Liberty Newsletter - July 2022
You won’t hear much about it in the media nowadays, nor from prime minister Albanese, but the move towards a republic has started in earnest.
Anthony Albanese is not like his predecessor, Paul Keating. Whereas Keating was always turbulent and often obnoxiously open about his plans, Albanese will move in a more underhanded and secretive manner. He misled the nation and lied about his plans for a republic, telling us that there would be no move in the first term of his government, but then immediately on gaining office, appointed an Assistant Minister for the Republic. Be assured, that that Assistant Minister, Matt Thistlethwaite, will use his position most probably in conjunction with the Australian Republican Movement of which he is a life-long member, to mount an education campaign to ‘condition’ Australians into accepting a republic.
To claim a mandate, the government is relying upon the fact that a republic has been a part of Labor's policy for more than 30 years. This is nonsense. Albanese took the issue off a republic of the table in the 2022 election. He has no mandate to appoint an assistant minister for the republic.
Peter Fitzsimmons who heads the republican movement, has, unsurprisingly, welcomed the appointment of the Assistant Minister. He has indicated that he hopes the Indigenous Voice would pass a referendum because that would condition people into accepting further constitutional change to a republic.
The Australian Monarchist League has no position on the Voice. In any event we do not know at this stage what constitutional implications may be involved.
As members are aware, the Australian Monarchist League began preparing for the potential of an Albanese victory prior to the last election and our team was therefore ready to proceed immediately upon learning of the appointment of the Assistant Minister. With that appointment our campaign began.
It is disgraceful that the appointment was also made at the very time of the celebrations for Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee and can be taken to be a direct insult to the Queen. Whilst the leftist media praised Albanese for the comments he made at the celebrations in Canberra (all organised by the former government), it was commented by some journalists that he spoke as though he was chewing glass.
Furthermore, being a dedicated republican, he no doubt took great pleasure in banning the public from attending the main Jubilee celebrations. We also fully expect funding to be removed from the development of the Queen Elizabeth II Island and its water gardens.
On 20 June the Hon. Matt Thistlethwaite MP, the newly minted Assistant Minister for the Republic, summoned representatives of the Australian monarchist league, as the main monarchist organisation, to a meeting where he outlined the government’s plans to use the next few years to ‘educate’ the public on a republic.
As many members are aware, we had established an educational foundation for the purpose of educating all Australians on our system of governance and the role that the Queen and the Crown play within it, but the Morrison government refused a grant to support the employment of staff for the foundation. However, we will, ourselves, be putting funding into the foundation and setting it on the pathway to educate all Australians on our system of governance and the role that the Queen and the Crown play within it.
If the government can conduct its own ‘education’ programme, so can we although whilst the government can use taxpayer funds we will have to fend for ourselves.
We are appointing a number of voluntary interns to assist with the increased workload now upon us. At present we have several students and former students who devote what time they can spare from their studies and part-time jobs to bring their many and varied talents to assist in the cause of the constitutional Crown. It is only right that we formalise the association we have with them and also pay them a small honorarium.
Before too long we are going to have to employ a manager or campaign director and staffing to face the government’s push towards a republic.
Whilst the government’s programme will proceed very quietly and without much publicity, it will nevertheless be proceeding in Fabian-like manner until school children start to come home and speak to their parents about why they don’t support a republic. Given the state of teaching nowadays, this probably already happens in some areas, but the propaganda campaign will be more intense and not just among schools but everywhere.
Our job is to block or counter these moves wherever and whenever we can. It won’t be easy and it will certainly be laborious but it is a job that must be done and we will be calling upon our volunteers and our members to assist.
We have started to set up campaign structures in the States. As you are aware, we have our advisory committee which is supported by such luminaries as the Hon. Tony Abbott AC and the Hon. Nick Minchin AO.
