by Benjamin Marks, Economics.org.au editor-in-chief
The independent crowdfunded grassroots Gina Rinehart Fan Club proudly presents the second largest single donation ever to Australian political education. (A donation this size has only been surpassed in Australia by Ron Manners’ Mannkal Economic Education Foundation.) The donation consists of making available free to everyone forever the greatest out-of-print Australian free-market books. This shows that free-marketeers care more about transparency, full disclosure, respecting history and free universal access than do defenders of government intervention.
We’ve already published hundreds of writings by the likes of Bert Kelly, John Singleton and Lang Hancock, (none of whom had had even one of their writings republished in over a generation), so we thought we’d finish the job and add indexed searchable PDF scans of Australian political books that have been equally-neglected and long-out-of-print.
The seven books the Gina Rinehart Fan Club are today releasing free for everyone via Economics.org.au are:
- C. W. Russell, Country Crisis[pdf] (1976) — thanks to David Russell AM RFD QC for providing us with his father’s book. Excerpt: “I am of the firm opinion that the system of land tenure is responsible for the backwardness of northern Australia, where more than 90 per cent of the land area is leasehold. It has been claimed that this is the highest percentage of Crown or State-owned land outside the Soviet Union!”
- John Singleton with Bob Howard, Rip Van Australia[pdf] (1977) — html. In the cover image above, Singo is flogging a dead/dying/lazy/apathetic horse in the shape of Australia, complete with Tasmania. The foreword is written by Lang Hancock and the preface is written by Ted Noffs, a formidable combination that deserves attention. This is the second best Australian political book; the greatest is the Workers Party Platform (1975).
- Bert Kelly, One More Nail[pdf] (1978) — html. Excerpt: “Socialism has not been fostered so much by the Labor Party as by the Liberal Party encouragement of policies which are thought to be attractive to the people at election time. Once we have propounded them, these then became part of our doctrine, even if we know that they are in direct conflict with principles of self help and self reliance in which we say we always believe. The main plank in our platform is that it is essential to keep Labor out of government, which is a nicer way of saying keeping us in … I repeat, the main principle in which we believe is the utter necessity of keeping Labor out of government and in the pursuit of this end we are prepared to compete bitterly with the Labor Party in propounding socialist policies.”
- Lang Hancock, Wake Up Australia[pdf] (1979) — Excerpt: “Any thinking person should know that no government relying on the ballot box for its life can have any concern for the national welfare. When government talks of acting in the public interest, they mean their own interest.” — This book is released on John Singleton’s suggestion. Mrs Rinehart quoted Singleton on the backcover of her 2012 book Northern Australia and then some: “To understand the future of Australia and its destruction by government, you only need to read two books. The first was a compilation of Lang Hancock’s thoughts on Australia in a book published to celebrate his 70th birthday on a jumbo jet flight around Australia filled with business leaders, most of whom had never even seen where the mining wealth of Australia comes from. The book was called Wake Up Australia. Only a couple of years ago, I urged Gina to reprint this book because some of which has come true, good and bad. Gina has gone one step further and put down her own thoughts taken from her many speeches and notes. Read Lang’s book and it will light up your mind. Read Gina’s book and it puts our future under the brightest light I have ever seen. Thank you for doing this for Australia, Gina, and once again, you have outdone your dad.”
- Bert Kelly, Economics Made Easy[pdf] (1982) — html
- Alf Rattigan, Industry Assistance: The Inside Story[pdf] (1986) — please read the text after this list for great reviews of this book.
- Bert Kelly, Merrindie: A Family’s Farm[pdf] (1988)
I’ve also got each of these titles in .doc, .html, .epub and .prc formats, but I can’t work out how to upload them easily and I think PDF is the format most people prefer anyway. But if you want the books in other formats, just ask me or request in the comments section below.
While I’ve got your attention, here are two manuscripts that I need the help of others to acquire, because they too deserve digitisation:
- the legendary Bob Howard has a larger manuscript of Rip Van Australia from before it was edited down for publication; and
- the first draft of Alf Rattigan’s Industry Assistance should also be made public, as Paddy McGuinness said:
In the first draft, Rattigan is supposed to have told the real story of the political chicanery, the power-mongering and the dishonesty which underlay tariff-making under the old regime. Along with plenty of names, dates and places.
Thanks to the protection afforded Australia’s rich and powerful by Australia’s oppressive defamation laws, such a book was unpublishable. (I sincerely hope the manuscript survives, to haunt the future policy-makers of Australia.) The book just published is only what could be published.
Please give me a hint where I can find the original Rattigan manuscript. I will put it online and am prepared to take responsibility for doing so. I’m not afraid. Incidentally, Rattigan’s Industry Assistance is the only book in the above collection that attracted worthwhile reviews. Here they are:
- John Hyde, “Public needs protection from industry protection,” The Weekend Australian, August 9-10, 1986, p. 27.
- Bert Kelly on Alf Rattigan’s Industry Assistance: The Inside Story — Bert Kelly’s review was spread over three articles: “Adam Smith’s soothing words,” The Australian, August 11, 1986, p. 11; “Turning tariff somersaults,” August 18, 1986, p. 11; and “How Rattigan took on the protectionists,” August 25, 1986, p. 11.
- P.P. McGuinness, “Libel laws block insider’s revelations of Australia’s industrial mess,” The Australian Financial Review, August 28, 1986, p. 14. This is where the Paddy McGuinness quote above came from.
Perhaps these reviews could serve as prefatory matter for the future publication of the “unpublishable” Rattigan manuscript.
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