6 December 1996. Thought for the Week: "We deplore the division of humankind on nationalistic grounds. We have reached a turning point in human history where the best option is to transcend the limits of national sovereignty and to move towards the building of a world community - a system of world law and world order focused upon transnational federal government."
Second Humanist Manifesto, 1973
THE DEREGULATION MANIA
by Eric Butler
The eulogies being offered, with more to come, remind one of what was said about the Campbell Report, which prepared the way for a deregulation programme which resulted in foreign banks being permitted to establish themselves in Australia. This move would allegedly result in more competition, better services and lower interest rates. None of the promised results eventuated. But now it is proposed that still more deregulation will benefit the Australian people. Which reminds one of the famous words by the great Chinese sage, Confucius, who said it was futile to run even harder when on the wrong road.
It is now crystal clear that there will be no opposition from the Labor Party concerning the road now being taken by Australia. It was the Labor Party under Gough Whitlam which started to move Australia down the "free trade road", openly rejecting even traditional Labor Party policy for Government intervention in finance economics. The Hawke-Keating Government speeded up the retreat by the Labor Party "Deregulation", and a reduction in all forms of protection for Australian industries along with a progressive encouragement of foreign investment in Australia was cheered on by the Liberal Party, John Howard being a prominent proponent of what was happening.
Generally overlooked is that as Treasurer in the Fraser Government, John Howard pushed hard for the implementation of the deregulation policy advocated in the Campbell Report. There was some resistance at the time from Liberal Members and a National Party attempting to make some effort to protect rural Australia. But under the Howard Government all resistance to complete deregulation appears to have evaporated inside the Liberal Party, while the pathetic Tim Fischer appears determined to preside over the funeral of the National Party.
The Australian of November 27th carries the headline, "Labor Backs P.M's Push to Promote Free Trade Benefits". In a number of statements Labor Leader Kim Beazley has spelt it out clearly that he wants the Labor Party to endorse the programme being adopted by the Howard Government. Any differences are merely minor and concerned with administration, not with policy.
A study of the death of even a semblance of representative government reveals how the major political parties while constantly applauding their leaders of the past have been engaged in imposing policies which are a direct contradiction to past policies. The Labor Party of John Curtin would hardly recognise the policies of today's Labor Party. John Curtin was a strong advocate of a financial system firmly regulated by the elected representatives of the people. John Curtin would be dismayed at what Kim Beazley is endorsing, and what would Sir Robert Menzies make of John Howard's recent Sir Robert Menzies lecture?
John Howard claimed that he was leading a Party which was the descendant of the Menzies Government of the post Second World War years, a government which stressed its dedication to Australia's "forgotten people...the men and women of the great Australian mainstream; small business people, farmers, employees in enterprises both large and small, women, families concerned for their security, older Australians, young people in search of jobs and opportunity". Menzies did not believe in the deregulation of the banking system or the abolition of tariffs. Even his greatest admirers did not believe that Menzies had a deep understanding of finance economics.
But when Menzies' Party nearly lost the 1961 Federal election to a Calwell led Labor Party, his first act was to adopt the policy of credit expansion advocated by Calwell. He believed, even if only for political reasons, in an interventionist policy. During the election campaign, Menzies had denounced the Calwell proposal for a deficit budget as "irresponsible" and "inflationary". But then he implemented a deficit budget even bigger than that advocated by Calwell.
It has been recorded that when he proposed this at his first Cabinet meeting after the elections, one Cabinet Minister protested that he was adopting the policy of Labor, to which Menzies curtly responded, "The policy was good enough for at least half the Australian people, so it will be good enough for you. Next business please." The basic difference between the Menzies and Calwells and today's Liberal and Labor Parties was the question of national sovereignty. John Howard is an internationalist broadly following an internationalist socialist objective.
While the cynicism of today's professional party politicians is deeply entrenched, it is hard to believe that John Howard really believes that his philosophy is that of Sir Robert Menzies. In spite of their financial orthodoxy, Menzies and Country Party leader John McEwan would never have sold Australia and its assets to internationalists under the guise of deregulation and privatisation.
