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"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"
Edmund Burke
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16 April 1992. Thought for the Week: "The ramifications of the New World Order permeate politics, finance, education, the media and, of course, religion. Most of those who serve it have no inside knowledge of the Grand Design. They act either out of a shrewd sense that this is the side on which their bread is buttered or else out of genuine idealism. For idealism has always been a useful handmaid of conspiracy. The idealist is blind to the limitations of human nature. Therefore he can often be persuaded to do terrible things for the sake of an impossible vision."
W.D. Chalmers, in The Conspiracy of Truth (1978).

PARTIES TAKE A HAMMERING IN WILLS BY-ELECTION

by David Thompson
The election of independent Mr. Phil Cleary to the seat of Wills in last weekend's by-election is the greatest demonstration that nothing is inevitable in politics. But although Mr. Cleary's victory was a sharp rebuke to Labor - the A.L.P. suffered a staggering 20% fall in the primary vote - it could well prove a serious body blow to the Opposition. If Dr. Hewson was ever to stake his claim to the Prime Ministership, it was in Wills - located in Victoria where the Kirner Labor Government is bitterly unpopular, and treated with contempt by the former M.P., Mr. Bob Hawke. The election of a second independent to Canberra must change the political landscape completely for the lead up to the next Federal election. Despite Mr. Hawke's backhanded endorsement of Mr. Cleary (to the horror of the A.L.P. strategists) as "a good bloke" and that he would be "a good representative", there is no evidence that he shows a commitment to any fundamental philosophical position. But he can still perform an essential service for both Wills and the rest of Australia. He has made a sterling beginning simply by being elected. Ted Mack broke the accepted political wisdom that an independent can't be elected any more. Cleary has thoroughly underlined the fact that not only can it be done once, but that it can be done again. It is this that will force a dramatic change in the basic assumptions of Australian politics in the period ahead. It is now obviously possible that a group of independents can not least challenge the party parliamentary monopoly, raising vital issues and forcing the parties to debate them. Cleary has already shown a willingness to work with Mr. Mack, saying at least "we'll be able to put ideas into the forum".

CLEARY HAMMERS LEVEL PLAYING FIELD
One of the ideas against which Cleary campaigned strongly was the fashionable economic 'rationalism' of the level playing field, with the elimination of tariffs and the internationalisation of the economy. Wills has 98 textile, footwear or clothing businesses. It has an unemployment level of 19%, with a youth unemployment rate approaching 30%. Such language struck a nerve that even Keating was forced to acknowledge with his cynical, clumsy retreat from the A.L.P. objective of zero tariffs by the year 2000. It was similar language which, when employed by U.S. presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, wounded President Bush so seriously in the presidential primaries.

Cleary's was a much more genuine appeal to 'nationalism' than Paul Keating's bogus concept of nationalism; cutting the British ties, and tugging the forelock to Asia. Cleary was, in effect, saying that it was time that we put Australia and Australians first, not the global market, level playing field, or any other economic theory. This is language that not only the Wills' voters understood, but the voters right across the country understand. It is certain that the dramatic result in Wills is sending shockwaves through all political parties. Mr. Cleary had two great assets in his election campaign: Mr. Keating and Dr. Hewson - both of whom campaigned strongly in the electorate, completely overshadowing their candidates. Keating still carries heavy political baggage as the architect of "the recession we had to have". The pain is as acute in Wills as anywhere. "One Nation" as an economic statement has failed to move mountains, and it is evident that while his abrasive republican rhetoric makes for good parliamentary theatre, it did not translate as votes in Wills.

FIGHTBACK IN RETREAT
Dr. Hewson, however, is in much deeper trouble than Mr. Keating. The Liberals suffered a 7% swing against them in Wills, and this by-election simply confirmed the widely held impression that there is little electoral enthusiasm for the Opposition "Fightback" package. The goods and services tax (G.S.T.) is the deadly component in the Opposition platform. The Wills failure follows a State by-election in W.A. the previous Saturday, in which the A.L.P., still suffering the political stench of the "W.A. Inc." Royal Commission, managed to hold the Liberals out of the seat of Ashburton.

Members of the Liberal Party are becoming increasingly restless about Hewson' s single-minded determination to "sell" the G.S.T. It becomes more and more likely that the Opposition membership base must decide whether to persist with Hewson and the G.S.T., abandon both, or persuade Dr. Hewson to abandon the G.S.T. in time for its odour to wear off before the next election.

