Letter to Members October 2021

Letter to Members October 2021

The Australian Monarchist League Inc
P O Box A1213, Sydney South NSW 1235
P: 1300 342 152 F: (02) 8580 4923
E: [email protected] W: www.monarchist.org.au

Letter to Members October 2021

Cartoon reproduced with the permission of the artist: Johannes Leak

Cartoons like the one above are designed to be humorous but also with an underlying message. This one by Johannes Leak was probably read by the new premier of NSW, who made it clear that freedoms are an inherent right of the individual not the gift of governments.

Lockdowns are coming to an end in New South Wales and hopefully soon in Victoria also, but many restrictions continue on. Borders remain closed between States.

The comments herein explore the legality of the extensive use of Health Acts to curtail the freedoms of the individual. The underlying authoritarian nature of the use of State laws continue to be very concerning and must either come to an end or else be made subject to parliaments that must be allowed to meet on a regular basis.

 

THE QUEEN’S 70 YEARS ON THE THRONE

More than a billion people throughout the world are expected to watch the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations in the United Kingdom where there will be four days of festivities which are expected to be the greatest of any Jubilee celebration of any monarch in our shared history.

However, the office of the Prime Minister of Australia has made it clear that anything to be done by the Australian government will be low- key, in other words, as little as possible. They draw upon the Queen's humble words of some years ago that she would not want a big fuss or exorbitant expenditure to be made.

Obviously, this is not the case as far as the British government is concerned who, with the Queen's direct involvement, are going all out to celebrate Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee, as it is the first time in the history of Commonwealth nations that a monarch has served for 70 years.

For decades Coalition governments have not wanted to upset republicans. Perhaps it's about time we made a point of not upsetting monarchists. We have therefore prepared an open letter to the Prime Minister requesting that this momentous event of the platinum jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II be properly and adequately celebrated.

You can see the letter online here and sign it if you wish. I would point out that the more signatures we have, the better the reaction from government, particularly with an election due in the next few months.

If you are not online or if you encounter any problems, you can email us at [email protected] giving us your permission to put your name down on the letter.

This is extremely important because it may be the last time we, in Australia, can pay tribute to our own Queen who has been our guardian, our guide and our friend whilst she is still with us.

We were all deeply concerned upon hearing of Her Majesty’s hospitalisation, but fortunately she was well enough to continue with her duties and was back at her desk the next day. However, we pray and earnestly hope that the tests undertaken are all negative.

 

THE AML NATIONAL CONFERENCE

Although New South Wales is opening, state borders remain closed and it has therefore been necessary to cancel the national conference set for Saturday the 6th of November until such time as our interstate members and speakers would be able to attend. The national dinner with Senator the Hon. Matt Canavan booked for Friday November 26th remains open but is dependent on whether the Senator would be able to travel.

 

THE NEW PREMIER OF NEW SOUTH WALES & LOCKDOWNS

We extend our sincere congratulations to the Hon. Dominic Perrottet upon his election by the Liberal Party as Premier of New South Wales. Dominic is a family orientated man and also a committed monarchist.

He told us that when he was a child he, and his siblings, would sit around the dining table at which his parents would encourage discussion on any matter of interest to their children. At election time, they would discuss politics and encourage viewpoints, hence his interest in parliamentary matters and later involvement rising to the top job.

He is a Christian but is being disgracefully pilloried for it. When drafting the Australian Constitution, our founding fathers decided that Australia would have no established religion and that people would be free to worship in any legal way they wish. However, since when have the media (and not only the ABC) been the arbiters of personal faith? They wouldn’t dare criticise any politician who is a Moslem, a Hindu or any of a non-Christian faith like they have done with Dominic Perrottet. This attitude is not only reprehensible but is bordering on discrimination and must stop now.

For a nation steeped in democracy and the liberty of the individual there is something inherently wrong with a government allowing limited freedoms for citizens within particular States. However, the restrictions placed on the people by state governments are under relevant Health Acts and therefore considered to be legitimate and legal. However, surely any use of any Act leading to the infringement of the liberty and freedom of movement of any Australian citizen should be subject to supervision and questioning by the relevant parliament. It is not right that the people’s parliaments were not called to sit and continue to sit from the very commencement of the pandemic so that the people’s representatives could keep a watchful eye on any restrictions being placed on the liberty of the individual.

