A Republic is a dead duck?

Joshua_photo

Joshua Gibbins offers a young person's observation on the seemingly evaporated notion of Australia becoming a Republic.

It is
truly sad for all Australian Republicans who still wish to see an end to the
monarchy in their lifetime.

It seems that now, even after Australia’s biggest republican pressure group has
gone to such lengths, and raised so much money; a republic is still far from
achievable.

The Australian Republican Movement since, rebranding itself ‘Our Identity’,
seems to have moved away from the old arguments about hereditary rule and similar
spent and tired arguments.

The Australian Republican Movement now seem to be trying to run a positive
campaign that, as David Morris says, ‘brings people together’.

Now the Australian Republican Movement is talking about the ‘Australian
identity’, multiculturalism, and what the Australian general public perceives
to be ‘Australian’.

Ironically, for a pressure group that talks about Australia having an identity
problem and wanting to unify all Australians, the pressure group has rebranded
itself ‘our identity’, changing its logo, webpage and webpage URL, leaving
little trace of their former identity.

Is this a positive campaign, or is it just a thinly veiled ploy to win support?

By questioning the Australian identity—by going out and saying that Australia’s
identity needs unifying—does that not seem more of an insult?

On an Australian breakfast show, the Republican National Director and the Television Host talk about
Australia becoming a republic.

It can be
viewed here.

The Republican Movement National Director David Morris says that the
Australian Republican Movement feels that Australia needs uniting, which leaves
me asking, isn’t Australia already united?

Under the 1901 Act of Federation, Australia, granted by Her Majesty Queen
Victoria, all Australians are united under the Crown in the Commonwealth of
Australia.

Another statement by Mr. Morris is the Australian Republican Movement feels the
best way of uniting Australia is through having an Australian President.

The problem with this is; the Australian Republican Movement has said many
times that in a minimal Republic model only the title of the office of
Governor-General to President would need to be changed.

In this case, if the present day Australian-born Governor-General does not
already unify the multicultural Australian people, how will a simple change of
name in a public office make any difference?

Even with
that said, an elected president would not, unite the Australian people more
than they already are.

The very concept of a republic though is divisive with one candidate
winning over others therefore alienating a section of the public in the
process.

If a politician, such as the current Prime Minister, or a former parliamentarian
was elected as president, would that unite the people?

If an Australian movie or T.V. soap identity was to be elected as president, would
that unite the people?

Just because the people tick or number a box on a ballet sheet does not solely
unite the people.

Speaking as someone that has personally been in the presence of Her Majesty the
Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, at Melbourne’s Federation Square, I have witnessed
firsthand that the monarchy does in fact unite all Australians.

Whether it’s the excitement of royalty or just being in the presence of popular
people, Australians from all walks of life go out to see the Royals and chatter
to each other while waiting for their arrival.

So, is Australia really in need of uniting?

Joshua is a 23-year-old constitutional monarchist studying a Diploma in
Library and Cultural Studies.

 

 

Why QCs must be reinstated

206763_10150137802876616_585816615_6556554_3219432_n (1) (1) Joshua Gibbins argues for the reinstatement of the title of Queen's Council:

Australia is a constitutional monarchy, and with monarchy comes the symbols, titles and patronages that represent the soverign.

Whether it’s the monarch’s coat of arms, the lion and unicorn aloft government buildings, the monarch’s portrait hanging for all to see in government and public buildings, or knighthoods bestowed by the monarch. These things are all part of the monarchy that Australia is a part of and has been a part of since it was first colonised by Britain.

Sadly, over the last 20 years, republicans that have risen to power and have used the extent of their power either at all levels of government to remove and hide these symbols.

In effect, these people are removing parts of Australia’s traditions,  and some of Australia’s oldest national identity and heritage.

This is why I believe that, although it may have little significance to the monarchy directly, that the title of ‘Queen's Counsel’ should be reinstates.

The major Commonwealth realms, Great Britain, Canada and New Zealand, still retain the title of ‘Queen’s Counsel’, with New Zealand reinstating the title in 2010.

