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22 May 1992. Thought for the Week: "The Prime Minister's national self-deprecation in Jakarta, his distaste for our flag, is part of a growing pattern of the politics of cultural despair, the growing mood that our forebears got it all wrong and that Australia should never have been settled by the British in 1788. The time has come to throw off this nonsense. We can solve our problems we can be the best in the world again, if we really want to be. But we have to understand ourselves as we really are, to have confidence in our ability to solve our problems, and not try to pretend to ourselves, and to the rest of the world, that we have something different. That way lies tragedy."
Hugh Morgan, Managing Director, Western Mining Corporation, Sunday Herald-Sun, May 17th.
BACKLASH AGAINST PARTIES GROWING
The sleazy activities of some of Australia's politicians are revolting to all decent people. And they make good copy for those journalists who are constantly looking for some scandal to write about. This saves them from probing much more serious questions. Whether or not Senator Richardson clings to office or is forced to stand down is relatively unimportant compared with Australia's deeply seated problems - economic, financial, social and spiritual. There is an old truism that people get the governments they deserve; they have used their political votes to elect party politicians with little thought as to how to control their paid servants.
There are encouraging signs that a growing number of electors have decided that enough is enough. The latest public opinion polls record a sharp decline in electoral support for the major political parties and a substantial increase in support for Independents. Labor was still reeling from the Wills by-election when Labor candidates in two South Australian by-elections finished third behind the Democrats. The Labor candidates were not assisted by the continuing South Australian State Bank Royal Commission.
Dr. John Hewson's electoral prospects have not been assisted by fellow Liberal Premier Greiner, hailed at one time as a rising star in the Liberal firmament, who clearly is in trouble. Not surprisingly, Liberal Party strategists would welcome the early election of a Carr Labor Government in N.S.W., while in Victoria the Kirner Government is being encouraged by their Federal Labor colleagues to have an early election and allow a Jeff Kennett Liberal Government have at least six months in which to demonstrate that it is no improvement on the Kirner Government. Such is the cynicism of party politics.
Irrespective of what they try, the Party strategists are now facing a completely new situation in Australian politics. Adding to the political ferment is the statement by Ted Drane of the Shooters' Association, just back from the U.S.A., that his movement is now going political. He points out the obvious, that multiculturalism has failed completely in the U.S.A. and that immigration is now a major issue. Equally important Drane says that his movement supports the principle of C.I.R., enabling the Australian people to have an effective say on the big issues confronting Australia. Other grassroots groups are emerging, including the recently launched Union of Farmers in South Australia.
We cannot stress too strongly that the major "acid test" which must be applied to the many candidates, which are certainly going to emerge at the next Federal Elections, are they in favour of the Citizens Initiative and Referendum concept, the minimum being at least support for the Electors' Veto.
The stock reply by the party strategists is to
claim that Independents can do no good in Parliament. What needs to
be widely publicised is that during the early dark days of the Second
World War, there were many Independents in Australia's Parliaments,
particularly in South Australia, where W. McGillvray of Chaffey was
responsible for having a motion passed in the South Australian Parliament
calling upon the Federal Government to use national credit to finance
the war effort to the maximum.
This movement was responsible for the 1940 Federal Elections finishing with the balance of power held by two Independents, A.W. Coles of the famous Coles Stores, and Alex Wilson from the Mallee, Victoria. Wilson was prominently associated with the financial reform movement and eventually decided that national survival depended upon bringing the John Curtin Government to office.
Only a political ignoramus would dispute that the Curtin Government's liberal use of national financial credit enabled Australia to maximise the war effort, with both primary and secondary industries stimulated. It was the same Curtin Government, which broke with financial orthodoxy to implement a system of consumer price discounts which eliminated inflation in Australia for five years. Australia's situation is even more critical today than it was during the dark days when Australia was fighting for survival against the Japanese thrust south. The nation pulled itself together during that critical period. The Independents played an honourable role at this time. Independents can do the same again today.
THE MONARCHISTS CALLED TO ACTION
by David Thompson
But nothing can be taken for granted certainly where Paul Keating is concerned. He is an unpredictable opportunist. It is almost certain that the real target is not the flag, but the Monarchy. It would be extremely dangerous to confuse any perceived success in defence of the flag with similar support for the Monarchy. It may have been assumed by some that the huge Anzac Day crowds, with thousands of Australian flags being waved, was a pointed rejection of the Prime Minister's attack upon the Monarchy and the flag. This is most deceptive.
An opinion poll conducted for "Quadrant" magazine, and published in Australia's biggest circulation newspaper, The Herald-Sun, last Sunday, indicated that 64% of those polled would support a republic. Even allowing for unusual inaccuracies of polls, and the deceptive way in which questions can be asked, this is a very ominous sign for Monarchists. It underlines, more than ever, that while there is an emotional attachment to the queen, no amount of emotion can sustain a gradual, long-term campaign to undermine the Monarchy. This poll showed, significantly that the proposition of a republic was supported most strongly by the young.
LONG-TERM EDUCATIONAL CAMPAIGN
There is little doubt that any Constitutional changes to turn our political system into a republic would certainly result in the loss of the reserve powers' of the Monarchy. In the end, it could be that only the Monarch's reserve powers can protect Australia from being absorbed into the New World Order. What are these powers? How can they be applied? Who has access to them? These issues must be debated. How many Australians even know such powers exist?
There are other more dangerous people than Paul Keating opposing the Monarchy. Last week the head of the Australian Republican Movement, Mr. Malcolm Turnbull, actually attacked Mr. Keating for re-writing history in order to drum up support for a republic. Turnbull (a lawyer and merchant banker in partnership with Neville Wran) knows that a referendum must eventually be held to establish a republic. He also knows that there is little chance of this succeeding unless both the main parties support a change. Turnbull is concerned that Keating's "irrational, unfair comments" were leading people to regard republicanism as a "Labor versus Liberal" debate.
TURNBULL BLASTS KEATING
We have much for which to thank Mr. Keating. He has politically polarised the issue, as Turnbull says. He has drawn the battle lines in an unmistakeable way. Let us now proceed to give the republicans a long-term thrashing by arguing the practical advantages of the Monarchy, and challenging every republican assumption. The whole future of Australia could balance on this campaign. It must begin immediately.
A REVEALING LETTER ON THAT 'LEVEL PLAYING FIELD'
The following important letter by Mr. John Yates,
of Favorite Plastics Pty. Ltd., N.S.W., appeared in a recent issue of
the "Newcastle Morning Herald": "No wonder we are in a recession,
and if my experience with the Federal Government is typical then it
will be a long time before we are back to the Lucky Country status.
"After two months I received a reply advising me that 'my letter has now been passed on to the Minister for Small Business, The Hon. David Beddall'. "Why does it take two months to be referred? How long will it take to receive an answer to my questions? "Is this another example of how our manufacturing industry is being destroyed because the Whitlam Government signed the Lima Declaration in 1975? "This was a U.N. Declaration to reduce manufacturing in Australia so that we could import more goods from Third World countries. "It is also, and I quote section 26, 'A program of action on the establishment of a New International Economic Order'. In other words a one world government....
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