Is it time for us Roundheads to arise? Surely our interminable fawning over a rich, entitled, and generally fucked-up royal family is way past the used by date. Stan Grant’s Indigenous Rage about the legacies of Empire far outweighs my annoyance at the silent compliance of the Australian people over issues such as the Uluru Statement, treatment of refugees, veneration of the Monarch, and Albo’s infamous Respect for Tradition and Institutions speech in London. Stan’s article is well worth reading.
From now on I consider Australia to be a Republic, I consider it to be an independent country that has labelled forelock-tugging a crime against human dignity, and I consider all power to be invested in our Parliament, and in that Parliament I consider the section set up to represent our Indigenous Nations with the right to comment and vote on legislation (same rights as the rest of us) to be a very welcome addition. Hope reigns eternal!
But let’s revisit Albo’s speech. Firstly I admire the man, he’s certainly a Survivor, and he’s wise enough not to overdo the poor boy from the slums bit. But oh that speech, it was straight out of Merino Macarthur’s songbook, or the English version of same. Respect genocide? Respect slavery? Respect tying Indian Mutineers to the maws of cannon and blowing them to bits? Respect dumping Convicts into an early version of Island Hell-Holes and disparaging them as the refuse of a grand Empire? Nope, can’t do that.
If I took to heart and agreed with the contents of that speech then I’d also be venerating the Catholic Church, and kissing their arse, and rejoicing over … rejoicing over … well both my Sisters were raised in Catholic Orphanages (as was I) and they died unheard in their seventies … so fuck any form of veneration – royal, religious, or otherwise.
My Greens vote was strategically placed to help elect the ALP, but I did not cast that vote just to get same old same old from the ALP. I voted for strong and clear leadership. I voted for strong legislative change, and I voted for a government that despite the risk of only surviving for one term (though it might give them five) was prepared to guts-through some big changes. Hey, I’d even accept a modest little tallow candle to replace the long defunct Light On The Hill … it might cast a warm glow on that famous tree in Blackall.
I don’t believe in Referendums, I see them as manipulated stitch-ups and I blame John Howard for that. I don’t believe in our Constitution, I would believe in it if it had happened to have been written by a coalition of Indigenous People and Convicts but it wasn’t. I am glad that the Rum Corps didn’t write it though … there are enough drunken pollies in our Parliament as it is.
Back to … back to … let’s do a Basil Fawlty and definitely mention the War … ah … Republic.
I don’t believe we need a Head of State at all. Why are we being fed the line from all sides that we need one? Aren’t there enough Mayors and Premiers and Federal Pollies out there on the public purse to conduct whatever Ceremonial Occasions we deem necessary, like opening Fetes and Flower Shows and welcoming International Leaders whether despotic or democratic? Having a Head of State is just another example of the elites and their toadies guzzling at the trough of public largesse and patting us on the head now and then. Our Republic does not need regal personages.
I know I’ll be labelled a Cromwellian Roundhead with the views I hold, so be it, in my view that’s better than prancing about in fine lace with a ridiculous feather sticking sideways out of my preposterous Cavalier Hat. I’m quite aware also that many fine professors and constitutional law experts will have much to say about the establishment of an Australian Republic and it will make for interesting reading.
I also well realise that we would have to Boston Tea Party our Constitution to the deep before my Model for a Republic has even a snowball’s chance .. but here’s my Model anyway ..
- The Uluru Statement becomes the Foundation Document of the new Republic of Australia.
- A Bill of Rights is enshrined by legislation.
- The old Constitution is excised from living and historical memory.
- A Bloc of Federal Parliamentary Seats is permanently reserved for Indigenous Representatives elected by Indigenous People. Indigenous People will have dual voting rights – the right to vote for any Representative standing in their local Federal Seat, and the right to vote for their chosen representative in an Indigenous Bloc Seat.
- The power of the people is represented by Parliament.
- All Regal positions of authority and power are abolished.
- The People alone are the Heads of State.
- Australia is deemed to be a Secular Nation.
