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15 June 2001. Thought for the Week: "All that is necessary for the triumph of Evil is that good men do NOTHING" - and how true this is this week as the Victorian Liberals - except for two - join Labor in the Legislative Assembly - in their attempt to impose totalitarian legislation on Victoria .....
Phillip D. Butler
DARKNESS CLOSES ON VICTORIA
by Jeremy Lee
The Member for Forest Hill, Mr. Richardson, was one who used such 'logic', and his remarks were truly astonishing - more in keeping with "Alice-in-Wonderland" than a Parliament in Australia. He said, inter alia: ".... I speak in support of the Racial and Religious Tolerance Bill, and in doing so I say that I do not think it necessary. It is my view that there are sufficient safeguards existing in the federal and state statutes that already prevail .....The advice that I have received is that if the proposed legislation becomes law it will essentially be unenforceable. The path that has to be followed to obtain a conviction for an offence under the act, which the bill will become, is so tortuous and obscure that there will probably be no prosecutions based on the legislation ....."
If the confused Mr. Richardson believes that the legislation leaves no room for prosecutions, he is in for a shock. Similar legislation has been pursued by the same bodies in a number of countries, and has been used to threaten and intimidate advocates of free speech on a number of occasions.
There were some good speeches made against
the Bill - notably from Mr. Russell Savage, Independent Member
for Mildura. Illustrating his opposition, Mr. Savage said:
" .... One of the things that we should remind ourselves of
occasionally is what free speech is. In the British House
of Commons during May of 1797 Charles Fox stated: Opinions
become dangerous to a state only when persecution makes it
necessary for the people to communicate their ideas under
the bond of secrecy.
Mr. Savage continued: "Among other things,
this Bill would take away the right of a parent to have full
decision-making control over a child. According to the Bill,
a five year old could be making a decision contrary to the
wishes of the parent. Employers could become vicariously liable
for the unreasonable actions of employees. On the basis that
most employees are adults, there should be some form of self-discipline
exercised so that people will not have to place the responsibility
on others ...."
Mr. Smith, Member for Glen Waverley, opened by saying: "If a government were setting out to try to divide the community, it could not do better than this government in introducing the Racial and Religious Tolerance Bill ...." He made the same point emphasized by others: " .... Earlier speakers have referred to the amount of correspondence they have received. I have never seen so many comments, particularly by E-mail. All the correspondence and comments have gone 5 to one against the legislation ...."
Mr. Ashley, the Member for Bayswater,
gave an apt historical illustration of the futility of the
State attempting to legislate for religious or civil truth:
" .... I refer to a discussion between Sir Thomas More and
Mr. Riche, the solicitor to King Henry VIII, over the issue
of how the king could take over the role of the church and
thus presume to stamp the religious dimensions on the civil
law. I quote from a book about the Reformation and the political
sphere of the 16th century:
What he was saying was that in matters of religious belief there could be no determination by an act of Parliament. This was Erastianism in practice; and he was reacting to that by saying, "Thus far and no further". This Bill will prove a matter of shame to the majority of members in the Victorian Assembly. It must be submitted to the Upper House within days, and those concerned should make every effort to contact Liberal Members of the Victorian Legislative Council (the upper house), urging them that the community , as shown by the 5,000-plus submissions, does not want this legislation, and that it is their duty to represent the community, not over-rule it.
THE VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT'S ARROGANCE
by Antonia Feitz
The Anti-Defamation Commission and B'nai B'rith who have led the charge for this Bill freely admit that peaceful groups such as the Citizens' Electoral Council and the Australian League of Rights are in their sights as needing attention. Seeing as the ADC and BB have such lobbying clout maybe they need attention too. In the face of such strong public opposition to the Bill did the Victorian Government do the decent thing and shelve it? No. It revised the Bill which remains as obnoxious as ever. Still, pity the poor Queenslanders: seeing as they don't have an upper house and the last election delivered the Labor Party a landslide, a similarly unwanted Bill was simply rammed through their parliament. No wonder the Labor Party federally wants to get rid of the Senate - "unrepresentative swill" as Keating once famously called the Upper House.
There's a constant in government: the framers of good constitutions always know that power corrupts and that there must be curbs on the exercise of power; and governments always try to centralise power by 'reforming' and even discrediting constitutions.
