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1 September 1995. Thought for the Week: "For a long time now language has been high-jacked by ideologies and vested interests of various persuasions. If ever there were any doubts that the ways in which ideas are expressed are as powerful as the ideas themselves, they would easily be dispelled by considering a few common examples. The word 'discrimination' now usually refers to prejudice rather than to judgment and good taste. The word 'gay' once had a wide range of meanings, virtually all of which have been collapsed into the distinguishing label of homosexuality, so we've lost a curious bit of etymological history with a word whose meaning was various 'lively'/bright, sportive, merry, dissipated, of loose life, showy and spotted'."
Dame Leonie Kramer
THE 'HELEN DEMIDENKO' AFFAIRActing on legal advice, we refrain from making any further comment on the "Helen Demidenko" affair, with which Mr. Eric Butler and the League of Rights have been linked.
AUSTRALIA'S NEW GOVERNOR GENERAL
by Eric D. Butler
But Keating and his advisers, dedicated to advancing the Republican cause, knew that the appointment of, for example, Justice Elizabeth Evatt, would have provoked strong outcry not only from sections of the Opposition but a number of Christian groups. Justice Evatt has on many occasions made clear her critical views on religion. She is an avowed secular humanist. On the other hand, Sir William Deane is a practising Roman Catholic, his only known party political affiliations were with the Democratic Labor Party, while his acceptance of a Knighthood would suggest that he is not a Republican. But his Knighthood was granted at a time when the Republican issue was not on the Australian political agenda. The suggestion that he is now a "closet republican" should not be regarded as critical or offensive. Several Australian Knights have openly proclaimed their support for Republicanism, generally on the basis that it is "inevitable".
Sections of the media were quick to depict Sir William Deane as "the last Australian Governor General". Paul Keating has announced that Sir William will finish his term of office to coincide with the nation's bi-centenary as a Federation. The Keating vision is that at this time Australia will move smoothly towards a Republic with a President appointed by both Houses of Parliament. He believes that his appointment of a man like Sir William places supporters of the Constitutional Monarchy at a disadvantage. But as the old saying goes, there is often a slip between the cup and the lip. Paul Keating has yet to get himself re-elected as Prime Minister. Any major change to the Federal Constitution requires a referendum of the Australian people. But whatever happens at the next Federal Election, the next five years are going to be decisive in the history of Australia.
Those Federal politicians of both the major parties who support the Republican cause may feel that the appointment of Sir William Deane ensures that there will be no obstruction to their proposed Republican programme that even Monarchists would not dare to criticise the Governor General. When John Howard said the appointment by Paul Keating was acceptable he was no doubt recalling that Sir William had been appointed to the High Court by the Fraser Government of which he (John Howard) had been a Minister.
But in assessing the philosophy of the next Governor General of Australia it is appropriate to recall that he sided with Lionel Murphy and his fellow internationalists in the Franklin Dam case. His judgment on the Mabo Case was again that of a centralist. The Deane appointment is a challenge to the supporters of the Constitutional Monarchy to increase their efforts. But while adjusting to the political advantage Keating has scored with his appointment of what he feels is a "safe" Governor General, equally important will be the Keating appointment to fill the vacancy on the High Court.
It is too much to expect that the appointment will be one to fill supporters of traditional Australia with any great joy. Clearly the future of Australia is now in the hands of the Australian people.
THE A.L.P. AND THE CAMPBELL AFFAIR - NATIONAL DIRECTOR'S REPORT
by David Thompson
In a press statement that afternoon,
I made the point that the Government's Racial Hatred Bill
has led to the view that the Labor Party has drifted toward
totalitarianism, that the decision to proscribe the League
simply confirms this, and that the authoritarian A.L.P. cannot
tolerate dissent. If the A.L.P. can impose such draconian
measures upon its own members, what might the next A.L.P.
Government have in store for the rest of us, if re-elected?
