Turnbull—square peg in round hole

New MH2Perhaps Malcolm Turnbull’s self-appraisal sets him distant, if not at odds with his Party colleagues? Maybe he views them as less sharp and less accomplished in commerce by comparison? Undeniable, however, is his unrelenting quest for success—Turnbull style.

Malcolm’s form has a repeating factor—what he wants and who he wants to be is variable. The goal posts are movable. Hardly the cohesiveness and consistency suited for political policy and the Me, before Us presents as a constant in the man’s character.

Where would Malcolm be today had Kerry Packer not leapfrogged his legal career to various boardrooms of mercantile moguls? Turnbull showed his appreciation by dumping on Packer over a business deal in 1991. Acrimony between the two was palpable.

Turnbull later told Sydney newspapers that, “He [Packer] did threaten to kill me. And I said to him: ‘Well, you'd better make sure that your assassin gets me first because if he misses, you better know I won't miss you.’ He could be a complete pig, you know. He could charm the birds out of the tree, but he could be a brute.”

ElpresidenteAfter years of trying to replace the Aussie flag, Turnbull was appointed by the Keating government to lead the Republican Advisory Committee. The campaign flopped in the 1999 referendum and thus went Malcolm’s dream of becoming a big fish in a small pond. King Malcolm of the Antipodes. He’d love that.

Then in 2007 as John Howard's environment minister, Turnbull vowed to outlaw the incandescent light bulb. He said by 2015 they will only be found in a museum. His extrapolation reckoned Australia would emit 4 million tonnes less of carbon dioxide than it otherwise would. So, we were forced to pay many times more for light bulbs. Many brands were junk—dim and expensive. And it reduced nothing, because the generators produced just as much power as before.

With every knee-jerk reaction, especially in the climate business, there comes a reaction. Engineer John Buckeridge blew the whistle. It's a neuro-toxin, warned John, and what it does is it disrupts the ends of the neurons, our nerve system, and prevents them functioning effectively. So our nerves simply breakdown, disintegrate.

When Malcolm became leader of the Opposition in September 2008 he was a dedicated proponent of the carbon tax and seemed likely to become Prime Minister at the next elections. Mal was also rather chummy with Goldman Sachs because they referred to him as a “political friend.” Whatever that means. Investment houses around the world must have been mighty miffed when Tony Abbott rolled Turnbull as Party leader. Australia was supposed to lead the world by carbon tax example. Remember?

With ego on the rocks and international banking guru reputation under question, Mal spat the dummy—quit politics. Not quite, even though Abbott refused him a place on the front bench saying it would be “impractical, given Mr Turnbull's stance on the ETS,” Malcolm was already eyeing the resignation of Senator Nick Minchin.

Meanwhile, Malcolm continued to beaver away pushing his personal issues, change the flag, carbon trading, and the republic, all being contrary to party politics. The common trademark of self-made people.

In October 2011 Turnbull was invited to speak at The London School of Economics. His subject was the rise of China in the world of commerce. His mandate to represent Australia appears to have been his own. Ignored as the LSE speechmaker was Tony Abbott and the Opposition’s foreign affairs shadow Julie Bishop. China chose Turnbull.

The Australian reported: “This nonsense from Turnbull does not constitute serious strategic thinking. But politically it suggests a lot of Turnbull-centred turbulence may well lie ahead for the Liberal Party.”

Turnbull wasted no time in proffering his personal views that were at odds with Liberal policy. He offered China’s revolutionary leader Mao Zedong’s quote, “The Chinese people have stood up.” As expected, the acquiescing toadies at The London School of Leninomics were mute on Mao’s murderous record.

Mao ruled from 1949 to 1975 and began his handiwork with affluent landlords who were liquidated and their assets claimed by the state. 20th Century mass murderers like Pol Pot who killed about 1.7 million was a mere trifler compared to Mao who holds the body count record with around 70 million—nearly three times Australia’s population.

But Turnbull is not the first Australian politician to placate China. Upon Mao’s death in 1976, Malcolm Fraser breasted the parliamentary dispatch box and honoured him for policies that “secured the basic necessities of life to China’s people.” Fraser said Mao had “achieved peace internally” for China. Sydney’s Chinese restaurant clique rewards such political sycophants with hero status and the old windbag Fraser was often “guest of honour” and hailed clamorously as “Comrade Fraser.”

