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23 August 1996. Thought for the Week: "Gustave Le Bon, whose writings remain the keystone of the arch of modern psychological warfare, discerned that the unconscious action of crowds may be exactly contrary to the character of the individuals composing them. Thus a crowd may be hysterically brutal, whereas the individuals of which it is formed may be actually slow to violence. His monumental discovery was the fact that it was the unconscious action of crowds which had substituted for the conscious action of individuals in determining the political characteristics of the present age."
The Gentlemen Talk of Peace by William B. Ziff
COSTELLO'S BUDGET BLUES
by Eric D. Butler
The problem with attempting to offer a rational comment on the budget is that one is dealing with people who are mesmerised by a form of black magic. In a statement made last Sunday, Treasurer Costello said that in an endeavour "to keep faith" with electors, the aim was "to free Australia from deficit and debt into the next century. This is an historic opportunity we have here. We can balance our budget, we can lift our savings, we can lay the basis for sustained growth and we can give Australia the opportunity it deserves. If we don't do the hard work now, the problems are going to get worse."
Overlooking Mr. Costello's rhetoric, Mr. Costello's meaning is clear: Australians generally have to suffer some pain now for some vague "gains" of the future. When the reality of the finance economic situation is grasped, the cynic might be tempted to suggest that Peter Costello is either a fool or a knave. But there can be no doubt that he genuinely believes what he has said.
A number of Treasurers before him, including Paul Keating, have made similar statements, all eventually to be contradicted by reality. Let us consider the question of debt first. Except for brainwashed politicians like National Party leader Tim Fischer, every student of economics knows that apart from a relatively small amount provided by the Government mint, every cent of money comes into existence as a debt, created by the banking system. If Treasurer Costello takes the trouble to examine the facts, he will find that there has in modern times been a progressive expansion of debt in every country. The suggestion that Mr. Costello can reduce debt is similar to someone saying that the cure for alcoholism is increased consumption of alcohol! Even during periods like the Great Depression of the thirties, debt continued to expand, but, of course, at a much slower rate.
There are two aspects of deficits, which need to be understood, the deficit concerning foreign trade, and internal deficits. The only major reason why Australia has a trade deficit is because of the policies of the economic rationalists. Instead of manufacturing in Australia, this helping to ensure that Australian tradesmen are kept in creative activities, Australians now import much of what they used to produce themselves. Coupled with this is the expansion of modern technology, which means that "full employment" as generally understood is no longer practical.
There is no evidence whatever that the Costello budget is going to lead to any substantial reduction in the present high unemployment figures. Attempts to deal with this explosive issue along the lines suggested by Costello and his advisers can only increase current social friction. The Government can make a strong case for a reduction in the financing of the bloated "Aboriginal" industry. Reduction in the financing of the Australian Broadcasting Commission's activities will unfortunately seriously affect rural communities.
The major problem about the ABC is that it does provide some excellent high quality programmes, but that it also pours an enormous amount of poisoned political comment into the community. Supporters of the ABC would be well advised to make this point in their campaigns to prevent ABC income reductions.
A reduction in the Federal bureaucracy may be desirable, but under present finance economic rules can only contribute to the problem of unemployment. In essence the Costello budget is a recipe for an extension of the present recession conditions. No one is attempting to explain why there should be "pain" in a nation so richly endowed with natural resources as Australia. The budget is merely a repeat of what Australia has had over long periods of time.
Mr. Costello is going to find that he
has provided no solutions for Australia's basic problems.
It is as certain as the sunrise that inflation will continue.
It is mathematically impossible to operate an inflation free
system when all money comes into existence as an interest
bearing debt. Mr. Costello does not even discuss this question.
THE EVIL OF WORSHIPPING MAMMON
by David Thompson
Reduced to its crudest and most dangerous form, economic "rationalism" is a form of worship of the abstract, in that financial figures are given precedence over human life. Taken to its ultimate dreadful conclusion, such idolatry actually does threaten human life, as was demonstrated in Britain earlier this month.
THE IDOLATORY OF MAMMON
In a case that horrified even many "pro-choice"
(abortion) campaigners, a British woman decided to have one
of her twins aborted, because her hospital claimed she could
not afford to care for more than one baby. It was claimed
that her home was too small for both twins, and reports indicated
that she was a single parent.
British figures show abortion to be rife in the prosperous London suburbs, where 44 percent of all pregnancies outside marriage result in abortions (The Advertiser, 17/8/96). These figures, from an analysis of Government statistics by the Christian Institute, suggest that 97 percent of the four million-plus pregnancies aborted since the 1967 Abortion Act, were carried out for convenience. Such is the tragedy of the idolatry of mammon.
But before we congratulate ourselves on having the virtue of rejecting such idolatry, consider the use to which our own taxes are put. According to a National Civic Council Action Bulletin (May, 1996), the Minister for social Security, Senator Jocelyn Newman, has confirmed that the Maternity Allowance of $840 will be paid to Australian women who abort their babies provided the doctor or midwife is prepared to sign a stillbirth certificate. Such certificates are apparently routinely completed for abortions at 20 weeks gestation, or even later where the baby weighs more than 400 grams.
"Senator Newman states that the definition of stillbirth used for the maternity allowance 'does not address the reasons for, nor the conditions under which a stillbirth occurs.' Social Security staff will make no effort to 'determine whether in any particular case, the definition of stillbirth has been satisfied'" (N.C.C. Action Bulletin W.A.)
