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17 December 1993. Thought for the Week: "Christ said: 'The truth shall make ye free'. This does not mean doctrinal truth; it means the living truth that is the doctrine... Man's worth is his worth in the sight of God, not in the examination hall or the industrial complex; his Christian destiny, his inner and own dignity as an individual, not as a unit of the workforce. Let him bestow his dignity on the work he chooses to do, not suffer degradation in 'organisation' for full employment."
Dr. Bryan Monahan
A HAPPY AND HOLY CHRISTMAS
In this, our last issue for 1993, we extend to our readers and their families Christmas Greetings.
We look forward to a New Year of great challenges.
THE HOPE OF THE WORLD
The distinguished Christian writer, G.K. Chesterton, a master of the use of the paradox in order to illuminate a truth, observed that the plight of the world (which has further deteriorated since Chesterton wrote) was the hope of the world. As C.H. Douglas said, the rules of the Universe transcend human thinking and attempts to operate human affairs in defiance of those rules can only result in disaster.
Chesterton said that the man who jumps over a cliff not only violates an absolute known as the law of gravity; he demonstrates the truth of that law. Man's salvation depends upon his acceptance of absolutes and a persistent attempt to pursue policies, which are in accordance with those absolutes. If there were no absolutes to which man can turn, nothing then can be done about the plight of the world. But there are absolutes and they offer real hope if man will reject evil (a violation of truth) and by acts of atonement (atone-with) make genuine harmony possible.
If the formal definition of madness is accepted, being a divorcement from reality, then world politics are today a manifestation of madness. At the bottom the world is the result of a conflict between two philosophies, the dominant one being that the problems of the world can only be resolved by progressive centralisation. But the reality is that there is mounting friction, both inside and between nations, as attempts are made to try to solve problems by making them bigger.
The guns were still smoking at the end of the First World War when C.H. Douglas, the author of Social Credit, predicted that unless there was a correction of a basic flaw in the finance economic system, and a continued determination to try to make that system work by exporting surpluses which could not be consumed domestically, the inevitable result was mounting international friction ending in war and revolution. Events have tragically confirmed what Douglas warned about. And there is worse to come unless madness is rejected in favour of sanity.
The attempt to create common markets is a major manifestation of madness, that, for example, if a number of nations have internal finance economic problems, the problems can be overcome by amalgamating these nations into one trading bloc. But at the very moment the promoters of the European Economic Community are claiming progress, the new Greek Government has bitterly accused the Germans of trying to dominate Western Europe, the French politicians have been forced to heed the violent protests of the French farmers, while the much-publicised GATT agreement has created more problems than it has solved.
The British politicians are afraid to permit
the British people to have a vote on whether they want to continue with
membership of a European Community inside which there is growing conflict.
The Canadians were told by the former Canadian Conservative Government
that their future depended upon accepting entry into a North American
Free Trade Market. At the recent Canadian General Elections the Conservatives
were annihilated, while the French Canadians of the Quebec Province
voted for a party pledged to take the Province out of the Canadian Confederation.
As American industries move south to take advantage of the cheaper Mexican labour, America's internal social problems get worse. But as in the Mad Hatter's tea party in Alice in Wonderland, the call by the worshippers of bigness is to enlarge the NAFTA further by including the South American countries. While yet another talkfest has taken place in Seattle to lay the foundations for yet another proposed Common Market, the Asian-Pacific Economic Community. But, at the very moment that Paul Keating was waxing eloquent about this new vision of more centralisation, the Japanese economy continued to experience growing problems, while observers of Asian realities predict growing conflict, ending in military conflict, between the growing industrialised Asian nations.
While the friction between the Keating Government
and the Malaysian Government has been widely publicised, little reference
has been made to the fact that Australia is going to be involved in
more controversy with its Asian neighbours as a result of the decision
to sell weapons to Sri Lanka, another nation being torn apart by multicultural
conflict. The Government of Sri Lanka requires the Australian weapons
to pursue the bitter civil war with the Tamils, who have received sympathetic
support from India. But the exporting of weapons is justified on the
grounds that this helps the Australian economy!
