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17 September 1993. Thought for the Week: "This is the heresy: that majorities can do no wrong, that there is no higher truth than the transient opinions of contemporary majorities, and that there is no higher law than the ambitions and the maneuvers of the persons they are persuaded to elect. Since the centre of men's worldly allegiance must be beyond the reach of their worldly passions it must be founded on, it must be consecrated to, the realm of the spirit. It must be bound to the truths that are more than the private and passing opinions of persons and crowds and to the laws that are above their wishes and their impulses. This is the universal essence which Queen Elizabeth II represents for all mankind when she is recognised, is sworn, is anointed and is crowned."
Well known American Columnist, Walter Lippman, in the New York Herald Tribune, on the Coronation of Elizabeth II, June 2nd, 1953
GOVERNOR-GENERAL HAYDEN'S BOMBSHELL
by Eric D. Butler
When at the end of the Second World War a Federal Labor Government requested that a serving State Labor Premier, William McKell of N.S.W., be appointed Governor General, there was nationwide opposition, with some non-Labor politicians threatening to snub McKell. But it was Sir Robert Menzies, one of the nation's most ardent Royalists, who grasped that the institution was greater than the person serving it, and publicly accepted Sir William McKell who, it is fair to say, served with such distinction that, at the end, he was highly regarded right across the political spectrum. In both word and deed, Sir William McKell expressed his high regard for the institution of Constitutional Monarchy.
In his naked bid for power, Mr. Bob Hawke, in 1983, snatched from Labor Leader Mr. Bill Hayden the opportunity to defeat the Fraser Government. As Hayden observed at the time, even the drover's dog could have defeated the Fraser Government. Probably as an act of conscience, and to demonstrate to at least the Labor Party faithful that he was a generous man, Hawke eventually offered Bill Hayden the position of Governor General. No doubt he felt that it was unlikely that Bill Hayden would do what Sir John Kerr, also a former Labor man, did to the man who had him appointed Governor General, Prime Minister Gough Whitlam!
But in the course of time Bob Hawke was eventually devoured by the same will-to-power which resulted in him becoming Prime Minister; he was replaced by Paul Keating, who lost no time in announcing that the abolition of the Monarchy was a major part of his agenda. And now, in an ironic twist of fate for Paul Keating, the declared Republican, the man he defeated, Bob Hawke, in a T.V. interview with the man he made Governor General, Mr. Bill Hayden, has the Crown's Australian representative saying that he has grave misgivings about the Republican concept.
Governor General Bill Hayden says, with commendable courage, that "I'll risk my arm by a bit further than the Governor General normally goes and say this: The present system works well. If we move away from that, and there is no restraint, then the apprehension would be that we could go through periods - extended periods sometimes - of quite unstable governments".
Former Labor leader, Mr. Bill Hayden, had dealt the Republican cause a deadly blow. And the man who interviewed him, Bob Hawke, has also damned the Republicans - of whom he lists himself a supporter - by stating that the Republicans are losing the intellectual debate. While of course there may be a degree of wishful thinking, Bob Hawke says the Republican issue may be Paul Keating's biggest gamble and that "the road to a Republic is strewn with obstacles".
Eventually, of course, Prime Minister Keating will be swept from office, probably by Dr. John Hewson, who might well be compared with the famous drover's dog, and Bob Hawke will find that he no longer is of any interest to those who control the news media. And after all this the institution of the Constitutional Monarchy will continue on, providing that permanency and continuity which the human psyche requires.
Governor General Bill Hayden has graphically demonstrated that the institutions of the Constitutional Monarchy has a profound effect on all those privileged to serve it.
THE SENATE AND THE BUDGET
Anyone with an interest in politics will have noted that in the last few weeks, the Prime Minister, while still behaving in his own superior, imperial manner, has nevertheless treated the Senate very carefully. Under the Crimes Act 1914, it is seditious to "excite disaffection against the Governor or Constitution or against either House of the Parliament of the Commonwealth ."
It is most unlikely that fear of accusations of sedition have curbed Mr. Keating's "unrepresentative swill" type of comment. It is simply that the Government no longer can be confident of ramming even the most vital of its legislation through the Senate as a matter of course, as the Budget debates have demonstrated.
