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3 August 1984. Thought for the Week: "Truth is not something that can be taken for granted. Nor can we safely assume that we see clearly that which is clearly before our eyes. Why do intelligent, well educated readers so often misread and misunderstand even the most simple and plainly put of propositions."
From Even Gods Err (Book 3) by F.A.Gourley (1980)
FEDERAL LIBERALS ATTEMPT TO SHIFT GROUND
The League of Rights has been advised over the years to form a new political party if it wants to exert a major influence on Australian politics. The League has always resisted this suggestion, pointing out that genuine democracy requires a non-party service movement concerned primarily with principles, to act as watchdog, and when possible to encourage the development of grassroots movements which, if strong enough, can influence the politicians to represent their electors. Experience has demonstrated that the League's approach is a realistic one.
August 3rd 1984. Last week witnessed another major shift in the attitude of the Opposition Liberal and National parties on the Land Claims issue. While we have little faith in Mr. Andrew Peacock, a man concerned more with what appears to be politically expedient than with fundamental principles, in his desperate attempt to "lift his game" as the early Federal Elections draw near, he first paid some lip service to the necessity of revising Australia's current immigration programme, and now appears to have attempted to grasp the nettle on the land claims issue.
In an address at Port Macquarie on July 23rd, Mr. Peacock said he now rejected the principle of land rights, making the historic admission that "There is no doubt at all that with hindsight the coalition would not now legislate as it did for land rights for the Northern Territory". This admission suggests that Mr. Peacock and his colleagues (do they all agree with him?) did not know what they were doing when they set the land rights programme in motion. How much other legislation did the Fraser Government pass without realising its destructive nature? What about the conventions signed with UN agencies?
Any determined move by the Opposition parties against the programme that has progressively eroded the sovereignty of Australia will result in an unprecedented campaign of vilification of the Opposition parties, and an intensification of the continuing campaign to smear the League of Rights and to present the Opposition parties as "stooges" of the League. Mr. Peacock's remarks at Port Macquarie should be filed away for future reference. He said, "I want to make it clear that I understand the relationship between people and land. I well understand that Aborigines have an affinity with land. But so do other Australians. I have it myself with my farm in Victoria, and it's wrong to believe that only one section of Australia has a specia1 affinity with land. What Australian who has saved and gone without over 30 years to own his or her own home hasn't an affinity with land?
Mr. Malcolm Fraser promised before the 1975 Federal elections that he would reduce taxation. Seven years later taxation in Australia had increased astronomically What is required now that the Opposition has started to shift ground on immigration and the land claims issues, is to increase of electoral pressure and insist that Opposition party candidates provide unqualified individual assurances that they will work and vote to abolish the present disastrous immigration policy, and land claims legislation. But even more important is an assurance that the first act of a new non-Labor government would be legislation to enable a referendum to be held at which Australians could vote to regain control over their own Constitution.
As the League has consistently pointed out, the fundamental issue now confronting Australia is whether it can regain its sovereignty. To do so means repudiation of the drive towards internationalism by both the Hawke and Fraser Governments. If the Opposition politicians can only bring themselves to "bite the bullet", the great majority of Australians would rally behind them. But all hell would break out in the centres of world power. Australia would soon become the target for the type of international campaign which brought Rhodesia down.
Perhaps Mr. Peacock might now also express his regret for the Fraser Government's role in creating the disaster known as Zimbabwe! We doubt that Mr. Peacock will go that far. But at least he is trying to bend to the anti-land claims movement sweeping Australia. Let us be thankful for that - and increase the electoral pressure.
Carrying on from the above article, we were more than interested to hear that Mr. Porter, the Federal Opposition's spokesman on Aboriginal Affairs, has attacked the Hawke Government for using public funds to retain journalist K. D.Gott to help discredit the League of Rights' campaign against land rights. His words were: "... a brazen political party campaign under the guise of an anti-racist crusade." To drive the point further home, Mr. Porter charged that Mr. Clyde Holding, Federal Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, was trying to shore up his own stakes by undertaking taxpayer subsidised party political propaganda.
Who Is An Aboriginal?
The 'Race', 'Racialism', 'Racist' drum
is being stridently beaten by the hosts of the multiracialists
and multiculturalists (the same thing.) The new Archbishop
of Melbourne, Archbishop David Penman, has already attacked
the League of Rights, and called for legislation to curtail
its activities. This will please Senator Gareth Evans who
under the phony guise of advancing 'Human Rights' is gradually
- in classic Fabian style - eroding the freedom of the individual.
