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Edmund Burke
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5 April 1996. Thought for the Week: "As a result of the international nature of finance, we find that in varying degree the present economic crisis is a world crisis, and because finance is in a position to control mass publicity.... we notice a general suggestion in the inspired press that the international character of the crisis is inevitable, that the world is now one economic unit, and no nation can be restored to economic health except by means of a worldwide character."
C.H. Douglas in 1932

REALITIES BEHIND VICTORIAN ELECTION RESULTS

by Eric D. Butler
If democracy is measured in terms of statistics, all the superlatives about the re-election of the Victorian Kennett Government are justified. The headlines proclaim that "VOTERS ENDORSE THE KENNETT VISION…"; or "ELECTORS GIVE LIBERALS A MASSIVE VOTE OF CONFIDENCE". But a look at realities reveals a very different picture.

A major feature of the elections, and one with far-reaching implications, was the backlash against National Party candidates in rural Victoria. The fall in the Victorian National Party vote must be assessed against the general decline in the National Party vote at the recent Federal elections. Even in Queensland, there was a substantial drop in the vote for the National Party's number one Senate candidate, Senator Ron Boswell. There was, however, increased support for Katter and those National candidates who are representing regional concerns about the threat of the programme of economic rationalism.

Rural Victoria suffered most of the economic pain inflicted by the Kennett Government with National Party Members of the Coalition being perceived as having betrayed their trust. The role of sections of the media in supporting Liberal candidates against the Nationals has given rise to the strong suspicion that influential sections of the Liberal Party want to either rid themselves of the National Party, or absorb it into one party. One of the strongest protests from Regional Victoria came from Mildura, where the Independent Russell Savage looks like winning comfortably from Sitting Liberal Member Bildstien, a close personal friend of Jeff Kennett who was being discussed as a potential Cabinet Minister. He paid the price of ignoring local concerns about reductions to community service.

While most of the Independent candidates in rural Victoria polled reasonably well, they demonstrated once again that any Independent candidate who is serious cannot start his campaign at "five minutes to midnight", and expect to be successful. But the protest vote around Victoria has been sufficiently strong to demonstrate that as the National Party continues to decline, a vacuum is starting to emerge to be filled by a new political force. Labor leader John Brumby was correct when he said that three years of a Howard Government, and another term for the Kennett Government, is going to produce a very different political climate. Naturally, Brumby hopes that this will favour the Labor Party. He also is misreading the rapidly changing Australian economic and political climate.

The coming dose of finance economic orthodoxy, which John Howard is going to administer, and the failure of the Labor Party to offer any genuine alternatives, is going to see large numbers of traditional Labor voters being attracted to the type of policies, which Graeme Campbell has been promoting.

The Victorian Labor Party is, of course, the victim of their own policies, initially endorsed by many of the very shallow business community, now damning them. There was that period when the Cain Government was being applauded for the great burst in "growth". The skyline of Melbourne was changing overnight. The speculators were in their element. But the 1987 stock market crash was the beginning of the end. Treasurer Keating announced the arrival of "the depression we had to have." There were many victims, including the Victorian Labor Government. But we are now told that the Kennett Government has got the State "back on the rails."

There is much loose talk about how the Kennett Government has overcome the State's debt problem. But what is the State's current financial debt compared with when it took over from Labor? How many community assets have been sold in the process of allegedly reducing debt? And how many more community assets is it proposed to sell off? And what happens when there are no more community assets left to sell? Victorians have been subjected to an enormous confidence trick, which eventually will blow up. The reality is that the Kennett Government has taken Victoria closer to the Fascist State than any other government in Australia. Genuine representative government has been destroyed by the imposition of the forced amalgamations of Municipal Councils. The amalgamated units are now merely administrative instruments of a State Government, which, under Jeff Kennett, keeps stressing that the role of government is to manage, not represent.

The growth of the corporate structure and the abolition of checks and balances are all manifestations of the development of the Fascist State in which Big Government and Big Business unite against the legitimate rights of the individuals. A famous Western Canadian political leader said during the Great Depression, "If the people have not yet suffered enough to see the necessity for change, it is their God-given right to suffer some more." Victorians have not long to wait.


