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On Target

30 June 1995. Thought for the Week: "The fact that Governments have permitted a monopoly in the creation of credit has produced monopolies in industry, in news, and in politics. The supreme task of the post (second) war world is not to set up a new monopoly, a new dictatorship....but to break down monopoly in all its aspects, to decentralise power, decentralise control of policy, and to give to every man and woman a share in the forming of that policy by giving them a real vote - an economic vote - a money vote."
James Guthrie, B.Sc., in Why Big Finance Backs 'Socialism'

WHERE IS JOHN HOWARD HEADING?

by Eric D. Butler
In his column in the last Weekend Australian, Mr. B.A. Santamaria, well known columnist, provides an excellent summary of the Australian political and economic situation: that there are now no basic differences in policy between the Labor Government and the Opposition Parties; and that a change of politicians at the next Federal elections will not mean a change of basic policies.

The reality is that ever since being elected as Liberal leader - primarily because no other credible alternative was available to a Liberal Party openly tearing itself to pieces - John Howard has been progressively shifting his ground. First there was his retreat on immigration and multiculturalism, followed by weakening on the Republican issue, with a number of shifts in approaches to the question.

Iit was felt that John Howard, while agreeing with the internationalist philosophy of the Keating Government, would remain reasonably sound on social issues. But as featured in one headline at the weekend, HOWARD MAKES SWITCH ON WOMEN'S POLICY, John Howard was announcing that the Coalition was abolishing its policy of abolishing the Office of The Status of Women and the Affirmative Action Agency. If John Howard believes there are many votes to be won by supporting the radical feminist lobby, he is wrong.

John Howard's major problem is that he is not only leading a Liberal Party which lacks a coherent philosophy, but heads a Coalition which is badly divided. There has been open disagreement between John Howard and National Party leader Tim Fischer on the Republican issue. And what is the current National Party policy on immigration and multiculturalism? Federal policies for 1993 stated, "The (National) Party is concerned that the concept of multiculturalism is contrary to the objective of ensuring a united nation and people and therefore rejects this policy".

The official National Party document from which I am quoting says that the National Party wants migrants "to quickly assimilate into the Australian community, to put loyalty to Australia, its institutions and its values above all else…." Those admirable sentiments are anathema to those trendies in the Liberal Party whom John Howard is attempting to placate.

If there is any Australian political leader seeking a formula for uniting the Australian people behind him, he might study the sensational election result in Ontario Provincial elections a few weeks ago. Ontario is Canada's biggest Canadian Province in terms of population. I am indebted to a column by the colourful Canadian journalist to describe what happened. Doug Collins writes that the defeated Rae Government "was probably the worst collection of freaks, feminists and fatheads in the Western world. It was also blatantly anti-white. That's why race became a factor in the fight..."

Besides being devoted to multiculturalism, the Ontario Government stood foursquare for sodomy. "Spousal benefits" for same sex couples was a top priority. Reflecting the Government's policy, the lieutenant governor even gave a banquet in "honour of the Lesbian and Gay Community". The oath of loyalty to the Crown was abolished. And much more.

Conservative Party leader Mike Harris, sounding like a Canadian version of Bruce Ruxton, lashed out. The major press was against him. He did not have big money backing. But he said what most people in Ontario were thinking. Doug Collins says that the election result was a "revolt against political correctness". The biggest newspaper in Canada, the Toronto Star, "sobbed daily about the awful things that would happen if the right wing took over. The voters marched on regardless".

Doug Collins expresses the view that "The Canadian worm is turning. Let's hope it turns full circle". And when will the Australian worm turn? When a political leader emerges with a movement, which openly rejects all policies of "political correctness", which boldly states that it is time for Australians to regain control of their own nation. It appears that the job is too big for John Howard.


