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11 March 1983. Thought for the Week: "Men aren't mathematic equations; they can't be measured by scientific instruments. No man has the identical aims, emotions, passions, loves, and desires as another man has. Every man is unique, because he is an immortal soul. He shares in God's infinite variety, which is never duplicated. He is beyond science; only his body is the field of the biologist. The new psychology you read about, here and there, can never be science, for science is an exactness. Its experiments can be repeated over and over, with always the same results. But man's soul is beyond science, for no man's spirit can be analysed by another man, because they have not experienced exactly the same thing he's experienced, nor thought the same thoughts, nor loved nor hated nor suffered as he has."
Taylor Caldwell, in "The Sound of Thunder".
'NATIONAL RECONCILIATION' OR REVOLUTION?
by Eric D. Butler
The famous Jewish writer, Dr. Oscar Levy, enunciated a basic truth when he said that the ideal is the enemy of the real. Mr. Hawke is a fervent idealist, but his ideal of a centralist Australia is not only to bring him into direct conflict with the State Governments of Tasmania and Queensland, but also with the Labor governments in the States.
Premier Burke of Western Australia has
brushed aside as a mere "academic" exercise Mr. Bob Hawke's
Boyer lectures in which the abolition of the States is recommended.
Mr. Hawke cannot move immediately to abolish the States, but
as Mr. Burke is going to find if he attempts to establish
an Ord River sugar industry Mr. Hawke will demonstrate his
determination to stop this. One of the protections of individual
freedom and rights left in Australia is the division of power.
The pathetic spectacle of Malcolm Fraser
weeping as he lost power confirmed my own view of a man so
divorced from reality. So shallow and narrow that apparently
the thought of electoral defeat never entered his head. Nothing
so graphically demonstrated the mentality of this disastrous
man than his claim in his policy speech and repeated during
the election campaign that he had played a major role in bringing
peace to Zimbabwe (Rhodesia).
Every realistic observer knew that the Fraser Government was delivered a deathblow at the 1980 elections, a blow only partly masked by the numerical size of the majority. But that majority would have disappeared if only a few thousand electors had voted differently. Governments are voted (OUT), very rarely (IN). The disastrous financial policies coupled with the humbug and double talk of Mr. Fraser and his colleagues eroded the credibility of Malcolm Fraser to a point where as Mr. Bill Hayden correctly said, even a drover's dog could have led the Labor Party to victory.
The charismatic Bob Hawke carefully groomed by the image-makers and enthusiastically backed by many in the media no doubt ensured that Labor had a bigger majority than Mr. Hayden would have achieved. But the size of Mr. Hawke's majority will not alter realities. Australia is now entering a period, not of stability, but of revolution. A revolution which unless halted by constructive action will even destroy Mr. Hawke. A completely new era in Australian history has opened even though it takes the nation back to what type of constitution it is going to live under.
One paper described the strong Labor victory in the Victorian electorate of Flinders as, "one of the election's most stunning upsets". We are not amongst the stunned. Readers will recall how we said following the apparently poor showing of Labor at the by-election on December 4th that both the media and the Labor Party had completely misread the situation. We also exposed the media fostered falsehood of a 40 % "write-in" of "no dams" on ballot papers. Labor Senator Susan Ryan cautiously admitted in an ABC TV political panel on election night that the real problem for Labor at the by-election was the Labor candidate. He was quickly replaced for the general elections. His successor winning easily. The failure of the Labor party at the by-election was one of the major factors used to destabilise the position of Mr. Bill Hayden. And Mr. John Howard claimed that the Flinders by-election result was an endorsement of the Fraser government's "wage pause" policy. All of which again demonstrates the gullibility and superficiality of party politicians and many media commentators. There is of course the possibility that "pro-Hawke" supporters in the media deliberately fostered the myth about the Flinders by-election to downgrade Hayden.
Perhaps Labor's Treasurer Mr. Paul Keating was overcome by the euphoria of Labor's victory on Saturday evening, but in answer to a question he confidently predicted in the Canberra tally room that he would be reducing both unemployment and inflation within six months. Unless Mr. Keating is going to implement immediately a wide range of indirect tax cuts we can predict now that in six months he will be forced to eat his own words.
Melbourne "Age" political columnist, (who urged support for a Labor government) comments on March 7th, "It is a measure of Mr. Bob Hawke's sublime arrogance that he sees himself quite unashamedly as the spiritual successor to Australia s greatest Prime Minister the late John Curtin. Like John Curtin, Bob Hawke is a reformed alcoholic. But can he bring himself to consider one of the Curtin wartime Government's most constructive achievements. The introduction of consumer price subsidies to end inflation? Although he tried to play it down later, John Curtin in his early days had close association with the Social Credit movement. As did several other members of the Curtin government.
As Mr. Bob Hawke faces up to the task of solving Australia's major problems it is an appropriate time to remind Mr. Hawke of the occasion some years ago when he appeared on a Melbourne platform as guest of the group known as "Women Against Inflation". Mr. Hawke remarked later on the quality of the questioning from the audience. Well he might. As the overwhelming majority of them were League of Rights supporters. Perhaps Mr. Hawke recalls his agreement with the questioner who suggested that as the technological revolution increasingly meant that machines were doing the work of men, but received no wages. Some new way would have to be considered of how to distribute incomes to displaced workers. If Mr. Hawke could tackle this question successfully, he might well replace John Curtin as Australia's greatest Prime Minister.
Mr. Doug Anthony leader of the National Party can always be relied upon to make the most absurd comments without any sense of embarrassment. Commenting on the election results Mr. Anthony said that the Coalition government "Under the untiring and unparallelled leadership of Malcolm Fraser had led this nation through an international recession in a way which had laid the foundation for economic recovery". We recall how under the "unparallelled leadership" of Mr. Malcolm Fraser; the Coalition Government had an early election in 1977 in order to consolidate the programme of alleged economic recovery taking place as a result of the government's policies.
With the trendy Mr. Andrew Peacock the clear favourite to take over the leadership of the Federal Liberal party, it is appropriate to recall what he said during his resignation speech from the Fraser government in April, 1981: "I joined my party because it was a liberal party, not a conservative party". The Liberal party of Menzies was much closer to being a conservative party than that of Malcolm Fraser. It is no secret that before he died, Sir Robert Menzies was disgusted with the direction in which the Liberal Party was moving.
Generally overlooked in the deluge of political comment following the Federal elections, is that the lavish pensions will ease the pain for many defeated Members. All MPs who have been in Parliament since 1975, the year when a large number of Liberals and National Party were swept into office, receive a lump sum of more than $192,000 each. Ministers who lose their seats are entitled to a payout of $214,120. It is estimated that the total bill for the taxpayers could be more than $4 million. It will be interesting to see if Prime Minister Hawke carries out his pre-election promise to crack down on "indefensibly self indulgent pensions for MPs.
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