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10 December 1971. Thought for the Week: "It is in the light of our conceptions of right and wrong that we frame our conduct".
DISTRUST OF POLITICIANS AND ECONOMISTS STRENGTHENS
"He (Mr. McMahon, Prime Minister) may know, indeed, precisely where we are going - but he is the only man in Australia who does. Nor is it at all satisfactory to any of us that he should keep this secret to himself." - Editorial. The Australian, December 2nd.
From all parts of the Western world come the reports and opinions of those who have become disillusioned with politicians and with economists. The credibility of both, in the public mind is somewhere near zero. The Australian, in the above Editorial, goes into the attack, with guns blazing.
"Their action in proposing to give themselves whopping increases in salaries and pensions is provoking unrest - for this is a time of severe industrial turbulence, accompanied by demands for extraordinary restraint by wage earners. However good the general case for higher parliamentary salaries, the timing of these proposals is atrociously revealing of hypocrisy in the sermonisers who claim to be leading us".
The Treasurer, Mr. Snedden, with typical consummate gall, on a recent current affairs feature on T.V., claimed that politicians were "a part of the work force", and thereby entitled to the same percentage increments in salary as any other worker. This reasoning is fallacious. Politicians are part of management, not the work force, and management is responsible for the economic health of John Smith Limited, or Australia Unlimited. If the management of John Smith Limited joins in the wage demands of its workforce in a mismanaged enterprise, then John Smith Limited is on the skids. Similarly, the management (politicians) of Australia Unlimited who join in the wage demands of a mismanaged Australia are just as culpable as their counterparts in private enterprise.
Mr. Snedden, and his ilk, must be made
to realize that there is very strong "feeling" on this issue
of politicians' salary grabs in the Australian community at
this moment. The same sort of comments are coming in from
Britain and the U.S.A. Mr. Noel Hawken, in the "West Australian"
(November 29th) reports from London that "The economic policy
that the Conservatives put forward in the election of June,
1970, is bankrupt". Mr. Heath, the British Prime Minister,
most assuredly has his problems, not the least of which is
the state of the British economy with unemployment nearing
the one million mark, and quite likely to rise to higher numbers.
The Heath Government hoped that unemployment would hold back
wage demands, and according to orthodox economists, inflation.
But the British Government was unaware of that new monster,
The Australian's man in London,
Peter Smark, has some acid comments for his contribution of
December 4th. Below the heading - "Politicians and Economists
Deserve Each Other", he says
Mr. Smark's concluding barbs are worthy
Who told them it was a good thing to save like crazy? The economists and politicians. Who now says that it is a bad thing? The economists and politicians". We are hearing the same gobbledygook from our homegrown politicians and economists (On Target, November 19th). A serious inflationary "demand" situation in a matter of weeks disappears, and the Prime Minister and the Treasurer take measures to "stimulate" the economy. They are all groping: the blind economists are leading the blind politicians, who are supposed to be "leading" the people - but WHERE are they leading us?
D.L.P. SENATOR COURAGEOUS ON SOUTH AFRICA
"Australia has obvious interests in the defence of the Cape route but our navy is not permitted to co-operate with this British-South Africa arrangement because our Government is afraid of those in Australia who prefer emotion to realism". - Senator F.P. McManus, in a letter to the Editor of The Age. Melbourne, December 3rd.
There is no doubt at all that many, or
even most, Liberal Party politicians, and some of the A.L.P.
politicians, are sympathetic to South Africa and Rhodesia.
Senator McManus is one of the more courageous ones who speak
out fearlessly on this issue, and we give him full credit
for it. There are a few others. The Senator is right to indict
the Government for its fear of this political 'hot potato'.