WILL HOWARD REPEAL RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT?

by David Thompson
When Malcolm Fraser was elected with a "landslide" majority in December 1975, he was expected to turn back the tide of almost revolutionary legislation that Mr. Whitlam and his Fabian colleagues had put in place. One of the most deadly of these legislative poisons was the Racial Discrimination Act 1975. However, not only did Mr. Fraser not remove these subversive instruments, he continued to build upon them. Now, 20 years after the Whitlam Government has disappeared, the "conservation" forces of Australian politics have another chance to begin to turn back over two decades of political and social damage.

In the name of such legislation as the Racial Discrimination Act, all sorts of new "rights" legislation and "anti discrimination" tribunals have been created. Minority groups of every sort have successfully sought special treatment from a succession of governments who have somehow convinced themselves that the "ethnic vote" is a powerful lobby. It is somehow ironic that some of the new "rights" legislation would seem to actually contravene acts like the Racial Discrimination Act. Constitutional lawyer Colin Howard has expressed the view that the Native Title Act, which gives effect to the High Court's "Mabo decision", contravenes the Racial Discrimination Act. It seems ironic, also, that Pauline Hanson, charged with "racism" for some of her comments concerning special privileges for Aborigines, should, in all fairness, have her comments upheld by the Racial Discrimination Act.


WHAT DID PAULINE HANSON SAY?

While some of Pauline Hanson's comments might have been couched in slightly different language, they certainly hit a nerve with grassroots Australia. The following include Hanson's reported comments:

January 6th: "Black deaths in custody seem to be Robert Tickner's latest outcry Pity that as much media coverage of political grandstanding is not shown for white deaths in custody. How can we expect this race to help themselves when governments shower them with money, facilities and opportunities that only these people can obtain no matter how minute the indigenous blood is that flows through their veins, and this is causing racism?"

March 3rd: "Why can some people get something because of the colour of their skin and other people can't?"

March 4th: Following the election, Hanson said she would be especially seeking to represent the interests of "The white community, the immigrants, Italians, Greeks, whoever, it really doesn't matter - anyone apart from the Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders....

March 8th: "Why do they think they should be entitled to cheaper housing loans at such a cheaper interest rate. You know, why should they be entitled to get a hepatitis B shot because of the colour of their skin and other people out in the community can't get it? And why should there be a difference between Abstudy and Austudy? You know, different benefits are there. And l don't think all Aboriginals appreciate what is being done for them....

Does not the Racial Discrimination Act uphold Hanson's right to ask such questions? Does it not also validate many of her questions, when she asks why certain benefits should be available on the basis of skin colour? So what will Howard and his Ministers do about this nightmare legislation? We can see no evidence anywhere that Mr. Howard has the courage to confront such subversive legislation. In fact, with the philosophical differences inside the Liberal Party alone, we can foresee nothing but an extension of the "rights-driven" legislative madness, perhaps to provide for such absurdities as legal recognition of homosexual marriages and the like.


HAYDEN'S PERSPECTIVE ON THE RECORD

It seems quite clear that when Prime Minister Whitlam appointed his mate John Kerr Governor General, Whitlam still regarded Kerr as "his" man. But Kerr's perspective, faced with the enormous responsibility that goes with representing over a thousand years of political heritage that comes with the Crown, underwent many subtle changes. It appears that Bill Hayden, Hawke's nominee for Governor General, also felt the weight of the office.

Widely regarded as a "republican" appointment, Hayden proceeded to largely undermine the republican movement after several years as the Crown's representative. In his autobiography, published this week, Hayden clarifies his position on some of the issues, much to the surprise - and horror - of some of his former Labor "mates". In published extracts from the book, Hayden largely validates Kerr's dismissal of the Whitlam administration, of which he, Hayden, was a Minister.

Hayden writes: "I can state, however that of those two powerful, stubborn, conflicting personalities who led the Government and the Opposition, respectively should have persevered with their dogged confrontation, then - at some point later than that at which Kerr acted - I would as Governor General, have been forced to have intervened much as he did.
"Kerr allowed Australia to decide the issue of its government - that much was his right and duty and that, as much as anything else, was, endorsed by the people on December 13th, 1975. Too many of his detractors forget that....
"In the end, however it was what John Kerr did that mattered. It is my view that his actions were legal and proper, although somewhat hasty. We in the Labor Party may not have cared for this fate of ours, and we protested long and loud. Our anger and the angst caused by this experience, however does not make our removal invalid. Its rightness, I restate, was confirmed by the overwhelming public endorsement of the Governor General's actions, implicit in the subsequent election result."

