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Christian based service movement warning about threats to rights and freedom irrespective of the label.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"
Edmund Burke
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On Target

31 January 1992. Thought for the Week: "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be."
U.S.A. President Thomas Jefferson


by Eric D. Butler
I attended the rally of the embattled Compass Airlines company in the Melbourne Town Hall Square on Thursday, January 23rd, and absorbed some of the spirit, which could yet save Australia. From a conventional viewpoint, Compass is but one more company, which has failed because it failed to meet the requirements of orthodox finance economics. But the Compass drama touches the very heart of the crisis now gripping Australia.

The Compass question is not merely one of accountancy; it concerns the subject of whether Australia has the spiritual strength to survive. The amazing spirit being demonstrated by Compass staff and supporters is a tremendous tonic at the present time. This is the type of spirit required to save Australia. Bryan Grey, the inspiration and driving force behind the Compass project, belongs to that breed of Australians who made the nation by "having a go". Compass revolutionalised air transport throughout Australia. The social impact has been enormous. For the first time Australians could move around their own country at a reasonable price. Members of families who had never previously been able to come together now found that it was possible to do this. During a time of severe depression conditions, Compass generated growth.

While the accountants will argue that Compass discounted airfares to an unrealistically low level, they demonstrated that the Australian public had been exploited for years by the comfortable arrangements imposed by the two-air service policy. The no-frills policy of Compass was typically Australian. Those who flew Compass can vouch for the friendly, efficient and generally excellent service.

One of the most inspiring aspects of the Compass operation, as witnessed by the efforts of the Compass staff, is the spirit of the staff. It is difficult to recall any parallel in Australian history. It has been stated by a representative on an overseas airline that Compass has developed an asset, which is the envy of other airlines: the tremendous esprit de corps of Compass staff. Compass has been a genuinely all-Australian project.

Bryan Grey was in comparative retirement when the at long last policy of airline deregulation was introduced. From a strictly financial aspect, he did not need to return to aviation. But clearly he was a man with a vision and he believed that Australians deserved better than they had been getting. He decided to "have a go".

His capital base was almost certainly too small, but it was provided by Australians. There was some bad luck. All of his chosen aircraft were not delivered on schedule. The unforeseen Gulf War forced oil prices upwards and had a devastating effect on fuel costs. But one of the biggest problems Compass had to face was its inability to gain ready access to air terminals. Generally overlooked is the fact that in the conflict with Ansett and Australian concerning heavily discounted airfares, Compass lacked the financial backing which Ansett and Australian enjoyed.

One of the most revealing aspects of the Compass affair is the manner in which the mass media has been used to feed out disinformation. There has been little reference to the fact that Rupert Murdoch is the joint owner of Ansett, along with Mr. Bob Hawke's close friend, Sir Peter Abeles. There is little doubt that what can only be described as "dirty" tactics have been used against Compass. But in spite of all this, and the fact that large numbers of people have been left holding Compass tickets, there is overwhelming public support for Compass.

The instincts of the Australian people have been sound on this issue, which could eventually have far-reaching political implications. There is no good reason why Federal Government should not underwrite the finance required to get Compass back into the air. In financial terms, the amount required is relatively small compared with what has been wasted on foreign aid and a lavish contribution to the terrorist from Africa, Nelson Mandela.
It is probably true that airfares were forced down to an unrealistic figure. But even airfares 10 percent above present levels would be acceptable compared with what was being demanded before Compass.

There is no doubt that the Compass project has captured the imagination of the Australian people. There is little doubt that the majority of Australians want Compass to continue. What is required is the maximum of pressure on individual Members of Parliament, demanding that they demand the appropriate action to get Compass in to the air again as soon as possible.


from David Thompson
The proposal to blockade the Commonwealth Parliament until a list of demands are met by the Prime Minister could eventually be seen as counter productive, unless objectives are clearly defined. We agree with the general strategy to force a change in policy direction on issues such as deregulation, "free trade", interest rates, the creation of credit, and others. However, the tactics brought to bear in the service of such a strategy should be re-examined.

