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28 August 1981. Thought for the Week: "We must realise that Christianity is challenged today as never before. The divorce of ethics from economics is causing hundreds of thousands of men and women to reject God because the very silence of our Church leaders on economic questions leads them to believe that Christianity is the bulwark of a system which appears to have a reverence for the rights of property rather than the rights of men and women."
L. H. Hollins, in Democracy at the Cross-Roads (1934)
CHIPPING AWAY AT THE BUDGET
"The simple fact is that having control of the Upper House can be politically more difficult for an opposition and minor parties than for a minority government." - The Australian (August 22nd).
We do not intend a re-run of all the Budget 1981 proposals. We shall highlight the politically explosive sales tax increases and extensions. We are as sure as we can be that both Mr. Fraser and Mr. Howard (Treasurer) know that they are on shaky ground when they insist that the sales tax proposals are "part and parcel of the Budget"; and that a rejection of these is a rejection of the Budget. The Liberal leaders are banking on previous assertions of both Labor and the Chippocrats that neither of these parties will block Supply, without which a Government cannot operate.
Senate rejection of the sales tax proposals of the Budget
really amount to a blocking of Supply? Mr. Russell Schneider,
in The Australian of above date, draws attention to
some "myths and shibboleths" surrounding political parties,
governments and money bills.
Quite obviously, the Chippocrats and
Labour can combine to knock out the Budget sales tax hikes
and extensions without blocking Supply itself. None of the
columnists we have read have come up with the probable real
dilemma of Mr. Chipp, in our opinion. Mr. Schneider hints
at it, when he remarks that the Australian Democrats are not
enthused with the prospect of finding themselves forcing an
election so soon after they have assumed the powerful role
in which they now find themselves. We shall go further than
this and state that Mr. Chipp is scared stiff that if the
Prime Minister does bring on a double dissolution of the Parliament
over the Budget issue, the Australian Democrats may well be
thrown out of the Parliament as was the Democratic Labor Party
in the 1974 Federal elections. Malcolm Fraser knows this,
and can point to the demise of the D.L.P.
Our opinion is that the Australian Democrats would be more likely to gain further support by taking a hard line against the sales tax proposals of the Budget, which really are punitive, and will hit the man in the street hard, besides further stoking the fires of inflation. Apart from this, Malcolm Fraser is probably bluffing when he hints at a double dissolution of Parliament: our opinion is that the Liberals would lose government now if the went to the people on the issue of the Budget. We find it difficult to imagine them being so naive. Mr. Chipp is always ranting about - "keeping the bastards honest" (his own words). Who is going to keep Senator Chipp honest?
WELL, WHAT ABOUT THE RESOURCES BOOM?
"The Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Anthony, yesterday strongly cautioned Australians not to expect too much from the resources boom." - The Australian (August 22nd)
We can remember the note of caution we
sounded, ourselves, in these pages some few years ago, when
politicians and business tycoons were trumpeting the coming
wonders of the mineral resources boom in Australia, of the
80s. We knew that such a "boom" would be capital intensive,
with those dollars flooding in from abroad. We knew that the
equipment would be massive and sophisticated, an inevitable
development of the industrial arts, but with a necessary spin
off: the avoidance of labour difficulties in remote areas
of Australia, and also avoidance (as a consequence) of union
obstructions. less labour, the less union trouble.
The man in the street won't get anything out of this mirage like "boom". The figures in the books are there. The balance of payments figures may be impressive. The profits of the international Big Boys are most certainly there. Even more so are the repayments of loans to the national and international banks by the Big Boys: they are there with knobs on! We still have our same unemployment (likely to rise further), and the same inflation. That will increase too. The 1981 Budget will ensure that; along with higher interest rates on homes; higher charges for this, that, and everything. As for Mr. Anthony's "chickens", the man in the street won't be hatching any of those.
AUSTRALIA BEING PREPARED FOR 'INTERNATIONAL TREATMENT' ON RACISM
"A spokesman for the Community Relations Office said in Canberra yesterday it would appear that the West Australian Government itself was now in breach of the Commonwealth's Racial Discrimination Act." The Australian (August 22nd)
Mr. Grassby is having a field day, and
is in full cry, here, there and everywhere. Now the Government
of Western Australia is allowing hotel bars to be segregated.
This is a volatile issue (mainly manufactured by the media)
these days, and we are sure a decision not taken lightly.
The Government of W.A. must be quite sure of itself to have
taken this action, as the orchestrated chorus of opposition
that will be whipped up will be considerable. Our guess is
that the majority of aborigines prefer it this way, themselves;
but of course they won't say that.
The W.A. Aboriginal Service intends to bring the matter of the segregated bars in W.A. pubs to the attention of the black African "leaders" at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference in Melbourne in September. This was to be Malcolm Fraser's most glorious hour: to bask in the accolades of the Third World as the Hero of North-South Dialogue (we give - they take!). To be hailed as the International Statesman of the Decade. But it all could turn quite sour.
Not only are the W.A. aboriginal leaders likely to raise a storm; there is also that Report of the World Council of Churches condemning "Racism" in Australia (which Malcolm Fraser airily dismissed). Another guess of ours is that most of this Report was written before the W.C.C. team ever hit Australia. The links of the World Council of Churches with International Communism have been irrefutably documented by the Rev. Henry Pike in his "Religion, Red, and Rotten" (Price $3.00 posted from League offices).
Mr. Fraser will be hoping that the W.C.C. Report is not raised in Melbourne next month, and he will also be hoping that that troublesome Mr. Muldoon over there in New Zealand will not be so awkward as to raise the issue of civil rights in some black African countries if they in turn put the heat on New Zealand over the tour by the South African Springboks. It's more than a possibility that Malcolm Fraser's Big Moment may degenerate into his big shemozzle.
the sound and fury is a design; and that design, we are absolutely
sure, is to move Australia into the world headlines as a "racist"
country; condemned by the "international community", and "world
opinion", a la South Africa, in order to pressure Canberra
governments into obedience to the dictates of the One Worlders.
The Black-State-Within-Australia issue will emerge sooner
than later, as warned about significantly by the Queensland
Premier recently. We shall be pressured to accept ever-larger
numbers of Asian immigrants, hopelessly inassimilable.
The Minister for Communications, Mr. Ian Sinclair,
had better watch it. Mr. Grassby may well be after him. In
a speech written for a meeting of public broadcasters (The
Australian August 22nd) he warned that "ethnic" radio
stations could be fostering "racial enclaves" and unwittingly
causing' people to remain bound to the culture and languages
of their former homelands. Mr. Grassby won't like this; he
is always asserting that "the family of the nation" (a particularly
stupid phrase) must retain its own customs and languages.
Will he warn Mr. Sinclair that he (Mr. Sinclair) is in breach
of the Racial Discrimination Act?
The Alexandra Electors Association (S.A)
has sent a précis of an address which ecologist, Mr. Peter
Bennett, delivered to a meeting of the Conservative Speakers'
Club in Adelaide recently: "The main topic was about the proposed
legislation concerning Plant Variety Rights (P.V.R.), or as
it is sometimes called, Plant Breeders' Rights (P.B.R.). Briefly,
the legislation would grant to plant breeders a patent whereby
any sales of subsequent seed produced from the parent crop
would be liable for royalty payment. It is feared that this
would soon lead to a spate of hybrid seeds developed by the
multi-national corporations, which in turn would yield them
control of food production on a global basis.
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