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13 February 1987. Thought for the Week: "There is only one sound basis for cooperative society, and that is individual and personal responsibility ...it does seem to me to be difficult to have a plainer and flatter repudiation of collectivism in all its aspects, and of the idea that an organisation can absolve an individual for the responsibility of his actions, than the statement, 'He took upon Himself, the sins of the world."'
C.H. Douglas, in The Big Idea
IS SIR JOH HEADING FOR DISASTER?
Queensland Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen has the potential to act as a unique catalyst for a coherent grassroots movement, which could shift Australia off its present disaster course. But unless Sir Joh obtains and acts upon wiser advice than he is apparently accepting at present, and is more realistic, his political career could end in complete disaster, not only for Sir Joh, but for Australia.
There are powerful groups, international and national, who see Sir Joh merely as a means towards advancing their own anti-social power. It is disturbing to read reports that Sir Joh has had pledged massive financial support in excess of $40 million. Not even the smallest fraction of this type of money is ever made available to those genuinely grassroots conservative movements which for many years have worked untiringly and unselfishly to promote genuine conservative values in every field, and to expose the basic threat to the Free World. There is no doubt that Sir Joh has tremendous general support around Australia, where he is admired for upholding traditional values and for his leadership qualities. But translating this support into sufficient votes to enable Sir Joh to become Prime Minister is another matter.
While the national campaign launched in Wagga, NSW, and continued last week, was big news by any standards, it is important to remember that the media is riddled with pro-Marxists, liberal and secular humanist journalists and commentators, and that these people are capable of trying to lead the Premier into a number of dangerous booby traps. For example, national publicity was given to the results of a Channel Nine Willesee phone in, which showed that a massive 72% of the 204,000 who called approved of Sir Joh's attempt to give new leadership in national politics. But this result must be regarded with extreme caution. Those who rang were self selecting, not genuinely representative of the Australian electorate, while there is the suggestion that many who rang allegedly supporting Sir Joh, were motivated by the view that Sir Joh's move into Federal politics could only have a destabilising effect an the Federal Opposition parties.
Fabian Socialist Bob Hawke makes no secret that he is delighted with what is happening. The Willesee phone in took place before Sir Joh first announced that his ultimate objective was to become Prime Minister. Much more informative was the Sunday Observer's poll, published last Sunday, which showed that 72% of Melbourne electors did not want Sir Joh as Prime Minister, while 54% did not want to see him in Federal politics at all. However, a sizeable 26% said that they would like to see Sir Joh in Federal politics. While we have reservations about many public opinion polls, they are useful in indicating trends, which in this case, tend to confirm our own assessment of the "Joh factor" in urban Australia. It is very much stronger in rural Australia.
The wily Peter Ross Edwards, leader of the Victorian National Party, while expressing cautious support for Sir Joh, hopes that Sir Joh will help National candidates win five Labor held country electorates in Victoria. Mr. Ross Edwards recalls what happened at the 1984 Federal elections, when, the "Joh factor" was tested in nearly 20 Melbourne and Brisbane metropolitan electorates. A $50,000 campaign in Goldstein, held by the small-'l'-Liberal Ian Macphee, resulted in the National party obtaining a mere 1.6% of the vote. Other national candidates, blessed by Sir Joh, did little or no better. In Brisbane, not one of, the Sir Joh backed National candidates was elected, the average vote being 16.5%. After the Liberal President, Mr. John Moore, whom Sir Joh appears to dislike little less than Prime Minister Hawke, a high profile National candidate could only obtain 17% of the vote.
While public concern about Australia's future has greatly increased since the last Federal elections, last year's Queensland State elections did not suggest that the Nationals led by Sir Joh had much more impact on urban Australia than they had in 1984. This does not mean that if Sir Joh were directly involved in a Federal election an increased vote for some of his urban candidates might be achieved. But what of the candidates?
We must agree with Mr. Ross Edwards that some of the people attaching themselves to the Sir Joh bandwagon are primarily concerned with promoting themselves. Some of those who have been to see Sir Joh have made extravagant claims about the support they allegedly have and what they can do. It appears that Sir Joh has been dangerously misled by those who are currently advising him, primarily because they are providing the money. They claim that a poll they have commissioned shows that Andrew Peacock and Sir Joh are the two best non-Labor leaders to lead a successful campaign against the Hawke Government.
It is disturbing that Sir Joh should have been persuaded virtually to endorse Andrew Peacock, although correctly pointing out that Mr. John Howard was closely associated with the disasters of the Fraser Government. But Andrew Peacock was the Foreign Minister who helped to destroy Rhodesia and who is anti-South Africa. He is a dedicated internationalist. As a man, John Howard is a better type.
Those who are wondering what Mr. Peacock has been doing in Western Australia campaigning for Liberal Wilson Tuckey, would find the answer if they had been sitting in on some meetings of businessmen dissatisfied with John Howard's leadership. Mr. Tuckey projects himself as the strong man, which he does well.
The game play of those backing him is that if the Howard leadership can be sufficiently destabilised, Andrew Peacock is restored as Liberal leader with Tuckey becoming deputy leader. Whether he knows it or not, Sir Joh has been drawn into a power struggle inside the Liberals, with the suggestion being that such would be the divisions inside the Coalition parties after defeating Hawke, that Sir Joh could emerge as the only man to take over the nation.
Sir Joh has given a splendid lead in the past on many national and international issues. His firm handling of the Queensland power strike was an inspiration to many. But we fear that if he is persuaded to abandon his firm Queensland power base for an extremely doubtful position in Canberra, he will end in disaster. He must be persuaded to stay where he is, using his Queensland base to sponsor a grassroots movement, which has a limited objective survival programme.
The first essential is that every non-Labor candidate be required to pledge that he will support the necessary moves to restore control of the Federal Constitution to the Australian people, preventing any Federal government from using united National treaties and conventions to bypass the Federal constitution, denying the Australian people the right to a referendum. Every candidate should be required to pledge himself or herself 'that they will support the immediate introduction of the Swiss principle into the Federal Constitutions giving electors, if they so desire, the right to vote any undesirable legislation by a referendum'. This one step would ensure that the taxpayers have a more effective control over their elected representatives.
There should be a referendum on immigration, a firm pledge to reduce total taxation, even if only by 5%, a substantial drop in destructive interest rates and a halt to the further sale of rural properties to foreign investors. This limited programme is all that is required initially for a programme of national survival. All that Sir Joh has to do is to put himself at the head of a grassroots movement insisting on such a programme, and he could earn himself a place in the nation's history as the leader who took his country off a disaster course. It may take a grassroots movement to convince Sir Joh that he is on a dangerous course at present. We fear the worst.
ANOTHER CHURCHILL REVELATIONWe find it significant that a number of revelations about the real Churchill are being provided, perhaps in an attempt to soften the impact of the David Irving biography - if it is ever published. Alastair Cook, regarded by some well informed observers as a Jew, in his weekly ABC "Letter from America", last Sunday eulogised International Zionist financier, Bernard Baruch, as a great man who had saved Winston Churchill from political oblivion by backing him financially. Baruch was the man who stepped in to save Churchill from complete economic disaster, losing practically all his assets, with his gambling on the stock exchange. Real history is rather different to the popular version. Churchill realised too late that the British Empire was to be broken up. He made his famous protest, but the pass had already been sold.
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