They all bring the knowledge and the expertise of the 1999 campaign and although the present campaign will be totally different and will be fought mainly online, the basics remain the same.:
VOTE NO TO THE POLITICIANS’ REPUBLIC
The campaign committees will operate separately from the branch structures but will liaise and work together. Eventually there will be separate campaign newsletters for each state to let people know what is going on.
Over the past month a number of supporters have written in, and I must apologise to those who have not yet received an answer. It is very difficult to fit more hours in the day to handle the increased workload and I asked you all to please understand the situation I am in at this time.
The Australian Monarchist League has many new members and I and our team hope to meet with as many as possible over the coming months. We are not just an organisation and are certainly not a political movement, although engaged in what has become a political debate, but have always been more a fraternity of like-minded people who have come together to retain a tried and trusted system of governance that keeps us free from the domination of politicians. It is due to the ineptitude and interference of those very same politicians into the lives of Australian citizens that has seen State services rapidly decline.
We therefore appeal to all people to never, ever hand over control of our Constitution to these very same politicians. We ask that all place their trust in Australia’s Founding Fathers, who so very wisely drafted a constitution that has stood the test of time. Yes, it is over a century old and, yes, it does need some updates, but the very basis of the Constitution, established on the Crown, is ultimately what keeps us free and is what motivates thousands of people from across the world to risk their lives to come to this country.
It is the Crown within our constitutional system that protects the democracy and the freedoms of the Australian people and it is that very system that the Australian Monarchist League is fighting to protect. We ask that you all support us in this task.
Australian Monarchist League
Despite this being the year of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, the republican debate in Australia has reignited following the Albanese Government’s appointment of an Assistant Minister for the Republic. In response, monarchists have once more assembled in preparation to see off another wrong-headed affront to the Crown in our Constitution.
Our organisation, the Australian Monarchist League, has a proud history of defending both the Australian Constitution and Her Majesty’s reputation Down Under, our member-based organisation having been forged in the fires of the constitutional debates of the 1990s when we and other monarchists fought off the 1999 referendum.
If Prime Minister Albanese wishes, we stand ready to see off challenges to our Constitution in the twenty-first century.
Peter Fitzsimons, Chair of the Australian Republic Movement, recently questioned, “How many of these monarchists even are there?” In fact, the Australian Monarchist League’s proven support base is in excess of 50,000 and we are growing rapidly.
Australians are outraged by the appointment of Labor’s new Assistant Minister for “the” Republic (what republic?) and are signing up to the Australian Monarchist League in great numbers.
What’s more, a third of us in the Australian Monarchist League are under the age of forty, and many of our executives and spokespeople are in their early twenties. Our young monarchists collectively demonstrate that today’s youth support our Australian Constitution as it is. If you’re a young person who doesn’t want to give your politicians any more constitutional power, the Australian Monarchist League is definitely the organisation for you.
We are an active organisation, and have been consistently so for nearly three decades.
For instance, in 1998, Toyota put out a commercial championing the slogan, “Don’t worry, Your Majesty, you’re not the only British export that’s had its day.” The Australian Monarchist League protested this slight against Her Majesty so successfully that Toyota’s board in Tokyo withdrew the commercial, sacked its American advertising agency and issued a formal apology to Buckingham Palace.
The Australian Monarchist League has a few fundamental positions. The first and foremost of these is this: that Her Majesty Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, is Sovereign and that the Governor-General of Australia, His Excellency The Hon. General David Hurley AC DS FTSE (Retd), is our executive Head of State. In other words, the Governor-General discharges our absent Sovereign’s duties, just as an executor discharges the Will of a testator.
Twenty-five years ago, we may have claimed a different position to the above, but make no mistake: the Australian Monarchist League is not ideologically stagnant. We are an erudite and nimble organisation that always researches, listens, learns and adapts. The League’s motto, “Roots in our past, growing for our future”, is an honest one, and one which we feel strongly bound by.
Recently there’s been talk of Australia being headed by a “foreign monarch”. But there’s so much more at stake than arguing sillily over who was born where and who lives in what city.
