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Lang Hancock, “Get the ‘econuts’ off our backs …,”
The Australian, April 10, 1978, p. 9.

Apart from the National Party in Queensland, which gets its life from the dynamic leadership of Joh Bjelke-Petersen, political parties in Australia are not only mentally dead, but declining in strength of character.

Therefore, it was quite heartening to see that the WA Country Party was wise enough to realise it was dying and, in order to save itself, has embarked on a new and vigorous program of revitalisation.

However, one must view with dismay their president’s (Mr Fletcher’s) support of what any person (capable of reasoning for himself) must understand is the Number One enemy of civilisation, and hence Australia.

The main danger today resides in the environmentalist movements. I am not referring to the great number of well-intentioned people who, out of sheer ignorance, don’t realise the damage they are doing to Australia.

I am referring to those subversives who, for personal gain or a lust for power, are desirous of breaking down what is left of our “free enterprise” system entirely; these latter people, whose numbers are swelled by a great mass of unwashed, unspanked, dole-bludging drop-outs, are threatening the lives and fortunes of the Australian community as it has never been threatened before. A classic example of the dire things that can happen when the environmentalists get busy is the DDT story.

It begins during World War II when a safe, cheap, and potent new insecticide made its debut. Known as DDT, it proved its value almost overnight. Grain fields once ravaged by insects began producing bumper crops. Marshland became habitable. And the death rate in many countries fell sharply.

Malaria fatalities dropped from four million a year in the 1930s to less than a million by 1968. Other insect-borne diseases also loosened their grip — encephalitis, yellow fever and typhus. Wherever DDT was used, the ailment abated. It has been estimated that 100 million human beings who would have died of one of these afflictions are alive today because of DDT.

But that’s not the whole story. Let’s look at it from the farmer’s point of view. In many countries, famine was once a periodic visitor. Then, largely because of food surpluses made possible by DDT, famines became relatively rare. So you can credit this insecticide with saving additional hundreds of millions of lives.

Then in 1963, a lady named Rachel Carson wrote a book in which she charged that DDT has killed some fish and some birds. That’s all the environmentalists needed; they pounced on the book, embraced its unsubstantiated claims, and ran off to Washington to demand a ban on DDT. And Washington meekly gave them their ban: a gradual DDT phase-out. Other countries followed the U.S. lead.

The effect was not long in coming. Malaria, virtually conquered throughout the world, is having a resurgence. Food production is down in many areas. And such pests as the gypsy moth, in hiding since the 1940s, are now munching away at American forests.

Closer to home, God only knows what damage the “econuts” can do if our Government (with NCP help) weakly gives in and fails to keep them out of the newly fledged wood chip industry in WA.

The tragedy is that DDT, while it probably did kill a few birds and fish, never harmed a single human being except by accidental misuse. When the ultimate report is written, it may show that the opponents of DDT — despite the best of intentions — contributed to the deaths of more human being than did all the natural disasters in history.

In addition to endangering human life, the environmentalists are making things as difficult as possible for us survivors.

Of all activities of the environmentalists, the most insidious are their attempts, along with the communists, to destroy the remnants of our free enterprise system. Detractors ask, is it worth saving? Admittedly it’s not perfect, nevertheless it is by far the best system yet devised for the production, distribution and widespread enjoyment of goods and services. It is more than coincidence that virtually all of mankind’s scientific progress came in the two centuries when free enterprise was operative in the Western world, and that most of the progress came in the two centuries when free enterprise was operative in the Western world, and that most of the progress was achieved in the nation regarded as the leading exponent of free enterprise — the United States of America.

For in the past 200 years — an eyeblink in history — an America geared to private industry had conquered communicable diseases, abolished starvation, brought literacy to the masses, transported men to another planet and expanded the horizons of its citizens to an almost incredible degree by giving them wheels and wings and electronic extensions of their eyes, their ears, their hands, even their brains.

It has made available to the average Australian luxuries that a short time ago were beyond the reach of the wealthiest plutocrat. By developing quick-cook meals and labour-saving appliances, it has cut kitchen chores in most houses from five hours a day to an hour and a-half … and as a result has done more to liberate women than all the female environmentalists will ever do.