Turnbull’s résumé is substantial: journalist, author, barrister, grazier, investor, multimillionaire, chairman of Goldman Sachs and once leader of the Liberal Party.

Author Tom Keneally once said of Turnbull: “I always felt that he was, particularly in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a minority among the new rich in that he had the feelings of noblesse oblige.”

My column "Gillard's scorched earth policy" of April 12 is more apparent today.

Abbott’s traitor within – sack him now!

Turnbull re-launches campaign for Australian Republic

It's been more than a decade since the Republican movement was defeated at a referendum, but now a revival is underway to put a Republic back on the national agenda.
This time around Australia's Republicans, including Senior Liberal Malcolm Turnbull, have vowed to engage with the public.

Read more: Via ABC News


A Republic is a dead duck?


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

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

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

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.



Royalty visits Longreach


Chris Whittaker writes that young Australians are rejecting the notion of a Republic. Today, Their Royal Highnesses Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla will arrive at Longreach, Queensland before attending the Melbourne Cup tomorrow. As Chris says, a "Welcome Fit for a King!"

These are great times to be a supporter of our Australian constitutional
Monarchy.  This week TRH the Prince
of Wales (Prince Charles) and the Duchess of Cornwall are arriving in Australia
as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. The Diamond Jubilee celebrations
are a thankful acknowledgement of the steadfast service of Her Majesty Queen
Elizabeth II to all her people. Throughout all the trials and tribulations for
the past 60 years, our Queen and Head of State has remained a rock of virtue,
tirelessly serving her people.

As Prince Charles arrives in Australia this week as part of the
Diamond Jubilee celebrations, support for an Australian republic has collapsed.
Now that’s a welcome fit for a King!

The Australian Republican Movement’s own research has found that only
45% of young Australians want a republic.
That is fewer than any other age
group apart from those 70 or older. Moreover young people are much more
positive toward the Queen. One participant of the focus group mentioned that
the Queen is ‘like a Mother figure’. If Australia were to become a republic,
‘we’d feel as though we’d lost a family’ said another.

The research comes soon after a Roy Morgan poll that demonstrates
support for our constitutional monarchy is at a 25-year high.  As republicans concede, much of this
support for Queen and Country is actually coming from young people.  When Nicola Roxon famously claimed that
no new monarchists were being born, she clearly was not relying on any
evidence. The fact is that Young Australians are now one of the most active
groups in defending the role of the Queen as Australia’s head of state. 

As Prince Charles and Camilla arrive in Australia this week, many Australians,
particularly young Australians, are re-engaged with our constitutional
monarchy. It is worth remembering that Prince Charles has lasting and
significant connection with Australia. Prince Charles was an educated at the
Geelong Grammar School and has spent much time in Australia. I highly recommend
you try to be involved in the upcoming Royal visit. Remember, Prince Charles is
representing Her Majesty The Queen as part of the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations
in Australia.

This increasingly popularity of monarchy has come about as
Australians reflect on the tireless 60 years of service of one extraordinary
Lady to her people. But this rejection of republicanism is not just a Diamond
Jubilee bounce but a fundamental shift. 
Prince William and Katherine and living proof of an adaptive and modern
monarchy with a bright future. Even more than the ‘Kate & Wills’ effect,
Australians are recognising that our monarchy rises above the petty antics of
politicians and provides our nation with enviable peace and stability.

Monarchy provides us with tangible benefits as well as intangible
ones. Tangible benefits include Australia’s international links with the other
realms and Commonwealth. Another tangible benefit is economic. When the
horrific floods hit Queensland, Prince William was there, talking up Queensland
as being ‘open for business’. His efforts to bring investment dollars back into
is a reminder of the great tangible benefits of the Australian Monarchy.

Yet Monarchy provides more than just diplomatic links and economic
opportunities. The intangible benefits of monarchy are many. Queen Elizabeth II
has made a commitment to her people to serve them all the days of her life. Our
Monarch and her family are role models of ceaseless service to our community. The
Monarchy exists to serve all Australians, without exception. While we are
occasionally reminded that the members of the Royal family are painfully human,
it’s important to recall that it’s not our faults that define us, but what we
do in service of our neighbour.  And
our Monarch has devoted her whole life to our service.