As Australians contemplate the mad state of the world, it would be appropriate to recall the incident recorded in the new Testament of the stampede of the Gadarene swine over a cliff, and to repeat the story of how, after a heavy lunch, a Presbyterian minister walking on the moors was astonished to come upon a small pig which, when asked what he was about, said he had been one of the stampede. The little pig recalled how as the herd thundered towards the cliff, he came to the conclusion there was not much future in the policy and decided that the only thing to do was to pull out. "I was loudly abused by my fellows," he said, "being charged with being too negative. I was even called a fascist pig. True, I haven't done much since, except wander the moors. But at least I am still alive. And might do something in the future.
Australians might heed that advice and step aside from the mass madness currently driving mankind to greater destruction. By putting their own house in order, they can offer some light and hope to the rest of the world.
MABO REALITIES CLARIFIED
As the Native Title Bill is jammed inexorably through the Parliament; a number of issues are further clarified:
1) The real problems (and they are significant) of disadvantaged Aborigines will not be addressed by the Act. Since he has entered the Parliament, one of the few issues upon which Mr. Ian McLachlan has taken a firm stand, has been the Mabo issue. In an article in The Advertiser (10/11/93) he wrote: "It's heartbreaking and shame making that between us all, regrettably, we have failed to address these problems (health, housing, employment, etc.) effectively. Worse still, we have achieved this frightful result despite providing $1.3 billion of Federal Government programmes for Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders in 1992-3... I don't believe that the Mabo decision is the solution to these problems..."
2) There is little or no 'bi-partisan' support for Keating's Native Title Bill. In the weekend press, 16 managing directors of the top mining companies of the Australian Mining Industry Council spelt out their objections to this "extraordinarily complex and unworkable" bill. They warn that changing land management laws will not improve Aboriginal health, housing, employment, etc. While the NFF has pledged the support of farmers, they have done so against rural sentiment.
3) The High Court decision on the Murray Islands in the Torres Strait has been completely mis-applied to mainland conditions. Eddie Mabo's daughter, Jessie Mabo-Smith, claims that her father would be disgusted at the land claims springing up on the strength of his case. "My brother Eddie once said that dad would be turning over in his grave at all this ... Dad went to the High Court in Canberra and tried to fight for his land - his own piece of land on Murray Island for his own family..." Perhaps even Mabo's own family are beginning to realise that he and his case have been manipulated by forces he did not fully understand (The Daily Mercury, Mackay, 17/11/93).
4) Far from furthering the reconciliation process, this is further jeopardised by the Mabo hype. Keating is desperate to have his bill passed before Christmas, knowing that the backlash is steadily growing. This is inevitable, when 1.6% of the population (Aborigines) have property rights over about 14% of the nation, with another 12% under claim. The backlash is not lessened by the fact that not a single Aborigine can claim that any of this land is his own private property. Some Torres Strait Islanders can make this claim, but like the late Eddie Mabo and his daughter Jessie, they mainly live on the mainland, in places like Townsville.
NATIVE TITLE - ONCE OVER LIGHTLY
from The Australian, December 7th
"The letter was dated 26 November 1993 and it reached me on 30th November, 1993. This meant there was barely a week within which to write a submission. "Given the wide ranging nature of the issues on which submission may be presented and the importance of the subject, the time provided for submissions was woefully inadequate. Choosing my words carefully as a lawyer, I venture to say that it was ridiculous to request submissions within this time frame.
"It is significant that the Committee is to report to Senate on Thursday 9th. Submissions were to have been forwarded by yesterday 7th. It appears obvious that the Committee will not have time to peruse most of the submissions within the time frame in order to improve its report. "It is therefore an insult to people to request submissions most of which, in all eventuality, will not be read.
