which would worsen the basic cause. Inflation would continue because high taxation would continue.
The best advice that we can give electors is that they make every endeavour to contact all candidates for the House of Representatives and to make it clear that unless they can obtain a firm written contract, that candidates will pledge themselves to vote against any further increase in total taxation and will work for a reduction, they must as responsible electors refuse to cast their vote for any candidate, and register what might be termed as a "conscience vote". Those who vote for the lesser of two evils are allowing themselves to be used by the part manipulators, who then claim that they have a mandate. The time has come to challenge the manner in which the party totalitarians exploit electors. A start can be made at the 1980 Federal Election.
AL GRASSBY'S BIG BROTHER APPEALMr. Al Grassby, the over-paid Commissioner for Community Relations, is always trying to find some justification for his meddling existence. In his annual report Mr. Grassby claimed that 'racist" organisations - he mentions 30 - have increased activities over the past twelve months. The report was tabled in Federal Parliament last week by the Attorney-General. Mr. Grassby claims that intensified "racist" activities are the hallmarks of groups "taking advantage of the arrival of Indo-Chinese refugees to effect the result of the federal election to be held later this year. The members the organisations remains small, yet their activities cause great concern particularly to the ethnic and racial groups which are at the brunt of their attacks. The activities also cause offence to the bulk of the Australian community."
The Australian League of Rights is smeared by Grassby as one of the biggest offenders. Unlike would-be-Commissar Grassby with the anti-Anglo-Saxon chip, the League of Rights believes in the right of the people of a nation to say who should be permitted into that nation. Every test demonstrates that the great majority of Australians are opposed to large-scale non-European immigration into Australia. Refusal of encouraging that test to be made at a referendum, Mr. Grassby calls for sweeping powers to prosecute in what he terms cases of discrimination". He also wants to be able to subpoena document files during "racial discrimination" inquiries. Like most totalitarians, Mr. Grassby advocates more totalitarianism, more Big Brother, uttering mealy-mouthed remarks about "toleration.
We have no hesitation in saying that Mr. Al Grassby is one of the most disliked Federal bureaucrats in Australia. It is time that his meddling, parasitic activities were closed down. The character of real Australia was shaped over the first 70 years of Federation without a "Community Relations" bureaucracy, during which all the political parties, with the exception of the Communist Party, openly supported for the very immigration policy which Mr. Grassby describes as racist". Mr. Grassby should be reminded that he was decidely rejected by the electors of Riverina and only holds his present seat because of the jobs-for-the-boys philosophy which prevails at all times irrespective of which party is in office.
BRIEF COMMENTSThere has been a continued annual increase of bankruptcies under the Fraser Government, the nearly 5000 bankruptcies for 1979 being an increase of 29 per cent for the year. This is an increase of 162 per cent on the 1975-76 figures, the first year of the Fraser Government. Small business organisations have been the main victims of what is described as the fight against inflation. The Thatcher Government is waging an even harsher "fight" in the United Kingdom, with the result that there is a rising bankruptcy and unemployment rate approaching that of the Great Depression. The brutality of this policy, doomed to make no more than a dent in the high inflation rate, is producing human tragedies which statistics cannot accurately measure. The new edition of C.H. Douglas's classic, "The Monopoly of Credit", which first appeared in the Great Depression, makes clear the truth that inflation cannot be solved by policies which, if persisted with, must, as Douglas predicted, end either in war or social disintegration as efforts are made to exploit the crisis to centralise power on a global scale. "The Monopoly of Credit", with an illuminating Introduction by Dr. Geoffrey Dobbs, sells for $6 posted.
Mr. Miller, the Secretary of the U.S.
Treasury, has recently stated that the world's economy was
in a "critically difficult period". Mr. Miller's
prescription for survival is that the West must subjugate
itself more than ever to the International Monetary Fund and
the World Bank in order to be liberate those who advocate
restrictive trade actions and other "beggar-thy-neighbour"
policies (self-protection at the expense of other trading
nations; or "I'm all right, Jack").
CONCERNED CHRISTIANS ACCEPT POLITICAL CHALLENGE
A dramatic new note has been struck in
Australian politics with the announcement that, resulting
from the recent Adelaide Seminar on "Caesar and the Individual",
a number of concerned Christians have come forward to offer
to serve their fellows on a Christian basis, in the Federal
Parliament. First to run the Christian flag up for the Senate
Elections were two South Australians, Mrs. Betty Luks and
Mr. James Cronin, with the Pastor of one Adelaide Church volunteering
to act as a State co-ordinator.
We understand that it has been decided that while the two State teams will exchange information, they will be completely independent of each other. But a basic feature common to both will be a determination to insist that the power of Government, mainly through taxation and other financial policies, must be curbed.
The role of the Senate as a "State House" and one of review, will be stressed. It will be interesting to see if with a lead in two States, other concerned Christians come forward in other States. A spokesman for the South Australian team stressed that while a political miracle would be warmly welcomed, the candidates were offering themselves as a Christian duty, to provide a genuine alternative and to set in motion a long-term political movement, without any concern about being elected.
We have no hesitation in urging all League actionists in Victoria and South Australia to support in every possible way the inspiring lead being given. It is becoming increasingly clear that the Senate will play a vital role in the next Parliament and that some alternatives are being provided. We will be reporting on the Concerned Christian campaign as it develops.
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