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Edmund Burke
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3 February 1995. Thought for the Week: "Government, through the taxation system and other means should encourage investment in productive industry and not mere property development and speculation. This unproductive squandering of investment in property for short-term gain was not only a feature of the 1980's, but has occurred repeatedly throughout our history. Immigration has basically been used to fuel such booms....only to end in devastating economic depressions and severe debt. If the pattern continues there will come a day when our debt will be so large it will cripple us."
Graeme Campbell, M.P., in his New England University address, "The Struggle for True Australian Independence", September 2nd, 1994

AUSTRALIA DAY REFLECTIONS

by Eric D. Butler
Former Prime Ministers Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser have at least got one thing right: both agree that it would be unhistorical to change the date of Australia Day. With increasing stridency, the self-proclaimed leaders of the small number of Australians who claim some Aboriginal background, men like the predominantly European Geoff Mansell of Tasmania, have been claiming that the celebration of Australia Day was "offensive" to the Aboriginals; that it is the celebration of a British "invasion" which resulted in the "slaughter" of the Aboriginal people.
But as genuine Aboriginal leaders like the Rev. Cedric Jacobs have pointed out, the colonisation of Australia, a vast relatively unpopulated land, was an inevitable historical development, and that if the colonisation had been by the Japanese or the Chinese, the Aboriginals would have been wiped out.

Initially Eastern Australia was seen by the British as a means of easing the pressure on their overcrowded penal system. Colonisation progressed with the enterprising English, Scottish and Irish moving across the world to ultimately develop a new nation. Under the British Crown they brought a civilising value system with Christian roots. Law and order ensured that the worst features of the inter-tribal killing of the Aboriginal peoples was curtailed.

It is tragically true, as historian Geoffrey Blainey has pointed out, that large numbers of Aboriginal people died, not as a result of "mass slaughter", which the mythologists never cease to talk about, but by the European-borne diseases with which the Aboriginal immune system could not cope. The reality about Australian history is that starting with a small penal system based in New South Wales, with starvation never far away, the predominantly British pioneers successfully laid the foundations for a new nation which by 1960 was providing one of the highest standards of living in the whole world.

The achievements of the first 100 years were the outpouring of the creative spirit of a people who never ceased to be proud of their British heritage. Large numbers of non-British people from all over the world flocked to join in the development of the new nation. None of these non-British migrants, like the Germans, sought to overthrow or undermine what was essentially an extension of the British constitutional system; they did not agitate that the Union Jack should be torn down because it was a "foreign flag"; ethnic minorities did not seek special treatment; they strived to join the mainstream of society and become Australians. The term "multiculturalism" was unknown.

While it is true that Australians have traditionally claimed to have created a classless egalitarian society, with a "fair-go" for all, and a sympathy for the underdog, they have always appreciated and applauded those who have succeeded in any field. A natural hierarchy of genuine leadership developed. But with the passing of time subversive influences have sapped the spirit of genuine leadership, of service. This subversion can be seen in the political fields.

The polarisation of society under the debt financial system has developed a new underclass with an increasing violent culture. This culture is fostered by a centralised media. Australia's traditional sympathy for the underdog has been exploited to seek to turn the whole nation into one of permanent underdogs. People who came to Australia only a few years ago as Asian refugees are used to browbeat the majority.

The nation has reached a time in its history when a major effort must be made by the majority to go back to their constitutional and other roots. The Aboriginal people and ethnic minorities must be told that they are free and welcome to join with the majority to regenerate traditional Australia, and to enjoy, with responsibility, what this nation can provide. Australians must free themselves of a sick guilt complex and boldly proclaim their faith of what was once called the Australian dream. Every Australia Day should be used for this purpose.


WILL MR. HOWARD TURN THE TIDE?

by David Thompson:
We are often confronted by semi-apologetic Liberal Party supporters, who claim in desperation that Australians MUST vote Liberal, because while the Coalition is not perfect, ANYTHING is better than Keating and the A.L.P. Now that Mr. John Howard has returned to the leadership of the Liberal Party, this refrain is certain to become more insistent.

