John Singleton, “How Malcolm Fraser will become Prime Minister: A two-year non-marketing programme,” Quadrant, June, 1975, pp. 33-35.
John Singleton is managing director of the advertising agency, Doyle Dane Bernbach. He played a major role in the 1974 Federal elections in preparing Sir Robert Askin’s “boots and all” television campaign for the Liberal Party. (See his account of it in Quadrant Jan.-Feb. 1975).
Quadrant sought Mr Singleton’s views on the new Federal Liberal Party leadership and asked him for an article tentatively entitled “How I Would Make Malcolm Fraser Prime Minister”. He rejected the title as too “presumptuous” but prepared the following two-year “non-marketing programme” for Mr Fraser.
Anyone who has made a serious study of Australian politics will realise that the more serious you get the funnier politics gets.
First it is important to realise that running a little unimportant thing like Australia doesn’t demand the same skills as running a big important thing like a company. If you run a company, you have to know what you’re doing.
You have to make unpopular decisions when they need to be made.
You have to tell the truth to your staff, shareholders, suppliers and customers.
And in business it is normal, as indeed it is for any sporting team, that the best man be made captain. This logic has no application in politics. It is obvious when you look at the economic regression of Australia in the past decade — and the downhill acceleration in the last two years — that in politics you don’t in fact have to know what you’re doing.
Instead you only have to look like you know what you’re doing. This means you have to be tall, well-dressed and speak in a manner which is as unclear and imprecise as it is impressive.
Menzies is a prime example. As is Whitlam. As is Fraser.
So far so good for Fraser’s chances of making it as Prime Minister.
Now we come to unpopular decisions. These must never be made in politics.
For example, it is obvious to anyone who thinks about it for more than five minutes that you can’t afford to make more promises than you can afford to pay for. In any business. In any country.
When you do make such a mistake, you should say, “We’ve made too many promises. We’ll have to cut back on a few, this is why. Our only other alternative is to rob a bank.”
In business robbing a bank is frowned upon. But in politics it is quite OK and is called deficit spending. Whitlam/Cairns and their gang are already past masters at the game.
In this year’s budget they said they would knock off $14 BILLION in tax from us to redistribute the wealth.
Now they find out they are already a tiny $3.3 BILLION out.
So they rob the bank and print off the money. If you were running a company and did the same thing, you’d be with Alexander Barton in Brazil.
But politics knows no such rules. Malcolm Fraser knows as well as Whitlam/Cairns and their gang that if you and I ran off $3.3 billion based on nothing it would be called counterfeiting, because the money doesn’t exist except in the imagination of politicians. It isn’t based on anything. All it does is inflate the currency and make our money increasingly worthless. The only thing the government should in all honesty do is make deficit spending illegal as it is in Germany and cut back public spending drastically. To cut back means welfare programmes have to go. So taxation can be cut drastically to give us back some incentive to work or save or both. But as much as Fraser may know all this, he also should know that if he comes out and actually says it, it simply means that he will lose the public service vote. And that is one in four of the work force. History department.
So the best thing Fraser can do is keep Lynch as Treasurer and keep him saying nothing in as many words as possible. He is an ideal choice.
Because this is very simply what is happening to Australia: The Labor gang have decided that the only way to nationalise industry is to debauch the currency.
It is a nice little theory that has been expounded by a couple of other well-known socialists in the past. Among them Lenin and Marx. (In those days they were called communists, before the phrase because non-u).
The best way to debase the currency is to inflate it.
The only thing that can destroy inflation (apart from turning off the printing presses) is to increase productivity even faster than the money supply.
The only way this country can increase productivity is to exploit the things we’re good at and gradually drop off the things we’re lousy at.
What we’re good at is minerals: iron, oil, uranium, etc. So what the Government gangs have decided to do is announce no policy in these areas apart from fixing oil prices at artificially low levels. And confiscating iron-ore mines. And at the same time telling the people with the capital and the knowledge that we don’t want them here at any cost. We’d rather leave it all in the ground.
