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19 May 1989. Thought for the Week: "Slogans can be for good or evil purposes, but this is a period when slogans carefully conceived by evil minds are playing a literally vital role in the most intense and deadly attack on spiritual civilisation in the whole of history; for slogans are perhaps indispensable in the formation and cohesion of mobs."
Dr. Bryan Monahan in The Moving Storm
BEHIND THE CRUCIFIXION OF JOHN HOWARD
As regular readers are aware, we are not numbered amongst devotees of John Howard, a basically earnest man, dedicated to the wrong policies. But last week saw John Howard crucified by his colleagues who believed that he lacked the charisma to make certain that they won the next elections. Judging by media comments of last week, John Howard signed his political death warrant when, late last year, he said that in the interests of social cohesion the rate of Asian immigration had to be reduced. This statement and the abandonment of a bi-partisan policy on immigration resulted in a torrent of abuse in the media. But the change in policy by the Liberal Party was approved by the overwhelming majority of the Australian people.
The Howard change of policy was the result
of electoral research by Liberal Party pollsters. John Howard's
media critics charge that he was "unprincipled" because back
on August 23rd, 1984, when Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party,
he made a major address in which he said that the Liberal
Party would never campaign on the basis of race in immigration.
He went on to boast that it was the Liberal Party that had
abolished the "White Australia" policy. It is important to
recall that when John Howard gave this address he became the
immediate darling of the mass media. But a lot has happened
since John Howard gave this speech and he and some of his
more realistic colleagues became aware that the Australian
people were becoming increasingly concerned about the impact
of growing non-European immigration.
We made it clear time and time again that the prospect of John Howard winning government by default was a frightening one, as John Howard has given no indication that he could grapple constructively with the finance economic problems undermining the nation. But the prospect of Andrew Peacock winning government is even more frightening. It is important to note that in his first statement as the new Liberal Leader, Mr. Andrew Peacock said that the Liberal Party would now be returning to a bi-partisan immigration policy, one abandoned by John Howard. This means that Andrew Peacock has joined with Prime Minister Bob Hawke to take the basic immigration issue off the political agenda, a blatant attempt to deny the Australian electors any say on the issue.
As we said last week, John Howard's biggest mistake, having raised the immigration issue, was then to have sought to back away from it. But the supporters of a multiracial Australia have never forgiven him for raising the issue. They feared the direction in which a Howard government might start to move. And Howard was much more sensible about South Africa than Andrew Peacock, the man who played an active role in helping to destroy Rhodesia. John Howard suffers from the limitations of his political party background, and is no intellectual giant. But as a man he stands head and shoulders over the shallow media star Andrew Peacock.
There is no evidence to suggest that
John Howard is other than a loyal and dedicated family man.
He displays some old fashioned virtues and there is no record
of him engaging in the type of foul mouthed abuse used by
Peacock and Jeff Kennett in their famous telephone conversation
concerning Howard. Peacock's snub of Howard in forming his
front bench is not only a serious reflection on the character
of Andrew Peacock, but of the type of Liberal Party now offered
as an alternative government. The prospect of a resuscitated
Ian Macphee as Minister for Foreign Affairs is chilling in
While the events of last week have been relished by the media with its army of twittering commentators, the more perceptive observers will have noted that once again the sickness of party politics has been clearly manifested. The deep sickness inside the Liberal Party was blatantly demonstrated by the behaviour of new Deputy Leader, Senator Fred Chaney. The better elements in the West Australian Liberal Party have kept Chaney out of the House of Representatives until now. Chaney was supposed to have been one of John Howard's loyal deputies, a friend. It was legitimate for him to have reached the conclusion that the Party could not win under Howard, but he lacked the basic decency to even warn Howard of the moves against him, preferring at the last minute to join the putsch. Chaney is another darling of the media, who describe him as a great "communicator".
