The Ill Portents of Mr. Kim Beazley
An almost universal response when Mr. Beazley became Leader of the Federal Opposition was to say: what a nice person, what a decent man, and what a pleasant contrast with Mr. Bob Hawke and Mr. Paul Keating. With the passage of time, however, concerns have arisen, and there has been increasing dismay at the prospect that he may become Prime Minister.
The problem is not a lack of decency, for he is in his intentions a decent person. Rather the problem is that he has shown himself impetuous, highly emotional and apt to commit himself spontaneously to ideas that are not in the public interest: a combination of extreme enthusiasm with a lack of judgment is a promise of disaster.
His attitude to the Aboriginal problem provides an important instance of these portents. He is in favour of entering into "treaties" with "Aboriginals" — this term would include the miscellaneous groups of part-Aboriginals whose irrationality and animus are such a source of present trouble — as though they constituted a separate and equal nation. This would inevitably give rise to further demands from Aboriginal activists, who would have assumed a status to which they lacked any entitlement. Instead of settling real or imagined grievances, Mr. Beazley would elevate those grievances, to the profound disadvantage of the nation.
Likewise he has expressed himself as favouring "compensation" for the fictional "stolen generation". In fact it has been established that the part-Aboriginals in question were almost invariably removed in circumstances in which removal was for their benefit, and took place at the request of or with the consent of their families. They were thus able to escape sexual mistreatment and physical mistreatment which might otherwise have cost them their lives. They were also enabled to receive education to assist in necessary adaptation to the modern world, as opposed to primitive and brutal practices which should not be dignified by the term "culture". And yet a righteous Mr. Beazley, who is impatient with facts, proposes vast payments of "compensation" for claims that are essentially fraudulent.
Likewise Mr. Beazley's attitudes in regard to self-professed "refugees" are a matter for concern. His comments have made it unfortunately clear that he will not initiate or support the firm action that is necessary to protect Australian sovereignty.
Mr. Beazley's comments on economic matters are also a matter of concern. He has stated rhetorically, "Under Mr. Howard the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer and the middle is getting squeezed." Statements of this kind often lead to suggestions for a "redistribution of wealth". Does Mr. Beazley have this in mind? Will he attempt to achieve his objective by an increase in taxes (which might in fact achieve an opposite result by driving investment overseas)?
In this context it is noteworthy that Mr. Beazley has stated that taxation in Australia is not too high. He thus disregards the fact that a high maximum income tax rate applies at a relatively low income level, compared with other relevant countries. There have been adverse economic consequences through this position, but Mr. Beazley's fulsome rhetoric is not interested in factual matters of these kinds.
It may well be felt that Mr. Kim Beazley belongs to one of the most dangerous classes of politicians — the class of politicians who are, albeit "well-intentioned", emotional, impetuous and uncomprehending or careless of the consequences of policies that are expounded with rhetorical flourishes and intensity. His election as Prime Minister would give rise to serious threats for Australia's national interest.
National Observer No. 50 - Spring 2001