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30 September 1994. Thought for the Week: "Groups of homosexuals - whatever they may perversely choose to call themselves - should not be counted as "families" in the Census while the majority is silent - if it is of no interest to us what others do in the privacy of their bedrooms - and we are fairly tolerant, we will vote a deafening No to any party caving in to the clamor of this minority group whose public role model goals do undermine the social fabric of the family. It was not Adam and Steve who were commanded to 'be fruitful and multiply', but Adam and Eve."
Letter to The Australian, September 24th
TRADE WAR THREAT GROWS
by Eric D. Butler
Impressive statistics were produced to show how the GATT agreement would increase standards of living everywhere. But it is now clear, as many critical commentators warned, that GATT was a dangerous delusion. It could not possibly prevent trade wars between developed nations while they adhered to the dogmas associated with debt finance.
In spite of GATT, there is a continuing trade war between the U.S.A. and Japan. Last week the Japanese openly defied a threat of sanctions by the U.S.A. President Clinton, stating that they were not prepared to budge on their opposition to an easier access to Japanese markets for American goods. The reality is that the Japanese are experiencing the worst depression since the end of the Second World War. Any reduction in Japan's trade surplus would have catastrophic effects on the Japanese economy with explosive social implications. The ruling Japanese coalition party has finalised a programme of tax cuts in an endeavour to encourage Japanese consumers to buy more.
In an attempt to head off the threat of American sanctions, Japan's biggest car company, Toyota, has announced that there is to be a massive shift of production to the United States. But both Washington and Tokyo know that there is no prospect of little more than a small reduction in Japan's massive trade surplus with the U.S.A. President Clinton is hoping that any reduction can be claimed as a "victory" and assist him at the next Presidential elections.
The economies of Japan and the U.S.A. between them account for 40 percent of world trade. However, in spite of the much-publicised "recovery" of the past 12 months, unemployment remains high in all industrialised nations with any credit expansion being used in an attempt to stimulate "growth", having an effect on the inflation rate. The fear of increased inflation was the reason given by the American Federal Reserve for an increase in interest rates. Under present financial rules, price stability for any period is impossible.
Now emerging rapidly as one of the biggest players on the international stage, Communist China's Central Bank is now desperately attempting to curb a high inflation rate directly related to the massive increase in the money supply to finance an exploding economy. While shortsighted Western businessmen are rushing to invest in China, China continues to develop not only industrial expansion, but also pushes ahead with its military programme. By the turn of the century, China could be the biggest military power in the world.
Shortly before a recent visit of Chinese army officers to the U.S.A., at the invitation of the Pentagon, President Clinton was threatening to impose economic sanctions against China. But the threatened sanctions were never imposed for the good reasons that the American economy would have suffered from the loss of billions of dollars of exports. It was the famous Marxist leader Lenin who predicted that the "capitalist" enemy would be willing to sell the rope with which "we will hang them".
The Western world is increasingly being lured into believing that an as yet relatively underdeveloped China offers a shining prospect for a revived world economy. This is a repeat of what happened with the Soviet Union. Only Australia happens to be much closer to China than it was to the Soviet Union. And China sees itself as a growing Pacific power. Australia's position cries out for a greatly expanded defence programme.
LIBERALS COLLAPSE ON SODOMY ISSUE
by David Thompson
Following the news that even Tasmanian front bencher, Chris Miles, has now agreed to cease to oppose the "privacy" legislation, the Liberals can expect to be treated with open contempt by an already cynical electorate. Miles, himself a Christian and formerly regarded as a person of integrity, had campaigned hard on an anti-sodomy platform, with strong support from his Tasmanian constituents. The Tasmanian Liberals are understandably dismayed.
Attorney General Ron Cornish had made a strong case for retaining the Tasmanian law, saying, "We don't call it gay rights, we call it legalising sodomy here... A lot of people believe what is legally permissible is morally permissible. But we believe that private acts have public consequences". And the Tasmanian Government points out that not only is sodomy morally repugnant, but a serious public health risk. The incidence of AIDS in Tasmania is the lowest in Australia.
