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23 January 1987. Thought for the Week: "Far more dangerous than crimes of passion are the crimes of idealism - the crimes which are instigated, fostered and moralised by hallowed words."
Aldous Huxley in The Devil's Loudun
SIR JOH FOR PRIME MINISTER?
Ever since he defied most of the opinion polls, and exposed the quackery of the political commentators, to win the last Queensland State elections, Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen has been having a major influence on Australian politics. Sir. Joh has demonstrated that he is a grassroots politician with a "feel" for what the majority of people are concerned about. His open support for Victorian RSL President, Mr. Bruce Ruxton, in his highly publicised conflict with Archbishop Tutu, suggests that Sir Joh feels that there is strong electoral support for the stand Mr. Ruxton is taking on the subject of black immigration from Africa.
Sir Joh's open criticism of the Opposition parties, his call for the Federal National party to leave the Coalition, together with calls for major taxation reforms, and other statements, indicate a type of political strategy aimed not merely at defeating the Hawke Government at the next Federal elections, but of ensuring the election of candidates who reflect Sir Joh's viewpoints.
Prominent Queensland Gold Coast businessman, Mr. Michael Gore, heading a group of Australian businessmen, claims that polls conducted by his group show that what some term the Joh phenomenon could be translated into Federal politics. Mr. Gore and his group distinguished themselves as having correctly tipped the result of the Queensland State election. Mr. Gore is quoted as saying that he has outlined to the Premier a scenario in which Sir Joh could emerge as Prime Minister after the next Federal elections. As yet there is no indication that Sir Joh seriously proposes to enter Federal politics directly. It is our opinion that it would be extremely unwise for Sir Joh to attempt such a move. We believe that he can exercise more influence on the direction of Federal politics from his present firm State base.
Mr. Peter Boyle, national president of the Australian Small Business Association, has correctly said that without forming any new political party, Sir Joh was starting to influence the Federal political agenda, pointing out that within days of Sir Joh making the running on the taxation issue, Liberal Opposition leader, Mr. John Howard, was talking about his "flatter tax" plan while National leader Mr. Ian Sinclair had proposed the abolition of uniform Taxation and the transfer of income responsibility to the States. This is one of those few sound suggestions ever made by Mr. Sinclair, who soon found himself the target of a national campaign of criticism.
Demonstrating one of his philosophical flaws, the Queensland Premier was one of those who criticised the proposal to return income-taxing powers to the States. One of the most ridiculous criticisms of returning income-taxing powers to the States was that there would be different levels of taxation. But Sir Joh demonstrated the benefits from competition in the taxation field when he was the first to abolish Death Duties. Other States, and the Federal Government, were forced to follow.
As we have consistently pointed out, the Hawke-Keating Government must continue on a disaster course while it adheres to orthodox financial policies. But this does not mean that it is inevitable that this government will be defeated at the next Federal elections. We are not surprised to see that the most reliable of the public opinion polls, the Morgan polls, shows that the Hawke-Keating Government has recovered in the polls, one of the reasons being, we suspect, the lack of a cohesive Opposition with convincing alternative policies.
We do not rule out the prospect of an early Federal election with the possibility of the Hawke-Keating Government just surviving. But if, primarily through default, the Opposition parties come to office, and fail to deal with Australia's basic problems, then the Liberal Party as existing at present will disintegrate. The best that can be expected from a Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen endorsed team at the coming Federal elections, is that it might obtain the balance of power, if not in the House of Representatives, at least in the Senate, and act as a restraint on the drive towards incorporating Australia into the world State.
In his address, "The Monopolistic Idea" ($1.50 posted) given in the Melbourne Town Hall in 1934, C.H. Douglas outlined from his own experiences as an engineer, the role of finance in fostering the centralisation of economic power. The recent battle between Mr. Rupert Murdoch and Mr. Holmes a Court concerning The Herald, Melbourne, and associated chain of newspapers, was won by Murdoch because he had access to adequate financial credit. Without that financial credit, Rupert Murdoch could not even buy a meat pie stall. But Mr. Holmes a Court has not done so badly, making a profit of an estimated $100 million as a result of his battle with Mr. Rupert Murdoch. It is estimated that from now on that 62 percent of Australians over the age of 13 will now be reading Rupert Murdoch's newspapers. Douglas observed that control of credit and control of news is concentric. Fabian Socialist Bob Hawke remains complacent in the face of the Murdoch drive to centralise control of the media in Australia, no doubt hoping that he can make some kind of a "deal" with Rupert Murdoch, the man who played a major role in helping to bring Fabian Socialist Gough Whitlam to office in 1972.