The tactic of organising at least a thousand people to stand in the summer sun on a picket line around the Parliament, and prevent anyone from leaving or entering until the demands are met, is ambitious. If this is seriously being suggested, it is unrealistic to the point of irresponsibility. The following points should be carefully considered:
1) The concept of a vigorous, limited objective campaign cannot be achieved by a "blockade". For many years the League has taught actionists the merits of such a principle, often with spectacular results, like those on the Eyre Peninsular Bankwatch campaign. If all available resources, including energy, money and time, are focused on one simple, limited objective, results are much more likely.
2) It is a great temptation to believe that if only a large number of people will concentrate in one place, sheer weight of numbers will force a change in policy. Unless the numbers are truly great -100,000 or more - recent history demonstrates that this is not so. The Melbourne rally, led admirably by Mr. Danny Johnson, is a prime example. A mob of people energetically shouting demands and chanting slogans every time a television camera is pointed at them is little threat to Members of Parliaments. Mobs can in fact be exploited, with tragic results.
3) The personal cost, and logistics of running such a blockade are daunting. If, say, 1,000 people take part, travel, living expenses, and suspension of income earning activity must cost $100 per person per day. That is, $100,000 per day! A great deal of effective grassroots campaigning could be achieved for such a sum; an election campaign for an independent candidate, an advertising campaign for a limited objective, etc. The League's annual Basic Fund is less than three quarters of such a figure!

In order to change policy, only one strategy is successful - the application of sufficient pressure on Members of Parliament to FORCE a change. A great many tactics are available, but the individual action of hundreds of people who take personal responsibility for their actions is the key. This is the hard option. In comparison, it is easy to gather with 1,000 others and demonstrate for a few hours, a day, or even a week. It is not what these people do at a demonstration that counts. It is what they do when they get home that counts. How many will commit themselves to the long-term grassroots activity necessary to change policy? Only those with the longer vision.
If the Canberra Blockade is to proceed, there are a number of suggestions to make it more effective. One or perhaps two limited objectives should be identified, and agreed upon. The issues should be well understood by all concerned. All those who take part in the Blockade could be organised to personally visit their own Member, and press for the limited objective. A blunt declaration that the M.P. is the electors' servant, and that electors will vote according to the response to the limited objective, should ensure that M.P's. get the message. Such a visit must then be followed up with written demands from as many electors as possible. The press can then be used intelligently to increase the pressure. All this requires organisation - and personal responsibility. It should be backed up with local, grassroots action campaigns around Australia. It is not even necessary to go to Canberra to personally visit M.P's. - they all have electoral offices.

If, as is possible, the grip of the party machine upon M.P's. is too strong, the ultimate action programme is to replace an uncooperative M.P. with an independent representative. The example of Mr. Ted Mack is invaluable. Mack has done something that only a very few Commonwealth M.P's. have ever done - he has been elected in his own right, on the strength of his integrity, his commitment to his electorate, his track record, and his ideas - not simply as a party nominee. Such qualities are rare, and increasingly sought in Australian politics. No political party nominee can offer them.
Perhaps an intelligent assessment of all vulnerable rural seats should be made, and committed independent candidates sought to contest them, with a major effort concentrated in a few seats. Many years of experience have confirmed that the League' s programme is indispensable; in depth educational work to inform the community of answers to issues, and the training of action-oriented people is the key. A current example is the Rural Action Movement, operating in most States. Their campaign is well organised. Their work on finance is generally first class, reflecting a sound understanding of financial realities by a minority in the rural community. Of course, the Action Movement has quite unjustly been accused of being a League "front" by the likes of the N.F.F. This is certainly not the case, but the Rural Action Movement draws upon the League's legacy of long-term educational work.


We note press reports last week (The Australian, 24/1) that plans for a new technology-testing city are being drawn up by the Japanese construction company, Shimizu Corporation. Under the proposal, the city would be built near Broome in the Great Sandy Desert, in W.A. It would have a population of 300,000, and could become the international headquarters of a future Pacific economic community, according to the reports. It would now appear that the M.F.P., upon which the League sounded the alarm in 1989, has become a bureaucratic nightmare, and has lost significant Japanese support. This must be partly due to grassroots Australian opposition. It is likely that much of the cost of the M.F.P. at Gillman, near Adelaide, will be borne by Australia, while foreign investors/speculators may or may not decide to use the facilities. We have been left "holding the baby". Perhaps Japanese ambition will be transferred to a new city in the W.A. desert?