… this could go on and on .. I’m pretty sure the readers could add many more points and probably slide some of mine out the back door … democracy is a good thing when and where it exists.
As for a Legislative Agenda for this new Republic of Australia …
- Bring back the CES. Get rid of Private Training Companies that gorge on the federal dollar and flow those saved funds into a resurgence of our TAFES and Universities. Legislate out of existence the Federal Unemployment Industry that demeans and targets the Unemployed.
- Abolish private Labour Hire Companies that exploit apprentices and lower paid workers. Reinstate indentured apprenticeships to ensure tenure through to trade qualification is guaranteed.
- Legislate that any Political Party seeking to have Representatives elected at the federal level must evidence a mandatory gender equality balance in their Candidate pool.
- Seek full membership of ASEAN.
- Start what will be a very painful process (especially for Pensioners like me) and begin the spiralling up of taxes, duties, and fees on ICE vehicles.
- Legislate to allow all Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse to appeal to have Unsatisfactory Settlements set aside and to have their cases re-assessed. (I would say that … bloody oath I would).
- Make gender-based wage inequality a punishable crime.
- Deem domestic violence to be an act of terrorism … fund efforts and resources at that level to diminish the high rate of DV.
- Mandate that where obviously possible with regard to climate or geographical placement all new Developer-Supplied/Constructed Suburbs must be energy and water self sufficient.
- Nationalise the supply of electricity.
… on and on … I wonder what would be on your legislative list?
So. When politicians say, especially when politicians say, that now is not the appropriate time to mention the Republic, even the Celtic Gods would have a bit of a chortle at political hypocrisy and thunderously exclaim, as they tend to do, that right now is the oh so most appropriate and most sweet sweet spot in time to mention away. I reckon Basil would agree.
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Agree with a hell of a lot of your points. I don’t think we need to be horrible about the Royals of today as if they were personally responsible for perpetrating the sins of the past. We have to learn from history not necessarily try to find someone to blame. (note: where there IS blame, ie child abuse, DV, of course apportion blame) The Queen certainly gave all of herself to her role, it remains to be seen if the King can be half as good.
I am totally with you on the lack of need for a Head of State for the same reasons as you – just another snout in an increasingly shallow trough. The Chief Justice can perform the GG roles regarding parliament.
I do hope that Labor manage to hang on to the top job for a number of terms, I think we will begin to see the depth of change they are prepared to make. Too soon to rush into too many changes right now, that would ensure a fall back into the arms of the Fascists.
I am on board with the constitutional recognition of the indigenous people of this country, however I think it’s wrong to say that they should have a guaranteed seat in the parliament. That makes them better than every other Australian, that’s not right. I was born here, I am entitled too. They should certainly be equal in every way, health, education, life expectancy, and we have a long way to go there. But a guaranteed seat – that opens the possibility of serious electoral rigging by big business with serious money, or even hard right or hard left factions who could influence the bloc.
Personally I think factions are the root of a lot of problems on both sides. They shouldn’t be allowed to wield to so much power.
Keep on with your writings, I always find them enlightening.
You have many valid points . lndeed why DO we need a head if state other than those elected regularly ? Opening fetes etc, visiting hospitals are not real work and could be done by any respected local at minimal cost. If we stopped idolising celebrities we might learn to respect ourselves and each other more .
I’m not sure this kind of puerile invective is useful. We need to take the issue of a proper Republic forward, not backwards. And we need to apply intellect to this process, not insult. And to recognise the fact of public opinion. Seen the polling? We’ve got a bit more work to do now on creating an Australia that is no longer tied, symbolically or otherwise, to the British monarchy.
If by ’roundheads’ he means ‘republicans’ then I certainly won’t join this ‘thickhead’ of a poster. Right now articles of this tone are not helping in the national debate on the Australian Republic at a time of grieving for our current head of state. Once those formalities are done and dusted, we can roll up our sleeves and work on becoming a republic.
On the Royal funeral-theatre yesterday, the behavior of the English public was impressive.
They know how to respect in the true sense of that word.
