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17 May 1996. Thought for the Week: "There is no such thing as an effective national responsibility - it is pure abstraction, under cover of which, oppression and tyranny to individuals, which would not be tolerated if inflicted by a personal ruler, escape effective criticism."
C.H. Douglas in Social Credit
CENTRALISM IN RETREAT?
by Eric D. Butler
If present day National Party Members make an examination of the history of the Country Party, out of which the National Party evolved, they will discover that one of the major objectives of the original Country Party was the creation of new States in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Constitution. But along with many other laudable objectives, including support of the nation's original restrictive immigration policy, support for the creation of new States was quietly dropped. There is no record of a vote of members taking place.
It is appropriate to recall this forgotten piece of Australian political history with the recent news that a new "politically incorrect" national newspaper has been launched with the backing of several former National Party Federal Members and at least one Federal Liberal Member, Tony Abbott. The first issue of the paper calls for the establishment of new States. There is no news concerning the reaction of Prime Minister John Howard, currently still protected by the smokescreen resulting from all the hype concerning proposed gun legislation. But the call for the creation of new States is, hopefully, a sign that there is a shift in thinking away from the collectivist philosophy, which had prevailed for so long.
Genuine harmony and social stability
requires that there is the maximum decentralisation in all
spheres. Developments in all parts of the world confirm this
fundamental truth. As predicted by "politically incorrect"
observers like the writer, the grandiose plan to force the
different diverse groups of South Africa into a unified State
was doomed to failure. Led by Chief Buthelezi, the Zulu people
have been increasingly restive under a government dominated
by the African National Congress Party. Violence has reached
the stage where Nelson Mandela has had to accept that the
scheduled Provincial Elections in Natal will have to be postponed.
Now comes the news that Italy is faced
with a demand by the leader of the Northern League, Mr. Umberto
Bossi, that there be a peaceful Czechoslovakia-type break
up of Italy. Mr. Bossi has said, "The time has come to sit
down around a table, to divide up the country." His statement
has resulted in a national uproar with even the Pope appealing
for calm. Italy was one of the founding members of the European
Economic Community, whose problems continue to grow as the
Common Market bureaucracy attempts to regulate ("harmonise"
is the buzz word) all aspects of the lives of peoples of diverse
Australia's most immediate and pressing foreign policy issue is right on its northern doorstep, in Papua New Guinea. After years of talk, and some military action, the problem of Bougainville continues to fester. The basic cause of the problem is known to those prepared to face reality: the people of Bougainville do not regard themselves as part of a unified Papua New Guinea. Once again centralisation has proved disastrous.
As a general principle, effective decentralisation is the only way to any type of stability and harmony. Australia is better equipped than most European nations to demonstrate this truth.
REDUCING PREMIER KENNETT TO SIZEPremier Jeff Kennett of Victoria is the classic demonstration of the corruption of power. With no effective opposition in either the Victorian Legislative Assembly or the Legislative Council, he has been able to do almost as he likes. We are no friends of Senator Spindler, but the Kennett gibe that the Senator had been a member of the Nazi Party was outrageous. Under the threat of legal action, Kennett has been forced to retreat. We see no good reason why his Crown Casino friends should not be investigated by a Senate Committee.
EMBRACING THE TOTALITARIAN STATE
by David Thompson
If this agreement among the States will not, as Howard concedes, prevent the recurrence of tragedies like that of Port Arthur, then what "problem" does it solve? It only solves the continual "problem" for the Commonwealth centralisers, that, in the matter of firearms, as in so many other State powers, the Commonwealth has no powers.
There is no shadow of doubt, however, that Mr. Howard is correct when he states that the banning of some guns "represents an enormous shift in the culture of this country". Until now, the "culture" to which Australia has subscribed rests upon the philosophy that the basis of the free society is individual independence, guaranteed by the ownership of private property. With a single decision concerning firearms, a "conservative" government has loudly and even proudly proclaimed that this is no longer the case. Further, the decision was deliberately hastened in an emotionally charged environment of horror, grief, fear and ignorance, perhaps the worst combination of conditions under which to make such a fundamental decision.
