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2 October 1987. Thought for the Week: "Liberty has never come from government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history of limitations of governmental power, not the increase of it."
Woodrow Wilson, American President
THE RETREAT FROM THE MOSCOW CARD
In one sense, it is perhaps a pity that retired public servant, Smith, discovered that there was a fatal flaw in the Identification Card legislation; it can be blocked by an anti-ID Card Senate challenging the regulations designed to govern the starting of the Card programme. We have not the slightest doubt that press reports of some Hawke Cabinet Ministers, as well as backbench Labor Members, being relieved that the legislation is "stone dead" are true. As we predicted, the ID card issue had the potential to explode into the biggest political backlash seen in Australia for many decades. The growing mass rallies were reminiscent of the anti-Vietnam period. Even before the Smith bombshell, Deputy Prime Minister Bowen was signaling that retreat was being considered. Mr. Bowen raised the question of whether there was "an alternative method to the Australia Card as now offered as being the best solution".
The Smith revelation has, to a degree, let an increasingly concerned government 'off the hook'. There will, of course, continue to be much feigned indignation about the "technical sabotage" threatened by the Senate. But the fact remains that the government has suffered a major reverse, and that it only has itself to blame for legislation, which contained a fatal flaw. Such is the shallowness of modern party politics that it was not surprising that Opposition leader John Howard, desperately groping for some issue on which to gain some political initiative following Treasurer Keating's rabbit-out-of-the-hat "balanced budget", should have seized upon the legal opinion which in effect torpedoed the ID Card legislation and tried to resurrect himself as an effective Opposition leader.
John Howard completely misread the ID Card as an election issue, while a party over burdened with lawyers, including John Howard himself, failed to discover what a retired public servant discovered within a short period of having studied the legislation. Or perhaps John Howard, who initially said he was sympathetic to the introduction of an ID card "in principle", was influenced by his friends of the "New Right", who have consistently supported the ID Card proposal; arguing, as has Fabian Socialist Bob Hawke, that it would drastically reduce the volume of tax and welfare abuses.
Mr. Hawke charges that those opposing the introduction of the Card were preventing the Government from obtaining approximately an extra $1 billion in tax revenue. Assuming that Prime Minister Hawke is correct, and that the introduction of an ID Card system would enable the growing tax bureaucracy to squeeze another $1 billion out of the oppressed Australian taxpayers, does any sensible person believe that the government would spend this $1 billion dollars any more effectively that those who, perhaps through the economy, are minimising the amount they are contributing to a big spending government? And it is surely but an unpleasant joke to claim that taxation would be reduced if some way could be found of tapping into the cash economy?
The really dedicated planners, irrespective of what they term themselves, reject the view that the individual has a natural right to attempt to protect himself against the demands of the State, demands which threaten the individual's right to privacy. Dr. Neal Blewett, one of the staunchest supporters of the ID Card, and reported to be in favour of devising some other approach if present legislation fails, told the 1986 South Australian ALP branch conference, that, "Let me say, as a socialist, that it is the interests of the community that should come before the individual right ... We shouldn't get too hung up on privacy because privacy, in many ways, is a bourgeois right that is very much associated with the right to private property."
Whatever the Hawke government says it knows that the mounting national campaign against the ID Card would eventually have forced it to retreat. The flaw in the legislation, discovered by "Citizen Smith", has really been a godsend to the Government, permitting it to start retreating much earlier than otherwise would have been the case. John Howard and his colleagues should not be permitted to gloat about a victory to which they contributed little. The victory was the result of a genuine grassroots movement, and demonstrates how electors of different viewpoints can unite on one issue at a time. This tremendous campaign has paved the way for an intensification of the campaign to have introduced in Australia the necessary constitutional amendments to enable electors to have the opportunity to veto via referenda any unpopular legislation. We note that most Opposition Members reject this concept; they are in agreement with Prime Minister Hawke that it is undesirable to have electors already participating in government decision making. Genuine democracy is only possible when electors have the right to vote on one issue at a time.
THE LEAGUE OF RIGHTS AND THE BATTLE FOR NORTH QUEENSLAND
Mr. Chas Pinwill, Queensland Director of the League of Rights, has recently addressed a series of well-attended and highly successful meetings in North Queensland, warning that the real issue was the further threat to Australia's sovereignty by placing the area under the UN World Heritage Commission. Mr. Pinwill has made a study of the far-reaching implications of Heritage legislation and some years back wrote a book on the subject. Last week in the Senate, the Minister for the Environment, Senator Richardson, attacked Mr. Pinwill's entry into the North Queensland battle. The Senator is reported as saying that "I am not aware that the League has any special expertise in the preservation of our rainforests". The League as such does not claim any special expertise concerning conservation, which in principle it strongly supports, with many of its members actively engaged in farming. But it has a long history of studying and exposing treacherous policies aimed at weakening the nation's sovereignty.