Six months ago the suggestion that Keating could win the next election if he led the A.L.P. was met with derision. A Coalition win, led by Dr. Hewson, seemed "inevitable" and the polls indicated so. The political landscape is shifting, and Keating, heartened by the shock return of the Conservative Party in Britain, led by Mr. John Major, could yet achieve the impossible. If he does so, it will only be because of the poor calibre of the Opposition. They provide no genuine, alternative in either their policies or their philosophy. The Coalition is failing conservative voters. Mr. Pat Buchanan, in the United States, has shown that there is an alternative, and Mr. Phil Cleary, Member for Wills, has emphasised it.


RETREAT FROM SUPER GOVERNMENT

The re-election of the British Conservative Party last week was met with almost universal disbelief, even by Senior Ministers. Nicholas Rothwell, reporting for The Australian from London, wrote: "not a single opinion poll taken during the past month of campaigning came even remotely close to forecasting the election result, suggesting either a collapse of the pollster's art, or an extraordinary late surge to Mr. Major.

" If there is any logical explanation for the Major victory, it can only be that Mr. Major, in sheer desperation, began to retreat from his commitment to Europe in the dying days of the election campaign. Apart from the last two days the European issue, with the potential to deeply divide the electorate - and the parties - had been significantly ignored. It was almost as if an unspoken bipartisan agreement existed not to mention Europe, lest a nervous electorate cement a party into government with an undertaking to ignore international embarrassment and retreat from the European nightmare.

The European correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald, Mr. Paul McGeough, reported on the absence of debate about Europe only two days before polling day: "In the next day or so, there is the risk that Tory elements, frustrated by the lack of momentum in the election campaign, may become desperate enough to break ranks on the issue. "One Tory M.P. did just that last Tuesday. A former Tory leader in the Commons, John Biffen, urged Major to go no further down the road to monetary and political union ... He said: "It's small wonder that the political establishment would like to leave the issue dormant, but on any account it will soon reawaken. Indeed, Europe is not asleep. It continues to be the major challenge to British politicians and its place in a general election deserves to be recognised."

COLD FEET ON EUROPE
As this report was being published, Mr. Major did begin to pull back from the Treaty on European Unity, signed last December in Maastricht, Holland. Britain has yet to ratify the Treaty on monetary and political union in Europe, and Major was sufficiently aware of British sensitivity to negotiate special concessions at the time of signing.

Faced with the prospect of losing government, Mr. Major apparently decided to defy "the establishment" of the City of London - dominated by 500 banking groups who orchestrated Mrs. Thatcher's destruction when she also began to retreat from merging Britain with Europe. Mr. Major would have been fully aware of the strong grassroots undercurrent against European union, not only in Britain. Last year Belgian voters supported "right wing" and environmental parties against the governing pro-European Christian Democrats. This pattern was emphasised in French local government elections, in which the National Front delivered a devastating blow to Mitterand's strong support for European union.

The issues in France (and Germany) were dominated by the prospect of mass migration within a European super-government with few national border restrictions. Ratification of the Maastricht Treaty in the 12 nation E.C. will be very difficult in France and Germany, where Mr. Kohl is pro-Europe.

In recent German State elections a strong backlash against immigration and European policies underlined opinion polls now showing a majority of Germans opposed to the Maastricht Treaty. In the Italian election, a number of separatist groups, like the Lombardy League and the South Tyrol People's Party, made big gains against European Union, and in the Irish Republic a referendum is to be held on the Maastricht Treaty. It is feared that Irish voters will reject it, because under European union the Social Charter would not permit the Irish to make their own decisions on the issue of abortion. It should also be noted that the Scottish nationalists also suffered losses in the British elections, campaigning on independence from Britain within Europe. It is significant that the Conservatives gained two Scottish seats.

TREATY DIFFICULT TO RATIFY: Paul McGeough comments further: "Few voters fully understand that the deals already done mean that at the end of this year the citizens of Britain will become citizens of Europe, that despite some jiggery/pokery at Maastricht, the E.C. is on the way to common foreign affairs and defence policy. "By its very nature Brussels will go on demanding a greater say in the lives of Britain. . . . Why, under a government that has been hell-bent on deregulation is Britain subjecting itself to more than 7,000 regulations churned out by Brussels every year? Why can Brussels overrule British legislation? Why does Brussels regulate the British environment? . .


BRITISH BETRAYAL? KEATING HAS SOME FENCES TO MEND

from The Age (Melbourne), 6/4
The Prime Minister's facile diversion astonished the country when he accused Britain of 'betrayal' and 'lack of support' during World War II. Many Australians, myself included, served in the Royal Navy, and now a large number of Royal Naval personnel live in Australia, as Australians. All of us resent his remarks and want no part of such inaccurate and distasteful politicking.

"We say this because of the many British comrades who lost their lives in the general strategic defence of Australia. We recall with honour and gratitude, those who died ashore in the Far East, those who gave their lives in H.M.S. Repulse, H.M.S. Prince of Wales, H.M.S. Exeter, and H.M.S. Electra, to name a few. And of course, those who lost their lives in raids and in submarines and aircraft. And we must not forget the Pows. involved in this area.