No one, whether prime minister or premier, should prevent a parliament from meeting.

To say that Covid restrictions do not allow parliaments to meet is ridiculous particularly when premiers, ministers and health officials allow themselves the opportunity to parade almost every day before a gathering of journalists.

There is obviously a lot of angst amongst those enduring lengthy lockdowns and sometimes this anguish turns into violence, often agitated by professional troublemakers resulting in the use of — sometimes unwarranted — force by the police. Unfortunately, such protests that have been occurring in Australia have been making headlines around the world.

Australia’s constitutional system is dependent on trust. The people repose that trust in the people they elect, whether it be in local councils, state parliaments or the federal parliament. The state governors and the federal Governor-General are in place to protect the interests of the people should any government commit any act which is contrary to the constitution.

Regrettably, there is little that either the viceroys or the courts can do if a government, in working within the law, uses that the law to curtail the freedom of the individual. It seems reprehensible, and undoubtedly it is, and following the end of the emergency, it will be necessary for an in-depth analysis of the use of state powers over the past two years.

 

VICEROYS MUST BE ABOVE REPROACH

The Australian Monarchist League has been critical of the chief health officer/Governor designate in Queensland for her outspokenness and adverse statements in regard to the AstraZeneca vaccine, without declaring that her husband had an involvement with its rival, Pfizer. Once she had been nominated it should have been required that she stand down from any public role until her appointment as Governor. As it is, like so many political viceregal nominations nowadays, there is a tinge, even a taint, of disrepute brought to the office.

 

THE NEXT ELECTION

The political parties are gearing up for an election which could be just months away. Whilst AML has no relationship with any political party, we do have members of our council who are standing for re-election who should be supported by us just as they have supported us over the years. One such member is our deputy national chairman Senator Eric Abetz and we will be in touch with members in regard to supporting Eric, as a monarchist, in due course. We would do the same for Labor members of our council if we had any and were Labor monarchist parliamentarians allowed to declare their allegiance to their sovereign head of state by their party.

However, as mentioned before, it is important that monarchists do their best to vote for the political party that will, if not support the monarchy, at least will not promote a republic.

I have mentioned that the Liberal Democrats, which has emerged as a — supposed — new centre-right party has no mention of support for the constitutional monarchy in its policies and that its sitting MPs are and have been generally supportive of a republic.

We now have the (renewed) United Australia Party organised by the billionaire Clive Palmer who has appointed Craig Kelly as the parliamentary leader of the UAP. Craig is a monarchist and although not a member has supported AML in the past. However, we do not believe that Clive Palmer himself upholds the constitutional monarchy and he has never supported the Australian Monarchist League and there is no mention of support for the constitutional monarchy in its policies. I did write to Craig Kelly about this, but with no response.

 

THE MATTER OF CLIMATE CHANGE

This is an issue which does not fall within the purview of the Australian Monarchist League, but the involvement of the Prince of Wales has raised concerns. Prince Charles has always been an impassioned environmentalist. He is not one of those wealthy people who talks and does nothing but has spent his whole life in converting his own properties within the Duchy of Cornwall, which he inherited when his mother acceded to the Throne, into environmentally friendly organic landholdings. He has converted his cars to take eco-friendly fuel and personally purchases carbon credits to offset his air travel.

However, he has been outspoken on the matter of climate change and on some issues, such as ‘The Great Reset’ on which regard we have written to him expressing concerns that he is overstepping the boundaries of an heir-apparent. Prince Charles has said that, as Prince of Wales, he has freedom to express his views but when he becomes monarch he will be bound by convention. We question this assumption. Due to Her Majesty’s age and increasing frailty he is assuming, as the Heir Apparent, a greater number of the Queen’s duties and refraining from matters which may invite controversy should now be uppermost in his mind.

Prominent republican, Gerard Henderson, has written in the Australian of Saturday 16 October Justin Rowlatt condemning the Prince of Wales saying he “saw fit to comment on matters of Australian domestic politics” but when interviewed by the BBC climate editor, Justin Rowlatt, what Prince Charles actually said was “I mean you gently try to suggest there may be other ways of doing things, in my (laughing) case anyway.

When Rowlatt said “Scott Morrison, the Australian PM, isn’t even certain that he can make it to Glasgow” for the COP26 conference, Prince Charles responded, “Is that what he said, is it?”.

