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Attachment A: Pauline Hanson's Maiden Speech to Parliament - 15/9/96
... I come here not as a polished politician but as a woman who has had her fair share of life's knocks. My view on issues is based on commonsense, and my experience as a mother of four children, as a sole parent, and as a businesswoman running a fish and chip shop. I won the seat of Oxley largely on an issue that has resulted in me being called a racist. That issue related to my comment that Aboriginals received more benefits than non-Aboriginals.
We now have a situation where a type of reverse racism is applied to mainstream Australians by those who promote political correctness and those who control the various taxpayer funded "industries" that flourish in our society servicing Aboriginals, multiculturalists and a host of other minority groups. In response to my call for equality for all Australians, the most noisy criticism came from the fat cats, bureaucrats and the do-gooders. They screamed the loudest because they stand to lose the most - their power, money and position, all funded by ordinary Australian taxpayers.
Present governments are encouraging separatism in Australia by providing opportunities, land, moneys and facilities available only to Aboriginals. Along with millions of Australians, I am fed up to the back teeth with the inequalities that are being promoted by the government and paid for by the taxpayer under the assumption that Aboriginals are the most disadvantaged people in Australia. I do not believe that the colour of one's skin determines whether you are disadvantaged. As Paul Hasluck said in parliament in October 1955 when he was Minister for Territories:
The distinction I make is this. A social problem is one that concerns the way in which people live together in one society. A racial problem is a problem which confronts two different races who live in two separate societies, even if those societies are side by side. We do not want a society in Australia in which one group enjoy one set of privileges and another group enjoy another set of privileges.
Hasluck's vision was of a single society in which racial emphases were rejected and social issues addressed. I totally agree with him, and so would the majority of Australians.
But, remember, when he gave his speech he was talking about the privileges that white Australians were seen to be enjoying over Aboriginals. Today, 41 years later, I talk about the exact opposite - the privileges Aboriginals enjoy over other Australians. I have done research on benefits available only to Aboriginals and challenge anyone to tell me how Aboriginals are disadvantaged when they can obtain 3 and 5 % housing loans denied to non-Aboriginals.
This nation is being divided into black and white, and the present system encourages this. I am fed up with being told, "This is our land." Well, where the hell do I go? I was born here, and so were my parents and children. I will work beside anyone and they will be my equal but I draw the line when told I must pay and continue paying for something that happened over 200 years ago. Like most Australians, I worked for my land; no-one gave it to me.
Apart from the $40 million spent so far since Mabo on native title claims, the government has made available $1 billion for Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders as compensation for land they cannot claim under native title. Bear in mind that the $40 million spent so far in native title has gone into the pockets of grateful lawyers and consultants. Not one native title has been granted as I speak.
The majority of Aboriginals do not want handouts because they realise that welfare is killing them. This quote says it all:
If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day. If you teach him how to fish you him for a lifetime.
Those who feed off the Aboriginal industry do not want to see things changed. Look at the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation. Members receive $290 a day sitting allowance and $320 a day travelling allowance, and most of these people also hold other very well paid positions. No wonder they did not want to resign recently!
Reconciliation is everyone recognising and treating each other as equals, and everyone must be responsible for their own actions. This is why I am calling for ATSIC to be abolished. It is a failed, hypocritical and discriminatory organisation that has failed dismally the people it was meant to serve. It will take more than Senator Herron's surgical skills to correct the terminal mess it is in. Anyone with a criminal record can, and does, hold a position with ATSIC. I cannot hold my position as a politician if I have a criminal record - once again, two sets of rules.
If politicians continue to promote separatism in Australia, they should not continue to hold their seats in this parliament. They are not truly representing all Australians, and I call on the people to throw them out. To survive in peace and harmony, united and strong, we must have one people, one nation, one flag.
The greatest cause of family breakdown is unemployment. This country of ours has the richest mineral deposits in the world and vast rich lands for agriculture and is surrounded by oceans that provide a wealth of seafood, and yet we are $190 billion in debt with an interest bill that is strangling us.
