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22 October 1982. Thought for the Week: "The inherent tendency of a mass civilisation with quantitative values is to crush the individual person into a common average type, to create a general level of mediocrity; to transform education into an instrument for training docile, passive servants of the bureaucracy, willing to accept the mass produced hand out in every field from philosophy to tinned food. The tyranny of a mass civilisation is infinitely more crushing, all pervasive and demoralising, than any of the merely political or religious despotisms of peasant or city-states, because besides being formless and impersonal, it poisons the very root of aspiration - the intelligence itself. In a mass civilisation education, and consequently the organs of opinion, being based on the lowest common factors and standards of quantity, weakens and gradually atrophies the prime "faculty of the intellect, that of abstracting, distinguishing, classifying values."
Sir David Kelly in "The Hungry Sheep".
AFTER MALCOM FRASER?
In a quarter-page advertisement in "The Australian" of October 13th, Mr. Charles Connelly of the Organisation of Concerned and Committed Australians provided some of his typically colourful language in answering the question, "Can Democracy Survive Fraser?" his conclusion being that the Liberals must get rid of Mr. Fraser or disintegrate. Mr. Connelly is one of the growing number of Australians concerned about the proposed destruction of the rule of law by the government's retrospective tax legislation.
Those who watched ABC-TV "Four Corners" programme last weekend may have missed the significance of Federal Treasurer Howard's response to the suggestion by Mr. Eric Risstrom, of the Australian Taxpayers' Association, that the government's legislation could be unconstitutional, but they could hardly have failed to note the devastating point made by Mr. Bob Parry, Melbourne accountant, but best known publicly for his persistent opposition to metrication, who pointed out that organisations which had minimised their taxation liabilities had in the main kept the saved taxation in circulation in the community, and that if Mr. Howard were successful in collecting the taxes he claimed were owing, many organisations would go bankrupt, adding to unemployment and a reduction in taxation collected.
Mr. Howard had no answer to this point,
which raises the question of whether Mr. Fraser and Mr. Howard
are not becoming like the lady who went for a ride on a tiger.
Both could finish up being devoured, a prospect which must
appeal to the cynical Mr. Andrew Peacock, sometimes described
as the "Sunlamp Kid", who last week forgot his famous farewell
speech in which he said he could never again serve under Mr.
Malcolm Fraser, whom he charged with disloyalty, manic determination
to get his own way at all costs, and a man whose style of
leadership was destroying the parliamentary system.
Another significant political development last week was the revelation by the Morgan Gallup Poll that electoral support for the ALP had increased in both N.S.W. and Victoria. The Morgan national poll of the previous week showed the Coalition trailing the ALP by 11 percent. In spite of the fact that Mr. Fraser and Mr. Howard produced what they felt was an electioneering budget, the escalating unemployment figures alone have made nonsense out of Mr. Howard's budget projections, something which Mr. Bob Hawke has seized upon with delight, devastating Mr. John Howard in an ABC TV "Nationwide" programme last week.
Unless Mr. Hayden and his colleagues make some major blunder, any decision now by Mr. Fraser to call an early election could only be described as a suicidal action. If he does not call an early general election, he must call a by-election for Sir Phillip Lynch's electorate. A defeat here would further lower the already low morale of the Coalition parties, now engaged in the most disruptive internal debate in their history concerning the retrospective tax legislation.
Well then does Mr. Charles Connelly raise
the question of whether the Liberals can survive under Fraser?
But would a government led by Mr. Peacock or Mr. Howard be
any different to a government led by Mr. Fraser? The first
minimum requirement f or a new government to survive would
Such a programme might be described as an interim programme, to be reassessed at the end of six months. It cannot be denied that such a limited programme is physically possible. If the Coalition, with or without Mr. Malcolm Fraser as Prime Minister, will not adopt such a programme, then they will almost certainly be detested irrespective of when they go to the electors. The major task of concerned anti-Socialists is to ensure that a Labor government does not have a monopoly of political power; that a Senate is elected in which power is effectively divided.
ABORIGINAL 'LAND RIGHTS' CAMPAIGN TO CONTINUE
As we commented last week, the Marxist strategists behind the Aboriginal "land rights" campaign were thwarted in their attempt to produce a violent confrontation at the Brisbane Commonwealth Games. The nationwide publicity given to the revelations of ex-Communist Mr. Geoff McDonald, documented in his book, "Red Over Black" ($6 posted) helped to force the Marxists into a defensive situation.
"Tribune" of October 13th, joined
with others in a sneering attempt to discredit McDonald, stating,
"One of the most bizarre opponents of Aboriginal land rights
is a Mr. Geoff McDonald whose recent book tells us it is all
a Communist plot". But then the same "Tribune", like
all the Marxist press in Australia, devotes considerable space
to the "Land Rights" campaign.
Those who observed the protests in Brisbane know that very few genuine Aborigines were involved, that the majority of the protestors were white Australians. We can, however, agree with Miss Stephen on one point, her claim that sections of the media overseas, and internal journals like "Newsweek" did carry considerable anti-Queensland Government comment.
In a display of what is probably unconscious humour, Miss Stephen writes that even the "conservative" "Courier Mail" editorially condemned the Queensland Government for its legislation concerning Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. Papers like "The Courier Mail" have over many years acted as conveyer belts for Marxist propaganda on a wide variety of issues. Miss Stephen makes the interesting comment that "The wide support for land rights was expressed in the raising of about $45,000 to cover bail for those arrested". As this sum of money would hardly be obtained by "passing the hat", it would be interesting to know where it did come from.
Long term pro-Marxist, Miss Pat O'Shane, of the N.S.W, Department of Aboriginal Affairs' (Marxist background exposed in "Red Over Black" also received honourable mention in "Tribune" for her attack on the Queensland Government at a Woman of the Year lunch in Brisbane. It would be revealing to know who was responsible for such a well-known Marxist being invited to speak at a function guaranteed to obtain maximum national publicity.
Mr. Charles Perkins made his contribution to the Brisbane campaign with his threat to confront the Queen, but apparently was prevailed upon by the Prime Minister, with whom Mr. Perkins says he enjoys a very close relationship, to have his petition to the Queen presented in the normal manner. In a radio interview with the radio commentator Mr. Derryn Hinch, Mr. Perkins joined in a denunciation of the "racist" League of Rights.
The last has not been heard on the Aboriginal ''land rights'' issue, as Queenslanders will find if a Labor government is elected to Canberra.
BRIEF CONMENTAs one cynic has put it, politicians do not need to worry about "bottom-of-the-harbour" schemes; they have their superannuation and pension schemes. Sir Phillip Lynch after 16 years in parliament is eligible for a superannuation lump sum (tax free) of over $400,000. There are also a few extras such as a life gold pass entitling him to free air, rail and sea travel in Australia.
If Sir Phillip chooses to take only part of his entitlement in a lump sum, and receive the balance in annual payments, the amount received as pension would be adjusted with each increase in parliamentary salaries. If the politicians would implement more liberal pensions for all, there would not be such widespread revulsion against their revolting hypocrisy. With the greatest respect to Sir Phillip Lynch, there are hundreds of thousands of Australians who have made a much more valuable and constructive contribution to the nation who finish with only a fraction of $400,000.
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