One of the pioneers of deregulation, Fred Argy, has publicly confessed that it has not produced the results promises. He has pointed out that, so far from being a great success, deregulation in New Zealand had made the rich richer and the poor poorer. The whole programme is creating the seeds of revolution. There is nothing that suggests from the Wallis Report that there will be any benefits for the Australian people. It has already been indicated that the further concentration of the banking system is "inevitable".
The headlines proclaim that Wallis is "to defy P.M. with proposals on tax overhaul". Such proposals move towards implementing some type of a General Services Tax - with a new label, of course. There is no evidence that they recognise one of the major issues requiring attention is the debt system. John Howard speaks of the great benefits, which will allegedly flow from deregulation on a global scale, with markets in Asia and elsewhere becoming freely available to Australian exports. But he does admit that global free trade is going to be hard to implement. That is about the only indication of any understanding of reality by John Howard.
It can be predicted with complete certainty that recommendations in the Wallis Report will merely intensify the breakdown of Australian society. But fortunately there are growing signs of revolt as the pain of "reform" becomes more intense. Reality remains the great disciplinarian in the human drama.
BEING PATRONISED BY ASIA
by David Thompson
However, ignoring the social and cultural elements of international "trade" can be an expensive business. In most Asian countries, "trade" is facilitated by bribery; sometimes on an impressive scale. In Pakistan, for example, even the Pakistanis have almost reached the point where they are forced to concede that bribery is so all-pervading that the economy groans under the burden. The Pakistani President has sacked the Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, amid extraordinary bribery and corruption scandals. Others, like former cricket star Imran Khan, are campaigning on the doubtful prospect of addressing the endemic problem of corruption. In many parts of Asia, however, bribery is simply a facet of doing business.
But a Salomon Bros executive Trevor Rowe, concedes that what is, in fact, corruption, might be a significant hurdle to "doing business in Asia". To Asians it is not necessarily viewed as corruption. Rather, bribery is regarded as patronage. In countries like China, "patronage" is an essential part of doing business especially when negotiating with bureaucracy of any sort. If Australians are prepared to bend their own standards concerning corruption in order to do business in Asia, will this have a long-term effect on our own domestic culture? Will Asian business habits begin to appear in Australian business? Will the same "patronage" eventually penetrate the Australian bureaucracies?
IMMIGRATION AND ETHNIC CRIME
In line with non-discriminatory reporting conventions, those suspected of criminal acts in N.S.W. are seldom described by their ethnic or racial backgrounds. This not only hampers public co-operation with police investigations but gives a false picture of the sources of much Australian crime. New South Wales' new police commissioner, Englishman Peter Ryan, has now let the cat out of the bag, perhaps inadvertently. After his first 100 days leading the N.S.W. force, Ryan has provided an assessment of N.S.W. crime for the British Journal of Police.
As well as being concerned about the
N.S.W. murder rate, Ryan identifies the sources of some street
crime. "Here the crime is partly Lebanese-based, partly from
the old Soviet Union, Hong Kong, Vietnam and China - and they
all have their own milieus." It is impossible to argue that
the concentration of crime among certain ethnic groups has
nothing to do with immigration policy. One of Peter Ryan's
most pressing concerns is to build up the N.S.W. police force
in time to cope with the 2000 Olympics.
To add to the headaches of people like Peter Ryan, immigration officials now report a dramatic increase in the number of illegal Chinese immigrants on their way to Australia via Hong Kong, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. It appears that organised syndicates are behind the boom in illegal immigrants, charging between $10,000 and $50,000 for false documents and coaching on how to evade Australian immigration controls. The immigration officials, who have caught 150 illegal immigrants on their way to Australia in the past six months, have no idea how many may have already entered undetected.
The motivation for illegal immigrants appears to be employment in Australia, and immigration officials expect the flood of illegals to worsen in 1997, leading up to the Chinese resumption of power in Hong Kong, issuing thousands of new passports. It is clear that the illegal immigrants see Australia as an easy mark, and are prepared to take serious risks to reach this country.