This week, Australians will welcome Prince Charles as representing
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in her Diamond Jubilee Year. We will also
welcome the Duchess of Cornwall, her first visit to our shores. This is going
to be an incredibly exciting and meaningful week. It is also important to
remember that Prince Charles, himself having an extraordinary commitment to
service, will be our future King.  And long may be reign.

What the recent polling and research demonstrates is a newly
reinvigorated admiration and appreciation for our Monarchy. Australians,
particularly young Australians are rejecting notions of a partisan and
political republic. Instead we are embracing our Monarchy, its present and
future, as being a grand imperial family that is still valuably entwined with
the narrative of our great nation. 

Chris Whittaker is the Secretary of the Young Monarchists Branch of the Australian
Monarchists League and Treasurer of the Willoughby Young Liberals. The views
expressed in this article are his own.


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

An Oath To Whom?


Vince Ripepi argues for the importance of parliamentarians swearing allegiance to the Monarch:

After almost a decade in storage the portraits of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were recently returned to the Strangers Dining Room at New South Wales Parliament House, following their removal by the previous Labor presiding officers.  Following the election of the O’Farrell government in March 2011 the upper house member, Rev. Fred Nile successfully petitioned the new presiding officers to have the portraits rehung – in an effort to correct what he calls “sneaky republicanism.”  The Strangers Dining Room is one of the major places of assembly within the parliamentary complex and is used frequently for gatherings of parliamentarians and business and community organisations.  The portraits, back in their original positions on either side of the State Coat of Arms, serve as a visual tribute to the head of state of New South Wales and her consort.

The much maligned Rev. Nile has now turned his attention to the wording of the official oath that members of parliament take upon entering office and in particular his desire to have MP’s return to the practice of swearing their allegiance to the Queen.  When asked about his position on Rev. Nile’s plan the NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell, suggested that members be given a choice, that is, the choice between swearing (or affirming) to serve the Queen or the people of New South Wales.

This raises an interesting question. That is, is an allegiance to the Queen of Australia mutually exclusive or in competition with an allegiance to the people of New South Wales (or the people of Australia for that matter?)

First things’ first, Elizabeth Windsor is Queen of Australia separate from any other role or title which she holds.  The throne which she occupies is the oldest institution in Australia and is as much a part of our national culture and tradition as cricket on Boxing Day.  Moreover, the role of Monarch has evolved over time, and the passage of the Statute of Westminster in 1931 marked not just an important milestone in the development of Australian legislative independence from its former coloniser but it also, for the first time, recognised the existence of the Australian Crown as a separate entity to that in the various other Commonwealth Realms – Realms which are equal in status.

The notion that there can be a choice to swear to serve the Queen of Australia or the people as if the two are diametrically opposed is simply nonsense and stems from the volumes of misinformation that is perpetuated by sections of the community and the media.  It is long accepted by constitutional experts that the Crown is the personification of the State.  This concept has been described as the doctrine of the King’s two bodies, and was set out in Calvin’s Case in 1608:

“The King has in him two Bodies, viz., a Body natural, and a Body politic. His Body natural (if it be considered in itself) is a Body mortal, subject to all infirmities that come by Nature or Accident, to the Imbecility of Infancy or old Age, and to the like Defects that happen to the natural Bodies of other People. But his Body politic is a Body that cannot be seen or handled, consisting of Policy and Government, and constituted for the Direction of the People, and the Management of the public weal, and this Body is utterly void of Infancy, and old Age, and other natural Defects and Imbecilities, which the Body natural is subject to, and for this Cause, what the King does in his Body politic cannot be invalidated or frustrated by any Disability in his natural Body.”

Thus the Queen is both individual in her natural body and universal in her body politic (the Crown) and in her role as Queen of Australia she is also the personification of Australia.   An allegiance to her as Queen does not and cannot in any way conflict with an allegiance to Australia or New South Wales.  There cannot be any conflicting interests between the State and its personification.  If we accept that the Queen is the personification of Australia, and of New South Wales and that her interests cannot be in competition with those of the people nor of the state then it follows that a politician cannot have an allegiance to one at the expense of the other nor can he or she serve one without serving the other.  It is, as further expressed in Calvin’s Case that “The King’s Two Bodies thus form one unit indivisible, each being fully contained in the other.”  The Crown is inextricably connected to the state and to the people and while ever we remain a constitutional monarchy, with the Crown at the apex of our system of government, our elected representatives should honour this principle.