Australia still has these senior practitioners, but under a new title called ‘Senior Counsel’, which is really the exact same thing – and they even dress the same as the original Queen's Counsel.

The title of ‘Senior Counsel’, however, is only used in republics that were originally part of the British Empire and later Commonwealth realms but now a republic, like Africa, Hong Kong, Kenya, Singapore, etc.

Australia still being a constitutional monarchy should continue to use the titles that are consistent with our constitution and not those that represent a republic. Australia restoring the title of Queen Counsel will also put Australia back in line with the other Commonwealth realms that still use the title.

Looking at the most recent case where the title has just been reinstated in New Zealand, you can see that the arguments that brought in its restitution are no different to what applies to Australia. This was met with wide community support but the only objections to the reinstatement were that the title is too ‘colonial’, which from the start was a weak argument that was quickly defeated.

There was no other reason other than a few republican members of Parliament calling it colonial cringe and then going on to ask if they could also reinstate fingerless gloves. There was no solid argument presented as to why title should not be reinstated.

There is one good argument that the ‘silks’ selection process can be and at time is corrupt because attaining the rank of Queen's Counsel, known as 'taking silk’, is quite competitive.

This is true at times but like in New Zealand, Australia could think of a more secure way for barristers to be selected and appointed for the title – and has no bearing on whether the title is QC or SC.

That said, the reinstatement of the title ‘Queen’s Counsel’ in Australia will not only help with what people already perceive to be of high standard,  but also put Australia back in line with the other of Her Majesty’s realms and restore respect to one of Australia’s longest traditions.


Joshua Gibbins is a 22 year old constitutional monarchist, studying a Diploma in Library and Cultural Studies

Royal Visit to Victoria

206763_10150137802876616_585816615_6556554_3219432_n (1) (1) Joshua Gibbins reflects on the Queen's visit to Victoria:

The Queen’s visit to Australian October, or to be even more specific, Melbourne, has proven to of been a success, just like in all the other states that their Majesties visited.

On the Queens Visit to Victoria the Queen opened the new Royal Children’s hospital building, gave a thrilling speech in the morning and then got to walk around the new building, meeting staff of the Royal children’s.

Then after Her Majesty opened the new Royal Children’s building it was onto Federation square in the Heart of Melbourne to see and great the people that wished to see Her Majesty.

People had been lined up at Federation square since 6am that morning so they could get in the front rows of the lines to see their Majesties and with flowers wrapped up in foil so not to be too damaged by the heat of the afternoon.

Even from the early hours of 11am with the royal visit scheduled for 1pm Federation square was packed with people lining up to see their Queen, people had come from all over Victoria just to come see the Queen for this one brief instance.

There was a man dressed in an old Tram, clippie uniform, from the 50s and 60s walking around giving out cards and old fashioned tram tickets asking people what they thought the Royal tram would look like. 

On the federation stage there was a jazz band that played music while the people waited for the Queen’s arrive, such as Dean Martin’s ‘Ain’t It A Kick in the head’, most probably directed at the republicans and the kick in the head they must of be feeling at the Queen’s successful visit. 

When the Queen had finely arrived to Federation square it was already as hot as a summers day and the Queen was a good 30 minutes late but the spirits were still as high as ever with more and more people coming there was simply thousands of people.

Everyone with either Union jack flags or Australian Flags flying in their hands or larger flags connected to the metal bars of the barricade giving room to the Queen to walk up and down the red carpet.

The community Spirit was as well, very different to normal on this occasion, everyone, no matter who they were all seemed to chatter to one another and act like they had been friends or known each other but in reality they had not been friends and had not met each other before that instances, community spirit seemed to be at high levels. 

When the Queen did arrive everyone was overjoyed, with flags flying, people in large groups were singing God Save the Queen, and in general, people in the lines that were 4 or 5 people deep were asking how far away the Queen was away from them.