Such a situation clearly invites not only a form of legalised murder, but additional moral corruption amounting to fraud. There can be no excuse for such a situation being sanctioned by the State, but there is no intention to amend the legislation under which it occurs. If the Treasurer is determined to cut wasteful public spending, let him begin with such evil as the murder of children for a few dollars. As a matter of policy, let us seek to place money in man's service, rather than submit to it as a tyrannical master.
THE FABIANS AND THE CROWN
The proposal from Fabian Premier Bob Carr (N.S.W.) to replace "Advance Australia Fair" with "Waltzing Matilda" (a ballad about a sheep stealer who commits suicide) as the National Song reflects a similar move in Great Britain. The British Fabian Society has produced a report recommending that British Labour adopt policies for the Queen to be stripped of most of her "political powers", for her to lose her position as head of the Commonwealth, and for "God Save the Queen "to be abandoned as the British National Anthem. The Fabians suggest something like "Jerusalem" for a national anthem.
But the real objectives begin to surface when the Fabian report condemns the monarch's constitutional right to appoint or sack governments, and suggests that this role be allocated to the Speaker of the House of Commons. The Labour leader, Mr. Tony Blair, quickly distanced himself from the report, saying that there was no prospect of it being adopted as policy. This is the sort of reaction that we heard from Gough Whitlam prior to his election in 1972, but once in a position to make changes, Whitlam abolished the Australian National Anthem, replacing it with "Advance Australia Fair".
AVOIDING ABORIGINAL TURMOIL
The riot in Halls Creek in Western Australia last week, in which police and a police station were pelted with rocks, was partly caused by demands by Aborigines for access to additional alcohol after a community function. Some Aboriginal groups, however, being more realistic about the problems of alcohol in their community, are asking for a ban to be placed on Aborigines buying liquor to be taken to "dry" areas. This, however, is extremely difficult, since the Racial Discrimination Act is invoked by those who wish to have continued access to liquor, even in areas that are voluntarily "dry".
Any suggestion of banning liquor for Aborigines is met with charges of "racism", but the Women's Council Aboriginal Corporation near Ayers Rock is calling on authorities to forget charges of racism, and act to solve the curse of alcohol. They have lodged a Special Measures application with the Race Discrimination Commissioner to have the relevant provisions of the Racial Discrimination Act (1975) set aside so that they can protect their "dry" communities from "grog cars" which make the run from licensed premises from hundreds of miles away (West Australian, 14/8/96).
So much for Dr. H.C. Coombs' policy of "self determination". Whenever sensible Aboriginal groups (often the women) attempt to protect their communities from problems such as alcohol, "self determination" becomes impossible. But when the Marxists wish to isolate Aboriginal or part-Aboriginal groups from the Australian mainstream for political purposes, "self determination" is invoked as official policy. The Marxist objective is the creation of a separate black State in Australia's north.
Geoffrey Partington, author of "HASLUCK VERSUS COOMBS - White Politics and Australia's Aborigines", makes the following point: "When decision-making is in the hands of Aborigines themselves, experience suggests that it is most effectively exercised at grassroots level by people aware of their own distinctive needs and with their own priorities....this principle is at odds, however, with another that Coombs, perhaps influenced here by his centrist past, has commended: that there should be all-Aboriginal policy making bodies that legislate for all Aborigines, despite massive differences in way of life and conceptual frame work between individuals and groups categorised as Aboriginal....
" "Hasluck versus Coombs" by Geoffrey Partington, $10.00 from all League book services, or $12.50 posted from your State book service. Another politically incorrect book, highly recommended.
NEW BRITISH GUN LAWS NOT YET IN PLACE
As yet, the British judicial enquiry into the Dunblane killings, headed by Lord Cullen, has not brought down its findings. Every opportunity for interested groups to make submissions is being encouraged, in contrast to the Australian experience, where draconian new gun laws were simply imposed upon States and shooters alike, with no consultation at all. However, a Parliamentary select committee, six of whom are Tories, has recommended against a ban on privately owned handguns. This was greeted with horror by Government Ministers who, like John Howard in Australia, have pledged themselves to the toughest possible gun controls.
The gun issue in Britain has become a serious liability for the Conservative Government, which has been unable to satisfy shooters or anti-gun campaigners. Taking a leaf out of John Howard's book, the Prime Minister, Mr. Major, wants all but a few professionals such as police marksmen, banned from keeping handguns at home, with shooters forced to keep firearms at specially fortified gun clubs. While this clearly meets with the approval of the anti-gun campaigners, it has raised the ire of shooting groups in Britain, as Howard's legislation has in Australia. Senior Tories are touting Mr. Howard's "tough measures" in Australia as the model for the British to follow, but are apparently unaware of the massive public backlash John Howard has yet to evade.
DEATH PENALTY IN W.A.Both the leader of the National Party, Mr. Cowan, and the Leader of the A.L.P. in W.A., Mr. McGinty, have decried efforts to have the death penalty re-introduced in Western Australia. Mr. Cowan opposed a National Party State Conference motion calling for a referendum on the issue, but his position was undermined by Premier Richard Court's support for a referendum. We suggest that W.A. political actionists make their views known to their State M.P's. on the issue. It may be an archaic way of dealing with problems of law and order, as Mr. Cowan suggested, but as Graeme Campbell points out, it has one great advantage: there are no repeat offenders.
DEBTS BOOMING AGAIN"Reserve Bank figures show that in the past five years total household debt has risen from 50% of disposable income to 70%....Under these conditions bankruptcies have leapt 25% to more than 500 in the three months to March 31st compared to about 400 in the previous quarter to December 31st, returning to levels last seen in early 1992 - after a peak of about 750 in the September quarter of 1991...." - The West Australian, 12/8/96.
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