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25 January 1992. Thought for the Week: "If Departments can today legislate beyond the reach of Parliament and if, as they do constantly, they exclude the jurisdiction of the ordinary courts, substituting for it the jurisdiction of their own departmental tribunals, is it not clear that they have effectively excluded the rule of law and the control of Parliament from increasingly wide areas of the subject's social existence? If this is so, is it not clear that 'the rule of law' and 'the sovereignty of Parliament' have both become polite and increasingly meaningless fictions?"
Professor (later Judge) G.W. Keeton in The Passing of Parliament
MISLEADING NONSENSE ON BILL OF RIGHTS
If Mr. Peter Sawyer is attempting to undermine the credibility of those concerned about the development of the totalitarian state, and the loss of Australia's sovereignty, he is, unfortunately, making a substantial contribution towards this end. If it were not for the fact that Peter Sawyer's latest sensationalism, a claim that Governor General Bill Hayden gave his assent to a "Bill of Rights" on Christmas Day, December 25th, this resulting in the League of Rights receiving agitated phone calls from all over Australia, we would not be commenting.
Apart from preventing people from being seriously misled, once again sections of the media have attempted to link Peter Sawyer with the League. Peter Sawyer is not a member of the League and never has been a member. Peter Sawyer's false claim tends to divert attention away from the fact that December 25th, 1991, was the date on which what is known as the "(First) Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights" automatically came into force. This was the result of Australia depositing with the Secretary General of the United Nations, on September 25th, what is technically described as an "instrument of accession".
Article 9 of the "(First) Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights" states, "... the present Protocol shall enter into force three months after the date of deposit with the Secretary General of the United Nations of the tenth instrument of ratification or accession". December 25th is three months after September 25th. Governor-General Bill Hayden was not required to do anything, or to sign anything. He did not sign any "Bill of Rights under the External Powers of the Constitution, a Bill Peter Sawyer alleges was not debated in Parliament.
In order to bring this matter into proper perspective, it is necessary to go back to the beginning of the Bill of Rights issue. The Australian Bill of Rights Bill was introduced into the Federal Parliament on October 9th, 1985, by the Hawke Government. Its advocates said that it was essential to pass the legislation in order to give effect to Australia's ratification of the U.N. Human Rights Treaty, The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This ratification had taken place on August 13th, 1980, under the Fraser Government. The Bill was passed by the House of Representatives without dissent on November 14th, 1985. The Bill was then introduced into the Senate on December 2nd as part of a "package" including the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Bill.
As the result of a growing volume of public opposition, this reflected in the Senate, the Government decided it had to make a tactical retreat, stating that if the other legislation linked with the Bill of Rights were passed, the Bill of Rights Bill would be withdrawn. This subsequently took place, on November 28th, 1986, with an amended form of the Human Rights and Opportunity Commission Bill being presented to the Senate where it passed without dissent. The Bill was then sent to the House of Representatives where it passed all stages, again without dissent.
One of Australia's most eminent constitutional lawyers, Dr. David Mitchell, has expressed the view that although the Bill of Rights Bill did not become law "its ghost is fully inscribed in the statute books". He is referring to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act, 1986. But this Act does not apply to the States.
Rather than attempt to bring in a new Bill of Rights Bill or attempt to amend the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Act, which would produce a new political storm, the Government decided to become a party to the Optional Protocol in Order to meet the requirements of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Government announced its intentions to accede to the Protocol on July 31st, 1991.
The effect of the Protocol is to allow individuals to make any complaints about alleged human rights abuses to the United Nations Human Rights Committee. It clears the way for the implementation of the Bill of Rights by a backdoor approach. Considering the pathetic role of the Federal Opposition in this whole affair, and their failure to oppose the overall programme for internationalising Australia, all Australians should be concerned about their traditional rights in the future. But they will not be assisted by Peter Sawyer's allegations that Governor General Bill Hayden has assented to a Bill of Rights which removed the right to own private property, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom from unwarranted search, the right to trial by jury and the right to bear firearms.
Even worse than these false allegations, which
seriously reflect on the Vice Regal Office, are Peter Sawyer's denigrating
comments about the Governor General personally. We were opposed to the
appointment of Mr. Bill Hayden as Governor General, and said so. But
like many before him, Mr. Hayden has been influenced by the character
of his Office, and as far as we have been able to observe, he has carried
out his duties with appropriate dignity.
Prime Minister Paul Keating should take little comfort from the swing to the Labor Party in the N.S.W. by-election. It is an old political truism that electors vote governments OUT, not new governments IN. By-elections often provide electors with the opportunity of casting a protest vote against the government. N.S.W. Premier Nick Griener and Liberal Federal Opposition Leader Dr. Hewson are very similar in their philosophies. Dr. Hewson vigorously participated in the by-election contest, mentioning his Consumption Tax, generally described as the GST. But obviously the electors were not over impressed and felt that a continuation of a government depending upon the Independents, who hold the balance of power, was the best option.
Australia has now reached record unemployment figures. These figures do not tell the real story, as large numbers have not bothered to be listed. And many others are working only part time. But in spite of this fact, there is no shortage of consumer production, with advertisers feverishly urging people to buy more at discounted prices. If there is adequate production without the million currently listed as unemployed, then obviously the economic system is so efficient that it only requires a fraction of the Australian adult population to operate it. But if there are areas where increased production is required, housing, then why are not young Australians in particular trained as apprentices in the various industries associated with building and this would require the creation of more money in the form of financial credit. But the "experts" claim that such creation of new money would be "dangerous", and threaten the strategy, which has produced a low inflation rate. A study of what is happening in every country in the world shows that under orthodox debt finance, low inflation is only possible by depressing the economy. The worst sufferers of this are the young, whose lives are often blighted at a most critical age. Social breakdown becomes more acute. The continued worship of the debt system must cease if there is to be a worthwhile future. But instead of boldly announcing that he has a programme to turn Australia around, Prime Minister Paul Keating has been asking a selected number of people if they have any ideas he can use. He went to Victoria where his meeting with trade unionists was organised by Premier Joan Kirner's ideological friend, Wally Curran, a radical trade unionist notorious for his wrecking tactics in the meat industry. The truth is that, having become Prime Minister with a small majority of the Federal Labor Party Paul Keating has demonstrated that he is not capable of any real leadership.