The role of the Australian Democrats and the two Western Australian Green Senators has highlighted the true role of the Senate. Such is the perversion of the party political process, that in simply fulfilling their true role, the Democrats, and particularly the two Green Senators, have been accused of causing a "crisis" in the Senate. The editorial of The Weekend Australian said: "The Greens have no mandate to overturn the Budget Strategy. Any assumption that they can proceed in this fashion is an abuse of democracy, not an advancement of its art ... The Greens do not serve the interests of the economy by rejecting the deficit reduction strategy, which is the foundation of the Budget. Indeed, the dollar fell again...."
The attempt to browbeat Senators into voting for the Budget by noting that uncertainty is affecting the value of the dollar is little more than political blackmail. The first question that should be asked, is who 'floated the dollar? Former Treasurer Keating! If any blame is to be attached to a gyrating value for our currency, it must be leveled at those who deregulated the financial system to the point that we have little control over our currency, and thus eroded financial 'sovereignty'. It is the Great God Market that now sets the value of the dollar. The Market, of course, is easily spooked.
AN ABUSE OF DEMOCRACY
The editorial writer for the The Weekend Australian reveals an abysmal ignorance of the Australian system of government. The Greens have just as much "mandate" as any other Senator to reject any aspect of the budget. In fact, this is their responsibility as Senators. They have a Constituency. The Greens in W.A. have twice achieved a full quota of votes in a half-Senate election. W.A. has 12 Senators, just as does every other State, irrespective of the numerical strength of the W.A. vote. This is designed to moderate the demands of the bigger population centres that may not be in the interests of minority States.
W.A. voters may well regard the petrol tax, as an unfair impost upon the largest State, in which greater distances are routinely traveled. How is it an "abuse of democracy" for the two Green Senators to represent this view? The first privilege of a free people is to clearly state what they do not want. The Democrats and the Greens have seen their stocks soar in "the polls" as a result of opposing the fuel tax.
And when the two Greens suggested scrapping tax cuts, and reducing defence spending, even Opposition Senators declared themselves against this, quite properly. The truth is that it is not the role of the Greens, the Democrats, or any other Senator to "serve the interests of the economy", as though "The Economy" was another of those Gods akin to The Market. The true role of Senators is to represent the interests of the people in their home States. Much as the Prime Minister may hate it, the Senate has a valuable - perhaps vital - role for a free people.
THE MONARCHY AND ASIA
If it is being argued that Australia must dispense with its "European baggage", like the archaic system of monarchy, to become acceptable to "Asia", then how is Cambodia to be explained away? It is one of the delightful ironies of politics that it was the Australian Foreign Minister, Senator Evans (A.L.P.) who spent so much time and effort brokering peace in Cambodia, to now see the Cambodians select monarchy as the preferred system of government!
70-year-old Prince Sihanouk, a former king of this country that has been without a monarch for more than 30 years, has been invited by 115 of the 120 strong National Assembly to return to Cambodia as King. Will Mr. Keating attend his investiture, or would this be too embarrassing?
The Cambodian National Assembly is expected to adopt a constitutional monarchy this week, upon which they have sought the Prince's advice. The new king would have the power to appoint Prime Ministers, the Supreme Council of Judges and Senior Civil and Military Officials. U.N. officials and some other Westerners are reported to be "sad" about the new constitution. Cambodia shows that monarchy is popular in Asia.
LOW TAX A MYTH
from Herald-Sun (Melbourne), September
"The smokescreen created by the Keating Government is that Australia is a low-taxed country. What a lot of rubbish. "The average taxpayer is paying just under 60% in total direct and indirect taxes. In other words, starting work from January 1, you would have to work 205 days - until August 3 - before you started earning any income for yourself. The real answer to long-term sustained employment growth can only come from one area and that is business's willingness to be encouraged to employ more staff. The Government has clearly failed to introduce any genuine incentives in this area. (Ray Reagan, President, National Tax Agents' Association)
SPECULATORSfrom The Australian, August 31st
RE: B.A. Santamaria's article (The Weekend Australian, 14-15/8), 'Speculators Are Pulling the Political Strings', he has hit the nail on the head. "It does not seem to matter whether governments are conservative or socialist if the big currency speculators decide to bring down the currency, or push it up, thereby creating instability which is now worldwide. In 1992 I read of a U.S. speculator who made $US l billion in a week by bringing down the British pound. The top six banks of the U.S. made a profit of $US900 billion in the past three months of trading. When the G.A.T.T. talks next start, this problem of currency speculation needs to be addressed, or we will face widespread destitution and ultimately war." (Norah Waller, Darlington, W.A.)
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