The walk up and down the crowed only last for 30 odd minutes but in that time Children were allowed to hand their flowers to the Queen and the people in line and well wishers were allowed to show their love to their Queen.

At the end of the walk around federation square, the people lucky enough to hand out flowers to Her Majesty said how excited they were that they got to see Her Majesty and others that they actually got to touch the Queen's hand and looking like they were about to cry from the joy.

These events can be forgotten when the Queen is not in the country and the community spirit is at its regular levels and indifference.

 But when you see these events with so many people all coming together in a unity to greet the Queen, you can see that the republican cause truly is as far away as it ever was, and that the monarchy in Australia is just as loved as it ever was.

Joshua Gibbins is a 22 year old constitutional monarchist, studying a Diploma in Library and Cultural Studies

Australian Republicans, British Passports

206763_10150137802876616_585816615_6556554_3219432_n (1) (1) Joshua Gibbins

There is an argument that comes around every now and then that I have noticed, and I fell it should be addressed as best it can be.

Australian Republicans occasionally use the fact that they have to use the ‘all other passports’ line at Heathrow airport in England and not the ‘European union and British passports’ line as a reason to become a republic, or that it’s a reason why they support a republic.
For some examples there is a few blog posts on the blog site Independent Australia, one of these posts is a story about how a man named Jock McGregor and how he became a republican when he arrived at Heathrow, and having to line up in the ‘all other passports’ line.

Some extracts from the blog post mentioned above here:

Jock was the proud holder of an Australian passport. He had served in the Royal Australian Air Force during WWII and had been seconded to the Royal Air Force in the U.K.

On the flight from Brisbane to London Jock was seated beside a German gentleman and after a while they got to talking.

When they arrived at Heathrow Airport both Jock and his German friend disembarked. To Jock’s surprise he found that there were two queues for Immigration and Customs.

One line was for European Community passport holders and the other was  marked “Others.” As Jock and Margaret waited in the “Others” queue with fellow Australians, New Zealanders and Canadians they saw the former Luftwaffe pilot whizz through with a cheery wave along with Britons returning home.

A more recent time of this argument was made by the ARM at the South Australian Secondary Schools State Constitutional Convention which can be found here

And if we are forced to stay as a Monarchy, we would want to land at Heathrow and be given some status. At the moment we go behind those from the EU and the Swiss, who are not even in the EU. We fall in with the Chinese and Russians, at the end of the line. Not particularly the sort of welcome one would expect from our own Monarch.

First off, in the blog post about the man at Heathrow that had to stand in line while ‘the former Luftwaffe pilot whizz through with a cheery wave along with Britons returning home’

While it is True that Australian’s have to line up in the ‘other passports’ line it’s nowhere near as bad or degrading as these people have made out it is.

When an Australian gets off the plane into Heathrow you line up like everyone else, keep in mind however that Heathrow airport is a central hub and hundreds of thousands of people go in and out of the airport daily from all over the world.

Waiting in line at Heathrow really isn’t that bad, it really depends on how many flights come in at the same time as your own and which terminal you’re at.

Once you have gotten to the head of the line, you just show your passport, and tell the Border agency officer at the desk where you’re staying for the first night, the Border agency officer doesn’t ask to see a Visa because Australian’s don’t need Visa’s when you go to Great Britain for  6 months or less.

Then you can go through, collect your luggage and be about your business trying to figure out how to get to the Heathrow express train into London.

On the contrary to these republicans that seem to get offended by this difference in passport, they are virtually the same.

Republicans should also note that if you are an Australian under the age of 30 you can be granted a visa that lasts for 2 years and you can live and work in Great Britain without requiring a job or sponsor called a ‘youth mobility scheme’ which Canada and new Zealand are also involved with.

So this leaves me to wonder are Australian Republicans just really touchy and expect some sort of special treatment. Or do they secretly wish to be British subjects again and be granted their old British passports once more?

Joshua Gibbins is a 22 year old constitutional monarchist, studying a Diploma in Library and Cultural Studies