OUTMANOUVRED ON POLICY
In policy terms, Keating and his policy advisers set a trap for the Coalition by framing the "privacy" legislation, and then set the agenda of political debate by challenging the Liberals to uphold individual freedom, rather than "States' rights". The Liberals fell into the trap, failing to correctly redefine the true nature of the issue. The truth is that the "privacy" legislation is not a matter of individual rights. It is a matter of political jurisdiction. If Mr. Downer and his policy advisers had held their nerve, they could have at least demanded an acknowledgement that the Tasmanian laws are domestic concerns, and not only outside Commonwealth jurisdiction, but certainly outside United Nations jurisdiction.
At the very least, the Coalition could have staged a political "strike", and if they could not bring themselves to vote against the "privacy" legislation, at least abstain. If Queensland National Party backbencher Katter does manage to force a vote in the House, it appears that the Liberals will meekly toe the A.L.P. line, and vote for the sodomy bill. They deserve all the contempt of the electorate for political cowardice.
HAYDEN ANNOYS REPUBLICANS
In an educational video to be distributed to schools, the Governor General, Mr. Hayden, has strongly defended the existing constitutional system, saying: "For all its shortcomings the parliamentary system is the best we've got anywhere in the world. It is representative, it's accountable, and the people control it ultimately. I can think of no alternative that measures up to it and any alternative which might be tried could easily end up in having some sort of authoritarian control of the community "
Hayden previously implied that a republic would create "unstable government" when interviewed by Hawke for a television programme. Since he was appointed Governor General on the assumption that he was a republican, Hayden has appeared to change his views completely. The weight of the office of Governor General seems to have an effect on the office holder, as the experience of Sir John Kerr demonstrated. In his latest comments, Mr. Hayden comes closer to the view expressed by former Chief Justice of the High Court, Sir Harry Gibbs, who believes that a republic could offer totalitarian opportunities for the federal politicians.
ELIMINATING THE STATES AND THE SENATE
The centralist disease now afflicts local government representative in N.S.W., with the Local Government Association proposing a submission to Mr. Keating in which 80 councils would replace the present 867 councils, the States would be abolished, and the Senate scrapped. Chairman of the Local Government Association, Mr. Peter Woods, says he hopes that all State and Territorial legislatures would disappear before 2001, and that a new partnership would develop between the Commonwealth and the new "regions".
It is not clear whether Mr. Woods and the Local Government Association speak on behalf of N.S.W. Councils. But it is clear that Woods is a centralist, and is determined to destroy as many as 150 local councils in N.S.W. His submission to the Prime Minister is a dangerous proposal for representative government. It will inevitably result in huge increases in power for the Canberra bureaucrats, no matter how much Mr. Woods denies it. Such a proposal is music to the ears of the Fabian socialist planners, who have spent decades working to produce just such a proposal.
CAMPBELL ON JEWISH LOBBY
A.L.P. backbencher, Mr. Graeme Campbell, has charged that financial support from the Jewish lobby has directly influenced government policy. Without giving figures, Campbell claimed that the war crimes legislation was a direct result of Zionist Federation of Australia funding of the A.L.P., and that political donations were also driving government proposals for racial vilification legislation, which he opposes.
Campbell says: "It is quite clear that the Zionist lobby can command half the Cabinet, or half the Shadow Cabinet for that matter, any time it feels like it."
The West Australian (2 1/9/94) reports that deputy Opposition leader Costello had acknowledged to Campbell that strong Jewish funding of the Liberal Party also occurs, but that "the Jewish lobby gave the A.L.P. more than it gave the Liberal Party". Costello has not denied his comments.
ANOTHER BLOW TO MILITARY MORALEThe appointment of Senator Jocelyn Newman as Shadow Defence Minister is a mistake. There is no doubting Newman's ability or courage (in battling cancer, for example), but in order to lift the morale of the military, a fit man is essential, one with which the forces can have some affinity, and who can inspire loyalty and enthusiasm. Neither a woman, nor a grossly unfit Senator Ray can do this. The thought of Senator Ray slipping in and out of a tank turret, or fighter cockpit is more likely to inspire mirth than morale. The forces deserve better.
GOSS WARNS ON THE DEMISE OF THE STATES
Queensland Premier, Mr. Wayne Goss, should be congratulated by all Australians for his timely warnings on the role of the States in a Federation becoming increasingly unworkable. In comments that were derided by some as reminiscent of Sir Joh Bjelke-Peterson, Goss followed the lead set by W.A. Premier Court earlier in the year, when he voiced similar opinions, and published his policy statement "Rebuilding the Federation".
