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Christian based service movement warning about threats to rights and freedom irrespective of the label.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"
Edmund Burke
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On Target

12 July 1996. Thought for the Week: "The love (worship) of money is the root of all evil."
St.Paul

THE KENNETT REVOLUTION

by Eric D. Butler
Victoria was at one time generally regarded as the most conservative State in Australia. It was the State, which produced a Robert Menzies and a Henry Bolte. But the Kennett Government has set in motion a programme, which is changing the traditional culture of the State. Its full impact is yet to be felt.

An unnamed Liberal Party backbench Member has been quoted as saying that when he joined the Victorian Liberal Party he did not anticipate that it would progressively embrace the agenda of the Labor Party. He was one of the Liberal Party Members who are openly in revolt against the latest manifestation of the "vision" of Jeff Kennett for a new multiculturally "culturally diverse" Victoria: the embracement of the homosexual "community". Jeff Kennett argues that such a step with the homosexuals establishing a mardi gras similar to that conducted annually in Sydney, would bring "hundreds of millions" of dollars into the State.

This expression of the Kennett philosophy is an extension of a gambling led economic recovery. The Crown casino, highly profitable for Jeff Kennett's Big Business associates, has become a new type of Mecca, so holy that only a protest by the Returned Servicemen's League, and others, halted the proposal to have the Casino operating 24 hours a day, even on Anzac Day. The Crown Casino is the only public building in Melbourne not subject to the anti-smoking regulations. Nothing must be allowed to stand in the way of the worship of the Almighty Dollar.

All major revolutions depend upon the revolutionaries initially obtaining the support of the "moderates", whose philosophy is expressed in the young girl's statement who said that she thought a little bit of pregnancy would be alright. That was the threat to the British after the Second World war, that if they were not prepared to go halfway to Moscow, they could be compelled to go all the way.

It is the Federal National Party leader Tim-Fischer who is threatening the rural community, which he allegedly represents, that unless they are prepared to submit to John Howard's gun controls, they could face an even more draconian firearms programme.

It was the Fabian Socialist Government of John Cain, which made the first major attempt to revolutionise Municipal Government in Victoria by forced amalgamations. Jeff Kennett, leader of the Liberal Opposition, put himself at the head of the State-wide campaign of opposition, stating that no Liberal Party Government headed by Jeff Kennett would endorse forced amalgamation of the State's municipalities.
His first major act, after obtaining a monopoly of political power both in the House of Assembly and the Legislative Council, was to impose an amalgamation programme even more far reaching than that proposed by the Labor Government. One of the reasons given was that the bigger Council would be more "efficient" and that they would encourage more investment into the State. Then Jeff Kennett and his advisers started to make it clear that they were proposing a change to the very foundations of representative government; that Councillors of the future must be seen as business managers. This is a cultural revolution.

The programme of economic rationalism imposed by the Kennett Government has had its biggest effect in rural Victoria. The National Party everywhere has been engaged in self-destruction under the pressure of a new type of Liberal Party. The British system of representative government was never one based upon mere numbers. It was rooted in the philosophy that a nation consists of different interests, many of them minorities, but that they are all part of the whole and must therefore be effectively represented.

For a number of reasons, rural communities have always been regarded as being of special significance in a nation, not only producing the most basic requirement of life, but also fostering the highest civic virtues. It was a Victorian Liberal-dominated Government, which took the first step towards minimising the influence of the Victorian rural community. That government, infected with the disease of collectivism sweeping the world after the Second World War, readily accepted the view that it was "undemocratic" that property owners and members of the rural community should be able to dominate the Legislative Council.

One of the more far-sighted Ministers in the Liberal Government, Sir Arthur Warner, came to me and said that many of his colleagues were so shortsighted that they did not realise that there would be long term implications if the voting franchise was altered as proposed by the Socialists. Sir Arthur asked me if I would produce a special brochure on the long-term dangers of the proposal and have the League of Rights distribute it.

In the course of considerable research I was able to show that all the best qualities of civic virtues were to be found in the country area of Victoria. There was certainly far less crime. The traditional Christian value system was still more firmly upheld in rural communities. By weakening the vote of the most responsible section of the community, the Liberal Party was making it easier at a later date for the philosophy of centralisation and collectivism to be advanced.

The Victorian Legislative Council has become the plaything of naked party politics. Jeff Kennett can ignore the rural community on the firearms or any other issue. Any setbacks he has suffered have not affected his determination to push forward with a revolutionary programme. But his ready support for social destructive policies make it clear that eventually he must be checked if Victoria is to be saved from a complete collapse of the traditional value system and a system of government based upon checks and balances.