Can Australians trust any party in which dishonesty, vulgarity, and lack of loyalty are the hallmarks? The answer is NO. That is why it is long overdue for a regeneration of the political system with the introduction of the Swiss principle of the Initiative Referendum and Recall, to bring Members of Parliament under the direct control of electors. If the crucifixion of John Howard helps to highlight this question, his political death may serve a useful purpose.
Labor strategists have long anticipated a return of Andrew Peacock as Liberal leader, but feared that it might come closer at the next election, as did Hawke's replacement of Mr. Bill Hayden. They are pleased that the change has come early, with time for the inevitable "honeymoon" to wear off, and for Peacock's weaknesses to be exposed. Baring unforeseen circumstances, it is hard to visualise the next election this side of Christmas. This will give time for the further development of the growing grassroots movement.
The refusal by Mr. Nasayoshi Ito, untarnished by the political corruption so rampant in Japan, to accept the Prime Ministership of Japan, has shocked the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. Mr. Ito's major cause for refusal is his belief that the L.D.P., is not prepared to tackle the problem of political corruption. Corruption is the inevitable result of the type of corporate society existing in Japan. The influence of corruption on stability must be carefully considered in assessing the role of Japan in a rapidly changing world.
Mr. Philip Ruddock, N.S.W. Liberal M.P. and Peacock appointment as Shadow Minister on Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, joined Ian Macphee last year in crossing the floor of Parliament to vote with the Hawke Government on the immigration issue. The Ruddock appointment confirms the basic shift on immigration by Andrew Peacock, who appears to be a much more dedicated internationalist than John Howard.
The Jewish community is a relatively small part of the Australian nation. And inside that community there are many anti-Zionists, while the Australian Jewish Democratic Society has supported the call by the Hawke Government for Israel to begin talks with the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. Some 350 Australian Jews have signed an advertisement placed by The Australian Jewish News by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society, supporting Israeli talks with the P.L.O. Mr. Mark Leibler, President of the Zionist Federation of Australia, charges that the signatories had been "duped". Mr. Mark Leibler and father, Mr. Isi Leibler, will be calling on Prime Minister Hawke next week to stress that they do not want any more addresses such as that given recently by the Australian Ambassador at the U.N. on the Middle East situation. Mr. Hawke has assured the Zionist leaders that there will be no more such addresses at the U.N., while Foreign Minister Gareth Evans has reinforced that assurance by letter. No other minority group exercises such influence in Australian affairs. This is a dangerous development.
We do not entirely agree that the "green" vote at the recent Tasmanian elections was proof that such was the major factor in the eventual result (still not confirmed at the time of going to press). Rather is the voting pattern a definite indicator of the ongoing disillusionment of many voters with the major political parties. This pattern will be repeated at future elections and by-elections, we are sure. The Methyr (Qld.) by-election was a vote of no confidence in the Queensland National Party: a protest vote against the corrupt practices of the former incumbent, Mr. Don Lane. Whilst talking of Queensland we make the comment that a significant amount of "blame" for Queensland corruption in politics can be sheeted home to the abolition of the Queensland Legislative Council (Upper House) in 1922, thus giving the Lower House in Queensland too much power - and power corrupts! The Legislative Councillors in Queensland, in 1922, voted themselves out of office, but the price was payment of their salaries for life. This was a Labor Government, and the move was in line with Communist policies of political centralism. This influence was introduced into Queensland (and Australian) politics by a person named Jock Garden, a union and political figure at the time, who had studied Communist philosophy and tactics in Moscow prior to that time. Queenslanders would do very well indeed to set about the restoration of the Legislative Council - to decentralise political power, and thus lessen the opportunities for political corruption.
