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3 July 1981. Thought for the Week: NO 4-year parliaments; NO fixed terms; NO simultaneous elections.
THE SHAMING OF AUSTRALIA
By Eric D. Butler
Prime Minister Fraser has demonstrated that he is a shallow, pigheaded man by his constant reference to his alleged success concerning Rhodesia. Every informed authority on Rhodesia, now so aptly described as Zimbabwe (Shona for a heap of ruins), knows that developments in what was once the most promising example of a successful multiracial country on the African continent, are following the same disastrous pattern in every part of Africa from which there has been a premature withdrawal of the European colonial power.
Forcing the British and other colonial
powers out of Africa has been a long-term Communist objective.
The Communists have over a long period of time built up a
team of experts on African affairs, men who know far more
about the realities of Africa than the Malcolm Frasers. The
Communists know that the premature removal of European colonialism,
and the mass exodus of Europeans, must result in the chaos,
bloodshed and general disaster, which is now a feature of
Nothing so graphically demonstrated the nature of African psychology than the standing ovations Idi Amin received at Organisation of African Unity (OAU) conferences when the former dictator of Uganda was striding the African stage. The same OAU is now demanding that New Zealand be isolated internationally if the South African rugby tour of New Zealand takes place. A relatively short time ago it would have been thought impossible that Australia would be siding internationally with African tyrants against their fellow Anzacs across the Tasman.
Prime Minister Fraser, feverishly seeking to further the New International Economic Order strategy, is making it clear that he is prepared to sacrifice Australia' s kith and kin, as he did in Rhodesia, to pursue his objectives. He has sought and gained the strong support of Fabian Socialist Pierre Elliott Trudeau in his pro-NIEO campaign. He is prepared to sacrifice the South Africans, even though the very African States he is attempting to court are, while publicly criticising South Africa, increasing their imports, much of these vital food supplies, from South Africa.
One of Malcolm Fraser's strongest allies
in the betrayal of Rhodesia was Nigeria. Mr. Audu, Nigerian
Foreign Minister says concerning the anti-New Zealand campaign,
"I suppose there is no harm in becoming a pariah State along
with South Africa. New Zealand wouldn't be missed in the Commonwealth.
How many are there? Two-and-a-half million people?"
Australia failed the test when the Rhodesians were betrayed. It is unthinkable that they allow New Zealanders to be betrayed. The coming Commonwealth Conference in Melbourne might decide once and for all how much value is a Commonwealth in which there are such sickening double standards. If Prime Minister Muldoon is forced to defend himself at the Melbourne Conference, it is to be hoped that he adheres to his suggestion that he could raise the question of the lack of human rights in some States criticising New Zealand.
In an interview I did with Sir Roy Welensky, former Prime Minister of the Central African Federation (broken up by the treacherous British politicians), some years back, Sir Roy urged that the only value of a Commonwealth was that there be rules for the members. He suggested a two-tier membership, one for those accepting the Monarchical system of government, and one for those who rejected this. If Malcolm Fraser continues to support the Mugabes of Africa against New Zealanders, who are not only fellow Anzacs, but are loyal to the Crown, he must be rejected in the strongest possible way by Australians.
Instancing the case of Irish independence leader Parnell, rejected by large numbers of Irish Catholics because of his mistress, Kitty O'Shea, Enoch Powell once suggested to me that some peripheral, unforeseen issue often exploded into a major impact on events. How ironic is a game of football resulted in helping to clarify the future of the Commonwealth and much else! And forced Australians to have a look at themselves, their values and their loyalties.
A letter in "The Australian" urges Prime Minister Fraser and Opposition Leader Hayden to unite in opposing Sir Charles Court's suggestion of secession by West Australia, stating, "The sovereignty of the States must remain dependent at all times on the overall sovereignty of Australia." This is a dangerous falsification of the realities of the Federal system. The Federal Government was created BY THE STATES, TO SERVE THE STATES. There would be no talk of secession if the Federal Government were acting as a servant instead of being a master.
A Canberra actionist (A.C.T.) has had
a reply from Senator Kerry Sibraa (A.L.P. - N.S.W.) listing
three points which, he believes, are the principal reasons
for the support of fixed, four-year terms of parliament for
Australia: We make comment on each point. We have no doubt
at all that practically all politicians really do believe
that four-year terms of parliament are in the best interests
of their electors, and Australia. It is so easy to brainwash
oneself with an issue which is so much to one's own advantage.
For example, all of us can think up the most excellent reasons
why we should win the major prize in the lottery.
State parliaments are not bound to a
3-year term by State constitutions and can legislate for 4-year
terms. They could well await the result of a Commonwealth
referendum before doing so: if this were rejected. State legislation
on this issue is unlikely, in our view. New South Wales may
be the exception. Senator Sibraa states that the role of the
Senate is strengthened because half of its Members now face
the electorate each three years. Be this as it may, he misses
the point altogether. That point is, that if the Senate is
tied to Lower House elections, it can be intimidated by the
Government of the day. It's no use saying that this couldn't
happen, because it could, if the referendum is carried. Senator
Sibraa is no doubt thinking of a future referendum being carried
with a "fixed term" clause; and this could complicate the
situation, in that Senators would have a "safe" term of Office:
however, we have doubts that the "fixed term" phrase will
be embodied in the future referendum, as we have strong reasons
for suspecting that the real purpose of the exercise is to
bring the Senate under the domination of the Government of
the day in the Lower House.
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