THOUGHT POLICE BITE OFF MORE THAN THEY CAN CHEW

by David Thompson
If a Federal election is imminent, it almost certainly means that the Racial Hatred Bill will lapse to the chagrin of the professional ethnics and the politically correct. In light of the recent wave of abuse of the French in the last few weeks, the politicians may well regard the most recent deferral of the Bill in the Senate as the wisest option. It is clear that the desire of Australians to speak freely - even abusively - about groups who do not meet with their approval is regarded as much more important than any commitment to multiculturalism.

In the greatest vote yet against the restrictions on free speech embodied in the racial vilification legislation, Australians have been willfully slandering the unfortunate French in terms that would clearly breach the terms of the Bill before the Senate. Federal Race Discrimination Commissioner, Ms. Zita Antonios, is convinced that press comments and statements should be studied on "a case-by-case basis" to determine how they would have contravened the terms of the legislation.

Attention in particular should be drawn to the criminal provisions of the Bill, which involve racially motivated threats to hurt people or damage property. Could press outrage be construed as incitement to firebomb the French Consulate in Perth? (Which incidentally, was run by an Australian doctor who lost his medical records in the fire). If the Bill was passed, there would be an extremely long line of editors, columnists, current affairs presenters, newsreaders, etc., who could be charged with a criminal offence.

The new civil offences created by the racial hatred bill would produce an even longer queue of defendants. The Bill states that racially motivated behaviour that is "reasonably likely" to "offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate" becomes a civil offence on the basis of national or ethnic origin. Half of Australia would risk prosecution for what has been said about the French.

It is ironic that while Australians are abusing the French, French municipal elections have produced a tremendous upsurge of support for Mr. Jean-Marie LePen, of the French National Front, whose supporters have established themselves as a municipal force in about 100 of France's largest communities. If Australians are free to abuse the French for nuclear testing, are the French free to vote for "extremist" candidates who would also break the provisions of the racial hatred act? Is this a case of selective racism?


THE SERB-CROAT VILIFICATION

Perhaps the abuse of the French has masked the other cases of offensive, humiliating or insulting language, like that taking place between Serbs and Croats over the visit to Australia of the Croation President Dr. Franjo Tudjman. Newspaper advertisements vilifying Dr. Tudjman as a war criminal who denies the holocaust and persecutes Serbs, together with inflammatory comments between the two groups probably also contravene the racial hatred bill.

In particular, comments by Serbian National Federation President Mr. Ilija Glisic over Dr. Tudjman's visit have been described by the N.S.W. Ethnic Affairs Commissioner, Mr. Stepan Kerkyasharian as a provocation to violence. In view of the fact that a Serbian club was destroyed in Sydney while Dr. Tudjman was here, such allegations would have to be carefully investigated under the criminal provisions of the new Act if passed by the Senate.

The events of the last few weeks have provided the greatest ever grassroots rejection of the racial hatred legislation. It would obviously restrict free speech, and clog the new kangaroo courts designed to hear such complaints for years to come. It would increase the tensions between groups, rather than reduce them. If Mr. Lavarch is concerned about racially or ethnically motivated friction, he can immediately begin to minimise it by campaigning against the lunacy of forced, institutionalised multiculturalism, and dropping the racial hatred bill.


OUTSPOKEN HAYDEN : CONDEMN HIM OR THANK HIM?

The Governor General's comments concerning euthanasia and homosexual marriages and adoption rights in themselves have offended and even frightened many Australians. His comments about succeeding generations being "disencumbered" of some "unproductive burdens" (meaning grandparents) reflect more the policy of "ethnic cleansing" in Yugoslavia than the Christian approach to the family. But what is to be expected of a "liberal humanist", as Mr. Hayden claims to be?

His comments concerning homosexual marriages and adoption of children could be construed perhaps as a warning. If there are no longer grounds for "discrimination" against sodomites, then, Hayden warns, it is difficult to justify the prohibition of same-sex "marriages". This also reflects the humanist approach. However, while Mr. Hayden's comments may be properly regarded as outrageous, and even unacceptable, he did stress that his views were strictly his own.

