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8 August 1986. Thought for the Week: "Feminist goals are doomed to failure because they are based on the faulty premise that gender does not influence emotions, skills or interests. In confusing discrimination with differences the feminists have built their educational programs on philosophical sand."
Alan J. Barron, in The Death of Eve (1986)
THE WORM TURNETH
"Saturday's by-elections for the seats of Rockdale and Bass Hill in the N.S.W. Legislative Assembly have produced such a swing against the Australian Labor Party that they could be a watershed in contemporary Australian politics." The Australian, Editorial, August 4th.
We have been advising our supporters for quite some time that the Australian electorate is volatile. Just how volatile was demonstrated last Saturday (above) but also in Local Government elections in Victoria. The metropolitan dailies are full of comment from the political documentary "industry", so we shall not just put our oar in there. We think the nationally known political commentators miss many issues; particularly grassroots issues, which vitally affect the fate of governments. This is where the League of Rights comes into its own, as we are much closer to such issues than those lads sitting at their typewriters and computers in large print and electronic media offices in large cities. We are out there on the farms, in the country towns and regional centres; right in the middle of Local Government. Yes, right down there at the grassroots.
There is no doubt at all that the average Australian voter is worried, and a bit scared. Worried, of course, about the economy. That plunging dollar - how will it effect his job; job prospects; his debt repayments; the prospects of his children: even that overseas holiday he's been saving for. That fringe benefit tax; it will be a nightmare; it will cause unemployment in small business. It's Big Brother gradually closing off all the little loopholes, further restricting the choice of options for the individual cutting off a few "perks" which made the ordinary job more worthwhile.
Resentment. Uneasiness. A growing fear of what is to come. Is this really a "Labor" party? The one our fathers and grandfathers always supported? (No, it isn't). Then the Bill of Rights. No one in the media has brought that issue into the current media convulsions to our knowledge. But we think it's a "sleeper" which has definitely had an impact over the last weekend. Also the I.D.Card, and the capital gains tax. These are the types of issues, which can turn traditional "Labor" voters away from that party. Men and women will do this, if they are concerned enough - and obviously enough were.
Is this as far as it goes? No, we don't think so. We think the anti-Labor "slide" is just starting. It will go further alright. Unemployment must jump as inflation from the devaluations of the Aussie dollar also jumps. Our standard of living must fall: there won't be the money for that bottle of Scotch; that bottle (even if a small bottle) of that favourite perfume for the special occasion. The fringe benefit tax will turn many men and women, boys and girls, out of the shops and factories and offices of small employers. We detect; we "smell" with our twitching political noses, a "different" atmosphere, climate, a sort of political aura that is now emerging from the onrush of Big Government, via the Socialists/Communists at Canberra.
This fringe benefits tax; this Bill of Rights stuff are not the traditional types of measures with which the individual has had to cope. We always knew where we were when we paid up each July to Mr. Treasurer, and when we were secure under what we understood (if not precisely) as the Common Law. One farmer said to us recently (an elderly man, allied to the soil and the seasons all his life) "everything we have always been taught is now being thrown into doubt and confusion." This is what we are talking about. Confusion and fear are now beginning to enter the mind of the average Australian; BUT if this could in some way be geared to a grassroots political educational movement, along with an appropriate action offensive, we could save this country, and give a clear cut demonstration of hope in action, to our friends abroad.
INTERESTING OPINION POLLS
Jeremy Lee reports from the Deep North
Here in Australia, The Bulletin
(August 5th) reported - under the heading "The Government's
winning streak comes to an end",
Enough is coming out about the dismal human rights records in Uganda, Nigeria, India and Zimbabwe to convey to the public something of the monstrous hypocrisy over South Africa. The public can also sense the double standards involved in the issue of selling subsidised wheat to the Soviet Union, which is burning, gassing and detaining people without trial in Afghanistan, as well as brutalising its own people in the Gulag Archipelago.
Mrs. Thatcher needs an indication that not all Australians follow the "Malcolm Hawke" or "Bob Fraser" line, and have not been hoodwinked by the atrocious media sanctification of Bishop Tutu and Robert Mugabe. Australia's Liberals and Nationals also deserve commendation on the first real stand they've taken in a long time. They won't earn any credits from the ABC. But the polls indicate that, on this one, the opposition is right.
THE MURPHY AFFAIR
We had to pinch ourselves when reading
the Editorial of The Age (Melbourne) August 2nd. The
Age is often referred to in media circles as "the Spencer
Street Soviet: it's office and printing complex lies in Spencer
Street, Melbourne. We certainly would have expected editorial
policy to lean heavily in favour of whatever Mr. Justice Murphy
said and did. But no; we weren't right this time. We take
the most relevant extracts from The Age editorial,
with most of which we agree:
There are many Liberals who now consider that the appointment of Sir Garfield Barwick to the High Court (he was a Foreign Affairs Minister of dubious worth) was a serious mistake. Particularly as unfavourable allegations have been made concerning his advice to Sir John Kerr during the climax of "The Dismissal".
Not at all well known is the coming challenge to the Fringe Benefits tax by the Queensland Government, under Section 114 of the Constitution, which reads: "A State shall not, without the consent of the Parliament of the Commonwealth, raise or maintain any naval or military force, or impose any tax on property of any kind belonging to the Commonwealth, nor shall the Commonwealth impose any tax on property of any kind belonging to a State (our emphasis)... O.T.) We wonder if Mr. Justice Murphy will be sitting in judgement on this challenge; his judgements thus far have been centralist and anti-federalist. Certainly a decision by the High Court against the fringe benefits tax would be welcomed by the whole Australian electorate.
The stinging rebuff to the Victorian Socialist/Communist Government in the recent Local Government elections will give a marvellous fillip to all those actionists who have been boring away for past months on the amalgamation issue. The Cain Government must now be considered as "on the ropes", and it appears that it could well be defeated at the next State election. Now is the time to increase the pressure on the Cain Government.
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