Before Oz goes full bottle on a Republic it might be an idea to get a proper Bill of Rights that protects free speech, eg Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
If the last 2 .5 years of covie mania are anything to go by, Oz is in BIG trouble. Any health practitioner with counter views to the official pharma-backed narrative force-fed by the gov-media machine was threatened or sacked after APHRA published its threats 09 March 2021. The end result is millions of Aussies are now enrolled in a medical experiment via uninformed consent thanks, in part, to doctors being gagged. If the Church abuse litigation was a belated expose and circuit breaker of perversity, watch the unravelling of the medical fraternity should a Royal Commission get up. Standing in the way are, in no particular order – the media, the government, the medical industry and the bought Courts.
Without freedom of speech the Republic is worth nothing.
It might be time to wake the fuck up to the reality of global warming which will and is making all of these discussions superfluous, so much energy wasted on bullshit. This not an intellectual exercise, it is the reality of now, we are fucking up big time.
Keith, I agree with you 100%! When the HELL will this never-ending, mourning be over? So sick of the sobbing, the tears and drama over a Queen whom the overwhelming majority of “mourners” have NEVER met. This display of obsequious mourning has now long passed the point of maudlin self-indulgence – over a woman who headed a family of obscenely rich, thoroughly pampered, self-indulgent imperialists who revel in pretentious snobbery and classist elitism and, indeed, feel entitled enough to look down their noses at the very same working- and middle-class people who spend MILLIONS supporting the royal family and their huge entourage of cleaners and servants that cater to their every need and whim!
The sooner we cut ties with the condescending snobbery, classist entitlement and elitism that is so inherent in the UK, the better! Australia MUST grow up and become a Democratic Republic asap – our links to the British elitist monarchy is anachronistic and goes against EVERYTHING egalitarian Australians believe in! There is NO PLACE for the type of pomp, elitist classism and snobbery – so inherent in the UK – in an egalitarian nation like Australia! The sooner Australia grows up, stands on its own feet and cuts the imperialistic apron strings from Britain and becomes a Democratic Republic with our OWN head of State (instead of the corrupt pomposity of right-wing, elitist governor generals), the better!
The appalling fact is that the illegal dismissal of the elected Gough Whitlam ALP government back in 1975 had the royal family’s “tentacles” all over it! When Prince Charles was only 24 years of age, he had the gall to interfere, intervene and promote the sacking of our democratically elected PM, Gough Whitlam, who was – without any doubt – the most compassionate and highest achieving PM in our history! That act of fascist collusion between the royal family, that totally discredited serial drunk and disgraced governor general, John Kerr, and the LNP can NEVER be forgiven or forgotten! If you click on the links below, you can read and learn just how ruthlessly the royal family betrayed Australia, Australians and our democratic process in order to secretly collude with the disreputable John Kerr and the Kerr’s cur (Malcolm Fraser) to illegally dismiss the democratically-elected Gough Whitlam ALP government. This was an appalling act of entitlement; indeed it was an act of fascism that is STILL dividing our nation! Clearly, even then, Prince Charles was a pretentious autocrat who really thought he could meddle into the internal affairs of our nation and dispose of a high achieving left-wing regime in order to parachute a like-minded ultra-conservative and entitled LNP regime in its place!
Gosh .. and even darn it .. how dare this Commoner of the Realm have the temerity to place a prickly pear under the bum of both Monarchist and Elite Republican Thought. I obviously don’t know my pre-determined place in the scheme of things. A Peasant with opinions is very much a danger to some apparently. Some responses say cop this thump on the head with a stout club (explains where the thickheaded feeling comes from). Next thing you know I’ll be banned from playing Rugby League. Water off a duck’s back. I played Rugby Union .. you know .. that game where the Scrums are real!
Kathryn and Keitha (hey .. the three Ks as opposed to the three Musketeers .. you already know that I am onboard with your comments even though Keitha you graciously disagree on a few points.
Long live independent thought. Now that’s a pretty good description of the ethics of AIMN.
I don’t think it’s inappropriate to announce a dislike of royalty, no matter when it is.
