November 26th 2011

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Articles from this issue:

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Same-sex "marriage": litmus test for Gillard

CANBERRA OBSERVED: The hurdles Abbott faces in the coming months

EDITORIAL: India: Australia's strategic partner

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: Rising inequality generating global social unrest

SPECIAL FEATURE: Alan Jones' vision for unlocking Australia's potential


EUROPEAN UNION: A way out for Europe, but not for the euro

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Taiwan faces risk of demographic collapse

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: China builds trade links with Taiwan

EDUCATION: School funding and the politics of envy

LABOR HISTORY: Bob Carr blasts Dr Evatt over 1950s Labor Split

OPINION: Bob Katter should never have left the National Party


CINEMA: A Blackadder parody of Tudor history

BOOK REVIEW Terminal decline of the West?

BOOK REVIEW A missing chapter on Australia's colonial origins

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News Weekly, November 26, 2011

Civil partnership laws


A Queensland state-based civil partnership act can only be limited in its application. There is no obvious demand for it, so why does Queensland Labor want one?

There is some evidence that a civil partnership act is a tactical ploy to help force same sex-marriage on to a reluctant federal electorate.

As Queensland Labor Senator Joe Ludwig wrote in a letter to me, dated October 31: “While not supporting same-sex-marriage, the Gillard Government does support a nationally consistent framework for relationship recognition to be implemented by the states and territories.”

Queensland’s Civil Partnership Bill mimics federal legislation on marriage. If it becomes reality, other states and territories could be encouraged to follow suit. Once that has been completed, there will be an avalanche of demand for same-sex marriage to be provided by federal legislation.

It is called “incremental change” and is another example of how our Labor/Green parliaments waste time and our tax money.

Robert Bom,
Rockhampton, Qld


Wages and shopping hours


Unfortunately, I did not read Greg Byrne’s attack (Letters, News Weekly, October 29) on Tim Cannon’s article, “The high cost of cheap and convenient shopping” (News Weekly, October 1) until after News Weekly had published two rejoinders to Greg Byrne (Letters, November 11).

Those two letters to the editor showed up the faults in Greg Byrne’s argument and further showed that it is not just the ALP that has lost its way.

In 1965, B.A. (Bob) Santamaria wrote: “There is obviously need to develop a machinery to ensure an orderly planned development of our economy: in fact to modernise the machinery of economic policy-making.” (Point of View, News Weekly, January 14, 1965, p.3).

A few years later, Bob Santamaria wrote: “A concerted wage policy is extremely urgent. Workers on the minimum wage, with several dependents, are being driven into poverty, while skilled workers are relatively well off.” (Point of View, News Weekly, February 28, 1968, p.16).

Has this changed in 2011? If not, we need to change it.

News Weekly needs more Bob Santamaria and less Milton Friedman.

Victorian DLP Senator John Madigan, in his dissenting report on the Senate Select Committee on Scrutiny of New Taxes, said about the Gillard Government’s introduction of a carbon tax: “The devastating effects on rural and regional communities by this tax [have] simply not been taken into account…. Thousands of jobs will be lost in the already struggling communities.” (Senate: Hansard, November 1, 2011).

The working conditions in major supermarkets (especially when these conditions impact negatively on employees’ family life) are society’s business.

We need a system where the working conditions of employees are treated as society’s business, not the dehumanising sort of system described by Friedrich Engels in his 1844 study, Condition of the Working Class in England.

These sorts of conditions were ameliorated in Australia by government intervention in the economy with factory and shop acts and industrial arbitration.

We need a return to the sanity of the mid-20th century, not a return to the insanity of 19th-century laissez-faire capitalism.

The alternative is too frightening to contemplate.

Andrew P. Jackson,
Burpengary, Qld


Tea Party defended


Patrick J. Byrne has labelled the United States Tea Party movement as “populist” and “bent on preserving the very policies and structures that have failed” (News Weekly, August 20).

This is not true. Limited government has formed a major building block of the US constitution. The US built itself around the self-reliance of its citizens, in contrast to Europe with its power structures of big government.

Freddy Mac and Fanny Mae played a large part in the global financial crisis, both of them very powerful government agencies with over 90 per cent of US housing mortgages.

High taxation is the hallmark of big government, and control of this revenue gives the government control how this wealth is distributed.

Free enterprise relies on entrepreneurs and capital for innovation. The more the government takes, the less there is for business to expand the economy and increase national wealth — and tax revenue — in doing so.

It appears the US is in an inflationary mode with quantitative easing (i.e., printing money) which will debauch the US currency. The Tea Party movement opposes this.

Trevor Dawes,
North Haven, SA


Religion and politics


Here’s a thought inspired by Tony Abbott’s recent gratuitous effort to “do a John F. Kennedy” in the pages of the most anti-Christian daily newspaper in the country, the Melbourne Age.

The media always quiz Christian politicians, when they look like getting into positions of power where they might threaten the left-libertarian agenda, as to whether they are going to let their “private” religious views influence their “public” policy.

Do you notice that they never quiz feminists, such as Julia Gillard or the Greens, as to whether they will let their “private” anti-religious and anti-family views influence their “public” policy?

Colin Jory,
Narrabundah, ACT

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