While we refuse to "discriminate" in our immigration policy, we continue to send such signals to Asia. The recent Senate refusal to pass the Commonwealth legislation to increase the time in which migrants can qualify for welfare benefits to two years also sends signals of softness to migrants. The Howard administration, lacking the courage to admit that this measure is aimed at minimising the family reunion programme for Asian immigrants, insists that it is merely a "cost-cutting measure".
If the Senate rejects this two-year waiting period before migrants qualify for welfare benefits again, it could provide the Prime Minister with the "trigger" for a double dissolution of the Parliament. But does this mean Mr. Howard would fight an election campaign on immigration? Or would he continue to insist that this is merely a "cost-cutting measure"?
THE 'RALLY AGAINST RACISM' CAMPAIGN
The strange mixture of groups mounting demonstrations in order to counter the "Pauline Hanson influence", which are called "rallies against racism", include a number of church groups, with the Uniting Church being prominent. Quite what is meant by "racism" is never properly explained. The purpose of such gatherings is very vague, and often described as a rejection of "hatred" of other racial groups. From press coverage of such events, it becomes obvious that a proportion of those attending are from non European ethnic groups. Presumably they are bearing witness to the "racist" view that the larger the numbers of minority ethnic group members residing among the majority, the higher the levels of friction.
The multiculturalists continue to swear that Australia is a successful multicultural society because of the range of ethnic groups living in relative peace together. It is argued that, since this is the case, larger numbers of people from minority ethnic groups should make the Australian multicultural experiment even more successful! The truth is the very reverse.
Many of those demonstrating also obviously originate in countries where Australian or Western values concerning human rights do not apply. Countries, for example, where such assemblies could be broken up by unsympathetic governments, and those attending arrested or deported. Many of their nations of origin would actually have laws, which "discriminate" on the basis of race, gender or religious belief. Countries where it is illegal to speak about certain matters, or worship in certain ways, or where immigration policies discriminate against all but the host nationality.
Many of those demonstrating cheer long and loud when President Clinton urges racial tolerance, ignoring the fact that Australians are among the most racially tolerant people in the world. They also ignore the fact that the track record of the United States in comparison to that of Australia is abysmal. The American experiment with multiculturalism has produced a civil rights movement representing Negro grievances that remain almost completely insoluble. This is the nation in which race riots are becoming commonplace, and in which the court system can no longer work properly because of distrust and racially motivated bias at every level. This is also the nation, in which illegal immigration from Mexico, despite the best efforts of the affected States, remains almost completely out of control, generating increasing resentments among, for example, California taxpayers who pick up the welfare bills.
The Uniting Church seems to find a natural home in such gatherings as "rallies against racism". The double standards and moral self-righteousness is breathtaking. Does the church rally against the murder of unborn children? No, it does not. Does it demonstrate against divorce and the destruction of the family, or a homosexual lifestyle that has led to one of the most deadly modern epidemics that cannot be properly treated for fear of "discriminating" against homosexuals? No, it does not. In fact, the Uniting Church cannot decide whether it will simply tolerate homosexuality within it, or embrace homosexuality by ordaining sodomites to minister within it. We seem to recall something about judgment beginning in the House of the Lord!
THE G.S.T. IN GESTATION
It is clear that the Coalition Parties are restless to be able to openly promote the introduction of the goods and services tax, for which they campaigned heavily under the leadership of (ex-I.M.F. man) Dr. John Hewson. A number of Coalition figures have openly demanded a G.S.T., such as Ian Sinclair, National Party Member for New England. But John Howard has declared that he does not have a mandate for a G.S.T., and will not hear of it until at least their next Parliamentary term. This is due to become a campaign issue before the next election.
Why does Australia need a G.S.T.? Are we not paying enough taxation already? We often hear the propaganda that Australia is one of the lowest-taxed countries in the world. This should be dismissed as absolute rubbish. According to a survey of 128 countries by the National Taxation Accountants Association, Australian workers are nearly the world's highest taxed, particularly when hidden taxes like sales tax are also calculated. When taxes from all three tiers of government are considered, Australians in the highest tax bracket pay an average of 68.7 percent tax. Some of the least taxed countries include Asian countries with which we propose to trade, like Hong Kong with a 20 percent income tax.
