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15 June 1984. Thought for the Week: "The remarkable thing about the British achievement is not the Constitution itself; not simply that in it the idea of the State is given a Christian form; but that the political life of the country should have achieved a level of integrity, distinction and humanity that has never been approached in any other land - bar Scandinavia, which has a closely allied tradition"
John Farthing in "Freedom Wears a Crown"
CAIN GOVERNHENT RETREATS ON MULDOON AFFAIR
Within hours of the dramatic Warrnambool (Victoria) Muldoon rally, on June 6th, Premier John Cain attempted to defuse the Muldoon issue by stating that the Victorian State Government would not "heavy" Mr. Neil Muldoon to sell part of his property at Lake Condah for an Aboriginal project. This was confirmed by Dr. K. Coghill at a meeting in Colac the following night after the Warrnambool rally. As usual, Dr. Coghill went through his anti-League of Rights spiel, but was much more subdued. He no doubt realised that the Victorian Government had suffered a major reverse. And two members of the Save Victoria Committee were present.
Estimates of the number present at the Warrnambool rally have varied (our own count showing that there were more than 500), but no one could dispute that it was one of the most emotional political rallies seen in Victoria for many years. A survey showed that there was widespread representation, with even one Municipal Councilior from Nathalia in the North East of the State. Buses came in from several areas. The main "stars" of the night were the Muldoons themselves.
The audience warmed to the ex-shearer Neil Muldoon from the beginning, as he faced a microphone and a sea of faces for the first time in his life, and struggled to find words to tell his story. As he said later, this was nearly as great an ordeal as facing up to the threat of the government taking over his property. But encouraged by his wife Pat, who held his hand in encouragement, he told of his background as a shearer who had saved enough to start buying a property of his own. He made it clear he had nothing against Aborigines, with whom he had worked in the shearing sheds. Pat Muldoon helped her husband to complete their story. By the time the audience was becoming emotional and warmly applauding.
In a hard-hitting address, Victorian State RSL President Mr. Bruce Ruxton delivered some devastating blows at a numbers of targets, including the media. Supporting speaker Mr. Eric Butler delivered a powerful address and almost dominated the question period. Mr. Butler described the Muldoons as the authentic voice of the real Australia and said that by their courage had triggered a grassroots movement that would have national implications. At the conclusion of his address Mr. Butler said that the rally should not only send a message which would be heard in Melbourne, but which also be heard in Canberra and the United Nations.
At the start of the rally the Chairman read a number of messages, including one from Mr. Geoff McDonald, author of the bestseller "Red Over Black". But the loudest applause greeted a long message from Queensland Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen, who said he wanted to identify himself with the Muldoons and stressed he was opposed to all policies which would divide Australians on racial grounds.
One of the highlights of the rally was a question from the representative of "The Australian", who asked how did Mr. Butler and the politicians on the platform react to the reported statement by Victorian Liberal leader Mr. Geoff Kennett that Liberal and National party Members should not appear on the same platform with League of Rights representatives, and that he wished to dissociate himself from the League. Mr. Butler said as he had not heard what the Liberal leader had allegedly said, he could not comment. Liberal Legislative Council Member, the Hon. Digby Crozier, strongly defended his right to be present on the same platform as Mr. Eric Butler, stressing that he was speaking in defence of the Muldoons as their political representative.
Clearly stung by what had happened at Warrnambool, Premier John Cain launched a campaign designed to force the Opposition parties into criticising the League of Rights. The Premier was still continuing his campaign last weekend. "The Sun", Melbourne, of Monday, June 11th, carried the headline, "CAIN BLASTS LEAGUE OF RIGHTS LINK". Mr. Cain was quoted as saying, ''For the first time since the League' creation in Victoria almost 40 years ago, senior Liberal and National Party politicians, including the National Party leader and a former State Liberal Minister, gave support to the League of Rights by sharing a platform with its national director". Presumably the politicians were also giving support to Mr. Bruce Ruxton and the 'RSL by being on the same platform with Mr. Ruxton! But, as pointed out by Mr. Digby Crozier, Mr. Cain's spokesman on Aboriginal Affairs, Dr. Coghill had also appeared on a platform with Mr. Eric Butler.
