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13 March 1987. Thought for the Week: "What's worrying me is that Australia is losing its identity if it hasn't lost it already. I'm trying to hold on to what is left."
Mr. Bruce Ruxton, Victorian R.S.L. President
WHAT ABOUT THE 'JOH FACTOR' NOW?
Writing in The Bulletin of March 3rd, Mr. Malcolm Mackerras, well known analyst of electoral trends, predicted that the National Party, backed by Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, would "do very badly at the Territory election", and that Joh "will drop his campaign to get himself to Canberra, Ian Sinclair's leadership will grow stronger and the forthcoming Federal election will be fought on the basis of Labor versus the traditional Conservative coalition."
While the Sir Joh backed Northern Territory National Party did not match Sir Joh's rhetoric and "sweep" the polls at last Saturday's Territory elections, the results were not so bad that they justify the optimism of Mr. Ian Sinclair and Mr. John Howard about the "Joh factor" no longer being a threat to them. Even if Sir Joh could only muster on a national scale the 16% of the primary vote obtained in the Territory elections, this could provide the base for a national campaign which, if realistically conducted, could result in far reaching and beneficial results in the nation's history.
As we have previously indicated, Sir Joh does not actually need to go to Canberra in order to lead a movement of national survival. Nothing is more dangerous at this critical time than a purely emotional campaign projecting Sir Joh as some type of Messiah who, by becoming Prime Minister, could within a short period solve all Australia's problems. Sir Joh is well aware that despite his high standing in Queensland, he has not been able to implement his own stated policies such as the establishment of a State Bank. His instincts are basically sound and attuned to defending traditional values. But as other political leaders have found, the implementation of promised policies in the face of un-cooperative or hostile permanent officials, can prove difficult.
At the historic 1949 Federal elections, which brought the relatively new Liberal Party to office, under Robert Menzies, both Menzies and his Country Party colleague Arthur Fadden promised to "put the shillings back into the pound" with a specific programme, the major feature being the restoration of the successful war time consumer price discount system which eliminated inflation in Australia for five years. Within six months of being elected, the Menzies government was in retreat in the face of opposition from the permanent "advisers" headed by Fabian Socialist Dr. H.C.Coombs, Governor of the Reserve Bank.
Sir Joh will recall how back in 1974, when he included the consumer price discount concept, along with the abolition of Sales Tax, he met with the most bitter opposition from inside his own party, with the result that in spite of widespread public support, he was forced to drop the plan. Prominent amongst those who sabotaged the Premier was the Federal leader of the National party at the time, Mr. Doug Anthony, the same Doug Anthony who re-emerged last week to launch a bitter attack on Sir Joh's campaign on the Federal scene, claiming at a Sydney Rotary Club that "there seems to be a plague of political madness spreading across the nation from Queensland. "Not even Mr. Anthony's best friends would describe him as one of Australia's deeper political thinkers. The fact is that Mr. Doug Anthony, succeeded by Mr. Ian Sinclair, supported Liberal governments which imposed policies of disaster for rural Australia.
There is not the slightest evidence to suggest that either a Howard or a Peacock Liberal government, supported by the National Party, would do anything constructive to ease a rural crisis, which is now producing horrendous human and social disasters. If Sir Joh has done nothing else, he has brought to public attention the ineptitude of the Opposition parties. The divisions inside the Liberal party have become increasingly obvious unless some type of a miracle occurs; the decay in the Liberal party has reached terminal proportions. If the Liberals cannot form a government after the next Federal elections, they are doomed. If they do form a government and fail again as they did for seven years under Fraser, without going back any further they are also doomed.
The Queensland Premier perceives this and, in the absence of any effective leadership from the National party, has moved to fill a leadership vacuum. But does Sir Joh need to go to Canberra to provide the type of leadership really required in the present crisis? It is significant that a very big percentage of those making use of the national survival "voting forms", have indicated that they would prefer Sir Joh to stay where he is, making use of his Queensland base to encourage a programme which would lever Australia off its present disaster course.
We have consistently expressed the view that the crucial battles ahead of Australia can best be waged if the Australian people have the constitutional mechanism to use a veto at a referendum against any unwanted policy, whether it is economic or social. Sir Joh could establish himself as Australia's greatest statesman by providing his full support for a policy, which would ensure that never in the future can governments do what they like to the people.
As a practising Christian, Sir Joh no doubt is familiar with the advice that he who would be the greatest should seek to be the servant of all. We believe that the "Joh factor" is sufficiently strong to enable Sir Joh to achieve the most far-reaching constitutional reform in the nation's history. Such a promised reform would unite the Australian people as they have never been united before. Such a campaign would force those who do not trust the people to have a direct say about policies affecting their futures, to say so publicly. We believe that these people would be annihilated at the polling both.