As an exercise in representative government, Howard's firearms legislation is a classic disaster. No other minority group could expect such treatment. In the context of, for example, the AIDS threat to public health, this type of decision would have resulted in all homosexuals being locked up. In South Africa, where the government is dominated by the communists, even the question of whether the Zulus, feared by the A.N.C. supporters have the right to carry their deadly traditional weapons, the assegai, is at least debated.
It is quite clear that this decision really does represent a dramatic change in Australian culture - from a basically confident, free society, to a fearful, totalitarian culture. Former Prime Minister Keating has been the subject of much ideological loathing in the last few years. While conceding that most of this is justified, we have constantly asked, "Is Howard any better?" This single act answers that question. Even at the height of his popularity, Paul Keating would not even have contemplated what Howard has done.
GOVERNMENT BY CONSENT ABANDONED
Contrast Howard's actions with the British response to the Scottish shooting at Dunblane. Perhaps the most senior peer of the realm was appointed to head a commission of enquiry to recommend a sensible, workable solution to the Dunblane tragedy. Consultation with interest groups will take place. Submissions will be heard. The issue will be debated. How British. And in the end, how successful.
If it is finally decided that the banning of guns will prevent further tragedies, then at least shooters, farmers, doctors, etc., will have been consulted. It was the British, of course, who refined the concept of government by consent. The multiculturalists claim that we are no longer British, and to our cost, we continue to demonstrate that we are throwing away the best of our heritage.
Of course, Mr. Major is faced with annihilation in a general election in less than one year. Mr. Howard is exercising a form of superior self-righteousness that comes from a thumping majority less than three months ago. But Howard knows that in a few short months, he will need all the political capital he can find. The Coalition has no basic solution to the economic and financial problems faced by Mr. Keating. So every "motherhood" issue is being beaten to death to accrue political brownie points for when the economic crunch hits.
But the firearms issue will certainly
rebound on the Coalition. First, it has deliberately offended
some of its core constituents on a fundamental issue that
no amount of gratuitous apologising will satisfy. Second,
the debate about the merits of this decision will take place
after it is made rather than before. When the dust settles,
grief and shock subsides, common sense will begin to set in
again. If this spells "trouble" for John Howard and the Liberals,
it almost certainly spells "disaster" for the National Party.
A CULTURE OF GUILT AND DISTRUST
Lack of debate ensures that a vast array of unforeseen problems will undermine Howard. What about defence? A feature of our history has been that shooters' clubs produce a certain type of person. Those who train the military - especially in wartime - readily concede that recruits who are already thoroughly familiar with firearms are far, far ahead of others in the armed forces.
Debate in the State Parliaments will now produce points of view that a blatantly biased press overlooks. There might be agreement between police ministers on guns, but there is not yet nationwide legislation. Urban Australians in general cannot be expected to properly understand what is taking place here in their fear and ignorance they make unjust demands upon rural people.
What the politicians are telling hundreds of thousands of more-or-less law-abiding Australians is that because they own firearms, they share the guilt for Strathfield, Hoddle Street and Port Arthur. Further, Howard, who himself does not understand the issue, is telling such people that Australia doesn't trust them any more. Further still, as a function of that guilt and distrust, the most potent symbolic gesture of all is to be invoked: we are to be disarmed as if by a victorious conqueror.
Before we even shoot a rabbit we are required to complete an environmental impact statement, apply for a permit, pay the bureaucratic fees and levies, and probably complete a TAFE course in animal rights. Is it any wonder that rural people begin to feel a sense of injustice that eventually will be expressed in bitterness?
INCENTIVE NOT COMPULSION
Will John Howard's legislation work? No one seems particularly interested in this question. Even Mr. Howard concedes that it won't work. In every State where a firearms register has been arbitrarily introduced, much less than half those who own firearms have complied. Those who have were never a threat to others anyway. It is yet to be demonstrated how a national register of firearms achieves absolutely anything in the pursuit of safety.