from The Australian, January 2nd
"The article by Dr. Colin Rubenstein (The Australian, 23/12/91) provided a shallow and biased account of recent public debate about immigration and multiculturalism in Australia. "For instance, it was claimed that immigration policy was not driven by 'pampered ethnic lobbies'. However, according to Senator Walsh, Australia's immigration program during the late 1980s was dramatically expanded - primarily because of pressure on Federal Cabinet from ethnic leaders. "In addition, Dr. Rubenstein clearly misunderstood the basis of my claim, from my recent book, "The Cost of Multiculturalism", that multiculturalism costs Australia at least $7 billion per year. My estimate of the fiscal cost of multicultural spending was $2 billion per year, not $7 billion as claimed. "Such spending not only involves provision of post arrival services for recent immigrants, it also involves covert funding and subsidisation of ethnic groups, often decades after they have settled in Australia. Multicultural expenditures also involve job preference in government employment, education and training programs for persons with non-English speaking background. There is strong evidence to suggest that these programs are neither equitable nor effective in helping those in genuine individual need.
"The remaining $5 billion cost of multiculturalism comprises indirect costs - including $4.8 billion lost output, productivity and additional government English language training, caused by lack of English language skills in the Australian workplace.
"Collusion or bipartisanship by the major political parties in support of multiculturalism means that an informed public debate about the costs and benefits of multiculturalism has yet to occur in Australia. Recent overseas experience illustrates that the absence of informed debate about multiculturalism and immigration is contrary to harmonious community relations and the national interest." (Stephen Rimmer, Belconnen, A.C.T.)


from The Australian, January 24th
"Whatever country an intending immigrant comes from, he or she must meet certain minimal standards with regard to health, education, etc., and be free from criminal tendencies. Otherwise, besides the re-introduction of such exotic diseases as tuberculosis and leprosy into a population with a low resistance, this country could end up riddled with peasants, mafia, and triads, the likes of whom would introduce a subculture of kidnappings, extortion and murder, as happened not long ago in the case of the late Dr. Victor Chang.
"Australia should only accept its intending residents and future citizens by choice and not by compulsion of circumstances. The fact that the latest arrivals in the northwest risked their lives undertaking a hazardous journey should not exempt them from the required criteria. "As for the 20,000 Chinese nationals who arrived in this country purportedly to study English, they should also be repatriated now that the political climate in China is stable. After all, their dedication to the ideals of democracy can only benefit their mother country, if they returned home. "By the way, why are the Cambodians, also illegal immigrants, discriminated against? Why couldn't they too locate the soft spot in the former P.M's. heart?' (Name supplied, Applecross, W.A.)

"So now we know! Ms. Jenny Hoskin, spokeswoman for the Department of Immigration (The Australian, 21/1) confirms that not only do we not have any effective control over immigration, but that if you come into Australia on a totally illegal basis, you will receive a warm welcome that includes free local travel and a guarantee that you will be allowed to stay. "On the other hand, if you overstay your tourist visa time, you will be searched for and deported - unless you are 'ethnic' preferably from central Europe or Asia. "If you apply to come as an immigrant, especially if you are from the U.K. or any other basically English-speaking country, forget it, you will be told that you cannot come. "So there you are, all you would be immigrants; take a boat from any Asian country and receive a government guarantee that you will be allowed to stay. But make it a bit easier on ourselves, get the boat to land at Bondi or somewhere reasonable." (Geoff Cass, Randwick, N.S.W.)

"It has been said that general staffs are busy preparing for the last war. Ours are preparing for wars that would never happen, neglecting less spectacular - but more real - commitments. "Thus we have concentrated our long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft, the Orions, at Edinburgh in South Australia, to watch for incursions coming presumably from Russian bases in Antarctica. By the time they get to the north of Australia their time on patrol is reduced by half. "Similarly we base our Leopard tanks at Puckapunyal, Victoria, to fend off attacks from Tasmania, while no tank transporters exist to take them to the north. "Our airforce looks for AWACS aircraft to control major air battles while, with the exception of Darwin, there are no ATC/surveillance radars between Perth and Townsville and aircraft can land undetected on hundreds (some say thousands) of disused wartime airstrips in the north.
"Our navy thinks only of - and procures equipment for - blue water battles. The brown waters around Australia, where all the action is, are left to a handful of patrol boats. We give away cost effective Nomad Searchmaster aircraft, equipped with 360 degrees radar, to American Coastguard, and use the less suitable Shrike Commanders. I could go on like that for a while.
"Our custom forms at major airports make a long song and dance about visits to farms in Europe. Foot-and-mouth is endemic on Indonesian islands right up to Bali. The Chinese boat's last port of call was apparently Sumba, well west of Bali. If this disease got into the wild buffalo population in the North, we could kiss our meat exports goodbye. "What is therefore needed is not an internal customs enquiry by the local Sir Humphreys, but a major rethink of what is the real threat to Australia and what equipment we should have to deal with it. We must not forget that we have the longest ice free coastline in the world." (S.S. Schaetzel, West Pennant Hills, N.S.W.)

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