In the context of the republican debate, we may, in fact, have much for which to thank Mr. Hayden in speaking out in such an outrageous way. As an appointed Governor General it is quite clear that Mr. Hayden's views are not those of the Government, or certainly any suggestion that they might be those of the Queen. They are his own views, and since he has no role in initiating legislation, or influencing court decisions, such views are of no particular threat to Australians.

If he had been, for example, a High Court judge or a cabinet minister then the matter would be completely different. But if Mr. Hayden had been a president of a republic, elected either directly by the people, or by a two-thirds majority of Parliament, his views would carry so much more weight. He would then be representing a genuine constituency, and could easily be interpreted as representing the views of that constituency.

The implications for government would be completely different. Such a president, who enjoyed the present "reserve powers" that the Constitution gives to a Governor General, could claim an immeasurably greater authority to actually use those powers in a dictatorial way. If this strong argument for modifying the reserve powers for a president is to be addressed, it almost completely details Mr. Keating's republican model. This model is to simply change the name of the Head of State from "Queen" to "president", arguing that the change will be quite painless, because in effect, nothing much has changed.

If the reserve powers need to be changed, or even codified (written down) then the whole nature of the Constitution changes. This will make it much harder for the republicans to prevail. Perhaps Mr. Hayden should be thanked rather than condemned.


RUGBY FOOTBALL AND NATIONHOOD

Almost every minute detail of the South African Springbok triumph in the rugby union World Cup has been ceaselessly dissected by the press since last weekend, except one small detail that seems to have been completely overlooked. As the final siren eventually sounded, the Springbok captain sank to his knees, and his whole team surrounded him in attitudes of prayer. The Springboks thanked God first, and then turned to respond to the ecstatic crowd of mainly South African supporters.

In the international vilification of South Africa over the last decade, any suggestion that this was primarily a Christian nation was either studiously ignored, or derided as another reason why sanctions should be applied. But the fact that the Europeans and a substantial proportion of the black South Africans are practising Christians has been reinforced by the sporting teams like the Springboks and the South African cricket team, both of which have been made up of a much higher proportion of overt Christians than any other nation's sportsmen.

The attitude of the Springboks could be contrasted with that of Mr. Murdoch's super league, in which the dollar is more important than spiritual qualities or playing for your country.


N.S.W. REPUBLICAN PUSH

We note that N.S.W. Premier Mr. Carr has announced that he is preparing the way for abandoning the Monarchy as soon as the nation embraces republicanism on a national basis. Carr suggests that perhaps when the office of Governor is abandoned in N.S.W, that it not be replaced at all. That is, N.S.W. would not have a head of State at all.

What does this mean? It means that the Westminster system of government is virtually abandoned, and the politicians run the State without the regulatory discipline of the Crown or any other influence. This is obviously a most dangerous proposal, but there are two impediments to Mr. Carr's proposal.

First, Mr. Keating must shove through his republican model, which we doubt he can. And second, such changes in N.S.W. would also require a constitutional referendum at State level. But we note that Carr has little opposition from the Liberals, who are led by an avowed republican, Mr. Collins.

We suggest that N.S.W. supporters begin exercising their prerogative, and make it quite clear to the Coalition in N.S.W. that collusion with the A.L.P. to destroy the Crown is totally unacceptable.


LEAGUE BLAMED FOR PARTY FALL-OUT

Press reports concerning the plight of the Member for Moore, Mr. Paul Filing, in Western Australia, have been sprinkled with references to the influence of the League of Rights. It is suggested that somehow the League has exercised an influence on the pre-selection process that resulted in Mr. Filing losing his Liberal Party endorsement, leading to his abandoning the Liberals last week to sit with the Independents on the cross-benches of the Parliament in Canberra.