Although Her Majesty is based abroad, our Governor-General, as Australia’s executive Head of State, is by convention an eminent, accessible Australian, just like Governor-General Hurley.
One really striking thing about our system of government is that it’s free. That’s right, the only time we pay for our Sovereign is when She tours to Australia, and even then Her travels cost the Australian taxpayer vastly less than, say, a visit from the US Secretary of State. Visits to Australia and New Zealand by the likes of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge draw prominent and unparalleled attention to First Nations’ institutions, charities, and Australian culture.
The crowds that line the streets to catch a glimpse of their future King are a genuine cross-section of Australia, and there is something that binds them together that far transcends celebrity or political allegiance: a je ne sais quoi that no politician or President could replicate.
For a free system, we have every benefit. We have a Sovereign who is impartial, apolitical and a constant anchor in troubled times. Our Queen is devoted to serving the peoples of her realms, be they in Australia, Canada, Belize or Papua New Guinea. Furthermore, by possessing in reserve executive authority and yet never utilising it, the Crown provides a sound and enduring symbol as the source of power, existing for the interests of the nation and its people, a bulwark against tyranny that is untouched by politics. Our Sovereign and her representatives ensure that there is a check and balance on the exercise of transient political power.
To us, this seems like a pretty solid constitutional arrangement. Yes, it might upset a few presidential aspirants, but it’s certainly on the side of the Australian people.
The Australian Republic Movement, but more alarmingly the Albanese Government by way of its Assistant Minister for the Republic, would have us throw out a free system for a ‘transition’ and a system that costs hundreds of millions of dollars in recurring expenses. Wouldn’t that money be better spent on the arts, our healthcare system, or solving the energy crisis?
While we’re on the subject of money, in 2019, Dr Mario Guillén, then-Zandman Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, found that, much to his surprise, the economies of monarchies outperformed those of republics, because monarchies tend to better protect property rights and reduce national political instability.
In the Australian Monarchist League, we believe that Australians want and deserve to have honest conversations about our Constitution. Indeed, we think Australians are yearning to trade rhetoric and manipulative appeals to symbolic emotion for facts and pseudo-morality for reality.
As we hope you can see, the Australian Monarchist League is prepared to be, in the interests of the Australian people, honest and frank.
Stability, sovereignty, tradition, continuity. These are the four watchwords of the Australian Monarchist League.
Our campaign has begun. It started instantly with the appointment of the Assistant Minister for the Republic. The Australian Monarchist League is stunned that there is now a Minister of the Crown working actively to remove the Crown.
It is amazing to us that among Prime Minister Albanese’s first acts as Prime Minister was to decree the use of ministerial resources for republican ends. Despite claims that the next move towards a Republic since the collapse of 1999 should be informed by grassroots action, this has been a top-down agenda, which is ironic given what we are told about republican values.
Or perhaps that’s the point: to use this new bureaucracy to manufacture consent on the taxpayer dollar and stealthily condition Australians to support a republic ahead of any referendum. The Prime Minister has seemingly created an uneven playing field; we of the Australian Monarchist League are now the underdogs.
To our ranks we welcome all Australian constitutional monarchists, from all backgrounds and experiences. Help us to protect our Commonwealth and promote the continuance of a strong system that is working.
This article recently appeared in the Spectator
Australia is on the cusp of radical change to the Australian Constitution designed to increase the power and authority of politicians. Whether you support the Royals or not, please don’t forget that it is Australia’s system of constitutional monarchy that has underwritten our democracy and thus our development as a leading nation in the world because it is the only system which is outside the total control of politicians. It is our elected governments which have changed the face of this nation and often not for the better. Please don’t let them destroy it all. Help the Australian Monarchist League in its fight to keep our Constitution safe.
To continue supporting the work that AML does, even when you are no longer with us, you may wish to consider making a bequest. If you wish to continue your help in this manner, the following is the correct form of words for making such a bequest to the Australian Monarchist League:
For a new Will:
'I [full name] of [full address] give [the sum of ...... dollars (or: .... %) of my residuary estate) to the Australian Monarchist League of PO Box A1213, Sydney South NSW 1235 in support of its cause. The receipt of the Treasurer or other duly authorised officer of the Australian Monarchist League shall be a full and sufficient discharge to my Executors..’
