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5 November 1982. Thought for the Week: "The more I see of Governments, the lower is my opinion of them and I am confident that what the world wants at the present time is a great deal less government and not a great deal more. "...I want to get a further perfectly simple idea into your minds. And that is that Governments are your property, and you are not the property of Governments. There is no more pernicious and blasphemous nonsense existent in the world today...which claims that the State, by which is indicated the Government, is everything and the individual nothing. On the contrary, the individual is everything and the State is a mere convenience to enable him to co-operate for his own advantage. It is this idea of the supreme State in its various forms which has made the State the tool of the international financier who has mortgaged all States to himself."
C.H. Douglas in "Security - Institutional and Personal."
GOVERNMENT'S ANTI-INFLATION DISASTER
Prime Minister Fraser and Federal Treasurer John Howard have expressed shocked surprise concerning the 3.5 per cent jump in the inflation rate for the third quarter of 1982. We were not surprised. Last week we commented, "While insisting that he is going to continue with his 'tight' financial policy, allegedly to keep on 'fighting' inflation, Treasurer John Howard has in his last Budget made it certain that inflation will be even higher during the latter part of this year."
The Bureau of Statistics has put Australia's current inflation rate at 12.3 percent, the highest in five years. The September quarter inflation rate increase was the highest since 1974. Mr. Fraser won office in the following year with a firm assurance that the basis of his economic strategy was to "fight inflation first". Mr. Fraser now concedes, "We failed to get inflation down and keep it down as much as I would have wanted to." The Prime Minister said that he was "very disappointed and also a bit disturbed by it."
It is difficult to understand why the Prime Minister should be disappointed, as far back as in 1975, attacking the last Whitlam Government's Budget, Mr. Fraser said that all indirect taxation increases the Consumer Price Index figures, this leading to a demand for more wages and industrial unrest. The latest Fraser-Howard Budget made it mathematically certain that the inflation rate would increase. There will also be a substantial increase in the inflation rate for the final quarter of 1982.
Echoing Mr. Fraser's concern, Mr. John Howard said that he had hoped for a better quarterly CPI figure. But, like a cracked record, Mr. Howard again blamed increased wages for the steep increase. He drew attention to the fact that other countries had lower inflation rates; a change from the days when Mr. Howard attempted to justify his policies by stressing that Australia's inflation rate was lower than that of many countries. The basic reason for the lower inflation rates in countries like the United Kingdom, West Germany and the United States, is the ruthless imposition of restrictive financial policies, which have created massive unemployment and business bankruptcies. Suicide rates have also increased significantly.
The lower standard of living being imposed upon the unfortunate British people still leaves the inflation rate at over 7 percent. According to the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Geoffrey Rowe, the inflation rate should fall to 5 percent in the New Year, suggesting that this could see a change in the Thatcher Government's policies. And so an inflation rate of 5 percent, regarded not so many years back as "intolerable" and "ruinous", is now regarded as the best that can be achieved.
Under present debt financial policies,
the Fraser Government can only resume the "fight" against
inflation by even "tighter" credit restrictions, accelerating
the unemployment rate and the number of bankruptcies. But
this would make for a certain election disaster.
Those Government Members, who had sufficient principle and courage to vote against Mr. Howard's retrospective tax legislation, might now turn their attention to the financial policies, which have been the basic cause of the rot now afflicting all sections of society. Australia's physical realities are beyond dispute: Even with the worst national drought conditions in the recorded history of Australia, Australian primary producers are still producing sufficient for 15 million, who can also house and clothe themselves. They are also physically capable of producing all the basic requirements for civilised living. Only financial restrictions prevent what is physically possible from becoming a reality.
Increased purchasing power, with no inflation, should be the objective of the Australian people. Government members who want to survive the next elections should be invited to consider what Australia did during the Second World War, when there was an enormous expansion of new money to enable the maximum use of productive capacity, and no inflation. The policy adopted was far from perfect, but it was preferable to what Mr. Howard and his "experts" are imposing today.
A mass of evidence from various experts was presented by both the prosecution and defence in the much-publicised Chamberlain trial. They were closely questioned and, on occasions, challenged by eminent lawyers. Presiding over the trial was a judge whose responsibility it was to ensure at the conclusion that there was an impartial summary of the evidence presented. But at the finish of it all, twelve jurors, men and women from many walks of life, had the final say, using their commonsense to come to a unanimous, but clearly reluctant conclusion that Mrs. Lindy Chamberlain was guilty of the charge against her. Never before has it been so essential that Australians use their common sense to assess the disastrous results of the financial and economic policies being imposed upon them by political rubber stamps for the permanent economic "experts".
In an interview with "The Sydney
Morning Herald" political correspondent, Mr. Paul Kelly,
published on October 26th, Mr. Fraser responded as follows
to a question concerning whether he considered a September
election after the Budget: "...I have said publicly it would
be rather foolish to try to have an election on Melbourne
grand final day, which was September 25th, and the only other
date possible was Jewish New Year, not the best day for a
general election, September 18th."
One of the highest KGB officers to flee from the Soviet Union to the West, Stanislay Levchenko, is warning that the top priority of the Soviet is to make people support Soviet policy unwittingly "by convincing them they are supporting something else." Levchenko says, "Almost everybody wants peace and fears war. The KGB plans and coordinates campaigns to persuade the public that whatever America does endangers peace...to be for America is to be for war. That's the art of active measures...it is tragic to see how well it works." Levchenko confirms what others have charged about the Soviet devoting big sums of money to bribing many journalists and commentators in the West to present the Soviet as favourably as possible. Thus is "world opinion" developed.
Mr. Al Grassby apparently thought that there was some prospect of him continuing as Community Relations Commissioner, expressing disappointment that his term had not been extended. Asked if he thought he might have kept the job if he had not been a Whitlam appointee, he said, "I don't know. I don't know what the motivations were, but the decision is theirs to take and of course we must abide by that." The self-opiniated Mr. Grassby apparently is not aware that he has been one of the most embarrassing burdens the Fraser Government has had to endure, and that even Mr. Fraser realised that while he could make excuses for continuing with Mr. Grassby because of his seven-year contract, he would face a storm if he reappointed Mr. Grassby. However we have little doubt that he will find another highly paid position from which to continue smearing those Australians who disagree with his dangerous multiracial bigotry. Mr. Don Dunstan, whose political career came to an end in South Australia with the publishing of a certain book, is doing very nicely on the payroll of the Victorian Labor Government. But Premier John Cain would be courting problems by engaging Mr. Grassby.
Mr. Bob Hawke's friend, Sir Peter Abeles, had some stirring advice for Australians in delivering TNT's Annual Report; they must "pull together to fight inflation and unemployment for the benefit of all. We must all jump on the merry-go-round together, rather than be flung or pushed one by one." Unfortunately Six Peter gave no outline of how Australians can pull together to "fight" inflation. Mr. Neil Walford, chairman of Repco Corporation, was not much more helpful in his Annual Meeting address, except to suggest to shareholders that they might have to consider voting for the ALP if this was the only way to get adequate protection for Australian industries. Changing to the ALP is not going to solve any basic problem while the ALP is committed basically to the same financial policies being imposed by the present set of politicians. All that Mr. Hayden can offer is that he is a more competent manager than Mr. Howard. That was what Mr. Fraser said when he replaced Mr. Whitlam
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