Informed American commentators are predicting that as a result of "Irangate", President Ronald Reagan could be forced into early retirement, with Trilateralist George Bush taking over. If the present U.S.A. Vice President takes over from Reagan in the near future, the U.S.A. could finish with a Bush Administration for the next ten years, a prospect which alarms American patriots concerned about the growing erosion of America's sovereignty.
The Australian of December 18th, 1986, reports that the Soviet Union has sent Israel a document which allegedly will be key evidence in the trial of accused Nazi war criminal, John Demjanjuk, extradited from the U.S.A. to stand trial in Israel. Prominent Americans have expressed serious doubts about the Israeli charges against Demjanjuk, stressing that there is clearly a case of mistaken identity. But the Soviets, allegedly anti-Israel, have fully cooperated to provide the alleged identification papers.
In spite of the alleged "anti-Semitism" inside the Soviet Union, Jews who have been allowed to leave the Soviet Union continue to return to the Soviet Union. Soviet propaganda has made the most of this development. But the Soviet does not want too many of its previous citizens to return, as this would place a strain on the Soviet economic and social system.
As demonstrated by C.H. Douglas nearly
70 years ago, the modern finance industrial system generates
prices faster than it distributes incomes, the result being
a progressive expansion in financial debt and a drive by all
developed nations to try to solve their internal problems
by exporting more than they import (obtaining a "favourable
balance of trade"). This leads to trade wars, which in the
past led to shooting wars. The nuclear weapon has made world
wars too dangerous. The "solution" now is to try to curb production
by financing monopoly of all kinds, eventually leading to
the "planned global economy" under the New International Economic
The disillusionment with political parties
in Australia continues. The Sydney Morning Herald (Jan.
17th) published the result of a poll, which showed that in
the N.S.W. State Electorate of Bankstown (where a by- election
is imminent) both the Liberal and Labor Parties have lost
much electoral support. What is interesting, also, is that
the result showed that a Labor Party, without Hawke, would
be in deep trouble. Apparently the charisma of "Our Bob" (and
even this is subsiding now) is still a major "plus" for the
One "sleeper" issue identified by a national political commentator is that of social violence. Everyone knows that it is dangerous to be alone, on the streets at night. In some areas even by day. Public transport is now a risky business; not safe at all. Women are in danger of attack by vicious louts. Our memory goes back many, many decades. We can remember men being hanged for rape; it was then a capital offence. It was rare in those days. It was safe to be on the streets at night. Public transport was safe. We agree that the issue of social violence will become a political issue; it will influence politics in Australia.
BLACK ON BLACK VIOLENCEAs an Australian who has visited South Africa recently, I wonder about the message to Australia from Archbishop Desmond Tutu and what he is trying to achieve by coming here and advocating no sporting contact with and trade sanctions against his country, "I presume that he delivers this message in God's name and sees these measures as a means of saving his country from future turmoil. "And I wonder, too, about the continuing gruesome torture of black South Africans, by necklacing, where the helpless victims have a tyre, which has been doused with petrol, tied around their necks, and set ablaze, burning them to death. "Does the African National Congress, which has considerable international support from communist regimes, and which incites these violent acts which are perpetrated on innocent blacks, by their black countrymen, see this as the solution to South Africa's problems.
"The leader of the largest tribal group in South Africa, Chief Buthelezi, who leads six and a quarter million Zulus, is opposed to the answers put up by both Archbishop Tutu and the A.N.C. Buthelezi has implored the world not to impose sanctions against his country, as he knows that the multitude of poor blacks would only suffer - their cause would not be helped. "I have no doubt about who is right, for Chief Buthelezi must surely be recognised for what he is - one of the few moderates with sufficient support from black South Africans to be able to legitimately speak on their behalf. He must be given a larger role in the process by which apartheid is dismantled and peace in South Africa is achieved. "He offers hope whereas Tutu can only offer the economic destruction of his country by the imposition of economic sanctions, and the ANC can only offer more black on black violence. Bern Kilfariff .. Senator for the Northern Territory."
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