For a Codicil to an existing Will:
'I [full name] of [full address] declare this to be a [first/second/?] codicil to my Will dated
[dd/mm/yyyy]. In addition to any legacies given in my said Will I give to the Australian Monarchist League of PO Box A1213, Sydney South NSW 1235, (the sum of .... (or: .... %)
of my residuary estate] to be used in support of its cause and I declare that receipt of the Treasurer or other duly authorised officer of the Australian Monarchist League shall be a full and sufficient discharge to my Executors. In all other respects I confirm my Will and any other codicils to it.’
Additional to the general meaning of Crown as being an elaborate head-covering, it also has a far more significant constitutional meaning, referring to the collectivity of the institutions of government i.e. the authority of the State or of the Executive and how the Crown acts in its legal capacity. (This is in contrast to the term Sovereign which refers to the Queen as both a person and her actions or decisions as the holder of our nation's ultimate authority.) The crown is a corporate body, an institution. Referring to 'the crown' as a corporate body means the sovereign is regarded as part of this body corporate which also includes the executive, parliament and judicial governance. The crown's legal capacity is shown when we refer to the powers invested in the Crown (as opposed to 'the state' or the 'executive'). In Australia, when we refer to `The Crown' we are referring to the Australian Executive, of which the Sovereign is head, acting in a legal capacity.
As the Sovereign is only part of the corporate crown and as she will one day die, the crown's authority continues until the next sovereign takes over. As the time lag between one sovereign and another is but a microsecond the matter is theoretical but it does show that the crown exists separately from a specific monarch. The Governor-General, at the death of the Sovereign, would continue uninterruptedly to carry out his duties but would in due course meet the new Sovereign and offer his continuing allegiance to Him and thus the Australian people.
The Queen's two capacities, private and official are brought together in her style of address. She is always referred to as Her Majesty regardless of which capacity she is in at the moment of reference.
In any case the Sovereign is always present and thus our security and freedom is guaranteed because whatever might transpire between a Prime Minister and a Governor-General is an Australian matter. The Governor-General is executive head of state and one of his paramount duties is to uphold the Constitution and the Law regardless of political shenanigans but if ever a problem arises (for instance the 1975 political crisis relating to financial supply), the Queen remains as Sovereign of the nation and the ultimate guardian of the Constitution. She may not take any active role in Australian governance but her presence or the presence of her successors is constant and no politicking can change this fact. Only she can appoint or dismiss a Governor or Governor-General (albeit on the Prime Minister's suggestion) and thus she acts as a final buffer to any type of abuse of power within Australia. There is much to be said in favour of her geographical distance from any political events in our country. This fact enables the constant anchor of her existence to be solidly placed far from potential local problems. Her existence is the ultimate guarantee of good practice in our governance.
Under the constitution, legislative power is vested in a Federal Parliament, consisting of the Queen, represented by a Governor-General, a Senate and House of Representatives. Executive power is vested in the Governor-General advised by the Executive Council, over which the Governor-General presides, its members holding office at his pleasure. All Ministers of State are members of the Executive Council under summons (i.e. they can be called upon to attend an Executive meeting) and it is at Executive Council meetings that the decisions of the Cabinet and other enactments are given legal form.
Since the Imperial Conference of 1926, it has been accepted that the Governor-General performs the same constitutional role in Australia as the Queen does in the UK. The term 'head of state' which is not used in the Australian Constitution, is used in practice to refer to the role of the Governor-General when in office. But the Governor-General, unlike the Queen, has a fixed term of office. He/she is always a citizen of Australia. Since the Governor-General represents the Sovereign he or she communicates privately with the Queen i.e. without reference to the government, in her capacity as Queen of Australia and therefore Sovereign head of state.