TRIBAL BOUNDARIESThis letter from the Rev. Rodney Rivers, Aboriginal clergyman, who now lives in Toowoomba (The Chronicle, Toowoomba, May 2nd):
"In aboriginal law and culture, tribal boundaries are taught, kept and passed on to succeeding generations in order to prevent conflict with other tribes. "Tribal boundaries may be indicated by a creek, artesian spring, mountain range, salt flat, crop of trees, or a river. "In this 20th century, as it was in times past, tribal groups, according to Aboriginal law, have to remain inside their own tribal domain. "Tribes do allow surrounding tribes to travel through their tribal area, but these privileges are kept secret between the tribes concerned. No tribe may interfere with the affairs or the governing of adjoining tribes, which could mean 10 other tribal groups. "By Aboriginal law, every separate tribal group cannot claim or usurp authority over another tribe and its territory. "Therefore, the push for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Commission and land rights policies to be made law as a declaration of sovereign control over Australia by a minority, is neither Australian, Aboriginal, nor Christian. "But in the secular gardens and vineyards of Australia today, we are reaping the fruits of unbridled authority which - on the part of any governmental ruler - finally leads to autocracy, despotism and tyranny. "Many may not be aware of it, but there are God ordained spheres in society which the state must not encroach upon or infringe upon under any circumstances. "Sad to say, in today's climate we are witnessing 'State Absolutism' by those who are engineering everything and everyone towards the humanistic yoke and domination of the totalitarian state."
OUR DEBT BURDENAlso from The Chronicle, May 2nd - this letter from "A.T. Leahy", of Toowoomba:
"Interest on borrowed money and the tax levied to pay the interest are the twin causes of inflation. You don't reduce inflation by increasing interest rates, just as you don't put a fire out by adding more fuel. Treasurer Keating, in his sleight-of-hand reduction in taxation, has done nothing for Australia as a whole. What he has done to help some low income families will be offset by increased state taxes, because he is cutting advances to the States for roads, health and other services.
"In 1977, Australia owed overseas $3.7 billion. As of February 1989, Australia's overseas debt was $96 billion and increasing at $1 Billion per month. "Just to service this debt is taking 30% of all export income, wool, coal, iron ore, the lot. What sort of management is this? Do you really think the Canberra government is representing the Australian people or are they simply the tools of the international bankers?
"Just how much longer can this state of affairs go on? Right now this Government is hell bent on privatising the wheat industry. They talk of selling off Qantas and Telecom, even the Commonwealth Bank, and who has the money to buy these assets? Only the overseas bankers we owe the overseas debt to. "Isn't it about time we had a government with enough honesty and guts to restore the Commonwealth Bank to its pre-1924 status, have it produce our own money and send the foreign bankers home?"
THE MULTICULTURAL MESSby David Thompson
Even as the left wing idealogues step up all efforts to make the multicultural mess work in Australia, events make nonsense of the programme. As political bushfires break out in all parts of the world, foreigners living here respond as their emotions and political loyalties dictate. Last week the Speaker of the Iranian Parliament demanded the death of foreigners in retaliation for the Israeli killing of Palestinians on the West Bank. Such outrageous demands - no matter how strong the provocation - threaten the social structure of each country in which significant numbers of Moslems live.
The Salmon Rushdie affair, over the book "Satanic Verses", had ramifications all around the world, but countries like Britain and Australia with Moslem residents felt the fire of the fanatical demands of the Ayatolla from half way around the world. In Sydney and Melbourne bookshops buckled under pressure from Moslem groups, and stopped stocking the book. Probably the only other lobby group able to achieve that kind of result is the Zionist lobby!
'The Sydney Morning Herald' (27/3/89) reports comments made by the former Director General A.S.I.O., Harvey Barnett, concerning growing difficulties between the Turks and Armenians since the assassination of the Turkish Ambassador, in Sydney. He may well have referred to the conflict between the Taiwanese and the Communist Chinese now living in Australia, or the continuing conflict between the North and the South Vietnamese communities over the Vietnamese war. The African National Congress is permitted a representative in Sydney, which is a potential point of conflict with South African immigrants, and the struggle between the Serbs and the Croations living in Australia continues. None of these struggles need directly concern Australians, except that we have large numbers of these ethnic groups living here, and are intent upon importing more of the non-European immigrants. For as long as we persist with a suicidal immigration policy to fuel the multicultural conflagration, we can expect nothing but further stress upon an already weakening social structure. The immigration debate assumes greater importance on the Australian political agenda each day."
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