It is clear that Australians have been lied to for years by successive governments seeking to make ever-higher tax imposts more palatable by false comparisons with other countries. The only countries in this survey with higher taxes than Australia were the heavily socialised (or dictatorships) nations like Sweden, Denmark, and Libya, which has a general income tax of ninety percent (Sunday Telegraph, 1/12/96). Perhaps this gives Australian bureaucrats something to aim for!
QUEENSLAND MOVES ON HOMOSEXUAL 'FAMILIES'
The Queensland Government has moved to
disqualify homosexual couples from being foster parents, to
the predictable howls of rage from the usual quarters. Minister
for Family Services, Mr. Kevin Lingard, who seems to actually
take preservation of the family seriously, disqualified male
and female homosexual couples and single men (heterosexual
or homosexual) from the classification of approved foster
carers. "I have to make a judgment in the best interests of
the child and not in the interests of some minority," he said.
Queenslanders are urged to support Mr. Lingard and his colleagues for having the courage to make such a decision, and to resist the protestations of the thought-police. Any step in the right direction deserves strong support.
COALITION NOT TO BE TRUSTED ON THE FLAG
Those loyal to the Australian flag who
believe that the Coalition Parties will defend this flag to
the bitter end should observe recent appointments to the Board
of Ausflag. It is not only the Liberals who could easily betray
Australia on the flag. The latest appointment to the Ausflag
Board is former N.S.W. National Party Minister, Robert Webster,
former Member for Goulburn.
With this sort of thinking, we are clearly better off with Webster out of the Parliament, and representing international bankers where he can do less damage to Australia's interests. He obviously has not visited Canada since their flag was abandoned, or else he would understand that even today there is still division and resentment about the red maple leaf. One Indian elder, scathing about the new flag, pointed out that a red maple leaf is a dead maple leaf, some national symbol!
Let the Webster betrayal serve as a warning that nothing in politics can be taken for granted. It is not inevitable that the Coalition will defend the flag. They will bend with the political breeze, as they have done on the republic, and do whatever they think is politically "safest" at the time. It matters little that one of Prime Minister Howard's first acts was to "entrench" the flag, by an Act of the Parliament. This was simply political point scoring. If Mr. Howard and his colleagues change their minds next year, and decide to alter the flag, it requires only another Act of Parliament to do so. They are not to be entrusted with the integrity of the Australian flag.
HAMMERING PAULINE HANSON
The Independent Member for Oxley Pauline Hanson, continues to attract the fury of those who wish that far fewer Australians agreed with her. The host of Channel Nine's A Current Affair, Mr. Ray Martin, subjected Hanson to a bullying grilling last week, suggesting that she could not sustain her position in the face of condemnation from political parties, big business, the press and, in effect, the politically correct brigade. Mrs. Hanson rather disarmingly replied that the "big guns" may be critical of her, but the ordinary Australian identifies with her very strongly.
We happen to know that her office in Ipswich is almost unworkable because of the constant flood of support and requests for material. The best possible support that can be given to Pauline Hanson is to distribute her material. She is being vilified for a deliberately garbled version of what others assume she has said. Every effort should be made to give her maiden Parliamentary speech in particular the widest possible distribution. The League has republished this address as a service, and we still have stocks in hand. Wherever it is distributed, there is a good response. We also expect soon to be able to supply copies of Pauline Hanson's press statement in which she publishes her research concerning benefits available to Aborigines compared to benefits available to non-Aborigines in similar circumstances!
FROM THE PRESS
"You need have no fear, Dr. Mahathir.
"Multiculturalism's frightful machinery
THE FOLLOWING LETTER
"The Editor, Pt. Lincoln Times. "Over
the years the Australian League of Rights has come in for
some pretty awful media bashing, as has (in recent months)
Peter Davis, the present Mayor of Pt. Lincoln. "As a general
rule, as State Director of the League, I take note of what
is written or said, but then get on with the task at hand,
well aware that there is an ideological battle being waged
in this country and the media bashing against the League is
part of (what could be termed), the psycho political warfare.
"On Target" is published by the Australian League of Rights, Box 1052. G.P.O. Melbourne 3001.