TED DRANE 'GUN-SHY' ON IMMIGRATION

by David Thompson
Sporting Shooters Association President, Mr. Ted Drane, appears to be the first casualty of the propaganda war that is certain to swirl around Graeme Campbell's newly formed Australia First group. What was to have been a political partnership between Mr. Drane's Reform Party and Australia First to form the Australia First Reform Party has been abandoned by Mr. Drane for fear of "extremist elements he says have attached themselves to Mr. Campbell".

In a report published in The Age (8/7/96) Mr. Drane is expressing concern about Australians Against Further Immigration spokesman, Denis McCormack, and the Australian League of Rights. "Certainly I don't want to get on the same platform or be at the same meeting as the League of Rights," he said. It is clear that Mr. Drane has been subjected to the political blowtorch on the question of immigration and multiculturalism. By ducking the issue he has failed the first political litmus test, and Mr. Campbell's Australia First are fortunate to have discovered Mr. Drane's weakness in this area now rather than in the heat of an election or by-election campaign.

If Ted Drane cannot sustain "enemy fire" on the questions of immigration and multiculturalism, now is the best time to find out. Graeme Campbell's support for those campaigning against Mr. Howard's draconian new gun laws has been invaluable to groups like the Sporting Shooters Association. But as time passes, and some form of political accommodation is reached with shooters, the firearms issue must eventually begin to fade in political intensity. When this occurs, the other issues that Graeme Campbell and Australia First are addressing will still remain.

Campbell is stressing a programme to rebuild Australia's industrial base. He points out that the economic issues will remain critical long after the gun debate has eased. There is not much comfort, after all, in owning a gun if you lose the farm/business/job. The editor of Quadrant and political columnist Robert Manne is clearly concerned about Graeme Campbell's new group. Manne points out that if it is possible to marry the backlash against the Howard gun controls with support for rebuilding the industrial base, lower immigration, abandoning multiculturalism and citizen-initiated referenda, Australia First can become a potent new political force.

If Mr. Drane has no stomach for longer-term issues that grip grassroots Australia, he will have to go his own way. The last election campaign taught Graeme Campbell and his Australians Against Further Immigration colleagues that a single-issue party cannot attract the support required to make a strong political impact. Many other shooters, to whom the firearms issue is presently the highest on the political agenda, will understand the political reality of this, and Australia First can expect strong support from shooters' groups, Ted Drane notwithstanding. Much of the support for Mr. Drane's Reform Party in recent months was, in fact, support for Graeme Campbell as the leader of Australia First.


THE LEAGUE AND AUSTRALIA FIRST

Mr. Drane's allegation that the League of Rights is aligned with Australia First is rather disingenuous. The League regards political parties as a blight on the political landscape. But it is certainly not a secret that the League has offered a public platform to Graeme Campbell on two occasions, which he has accepted. It is certainly not a secret that the League is interested in issues, which can restore political sovereignty to Australia. In the last election campaign, the League was in strong agreement with the issues on which Campbell and the AAFI were campaigning. On this basis, we did as much as possible to draw attention to what Campbell was saying, and the issues for which he was providing leadership. We shall continue to do so while ever Campbell and Australia First stand firm on the key issues.

The fact that it is almost essential for any group standing candidates for political office (particularly the Senate) to have a party structure is a reality that must be faced. What is vital is that the party structure exists as a means to achieving results on the issues that count, rather than becoming an end in itself. For Mr. Drane to use the League's support for Campbell's programme as an excuse for abandoning his relationship with Mr. Campbell says more about Mr. Drane than Campbell and Australia First. The truth is that Mr. Drane obviously has political ambitions of his own, and if he is tainted with "extremism" on issues such as immigration, such ambitions may be jeopardised. This is a decision for Mr. Drane.

Now that he is out of the way, Graeme Campbell and Australia First can make their case to the electorate in clear terms, without having to defer to Mr. Drane. Campbell has already demonstrated that he is not afraid of the immigration and multicultural issue, or of being accused of "racism". Much of his support, and that of others like Pauline Hanson, is due to respect for his determination not to be intimidated on these issues.

News from other parts of Australia indicates that there is massive support for a nationwide movement led by Graeme Campbell. While the firearms issue may be the catalyst for this, other issues are also important. Clearly politicians fear this, and are already smearing Australia First. Liberal Member for Groom in Queensland, Mr. Bill Taylor, has charged that Australia First had its origins in anti-Semitism and neo-Nazism. Taylor has been stung by the gun control backlash in his seat in which Liberal and National Party Members are deserting to join Australia First. A branch of Australia First has been formed in Groom, and it is clear that such support is available for Mr. Campbell across Australia.