The Crown simplified.
Although the Queen is the only person who can legitimately wear the physical crown, there is an additional different and more important meaning for the word 'crown'. It represents the ultimate authority of the Australian State and its workings and ensures that it continues uninterruptedly regardless of which monarch reigns. When the Queen dies the crown's authority continues until the next monarch takes over its authority. In real life this happens immediately but were there to be a problem in transition from one monarch to another for whatever time that would take to be resolved, the crown would be unaffected.
All Australian criminal courts of justice refer to the prosecuting counsel as 'R' which stands for the Latin Rex or Regina meaning king or queen. In criminal and some civil cases the State, be it an individual State or the Federal Commonwealth, is referred to as the crown or more usually 'R' because the defendant has to argue his case against the authority of the crown regardless of where he may live. It hearkens back to historical times where on occasion the king would hear a case made by a defendant and decide its outcome himself. These days, of course, there are lawyers and juries and others who are there to ensure that justice is done as fairly as possible in the name of the crown.
The late Duke of Edinburgh said in 1969 'I think it is a misconception to imagine that the monarchy exists in the interests of the monarch. It doesn't. It exists in the interests of the people.'
The appeal of Constitutional Monarchy is as much to the heart as to the head. It appeals to deep-seated and unanalysable emotions, lying far below the realm of consciousness. There is no perfect system of governance except in theory but constitutional monarchy is as close to the ideal as has so far been devised. The monarchy adapts and moves forward as it has done for well over a thousand years.
In a constitutional monarchy the Sovereign must and always will act in accordance with the law. A date for the change from direct absolute rule of a king to the constitutional rule (i.e. with reference to the wishes of the people) is generally assumed to have happened when King John was forced to leave his mark on Magna Carta in 1215. A 1297 copy of this remarkable document, one of only two held outside the UK (the other is in the USA), is held on display in Parliament House in Canberra. Its importance in the gradual development of absolute to cooperative rule with the people, resonates even today.
Another essential of constitutional monarchy is that the Sovereign never votes, is not a citizen of any country and thus holds no passport and is always politically impartial. This is achieved through the convention that the Sovereign (in our case more commonly the Governor-General) acts only on the advice of Ministers i.e. the government voted in by the people. As a result it is the Ministers who are held to account for their actions. The Governor-General (with the Queen) acts as the human symbol of an otherwise impersonal state. His/her powers are essentially residual: they are powers necessary for the formation and ending of governments. By convention and practice, the Governor-General has, what Bagehot wrote in The English Constitution and which still applies today in all the Queen's Realms: "The Queen/[Governor-General]* has three rights - the right to be consulted, the right to encourage and the right to warn." For this reason the conversations between a Prime Minister and the Queen or Governor-General will remain private. This is a fundamental protocol of our government. (* Added by us and not in the original quote.)
Perhaps the greatest benefit of our system is that the Queen, having no public political history, is free from party ties and can thus represent all the citizens of the country. The same might not be said of a Governor-General which is why the Prime Minister who puts forward a name for submission to the Queen for her approval as the next Governor-General has to act very carefully indeed. Such has not always been the case at Federal and State level and the result has rebounded on the Prime Minister or Premier to their discredit. We do not know if the Sovereign questions a submitted name but if a Premier or a Prime Minister is determined to submit a name without having taken soundings from all parties and arms of government then the onus falls directly on him if matters do not work out - not the Sovereign. The Australian Monarchist League believes that the Leader of HM Opposition should be asked to be a part of the submission process.
F Hugh Eveleigh
THE AUSTRALIAN - OPINION - February 4, 2022
February 4, 2022
This Sunday marks 70 years since Queen Elizabeth II acceded the throne upon the death of her father, King George VI. Predictably, the Australian Republican Movement has marked the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with another proposal for an Australian republic. The latest model – a hybrid direct election from up to 11 candidates selected via nominations from all levels of government – would likely pitch a future Australian President against a Prime Minister, politicising our Head of State. Even the standard bearers of Australian Republicanism Paul Keating and Malcolm Turnbull don’t see this model succeeding.