In Australia it would seem from recent political history that the wording of the oaths taken by members of the executive change more frequently than the administration of the government itself.

When Kevin Rudd became prime minister in 2007 he swore that he would serve “the Commonwealth of Australia, her land and her people” and in so doing joined Paul Keating as only the second prime minister to not swear or affirm to serve the Queen as part of his official oath of office.  When she disposed Mr Rudd in June 2010 the current Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, affirmed the same oath but keen watchers will have noted that by the time of her second swearing-in following the 2010 federal election that the oath of office had changed.  On the second occasion, Ms Gillard affirmed that she would “well and truly serve the Commonwealth of Australia in the Office of Prime Minister”.  One can only assume that “her land and her people” failed to survive all of the post election horse trading.

This penchant for change, frequent and without consultation, ought to be a matter of concern for Conservatives.  On oath, whether it is of allegiance or of office is a solemn undertaking of service.  The solemnity is removed however when we allow politicians to tinker with the wording of these oaths to suit their own political and ideological views. The oath of office taken by our elected leaders should be uniform and long standing and worthy of the important offices which they occupy.  Its wording should not be part of the spoils of war as it seems to be in the present climate.

For an example of how things ought to be, we turn to the United States.  The oath of office of the President of the United States is enshrined within the US Constitution and has been administered to all forty-three men to have entered upon that office.  That oath, a simple and poignant statement, has not only stood the test of time but also, I would suggest, become a further symbol of the presidency alongside the White House and Air Force One.  Similarly, the oaths administered to members and senators, departmental secretaries and ambassadors is constant and does not change depending on who occupies the White House or which party hold the majority in Congress – consistency which is so lacking in Australia.

The very fact that we are in 2012 discussing the wording of the oath of office of our elected representatives is symbolic of the much broader debate that remains, for some at least, unsettled.  To clarify, Australia is not a republic.  Supporters of constitutional change, predominately Left-wing ideologues, continue to attempt to rewrite history contrary to the will of the people in 1999.  We should not allow our political and ideological opponents to continue to delude themselves, it just isn’t fair.  Since the 1999 referendum proponents of the republic have busied themselves with three primary avenues of attack, firstly, that a republic is inevitable and secondly that it will naturally occur at the end of the reign of the current Monarch.  With each passing year and each new opinion poll showing growing support for the House of Windsor these two theories seem increasingly less likely.  The third avenue is nothing short of sinister.  The idea is that if we pretend that Australia is a republic then the public will buy it.  This is the “sneaky republicanism” that Rev. Nile is fighting against.  They remove portraits of the Queen from public spaces and label her a foreigner, amend oaths of office and wait in false hope that the Australian people will suddenly and passionately awake from their ignorant slumber and realise that they got it all wrong in 1999.  This is of course unlikely to happen any time soon, support for the monarchy is on the increase and without a viable (and sensible) alternative the Australian people will undoubtedly continue to stick with the system that has served them well for more than 110 years.

So what of Mr O’Farrell’s choice?  The solution has been spoken through the ages – “Queen and Country”, there is no need to choose between the two because they are one and the same but by ignoring the former we are neglecting one of the most important cultural and historical components of the later.  This neglect does us all a great disservice.

Vince Ripepi is a Sydney based solicitor and long time member of the Liberal Party.  He is the Vice President (Policy) of the Smithfield Young Liberals. 


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

Is David Donovan Encouraging Racial Divisions?

Mark Legge explores racist underpinnings in the writings of David Donovan, Media Director of the Australian Republican Movement:

Ever since the republican debate gained steam in the 1990s a lot of name calling has been going on, with  monarchist organisations often being branded as “racist”, and being a “white man’s club”. This image encourage by ARM couldn’t be further from the truth, with monarchist organisations being made up of people from all over the world and of all different religions.

Now I know ARM is not a racist organisation, and is filled with passionate Australians –  just as AML and ACM are – however I have noticed a disturbing fact about one of its high profile members, David Donovan.

David Donovan is the media director of ARM, and also runs an independent website. It’s important to note that the site isn’t run, owned or endorsed by ARM, however ARM does publish articles from Donovan’s site, as well as provide links to his website.