What we’re also good at is primary industries: wool, wheat, fruit. And who decided how much you can grow and how much you can sell it for? The Government.
This is popular with the idiots who shouldn’t be in the business anyway and unpopular with those who produce the majority of the products who are the ones who should be encouraged. But they just don’t have enough votes to matter.
What we’re bad at is labour intensive industries. And naturally that’s what we’re in.
What the Government encourages us to be in.
The clothing industry. The automotive industry.
But there aren’t many votes in what we’re good at.
There are millions of votes in what we’re bad at.
So what the government does is foster the votes and screw the country.
It might be because they’re stupid. Or it might be because it is intentional.
Or it might be because popularity is all that matters to politicians.
But whether you get shot on purpose or accidentally makes very little difference to the end result.
I think/hope Malcolm Fraser knows the real answer, but he mustn’t say what it is before he gets elected.
All Malcolm Fraser has to do is first make sure there isn’t an election for as long as possible.
(This suits Whitlam also. If he goes to the polls now he’s got a 50/50 chance of getting a 3 year term compared to a 95% chance of running out the extra 2. From Fraser’s point of view he has a 50/50 chance now and a 95% chance in 2 years’ time. If you were a bookie, what odds would you lay?)
So all it boils down to is this:
- Malcolm Fraser must stay tall which will make it easy for him to continue to speak down to people. A Prime Minister prerequisite.
- He must continue to understand what the real problems are and say nothing about them.
- If he finds this difficult to do with a straight face, then he has the ideal spokesman in Phillip Lynch who really doesn’t know and is therefore perfect for the job.
- He must listen carefully to Tony Eggleton and all the other heavies in his communication think tanks etc. etc. He must absorb everything they say and at all time do the exact opposite.
- He must let the government continue to dig its own hole.
- He must let the greater idiocies like Medibank go through.
- He must hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.
- However, he must at all times disagree with everything the government does without at any time being specific.
- He must not hire any young beautiful ladies (or Estonian ladies of any age) to work on his staff, no matter how brilliant they may be.
- Ditto for his colleagues.
- When the election does come around he must say everything that is wrong and say nothing about what must be done to fix it.
But when he is Prime Minister in two years time he had better realise that in the first month he will have to make himself the most unpopular new prime minister in the short term, if he is to become the most popular and important of all time.
He will have to ban deficit spending totally.
He will have to cut the public service drastically, including all the do-nothing busybody departments like:
The Ministries for the Media; Northern Development; Minerals and Energy; Special Minister of State; Tourism and Recreation. (Or at least make sure they do nothing and employ no-0ne to do it.)
Ideally he should float the AIDC on the sharemarket so that people may judge its real worth, and this instrument of nationalism will therefore be destroyed.
He must abolish the PJT and IAC for all time and he must then gradually repeal all welfare programmes that do for people what they can better do for themselves.
And these welfare programmes must also include corporate welfare programmes disguised as statutory bodies e.g. the Wool Board, also Tariffs and quotas etc, as well as the obvious consumer welfare state bogies like Medibank, and the AGIO if/when it gets through.
He must open the way for private enterprise the compete with all government monopolies like the post office.
And he must do everything possible to ensure we encourage local and overseas capital (including knowledge) to develop our mineral resources urgently.
The only way that Australia will ever be adequately defended is if the most powerful nations in the world become absolutely dependent upon us for our raw resources.
Then and only then will we be guaranteed defence if someone takes a look at their own starving millions and looks at the riches at their very doorstep in Australia — an Asian country populated by a few lazy Europeans.
The old axiom has always and will always apply: if goods don’t cross barriers, armies will.
And those who prefer to believe in Audie Murphy had better realise that he died during Vietnam.
And only in this way will he be able to cut all personal and company taxes in this country so that it realises its potential as the richest country in the world.
Because if Malcolm Fraser has as his only ambition to be Prime Minister and doesn’t use that position for good but only for his own personal gain, then this country has about as much chance as surviving as a free nation as the United Kingdom.
And it won’t be a worthwhile place to live for anyone.
Even a Prime Minister.
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