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10 October 1980. Thought for the Week: "I suppose that there never was a time when so much nonsense was talked by so many people on so many subjects, as the present. Sober judgment was once the object of respectful attention; but nowadays none is so poor as to do it reverence. The very foundations of considered opinion appear to be undermined; words, in our new 'wonderland', mean what we want them to mean, and are used, not so much to conceal our thought as to advertise our determination to dispense with it."
C.H. Douglas in "The Land for the (Chosen) People Racket."
ON THE ROAD TO MOSCOW
In one of the great classics on the erosion of limited, constitutional government, "The Passing of Parliament" author Professor Keeton has a chapter chillingly described as "On The Road To Moscow". It is now nearly thirty years since this work (now out of print) appeared, and events during this period have increasingly demonstrated that party political slogans are used to present electors with no real alternatives. They can be shot at dawn or boiled in oil.
The basic theme advanced by all the political parties is essentially the same: it is, today, the role of government, particularly centralised government, to "manage" the economy. In reality this means the management of individuals. Mr. Hayden says that he can do this better than Mr. Fraser, and, if the public opinion polls are a correct reflection of electors' intentions on October 18th, a majority of Australians are now of the opinion that perhaps Mr. Hayden could be a better manager than Mr. Fraser. If closely questioned, a large number would say that in sheer frustration they were voting for what they feel is the lesser of two evils.
A study of Mr. Hayden's policy speech
indicated that no basic changes are proposed to the central
policies of the Fraser Government. Unlike Mrs. Florence Bjelke-Petersen,
who has supported a major reduction in total taxation, Mr.
Hayden merely, advocates a cosmetic arrangement, which shifts
the emphasis on taxation from one area to another.
Even what appears to be Mr. Hayden's biggest potential vote catcher, his promise on oil pricing, offers only a freeze of twelve months on present prices. If elected, Mr. Hayden will at the end of twelve months carry on where Mr. Fraser left off, using the petrol pump as a major instrument for extracting enormous taxes from the people.
We were a lone voice during the highly emotional 1975 election campaign which resulted in the crushing defeat of the Whitlam Government, warning that merely changing politicians did not of itself change policies or break the power of centralised finance. As pointed out by Professor Keeton, the modern party political system results in the elector being placed in the position where it appears that he has no alternative but to electorally endorse his own progressive enslavement.
However at long last, a genuine new political alternative is starting to emerge with the Christian Alternative movement, with three Senate candidates starting in South Australia and Victoria. We will be pleasantly astonished if these Christian candidates obtain more than a small fraction of the total Senate vote in their respective States. But as they have made clear in election statements, they see themselves as missionaries pioneering a completely new approach to politics.
The injection of the Christian Alternative into the 1980 Federal Elections is the first step in an ongoing programme. A central feature of the Christian Alternative campaign is the stress on PERSONAL responsibility; that no one taking the name of Christian has the right to use the vote other than in accord with Christian values and principles. In a statement issued last weekend, Mr. Bill Petersen made the thought provoking comment that under some circumstances it was the duty of the Christian NOT TO VOTE.
Responsible, representative government can never become a reality until a sufficient number of electors use their votes in a responsible manner. On many occasions this means a "conscience vote", the deliberate withholding of the vote. Our view is that there will be no real change in direction irrespective of whether Malcolm Fraser or Bill Hayden is Prime Minister after October 18th.
As far as is practical in the short time available, electors should endeavour to question all candidates and then consider allocating votes only in accordance with firm assurances given concerning principles. If the next Government finds itself curbed by a Senate in which there will be a balance of power, then it is certain that the next Parliament will not run its full course. The work done by the Christian Alternative movement before October l8th must therefore be seen as the laying of the foundations for the following elections. That is why that work should be supported as enthusiastically as possible at the present tine. In this way Australia can stop following a road, which eventually leads to Moscow.
IRAN IRAQ : THE GULF WAR
(What Is Going On?) Most people must be confused over the issues of the new Gulf War between Iran and Iraq. The issues are confused, but we understand the most likely scenarios. Reports confirm that a deal has been done between the leaders of Iraq and the leaders of Iran's exiled opposition leaders; secret visits of the latter have been made to Baghdad, the Iraqi capital. It is probable that Iraq was energised to take direct action because of evidence that the forces of the Ayatollah Khomeini were gaining a firm hold in Iran. There has been evidence that a powerful Iranian, anti-Khomeini commando force has been trained in Iraq, and all this adds up.
With respect to the military forces of the Khomeini regime, the rot has probably been halted and after the initial purges of the late Shah's "men" morale and discipline are slowly being restored. There are several well known personalities involved in the Iraqi attempt to unseat the Khomeini regime, viz. Shahpur Baktiar, former Prime Minister of Iran, General Ali Oveisi, the Shah's former commander in chief, and Admiral Ahmed Madani, who was Iranian President Bani-Sadr's opponent at the presidential election. He may be able to lead a rebellion against the Khomeini forces with the support of the Iranian Navy and part of the Iranian Army.
The above scenario is muddied by clouds of doubt about the probability that Iraq struck against Iran to foil a growing military alliance between Syria and the Soviet Union; as Syria has sought Kremlin support for an alliance of Syria and other Moslem states, notably South Yemen and Libya.
Open warfare in the Gulf could force the Soviet Union to tread warily. Why Iraq's President Hussein wants to foil this is not clear: it could be something of a localised power struggle in this part of the world: however: many experts believe that President Hussein wants a firm superiority over the Khomeini regime so that Iraq, and a "new" pro-Iraq Iranian regime can co-operate together to cut out both the Kremlin and Washington, to their mutual advantage. The Kremlin is sure to be pulling strings in the background, because the Iraqi army is equipped with Russian weaponry, and cannot maintain an offensive for more than a month, at the most, without Russian support.
Powerful Soviet forces virtually ring the whole area: on the Soviet-Iranian frontier; Soviet, Cuban, and East European forces are stationed in Ethiopia and South Yemen; and there is a strong Soviet fleet in the Persian Gulf. As for the U.S.A. and President Jimmy Carter, with the Presidential election coming up, Washington is outwardly neutral. However, it seems obvious to us that there is some sort of deal between Washington and the Kremlin, so that the Kremlin goes fishing in troubled waters and looks like catching something of value - and Washington is likely to gain the release of the hostages. If the war continues long, Iran will desperately need American munitions and spare parts for American weaponry. It shouldn't be more than a few months, if that, before the picture clears.
M.E.A. TAPE LIBRARYBox 118, Numurkah, Vic. A service for actionists timely for the Senate Election "A Conscience Voting Campaign" by Jeremy Lee. Special offer 5 copies for $6.00.
FROM JONATHAN HUNTINGDON'S NOTEBOOK
Only 500 of an expected 5,000 Australians attended the Moscow Olympics, leaving Jetset with a deficit. Isi Liebler's anti-Soviet diatribes seem rather hollow when it's remembered that his firm handles the normally lucrative Soviet-Australia travel contracts.
Like many of Bob Hawke's initiatives, Bourke's A.C.T.U. store (in Melbourne) is a fizzer, and closes with a loss of $276,000. The other partners, the Revelmans, still seem in good shape.
Barry Simon, Member for McMillan, and member of the trendy Liberal Party Left, is embroiled with the Right to Life Association over the "Lusher" motion. The best strategy is to prune and cull the trendy Left candidates from both major parties - in fact, to judge on performance, and ignore party lines.
All election comment authorised by E.D. Butler, 273 Lt. Collins St., Melbourne.
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