In our view, it is the responsibility of every Australian citizen to obey the law, but regrettably the sillier the law becomes the more it is observed in the breach. A major result of the Howard legislation will be to translate contempt for politicians into contempt for the law, which is at the very least unhealthy. If it was agreed that banning some guns would stop "massacres", why is compulsory confiscation of firearms necessary? Why not reflect the principles of the free society, and use incentive to collect the guns? Why not permit the anti-gun lobby to make a useful contribution, and offer a genuine incentive of, say, $5,000 for every firearm of any sort more powerful than the air rifle? The anti-gun lobby demands "whatever it takes" to collect the guns. Let them "put their money where their mouths are."
Such a proposal solves almost every "problem"
associated with firearms.
Such a proposal would not stop future "massacres", but as Mr. Howard concedes, nor will his. The present situation leaves one question as yet unanswered. Who will represent the legitimate interests of those who wish to own firearms? A politician of courage and common sense can secure a committed and determined core of solid, nationwide support on this issue alone. All it takes is the political will.
AUSTRALIA: TWO FLAGS OR ONE?The head of the Australian Olympic Committee, Mr. John Coates, has confirmed that no objection will be raised if sprinter Cathy Freeman were to carry both the Australian and Aboriginal flag should she win an Olympic medal. But many other Australians will object. Those who support the Olympics with their tax dollars and their goodwill are not all likely to welcome a symbol of racial division. Is Cathy Freeman competing as an Australian, or as an Aborigine? "Tolerant" Australians would perhaps be prepared to suffer a dual flag in a moment of unthinking euphoria, but to suffer what could be regarded as a calculated slight is another matter. The Olympic rules are clear. "Political, religious or racial demonstrations" during Olympic medal ceremonies were forbidden after gold medallist Tommie Smith and bronze medallist John Carlos gave a Black Power salute on the dais in 1968. If Freeman indulges in the use of the Aboriginal flag she is doing two things. First, she is making a political statement. Second, she is downgrading the status of the Australian flag. Neither is acceptable to Australians. If Australia is sending Freeman to Atlanta, then the Aboriginal "flag" should be left home.
THE 'GUN' DEBATEAs yet, the debate has barely started. In an impulsive reaction, the Prime Minister has bullied the States into an agreement before the debate, not after it. This is why the Police Ministers' Meeting last Friday took so long. More responsible Ministers sought to debate the issue before making a decision. John Howard not only banned the guns, he also stifled any debate. We suggest that opponents of both the proposed new legislation and the manner, in which "agreement" was reached, continue to hammer away at the pertinent points. Basically this is a philosophical issue, freedom with responsibility versus totalitarianism. The greatest damage is being done by deepening the divide between city and country people, and by stressing an institutionalised distrust of firearms owners. The political focus should be directly on State M.P's., and the propaganda war takes place, of course, in the press.
REVEALING GOEBBELS DIARIES
The major feature of David Irving's biography of Nazi leader Dr. Joseph Goebbels based primarily but not exclusively on the Goebbels Diaries is that it is impossible to find any evidence of the "anti-Semitism" with which Irving has been charged. The American mainstream publisher St. Martins originally defended the right to publish on the basis that having read the manuscript meticulously, no evidence of "anti-Semitism" could be located. But eventually under massive Zionist Jewish pressures the American firm capitulated.
One can only guess at the motives of those who have relentlessly harassed Irving ever since the news that the Goebbels Diaries had been located in Moscow and that Irving was the only man qualified to transcribe Goebbels' strange style of writing. It would be true that the campaign against the Irving biography of Goebbels would be part of a campaign to deny Irving a financial base.
The American market is an enormous one and with a mainstream publisher Irving appeared to have gained access to that market. There can be no doubt that the loss of an American mainstream publisher was a major financial blow. But as one carefully studies what will have to be regarded as one of the major works on Nazi Germany and the Second World War, it becomes obvious that the Diaries of Goebbels provide no evidence whatever to support "the Holocaust" myth about millions being gassed to death.