"We were amazed that the Prime Minister of our country was not appraised of the presence of British naval personnel here in Australia in its variety of roles. In or close to his own constituency were H.M.A.S. Golden Hind, the home and base of hundreds of Royal Navy personnel, and the H.Q. of all R.N. operations in the Pacific arena, which no doubt assisted in the defence of Australia. Could he not have heard of the Royal Naval Hospital 'Herne Bay' in, or not far from, his constituency, which was in full operation up to the end of the war, and which looked after many members of the Royal Navy wounded in the Pacific area, myself included?

"Finally, the British Pacific Fleet consisting of four carriers, cruisers, destroyers, submarines, plus a large fleet train of supply ships, set sail for Australia after 'D' Day in Europe, raiding the oil wells in Palembang on the way. Pity Mr. Keating could not have seen the 336 Royal Navy ships and 300 aircraft gathered in Sydney Harbour before taking part in the battles that took place at Leyte, Sakashima, Iwo Jima, and then present at the signing of the Japanese surrender in Tokyo harbour.

"So much for 'betrayal' and 'lack of support', not to mention the slur on British lives lost on our behalf. The harm done in diplomatic relations with our oldest friend is becoming evident in the media and in personal letters. The Prime Minister has some fences to mend." (Michael Parker, Toorak, Vic.)


ESCAPE FROM THE GNASHING JAWS

from The Age (Melbourne), 6/4
As an English migrant who has lived and worked in this country for nearly 30 years, I wish to register my anxiety over the latest round of Brit bashing. "I would think that every migrant ever to set foot in Australia has suffered from prejudice of some sort, but none more than the English migrant. It's a national past time and for almost 30 years I've accepted it and tried to ignore it, but now the verbal abuse is getting more vocal and extremely spiteful, I am concerned as to where it will end. "Unfortunately, we have a funny way of talking which is an immediate giveaway, even though we look like Australians. In company, as soon as you start to speak, someone will say 'A bloody Pom'. I will not attend luncheons any more where the people are all Australians. I prefer to attend small mixed race functions. Not so many gnashing jaws. "And if Australia becomes a republic, choose your president with care. You surely wouldn't want one that accuses wartime Britain of dumping Australia and a few days later entertains Japanese businessmen and keeps silent." (Pauline Sisson, Knoxfield, Vic.)

OUR ASIAN LEANINGS BORDER ON THE ABSURD

Australia is not now, and has never been, a part of Asia. Geographical proximity does not make one nation automatically part of an adjacent are. If it did, then the United States, with its long border with Mexico, would be part of Latin America." Terry Lane (columnist) in The Sunday Age (Melbourne), April 12th

We were rubbing our eyes, in disbelief, when we read Mr. Lane's column (above). Full marks to Mr. Lane for calling a spade a spade: we urge as many supporters as possible to purchase a copy of this edition of the above newspaper to win some fresh air of commonsense. It shouldn't stop there; actionists should write to congratulate Mr. Lane for his courage in coming out with the truth: he will be attacked by the One-World/New World Order brigade. We just can't reproduce the full article: pity. We shall cull out some of the highlights for supporters to savour.

"Why Mr. Keating, who no doubt can play the bleeding heart multiculturalist when there are votes in it, should be so anxious for us to forget our 'blood ties' to Britain is a mystery. Surely congenial relations with Asia are not incompatible with continued affection for Britain. Or Italy. Or Greece…it is peculiar behaviour to insult constantly the nation which founded European Australia and gave us the institutions of constitutional government, the rule of law and a tradition of tolerance, which are certainly not universally respected throughout Asia.

"Our language comes from Britain, our philosophical way of considering the world comes from Greece. Our art comes from France and Holland, our music from Italy, Austria and Russia. Our religion comes from Palestine via Rome and Constantinople, and most of our popular culture comes from the U.S.A. We are not in any sense an Asian nation. We are beyond shadow of doubt a European nation…"

"We could do worse than emulate Switzerland. The Swiss are discreet, selfish, confident and beholden to no one but themselves. They could lighten up and be a bit more generous, perhaps, but basically they have international relations figured out. They rely on no one but themselves. They play host to many worthy international organisations, but they do not belong to most of them. Their significant altruistic contribution to the world is the International Red Cross, which goes about quietly ameliorating the worst effect of war. It is rich, respected and trusted with the world's cash …."

(And finally). "An Australian federation - armed, neutral and confident, carefully managing its borders and discreetly minding its own business - would earn us more respect than abusing the Poms and crawling to the Asians, don't you think?"
YES, MR. LANE. WE DO THINK SO!

© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159