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4 August 1989. Thought for the Week: "It is highly significant that the worship of logic is characteristic of immaturity, of youth. At the age of eighteen or so, logic presents an indisputable proof for every problem. And it will be noticed, there has been, and is, a conscious 'youth movement' carrying with it the implication that wisdom reaches its apex in the early twenties. Yes it must be plain to anyone that not only is evidence lacking that logic has solved any political problems in the past, but, conversely, that the policies now current in world affairs, which pretend to base their appeal on logic, threaten us with destruction."
C.H. Douglas (1945)
ARE THE LIBERALS PULLING A DISINFORMATION EXERCISE?
"The Liberal Party swung into election gear last night with the airing of two 20-second televisions advertisements tapping the mortgage belt's concern with high interest rates." The Australian (July 31st)
We happened to view these Liberal Party advertisements and, although they were well enough produced, with Andrew Peacock doing his best to appear the concerned alternative Prime Minister, it went over like a lead balloon on us. What we would like to know from Mr. Peacock is HOW inflation will be reduced in order that interest rates can fall. We would like to know HOW "reward" for effort will be restored to the workplace. We are all for "changing the tax system in favour of families": it is much the reverse at present, and deliberately so - Fabian Socialist ideology demands that the concept of the Christian home and family be phased out. Notice all the Fabian Socialist legislation in favour of de facto relationships between men and women, and the consequent acknowledgement of such via Social Security payments. Yes, much of this legislation is based on United Nations Conventions, Declarations, etc.; but this reflects, again, on the world role of the United Nations; essentially an anti-Christian monster.
There is, electorally, no point in the Coalition political parties trying to "out-green" the Hawke-Keating-Richardson triumvirate! We foreshadowed such contention between parties in these pages in recent times ("we are greener than you are"), but the Coalition appears to be wary of this trap. The more extreme ("greener") environmental pollies are chastising Senator Richardson for not being further green. In fact, Mr. Peacock and his colleagues are to some extent standing aloof from the great "environmental debate", and taking a low-key approach. Perhaps they suspect that the Greenhouse Effect and Ozone Layer hysteria is just that - hysteria with a real purpose, viz, the pegs on which to hang politically centralist hats.
We, ourselves, are suspicious that Mr. Peacock and his minders do not want an early election at all. They are all making appropriate noises about welcoming an election, which we are inclined to dismiss as disinformation. Our belief is that the Liberals-Nats, well know that the economy in Australia, so far from improving, is much more likely to further worsen, and particularly in 1990. Our view is that Mr. Peacock would want Mr. Hawke to be in power next year (1990) so that the blame can be squarely directed at Messrs. Hawke and Keating. We don't really believe that Mr. Peacock and his closer colleagues want to fight for the Treasury Benches this year.
We realise and understand that the Liberals do not want to release their fiscal and taxation policies (if, indeed, they have them ready!) before Mr. Keating brings down the Budget shortly; however, they are not gaining any credibility by their continued vagueness. They are wasting money by taking expensive T.V. commercials to assure prospective voters that "they will fix it". Prospective voters want to have, at least, a few details about the methods to be used. If they said, "we'll reduce our debt some $X millions by reducing foreign aid, even $X millions by flogging off unnecessary Commonwealth ownership of lands no longer really essential for army, navy, Commonwealth purposes", well, that would be something concrete to chew on.
The Shadow Treasurer, Dr. Hewson, projects himself as a knowledgeable, affable sort of man but again no details. It's not good enough to say, "We'll make all this clear, later". Voters want clarification NOW before they'll switch parties. As we see things now, Mr. Hawke may just get away with his ploy of "marooning" the economic debate and heading for the expansive open GREEN waters of political salvation.
THE GREEN GAULEITER
"Senator Graham Richardson, the Federal Minister for the Environment and former headkicker-in-Chief for the right wing of the N.S.W. A.L.P., is a born-again greenie. He wants to stop logging in N.S.W. and Queensland forests and he wants to do it, he says, by 'negotiation' rather than by imperial edict." The Australian, July 28th.
We viewed Senator Richardson on weekend T.V. He is cock-a-hoop with his assumed "authority' vis-a-vis the Australian States. That he is a Socialist, political centralist is in no doubt at all. The Fabian Socialist ideology is well in place and starkly obvious. He has no "negotiation" on his mind at all. What he demands is that the States cave in to all his demands and not give him any bother, not rock the boat by going to the High Court, and thus stirring up some unfavourable publicity among the "States Rights" voters. None of that.
The Australian editorial (above) warns Senator Richardson that he is endangering the Australian federal system by abusing the External Affairs power of the Constitution, which The Australian correctly warns, "gives the Federal Government power beyond the wildest imaginings of the designers of our Constitution". Further, "Quicksands exist out there amidst all the greenery". We'll buy that. The "quicksands" are likely to be the fallacies of the Greenhouse-Ozone dodges; largely hoaxes, we believe.
THE GREENING OF SIR NINIAN
"All the considerable weight of esteem that he enjoyed (and earned) as head of state he has now cast in support of one side of politics. He has simply been hijacked by Hawke to push Labor's environmental policies at home and abroad. He will carry with him all the disinterestedness and dignity of a super salesman for one brand of vacuum cleaners." - Peter Ryan, in The Age (Melbourne), July 29th
Mr. Hawke did pull a clever one with the appointment of Sir Ninian. Did Sir Ninian want the job? Who knows? Perhaps he was persuaded. In any event, he has nailed his colours to the mast, now. Sir Ninian demonstrated that he is a political centralist with his ruling against the States, in the Koowarta decision; but Mr. Peter Ryan warns of the rapids ahead, and we agree with him. Firstly, with the "comic opera title of Ambassador for the Environment", he plunged into the "murky middle of conservation politics".