"The Native Title Bill has enormous implications for the future of Australia. If our politicians have a commitment to democratic processes and traditions a minimum period of six months is required for public debate, submissions on the Bill and examinations of such submissions. "If time for debate is not provided by Parliament and the Bill is rushed through this is one more indication that Australia is on the road to totalitarianism and serfdom.
"Electors generally have short memories. But by the time of the next election the people will see the havoc which will be caused by the implementation of the Native Title Bill, in the context of the Mabo decision. Mabo is in my opinion the worst decision in the history of the jurisprudence of the High Court." (L.J.M. Cooray, Associate Professor, School of Law, Macquarie University, Sydney, N.S.W.)
ON TO A NICE LITTLE EARNER
from The Age (Melbourne), November 29th
"Once there, straight in the front door of Parliament House I'll go choose a relevant minister and invite myself in for a bit of a chat. I'm entitled, you see. I pay their wages working in South Melbourne as I do six-and-a-half days a week. "When he says - 'Would you like a cuppa?' he'll have to be blind not to see my face light up with expectation. "'Don't you worry minister - I'll help myself!' At this point' - as I launch myself at the Government tea urn, my mind will be going like a calculator. Fifty grand for a hand? Bugger it - I'll cop a total scalding. Let's see - both hands, chest, both legs - and to really retard my self-confidence, I'll aim a few drops at the wedding tackle. Not only will housework be totally out of the question - my confidence will be shot to ribbons. With any luck, I won't be able to look anyone in the eye for months. And at my reckoning - a cool $250,000 off to the better, excluding legals.
"Then on the way out, as I shuffle disconsolately down the corridor of power I'll go for a quick ride around the block on a Government bike. Another $65,000 as I say 'Look Paul - no hands!' in the parliamentary car park. "Now it's not going to be comfortable. I admit that. But somebody's got to do it. Call me a silly old entrepreneur, but there's a quid to be made. And that's what Australia is all about." (Dick Millot, South Melbourne, Vic.)
from The Australian, December 6th
"Who are these chosen few who can force the introduction of their ideas on the caring of pre-schoolers of Australia? "The caring staff would be forbidden to use the words 'no' or 'naughty' to correct toddlers' conduct. Children are not born with the faculty to decide right from wrong and the use of those two harmless words help in their early training. I wonder what words Senator Crowley would use if she were on the receiving end of a plate of gooey' food?
"This council bans the use of stencils and colouring books! Many of our present day artists had their talents discovered when advancing from the use of colouring books to self-expression. "To say boys aren't allowed to be provided with trains, tip trucks and bulldozers is ludicrous. They are manly, male toys appreciated at all ages. What would the Council like boys to play with? Dolls? Knitting?
"The people who have contributed to the Minister of Family Services' new Quality Improvement and Accreditation System handbook are trying to engineer and build a politically correct generation. "Hasn't it come to something when politicians are tampering with the minds of pre-schoolers?
"There are some 100 pages of these dos and don'ts which just made my blood boil while reading through this claptrap. Haven't the public suffered enough from undisciplined children who have no respect for parents, people, property and the law? These so-called 'experts' are not going to make things better. They just want to completely take, the control of children from the parents. "If childcare centres don't join the social experiment, Canberra cuts off the funding." (Edna Wynne, Currumbin, Qld.)
UNSEEMLY RUSH TO RATIFYfrom The Australian, December 10th
Why is the Federal Government in such a hurry to push the Native Title Bill through Parliament? "The Mabo issue is one of immense importance to everyone in Australia, whatever their race, and any new law needs to be both just and workable. "After more than 200 years of European settlement in Australia a delay of a few months is surely a small price to pay for a careful, fair and constitutionally valid solution. "But, alas, it seems that only two rather naive senators stand between the population as a whole and a ghastly muddle. For once the end seems to justify the Greens." (Sally Graham, Malvern, Vic.)
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