Environmentalists look back with fond nostalgia to the “good old days” when there weren’t any nasty factories to pollute the air and kill the animals and drive people to distraction with misleading advertisements.

But what was life really like in America 150 years ago? For one thing, it was brief. Life expectancy was 38 years for males. And it was a gruelling 38 years. The work week was 72 hours. The average pay was $300. Per year, that is.

The women had it worse. Housewives worked 55 hours a week, and there wasn’t a dishwasher or vacuum cleaner to be had.

The food was monotonous and scarce. The clothes were rags. In the winter you froze, in the summer you sweltered, and when an epidemic came — and they came almost every year — it would probably carry off someone in your family.

Whatever miners, farmers and industrialists have done to bring us out of this paradise of 150 years ago, let’s give them a grateful pat on the back — not a knife in it.

Mr Fletcher is very naive in saying “expansion (of bauxite mining) should be delayed till it had been scientifically proved that there would be no environmental problems.”

If the environmentalist screams for “adequate testing,” etc, before any new product is started or any new product is released to the public were heeded, they would destroy mankind’s ability to cope with itself. For instance, if penicillin had been tested the way the environmentalists want all products tested — not only on the current generation, but on future generations, to determine hereditary effects — this wonder drug would not be in use today. And millions of people whose lives have been saved by penicillin would be dead.

We simply cannot test every aspect of human existence, generation after generation, to make absolutely certain that everything we do is totally guaranteed not to harm anybody to any degree whatsoever.

When first apprised of the information that the finance committee of the NCP had been successful in raising funds for the rejuvenation of their party, I offered my congratulations. I sincerely hope that such funds will not be used to stop mining in any form.