Secondly, the role of former Governors General. Like priests? Never retire? Like Field Marshals: on the "active list" until death. Peter Ryan instances the Governor Generalship of Sir Paul Hasluck, who noted that his Office was the "apex" of Australian public life. He also noted that the "apex" is not well shaped to be a stepping-stone.
Mr. Ryan deplores, rightly, the abuse of the External Affairs power "the use of the external affairs power as a constitutional fig leaf to render domestic policies decent is abhorred by most of us, whatever the High Court may say to the contrary "
A recent poll has revealed that an astonishing percentage of Australians don't even know that Australia has a Constitution (something like 40%). But Mr. Bruce Ruxton has said recently that some of the "40%" would consist of ethnic Australians. We would remind Mr. Ryan that it was Sir Ninian Stephen with three other judges who upheld the (ab)use of the External Affairs power of the Australian Constitution (the Koowarta ruling again). We are not sure whether "many leaders of the environment are not 100% sane", or not. Mr. Ryan observes that ..."guilt and enthusiasm combine to create a new Puritanism. And puritans, we know, are not moved by love, but by desire to punish "
We are wary of the motives of most ideologues in any sphere of human activity. Men's judgments can be distorted by ideology: the ideology can become the Reality to men, into which all manner of facts must be "interpreted" and squeezed. There is a religious component involved, we are sure. Satan, the Master of Deception, is ever lurking behind fallacies, to enter and distort the judgments of Man. "Why did he do it?" asks Peter Ryan. "Surely he is immune to the cincinnatus syndrome that so plagues His Eminence Malcolm Fraser - the desire to be called back from the plough to Greatness." We love that. No, we can't be certain "why he did it", either: maybe Sir Ninian is a much better jurist than a politician ... ''Soon he will find that what he did for himself was to put on a crown of thorns..."
TASMANIA AND THE AUSTRALIA ACT
"There is still an element of mystery surrounding Mr. Gray's tactics with the Governor, Sir Phillip Bennett, in the days leading up to the fall of his government on June 29th." The Weekend Australian, July 29-30
According to most of the political commentators we have read, the "Australia Act, 1986" virtually knocked out the powers of the Crown (State Governors) at State level. The State Governor, henceforth, MUST act on the advice of his Premier. For the Fabian Socialists, this move was a necessary pre-requisite for the (intended) attack on the Crown at the Federal level (Governor General); as a necessary strategy, the Power of the Crown in the States had to be knocked out first. Well, did the Tasmanian Governor take the advice of his Premier, Mr. Robin Gray? The Australia Act lays down that he MUST so do. No one is saying anything about the Australia Act and this in itself, is suspicious. Yes, yes, we do admit that we are suspicious people, but we know what the Fabians and the other subversive groups can get up to. From media reports during the Tasmanian political "crisis" we deduced that Mr. Gray wanted another election; in which case, the Governor did NOT take his Premiere s advice. There are a few unknowns here. We know that the Governor was taking a great deal of constitutional advice from experts: he wasn't kowtowing to Mr. Gray. What about the Australia Act then? Is it enforceable? Are there any ways around it? This is a matter actionists should raise with recognised constitutional authorities.
FROM 'IN BRIEF' : THE WEEKEND AUSTRALIA, JULY 29th-3Oth
"The World's Greatest Greenie is Bob
"When a politician asks you to let him
make it perfectly clear, you can be sure you are about to
have the wool pulled over your eyes.
"It is a telling commentary on 'market
forces' that five years after the deregulation of the banking
system, the increased competition has resulted in higher not
lower interest rates and a barrage of bank charges."
GREENHOUSE: DON'T OVER-REACT
From The Australian, July 27th:
"There is no question that the human species is having an
effect on the general environment in which it exists. Much
of the effect has been and some still is detrimental to long
term and acceptable environmental standards and stability.
"However, we are being gradually conditioned to believe that
anything man made or man created is abhorrent and out of balance
with nature. "It would seem to some that anything 'natural'
is marvelous and majestic, whether it be cyclones, floods,
erosion, earthquakes, or other disastrous events. Let man
build dams, flood valleys, disturb the earth, event temporarily,
and he is criticised and vilified.
"The conservation question is not new. Many thinking people have been aware for decades of the need for husbanding and preservation of the earth's resources. "This was highlighted in a book written in 1960 by the American author Vance Packard entitled The Waste Makers. "The difference between then and now is that these days conservation is a vote catcher and I suspect that is the extent of some politicians' interest in the subject." (Richard Carroll, Gordon Park, Qld.) The Australian, July 27th.
BLAME RESTS WITH KEATING"I was astounded to hear Paul Keating's comments on the cause of the balance of payments blow out during an interview shortly after the release of the June balance of payments figure. "He absolved himself and the Government of all responsibility and blamed the private sector, particularly the manufacturers, for sitting on their hands for 18 months after his Government had created the right climate for investment. He then said the private sector had rushed in during the year ending June 1989, and had invested too much. "The enormity of his statement hit me when he instanced the fact that the Australian motor vehicle industry was at fault because it had produced fewer cars this year than it produced three years ago. Has he forgotten the fringe benefits tax that his Government introduced and which decimated the industry? "While we have politicians who are unable to accept responsibility for the results created by 'their' management, Australia will continue to lag in the world of productivity."
(J. Forsyth, Terrey Hills, N.S.W.), The Australian, July 27th
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