You are here

ABC remembers Malcolm Fraser and confuses refugees, immigration and population growth management (again)

The ABC reported today:

Mr Fraser — Australia's 22nd prime minister — was born into a wealthy pastoral family in 1930 and first entered Parliament in 1955 as its youngest MP. He spent nearly 20 years as a backbencher and in the ministry. He became opposition leader in 1975, facing off against Gough Whitlam and becoming prime minister in the wake of Mr Whitlam's dismissal.

From his first days in politics, Mr Fraser was an advocate of immigration as a means of boosting the population.

As a minister in the Gorton government, he became the first federal politician to use the word "multiculturalism" — an historic break from the Anglocentric past of his own party. Mr Fraser's multicultural conviction found shape in immigration policy in the post-Vietnam war push to bring refugees from mainland South East Asia to Australia.

"I believe we had a moral and ethical obligation," Mr Fraser later said. "If we had taken polls ... I think people would have voted 80, 90 per cent against us but we explained the reasons for it.

"We were also working to get people to understand that the idea and the reality of a multicultural Australia could be an enormous strength to this country, not a weakness."

"There is strength in this kind of diversity so long as we understand what it's about."

Nothing wrong with any of these sentiments. After declaring war on Vietnam, a humanitarian refugee intake was logical and ethical.

Note also Fraser's intimated "Populate or Perish" attitude to population growth. Fraser was supporting humane refugee intake from Vietnam on an ethical basis and mass migration to achieve population growth - based on his opinion that population growth was "a good idea".

The ABC loves pumping this kind of confusing muddle of refugee / immigration / population growth rhetoric to support its propaganda campaign for pro population growth extremism.

Since when are refugee intake, mass migration of the relatively wealthy, and population growth management the same issue? Even an ABC journalist should be able to understand that these are three separate issues. If you look at what Malcolm Fraser actually did it is as follows:

  • "Believed in" Australian population growth in the early 70s, when the Club of Rome's "Limits to Growth" and Paul Erlich's "The Population Bomb" had just been published (in the late 60s). The concept of environmental limits was a fringe opinion at the time and Fraser's opinion was "conventional wisdom" that is now recognised as outdated. The constraints on population growth are physical (environmental) and economic constraints that have nothing to do with xenophobia or racism.
  • Abhorred racism. This was always right and has nothing to do with population growth management. Physical and economic constraints are now far better understood than they were in the days of "no Limits to Growth".

But the ABC doesn't want to confront this contemporary reality because it is suffocated by confused, outdated and illegitimate phobias.

Image icon Malcolm Fraser.png24.52 KB
Image icon Confusion.jpg40.93 KB


The following was posted on 21 March 2015 to a mailing list of activists opposed to the United States sponsored-terrorist proxy war against the Syrian people. That war, which commenced in March 2011, has so far cost the lives of 200,000 Syrians.

Whilst Malcolm Fraser's actions against the elected Labor government of Gough Whitlam in 1975 undoubtedly harmed Australian sovereignty, he should still be given due credit for his outspoken public support for Syria and Russia since March 2004. That support for Syria and Russia flies in the face of the lying narrative fed to us by the mainstream 'news' media and nearly all of the political establishment on both 'sides' of the fence. It is no accident that, whilst they mention his opposition to South African apartheid, support for Aboriginal reconciliation and support for Vietnamese refugees, none of the mainstream media eulogies for Malcolm Fraser have mentioned his support for Syria and Russia, as is noted below. - Ed.

While the news of Malcolm Fraser’s unexpected passing yesterday may have penetrated to the rest of the world, it is unlikely that some key facts about his recent political life will do so, given that they are mostly absent from Australia’s own reporting.

Malcolm Fraser was always a Liberal, but the party that he led in power from 1975 to 1982 has now lost all semblance of liberalism, so much so that Fraser formally left the party in 2009 when the current PM Tony Abbott became leader of the then opposition. He had also become on the left of the Labor party as it also moved to the right, and became an associate of the Greens on some issues, particularly on asylum seekers.

But one of the most significant positions that Malcolm Fraser held was on Australia’s close alliance with the US, which he regarded as both undesirable and dangerous. He made this argument extensively in his last book – ‘Dangerous Allies’ – published last year. The ANZUS treaty which is often cited as a reason for Australia’s ‘obligation’ to fight in America’s wars does in fact only oblige us to come to each other’s aid should one be under attack. Not only is the US not under attack in the many wars it has created since WW2, but it is highly doubtful that the US would come to Australia’s aid if WE were to be attacked – and certainly not if we had not been performing our proper role as the US’ ‘Asian Sheriff’.