However, it should be noted that in the dying days of Mrs. Kirner's A.L.P. Government in Victoria, with the memory of her predecessor, John Cain, still fresh, it was also agreed that anything would be better than Labor in Victoria. The performance of Mr. Jeff Kennett has caused many Liberals to change their minds. Even Mr. Peter Costello's brother, Tim Costello, former Mayor of St.Kilda, horrified by the Kennett Liberal massacre of local government, thought of joining the Democrats, saying that Kennett and Co. had "radicalised" him.

The truth is that Mr. Keating is only Prime Minister now because in March 1993, even with massive unemployment and economic disaster, the electorate was not convinced that anything was better than the A.L.P. Especially when the alternative was Dr. Hewson's G.S.T. Is Mr. John Howard a better alternative Prime Minister than Mr. Keating? Irrespective of the political virtues of either, it appears almost certain that by 1996 we are going to find out.


MR. HOWARD'S POLITICAL COMPROMISES

Towards the end of 1994, a group of Liberal backbenchers who supported Dr. Hewson, approached Mr. Howard offering a political "deal". If he would commit himself to a few favours, they would agree to support him against Downer for the leadership. Howard made a virtue of rejecting the approach, saying that he does not "do deals". But, in effect, Howard has compromised himself to win the leadership.

For the past two years, Howard was regarded as perhaps Australia's most prominent anti-republican campaigner. He was responsible for stiffening both Hewson's and Downer's position on the Crown, insisting that a constitution that works should not be tampered with. However, with the sniff of Liberal leadership, Howard has compromised. He admitted to Mr. Laurie Oakes, the Nine Network political editor, that he now believed that the republic should at least be debated. This is a very significant reversal, and a short step to merely debating which form of republic is desirable.

Howard's most obvious compromise, however, is on the issue of Asian migration. He has bent over backwards to erase the memory of his quite valid comments in 1988 that the rate of Asian immigration may be too fast for Australians to accept. When he expressed those views in 1988, a great many Australians silently or vocally applauded him, hoping that some of the sacred multicultural cows would get a good boot from someone with integrity and political courage.

Those who had agreed with Professor Geoffrey Blainey's views expressed four years earlier at Warrnambool, held great hopes for a genuine debate on immigration and multiculturalism under Howard. He was beaten into submission then, and the renewed temptation of power has now led him to recant completely. Howard has sold out to the multiculturalists, bending the knee to the politically correct.


KEATING: HOWARD'S EDGE

Since it is true that elections are rarely "won" by the Opposition, but rather "lost" by the Party governing, Mr. Howard enjoys an important advantage. In addition, the A.L.P. has a growing list of debacles to surmount, the latest of which is the wood chipping issue, which could easily rival the Kelly "sports rorts" affair. The racial hatred legislation is also doing the A.L.P. much damage.

And there is one "sleeper" issue, which has been identified by the A.L.P. backbencher, Mr. Graeme Campbell. This is the "English" vote, which, although taken for granted, has always been important to the A.L.P. Campbell points out that the majority of English migrants to Australia were of middle class Labor voting origin, and instinctive monarchists. Together with their descendants, there are now two million "English" voters, all of whom Mr. Keating has successfully alienated with his vicious anti-British attitude. Even considering the heavy Asian immigration content, this is by far the most important "ethnic vote", which the A.L.P. has completely ignored.

These factors taken together indicate that Mr. Howard can certainly "win" the next election. Even Mr. Keating's nasty epithet that John Howard is "yesterday's man" could count heavily in Howard's favour. Many Australians of middle age and older have a strong nostalgia for the era of the 1950's, because they remember political stability, low unemployment, low inflation, economic prosperity, a commitment to the family, moral values, etc. They also remember that Australia then had many domestic industries that have now been allowed to disappear under the policy of integrating with the "global market".