Campbell was suspended from Parliament for a day after refusing to withdraw the charge that Mr. Taylor had lied about Campbell's links with the La Rouche CEC. Ted Drane has freed Campbell and Australia First of a weak link. Campbell is now free to get on with the job of establishing Australia First as a powerful new political force, which can offer leadership on the issues now undermining Australian sovereignty. The League supports Campbell on these issues.


THE BACKGROUND OF AUSTRALIA FIRST

Liberal M.P from Queensland, Mr. Bill Taylor, has demonstrated the depths to which some politicians are prepared to sink in an attempt to smear those opposed to John Howard's draconian gun laws. Graeme Campbell was expelled from Parliament because he refused to withdraw his statement that Mr. Taylor was being untruthful when he attempted to link Campbell with the La Rouche movement.

The Chronicle, Toowoomba (6/7/96), quotes Taylor as saying that "The Australia First Party that existed before had its origins in anti-Semitism and in a pro-Nazi attitude". Taylor warned that the Australia First Party should consider the historical origins of the name. There was an Australia First movement before the Second World War, headed by one of Australia's leading literary figures, P.R. Stephenson. The movement was disbanded early in the Second World War. Prominent members of the movement had served their nation with great distinction in the First World War. In one of the most disgraceful episodes in Australian history, a number of members of the Australia First movement were interned without trial. Subsequent developments cast a deep shadow over the image of Dr. H.V. Evatt as a libertarian.

If Mr. Taylor is familiar with the history of the Australia First movement, he has blatantly distorted what happened. If, as is highly probable, he knows nothing about it, he stands guilty of repeating what has been fed to him by someone concerned with smearing Graeme Campbell and his party. Perhaps Mr. Taylor might care to tell the Australian people where he got his false information. No doubt it was the same source from which he obtained the story about Graeme Campbell being associated with the La Rouche movement.

The story of The Australia First movement is outlined in Eric Butler's book, The Truth About The Australian League of Rights (unfortunately now out of print). We will shortly be republishing this material so that all League actionists are fully briefed. The kindest observation we can make about Mr. Bill Taylor is that he is attempting to ingratiate himself with John Howard in an attempt to gain a Cabinet position in what is a rather mediocre government in terms of talent.


QUEENSLAND'S 'BIG PETITION'

One of the biggest petitions ever presented to the Queensland Parliament is quickly gathering momentum around the Independent Member for Gladstone, Mrs. Liz Cunningham. The petition calls for the introduction of the Voters' Veto into the Queensland political system. Queensland is the only State without the protection of an Upper House, and it is clear that some mechanism to place a check on politicians who act without consulting Queenslanders is of tremendous interest. The firearms debate underlines this.

The voters' veto involves a referendum on issues to determine community opinion. Mrs. Cunningham writes, "Increasing demands for the right of people to initiate referenda to test the acceptability of popularity of proposed laws and regulations are being directed to me. I believe there is merit in the idea that the people should be able to veto laws that they consider unnecessary and onerous....Thousands of members of "the silent majority" are uniting across Queensland to offer every Queenslander the chance to sign the petition, which Mrs. Cunningham will present to the Parliament.

Any Queensland supporters who wish to assist should contact the Principal Petitioner, Mrs. Dawn Brown, M/S 154, Ingham, Queensland, 4850. We suggest that support should be offered directly to Mrs. Cunningham, and that other M.P's. in Queensland should be urged to support her initiative.


A LEGAL CHALLENGE ON FIREARMS OWNERSHIP?

Supporters have asked our advice on the wisdom of attempting a constitutional challenge to the passage of new firearms legislation that deprives Australians of firearms. It is suggested that Australia's constitutional heritage includes the right of the individual to keep firearms, and defend property and family, which is now being trampled on by unconstitutional or "illegal" legislation. It has also been suggested that a legal action be funded to appeal to ancient guarantees of individual rights to own guns, such as the 1688 Bill of Rights.

There is no doubt that such ancient constitutional instruments are inherited by Australians as part of our constitutional and legal structure. It would appear that such instruments as the Imperial Acts Application Acts confirm this. But since World War II the "modern" doctrine of the sovereignty of Parliament has gradually countered and undermined such constitutional guarantees. A form of "legislative lawlessness" in which Parliamentary statutes have proliferated has encroached on many of the ancient liberties.
The doctrine of the sovereignty of Parliament was spelt out in the British House of Commons in 1946 when the Attorney General in the Socialist Government said, "Parliament is sovereign. It can make any laws. It could ordain that all blue-eyed babies be destroyed at birth".

