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The Forum > Article Comments > Betrayal of Menzies - eschewing federalism > Comments

Betrayal of Menzies - eschewing federalism : Comments

By Greg Craven, published 4/3/2005

Greg Craven argues that Howard's centralism will eventially hand power to his enemies.

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Cravens article underlines the wisdom of the aphorism regarding power, absolute power and corruption.

His point regarding the social engineering credentials of the conservatives is accurate but far too late. They have been at it as long as any one else.

The "left" was branded with the lable of social engineers primarily they were the first to move with any agression against the status quo.

Conservatives have equally "engineered" for no or at best incremental change, socially, culturally, economically and industrially; now they are winding up for a counter punch against the social gains made under only a few years of governance by a more socially democratic party.

Some changes relate to abortion, supporting parents and disability pensions, trade protection,changes in education as well as cultural modernisation. Most were driven by sense of democracy recognising the need for change and compassion. These were begrudgingly accepted by those who seemingly have suffered under the tyrrany of that kind of democracy.

Now that apparent festering resentment has a freer rein under the guidance of Howard et al. It will be freer still after July 1 2005. It should come as no surprise that it did not take long after the Federal election for the likes of Abbott and Nelson to foreshadow the flavor of things to come; Industrial relations was always at the forefront but Minister for Education and Health have strongly pointed to further controls they would like and changes they would like to see.

More recently Costello has foreshadowed the need for the states to be more "accountable" for the expenditure of the GST windfall. Even though the Federal Government merely collects the tax (in fact it is the business men and women of Australia who do that), it is the states to independantly determine, under the prvosion of the constitution, how that money is spent. Costellos move like that of his colleagues is yet another move to undermine the principles of the constitution.

We should fully expect little or no caution by the Government after July 1 and further threats to the integrity of the states.
Posted by inkeemagee, Friday, 4 March 2005 1:10:10 PM
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As author of various books about certain constitutional issues, such as INSPECTOR-RIKATI® on CITIZENSHIP, A book on CD about Australians unduly harmed a& INSPECTOR-RIKATI® and the BANANA REPUBLIC AUSTRALIA. Dictatorship & deaths by stealth. Preliminary book issue on CD for example I for one am concerned about the de facto DICTATORSHIP we have going on, where it makes no difference if the ALP or the Coalition is in power as they are both wrecking out constitutional rights!

Hansard 17-2-1898
What a charter of liberty is embraced within this Bill-of political liberty and religious liberty-the liberty and the means to achieve all to which men in these days can reasonably aspire.

Because we have judges dealing with certain constitutional issues in which they are totally incompetent in we end up with a further disaster.
Being it the Phil Cleary, the Sue v Hill, the Pochi, the Franklin Dam case or numerous others, each of them were fatal to the constitutional provisions.
For example, citizenship is a State legislative powers nothing to do with Australian nationality and specifically refused as a constitutional power for the federal government. Yet, we have children born in the Commonwealth of Australia deported as unwanted Stateless, because of unconstitutional legislation!
Where will this end up but in a REVOLUTION or CIVIL WAR, as the Framers of the Constitution warned about time and again, if the Commonwealth of Australia will erode our constitutional rights!
This is why I am campaigning for the creation of the OFFICE OF THE GUARDIAN, a constitutional council, that advises the Government, the people, the Parliament and the Courts as to constitutional provisions and its limitations.
Show me a lawyer/judge claiming to be an expert in constitutional law, and I will design a test about certain constitutional matters which he/she will fail! This, because to my knowledge, legal studies about constitutional issues are upon many false constitutional premises.
For example, no legal study teaches upcoming lawyers/judges that “nullification” is a constitutional power provided to a State Court as to dismiss charges of breach of Commonwealth law against a State citize
Posted by Mr Gerrit H Schorel-Hlavka, Monday, 7 March 2005 9:00:18 PM
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Well said, Greg Craven.
Federalism is an essential part of Australia's democracy and should be defended against all those who think that it would be more "efficient" to have power concentrated in their own hands.
Posted by Ian, Tuesday, 8 March 2005 1:48:42 AM
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Just by way of a post script to my earlier remarks - Costellos recent attack on the GST and the states is yet another example of what seems to be a softening up of the electorate for further centralisation of power to Canberra. Add to that Minchin comments that the states have been wastefull with pay rises to Poice and nurses over recent years and you get the feeling that the gloves are coming off; tell the nurses in Labor run WA that they've been on the receioving end of government largesse.

You only have to look to the relative industrial harmony over recent years and the rather paltry wage increases the nation has endured (or responsibly accepted) Costellos arguement and that of Minchin is hollow. Tim Colebatch in the Aeg 8th march quite simply pointed out how wrong Costellos assertion in fact are - there is no windfall and the states are complying with the GST agreement.

The question is now, now the numbers do not add up what is he up to. My guess its simply part of the pre July 1 softening up process for the kind of hubris Howard asserted we would not experience post July 1 2005
Posted by inkeemagee, Tuesday, 8 March 2005 4:20:04 PM
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Greg Craven's article underscores the importance of Federalism, but how it is being practiced by Howard, Costello, Abbott et al is something else. I doubt whether Menzies would approve.
I also ask: where are the defenders of State's Rights? They were everywhere in the sixties through to the nineties.
Will they return when Labor again wins office and if so will they be branded "political cynics" because they faailed to speak up when "their" party was in office?
Posted by Freckles, Wednesday, 9 March 2005 2:28:03 PM
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Greg Craven reminds us why the traditional left-right, conservative etc stereotypes are no longer relevant. According to the traditions of my family and most of those around me, who would have dreamed of the day when the Liberal party would brand anyone with a not-strictly-vocational tertiary qualification a dangerous elite? Governments like the present Australian regime are far from conservative, they are steaming ahead with very radical agendas. They reject the once all-Australian values of an educated, moral, modest, industrious and relatively egalitarian society in favour of an advanced version of 80s "we can have it all" social climbing. Sadly, many Australians have fallen for this utopian unreality.

Who is the most appropriate inheritor of the traditions which I believe formed the foundation of much of which Australia once was proud? Somewhere there must be a leader of the stature and ability to tell the Menzies story once again.Or are they waiting for their hair to turn grey?
Posted by Elite gal, Wednesday, 9 March 2005 10:41:57 PM
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