Only time will tell whether Mr. Howard is prepared to stand firm on anything. He speaks of the importance of supporting the traditional nuclear family, increasing mortgage interest rate burdens, and traditional moral values. How will his policy approach be different from the A.L.P.? What about taxation?

We recall that as Fraser's treasurer, Mr. Howard proposed the tax on books, which was withdrawn after heavy protest. Where does Mr. Howard stand on the use of international treaties to undermine the federation? What are his views on C.I.R. - initiative and referendum? Will there be an overt attempt to apply Christian standards to issues like marriage or homosexuality? These are the issues by which Mr. Howard needs to be judged before an intelligent comparison between a Coalition Government and the A.L.P. Government can be made.

It is no answer to elect the Coalition because anything would be better than an arrogant, abrasive Keating. The lesson of the Fraser years is that the A.L.P. devil we know may even be better than the bitterness of betrayal by those claiming to stand for conservative values. Howard must be forced to nail his colours to the mast, and then to keep them there. Mr. Howard can certainly get elected, but can he do the job required?


WOODCHIPPING AND GREEN PROPAGANDA

If the facts concerning wood chipping were permitted to spoil the green election campaign propaganda, wood chipping would not be an issue at all. Basically, woodchips are produced from trees unsuitable for logging, removed to make room for forest regeneration. The campaign to stop the wood chipping export licences may have no impact on the amount of timber chipped for paper pulp if, instead of exporting woodchips, the paper is produced domestically, and then exported to a hungry international paper market.

Former A.L.P. Finance Minister, ex-Senator Peter Walsh, makes the point that the environmental lobby now constitutes a defacto government department. He writes: "The Environment Department should no longer be regarded as a component of the Commonwealth bureaucracy, but as a fully taxpayer funded extension of the partially taxpayer funded A.C.F. (Australian Conservation Foundation) propaganda machine "(Financial Review, 24/1/95).

Walsh's biting criticism acquires further substance when it is revealed that Environment Minister Senator Faulkner helped fund green groups to draw up their objections to wood chipping in the forests.


BRIEF COMMENTS

As the Commonwealth prepares for further boatloads of illegal Chinese immigrants to turn up on our northern beaches, the enormous costs to the taxpayer of servicing these people is revealed. Application for refugee status and residency permits cost $55 per person per day, and the cost of detaining illegal immigrants has soared to about $50,000 per day. Last year illegal immigrants cost about $350,000 per week, approaching $18 million. This, however, is almost insignificant if the rumored 5,000 more Chinese embark for Australia from southern China. Another 65 people arrived on Christmas Island on January 18th, and more are expected.

* * * * * * * *

The regionalisation of Australia is based upon the amalgamation of local government, which proceeds apace in Victoria. Many Victorians are only now beginning to realise that at local government level there is only one Council - Queenscliff - where a single elected representative exists to serve ratepayers. All the rest have been sacked by the Kennett Coalition Government, and replaced with "commisars".
In N.S.W. Opposition Leader Bob Carr triumphantly produced a letter from the Premier's Department revealing secret State Government plans to further amalgamate local councils. The Premier's Department responded in horror that this was obviously a forgery, and demanded that the letter be placed in the hands of the police. With the N.S.W. election set for March 25th, the result of the police investigation will be most interesting.

* * * * * * * *

Mr. Howard's elevation to the Liberal leadership has been warmly welcomed by the N.S.W. State Liberal Party, which is lagging in the polls leading up to the State election in March. The news that former Blue Mountains Liberal M.P. Barry Morris is now standing as an Independent has horrified Mr. Fahey, who cannot afford to lose a single seat. Morris, under suspicion of making death threats over the telephone, faces court one week after the election, and claims that he can hold his seat as an Independent. With the Liberals clearly facing defeat, Mr. Fahey is counting on Mr. Howard's leadership to give the Party a boost. Opposition leader Carr has made it clear that as Premier, he will immediately move to remove the Queen as Head of State using whatever means available.