While our Westminster system of government isn’t perfect, it’s hard to see the ARM’s model rivalling the stability and strength the Queen has given us over the last 70 years. Since 1952, the Queen’s leadership has outlived that of 15 Australian prime ministers, and 14 British prime ministers. The Queen remains a popular and highly respected figure both in Australia and abroad. According to a December 2021 YouGov poll she is the third most admired woman in the world (behind Michelle Obama and Angelina Jolie) and, despite the ARM’s best efforts, only 36% of respondents in a recent poll of Australians said they would support a republic (with 38% unsure). This popularity ensures there is no prospect of another referendum while the Queen is alive.
Republicans wouldn’t dare. Of course, when Charles becomes King that may be another matter. What it is about the Queen that commands such respect? Stability is one thing – that’s a given in some respects; she’s not elected. But it’s worth reflecting that the popularity of republicanism in Australia has never matched the ambitions of its advocates. This is down to the Queen whose absolute commitment to the Crown makes her unrivalled among our leaders. She sees her job as incredibly important to the stability of the 15 countries over which she reigns. The institution of the monarchy gives those societies a stability that a directly elected presidential system cannot.
For the monarchy to survive, the way the Queen conducts herself is vital to its survival. Whatever the Queen’s private tribulations (and there have been a few), she has put her commitment to the Crown above them. It can’t have been easy to strip her son Prince Andrew and grandson Prince Harry of their titles, or due to Covid restrictions to sit alone in St George’s Chapel mourning the death of her husband of 73 years while the revellers at Downing Street partied hard.
The Queen’s commitment to her subjects followed the extraordinary example set by her parents during World War II. Unlike many British aristocrats, King George VI and his wife Queen Elizabeth stayed in London during the Blitz, visiting bombed civilians and injured members of the armed services. When Buckingham Palace was bombed, the Queen Mother said that she was glad that it had been bombed because she wanted to look the East End in the face.
The Queen’s sense of duty was evident even before she acceded the throne. Despite her father’s serious illness, she and her husband proceeded with a long tour with plans to visit Australia. The visit was cut short in Kenya when she received the news of her father’s death.
In Australia, Federal MPs were gathered in Canberra for an unusually early February sitting of the Federal Parliament as the External Affairs Minister Richard Casey was attempting to hurry through the passage of the Pacific Pact (or ANZUS treaty) and the Japanese Peace Treaty before the Royal tour began.
Word first arrived that the King had died via the Press Gallery. Prime Minister Robert Menzies was interrupted while chairing a Cabinet Meeting to be given the news. Casey was in the middle of his second reading speech for the passage of the Japanese Peace Treaty oblivious to the reason why the press Gallery was filling up in anticipation of an announcement. Once Casey had finished, Menzies adjourned proceedings in the House of Representatives to await official confirmation of the news. Minutes later the Australian High
Commission in London confirmed the King’s death and Menzies stood on the floor of Parliament to announce officially and with some emotion the death of the King.
The apogee of the Queen’s popularity was surely the occasion of her first Royal Visit in 1954. The 27-year- old Queen spent 58 days travelling around Australia, visiting 57 towns in total. Over a million people turned out to watch her arrival at Farm Cove in Sydney on 3 February, out of a population of 1.8 million. By the end of the visit, 75% of Australians had seen the Queen at least once during the tour. It was a visit to rival any Beatles mania.
Reflecting on the importance of the monarchy at the time, Menzies observed that the “profound and passionate feelings of loyalty and devotion” to the Queen amongst Australians were “the very cement of the whole social structure”. Popular monarchism may have come down a notch since then, but the Queen remains a highly respected leader and a powerful symbol of stability in a world where that is sadly rare and much needed.
Georgina Downer is the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of the Robert Menzies Institute at Melbourne University.
aiding disaffected Australians in Her Majesty’s name.
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