Youth unemployment between the ages of 15 to 24 runs at 25 % and is even higher in my electorate of Oxley. Statistics, by cooking the books, say that Australia's unemployment is at 8.6 %, or just under one million people. If we disregard that one hour's work a week classifies a person as employed, then the figure is really between 1.5 million and 1.9 million unemployed. This is a crisis that recent governments have ignored because of a lack of will. We are regarded as a Third World country with First World living conditions. We have one of the highest interest rates in the world, and we owe more money per capita than any other country. All we need is a nail hole in the bottom of the boat and we're sunk.
In real dollar terms, our standard of living has dropped over the past 10 years. In the 1960s, our wages increase ran at 3 % and unemployment at 2 %. Today, not only is there no wage increase, we have gone backwards and unemployment is officially 8.6 %. The real figure must be close to 12 to 13 %.
I wish to comment briefly on some social and legal problems encountered by many of my constituents - problems not restricted to just my electorate of Oxley. I refer to the social and family upheaval created by the Family Law Act and the ramifications of that act embodied in the child support scheme. The Family Law Act, which was the child of the disgraceful Senator Lionel Murphy, should be repealed. It has brought death, misery and heartache to countless thousands of Australians. Children are treated like pawns in some crazy game of chess.
The child support scheme has become unworkable, very unfair and one sided. Custodial parents can often profit handsomely at the expense of a parent paying child support, and in many cases the non-custodial parent simply gives up employment to escape the, in many cases, heavy and punitive financial demands. Governments must give to all those who have hit life's hurdles the chance to rebuild and have a future.
We have lost all our big Australian industries and icons, including Qantas when it sold 25 % of its shares and a controlling interest to British Airways. Now this government wants to sell Telstra, a company that made a $1.2 billion profit last year and will make a $2 billion profit this year. But, first, they want to sack 54,000 employees to show better profits and share prices. Anyone with business sense knows that you do not sell off your assets especially when they are making money. I may be only "a fish and chip shop lady", but some of these economists need to get their heads out of the textbooks and get a job in the real world. I would not even let one of them handle my grocery shopping.
Immigration and multiculturalism are issues that this government is trying to address, but for far too long ordinary Australians have been kept out of any debate by the major parties. I and most Australians want our immigration policy radically reviewed and that of multiculturalism abolished. I believe we are in danger of being swamped by Asians. Between 1984 and 1995, 40 % of all migrants coming into this country were of Asian origin. They have their own culture and religion, form ghettos and do not assimilate. Of course, I will be called racist but, if I can invite whom I want into my home, then I should have the right to have a say in who comes into my country. A truly multicultural country can never be strong or united. The world is full of failed and tragic examples, ranging from Ireland to Bosnia to Africa and, closer to home, Papua New Guinea. America and Great Britain are currently paying the price.
Arthur Calwell was a great Australian and Labor leader, and it is a pity that there are not men of his stature sitting on the opposition benches today. Arthur Calwell said:
Japan, India, Burma, Ceylon and every new African nation are fiercely -white and anti-one another. Do we want or need any of these people here? I am one red-blooded Australian who says no and who speaks for 90 % of Australians.
I have no hesitation in echoing the words of Arthur Calwell.
There is light at the end of the tunnel and there are solutions. If this government wants to be fair dinkum, then it must stop kowtowing to financial markets, international organisations, world bankers, investment companies and big business people. The Howard government must become visionary and be prepared to act, even at the risk of making mistakes.
In this financial year we will be spending at least $1.5 billion on foreign aid and we cannot be sure that this money will be properly spent, as corruption and mismanagement in many of the recipient countries are legend. Australia must review its membership and funding of the UN, as it is a little like ATSIC on a grander scale, with huge tax-free American dollar salaries, duty-free luxury cars and diplomatic status.
The World Health Organisation has a lot of its medical experts sitting in Geneva while hospitals in Africa have no drugs and desperate patients are forced to seek medication on the black market. I am going to find out how many treaties we have signed with the UN, have them exposed and then call for their repudiation. The government should cease all foreign aid immediately and apply the savings to generate employment here at home.
