September 18th 2010

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: Gillard sweeps Greens into power

CANBERRA OBSERVED: One outside shock could topple Gillard Government

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: The Green menace we must mobilise against

WATER: A solution to the Murray-Darling Basin crisis

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Why WA will acquire land for Browse Basin gas project

OPINION: Absentee voting an open door to fraud

CHINA: It's capitalism, but not as we know it

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: China's military build-up threatens Taiwan

OPINION: Australia: no place for sharia law

CULTURE: Pathology as entertainment

UNITED NATIONS I: UN conference downunder sidesteps controversy

UNITED NATIONS II: A farce: the UN's World Youth Conference

ENVIRONMENT: Radical environmentalists inspired US eco-terrorist

Army Reserve numbers (letter)

'Our' new government (letter)

Actors or actresses? (letter)

AS THE WORLD TURNS: US government funds mosques abroad / America's dying constitution / US consumers will drag us back into recession / Economic defeatism taking hold


BOOK REVIEW: THE KINDLY ONES: A Novel, by Jonathan Littell

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The Green menace we must mobilise against

by Damian Wyld

News Weekly, September 18, 2010
An assessment of the new Gillard Government, and the 43rd Australian Parliament, must begin with a few simple facts.

The two independent MPs from NSW, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott, were not solely responsible for throwing Julia Gillard a lifeline. The outcome could not have occurred without support from two of the new MPs, Adam Bandt (Greens) and Andrew Wilkie (ex-Greens).

The new minority government rests on a knife-edge, 76 seats to 74. A by-election or two - or even a few too many bungles - could see a change of government before 2013. Such a change occurred during Australia's last hung parliament nearly 70 years ago.

The electorate is unlikely to feel the full impact of the election outcome until July 1 next year, after which the new Senate will sit.

The Greens will then hold nine Senate seats. If the latest election figures were repeated at the next half-Senate election, their seats would likely increase to 12 (of a total of 76). They have also broken into the House of Representatives for the first time during a normal election.

What does all this mean practically? The Greens and aligned independents have been granted unprecedented access to the Prime Minister and her Cabinet, potentially giving them disproportionate influence over decision-making.

Even though the Greens will not hold the balance of power in the Senate for 10 months, they may flex their muscles sooner. A carbon tax bill, flagged by the Greens as their alternative to Labor's failed emissions trading scheme, could be introduced to test the waters, particularly given Gillard's assent to extra time for private members' business. After July, it is hard to see how such a bill could be defeated.

Likewise, the Greens have declared that same-sex marriage is high on their agenda. Despite Gillard's assertion that support for traditional marriage is still ALP policy, it remains to be seen whether she will, or even can, hold the party to that line. A Labor conscience vote may well be in the offing, greatly increasing pressure on Tony Abbott also to allow Coalition MPs a free vote.

Political correctness will also return with a vengeance not seen since the 1990s. An "acknowledgement of country" statement will be inserted before parliamentary prayers each day (a demand of several of the independents, and assented to by both Liberal and Labor parties) as though the two ceremonies are on an equal footing.

A referendum will also be held to insert acknowledgement of Australia's "first people" into our Constitution. Ignoring the fact that saying "sorry" has done nothing to alleviate actual Aboriginal disadvantage, the referendum's architects have opted for yet more tokenism.

We are likely to suffer social engineering legislation through the enactment of human rights charters, an anti-religious "vilification" bill, pro-same-sex anti-discrimination legislation - all issues for which taxpayer-funded bodies such as the Australian Human Rights Commission have actively lobbied.

There are potential hits on independent (including Catholic, Protestant and Jewish) schools, whether via their funding, via national curriculum changes or otherwise. The Greens may also seek to wind back the private health rebate, forcing more people into their utopian socialist health system.

The list of possible threats is almost endless - and it begs an interesting comparison.

Once before, Australia was faced with a threat to its way of life. An unrepresentative radical minority sought to impose their ideology on Australia, seize the commanding heights of the economy, attack Christian values and weaken our national defences.

The threat was nearly realised through the powerful Left-controlled trade unions then affiliated to the Australian Labor Party.

The threat, of course, was Communism and, while people may today tend to downplay the danger, it was very real. It was only neutralised, prior to the 1955 Labor Split, through the united efforts of B.A. Santamaria's Movement, the ALP Industrial Groups and the Catholic Church.

The left-wing threat to Australia is no less today. In fact, it is much more advanced. For, unlike the former Communist Party of Australia, the Greens share the balance of power in the House of Representatives and next year will wield even greater power in the Senate.

Labor has fully embraced the Greens and greatly helped their rise to power by exchanging voting preferences with them. The result could one day be more Tasmanian-style Greens-ALP cabinets.

The question, then, is what is to be done? It is abundantly plain that the Greens' environmental fa├žade conceals a more sinister agenda. However, this obviously hasn't yet registered with the electorate at large, otherwise the Greens could not have won roughly 12 per cent of the national vote.

Clearly, more work needs to be done.

Vulnerable stakeholders also need to take a more active role. Private schools, private health providers, industry, mining, agriculture, churches and many more must step up, perhaps even putting money where their mouths are, in order to confront the Greens menace.

Importantly too, if the ALP is going to aid, abet and ally with the Greens, then it too should face similar scrutiny and opposition. If that sounds extreme, examine the origins of the DLP and consider whether worse social and political conditions do not in fact exist today.

Damian Wyld is South Australian state president of the National Civic Council.

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