ON THE REPUBLIC

"At the time of the 1975 convulsion, and for some time after, many people demanded an Australian republic. They claimed what occurred would not have happened in a republic where Australians controlled their own destiny, conveniently ignoring the fact the Governor General who acted decisively then was an Australian, hand picked by the Labor Government of the time, only accepting the position after much persuasion by the man he would later sack…
"The predominant objective of the republican movement is to eliminate reference to the Crown in the Constitution and with that to change the title of head of State from Governor General to President. In this, it seems to me as we are being asked to hand over our old car so that it can be taken away and given fresh coat of duco and a new brand name - all preliminary to having it sold back to us as somehow improved. For my part, I can see no point in embarking on a spirited, time consuming, resource hungry hard sell campaign to enable a bit of tarting up of a vehicle which not only do we already own but performs quite effectively….
"In my seven years as Governor General neither the Queen nor anyone else at the palace contacted me, nor sought to reach me through any other means, to advise me or influence me in what I was doing in the discharge of my duties as Governor General. Australia's right to attend to its own affairs was meticulously respected. The periodic contact between Government House at Yarralumla and Buckingham Palace in no way derogates from our national independence."

It is interesting to note that Hayden, in his description of the republican objectives, cites the head of State as the Governor General. Perhaps the Governor General effectively acts as head of State, but the Constitution clearly names the Queen as head of State.


THE WAGES OF SIN IS G.S.T.

Finance writer for The Australian provides the following comment and information in The Weekend Australian of March 30th-3lst:
"Taxes on gambling have been the fastest growing government revenue source in the 1990s - and the other sin taxes are not far behind. So you thought we said no to a goods and services tax and John Hewson in 1993. Think again, for we actually have G.S.T., arguably the G.S.T. we had to have. What's more, it's far worse on a number of grounds than the good doctor proscribed, and it is the fastest growing tax in Australia. It is the gambling and sin tax. More accurately, taxes - all those Federal and State taxes on gambling and the modern political sins of smoking and drinking alcohol.....Taxes on gambling have been the fastest growing revenue source bar none in the 1990s. They have increased by 69 percent in the last five years, to $3 billion in the 1994-95 financial year, and seem likely to continue to grow at a similar pace in the new century. These taxes are almost exclusively at the State level, and the really big growth areas have been in the poker machines - up 265 percent to $1 billion - and casinos - up 197 percent to $232 million and only really getting going. Not far behind though are the other 'sin' taxes, with all Federal and State taxes on grog and cigs up 47 percent."

McCrann then lists all the taxes imposed on cars, petrol and oil, pointing out that the poorer members of society pay the same tax, as do the wealthy.


SELF-DETERMINATION IN ITALY

Perhaps one of the least stable "democracies" in the world, and yet one of Europe's most impressive economic performers, Italy, goes to the polls again at the end of April. Since the end of World War II, there has hardly been a year in which the Italians did not go to the polls. The government of Mr. Silvit Berlusconi was brought down because of the withdrawal of one of his coalition partners, the Northern League, led by the fiery Mr. Umberto Bossi. The grievances of the Northern League against the centralisation of political power in Rome, while the main industrial wealth is in the north, have now produced the threat of secession of the North from Southern Italy.

In an announcement that his League would pursue recognition as a separate state, Mr. Bossi ignited a rally of over 25,000 supporters near Milan last week. He wants the separate state to be called "Padania", an ancient Italian term for the Po Valley. Succession along the lines that Mr. Bossi is proposing would mean that the new state would encompass Italy's most powerful industries, the most fertile agricultural land, most of its financial wealth and its greatest cities of Venice, Turin, Genoa, Bologna and Milan.

The new expression of "self-determination" in Northern Italy, whether successful or not simply highlights a process occurring internationally. People of different cultural, national, racial and religious backgrounds are seeking to return to their roots, and exercise some additional political control over their own future.