Mr. Cain's charges are not only silly, but display an appalling ignorance of League history and how the League operates. As a non- party service organisation, the League has over a long period of time provided platforms for a wide range of speakers on a variety of subjects. The League has always made it clear that it does not necessarily agree with all the views expressed by the appearing on its platforms, nor does it expect speakers to agree with the League on all issues. Apparently this civilised approach to public affairs does not commend itself to party hacks like Mr. Cain, who can only speak on those platforms approved of by the party. The League of Rights has survived many bouts of anti-League bashing during its long history. It has seen the party critics and others smearers come and go. It will certainly survive Premier John Cain, whose defeat at Warrnambool is the first of others to follow.
THE CONTINUING IMMIGRATION DEBATE
Professor Blainey, distinguished Australian historian, Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Melbourne University, has re-entered the immigration debate after returning from overseas. He claimed that Prime Minister Hawke was contributing to divisiveness in Australia by supporting the current immigration policy. Professor Blainey said, "I see no merit in both parties agreeing in Parliament on a common migration policy if the mass of public opinion disagrees. It's pleasing if some 200 Members of Parliament decide to agree. But the agreement means very little if millions of people outside parliament hold the opposite opinion".
Professor Blainey has endorsed our view
that the Liberal Party was not taking the case against the
present immigration policy very seriously. Mr. Peacock seized
on the issue after the first Blainey pronouncement, hoping
that it would do something to restore his declining political
image. There is a deep and growing distrust of the present
From Singapore comes the report that there is increasing lack of concern about Vietnamese refugees. The local representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees (VNHCR), Dr. Shashi Tharoor is reported in "The Age'' of June 6th., as saying that ships captains are no longer bothering to pick up ''boat people", stating that "Perhaps it is because of this notorious compassion fatigue we are hearing about. "There is a limit to which the peoples of host nations can maintain concern about refugees. The creation and exploitation of refugees is a tactic of warfare as old as man. A number of students of the Vietnam situation have pointed out that the Communist Government, controlling one of the biggest military forces in the world, is achieving two objectives by forcing hundreds of thousands to leave Vietnam. It is ridding itself of much of its population of Chinese ethnic background, while at the same time helping to destabilise nations like Australia.
Professor Blainey is right when he says that ''the Government does not realise the intensity of feeling people have, the mounting sense that they are being sold out for the sake of a woolly foreign policy." What the smearers call "racism" is developing right across Australia. Once again Mr. Isi Leibler, Zionist spokesman, has made his contribution to the immigration debate, telling a Melbourne Seminar last weekend that "racist tendencies" could not be ignored, linking these with "anti-Semitism". Mr. Leibler said that the Seminar was timely, dealing "with a prime example of racial prejudice at the very time when some aspects of the debate on Asian immigration highlight the fact Australia in 1984 still contains active racist tendencies which decent people ignore at their peril". The Leibler view is that the overwhelming majority of Australian who oppose the present immigration policy should not be considered "decent people".
The problem facing the majority of Australians is to find some constructive political method of making democracy work. The coming Federal Elections should provide the opportunity to ascertain how many political candidates will agree to support the views of the over whelming majority
Still pretending to be a world statesman, former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser was in London at the time of the latest economic summit conference. Mr. Fraser appeared on television to tell his old allies that if they did not deal with US interest rates, the American budget deficit and Third World indebtedness, the world would face economic catastrophe as in the 1930's. There is no report of Mr. Fraser advocating any constructive solutions. The Summiteers agreed to a 10-point programme for world recovery that will not solve anything. The debt bomb continues to tick away, leading to greater explosions.
Mr. George Zangalis arrived in Australia in 1950. Since then he has been prominently associated with the Communist party, which has apparently qualified him to be appointed to the Board of special Broadcasting Service, by Immigration Minister West. No comment.
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