I was given five days bereavement leave when my little brother was killed and had to put up with the unsettling advice that “life goes on,” “get over it,” or “you didn’t see him much, anyway.”
I was given very little time to grieve for someone I loved. I am not going to grieve for someone I did not.
Why should I mourn on behalf of the king? My own mother died very young, and I wasn’t a pampered billionaire aged 73. I was 23, and at that age I like to think that I needed my mother far more than Charles, at 73, needed his. Yes, big call, but that’s how I see it.
Many Irish, Scots, and Indigenous people around the world have rejoiced at QE2’s passing. It’s nothing personal, and they’ll probably rejoice at the passing of the King. It’s the system they despised… colonial butchery that not one monarch has said “sorry” for. The pillage and plunder was overseen by the monarchy. And now we are finding out from the oppressed who they point the finger of blame at.
PS: I respect the right of a person to express sadness. I also respect the right of a person to express none.
Kudos to Michael Taylor .. he has a way of expressing truth without judgement.
Sure, as the writer of this article I was placed in the stocks by some and pelted with tomatoes. I caught as many as I could .. the price of veges these days is unreal!
I agree that we don’t need a “head of state”: the term isn’t mentioned in the constitution. In fact, not until clause 61 do we find that “The executive power of the Commonwealth is vested in the Queen and is exercisable by the Governor-General as the Queen’s representative, and extends to the execution and maintenance of this Constitution, and of the laws of the Commonwealth.” Well, clearly that will need to rewritten!
But caution is advised to any form of change of government. You only have to look at America to see the inanity of a popularly elected head of state. And in fact the framers of that constitution were so concerned with checks and balances, and with ensuring protection from “tyranny” that they put congress as the leading branch of government, with the executive coming later. (Just as in the Australian constitution, which owes a very great deal to the American.) And see how that’s turned out.
My own simple version of a republic is to write the Queen out of the constitution, and if we must have an executive, why not keep the name “Governor General”? (Elected by say a 2/3 majority in the House of Reps.) The term “President” has become debased.
As to a Bill of Rights, again look at America, where the main right seems to be the right to be shot; from what I understand the country is getting less free by the day, as the nightmare far-right evangelical crowd get their teeth in. Australia is a signatory to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which should be sufficient.
As far as the ludicrous grief-fest is concerned, I can do no better than to quote Shakespeare (albeit out of context): “What’s he to Hecuba, or Hecuba to him, that he should weep for her?”
Alasdair: A Bill of Rights enshriines those rights in Australian Law. Being a signatory to a UN charter means nothing if the government ignores its responsibilities: look, for instance, at our treatment of refugees.
Wow, keith, words from a bloke who declares his “Greens vote was strategically placed to help elect the ALP,” followed by demands and expectations, is out of the pool warmer than lord. Do you not understand the power of a first preference? Thanks for the great read of the rest, but.
Especially “…manipulated stitch-ups and I blame John Howard for that.” and “I don’t believe in our Constitution” with plenty more supportable gems. For me, your causerie is a call to joust with the ‘windmill’ of a new constitution. ps micheal A sadness most of us have thankfully avoided, my little sister died when I was under 2. Your insightful views on to be a mourner or not to be a mourner. Does the former have the right to ignore the past like the lying rodent and ‘sorry’ or the latter have the right to vilify the queen?
A good read and many excellent statements in a very human piece. Lots that I could comment on or add to yet when I got to DV and cast around for a cause for it’s continued existence and I once again come up against religious dogma and the Christian view of male dominance and the rights of kings and those who spin us the god mythologies that set the environment for family substitution, children and others as property, no respect or understanding of human processes v. the dogmatic beliefs of Christianity and it’s perceived right to punish and destroy those that don’t agree with is a standout for a full psycho-legal analysis.
Perhaps we could even get an explanation as to who religious privilege is extended into mental health whereby on a claim of belief in a specific mythology exempts you from a wide range of mental health conditions.
If a belief in a magical being is so critical and it is a measure by which the legal system categories you it becomes impossible to know if you are being labelled, measured and assessed on the basis of your mental health or on the basis of your religious beliefs.