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9 March 1984. Thought for the Week: "By constantly looking towards the sun, one always keeps the shadows to the rear"
THE HAWKE MANIA
Pierre-Elliott Trudeau has announced his retirement from Canadian politics at a time when his poll ratings are at an all time low. The same Trudeau was swept into office in 1968 on a wave of what was aptly termed "Trudeaumania". Trudeau was given the same type of adulatory treatment by the media being currently given to Prime Minister Hawke. Mr. Trudeau had the same charisma which it is alleged Mr. Hawke has. Like Mr. Hawke, Mr. Trudeau was a Fabian Socialist. He was going to bring Canada together.
At the height of Trudeaumania, only one small voice dared to look at Trudeau's background and his probable strategy for imposing a silent revolution - The Canadian League of Rights. The League and its National Director, along with Research Director, Mr. Patrick Walsh, the former RCMP undercover agent, were attacked as "rightwing extremists" and "hatemongers". It was not long before an increasing number of Canadians began to grasp the danger of Trudeaumania. Eventually the man who was hailed as a national idol became one of the most detested Prime Ministers in Canadian history.
It can be predicted now with complete certainty that Prime Minister Hawke will eventually go the same way as Trudeau. We predicted the same about Malcolm Fraser in those heady days of early 1976 when the nation was breathing a big sigh of relief that the flamboyant Gough Whitlam had been deposed by Malcolm Fraser. It took several years before it was reluctantly conceded even by many Liberal and National Party supporters that the League was right.
After his first twelve months in office,
Prime Minister Hawke continues to enjoy the type of popularity
generally reserved for sporting heroes and pop stars. He is
a master at manipulating the media that generally have treated
him in a most uncritical manner. The most outrageous statements
are made without any challenge. It is even claimed that when
Mr. Hawke brings down some tax cuts in the next Budget, he
will have fulfilled all his election promises.
In the artificially created euphoria about "bringing the nation together", Mr. Hawke and his fans have discreetly ignored Tasmania, where the deep resentment against Mr. Hawke has been further increased by his failure to fulfill promises made to the Tasmanian Premier when the Franklin River project was halted. We predict that Tasmania is going to prove one of the most destructive of the many Achilles Heels of Mr. Hawke. Failure to increase Mr. Hawke's electoral support in the House of Representatives at the next Federal Elections will not be important. But what will be devastating for Mr. Hawke's long-term strategy will be the election of an over whelming majority of anti-Hawke Tasmanian Senators.
Michelle Grattan, Melbourne "Age" political commentator, heads an article on March 5, "One year on, all Hawke's problems are little ones." But those "little" problems are soon going to become big problems. One of the biggest is the land rights issue. Once the Australian people grasp the revolutionary implications of what this means, Mr. Hawke will find that his theme of "bringing Australia together" will blow up in his face.
Nothing has changed under the Hawke government compared with what was having done by the Fraser government; except that Mr. Hawke is a far better media performer, which enables the Australian people to be kept in a type of national trance. Perhaps this explains why relatively few have seen through the government confidence trick concerning the deficit. The much-publicised "consensus" was related to a deficit of $8,500 that allegedly would start to disappear as the "recovery" took place. So far from this happening, all the indications are that there will be one of those "blow outs" for which former Treasurer John Howard was responsible.
Finally, another major reason for Mr. Hawke's popularity rating is a Federal Opposition, which is practically non-existent. The quip was made last week that Federal Treasurer Paul Keating was wasting his time by even appearing in Parliament, as the Opposition did not ask even one question on financial policies. Perhaps this is not surprising; the Opposition have learned nothing and forgotten nothing since the electors dismissed them twelve months ago.
Policymaking is ignored in order to concentrate upon attempted image making. The same mistake is being made by the Liberals in the N.S.W. Elections, which will help ensure that the Wran Government is re-elected. Not a word concerning the constitutional revolution, the never-ending growth of debt and taxation, while the explosive issue of land rights is studiously ignored. Like Trudeaumania, Hawkemania will run its course. And hopefully Australians will learn the necessary lessons essential for replacing temporary political idols with realistic policies, which will result in a genuine national regeneration.
SEARCHING QUESTIONS ON LAND RIGHTS AND BORROWING
In his capacity as National secretary of The Institute of Economic Democracy, Mr. Jeremy Lee has written to "The Australian" as follows:
"I have waited with more than passing interest for some ministerial elucidation on the points raised by Geoff McDonald (10/2/84) regarding the vital issue of sovereignty and Aboriginal land titles as likely to be defined under the international law. "The report by the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, 1983 ("Two Hundred Years Later") has done little to clarify the matter. While pointing out that a Treaty is currently impossible due to a legal technicality - the fact that one of the intending signatories, to whit the Commonwealth Government, did not exist as a legal entity at the time of white settlement in 1788 - the Committee has canvassed a number of alternatives aimed at achieving the same result - i.e. a 'compact' or a constitutional amendment.
