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18 February 1983. Thought for the Week: "What's the good of making promises after you have been in office for years. It's only pulling people's legs because if you are in for any length of time they have the right to ask why you haven't done it already?"
Former Labor Prime Minister Mr. Ben Chifley before 1949 Federal elections, as quoted by former Labor Member, Mr. Fred Daly, in "Sunday Observer", February 13th.
PHONY ELECTION TACTICS REACH NEW LOW
By Eric D. Butler
As I write, Mr. Fraser and Mr. Hawke have not yet delivered their policy speeches, these to be carefully stage managed before carefully selected audiences as part of a propaganda build which makes Hitler's propaganda chief, Dr. Goebbels, appear like a fifth rate amateur. But irrespective of what is said in the policy speeches, the broad outline of a completely phony election campaign is already clear.
Students of Australian political history
will recall how during the 1961 Federal Elections, conducted
against the background of the credit squeeze imposed by the
Menzies-Fadden Government - the squeeze being allegedly designed
to "fight" the same inflation Treasurer John Howard is still
fighting - Labor leader Mr. Arthur Calwell posed a deficit
budget to re-stimulate the depressed economy, and how Prime
Minister Menzies campaigned up and down Australia warning
in the most colourful language of the threat posed to Australia
by the Calwell policy.
In response to a protesting colleague that he appeared to be adopting much of Labor's policy, the then Mr. Menzies bluntly stated that if that policy was good enough for approximately 50 percent of the electors, it would have to be good enough for his colleagues. The Menzies-Fadden deficit certainly re-stimulated the economy, with unemployment going down. But inflation then increased, as it must under orthodox financial policies.
It is almost breathtaking to have Prime Minister Fraser and Treasurer John Howard warning the Australian people of how the Hawke proposal for deficit financing would require "running the printing presses" spending money "our country hasn't got", according to full page Liberal Party advertisements in the press, while they have been using the same type of deficit financing. This type of campaigning is an insult to the intelligence of the electors, which Mr. Fraser and his managers obviously do not rate too highly.
Treasurer John Howard has presided over another "blow out" of his budgets. His estimate for the current budget was $1,670 million. The deficit has now reached $4,000 million with $6,000 million now projected for 1983-4. One can not help having some type of admiration for the sheer audacity of a Treasurer who has made such an astronomical mistake and still claim that he is a more "responsible economic manager" than Mr. Hawke would be. All that Mr. Hawke proposes is an extension of the policy being imposed by the Fraser Government.
Mr. Fraser himself has set the lead for the Hawke promises. Preparing the way for the early election he has consistently sought, Mr. Fraser has now openly thrown overboard his pledges to small government, first moving to defuse the political threat of the Franklin River dam issue by offering a bribe of $500 million to the Tasmanian Government. The man, who has warned against the socialist public works policy of the Labor Party, has also promised a $2,500 million Bicentennial road programme, a $545 million Alice Springs-Darwin railway line, a $640 million water resources programme and $1,400 million for the re-direction of coastal rivers. Raising once again the spectre of Mr. Gough Whitlam to frighten electors, Mr. Malcolm Fraser, one of the most devious and shallow politicians I have ever met, in fact took over a revolution where Whitlam left off.
Leaving aside minor issues like "jobs for the boys" and the overseas junkets, in both foreign and domestic policies Mr. Fraser has followed closely in the footsteps of Gough Whitlam. Debt, taxation, interest rates and unemployment have all increased, with inflation running at a high level. Following the Whitlam lead, Mr. Fraser attempted at the 1977 referendum to have the powers of the Senate reduced. Observant Australians noted how Mr. Fraser, Mr. Whitlam and the Communists were all campaigning for the one objective.
In an interview following the announcement of his snap election, Mr. Fraser observed that the 1977 referendum had only been narrowly defeated and that he felt it should be re-submitted. Hr. Hawke agrees. Mr. Fraser must not only be assessed as one of the most hypocritical in Australian history, but the most treacherous.
While exploiting the anti-Communist feelings
of the great majority of the Australian people, his Government
has presided over the escalation of vital Australian exports
to the Soviet Union. Foreign aid to Communist and pro-Communist
countries has been maintained. The flooding of the country
by non-Europeans has increased. One of the most treacherous
of Malcolm Fraser's acts was the role he played in the destruction
of Rhodesia and his lauding of the Marxist monster Mugabe.
