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30 April 1982. Thought for the Week: "The main mark of governments is that we do not know who governs, de facto any more than de jure. We see the politician and not his backer; still less the backer of the backer; or, what is most important of all, the banker of that backer. Throned above all, in a manner without parallel in all the past, is the veiled prophet of finance, swaying all men, living by a sort of magic.
G. K. Chesterton.
VIOLENCE IN NEW ZEALAND
Mr. Eric Butler reports from New Zealand,
where police protection has been necessary at many meetings
to enable the speaker to address audiences:
The role of the media in aiding revolution was demonstrated in Wellington where "The Evening Post" carried a report that the League of Rights was to hold a "secret" Anti-Subversion School, and that anti-League demonstrators were planning to disrupt the function if they could discover where it was to be held. The report said that I had written a book, which I have never heard about. There was in fact no "secret" meeting, but a public meeting in a well-known hall in Lower Hutt. Protesting to the editor, I told him the report was an example of inciting revolutionaries to attempt to break up my meeting. A pattern of highly organised violence had emerged at most of my public meetings.
When the editor said that his paper was
only reporting on a document being circulated, and that a
reporter would be at the meeting, I knew what was coming.
Within a few minutes of the start of the meeting it was clear
that the highly organised disruptionists had two standards
concerning "rights". They were the same people who staged
violent protests against the South African football tour last
year, allegedly to get "rights" for the Africans, but at the
same time denying spectators the right to watch a game. They
were not concerned about the rights of those people who had
come to hear what I had to say.
I have been most impressed with the
manner in which the New Zealand police are handling my meetings
and to date have only seen one case - at the Masterton meeting
- where the police had to use any force at all. Only several
arrests have been made, but I understand that no charges have
Youth violence is growing in New Zealand now, as in every Western country. A front page headline reads, "Volatile Youth Feared", with a call from the police for a boost in their numbers. In a recent gang attack upon the police in Tauranga, Molotov cocktails were used to destroy police vehicles. A police spokesman draws attention to the fact that "unemployment and the questioning of authority highlighted by the Springbok tour had created volatile disaffected youth." The police stress that it is no solution for the police to try to bash the bashers. District court judges are calling for wider powers to deal with the growing disruption of court proceedings.
In his maiden speech in the New Zealand
Parliament, the youngest Member, Nationalist Mr. Simon Upton,
said that large numbers of his generation regarded Parliament
and parliamentarians with a skeptical eye. Mr. Upton might
have said that it is not surprising that youth is reacting,
as it is when it observes the hypocrisy and double standards
of their politicians.
New Zealand Police Association Secretary, Dr. Moodie, warns that Brixton type riots could occur in New Zealand unless the Government moved to help youth. I have experienced enough disruption at my New Zealand meetings to endorse that warning. But to do something constructive requires a basic change in financial policies. And there is unfortunately, no evidence that the Muldoon government intends to make that change. Like other countries, New Zealand is preparing to learn the hard way about what is essential for a stable society.
JEREMY LEE REPORTS FROM CANADA
This will be the last report from Jeremy
Lee, from Canada, as he had now returned to Australia. He
could well be contributing further assessments of the Canadian
scene, in the near future, from his home base:
"He has bluntly stated that co-operative federalism is over. He can afford to speak that way, since official opposition to his constitutional designs has crumpled. Her Majesty the Queen is to be asked to return Canada's Constitution, which has just passed both Houses in Britain, in person. "Last May, Trudeau brought in an Emergency Planning Act, making provisions for civil internment camps for political dissidents, centrally directed censorship of all media by the Prime Minister himself, and Government direction of labour, which Australians will recall as a favourite recommendation of Dr. Evatt in the post war period.
"Frightening as it may seem, there was
no opposition to this legislation in Ottawa until almost a
year after the Act went through. Opposition parties were apparently
too tired, or too pre-occupied with head counting to notice
the explosive material in the pipeline. No definition of what
constituted an 'emergency' was contained in the bill the sole
arbiter, apparently, being the Prime Minister himself.
"Canada's budget plans for a further
increase in taxes of 11.7%. Ottawa also now takes $3,000 for
every living Canadian in taxes - over $12,000 for an average
family of four. With Provincial taxes and municipal property
taxes added on to the final figures, there must be somewhere
between four and five thousand dollars per head of population.
"One quarter of federal revenue alone goes in interest repayments
on the national debt - a higher percentage than any other
Western economy, except Northern Ireland, where one third
of the Budget goes to the bankers in interest.
"Last time I was here, Government took 42% of Canada's G.N.P. (Gross National Product) in taxes. That percentage has been upped to 45% in the latest Budget. So industry is taking a caning. The lumber industry in Alberta and British Columbia is being put in mothballs despite continuing demand for houses. Farm bankruptcies are running at 1930 levels and February's national bankruptcy figures were the highest in Canada's history.
"Part of Canada's huge debt has been incurred in funding the National Energy Programme (N.E.P.), allegedly to recapture Canadian ownership. The result, predictably, is that small Canadian oil industries across the prairies are folding up, while the 'Big Boys' unconcernedly concentrate on refining and distribution. Canada now spends $8 million a day subsidising the importation of oil!
So far, Prime Minister Trudeau has failed to explain how Canadian ownership can be retrieved by foreign borrowing from banks whose directors are in many cases also directors from international oil companies. "The result of all this is that there is a last minute awakening in Canada. The meetings I have addressed have been big. One expects this in British Columbia and Alberta. But even in Saskatchewan and Manitoba I have been startled at the size and intensity of the meetings - one hundred attending in Virden and the new centre of Forrest, which has never had a League meeting before.
"The first meeting in Ontario was in Toronto, with massive literature sales and donations. It augers well for the rest of the tour. Something new is happening in Canada, the greatest feature being the large percentage of young people turning out in all centres."
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