Mr. Filing himself seems to be under the illusion that the League is involved in his downfall, and is quoted as saying: "In the West Australian Liberal Party there is a group with a very narrow ideological base in extraordinarily influential positions within the organisation and in my area, they have links with the League of Rights organisation" (The Australian, 19/6/95).

The facts are that there are League supporters in every electorate in Australia, that they take a direct interest in politics, and that they insist that certain standards be upheld, quite independent from the League's "influence". It is a direct reflection on many politicians that they judge others by their own moral values and political integrity, which is usually rather low. The moral values and political integrity of the average League supporter is a threat to the average professional politician.

It may be true that the League enjoys the support of members of the Liberal Party in Moore in W.A. In fact, a former Member for the W.A. State electorate of Moore, Mr. Bert Crane, was himself a League supporter, and once opened a W.A. State League Seminar in the 1970s. The electoral boundaries encompassed different districts then, but it is clearly ludicrous for Mr. Filing to blame the League's influence for his political demise.

It is reminiscent of the former Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Mr. Al Grassby, who upon losing his Riverina electorate, launched into a bitter (and only partially justified) attack upon the League for having arranged his defeat! The League's position on Party politics has always been clear: we do not recommend that supporters waste valuable time and effort in Party politics.

The field of Party politics is corrupted by the lust for power. The League, by contrast, is a service organisation, and little genuine service is to be rendered by involvement in the power struggle. Nevertheless, we are aware that a number of supporters see their role as making a contribution in some way in Party politics, and acknowledge that it is occasionally possible to exercise some influence for the better. If this is what has occurred in Moore, then Mr. Filing is not likely to be missed by the League.


BEING A BIT SELECTIVE AND NAIVE IN OUR INDIGNATION

(The other side in condemnation of France's nuclear testing) from The Australian, June 19th
"As a patriotic and loyal Australian - with absolutely no French blood - I thought it was just great that the French have shown their independence and ignored all the petty little republics that want to direct how they should run their own affairs. Sure, it is nuclear testing, but it is way underground and vastly different from the aerial bomb blast (that does contaminate) usually shown by television presenters. "If only Australia could show the same courage when faced with decisions such as building nuclear submarines or fuel efficient, environmentally friendly nuclear power stations or mining uranium on an even, rational basis.
"One must applaud the French for their striking independence. They, unlike us, are preparing and prepared for their country's defence."
Alvan Hawkes Dutton Park. Qld.

"The recommencement of the French nuclear test program has really exposed the anti-nuclear lobby, the A.L.P. and Martin Ferguson for what they are: phony 'environmentalists'. Anyone who watched the excellent program Lord of the East on S.B.S. T.V. last week (12/6) could not fail to be shocked at the horrendous pollution of the Pacific over the past 30 years by nuclear waste around the Russian naval base at Vladivostock. To quote Captain Victor Cherepkov of the Russian Navy, 'If the reactors don't explode today they will explode tomorrow and it will not be just a Russian problem but a world problem'. 'This situation has existed for some time and is likely to continue into the future. However, in the eyes of the loony left, it appears pollution from a communist country is quite acceptable, as there was not a greenie or nuclear protestor in sight. 'The 'protestors' now are clearly showing their true colours and not real concern for the environment. We hear so much about a 'level playing field', so let us have protests against polluters regardless of their political persuasions.
Maurice Horsburg Palm Beach, Qld.

"It is not to be unexpected that any Australian boycott/protest against the French will be like 'a flea on an elephant's backside' (The Australian, 16/6). What bargaining chips do we have? 'This country is at the mercy of the whims of other countries. We have a small population, we are a long way from the action: we spend an inordinate amount of time emphasising non-essential secondary industries such as (with respect) tourism. We have a Government that wastes excessive effort on issues such as the republic (as if that would stop the French bombs in the Pacific). "As long as Australia continues to focus primarily on issues that have no international weight, and fails to develop industries and technologies that the world wants and needs, we will never be in a position to bargain effectively."
Joanna Wriedt Eaglemont. Vic.

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