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4 April 1986. Thought for the Week: "The modern world in which we live derives its material character from technological advance in the industrial arts. It derives its social and political character, to an increasing extent, from Socialist-Communist propaganda in the State schools and the Universities deriving their funds from shadowy 'benefactors' whose policy is the complement of the Marxist Socialist. Nothing could be further from the truth than to imagine that such advance as has been made in civilised life has any connection with social and political progress. On the contrary the prime objective of Socialism and Cartelism is to batten on the technological advance to which it has contributed nothing, and to prevent this advance from achieving, as unrestricted it would have achieved, the emancipation of the human race from bondage."
C.H. Douglas in "The Brief for the Prosecution"
OPPOSITION'S MUTED VOICE ON BILL OF RIGHTS
Nothing so demonstrates the lack of cohesion and will in the ranks of the Federal Opposition parties, than their failure to mount a massive national campaign on an issue, which would immediately help to enhance their political prospects. We refer to the Bill of Rights, still being debated in the Senate. The reason for the muted Opposition voice has been indirectly referred to by Senator Don Chipp of the Democrats.
Responding to a full-scale attack on the Bill of Rights in the Melbourne Leader newspapers, Senator Don Chipp writes in "Diamond Valley News" of March 25th, that the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was ratified by the Fraser Government. Referring to the charge that the Human Rights Commission would have "draconian" powers under the Bill of Rights, Senator Chipp offers the defence that "... all the proposed powers (except those concerning compulsory conferences) exist under the present commission which was set up under the Fraser Government."
Many of the trendy Liberals of the Fraser Government, men like Mr. Ian Macphee, are still in the federal Liberal Party, and have been comparatively silent on the Bill of Rights issue. We have little doubt that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Neil Brown, is genuine in his opposition to the Bill of Rights. After all, he has already been the victim of the type of "justice" meted out by the Human Rights Commission, which banned him from its offices following complaints from Commission radicals who objected to statements made by Mr. Brown in its Brisbane office.
The Commission 's Chairman, Justice Roma Mitchell, strongly defended the ban against Mr. Brown. But Mr. Brown does not echo the sentiments of all Liberal Members. That is one of the reasons for our lack of faith in the present Liberal Party repealing the Bill of Rights if elected. It will be recalled that it was only after the League of Rights had pioneered the massive anti-Aboriginal land rights programme that Liberal leader Andrew Peacock gingerly picked up the issue, protesting all the time that he would have nothing to do with that dreadful League of Rights. The Liberals were victims of their own past mistakes, having played a major role under Fraser in advancing the land rights programme.
It is the Liberals lack of a firm philosophical base, which prevents them from picking up the Bill of Rights Issue and mounting a major national campaign against the Bill. Fortunately a number of other groups, including some Churches, have started to follow the League of Rights and are making a valuable contribution to a campaign which we refuse to believe is lost.
The latest encouraging news is the announcement by Western Australia's largest employer group, the Confederation of Western Australian Industry, that it is urging the 65,000 members of associated groups to write letters of protest directly to Prime Minister Hawke. The Confederation's President, Mr. Keith Simpson, says that the campaign was launched to create groundswell of public opinion because formal submissions by employer groups were not having a strong enough effect." Mr. Simpson is correct when he says that "Only by building up an Australia wide level of protest will there be an opportunity to have the bill amended or abolished." He also makes the point, which we have constantly stressed, that the Bill of Rights provides a back door method of extending centralist power.
In his desperate attempt to gain the vital support of Senator Chipp and his Democrats, Prime Minister Hawke has given Senator Chipp a written assurance that he will legislate to abolish "gerrymanders" in Western Australia and Queensland. If Mr. Hawke ware to attempt to legislate along the lines proposed, he would be handing the Queensland Premier an issue on which he would completely demolish Labor in Queensland. The majority of the Federal Labor Members would be at risk if Mr. Hawke attempted to move against Queensland. It is hard to believe that Mr. Hawke and his advisers are not aware of the political threat if any attempt were made to fulfill the promise made to Senator Chipp. Chipp himself should be able to see this, but perhaps he is so paranoid about the Queensland National Government, that he has become a victim of his own phobias.
Having given Senator Chipp space in which to provide a classic example of double talk, the editorial in the "Diamond Valley News" states, "Never before in living memory has an opposition party had the pathway back to power clearly signposted and mapped out for it by the government of the day as this one has. Should the opposition coalition, by dissipating its energies on internal bickering, fail to capitalise on its opportunities, it will be a tragedy of the greatest magnitude for Australia and all Australians."
Either way, the bob each way, all purpose Democrats (barring a radical change) will be long remembered by historians for their lack of vision, and for their non-contribution to this chapter of Australian history. Future generations might well ask who needed to keep who honest? Australia can only be saved by a grassroots movement led by Australians who genuinely seek to serve basic principles, and their fellows, and who are not interested in power. We believe that this grassroots movement may be now starting to take shape.
A headline in "The Australian" of March 26th, reads: "Free speech defended as pro-Hitler man is gagged." The story referred to how visiting British historian David Irving was not permitted to speak at two Australian Universities at a time when British University vice chancellors have issued a special statement on freedom of speech on university campuses. Those who heard David Irving while in Australia, or have read his books, know that it is completely dishonest to claim that Irving is "pro-Hitler". Our impression of Irving was that he is an historian concerned with being pro-truth, and with being most meticulous in his documentation. Irving says that many Jews were liquidated during the Second World War, but no one has come forward to accept his substantial offer for documentary evidence that Hitler ordered mass liquidations. But he does provide authentic documents showing that Hitler prevented at least one threatened liquidation of one group of Jews. Like all dictators, Hitler became corrupted by power. Hitler's memory has been exploited by those who have a vested interest in expanding totalitarianism everywhere. It is the living, not the dead, totalitarians we should fear.
We do not always agree with the comments of The Australian commentator on National Affairs, Mr. Des Keegan, but endorse his suggestion that if Australia's 700 businesses refused to comply with the order that they must join and sign employees into the ACTU superannuation scheme, and then withheld payroll tax and PAYE taxation, this would make the government back away from its support of a programme of placing enormous financial power in the hands of the trade union monopoly. All monopoly is evil and anti-social and should be curbed, not encouraged. If Australia's smaller businessmen can make common cause with primary producers and homeowners, they would have the political clout to start moving Australia off the present disaster course.
Tamils in Sri Lanka complain of revenge shootings by the police. "Nine people were killed yesterday in gun battles with police and in hit-and-run attacks on Hindus by Sikk terrorists". (Press report) Violence in Sabab has shaken the Malaysian government. And still the Grassby's support the concept of multi-cultural nations!
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