What emerges from Irving is that Goebbels was one of the worst of the murderous thugs who struggled for power in the Nazi hierarchy. Evidence is provided of thousands of Jews being massacred after being deported to the East out of Germany. The biography proves that Goebbels was personally responsible for the destruction of Jewish shops, destruction that was a major international propaganda defeat for Goebbels. Hitler is quoted directly by Goebbels as saying that a solution to the Jewish problem would have to wait until after the war. There are a number of references to the possibility of Madagasgar being established as some type of a homeland for those Jews who were permitted to survive.
As with all his works on Nazi Germany, Irving clearly seeks to present the main Nazi figures as objectively as possible. But Goebbels does emerge from the Irving study as probably the most treacherous and evil of the Nazi leaders. It was only during the later stages of the war, following the failed attempt by the German Generals to assassinate Hitler that Goebbels managed to worm his way to the position where he was virtually running Germany.
Fascinating insights are provided to the ongoing power struggles between Goebbels and others. Goering clearly had contempt for him. Goebbels emerges as an evil genius in the Irving study. Can it be that the Zionist-Jewish propaganda machine, having so thoroughly pictured Hitler as the ultimate in evil, finds it upsetting that he was relatively moderate compared with Goebbels?
The Goebbels biography is Irving at his best. A massive documentation is provided. As usual he writes clearly and descriptively. A feature of the work is the wide range of excellent photographs. It is available in a deluxe edition ($80 posted) or hard back ($60 posted). Available from all League addresses.
FROM THE PRESS
The following letter was published (in part) in "The Australian" (10/5/96). Whether it is a case of blatant press bias, or a classic case of some city people being totally unaware of the rural perspective is unclear, but the letter was edited, with the main point being excluded. We reproduce the letter in full:
"I was born and raised in the bush. Guns
were taken for granted as part of life. Occasionally someone
got shot in an accident, less common than rolling the ute.
Dad taught us to handle them safely. City kids went to the
cinema for entertainment; we'd go and shoot a rabbit. Never
had T.V. Never belonged to a gun club or shooters' party.
Didn't think I'd mind much if the pollies went troppo and
said we had to hand them in. "But I've discovered that I do
mind. I bought a .22 magnum when I was 18, and shot foxes,
roos and rabbits when I could; cattle, sheep, dogs and even
a horse when I had to. In over 20 years I never had an accident
with it, never lent it or lost it and never pointed it at
a living thing I didn't intend to shoot. But because I can
jam fourteen shells in the magazine, it will be illegal in
a day or two.
The following letters from "The Australian"
were published on May 7th:
"A national firearms registration system
would be faulty before it started, if one considers the Victorian
experience. "Three licensed shooters conducted an audit on
the State's legally held firearms certificates. The results
are illuminating. Thirty-six percent of the certificates had
one or more pieces of data that were incorrect. In one case
the make, model, calibre and action were either missing or
incorrect. This, mind you, after the police had physically
checked all the details when the rifles concerned were produced
at the police station. The certificate of registration asks
that if there are any errors one should contact the firearms
officer or the local police station to correct the information.
The police are not only incapable of recording the most basic
information they also want the public to correct their errors.
So much for registration."
ONE WHOLEfrom "The Australian", 9/5/96
"Reading Al Grassby's response (Letters, 5/5) to an article by Beatrice Faust, caused me to ponder. At face value, I couldn't fault Al's logic, but something was wrong. Then I twigged that Al and his mates still can't come to terms with the fact that Australia isn't a jumble of disparate ethnicities but that a distinct Australian culture exists. Suck eggs, Al. You can be as Italian as you like, but I'm an Australian. As my name implies, I'm of Irish descent - so what? My wife is of Aboriginal descent in the distant past, as is my son. Koories? No - Australians!
"I wonder whether a lot of the stress that is associated with multiculturalism is generated by people like Al Grassby, who are doing their damndest to insist that we are something other than what we are. "We aren't ethnics, Al, we're Australians. And Australians generally frown on people bashing their wives."
Shane Flynn, Picton, N.S.W.
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