The issue has been made a 'hot potato' because of the strenuous
exertions and activities of the highly organized Communist-Left-wing-liberal
(small "1") complex. International Communism is putting everything
it has got into the campaign to undermine the integrity of
The politicians are afraid that a forthright avowal of support for South Africa and Rhodesia will cost them votes; and the modern politician in the West does all his political 'thinking' in terms of the possible effects of his words and actions on the votes of his electors. Superficially, it would appear that this is as it should be and this would be the case, if events and issues on which public opinion is held were based on factual information, and not distorted propaganda.
And the mass media are as guilty as they
can be over this matter of factual reporting on Southern Africa.
Not only are the vital issues of our proper relationships
with this part of the world distorted and /or obscured, but
also those who do have the courage to speak out truthfully
are subjected to all manner of abuse.
It is a sign of the times that integrity is not the strong point of our politicians. Fortunately, we still do possess a few of courage and integrity, who may quite possibly go down in history as famous Australians. We believe that Senator McManus may be one of these.
NATIONAL T.V. BROADCASTS OF INTEREST
Over the past week or so, two telecasts of interest have claimed our attention, and the interest of the Nation. The first was the Prime Minister's report to the Nation, and the second, Monday Conference, an hour-long question and answer session held between a visiting professor of Agricultural Economics, and a rural audience of some 700 people, at Condoblin, N.S.W. Those who waited, with bated breath, to hear the Prime Minister report to the Nation, and perhaps outline plans to combat the disastrous downturn in the economic situation, were completely disillusioned. What we were treated to was the report of a pigmy who had visited the Lands of the Giants - he had been patted on the head by one or two of the Giants.
The Anzus Treaty is still valid: we wonder how much credence the people of Taiwan now place in American 'assurances'. The 'report' was a fizzer - in Orwellian phraseology, the un-report of an anti-Prime Minister.
The Monday Conference confrontation between Professor Ogg and his audience had more meat in it. It was obvious that the A.B.C. was sympathetic to the plight of the rural people, and that it was making a genuine attempt to bring before the Australian people as a whole the severity of the rural crisis. However, whilst there were some aspects of the session which were helpful. viz., that rural reconstruction would not help the small, or family farmer so much as the pastoral Houses, companies etc.; that governmental support for limitation of production had not worked in the U.S.A., and would not work here; and that Australian farmers should not be content to 'gripe' about their problems, but take them up with their M.P.s. Overall, nothing was put forward which would give a lead towards a solution of basic problems.
Professor Ogg assumed, from the beginning, that there was a case for reconstruction, and therefore, the shift of population from the land was an accepted fact of life. The audience followed this cue, and the questions and answers dealt only with effects, and not causes. Tariffs were blamed for the cost/price squeeze, but no attempt was made to criticize financial policy. The burden of increasing debts, and high interest rates received no prominent comment, and therefore no attempt was made to promote a solution. Heavy taxation, and inflation were barely mentioned. If these basic factors are assumed to be inevitable, there is no solution to current problems.
League supporters should utilize the publication - "A Programme for Reversing Inflation" (32 cents post free from Box 1052J, G.P.O., Melbourne, Vic., 3001) in order to hammer home the alternatives, which are available now.
ON TARGET BULLETIN
Natural Law and Christian Philosophy
Those who accept the Christian ethic accordingly reject the concept that man is a law unto himself; his own God. Christians accept the truth that the rules of the Universe transcend human thinking, and cannot be altered by man, but should be observed in order to produce harmony in society. The Natural Law and Christian philosophy found expression, in perhaps its highest form, in the type of social structure and institutions evolved by the British, and taken to other parts of the world, including the U.S. A. The essence of the policies developed was decentralization of power, with emphasis on voluntary co-operation and the acceptance of self-discipline, as opposed to imposed discipline and regimentation.
To the extent that policies of decentralization were developed, there was satisfaction through both diversity and harmony. As these policies have been replaced with those rooted in the philosophy of totalitarianism, there has been increasing friction and dissatisfaction. There will be further friction and more disasters if these policies are persisted with. This can be predicted with complete certainty.
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