David’s website is a strictly controlled affair, with him very rarely allowing a dissenting remark on it, but that’s not what I have found so disturbing. What I find disturbing is the apparent relaxed attitude David has towards racism and more specifically racial profiling.

A number of articles find it necessary to make mention of individuals ethnic background, with the implication that they are less Australian or somehow their opinions count for less due to their origin of birth. Here are a couple of examples, from this year alone;

“The ACM’s decisions are being made by two foreign-born Australians

“a new level has been reached by the ACM’s “Convenor”, the foreign-born David Flint

” the Indonesian-born co-controller of Australian for Constitutional  Monarchy

“I know Tom is a Pom and has no Australian DNA, but surely you’d know better after all those years you spent at Bondi Beach public school.”

“The Indonesian-born* co-owner of ACM

“While I’m on the subject of egregious Right wingers, our old friend, the Indonesian-born Professor David Flint

“many people might wonder what his own Indonesian Muslim ancestors might think of him

“what her Greek mother would say if she knew her single Greek daughter was keeping such company

“by the Indonesian-born Flint and the London-born Tom Flynn

Donovan has even found it necessary to make mention of David Flints skin color, in an apparent reference to his Asian origins.

My question is why is it necessary to make constant mention of a person’s ethnicity and in what way does it aid the debate? A question shared by James, a republican who commented on Donovan’s site:

I agree with this article. However, does the fact that Flint was born overseas mean that he shouldn’t be able to have an opinion as an Australian (however misguided that opinion may be)? Whether he was born in Indonesia or Australia is irrelevant, he’s just as Australian as any other one. My parents were born overseas and are republican. I wouldn’t tell them not to express their opinion just because they weren’t born here

What I find confusing about this situation is that Donovan seems to pride himself on being extremely welcoming to new Australians. So why does he allow racial profiling on his website? In my opinion, it appears he will do anything to create mistrust about leading monarchists or people of differing views, even if it means he allows his own “ethics” to slip, and encourage ethnic divisions within the community.

Due to the constant racial profiling present on Donovan’s site ARM should cease to provide links to Donovan’s site as well as remove him from his post as media director. I also encourage David Donovan to make a full apology and to cease allowing racial profiling on his site.

Mark Legge is a 20 year old student studying Animal and Veterinary Bioscience at the University of Sydney. These are his personal views. Menzies House notes it will be happy to post a response from Mr. Donovan or his representative to this piece. 

The state of North Queensland?

The 'state of North Queensland' could turn into a front for the republican movement, writes Brant Rippon.


For Queenslanders the issue has arisen again! No, not Daylight Savings… It is again the proposal of the secession of North Queensland! On the front page of the Courier-Mail today (10/08/2010), it is alleged that the majority of North Queensland Mayors are in favour of the separation from Queensland proper. In fact, according to the Courier-Mail, only two of the 100 delegates at the NQ Local Government Association meeting were against the proposal – the two being Mayor Val Schier (Cairns) and Mayor Ben Callcott (Charters Towers). 

Of course, leading the charge is maverick Independent Federal MP Bob Katter (Former National Party Member, Member for Kennedy). The new state proposal has apparently been backed by local Indigenous leaders who feel that the current and previous State Governments have ignored Indigenous issues in these areas.

“The State Government is so busy governing the high growth areas of Queensland that they can’t govern us…We need to do something. It is in the Constitution to allow for a separate State” – Cr Wharton (C-M pg. 10/08/2010). Indeed it is. The Constitution makes provision for the establishment and admission of new States. Under section 121, a new State can be created by an ordinary Act of the Commonwealth Parliament: 

Section 121; The Parliament may admit to the Commonwealth or establish new States, and may upon such admission or establishment make or impose such terms and conditions, including the extent of representation in either House of parliament, as it thinks fit.

Section 124; A new State may be formed by separation of territory from a State, but only with the consent of the Parliament thereof, and a new State may be formed by the union of the two or more States or parts of States, but only with the consent of the Parliament of the States affected.

The separation of NQ from the State of Queensland has seemingly (or accidently!) been given the blessing by the State's Treasurer, Andrew Fraser MP. In a radio interview at the beginning of this year with 612 ABC host Madonna King, the question of the separation of North Queensland arose. Mr Fraser stated that he believed the Federation was “always evolving”, and that with the growth of population over the nation, it was plausible that one day Australia could host “a number of States”. Perhaps a little bit of an embellishment by the Treasurer, but apparently becoming more and more of a reality – at least in Queensland.