Senator Richardson resorts to the usual hackneyed smearing of the League, charging that the League was "anti-semitic" and that more recently "had opposed Asian immigration and Aboriginal rights." Senator Richardson is being boringly unoriginal. What the League is doing, is to challenge the idea that Federal governments can continue to undermine Australian sovereignty by placing whole areas under the UN Heritage Commission, arguing that it can use the Foreign Affairs Powers for this subversive purpose.
We believe that the Queensland Premier
is making a major mistake by talking about going to the UN
to put Queensland's case against the Federal Government's
proposed policy for North Queensland. Such a move would give
tacit support to the concept that the UN has any right to
pass judgment on Australia's internal affairs.
Racial tensions, worldwide, will not go away. It is in the nature of reality that "birds of a feather, flock together". Artificial disturbance of this reality, particularly by political subversives with an ideological axe to grind, will surely create the desired racial friction. There has been a second outburst of political turmoil in Fiji, as all our readers well know, and racial tensions are at the basis of this. The Fijian leadership will not allow Indians political supremacy in the Fijian Islands. As we have stated before, in these pages: the ultimate solution will be a Melanesian one, not a Fabian Socialist "solution" which wouldn't be any solution to the basic problem at all, because such would the implementation of Fabian Socialist ideology in the main, and not in accord with Fijian realities.
Racial tensions are also building up in Malaysia, where they have been simmering since Independence in 1957. Malaysia's first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, was responsible for ejecting Chinese-dominated Singapore from the Federation in 1965 - fearing that the escalation of racial tensions would explode into violence. Malays, Chinese, and Indians are the three major races in Malaysia.
Zimbabwe is sinking still further into political tyranny. Now all offices of ZAPU (Joshua Nkomo's Zimbabwe Africa People's Party) have been ordered to close by the Marxist oriented Government of Robert Mugabe. Readers will recall that Rhodesia-Zimbabwe was thrown to the (Marxist) wolves; Australia's Malcolm Fraser playing a not insignificant role. Poor Bishop Muzowera was elbowed to one side and put on the skids at the Lancaster House "Conference" in London. We note that Lord Soames, the last Governor of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia died in U.K. a few days ago. As Mr. Christopher Soames, he married Mary Churchill, the youngest of Winston Churchill's daughters. He certainly "got ahead" in the banking and political worlds, but we wonder how history, real history, will record him! Severe racial tensions exist in most African "nations", as the political boundaries that divide them are artificial: not being based on tribal realities.
Mr. Bruce Ruxton, President of the Victorian Branch of the R.S.L. writes that Australia is a "laughing stock" over its bans against South Africa. The Soviet Union earns $1 billion in trade with South Africa, whilst Australia is severing air links. Zambia and Zimbabwe are maintaining air links. Mozambique relies on South Africa. Mr. Ruxton has recently been on a visit to South Africa: he stated on his return that Australia is being given a false picture of South Africa by our own media.
JEREMY LEE REPLIES TO ATTACK ON LEAGUE BY MR DOUG MOPPETT, STATE CHAIRMAN, N.S.W. NATIONAL PARTY, IN 'THE LAND'" I have been sent an updated cutting from your paper ("The Land") containing a letter by Mr. Doug Moppett, N.S.W. National Party State Chairman, on what he claims is the League of Rights 'McCarthyist' criticism of the Fabian Society. "Frankly, I find Mr. Moppett's apparent defence of the Fabians incredible. Much of it must stem from the fact that the N.S.W. National Party has relied heavily on the evidence of a prominent Fabian, Mr. K.D. Gott, in its recent unjustified and inaccurate attack on the League and myself.
"After the League of Rights provided a strong lead in exposing the left wing objectives behind the Aboriginal Land Rights legislation, Mr. Gott was employed by Mr. Clyde Holding's Federal Department to 'monitor and expose' the League. "It is amazing to find the N.S.W. National Party now quoting Mr. Gott in its attack on the League, and then claiming that attacks on the Fabian Society are a form of McCarthyism. "Mr. Moppett would do well to compare the text of Prime Minister, Bob Hawke's speech to the Fabian Society Centenary Dinner in Melbourne on May 18, 1984 with the Fabian Society's own publication 'One Hundred Years of Fabian Socialism', 1884-1984: (I obtained my copy from the Communist bookshop in Melbourne).
"He could go on to study such heavily documented works as one Martin's 'Fabian Freeway'. If he did so, he might well be more reluctant to write the sort of shallow and patronising nonsense which seems to have infected the performance of his own Party in New South Wales."
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