The report that half of Australia's migrants for 1990-1991 were from Asia, while only 27 percent from Britain and Europe, provides more striking, and disturbing evidence that there is a formal policy to force Australia down the multicultural road. What is required is a flood of letters to politicians and to the media, protesting against the current immigration policies. We can still provide free of charge the special League Survey, dealing with the subject and providing the opportunity for a "vote". Immigration must be made a major issue at the next Federal Elections.
THE BOTTOM LINEFrom The Australian, January 13th
You little ripper. I dreamt I'd just won $900,000 in Tattslotto and went to see my bank manager. Put it on fixed deposit, he said, and I'll give you 9% interest. The sum of $81,000 a year is not to be sneezed at, I thought. And what about security? I said. What do you mean? said the bank manager. "Well when I borrowed $50,000 from you for my business you wanted to know how I would spend it. You wanted a mortgage on my house, you wanted budgets and cash flows and personal guarantees from all the directors". "But the bank's credibility is beyond question" he said," and furthermore its Government guaranteed". That didn't stop the State Banks of Victoria and South Australia getting into serious financial trouble, I thought. Not to mention the likes of Pyramid going to the wall. And the Government is not too flush with money, anyway, with all this talk of banana republics, recessions and overseas debts of $130 Billion. "All right I said, I'll invest the money with you provided you don't lend it to some Third World country like Argentina, or Chile and you arrange personal guarantees for me from all your directors. "It's not done that way, he said. "Crickey, I thought, they want it all their own way so I decided to buy a property in Queensland and sell it to the Japanese at double the price. Just as I was about to clinch the deal, I woke up". (Tom Colcheedas, Moorooduc, Vic.)
IS LANGUAGE REALLY IN DECLINE?from The Australian, January 10th
"In deploring declining standards in English, Professor David Myers suggests that this decline is the fault of an entire community 'which just doesn't care enough'. "It is not the community which should be blamed but rather a claque of educational ideologues who are so obsessed with achieving equality of outcomes that they have reduced English - and other subjects - to the lowest common denominator. "In Victoria, for example, our organisation has been highly critical of the new V.C.E. and we have tried strenuously to reverse the decline in standards. We have held three public seminars, made many submissions and written numerous letters. We have had substantial success in the field of mathematics because of the support we received from the heads of mathematics departments at Monash and Melbourne Universities - an external panel has been appointed to review V.C.E. Maths. "We have also been successful in that Australian Studies is no longer compulsory - its compulsory imposition on hapless students in Year 11 (eleven) had meant the elimination of preferred options such as literature, history, or second languages. It was community pressure, which impelled the Government (of Victoria ... O.T.) to make the change. "So far we have not been successful in improving English because there has not been sufficient support from academics in the universities, with the honourable exception of the indefatigable Professor David Pennington of Melbourne. Many other academics seem to be more interested in deconstructing not only English but possibly the entire universe, so we have made little headway despite highlighting the issues of assessment, cheating and declining standards - for example, the only external exam for V.C.E. English involves just one essay of as little as 400 words. The essay choices are worded so vaguely that students can prepare and memorise an essay in advance. "The fault lies not with parents or community groups, but with teacher ideologues and academics. (Babette Francis, National & Overseas Co-Ordinator, Endeavour Forum, Toorak, Vic.)
BEWARE THE PEOPLE WHO TALK OF PEACE IN OUR TIMEFrom The Age (Melbourne), January 10th
"Because those who are elected to govern are obliged, above all else to do whatever is necessary to ensure their nation's security, I am alarmed that so many political leaders, abetted by seemingly reputable media commentators and correspondents, are suggesting that the disintegration of the Soviet Union signals enduring peace. "Many events of recent times, while seemingly incredible, are true. Witness the protracted Iran-Iraq War; the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, and the subsequent Middle East War, the complete disintegration of the Soviet Union; the on-going war in Yugoslavia. Closer to home we cannot overlook recent disturbing events such as the coup in Fiji, the insurrection in Bougainville and the Dili massacre.
"Could this record suggest that we will enjoy 'peace with honour... peace for our time.' in much the same way as Prime Minister Chamberlain naively suggested we would after his Munich meeting with Adolf Hitler, the German Fuehrer and Chancellor, on 30th September 1938?
"The dangers which attend a continuing, exceedingly high rate of youth unemployment, a worldwide recession and the economic woes of the former states of the Soviet Union do not suggest that the world is now a more stable or tranquil place than it was when Chamberlain made his unwise prediction, less than a year before the outbreak of World War II.
"Add to this the uncertainty of the future of the vast Soviet war machine which, while currently lacking authoritative and credible control, still has very significant and devastating potential. "Australia's elected representatives must cease to force our nation 'to drop its guard' by decimating its defence force, merely to save money. Instead, they should ponder recent events - in our near neighbourhood and around the world - to realise that they should be reinforcing or maintaining, rather than decimating our existing (albeit meager) national defence capability". (Ian Gilmore, Mt.Macedon, Vic.)
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