In his The Passing of Parliament (1952) the eminent English constitutional expert, G.W. Keeton wrote that the essence of Parliamentary sovereignty is:
"1) that Parliament (i.e. King, Lords and Commons) can pass laws on any topic whatever,
"2) that such laws, if passed, cannot be challenged, or held invalid by any Court,
"3) that no other body has similar legislative powers."

Since this doctrine of the sovereignty of Parliament has gained the ascendancy, it would appear that statute law over-rides common law, and undermines the ancient constitutional guarantees. Any law passed by Parliament to requiring the death of blue-eyed babies would certainly be abhorrent, and met with massive resistance. But it would not be "illegal". It would be a classical case of "legislative lawlessness". We already have laws that permit the murder of babies before birth under certain circumstances. We already suffer laws that regulate the use of firearms. Are these laws "illegal"? No, they are not. They may be grossly immoral, or unacceptable to some sections of the community, but a new form of legislative lawlessness called the sovereignty of Parliament has saddled Australians with a new form of tyranny.

What is the answer to this? We do not believe it is to spend massive sums on futile Court actions. The answer is political. Only massive political pressure can turn back the tide of legislative lawlessness. Perhaps the new focus on Graeme Campbell and Australia First, which is clearly feared by politicians already, can provide the stimulus for a healthy change. In order to provide a definitive answer on the status of our ancient constitutional liberties like Magna Carta and the 1688 Bill of Rights, we have consulted Christian constitutional experts, and expect to be able to provide an authoritative answer this month. In the meantime, we advise supporters not to contribute finance to a fund for legal action that may be doomed to failure before it begins.


OPINION POLLS ON GUNS

In her address, Democracy: Use It or Lose It, Mrs. Dianne Teasdale produced the following illuminating polling statistics on proposed firearms control legislation: Channel 7, March 3rd, 1994:

Phone poll on "Australia's Most Wanted" programme asked "Should a citizen of this country have the right of self defence with a firearm when attacked at home by an intruder?" Result 97.7% answered "yes".

March 24th-25th, 1994: Herald-Sun (Melbourne) asked: Should the Government ban keeping guns in homes? Result: 97% said "no".

April 6th, 1995: Herald-Sun asked: Do you think (Victorian) gun laws are tough enough? Result 89% said "yes".

June 16th, 1995: New Idea magazine readers were asked to vote on guns and the right to home protection. 87.5% were in favour.

August, 1995: Herald-Sun asked readers: Should people be allowed to use guns to protect their properly from intruders? Result: 98% said "yes".


POLL ON THE AUSTRALIAN FLAG

An AGB McNair poll, published in The Age (5/7/96) asked the question "Do you think that the Australian flag should be changed?" Sixty-six percent of those asked said "no", it should not. Only 27% said "yes" for a change. It is significant that the flag remains highly popular with the young and with the older respondents. Support for a change to the flag is strongest among men, people aged 25-54, Labor voters and those who live in N.S.W. and Victoria. The prospect of the Sydney Olympics in 2000 made little difference to the opinions concerning the flag. In other words, "retain the flag for the rest of the century, including the Olympics".

FARM DEBT CONTINUES TO SOAR

Farm debt has risen by 36% in the last 10 years to a record $17.9 billion by mid 1995, according to a rural finance summit in Canberra last week. The debt figures reveal that more than half of Australia's remaining farmers are in deep financial trouble. The Minister for Primary Industries, Mr. John Anderson, concluded that there was a need for "substantial restructuring" to prevent a rural peasantry emerging. 'We cannot and should not deny that adjustments will have to take place as a result of recent pressures," he said.

What does Mr. Anderson mean by "restructuring"? He does not make this clear. However, he is quoted (The Age, 4/7/96) as flagging far-reaching reviews of all rural assistance schemes, to assess whether they were promoting a "sustainable, self-sufficient" rural sector. Banks and other financial institutions were "not benevolent societies", he is quoted as saying.

Perhaps Mr. Anderson needs to be reminded that there was a time when the Country Party advocated the correct policies that might have prevented the present debt crisis. Is he suggesting that farm finances will have to be "restructured", or is he suggesting that farm families should be "restructured" - right off the land?

The Country Party once had, as the centrepiece of its rural policy, the provision of long-term, low-interest finance for primary producers. What does Mr. Anderson think of this? Can he remember it? Does he understand it? Does he support it?

An interesting sidelight that emerged from the summit was the information that almost a quarter of broad acre and dairy farms, operated by older people, had no debt. This is highly significant. The young have been seduced by the moneylenders and the "get-big-or-get-out" philosophy, and are now in trouble. The older farmers, who have either been there, and survived it, or avoided that philosophy, are secure. But what is the future for agriculture when the older farmers disappear? John Anderson should be challenged on a policy of long-term, low-interest finance.

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