* * * * * * * *

The Australian Republican Movement will urge the A.L.P. to make the republic a central issue in the next Federal election campaign, due before May 1996. If the A.L.P. can win an election with the republic a key issue, the A.R.M. then believes that the Coalition can be forced to support the republic at referendum, which is almost certainly necessary in order for a referendum question to succeed. Maximum pressure should be applied to all Coalition M.P's. to ensure that Mr. Howard does not retreat from his support for the Crown.

* * * * * * * *

PUBLIC IS PERMITTED NO ROLE ON TREATIES from Financial Review, January 24th
"I refer to Michael Costello's letter entitled 'Interpreting Treaties' (A.F.F., January 18). "The letter is a well crafted smokescreen, which avoids the real issues. "The issues are:
* Action to sign or ratify treaties is taken at the Federal Cabinet's absolute discretion, subject only to authorisation from the Governor General in Council. "This is clearly a most unsatisfactory state of affairs which precludes the Australian public from any real role.
* Objective assessment of any potential economic and social consequences as such treaties might have on Australian domestic affairs is never undertaken or adequately explained.
* International treaties represent an effective device the use of which allows the Federal Government to routinely interfere in State affairs.
"The case in point in Mr. Costello's letter is a fine example.
"After signing the World Heritage Treaty, the Federal Government introduced legislation known as 'The World Heritage Properties Conservation Act', which provides them with the means under External Affairs powers of interfering in State land management.
* Each time the Commonwealth ratifies a treaty or convention, it is to all intents and purposes effectively altering Australian law without any reference to Parliament or the Australian citizens it represents and governs.
"There is no question that the system of drafting, considering and accepting treaties is badly flawed.
"The substance of the treaties is usually drafted by an international organisation, considered by Australian diplomats and bureaucrats and accepted by executive government without benefit of parliamentary scrutiny.
"What should happen for any treaty to been truly owned by the Australian people, is that:
* Treaty ratification should be subject to the approval of a two-thirds majority of the Prime Minister and all of the State Premiers and Chief Ministers of Territories meeting together.
"The requirement of a two-thirds majority of the States and Territories plus the Commonwealth will effectively create public debate, consultation between State Governments and their constituents and thus a genuine consultation process.
* The relevant federal parliamentary committees should then be given the job of monitoring the treaty's impact on and subsequent value to Australia.
* The States should be given the responsibility of implementing treaty provisions within their jurisdictions, free of Commonwealth interference.
"Mr. Costello, from the records of his department, may indeed be capable of finding a treaty which has been repealed. As a layman, I have never heard of such action being taken once a treaty has been accepted.
"Australia is now the signatory to some 2,000 treaties covering everything from the 'rights of indigenous people' to 'land questions' such as World Heritage listing and other environmental matters such as 'biodiversity' and indeed 'industrial issues'. "I support Peter Walsh's comments as do a huge percentage of Australians who are heartily tired of international interference in Australia at the invitation of the Australian Government."
(G.A. Savell, Chief Executive, Association of Mining & Exploration Companies Inc., Leederville, W.A.)

BANKS AND DEPOSITS from The Australian, January 26th
"Adverting to Frank Hainsworth's assertion (Letters, 20/1) that banks create deposits by making loans of up to nine times the original deposit through the banking system, it is our understanding that following the Bank for International Settlements' agreement with Central Bank chiefs in 1988 at Basle, a Capital Adequacy Ratio was introduced, whereby an authorised bank needs $8 of capital for every $100 of bank created cheque book money it lends, and only $4 of capital for every $100 is needed where the money is advanced to the housing sector.
"We must infer by this that multiples have been increased to 12.5 times generally, but 25 times for home mortgages, created through authorised banks - of which there are, at present, about 45.
"We would also like to point out that no bank lends out customers' deposits: have you ever seen your account reduced by a loan to another customer - I think not."
(John C. Horrocks, Economic Reform Australia, Seaforth, N.S.W.)

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