The Israeli "trial" of Ukrainian born John Demjanjuk becomes increasingly disturbing, with the most incredible testimonies, including one that dogs were trained to castrate prisoners. The kindest thing that can be said about some of the witnesses against Demjanjuk is that they are victims of hysteria. The most revealing statement yet made at the "trial" has come from Mr. Alex Ish-Shalom, chief Israeli investigator in the case, who says that an alleged Nazi identification card was provided by Moscow at the bequest of Mr. Armand Hammer, the Jewish multinational business tycoon who has played a major role in assisting the Soviet since the days of Lenin. The Weekend Australian of March 7th-8th carries a report from a correspondent in Jerusalem, which states, "The chairman of Occidental Petroleum, Mr. Hammer, has had long standing business relations with Moscow and has liaised between the Soviet Union and Israel." What a convenient arrangement between the "anti-Semitic" Soviet and Zionist Israel!
The Pollard spy case in the U.S.A. has highlighted the objection to Political Zionism by anti-Zionist Jews like Mr. Alfred Lilienthal, who have stressed that Zionism demands that Zionist supporters have dual loyalties, one to the country where they are living and one to Zionist Israel. Pollard, an intelligence analyst with the US Navy Department, argued that as a Zionist and lover of Israel, he believed that Israel should have sensitive intelligence, which the Americans were withholding. Although Pollard said that the "highest echelons" in Israel knew that he was spying, the Israeli Government has attempted to distance itself from Pollard, who received a life sentence. And there is bitter resentment in American intelligence circles that the Israelis who had been using Pollard have been protected by the Israel Government, even though Defence Minister Rabin publicly apologised to the USA and said it would never spy on it again.
The recent televised expulsion of a N.S.W. farmer from his property, along with his wife and small children, at the instigation of the State Bank of N.S.W. has shocked most Australians into a realisation of the extent of the growing rural tragedy, with growing suicides. In attempting to justify their foreclosure actions, bank statesmen claim that they have nothing to gain by forcing debt ridden farmers off their properties. If this is so, then why force a farmer out, leaving an empty house and increasing the pressure on town and city housing. We have received one report that in some cases the banks are offering more viable farmers loans at lower interest rates to buy out their struggling neighbours. One bank spokesman admitted that a farmer auctioned his property and did not receive sufficient to liquidate their total debt to the bank, the balance was written off. It is essential more people understand how the banking system created financial credit with the stroke of the pen, and as a debt, and writes off millions of dollars - at no loss to anyone. Bank profits continue to rise. If Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen really means to save rural Australia, he will call for a halt to all policies, including astronomical interest charges, which are eroding the independence of Australia's rural communities.
The Economist, the widely read British magazine, in a recent issue, tells us what most of us already know: viz, we are in a mess. Apart from the expected home truths about union aggressiveness, and other ills (restrictive work practices) it zeroes in on the severe inadequacies of the Australian education systems. It also sharply criticises Australian transport, and particularly its outrageous expensiveness. Many Australians have discovered that it is cheaper to fly to New Zealand, or parts of Asia, than to fly from Sydney to Perth!
We have been concerned for some considerable
time that the education systems in Australia are in marked
decline. We do not have to allow ourselves to be bombarded
with statistics from airy-fairy academics to know, through
personal experience, that many of today's young people are
just ill educated. Many can't frame a well expressed letter,
many have to resort to the pocket computer to perform even
elementary calculations; many have heads full of utterly useless
"Mickey Mouse" brainwashing ("pre history", "social studies",
etc., etc.) which confuse the kids with mere "opinions" of
academics, many of these sheer ning-nongs.
NORTH QUEENSLAND ACTIONISTS ON ABORIGINAL SETTLEMENT
"Yarrabah Aboriginal Settlement lately in the news because of a series of suicides by hanging, is only approximately 10 miles from the heart of Cairns. It is a closed community, and a prime example of the Apartheid being practised by the State Government, only equaled (or perhaps surpassed) by the Federal Government in the Northern Territory, where only the politicians, government servants, stirrers or ideological mercenaries, are welcome; but the bulk of the citizenry of Australia is excluded. Here, Apartheid works only one-way though, as the inhabitants of the Reserve are at liberty to go anywhere in Australia without restraint.