In an address to the 2020 Vision Forum in Brisbane,
Goss made the following points: "The continuing shift of power to Canberra
is leading to the de facto abolition of the States. Public debate talks
of a new Australian nation by 2001. I suspect the States' de facto abolition
will be completed by then. . . The States will not accept a reduction
of their role to that of a branch manager or a far-flung post office
for Commonwealth cheques wrapped in red tape
are five significant tools the Commonwealth has used to assume more
power since Federation.
Mr. Goss makes a number of suggestions, including assigning a guaranteed share of total revenue to the States without strings attached, and a more open decision making process on the adoption of foreign treaties. While his warning is potent, his answers are a bit weak; the Commonwealth now has the powers, and as in all arguments on such matters, possession is nine-tenths of the law.
Perhaps Mr. Goss should be warmly congratulated on his warnings, and urged to inspect the potential for forcing the Swiss concept of Initiative & Referendum on the Commonwealth, including the proposition that any two States should have the chance of initiating a referendum for Constitutional change. Leadership is required.
HAMPSON STICKS HIS NECK OUT
As the Parliament prepares to debate the poisonous racial vilification legislation, increasing apprehension about the Bill is being expressed, particularly by the press, which can at least see when its own interests are threatened, by free expression being curtailed. In his column (Sunday Sun-Herald, 25/9/94) Melbourne columnist David Hampson is scathing about the new bill, noting that it is not "racism" when ethnic minorities revile each other - only when reviled by white Anglo males.
He writes: "Our existing laws cover all forms of incitement to hatred except one - the vilification heaped on those who dare disagree with multiculturalism." Hampson concludes: "Let us hope we retain the freedom here to blow raspberries until this vile law is laughed into the back blocks of history. If not, we are doomed. With the possibility of this law being enacted, we are beyond the expression of free speech. Suddenly we are talking gulags. And from a personal viewpoint, I do not wish to make the trip."
RACIAL VILIFICATION BILL
Ron Castan's article (The Australian, 13/9) on the Racial Vilification Bill is a piece of glib sophistry that can't pass unchallenged.
"As is usual with all who seek to restrict free speech we are assured the law will be narrowly focused, and all the usual platitudes are wheeled out to convince us that Jane and Joe Citizen won't be affected, only those nasty 'racists'. "Sadly, however, his very reassurances betray the uncertainty the legislation will create. Legitimate discussion of 'public policy' is expected, provided it is in 'good faith', it is 'unlikely' to apply to calls to restrict migration of certain races; racist views can be aired 'in private'; 'scientific' and 'literary' works will be exempt if undertaken in 'good faith', and so on and so on. "And who decides what 'public policy', 'good faith', 'unlikely', 'in private', 'scientific' and 'literary' means? Why, the state, of course!
In practice, this legislation will have an oppressive, stifling effect far beyond its supposed confines, and create an undercurrent of fear. Every word will need to be watched - after all, you never know who might be listening. If free speech is understood as the right to speak freely, without restriction, then in an astounding piece of doublethink that should earn him membership of the Inner Party. Mr. Castan maintains that restrictions on what we can say is consistent with the proposition that we should have no restriction on what we can say!
"How is this epistemological sleight of hand accomplished? Easily, by defining free speech as 'reasonable free speech', where 'reasonable' is whatever the State says it is. Thus, according to Mr. Castan's logic, there is free speech in China, the Communists just use a different definition of 'reasonable' to Mr. Castan, that's all.
"Despite Mr. Castan's arguments we should be under no illusions that this proposed legislation is a naked attack on the right of free speech, and will further restrict our shrinking freedoms. "This sinister and oppressive legislation is a disgraceful pandering to the ethnic lobby and a direct assault on the foundations of a liberal, democratic society. It should be vigorously resisted by all freedom loving Australians." (Geoffrey Stewart, Mangerton, N.S.W.)
from The Advertiser (Adelaide), September
What cured the Great Depression was the spending of money on the World War II effort. Money, which had been so scarce, was suddenly available in whatever quantities needed and there was employment for everybody. Why not do the same now, without the misery of war? There are plenty of useful ways such as the Alice Springs-Darwin railway, in which money could be spent. The money system was invented by man for his economic convenience, and money should be made available and used as needed. (D.E. Phelps, Loxton, S.A.)
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