Abolishing the policy of multiculturalism will save billions of dollars and allow those from ethnic backgrounds to join mainstream Australia, paving the way to a strong, united country. Immigration must be halted in the short-term so that our dole queues are not added to by, in many cases, unskilled migrants not fluent in the English language. This would be one positive step to rescue many young and older Australians from a predicament which has become a national disgrace and crisis. I must stress at this stage that I do not consider those people from ethnic backgrounds currently living in Australia anything but first-class citizens, provided of course that they give this country their full, undivided loyalty.
The government must be imaginative enough to become involved, in the short-term at least, in job creating projects that will help establish the foundation for a resurgence of national development and enterprise. Such schemes would be the building of the Alice Springs to Darwin railway line, new roads and ports, water conservation, reafforestation and other sensible and practical environmental projects.
Therefore I call for the introduction of national service for a period of 12 months, compulsory for males and females upon finishing year 12 or reaching 18 years of age. This could be a civil service with a touch of military training, because I do not feel we can go on living in a dream world forever and a day believing that war will never touch our lives again.
The government must do all it can to help reduce interest rates for business. How can we compete with Japan, Germany and Singapore, who enjoy rates of two %, 5.5 % and 3.5 % respectively? Reduced tariffs on foreign goods that compete with local products seem only to cost Australians their jobs. We must look after our own before lining the pockets of overseas countries and investors at the expense of our living standards and future.
... time is running out. We may have only 10 to 15 years left to turn things around. Because of our resources and our position in the world, we will not have a say because neighbouring countries such as Japan, with 125 million people; China, with 1.2 billion people; India, with 846 million people; Indonesia, with 178 million people; and Malaysia, with 20 million people are well aware of our resources and potential. Wake up, Australia, before it is too late. Australians need and want leaders who can inspire and give hope in difficult times. Now is the time for the Howard government to accept the challenge.
Mister Acting Speaker, everything I have said is relevant to my electorate of Oxley, which is typical of mainstream Australia. I do have concerns for my country and I am going to do my best to speak my mind and stand up for what I believe in. As an independent I am confident that I can look after the needs of the people of Oxley and I will always be guided by their advice. It is refreshing to be able to express my views without having to toe a party line. It has got me into trouble on the odd occasion, but I am not going to stop saying what I think. I consider myself just an ordinary Australian who wants to keep this great country strong and independent, and my greatest desire is to see all Australians treat each other as equals as we travel together towards the new century. .....
Attachment B: Outline of Some Sources
Over 200 comments and analyses which appeared in the mainstream media are outlined and can be obtained from the author.
Attachment c: Overview of The Debate
Attachment D: Observers' Views of Pauline Hanson's One Nation
Observer A: Many feel that government has turned against the people. There is a lack of realism in what politicians say. People know that there are problems (eg in the legal process) but this is not admitted. All political parties are seen as being the same, and as 'the enemy'. 'Political correctness' has gone too far. 98% of people who attend One Nation meetings are convinced, not that Pauline Hanson has the answer, but by her listing thing which are wrong, which are beyond her to fix so there is a need for a lot of people to help. As a result of One Nation's influence, major changes will emerge, and the community will be improved. Politicians are having to change their world view. 'One Nation' listens to ordinary people, not to bureaucrats. The media (who do not listen to ordinary people) are the enemy of One Nation. One Nation gets its energy from grievances which supporters have about their treatment by governments, and their desire for justice. Pauline Hanson is the only politician showing any interest in justice. Grievances are those of small business and ordinary people. All they want is control over their own destiny, prosperity and freedom. But governments are destroying people's opportunities. There is a battle between big and small enterprises, and the big are winning because they have government support. Government never listens to individuals, but only to interest groups and minorities. Grievances include:
The whole legislative process and legal system has become tyrannical because of the combination of: authority, discretion, control of information, and the compliance of elites. Persecution is the source of the energy behind One Nation. Consider how much damage is being done to people, by all government policies. Pauline Hanson's appeal is based on concern for fairness and equity. Government must solve the problems of the people with grievances. People should be judged on their needs, not on the basis of their race. Many supporters were also involved in the National Civic Council, and were impressed by the ideas of Bob Santamaria. Pauline Hanson also takes a very commonsense approach to show the fallacies in others arguments (eg why is foreign investment emphasised, when everyone knows that it is better to own your own home; why are pig producers sacrificed to 'globalisation' when producers in Canada are subsidised; why is it not racist to provide benefits based on race; why doesn't government make big firms and the wealthy pay tax). Pauline Hanson is vilified, but does not attack back - but focuses on the issues, and points out that others are not doing their jobs. The more she is attacked (eg by getting children out of schools to do so) the more her support increases.