Michelle Grattan, the political commentator
for The Age (Melbourne) is a big name in the political
commentary "industry". The late Dr.B.W. Monahan likened these
political commentators of the media to racecourse touts, promoting
or decrying the current political fields. We are also of the
opinion that very many journalists in the media do labour
under the illusion that they are "opinion makers" - and therefore
of some considerable importance in the scheme of things. If
a journalist like Michelle Grattan, competent as she is in
many areas, would actually study Geoff McDonald's books, viz.
Red Over Black, and The Evidence, she could
not pen such gibberish as "The level of the League's propaganda
can be judged by Mr. McDonald bizarre comment: 'We are in
the middle of a psychological war the end is when the Aborigines,
led by Marxists, declare an independent state and invite in
No doubt the Hawke Government leaders are purring like pussycats that the American economic "recovery" is "surging ahead"? That's the copy they like to see. However, if those who really do understand the modern finance economic system delve beneath the surface they soon discover that appearances can be deceptive and "all is not what it seems". The reason (basically) for the so called American "recovery" is that the Federal Reserve Board (America's Central Bank) up to the last year has been expanding America's money supply, added to which President Reagan has allowed the Treasury to blow out a record Deficit. The economy of a modern nation can be likened to a car: when the accelerator is depressed and more petrol (money) is fed into the engine, then the car "goes faster". The reverse is the case; the car (economy) can be slowed by restricting the flow of petrol (money). Never mind about the "brakes" they can be applied too, in the form of higher interest rates, higher taxation, etc. Under the present finance-economic conventions, higher inflation in the U.S.A. is inevitable.
LAND RIGHTS : THE ABORIGINAL VIEW
There have been appearing, in newspapers around Australia, advertisements inserted by the National Aboriginal Conference. The ad. takes the format of 8 Myths, followed by the National Aboriginal Conference "line" on the "myths". Mr. Jeremy Lee, National Secretary of the Institute of Economic Democracy, in a letter to a Queensland newspaper, takes the "Myths" apart.
Myth 1: "Aborigines Want All of Australia". This is "straw-man" argument. Nobody has claimed that Aborigines want ALL of Australia. Why then answer a charge that nobody has made?
Myth 2: "Aborigines Get Too Much Already". In answering this, the advertisement quoted Federal expenditure on Aboriginal Affairs. It entirely omitted to mention that the States also allocate considerable expenditure on the Aboriginal people. Nor did the advertisement mention that such payments are over and above the other welfare benefits - such as unemployment, medical and pension benefits available to all Australians - including Aboriginals.
Myth 3: "Land Rights Will Create a Separate Black State". The advertisement omitted to mention that Mr. Paul Coe, of the Aboriginal Legal Aid Department, has recently been seeking UN help in presenting a case to the International Court of Justice, which, given the hoped for decision, would give Aboriginals sovereign nation status, including land titles.
Myth 4: "Land Rights Is a Backward Step for Aborigine." In its answer to this, the advertisement suggested it would help Aboriginals into economic independence, lessening their dependence on the public purse. This would ring truer if one of the claims made by the N.A.C. in its Makarrata proposals did not seek a fixed percentage of Australia's G.D.P. as "rental" for the next 195 years - a sum of money far greater than the considerable benefits enjoyed by Aboriginals today.
Myth 5: "Land Rights Will Give Aborigines More Rights Than Others". At the moment, the 200,000 Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders less than 1.5% of the population have exclusive ownership of 12.5% of Australia and, if current claims are granted could own one quarter of the Continent. In Queensland, over 600 acres per head of Aboriginal population - man, woman, and child, has been set aside exclusively. No rates or taxes are payable on this land. But this does not prevent any Aboriginal buying property on the commercial market on the same terms and conditions as other Australians. They also have special welfare benefits, as outlined earlier. Rightly or wrongly, it is indisputable that Aborigines have more rights in these areas than other Australians.
Myth 6: "Land Rights Will Create Apartheid". Whatever the N.A.C. may say, the word "apartheid" means, "separate development". That is exactly what the N.A.C. is asking for!
Myth 7: "Land Rights Will Destroy the Mining and Pastoral Industries." This is already occurring in the Northern Territory, as many pastoralists and miners will testify. The ultimate losers will be all Territorians, including Aboriginals.
Myth 8: "Aborigines Are Being Manipulated By White Advisers". If this is not so, it is difficult to explain the shockingly bad advice the Aborigines are receiving; replacing the reasonably harmonious relationship between white and black in Australia in the past with bitterness and division. Surely this is not what the majority of Aboriginal people want, any more than the white community?
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