The successions movement in Eastern Canada, where the French speaking Quebec province has a large secessionist movement, only narrowly failed to carry a referendum in favour of separation from Canada.

Even Western 'democracies' are experiencing such culturally driven movements towards self-determination, which were previously assumed to be the preserve of third world colonies of oppressive Western empires. Australians should learn from the realistic forces of race, culture, nationalism and religion as expressed in other conflicts before we continue to introduce such factors into the Australian body politic before consulting traditional Australia.


EMILIE SCHINDLER REJECTS OSKAR'S HEROISM

In a new book telling her own side of the story, Emilie Schindler, abandoned wife of Oskar of Schindler's List and Schindler's Ark fame, says her husband, far from being a hero, was a selfish, ruthless man. Mrs. Schindler, living in Argentina aged 88, charged that the work on which Steven Spielberg based his award-winning movie, was "packed with lies". The book, Emilie Schindler- Memoirs, confirms what many already knew about Oskar, that his alleged attempt to save thousands of Jewish prisoners from the 'gas chambers' was based on sheer greed. He wanted to keep his china factory working, otherwise Schindler himself would be out of work, and would in all probability be sent off to the front in uniform.

Mrs. Schindler's book debunks some of the fictional embellishments of her husband's life, but she cannot expect it to correct the record. Thomas Keneally, author of the book Schindler's Ark, has already conceded that his book is a "work of fiction", as its title page acknowledges. It is not Keneally, and perhaps not even wholly Spielberg who have attempted to portray works of fiction as "history", to be shown to school children as though they were "history", but others with a more overt political agenda. The propagandists do not prevent the facts from getting in the way of "history" according to the victors.


ERNST ZUNDEL'S INTERNET CONFRONTATION

The "Friends of Freedom" newsletter, published by the Canadian Free Speech League (P.O. Box 40143, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8W 3N3) reports on the struggles of Mr. Ernst Zundel, who was prosecuted by the Canadian authorities for "distributing false news" about the Holocaust. This report comes form the January/February 1996 edition of the newsletter:

"During the past months Ernst Zundel has become the focus of a gigantic battle for freedom of expression on the Wide World Web of the Internet, and this has been one battle in which freedom - so far - has been victorious. It started when the German prosecutors wished to have access to Zundel's web site blocked, and hence blocked access for everyone to the provider of his site. This caused a big controversy, as many ordinary non-controversial sites were also blocked, however it demonstrated that censorship of the Web is not as easy as it appeared to the thought police.

Following this draconian move, some very courageous individuals at various universities around the U.S. created mirror sites of the Zundel site at their servers so that if the censors would block Zundel they'd have to block access to those universities as well. It became an impossibility to censor the Zundel site and so the lid was lifted. It was a big achievement and a struggle in which some people at some universities have proven to be a bastion of freedom of inquiry, as they properly should be.

New Case Against Zundel
It is not known if there will be yet another case taken over by the Ontario government against Ernst Zundel. Right now, the Attorney General's department is still surveying the reams of information given to them by the private complainants (the ubiquitous Sabina Citron, et al) alleging that Ernst Zundel has defamed Simon Weisenthal, etc. Several court dates at which a decision was to have been announced have come and gone, with still no decision. The next court date is March 15th. Doug Christie will appear for Mr. Zundel.

Yet Another Attack on Zundel
The forces of censorship are now using a new technique to defeat the freely used pen and mouth of Ernst Zundel, since they haven't beat him in court. They are seeking to deport him as a 'threat to the security of Canada'. His case will be 'reviewed' by a board called SIRC (Security Intelligence Review Committee). This politically appointed body can hear evidence (ex parte, in camera) that you will neither see nor hear, nor be allowed to cross-examine. This is okay with the Supreme Court of Canada (per a case called Chiarelli, decided in 1992), as they have sanctioned this process for national security.
The country is going mad to eliminate the right wing with more diligence than Stalin!
Mr. Zundel begins his hearing before this Star Chamber-like "committee" on March 19th and it will go until the committee has heard all it needs to hear. Doug Christie will be acting for Mr. Zundel in these hearings.

© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159