Observer B: At 'One Nation' meetings people almost universally applaud what is said. Even local meetings which attract no local media interest are covered by international journalists reporting into Asia. It has been argued that the implications of this for trade could be serious. Very basic questions are being directed to Pauline Hanson - about people's day to day lives. Many concern matters relevant to local authorities - eg in terms of planning and services. Politicians are not seen to be doing anything. Ordinary people find that their situation is worsening in basic ways, and they lack the skills to cope. The State and Commonwealth Government's are seen as failing to provide welfare services (sometimes reflecting a lack of information about available services, or that services do not 'fit'). Unemployment (with its social impact) is the 'big' issue - though questions about national identity (Republic) and immigration and WIK are involved. Change is reducing the certainty of people's lives. The community is not able to organise itself to deal with these problems. There is uncertainty about where EVERYTHING is going. Remote areas feel particular neglected, but so do major coastal centers. There is a view that government should have the answer (reflecting Australia's traditional dependence on authority linked to its convict roots and the lack of the self reliance found in (say) USA). There is a culture of blame, directed against politicians. Politicians lose touch with ordinary people - because, being willing to be involved in the 'dog eat dog' world of politics, makes them different - and they are mainly surrounded by other politicians. 'One Nation' is losing initial supporters, who realise that it does not have answers.
Observer C: People have been finally been given a choice (which the traditional political parties with very similar policies do not provide) and are taking it. People agree with many of the problems being identified by One Nation. The core problem is that politicians have not communicated with people about the effect of economic change.
Observer D: The support given to One Nation reflects a breakdown of our pluralistic democratic system under which the majority are supposed to rule. Supporters are primarily male, have low education, and could use a gun to get their way. They are unsatisfied with the way things are going, but have not made any valid case for being given more. Almost everyone is now suffering from the effects of change. The problem of 'hung' parliaments has arisen most particularly in Queensland because the rural / regional population and the metropolitan population is nearly equal here.
Attachment E: The Current Account Deficit Constraint
The current account deficit reflects the excess of gross national spending over gross national income. That difference also equals the difference between external spending and income (ie spending on imports of goods and services and income from exports, with an allowance for financial transfers) became domestic spending and income must be equal. And it also equals the (equity or debt) capital which must be obtained from offshore (because international payments must balance under a floating exchange rate system). It also equals the difference between national investment and savings - as such capital is typically used for investment.
Rapid domestic growth increases the current account deficit - because it increases spending (on imports) which is not directly reflected in subsequent domestic income. When the current account deficit reached the (so called) 'banana republic' level (around 6% of GDP) in the late 1980s, interest rates were raised to induce the (so called) 'recession we had to have' to deal with this. Solutions sought to the current account constraint on growth in the 1990s included cuts to government spending (ie to increase savings and cut the imbalance between national expenditure and income) particularly by cutting that spending which contributed least to future income.
Australia's current account position is now more fundamentally sound than in the 1980s because: public sector deficits are not a major factor it it; the economy is not overheating; there is less speculative demand and more fiscal responsibility; inflation is unlikely; and deficits are not necessarily a problem if funds are invested so as produce income to cover their cost.
