by Ron Boswell
WHEN Lateline host Tony Jones asked then deputy opposition leader Julia Gillard about her involvement in the Socialist Forum,she said, "I did clerical and administrative work, Tony. This is so long ago. It's the days before modern computers and the internet, in the days where if you wanted to put out a meeting notice to people you wouldn't send an email, you'd get out an envelope and put it in your IBM electric typewriter and type up the address and then get the next one." You would never see Kim Beazley, Simon Crean or Kevin Rudd trying to defend an extreme left past in this obfuscating manner. You would never see any modern Labor leader of substance and popular support trying to hide a key part of their political formation.
They simply would not have made the mistake, even early on, of peddling extreme left-wing agendas. The carbon tax fits Gillard to a T because it matches the policy calls she promoted in the early 1990s as she was about to emerge on the national political stage as a very left-wing MP. She was not simply typing addresses on envelopes, a response that degrades her serious contribution as officially noted in publisher credits as a Socialist Forum representative on the editorial committee. She is not thanked for her typing or clerical skills. She is in the main editorial game for a series of publications that set out extreme policy strategies from the Left.
Only a few years before entering parliament, Gillard was an active force in promoting radical ideas that no other Labor leader worth their salt would have countenanced even from their cradle. For example, one of the Gillard (editorial committee) titles, The Greening of the Red, a recipe for left-wing totalitarian control via environmental activism, calls for re-regulating the exchange rate, reintroducing tariffs and reducing imports and foreign investment.
In view of Gillard and the Greens' recent stirring about the media that coincided with disagreeable (to them) coverage, it is wise to heed what Gillard and others in the Socialist Forum wanted the media to look like in this country. They advocated public funding for media outlets to be run by co-ops and community groups rather than businesspeople, on a non-profit basis.
There would be partial public funding of publications by small groups whose views would not otherwise be heard. (Extreme candidates come to mind.) Commercial broadcasting and advertising would be phased out in long-term anti-consumerist programs by governments. This was in order to create a tide of redgreen values that would become a successor to democracy.
The following quote reveals the extent of social engineering these lefties believe in: "Mechanisms which have been proposed for value change range from enhancement of 'green' education to revival of those religions which respect Nature. "Fundamental reconstruction is required in our cultural consciousness and information systems for the longer term, though beginning as soon as governments can be talked into commencing the necessary reforms."
(Page 120, The Greening of the Red)
The author notes that "print and electronic media are also crucial channels for conveying information or attitudes, but in most Western countries these are business-dominated, resulting in gross inequalities and influence. Australia is arguably the worst case in the West, with the main mass media being dominated by two billionaires." There are absurd offerings, such as the recommendation to put duties on luxury goods, energy imports and "products deemed unnecessarily consumerist".
Their wish list includes an overseas shipping line, restrictions on new loan raising by private (and public) enterprise, directional control over the investments of financial institutions and no tax concessions for corporate debt. These are the economic prescriptions advocated by Gillard and her socialist chums. They were ridiculous then, as they are ridiculous now.
Australians are scratching their heads to work out how we have arrived at our current destination:a nanny-state land where competitiveness is eroded by taxes, public funds are disastrously wasted and the Greens rule, not OK. Perhaps the destination was set by the path Gillard and co took in their political formation, a path sensibly eschewed by other Labor leaders.
If only Gillard had taken her own advice about not writing (and why not include editing and publishing?) crap.
Published in The Australian 12/08/2011