Formerly a model settlement, when run by a missionary, the Rev. Gribble, with some weak financial assistance from the State Government, it was almost self-supporting; as it grew a large proportion of its food, and garnered a lot from the sea. It also operated a sawmill to satisfy its own house construction, and to sell what excess of sawn timber there was in order to purchase building hardware. Altogether, it was a very law abiding community, almost self-contained, with certain of their trusted members going away to work in Cairns and Districts to augment their meagre economy. At that time no alcoholic liquor of any description was allowed on the Reserve, and at the same time it was an offence to sell any liquor to an Aborigine in Cairns, or anywhere else for that matter.
For years such conditions prevailed, and apart from a few tribal bashings, nothing in the way of serious crime was reported from there; and with only a few honorary police to maintain order. Then the Aborigines were given access to alcohol; all over the country; and from thereon the crime rate escalated. The placing of white policemen at the Settlement did not seem to reduce the crime rate, but rather increased it if anything, until murder, rape, bodily harm, theft and arson became common. There has been a number of suicides in recent years by hanging, which have occurred mainly in the watch house, but no suspicion of police involvement in any way and all the troubles can easily be traced to their having access to alcohol.
After the last hanging, the local Anglican priest attempted to exorcise a demon from the watch house (although he claimed the people were not superstitious in any way) but so far apparently without success. It would not be very hard to locate the Demon, however, as he would be lurking in a rum bottle, which a lavish Government makes available by way of lavish Social Security payments; and the provision of considerable funds for special purposes; the sum total of which handed out by Big Brother makes for an indolent, shiftless, and totally dependent Community. This formerly semi-independent Society relies entirely on the Public Bounty. At one time it even had a Trochus shelling lugger, which brought in considerable funds from its harvest from the sea. Today, production of any description is NIL, unless you count a crop of new babies all the time. What the overall cost to the taxpayer is is anyone's guess, but it would be a huge sum.
"Suggestions lately that alcohol should be restricted or banned (by several public spirited and concerned citizens) - was met with cries of 'discrimination' by the stirrers; even though we all know, and so do the Tribal Elders, that this would solve perhaps 75% of the present crime rate. The same could be applied to any one of the numerous Aboriginal Settlements in Queensland or anywhere else in Australia. "Our forefathers in their wisdom quite sensibly banned alcohol absolutely to the natives, because they knew that the indigene simply could not handle it at all ."
FAMILY'S EVICTION SPARKS OUTCRY
These letters published in The Australian (March 6th). We commented on the matter in last week in On Target (March 6th).
"So, the State Bank does more for the
Maloney family, personally. "Your story (28/2) should make
the managing director of the State Bank, Mr. Nick Whitlam,
hang his head in shame. "This un-Australian action of evicting
a young family from their home because they can't meet the
monthly mortgage repayments due to interest rate increases
should anger every red blooded Australian. "What does the
State Bank now do with an unoperational wheat property? It
could sell it, but there's no market for them at the moment,
nobody can afford the repayments! It could appoint a manager
to run the property, but he won't make any money either. So
what has been achieved by this deplorable act?
"I was appalled to read of the Maloney family's eviction from their farm. Families like theirs are the backbone of this nation and should be given every encouragement from governments and banks to be self-supporting and productive." (Carolyn O'Sullivan, Lindfield, N.S.W.)
Your report on the eviction of a farmer at Gareema made horrendous reading. "That children of the tender ages of three and twelve should be exposed to the heartless humiliation of their father in a situation not of his making (like hundreds, if not thousands of farmers throughout Australia) is a sad and sorry reflection of the parlous state of the (rural) economy." (J.A.Waterman, Langwarrin, Vic.)
"My tears turned to anger when I read of farmer Roger Maloney and his family being forcibly ejected off their farm by fellow Australians! "It seems to me that Hawke's two-tiered society is upon us. Yes, indeed, when I read that a former prime minister's (as in original!) son can festoon his $6 million State Bank with $1 million of art works and at the same time presides over this bank's destruction of yet another young working man's dreams. "I'm too choked up to say any more - here is $10 towards the wee 'uns." (Michael Nolan, Maroubra, N.S.W.)
"This morning, I cried for fellow Australians, the ones pictured being evicted from their farm at Gareema. "Your article, beside the photo, started by saying, 'It takes three tough sheriff's officers, three police, and a bank manager to throw an Australian farmer, his wife and four young children out of their farm and family home into the road.' "Your story goes on to say that 80% of the farmers in the district could be facing a similar fate in the next 12 months. "This, in our wonderful Australia, which is so rich in assets and so bountiful in nature." (Pat Washinton-Walker, Paradise Water, Qld.)
"I read, with concern, the moving report of the eviction of farmer Roger Maloney and his family from their property. "I am prompted, however, to ask the question - what was the reported profit of the State Bank of N.S.W. last year?"
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