Rowlatt then asked what he “would say to world leaders about why they should come to Glasgow”. The answer was: “Well that’s (laughing) what I’m trying to say all the time – and the point being that this is our last chance saloon, really.”

The media, now being the arbiter of what they want people to say, converted these comments into an unwarranted interference in Australia’s internal affairs and a direct criticism of its prime minister. Similarly, when Prince William said that great minds should be "trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live” this was taken as an attack on the billionaire businessmen involved in space travel.

In earlier days there were three estates, the clergy, the nobles and the people and, in the 18th/19th century the free press became the fourth estate. This was a time when the independent media had become a major protector of the rights and liberties of the people and not afraid to call out injustices, but no longer. Whether of the left or the right side of politics, most engaged in the media use their voice to promote their own opinions and often those on television seek to inflame hostility against those of differing viewpoints. Have we not seen, in recent times, Sky News relentlessly attack Prince Charles for his views on the environment and the ABC hound politicians, who are supposed to be judged innocent until proven guilty?

Rarely, today, is news ever reported in a balanced and impartial manner. It is an indictment on our democratic system. The fourth estate should never have such power that elements within it can destroy careers and lives with such blatant disregard for justice.

 

AML BECOMES A TARGET OF THE ‘WOKE’ BRIGADE

I don’t know whether it’s a cause for celebration or dejection, but we have had a software programme cancelled because we are not considered to be ‘woke’. Furthermore, Australia Post has rejected our request for freedom of information on the abnormal delay of the production of the Queens 95th birthday stamp, claiming confidentiality.

Whilst these are matters we can get around, the disturbing factor is that when a republic campaign commences, or even before, we will probably be increasingly targeted particularly in the field of advertising and promotion in our normal marketing and social media activities.

In 1999 republican leaders assumed that within 5 to 10 years there would be another referendum but that was 22 years ago and there continues to be no interest in a republic despite the mutterings of a disgruntled few. Therefore, should there be another move towards constitutional change by a future government, republicans know that it will be their last chance for another quarter of a century or more and we can expect the worst in the next campaign.

With a federal election looming, we are preparing ourselves in the event of a change of government but, in the meanwhile, we are continuing on now that some states are relaxing restrictions and, hopefully, borders will soon be open and we can celebrate being one country once again.

With best wishes

Philip Benwell
National Chair
Australian Monarchist League

 

MESSAGE FROM OUR UK BRANCH

On a bright autumn morning in September 2021, members of the Australian Monarchist League based in the UK headed out for a great day at Windsor Castle.

After enduring such long lockdowns, it was excellent for members to see each other once again and visit this great castle which dates back to William the Conqueror.

Members were able to tour the State Rooms and visit St George's Chapel as well as see the array of armaments and historical items on display.

Our trip to Windsor Castle occurred on the sobering 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City. Members of the London Branch of the AML were among the hundreds gathered for a very special changing of the guard in which the Windsor Castle band played The Star Spangled Banner in the presence of His Excellency Philip T. Reeker, US Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

On that day, members were fortunate to see a very special exhibition (and celebration) of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at Windsor Castle. This exhibition included items from Prince Philip's early life and naval career, his role as consort and his support for Her Majesty The Queen in the UK and throughout the Commonwealth. The exhibition was a touching reminder of the great contribution and commitment of the Duke of Edinburgh over the course of his lifetime to public service and The Queen.

Members were also privileged to visit the East Terrace gardens of Windsor Castle. Summer 2021 is only the second time these gardens have been open to the public in decades (members pictured in these gardens). Created by King George IV in the 1820s, the East Terrace garden flowerbeds were redesigned in 1971 by the Duke of Edinburgh who also commissioned the bronze lotus fountain at the center of the garden.

With beautiful blue skies overhead, taking in these gardens at the end of our trip to Windsor Castle was a great way to finish the day. But the day was not quite finished yet. After our time at Windsor Castle, members of the London branch then enjoyed a lovely local pub lunch in the picturesque town of Windsor. A great day was had by all.

Wishing all members of the AML a speedy and safe return to freedom and a lovely festive season ahead.

God Save The Queen!

Chris Whittaker
London.

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  • Philip Benwell
    published this page in Newsletters 2021-10-20 21:25:51 +1100