LAST WORD ON THE BUDGETMax Walsh, writing in The Bulletin (8/6/01) said it all in describing the recent budget: "This budget has been widely praised by the commentariat as responsible and clever. It's neither. To read it in the context of history is to appreciate why in this country the expression "political leadership" has become an oxymoron .... the budget estimates exclude the GST from the revenue side and financial assistance grants to the states on the expenditure side ....On the evidence of the budget, the government is driven solely by personal ambition, the lust for power and the comforts and prestige of office ...."
And so, according to the post-budget Morgan poll, still say the majority of Australians.
VICTORIAN LIBERALS JOIN THE TOTALITARIANS
by Phillip D. Butler
As The Herald Sun, in its editorial
of June 6th, stated: "Despite widespread community criticism
that the legislation will stifle free speech, Dr Napthine
said: "The nett result is that the Bill will pass and I think
that's a good thing." It is now up to the Victorian Upper
House to knock this obscene legislation out. It goes to a
vote this week - please see below the names of your Upper
House Liberals, along with phone, fax and e-mail numbers.
They are the last block to the totalitarians. Please make
sure you contact them, to prevent minority lobby groups manipulating
representatives for their own ends:
QUEENSLAND SEMINAR OUTSTANDING"The best in years", was the comment of one veteran supporter who had travelled over 600 kilometres to attend. The Highfields Cultural Centre at Toowoomba was the venue for two days of outstanding papers, including Mrs. Wendy Scurr and Andrew MacGregor on the Port Arthur massacre, as well as barrister Graham Strachan, author of the excellent book "Globalisation - Demise of the Australian Nation". Mr. Strachan held his audience riveted in his passionate dinner address. Independent Member for Maryborough Dr. John Kingston spoke feelingly and with authority on the bureaucratic blunders which had contributed to the current rural disaster; and Selwyn Johnston gave an excellent paper on the foreign intrusion into Australian agriculture. The occasion was touched off with a classic speech from National Director Betty Luks, who moved her audience with some vintage thoughts on Social Credit.
SYDNEY CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUBDue to the National Director's decision to withdraw the invitation to Mr. Graeme Campbell to speak at the June 26th CSC, Mr. Jason Rafty has been invited to speak in his place. His subject will be "Democracy and the Decline of the Soviet Union". Our speaker has spent some time in Russia and is competent to analyse the political future of this nation.
Our supporters were informed in last week's On Target that the National Director had withdrawn the invitation to Mr. Campbell, not because the League did not want him to speak, but, because of his integrity, he would have kept his word at considerable personal cost and at the expense of his political future. The meeting will be held at the Estonian Club, 141 Campbell Street, Sydney - commencing at 7.30pm. The cost of attendance is $4 per person (a steal at that price!). Books from the Heritage Book Service will be on display. For enquiries phone: (02) 9759 4450. Dates for your Diary: Tuesday, July 31st - Mr. Ian Murphy. Subject: "The Question of Australia's Defence" Tuesday, August 28th - Annual General Meeting. Guest Speaker: Mr. Welf Herfurth Subject: "The Threat to Freedom and Democracy in Germany Today".
ADELAIDE CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUBThe next speaker for the Adelaide CSC is Mr. Jack King, a well-known identity to the conservative movements. He will speak on his recent trip to the Middle East, where he accompanied a group of folk on a mercy mission to the peoples of Iraq. The Iraqi people are in dire straits because of the economic sanctions placed upon them by the United Nations. It will be a heart-rending story Jack King will have to tell. The meeting will be held at the Public Schools' Club, East Terrace (cnr. Carrington Street, Adelaide). Make your bookings for the dinner by phoning: 8395 9826.
NATIONAL WEEKENDA major shift is planned for the National Weekend. The event will be moved to the Victorian/New South Wales border to enable more of the country League supporters and those New South Welshmen - and women - to get to it. It will be held in Albury. The venue will be The Hume Inn Motel, and the theme will be on The Celebration of Federation. The Hume Inn Motel is situated opposite 17 acres of delightful parkland near the Murray River. At a later date we will circulate information on accommodation available, e.g. Motels (including the Hume Inn), Caravan Parks, Bed and Breakfasts. For those interstate visitors planning to fly in, there is an airport at Albury.
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