The League of Rights remains unconcerned about being banned by the A.L.P. In our view, perhaps the only A.L.P. Member of Parliament worth listening to is Mr. Graeme Campbell. We note that the A.L.P. declined to even discipline Mr. Campbell, after all the talk of expulsion from the Party, and withdrawal of pre-selection for Kalgoorlie. He has refused to be intimidated, and press reports quote Campbell as saying that he will not be bound by the A.L.P. ban, if he has any future occasion to address the League.
The Sunday Times (27/8/95) in Perth, which carried portions of my statement, quoted Mr. Campbell as being angered by the ban on the League, describing it as "authoritarian, inappropriate and childish": 'This is an attack on free speech. The next thing is we won't be allowed to talk to the Liberals, "he said. "We cannot apply free speech incrementally banning organisations on subjective judgment. Most A.L.P members are totally ignorant about the League of Rights, which I don't consider anti-semitic. Are we going to ban talking to those who might be anti-Japanese or anti-Irish? Where will it all stop?"
The Sunday Times also quotes Campbell on some significant feedback he has received from Jewish people: "Mr. Campbell said he also had been approached by Jewish people who claimed those who were accusing the League of Rights of being anti-semitic were not representative of the bulk of Jews." "I am told by Jews they do not find any anti-Semitism in this country, and those stirring it up (did so) to create anti-Semitism," he said." (Emphasis ours)
Mr. Alexander Downer might now be noting that, despite attending two Seminars organised by the League, Campbell's political position is now considerably strengthened by his refusal to be intimidated by those who wish to condemn the League for their own narrow ideological reasons. Clearly the A.L.P. acknowledges that if he were expelled, Campbell would win Kalgoorlie as an independent. This gives him considerable independence inside the Party, which few of his colleagues enjoy.
WILL MR JOHN HOWARD TELL THE TRUTH?
As a by product of the controversy concerning the A.L.P., Campbell and the League, the Coalition members have been pressed to place their position on the League of Rights on the record. Both Mr. Fischer and Mr. Howard have completely caved in to the intimidation, and condemned the League in the strongest terms, using the usual ritual language of "racial, anti-semitic", etc.
Mr. Howard, addressing a N.S.W. Jewish Board of Deputies meeting, claimed that "the League is incompatible with Liberal principles" as well as all the other usual rubbish. I have written to Mr. Howard, pointing out that the League had the benefit of support from many distinguished figures from the Coalition Parties in the past, and had been opposed by the totalitarians at every turn. I asked him in which company he intends that history should place John Howard, and with which Liberal principles is the League incompatible? What has happened to the Liberals, since the League's position on basic principles remains unchanged since 1946?
Last week, of course, Mr. Howard was making much of the necessity for Mr. Keating's Ministers to tell the truth concerning the Carmen Lawrence affair. He has insisted that "truth is absolute, supreme truth is never disposable". He has accused the Prime Minister of treating truth as "a disposable value in national political life" and argues that Mr. Keating refuses to demand that his ministers be truthful. This, of course, is dangerous language for a politician to use.
After his retirement, ex-Senator Richardson made it clear in his memoirs that telling lies is understood to be part of the currency of politics now. Is anyone really surprised that Dr. Lawrence has been contradicted by her former W.A. Cabinet colleagues on her recollections about the Penny Easton petition? But Mr. Howard is insisting on the truth. What if he is asked to apply the same standards to the Coalition? Is Mr. Howard prepared to meet the same standards in dealing with the Australian League of Rights?
We await Mr. Howard's response with great interest, and look forward to being able to publish his reply. Once again, the last few months have simply demonstrated that, far from being forced right out of the mainstream of Australian politics, as The Age in Melbourne, and their columnist Mr. Gerard Henderson demand, the League continues to become ever more relevant.