However a high current account deficit (noting the forecasts of 5-6% now being made) leaves Australia vulnerable and may not be acceptable despite the above factors because:
Australia and Queensland have been able to grow rapidly in recent years (and slowly reduce unemployment) because export markets (mainly those in Asia) also grew rapidly. Now that the Asian financial crisis is leading to recession (or worse) in Asia, Australia's growth rate will also probably have to be reduced substantially - to contain the current account deficit (perhaps starting late in 1998). There is every indication that the Asian financial crisis will be deep and long lasting - rather than a short sharp 'V'. (See Craig J. Asian Financial Crisis: Identifying Major Uncertainties and Opportunities for Queensland, unpublished, February 1998)
A commensurate sharp increase in unemployment would unfortunately be likely to accompany slower growth (eg in late 1998). And if the current account deficit is seen as a source of vulnerability, then attempting to deal with unemployment by increased public spending (if not on activities which produce high future income) will force more to be done in other ways (eg by increasing interest rates) to slow the economy to a sustainable current account position. This would more than reverse any job gains due to public spending on low productivity functions.
However rather than reducing spending (and growth), a better way to reduce the current account constraint would be to emphasise productivity (ie to increase national income by building competitive advantage through more effective market oriented enterprise and economic development) and increase incentives for savings. This could potentially reduce the imbalance between national spending and income, without requiring large cuts to spending and growth.
Attachment F: Australia's Relationship with Asia
There is reason for concern that debating the issues which One Nation raised in racists terms not only makes it impossible to find solutions <Item 12 in Attachment B> but harms Australia's relationships in Asia.
The community, media and those who manage Australia's relationships with Asia (often economists) often appear to lack 'Asia literacy', and to view 'Asia' through the lens of Australia's traditions and institutions.
'Australia's China': As noted by Stephen Fitzgerald (see Attachment G) Australia could not accept China as it is, but had to imagine it to be what Australians would like it to be.
This narrow view risks seriously increasing the problem.
While 'Asia' is not a homogeneous region, what can best be characterised as traditional 'Asian values' reflect the pervasive influence of ancient Chinese cultures on the region.
This affects: China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the overseas Chinese who dominate economically and exert political influence in SE Asia, and (to varying extents) other communities because they have had to cope with China as the region's 'great power' for millennia.
The Islamic components of geographic SE Asia, do not fully fit this picture, but have arguably been convinced to state that they hold 'Asian values' - because of a belief that this would be economically effective, and because this allowed traditional elites to hold economic control.
In traditional 'Asian' communities, racism seems to have been considered natural because of the prevalence of 'particularist' ethics (ie those which emphasise concern for those with whom one has direct relationships). It is mainly in Western societies (with universalist ethics - consistent with the parable of the Good Samaritan) that racism has been considered 'bad'.
While traditional 'Asian values' expected people to 'be' racist (ie to act solely for the benefit of their own cultural and racial group), it was rude to make this explicit and so offend against others' 'face'.
Indications of 'natural' racism in 'Asia' include:
Australia's problem with racism in much of 'Asia' is arguably not that some Australian's might 'be' racist, but that:
The issue also undoubtedly provides a source of secret amusement, ie seeing a Western society being embarrassed by their universalist ethics - whose virtues they proclaimed in Asia for two centuries. However, more seriously, the special mediating role which Australia has been able to play in the region (because of the absence of historical enmities) could be impeded - leading to a serious decline in political stability in the region, and an increased security risk for Australia.
It may be very difficult to discuss these issues without giving offence.
For example: traditional 'Asian values' see individuals and cultures in a hierarchy (with themselves at the top). Also 'Asian values' accords European Australians a higher status than aboriginal Australians. Thus well intended statements such as 'Asians regard Australian's treatment of aborigines as indicative of their attitudes to Asian's' <35> may be offensive - because they do not recognise the much superior opinion which 'Asians' would have of themselves relative to Australia's aborigines.
And: criticising 'racism' in Australia (or suggesting that the influence of Pauline Hanson might lead to the emergence of strong anti-racism <53>, or saying that racism is evil <198>), also criticises traditional 'Asian values' which see racism as natural.