"At least one witness suggested that impending international covenants will eliminate the current anomaly, establishing a new category which will provide 180,000 Aboriginal and part Aboriginal people with sovereignty, or something similar, over the 12.5 percent of the continent they have already been granted and the considerable addition currently under claim. "So, as Mr. McDonald so ably pointed out, the real debate is whether all land in Australia resides in titles granted under the Crown, or not. That the Federal Government should consider that such an issue should be decided by international law, rather than the considered will of the Australian people is treacherous, to put it mildly.
"However, another side to the question has yet to be considered. Currently, the Commonwealth Government has lodged securities, on behalf of itself, the States and, indirectly, Local Authorities, to the tune of almost $A50 billion, the greater part of it with banks, both at home and overseas. The resulting loans now cost the average Australian family of a mother, father, and 2 children - both Aboriginal and the rest, - about $1,200 annually in interest alone. This figure rises annually as public debt increases, and will be paid in perpetuity, unless someone thinks of another idea.
"The security for these loans is, of course, Australia - its industries, its production, and its land? While this situation continues, it is, perhaps, academic to argue as to who finally owns Australia. "But it is no longer academic when we consider land rights. In the event of 'self-determination', by Aborigines in large tracts of Australia, what happens next? Should an Aboriginal community in its territory decide to raise loans for public works - an international airport at Ayers Rock, perhaps, or a Casino in Arnhem Land - who will issue the securities? Will Aboriginal communities on their own land have access to the Loan Council for their capital works requirements? Who will be liable for debt-service - the taxpayer, as at present? And, if so, how will the taxpayer feel about paying debt and interest on capital works in areas of Australia he is not allowed to enter? "Or does 'self-determination' mean that Aboriginal communities can issue their own securities for any loans they may require - a situation which would require both de facto and de jure sovereignty? "These matters may well seem peripheral to the misty eyed emotionalists - a considerable number of whom seem to be in government. But they're playing with fire - and it is the ordinary people, both Aboriginal and European alike, who will get burnt".
(Journal of the Committee to Raise Educational Standards): "Culture; Presuppositions and Values: - Issue No. 68 "Another misused word is 'Gay'. Originally meaning happy, joyous, lighthearted, today this word is linked with the homosexual movement which demands licence in the name of freedom, to promote this life style in the classrooms of the nation, in the churches, and wherever else they choose. If people reject homosexuality as a valid life style, they are 'discriminating against those who choose to live this way. Thus the meaning of 'discrimination' has been perverted from 'the drawing of nice distinctions, or perception' to something akin to an unforgivable sin against those whose life style, morals and politics, we are unable to accept as compatible with our own values, and the general well-being of society. In Australia, enacted legislation to make discrimination against homosexuals illegal is spreading from State to State. In South Australia, legislation is to be introduced to make discrimination against trans-sexuals illegal... This, indeed, is the State becoming 'god' in giving the people the 'right' to do wrong - the 'right' to sin..."
From PROBE: Issue No. 69.
PAY THE RATESThe following article was published in the KOORIER News Pictorial, Vol.1 No.2, issued by the Koorie Information Centre", Fitzroy, Victoria:
"The whole of the State of Victoria...is under the control of 211 municipalities which exercise powers and functions granted to them by statues, principally the Local Government Act. "Services provided by municipalities are partly financed by local taxes (rates) which are levied on the owners or occupiers of rateable property in each municipality... "Councils are therefore in an excellent position to strike a rate which could operate as a yearly rental for the land appropriated.
"In Victoria, in 1980-81, the total rateable properties numbered 1,686,951. Total rates paid were $450,851,000 (source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Victorian Office). "The average rate paid was $266.00 per annum, which is pretty much a bargain given the N.A.V. (net annual value) of most property in Victoria.
"WE SUGGEST THAT A PORTION OF EACH RATE BE PAID TO THE VICTORIAN ABORIGINAL COMMUNITY AS RENT (emphasis added).
"If 5% of existing rates were paid as rent, this would deliver $22.5 million per annum, which is very cheap rent for the whole of Victoria. "Given that local councils are likely to be too mean to use existing revenue to compensate for the GREAT LAND GRAB, this may mean an increase in rates. Some rate hikes by municipal councils in recent years have been particularly savage; between 10% and 20%. "We are not suggesting anything nearly as uncivil as this. Our suggestion is (if councils cannot find it in their existing budgets) an increase of only 5%, which on average is $13.28 per property. "$13.28 per annum is a very small amount of rent to pay, given that no rent has been paid so far! ..."
|© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159|