1 Here are a few jaw-droppers that are guaranteed to shock you. They are not of my pen, although I have written about many of them. So, if you thought you knew it all, you didn’t. Indeed, their unworthiness may surprise you to the point of embarrassment. I know the list surprised me, and I like to think I’m on top of this stuff.
Revelation is but one step away. Click this link: Achievements of the Coalition Government.
2 Since the death of Queen Elizabeth, much commentary has emerged as to whether Australia should become a Republic. I, for one, supported a referendum and said so in a piece for The AIMN on September 14: The inevitable question arises: Should we have an Australian as head of state and become a republic?
Polling taken amid emotional sorrow must be considered unreliable. As Australians digest the terms King Charles and Queen Camilla, I’m sure we will reconsider our nationhood.
Here is something on the subject I have been saying since 2015:
“So, the country lost interest in the matter. It is generally accepted that our apathy shall continue until the current Monarch retires or dies.
Malcolm Turnbull believes this will be the catalyst for action and is, in all probability, correct. The way forward is through a non-binding plebiscite with a simple question. For example.” Do you think Australia should become a republic with its own head of state?” A majority of us would support this, and it would pave the way for the exploration and development of various models.
And with consensus, the final model would evolve, as I said earlier. I found nothing wrong with the original model. From a shortlist, the Prime Minister puts forward a person approved by a two-thirds majority in a joint sitting of both houses.
I would argue that the people elect the parliament and then entrust their representatives to appoint a President on their behalf. After all, they entrust them to run the country.
Suitable candidates may not be willing to stand in an election and would decline. They would not be interested in a popular contest. I would simply warn those open to a direct election that this method would politicise the appointment.
Conversely, many unsuitable people would and could win based on popularity.
To my way of thinking, the British Monarchy is undemocratic and inequitable in that it goes against commonly accepted Australian values such as fairness and egalitarianism.
Currently, our head of state is selected not on merit but by the principle of hereditary male primogeniture (right of succession) (although that has since changed) and, of course, Catholics being specifically ineligible. This is discriminatory and unfair and wouldn’t be allowed under the anti-discrimination provisions of Australian law. Yet, it is still the method of selection for the Australian head of state.
Given people were fully informed and educated on the proposals for the Australian Republic with an Aussie as head of state and a consensus agreed upon, we could proceed to a referendum.
If successful, we would then be able to move forward as an entirely free, united and confident nation. After 110 years of federation, we have grown up, and if we are to take our place in the world, we must break our last constitutional links with England.
It is utterly preposterous that we don’t have an Australian head of state. Imagine if, during a hung parliament, we had a President of the calibre of Sir William Deane. Although a ceremonial head of state, his quiet calm would have reduced the toxicity of public debate that has insinuated itself on the Australian public during the Luddite period of Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison.
I recall after the referendum reading Malcolm Turnbull’s book “The Reluctant Republic”, where he accused John Howard (the ‘lying rodent’ – thanks, George) of breaking the hearts of Australians. He was, in fact, correct. He deluded us, and this Australian shed a tear.”
The survey found that 54 per cent said “no” and 46 per cent said “yes” to the question: “Even if it’s just a slight leaning or a guess right now, would you vote yes or no to Australia becoming a republic?”
Note: Polls have varied widely.
3 Scott Morrison is considered by many to be our worst Prime Minister ever. I agree, but he must also be regarded as the most remarkable. Freedom of information suggests that he conducted hundreds of meetings with himself as a committee of one. This committee, called COPC, was considered a sub-committee of the National Cabinet and was therefore immune from any enquiries.
There were copious minutes, but it’s unknown who wrote them. It became the “slippery slope” of secrecy that Morrison used to appoint himself to multiple ministries. Former deputy Prime ministers Barnaby Joyce and Michael McCormack often attended meetings in the Prime Minister’s office without knowing what they were there for or if they were official meetings. Brilliant but unlawful, I think. No, yes, Minister.
4 Another thing that caught my eye was a commitment by the Morrison Government of almost two billion dollars for fossil fuel subsidies. Given that it is yet to be allocated, The Greens are urging the Government to:
“… reallocate the funding to renewable investments in next month’s Budget. Adam Bandt suggested, “Public money should not fund coal and gas.” He said, “If money is as tight as the treasurer says it is, then Morrison-era handouts to coal and gas should be the first to get the chop.”
5 Alan Austin writing for Michael West Media, tells us that:
“Pressure is growing for Labor to abandon the third stage of the tax cuts, due in 2024, because of pressure on the Budget. The tax cuts overwhelmingly favour high-income-earning men. They are at peace with the tilt against ordinary workers under the Morrison government.
However, the Treasurer appears not to have changed his mind.
We haven’t changed our view on that, as you know … But also, they [the tax cuts] come in in a couple of years’ time and we’ve got some far more pressing issues to deal with.”
6 Ken Starr, the man who investigated Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair, has died. Read more here.
7 Parliament resumes this coming week, and front and centre will be the introduction of The National Anti-Corruption Commission. Labor has said it will have all the independence, resources and powers of a standing Royal Commission. Let’s hope this is the case and that it is functional before Christmas.
8 Question Time will resume, but there doesn’t appear to be a question the Opposition can ask of the Government that in some way doesn’t rebound on them most negatively.
My thought for the day
Character is a combination of traits that etch the outlines of a life, governing moral choices and infusing personal and professional conduct. It’s an elusive thing, easily cloaked or submerged by the theatrics of politics. But unexpected moments can sometimes reveal the fibres from which it is woven.
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