(in order of appearance on Economics.org.au)
  1. Ron Manners’ Heroic Misadventures
  2. Hancock's Australia
  3. Hancock on Government Help
  4. Wake Up Australia: Excerpts Part 1
  5. Wake Up Australia: Excerpts Part 2
  6. Lang Hancock's Five Point Plan to Cripple Australia
  7. Governments Consume Wealth — They Don't Create It
  8. Up the Workers! Bob Howard's 1979 Workers Party Reflection in Playboy
  9. Jump on the Joh bandwagon
  10. John Singleton and Bob Howard 1975 Monday Conference TV Interview on the Workers Party
  11. Governments — like a red rag to a Rogue Bull
  12. Lang Hancock's Pilbara-Queensland Railway Proposal
  13. Singo, Howard and Hancock Want to Secede
  14. Lang Hancock's Foreword to Rip Van Australia
  15. New party will not tolerate bludgers: Radical party against welfare state
  16. Small and Big Business Should Oppose Government, says Lang Hancock
  17. A Condensed Case for Secession
  18. Hancock gets tough over uranium mining
  19. Hancock's threat to secede and faith in Whitlam
  20. PM's sky-high promise to Lang
  21. Lang Hancock: "a catherine-wheel of novel suggestions"
  22. Govt "villain" in eyes of new party
  23. The spread of Canberra-ism
  24. Govt should sell the ABC, says Lang Hancock
  25. 1971 Monday Conference transcript featuring Lang Hancock
  26. Aborigines, Bjelke and the freedom of the press
  27. The code of Lang Hancock
  28. Why not starve the taxation monster?
  29. Lang Hancock 1978 George Negus Interview
  30. Party Promises to Abolish Tax
  31. Right-wing plot
  32. "The best way to help the poor is not to become one of them." - Lang Hancock
  33. WA's NCP commits suicide
  34. "You can't live off a sacred site"
  35. Hancock: King of the Pilbara
  36. Bludgers need not apply
  37. New party formed "to slash controls"
  38. Workers Party Reunion Intro
  39. Workers Party is born as foe of government
  40. Government seen by new party as evil
  41. Ron Manners on Lang Hancock
  42. Does Canberra leave us any alternative to secession?
  43. Bury Hancock Week
  44. Ron Manners on the Workers Party
  45. Lang Hancock on Australia Today
  46. Hancock and Wright
  47. Lang Hancock on Environmentalists
  48. Friends of free enterprise treated to financial tete-a-tete: Lang does the talking but Gina pulls the strings
  49. Lang Hancock, Stump Jumper
  50. Lang Hancock: giant of the western iron age
  51. The Treasury needs a hatchet man
  52. We Mine to Live
  53. Get the "econuts" off our backs
  54. 1971 Lang Hancock-Jonathan Aitken interview for Land of Fortune (short)
  55. Gina Rinehart, Secessionist
  56. 1982 NYT Lang Hancock profile
  57. Enter Rio Tinto
  58. Hamersley and Tom Price
  59. News in the West
  60. Positive review of Hancock speech
  61. Lang Hancock International Press Institute General Assembly speech, Canberra, 1978
  62. Australia's slide to socialism
  63. The Great Claim Robbery
  64. Why WA must go it alone
  65. Lang Hancock in 1976 on Public Picnics and Human Blights
  66. MILLIONAIRE PUTS MONEY BEHIND SECESSIONISTS
  67. Resource Management in Australia: Is it possible?
  68. The gospel of WA secession according to Lang Hancock
  69. Crystal Balls Need Polishing
  70. Minerals - politicians' playthings?
  71. John Singleton-Ita Buttrose interview (1977)
  72. Boston Tea Party 1986 style, hosted by Lang Hancock and Bob Ansett
  73. Singo says Lang Hancock violated Australia's 11th commandment: Thou Shalt Not Succeed
  74. Singleton: the White Knight of Ockerdom
  75. Tactics change by Hancock
  76. Lang Hancock complains to Margaret Thatcher about Malcolm Fraser
  77. 'Phony crisis' seen as 'child of politics'
  78. Lang Hancock on nuclear energy
  79. Lang Hancock beats the left at their own game on civil liberties
  80. Lang Hancock's Favourite Books
  81. 1977 Lang Hancock Canberoo poem
  82. Hancock's playing very hard to get
  83. Hancock proposes a free-trade zone
  84. An Open Letter to Sir Charles Court
  85. John Singleton 1976 ocker Monday Conference Max Harris debate
  86. Lang Hancock in 1984 solves Australian politics
  87. Lang Hancock on the Workers Party, secession and States Rights
  88. Lang Hancock asks what happened to Australia's rugged individualism?
  89. Precis of Ludwig Plan for North-West
  90. Announcement that Lang Hancock will be guest of honour at the Workers Party launch
  91. Lang Hancock's March 1983 attempt to enlist "former presidents of nations and heads of giant companies" to save Australia
  92. Lang Hancock asks us to think how easily environmentalists are manipulated for political purposes
  93. Invest in free enterprise
  94. Democracy is dead in Australia and Lang Hancock's education
  95. Lang Hancock Incites Civil Disobedience
  96. Hancock sounds call to battle Canberra
  97. Mining policy a threat
  98. Over Whitlam's head
  99. Lang Hancock suggests that newspapers don't give space to politicians unconditionally
  100. Lang Hancock on saving Australia from socialism
  101. Secede or sink
  102. Australia can learn from Thatcher
  103. John Singleton. Horseracing. Why?
  104. How Lang Hancock would fix the economy
  105. Lang Hancock: victim of retrospective legislation
  106. Lang Hancock supports Joh for PM
  107. Hancock seeks miners' tax haven in the north
  108. The Ord River Dam
  109. Why Lang Hancock invested in Australia's film industry
  110. Lang Hancock's 1983 letters to The Australian: Lang's precedent for Steve Jobs, renaming the Lucky Country to the Constipated Country, and more
  111. Australia's biggest newspaper insider on manipulating the media
  112. 1980 Lang Hancock-Australian Penthouse Interview
  113. Canberra: bastion of bureaucracy
  114. Pilbara can be the Ruhr for South-East Asia
  115. 1982 Lang Hancock-John Harper Nelson Interview
  116. Australian elections are one of the greatest con games in history
  117. Our leaders are powerless
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