International damage is being done to Australia's position by discussing in racist terms the aboriginal, immigration and multicultural issues which Pauline Hanson's One Nation has raised.
Every attempt should be made to avoid doing so,
The development of a measure of Asia literacy (whose implications are suggested in Attachment G) seems needed. Asia literacy is not to be gained by learning Asian languages, and stumbling around the landscape in ignorance of the foundation of culture.
Attachment G Asia Literacy [[See later version in East Asia in Competing Civilizations]]
A recent book, Is Australia an Asian Country?, by Stephen Fitzgerald (a long term advocate of Asian language and cultural studies) presents his views about the development of Australia's relationships with Asia.
Fitzgerald sees as historically significant a 1996 meeting between the European Union and ASEAN, and describes Australia's inability to be accepted to attend as a serious setback.
His diagnosis of the situation suggests that:
In other chapters Fitzgerald's arguments included the view that:
The most striking feature of Fitzgerald's analysis is that, while he identifies Asia as primarily an intellectual challenge, he is (apparently) unable to describe the nature of that challenge. The following presents an attempt to do so.
The East Asian Context
East Asian societies with a Chinese cultural heritage (eg China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and the overseas Chinese who dominate economically in most of SE Asia) seem to have traditionally tended to adopt a set of assumptions about society, power, economic goals and governance which differ from those in Western societies - somewhat along the following (over-simplified) lines:
Individuals are not valued as they are in the West. Community (which of which the basic elements are hierarchical relationships, not individuals) is more important than individuals - and this is the basis of a different concept of human rights.
All effective relationships have a social basis. Even commercial relationships are social - rather than being at arm's length based on contracts and law, which is the tradition in the Anglo-American world. Contracts and law are seen to be too limited and inflexible to be an effective basis for relationships.
Governance in 'East Asia' is by bureaucracy, rather than by democracy - the latter being mainly for show. Bureaucracies are staffed by persons who, through the educational system, have shown the greatest ability to manage knowledge - and who form a nationalistic elite. The tradition is that bureaucratic power is hidden behind 'rulers' (emperors in the past, elected politicians now) who are encouraged to indulge their personal whims - providing this does not interfere with government.
Power is not exerted in 'East Asia' through decision making, but by superior access to knowledge which is used to influence others' thinking. Decision making is a matter for subordinates, rather than for superiors.
The preferred means for problem solving tends to produce large scale, long term strategic action to complement short term tactical actions.
Government's role is to guide and lead the private sector - not to regulate it in the 'public' interest. The public interest is considered to be that of national companies, while interest groups are seen to reflect 'private' interests. Government aims to increase the market power of national firms, rather than to constrain such power in the interest of consumers (as in USA / Australia). In Japan, the bureaucracy not only guides firms, but effectively owns them because the major banks (who traditionally provided most corporate finance) are strictly controlled by the bureaucracy. No distinctions are made between different functions within communities - business and citizens (and even gangsters) will be mobilised by the bureaucracy to actively pursue what is seen to be the political interests of ethnic communities.
Strategy in 'East Asia' is similar to Sun Tzu's Art of War which features deception of the less informed to take actions which weaken their long term positions. There is no universal ethic in East Asia to value the welfare of those with whom one has no relationships. Thus it is considered natural to be racist (though it is impolite not to pretend otherwise). Only strong outsiders get respect and avoid exploitation - an advantage Western societies enjoyed for the past two centuries. This is now eroding in Australia's case.
Such traditions emerge from epistemologies (philosophies of knowledge) which are quite different from those which Western societies inherited from classical Greece. A key difference in ancient Chinese thought involved a denial of the relevance of abstract ideas, and denying the existence of absolute truths or values. For example, one of the core concept of philosophical Daoism, is that 'The Dao ('truth') which can be named is not the true Dao' (ie that reality can not be expressed in abstract terms - a statement of the limits to rationality). It contrast directly with Plato's view about the relationship between 'forms' and reality which allowed the emphasis on rationality, logic and science which were strongly featured in Western cultures.