His attitude towards South Africa is a manifestation of a
completely irrational paranoia.
Both Mr. Fraser and Mr. Hawke are the darlings of the Political Zionists, but one gets the impression that perhaps it is felt that Mr. Fraser has served his purpose, and that the time is opportune to bring on the new star, Mr. Bob Hawke. The only basic difference between Mr. Fraser and Mr. Hawke is that each insists he is more qualified to preside over the same type of policies.
Mr. Hawke's greatest asset is the seven years of abject failure by the Fraser Government. The Hawke promoters are making the deadly point: "Here is a man who has had seven years to fulfill his promises. How many more years does he want?" Mr. Fraser has indicated that he would like to stay in office until at least 1988. With some justification, the self-opinionated Mr. Hawke believes that his time has come. He could be right. But if he is, his public relations exercise concerning "consensus" will prove to have no more substance than Mr. Fraser's "wage pause" gimmick.
CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS THREATENED
Striking evidence of the new low in party power politics was the manner in which the phony election campaign was launched. For once the devious Malcolm Fraser was outmatched by a completely cynical Labor caucus, which operating under enormous outside pressure, forced Mr. Bill Hayden to resign quietly, not because of his policies, but because it was felt that victory with Bob Hawke was much more certain.
Praising the election of Hawke as Labor leader, former South Australian Labor Minister in the Whitlam Government, Mr. Clyde Cameron, said that Mr. Hawke would bring a flood of financial support for the Labor Party. At least one columnist, Mr. Wallace Brown, writing in "The Courier Mail" of February 5th, was bold enough to refer to the support Hawke will get from "the Jewish community", and "with his extraordinarily wide range of friends", drawing off "some of the business backing from his opponents".
In view of the statement by the Governor-General, Sir Ninian Stephen, while a judge of the High Court, that the rejection of legislation twice by the Senate was the only possible reason for a double dissolution, the serious question arises of whether the devious Mr. Fraser even misled the Governor General. In an attempt to avoid a direct answer on the question of whether he was going to make, for example, the rejected Sales Tax legislation, an election issue, Mr. Fraser has said that the rejected legislation has acted only as a "technical trigger" for the double dissolution. Mr. Fraser has brought into the open the vital question of what is the true role of the Senate in the constitutional structure of Australia.
Mr. Fraser has left no doubt that he wants a Senate, which is merely a rubber stamp for the government of the day; a view, which he also shares with Mr. Hawke. What is now emerging is the vital importance of the Senate as a barrier against the drive towards the complete totalitarian State. Whatever else happens in the elections on March 5th, it is absolutely imperative that there be a division of power.
In a discussion with Mr. Enoch Powell during the Common Market battle in the United Kingdom, Mr. Powell observed how throughout history some unforeseen development on the periphery of the main stream of events often had the effect of changing the course of those events. C.H.Douglas referred to "unrehearsed events". We could therefore see the Franklin River dam issue proving to be a catalyst exploding Australia in the biggest constitutional crisis in its history. Mr. Hawke is emphatic that if elected Prime Minister he is going to impose the will of the Federal Government on Tasmania. That news should help awaken Tasmanians, notoriously anti-Canberra, irrespective of the label of Tasmanian State Governments, to the emerging threat to their independence inside the Federal system.
If Mr. Brian Harridine, the Tasmanian Independent Senator, can make good his claim that he will bring two more Independent Senators into the next Senate, this group could hold the balance of power in the next Parliament. And if Mr. Hawke becomes the next Prime Minister, the stage will be set for horrendous developments.
Anyone who has taken the trouble to study Mr. Hawke's career knows his great threat to traditional Australia. But his rise has only been made possible by the treachery of those who have paraded themselves as supporters of the values and institutions upon which Australia was created. The Fraser Government has been the most disastrous in Australian history, betraying all those who were naive enough to believe that they were genuine. The best situation in the next Parliament would be a government with the smallest of majorities, and a Senate in which power is effectively divided. Whatever happens, Australia is now moving towards the greatest crisis in its history.
Freedom of Speech
We have been sent a copy of the following
letter from Mr. John Bennett, President, Australian Civil
Liberties Union; and we are pleased to publish this. It is
addressed to the Secretary of Amnesty International:
Book: Anne Frank's Diary - A Hoax, by Ditlieb Felderer. "Unless Anne Frank has risen from the dead to transform and alter the text of her 'Diary', then we must conclude that her father has been the author all along."
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