According to the Courier-Mail, NQ Mayors will approach their state-wide counterparts to seek support for a referendum to be held with the next State Election in 2012.

So, although we acknowledge that the formation of new states is constitutionally viable (and the Queensland Chairman of AML, New Zealand born Tristan Rogers, is frequently on the receiving end of jibes from me that New Zealand should join the Federation), is the breaking up of Queensland a good thing? How do you think this could affect the Federation? There has not been a new State established or admitted to the Commonwealth since Federation in 1901. 

I believe the greatest threat for the establishment of a NQ State would be that the process could be hijacked by republicans. For example – what would the new State's flag look like – would the Union Jack be present? Will relevant Government departments still display the symbol of the Crown (e.g. the police)? Would politicians and other relevant officials make oaths and affirmations to the Sovereign?

“I,  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 
do sincerely promise and swear, that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance, to HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH THE SECOND, as lawful sovereign of Australia, and her other realms and territories, and to her heirs and successors, according to law.
       SO HELP ME GOD”

I do not personally disagree with North Queenslanders that over the years they have been given a raw deal, and at times forgotten as consecutive State Governments focus on the growing pains that persist in South-East Queensland. I am worried though, that if republicans get their grubby hands on the issue, they will try and make the newly established State of North Queensland the flagship argument and symbol for an Australian republic. 

We have already suffered decades of ‘republicanism by stealth’ through constant revisions to State and Federal Oaths and Affirmations regarding references to HM The Queen. In NSW the State Government, under Premier (and President Abraham Lincoln impersonator) Bob Carr evicted The Queen's representative from Government House and attempted to implement a “part-time” Governor.

Victorian Attorney-General and raging republican Rob Hulls removed reference to the Queen in criminal proceedings – “Referring to the Queen is outdated…Substituting the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for the Queen or Regina reflects the legal and political independence from the United Kingdom and its monarch that has been achieved by Australia.” 

There are many more examples of this. Republicans don’t give up, even after the Australian people overwhelmingly rejected a republic in 1999. If the NQ State issue is hijacked by republicans, then God help us! Monarchists are simply fighting the good fight – fighting for our freedoms and democratic rights that are protected under the Crown, where no one person holds absolute authority. Proof our system of Constitutional Monarchy works, and that the State Governors are not just overpaid “tea-sippers” as some republicans claim have been demonstrated in recent times. NSW Governor, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC admitted that towards the end of 2009 she sought legal advice from the Solicitor-General on whether she could sack the embarrassment that is the NSW State Labor Government. Earlier this year the Tasmanian Governor, His Excellency the Honourable Peter Underwood AC, weighed up his constitutional options in which side of politics he would ask to form a stable Government after the outcome of the election in the Lower House was 10 seats to Labor, 10 seats to the Liberals, and 5 seats to the Greens.

The Governor's primary role in regards to elections and the outcomes of elections is to commission a stable government – one that can pass supply and most likely withstand votes of no confidence (that is, to go the full term). Labor Premier Bartlett promised the Liberals that if they had won the popular vote (which they did), they could form government; the Governor rebuked Mr Bartlett, reminding him that he did not have the authority to offer government to the Opposition. That power lay with him. After seeking extensive constitutional advice, the Governor correctly commissioned the Labor lead Bartlett/Greens Coalition Government.  
Finally, if the Honourable Tony Abbott MP wins the election on August 21 and becomes our new Prime Minister, will we see a new era of “monarchism by stealth” under an avowed and unashamed monarchist and self confessed anglophile? Will we see the reinstatement of AK’s and AD’s and the term QC, portraits of HM The Queen in every school room in Australia, and the compulsory and unbiased teaching of our political system inserted into our national curriculum? One can only hope, as this I believe will secure the monarchy in Australia well into the future, if not forever. I believe that with greater understanding of our political arrangements, and surrounded by symbols of monarchy, Australians will grow to once again cherish our monarchy and Sovereign, our Constitution, our flag, and the protections the Crown provides.

Brant Rippon is the State Deputy Chairman & Treasurer of the Queensland Branch of the Australian Monarchist League. He recently graduated with a BA and is about to enter the Queensland Police Service as a Recruit, hoping for a career as a Police Prosecutor.