Political Time Travel

The more things change...

Kym Beazley's maiden speech in Federal Parliament as the member for Swan, now Brand. This is from December 1980.

"On this occasion, electors in Swan recognised the real source of their difficulties and voted against a government which has presided over massive increases in tax evasion in high income brackets and a niggardly and ungenerous attitude to citizens in real need. They also voted against a government which still has no strategy for the economic resurgence of Australia but which follows a drab, half-baked form of monetarism — it is not really prepared to pursue a full monetarist policy but is incapable of making use of the many alternatives. The only changed direction evident in the Governor-General's Speech is that instead of belt-tightening homilies the Australian electorate is now to be the object of pseudo-erudite expositions of Liberal philosophy. I expect underneath the steady drum roll of Government hyperbole we shall hear a subterranean scratching as the nineteenth century liberal philosopher John Stuart Mill spins in his grave as he hears the views he popularised bowdlerised by his contemporary Australian disciples. That humane thinker — as do all rational men — became a democratic socialist late in life and recognised that political freedom, vital as that is, means nothing if the daily experience of the citizen is tyranny in the work place, exclusion from real knowledge of how he or she is governed, and inequity in terms of economic power."

Kym continues to this day to say in 100 words what 10 would achieve. The fact of the matter is, Kym Beazley struggles to get his message across. Rhodes Scholar or not, a voluminous grasp of the dictionary does not an effective communicator make. Read the rest of Kym's introduction to the Lower House. You'll find some familiar themes. See if you can find the Bomber's start on his 'government is mean and tricky' meme.

Speaking of familiar themes, 31 years ago the current Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, made his first speech to the House of Representatives. Is this the first seeds of the GST perhaps?

"Last Tuesday the Leader of the Opposition spoke tellingly of the impact of the progressive taxation system, and nowhere is this more clearly demonstrated than in the field of financial relations between the Commonwealth and the State governments. It is now more imperative than ever that theState governments be given, as the Liberal and Country Parties offered during the last election campaign, access to a percentage share of income tax revenue. Unless this is done our basic federal structure will break down. Unless this is done it will always be necessary for State governments to introduce direct, punitive and inflationary taxes. They have no alternative. They are left with no other method of funding their responsibilities and their operations. Unless the State governments and the Federal Government can devise a scheme which protects State governments against the ravages of inflation, we will have a repetition of what has occurred in the past 2 weeks."

31 years ago. I wonder if the current state Premiers realise where the drive for Commonwealth funding to the states arose from? Not being an economist, nor a historian, I have no doubt someone could enlighten me to the origins of economic theories as propounded today. John Howard made reference to Snedden's comments from the previous election, sentiments which Howard still echoes today.

"The Liberal and Country Parties offer you an Australia built on deep respect for the individual. On his, and her, dignity and freedom. The right to succeed, to accept responsibility, to work harder if they wish and to be rewarded for it. The individual's success is the community's success. I repeat those words because they form the basis of my approach to the Budget: The individual's success is the community's success."

The more things change...

Crossposted at Bastards Inc.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments containing Chinese characters will not be published as I do not understand them