It is not simply a matter of Australia becoming involved in US wars in the Middle East, even though that support has ‘punched above our weight’ as well as giving crucial support to the US illegitimate stance in 2003 and now in Ukraine. Malcolm Fraser publicly protested when the previous government under Julia Gillard allowed US marines a base in Northern Australia. This is further to the long-time presence of spy base Pine Gap there, which the US uses for Drone attacks in Afghanistan/Pakistan, and no doubt surveillance further east too.

Gillard, like Rudd, and Howard before him, was a rusted on supporter of both the US and Israel; not only did she speak to the US congress with adoring platitudes, but she ‘stood with Israel’ in 2009 when it was flattening Gaza.

More recently the bond between the Australian government and NATO has been surely strengthened by the Ukraine ‘conflict’, as 40 of the civilians killed when MH17 was shot down were Australian. With Tony Abbott’s stance on Kiev’s atrocity being hand in hand with that of Cameron and Obama, and his ‘outspoken’ and aggressive posturing against Russia and Putin being cheered on by our deluded and sycophantic press machine and public, Australia has proved itself a vital member of NATO in spirit. Not even the Greens have spoken out in support of the rights of East Ukraine, leave alone in support of Putin, thanks to the clever psy-ops of ‘Pussy Riot’ and other Western propaganda trickery.

Equally, when Abbott volunteered to send 300 more troops to fight in Iraq – as ‘trainers plus’ there was hardly a squeak of protest – the US needed us to ‘help’. And if the US extends its ‘operations’ in Syria then Australia will be right behind; it is already a key supporter of the ‘SNC’.

All this is why I found the loss of Malcolm Fraser as a high-profile spokesman against US expansionism and militarism personally quite devastating. Following a memorable meeting with him in June 2013, accompanying Mother Agnes and Susan Dirgham, I had written to him periodically about the deterioration of Australian ‘leadership’ over Syria, and still hoped to hear his critical voice on this and other geopolitical issues; his strong support for cooperative relations with China resisting US dominance being the most significant, and of course the role China is currently playing in assisting Russia against NATO is a key one. It is to be hoped that some others may fill his role now, but I doubt it; while some say the ‘American Alliance question’ is ‘debate we have to have’, there is a persistent silence on the issue.

And the signs are not promising; not only did the government apparently choose to release a controversial report into the treatment of asylum seekers on Nauru yesterday afternoon, so that Fraser’s death would distract media reporting on it, but today there have been marches and celebrations around the country of ‘the end of the Afghanistan operation’ – ‘Australia’s longest war commitment, with 41 soldiers killed’. Forty One. It pains one to imagine the sort of rubbish being talked about ‘their sacrifice’ and what they have brought to the country; the warlord who was chief of Oruzgan province where the Australians were stationed was killed by a suicide bomber in Kabul yesterday – heralding a fierce struggle between tribal factions looking to take over Matiullah Khan’s sizeable ‘heritage’ of control over Opium trade and whatever else.

While some, particularly on the left, who were so angry with Fraser for his role in ‘the Dismissal’ of Gough Whitlam in 1975 that they simply can never acknowledge the immense good that he did in years since, there were many who did hear his message on both humanity and racism, as well as on ‘Australian independence’ and our part in Asia.

"If we had taken polls ... I think people would have voted 80, 90 per cent against us but we explained the reasons for it."

It is the job of a democratically elected politician to act and put policies in place as per their stated policies and ideals. Abbott himself said that democracy can't work if a leader says one things before and election, and does something else afterwards (I'm aware he's a hypocrite, but I agree with the sentiment).

They are there to represent our will, not push theirs. Otherwise, we may as well have a dictatorship. If Australian's didn't want immigration, as they don't want the levels now, our leaders must deal with it, suck it up and respect the decision Australians have made.

That is the whole point of democracy.

Malcolm did this with immigration, going against the will at the time. As some may be aware, I am very unforgiving of any politician or leader which doesn't act with utmost honesty and with a sense of servitude to their people, and I also am unforgiving of those who create deleterious conditions in an attempt to "do good". Good intentions are no excuse for poor results. We as a society would do ourselves much good by not longer excusing people's for policies which had poor consequences because "they had good intentions". I view this as a sign of a societies immaturity and incapacity to deal with managing civilisation.

For a Prime Minister to use a nations and go against its will and desire, to fulfil a personal moral need is inexcusable. Forcing change on people "for their own good" almost always results in failure, and this is the excuse that tyrants have used in the past. Its always "for your good". The results of enacting population policies using 'population targets' I believe are unethical to the highest degree, and pose a much larger moral hazard than potentially denying some refugees entry.

Mr Fraser was planning on creating another 'restore Australia' party, which would have a larger population as one of its platforms.

Malcolm Fraser's unrealised manifesto - an Australian republic with green credentials (27/3/15) at

Lastly "The Population Bomb" was written by Paul Ehrlich, not Ivan Illich.