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22 May 1981. Thought for the Week: "The sharing of the person of the Queen with other countries may appear illogical to many. But in fact this unique international constitutional arrangement provides an example of that true internationalism which the world so desperately requires if Civilisation is to survive. What would it gain Australia to throw away this precious feature of its essential heritage? So far from benefiting Australians, it would be an act of national vandalism and the death of the real soul of the nation".
The Australian Heritage Society.
'ON THE ROAD TO MOSCOW'
It is now just over 30 years since the distinguished
British constitutional authority, Professor G.W. Keeton (later
to be made a judge) wrote his great classic, "The Passing
of Parliament", in which one chapter is chillingly entitled
"On the Road to Moscow." Professor Keeton pointed out that
the modern party dictatorship resulted in the emasculation
of genuine parliamentary democracy, with the private Member
reduced to the role of a rubber stamp for an all-powerful
One of Australia's most distinguished State Governors, Sir Marcus Oliphant, described Australian's political situation as an ''elected dictatorship.'' The position of the Labor Party concerning Caucus domination of Members of Parliament is well known. It was restated by Mr. Bob Hawke, Labor Minister for Industrial Relations, in his appearance on Michael Parkinson's television programme last Saturday, May 16th. Mr. Hawke insisted that a member of a parliamentary Labor Party had the "right" to argue a point of view inside Caucus, but if this proved to be a minority view, the Labor Member of Parliament was then obliged to support a view he opposed, merely refraining from speaking in parliament on the issue.
Mr. Hawke said that if a Labor Member felt sufficiently strongly about an issue, you could always resign. Mr. Hawke did not point out that in practice no Labor Member resigns, realising that such a step would mean political death.
Mr. Hawke claimed that the parliamentary system could not operate without the disciplined party system, thus endorsing Professor Keeton's claim that no longer were public questions decided by a free, deliberate parliamentary assembly. No doubt this is Mr. Hawke's concept of "Democratic Socialism".
C.H. Douglas said that once one party starts to move towards Socialism, the tendency under the modern party system is for other parties to follow. The Tasmanian Federal Liberal Member, Mr. Max Burr, is finding out how true this statement is. We hold no brief for Mr. Burr, except that he should have the right to criticise his own party leadership freely without being threatened by his leader, or his representatives.
Following the Peacock resignation, Mr.
Burr told "The Australian" that he regarded Mr. Malcolm
Fraser as an "electoral liability". Although Mr. Burr said
that he saw no alternative to Mr. Fraser at present, his candid
assessment of the Prime Minister resulted in a warning from
Liberal Party Chief Whip, Mr. Bourchier, that Mr. Burr might
lose the party's endorsement for the next elections. Most
political observers saw the threat as one emanating from the
Prime Minister. The attempt to silence Mr. Burr resulted in
six of Mr. Burr's parliamentary colleagues, one of these Mr.
Andrew Peacock, writing a joint letter warning that
We suggest that electors concerned with making the system of representative parliamentary government work, should carefully mark for future reference what these Liberal Members have said. We observe, however, that we find it interesting that Mr. Peacock, for example, endorses the principle that Members should be responsible to their electors and not be directed by organisations outside parliament. We recall Mr. Peacock as Minister for Foreign Affairs claiming, for example, that the Federal Government had to close down the Rhodesian Information Centre because of a decision by the United Nations. A number of other issues could be cited showing how the Government of which Mr. Peacock was a senior Minister, has bowed to UN decisions and "world opinion."
The only hope for Australia surviving as a free, civilised nation, is for sufficient electors to take Mr. Peacock and his colleagues at their word, and insist that parliament be restored to an institution in which Members of Parliament freely debate and vote upon legislation as INDIVIDUALS.
The double standards of the Fraser Government have once again been demonstrated by the insistence that the activities of the "Razor Gang" and less funds for the States are moves towards "small government" and the "new federalism". If Prime Minister Fraser and his colleagues were genuine, they would immediately close down every Commonwealth Department duplicating or interfering with activities, which legitimately come within the province of the States. Victorian State Housing Minister, Mr. Kennett, makes the excellent suggestion that the Federal Government abolishes the Ministry of Housing and Construction and sack the Minister, Queensland National Party MP Mr. Tom McVeigh. Addressing a housing Seminar at Latrobe University last week, Mr. Kennett charged that the Fraser Government is adopting an "inhumane" policy towards low income families requiring houses, by allocating as much money in foreign aid for "destitute" nations as it does for destitute Australians. Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen of Queensland has consistently claimed that charity begins at home, and that much of foreign aid grants should be made available to needy Australians.
Every civilised person, including Christians of all denominations, must feel revolted and depressed by the attempted killing of His Holiness, Pope John Paul. A brave Christian leader who has consistently condemned violence for political objectives, including violence in Ireland, has become a victim of what he has preached against. Hopefully this cowardly attack on a widely respected Christian leader will have a sobering effect on those misguided people who have been conditioned to believe that the killing and maiming of innocent people is justified in order to draw attention to a "cause". The Soviets are now supplying the IRA with sophisticated military equipment, a recent report claiming that Soviet rocket launchers are being used, because they are interested in forcing the people of Ulster to accept government from Dublin. The growing use of terrorist attacks on the innocent is a manifestation of a disintegrating Civilisation. The wars of this century have seen the use of indiscriminate mass destruction of the innocent by all sides, a development aptly described by one honest British writer as "Advance to Barbarism".
The only, repeat ONLY, advantage we can see in pro-Zionist Malcolm Fraser' s policy of having Australian troops involved in supervising the Israeli withdrawal from occupied Arab territory, is that the Australians will be able to learn something of how the Zionists have treated the Arabs.
THE TAX CUTS SWIFTLY
"The Prime Minister, Mr. Fraser, yesterday
said the Federal Government was closer to giving tax cuts
- but did not say when they would come. - The Sun,
(Melbourne) May 18th.
Representatives (May 7th,'81) Mr. Peter
Nixon, Minister for Primary Industry, on the Plant Variety
Rights Bill (1981)
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