The principles upon which the League stands will not go away. The issues which the League (and Graeme Campbell) insist must be addressed, will not go away either, but become ever more critical. As a catalyst in the political process, the League becomes ever more important, as the A.L.P. has tacitly admitted by banning their members from any association with us.
GATT AND THE AUSTRALIAN WHEAT INDUSTRY
In the next few months, a nationwide series of meetings of Australian wheat-growers will take place, in order to attempt agreement on re-structuring the Australian Wheat Board in response to the Hilmer reforms and the national competition policy. The Hilmer reforms will impact on producer marketing boards, and few primary producers understand as yet what might happen to their own industries. The Wheat Board enjoys a statutory monopoly on the export of wheat - known as its "single desk", and also enjoys a Federal Government guarantee on underwriting Wheat Board borrowing to finance growers' advance wheat payments.
According to press reports (The West Australian, 8/8/95) Grains Council of Australia Chairman, Mr. Ian Macfarlane, claims that when the GATT agreement was being negotiated, former Primary Industries Minister, Mr. Crean, promised that the "single desk" would be maintained until such time as the benefits of GATT begin to flow through to grain-growers. This was not expected until about 1999, which is when the Wheat Board Federal underwriting guarantee expires.
It is clear that the GATT agreements will shake many monopoly-marketing arrangements that might be presently operating to the benefit of producers. But if Australia's export markets are "deregulated", what will replace them. Will they be privatised, like Qantas, or corporatised, like Telecom? Or will a number of the transglobal corporations move in and divide up the Australian market?
There is every chance that an industry monopoly, regulated by Australian Government status, may be replaced by an oligarchy of multinational monopolists, regulated by only the GATT agreement, if anything at all. The present monopoly may be inefficient, bureaucratic and restrictive, but at least it is in the hands of Australians.
We draw the attention of grain-growers
to the comments concerning GATT by Sir James Goldsmith. He
is arguing that GATT and the World Trade Organisation is little
understood in the cities, and supported by what he calls "the
But in country areas, says Goldsmith, "we had up to 8000 people at one meeting, and they understood, they were right there on the front line... "
An article on Goldsmith's views on the GATT treaty and its implications for agriculture will be published in Intelligence Survey for September, which we recommend.
RAINBOW GALLERYfrom The Australian, August 7th
"Have other viewers of ABC-TV noticed those little vignettes of Australian life that are used as fillers between programs, and the increasingly unsubtle messages they carry? "One little scene that regularly dances across my screen begins with a letter-board clicking round to the word 'Distinct', but so quickly you can hardly be sure of it. Then there is a blast of maniacally cheerful music and the camera begins to pan across a row of nine young schoolchildren. The children have clearly been selected to show the range of racial types in Australia: Chinese, Pacific Islander, etc. And all are enormously cute.
'Wait a minute, I thought, after about two months of this. The racial background of Australians is overwhelmingly North European, yet not one of the females shows this ancestry. That's nearly half the present population denied.
"As for the males, the presentation is the converse of what Nabokov described in American school photos of the 50s, when there would be 'just one or two Negro boys, but as cute as could be, always just off centre in the front row.
"I called a friend at the ABC who told me the ABC had spent a fortune on making some of these vignettes in consultation with the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) and that their messages had high Government priority. She said OMA had a unit within the ABC that vets its programs for 'sensitivity' and that those who resisted its advice might be called racists and would 'do their careers no good'.
"Do race and culture matter? (I suspect most Australians care far less about them than the ethnic lobbies do). If these things don't matter, why are we taxpayers paying to be lied to about them?"
(Jill Dickson, O'Connor, A.C.T.)
CHRISTIAN ECONOMICSAs reported in Adelaide Sunday Mail, 30/7
Dr. (Ian) George (Anglican Archbishop of Adelaide) floated the idea of paying every citizen an identical guaranteed wage to replace all benefits and allowances. 'This subsistence income would allow many people to work part-time instead of full-time, freeing up employment for others and easing social pressures."
|© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159|