The Thistlethwaite Indoctrination Campaign
The Australian Monarchist League was disappointed to read The Sydney Morning Herald’s interview (3/9/22) with The Hon. Matt Thistlethwaite MP, Assistant Minister for the Republic.
Firstly, concerning this interview, The Sydney Morning Herald sought no comment from the Australian Monarchist League or the Vote No Republic campaign at large. The Australian Monarchist League has specifically requested that, in the interests of the Australian people, it be approached to provide equal commentary in opposition to applicable remarks published or aired by Mr Thistlethwaite, Peter FitzSimons, or any other republican spokesperson. This request was reported nationally only five days ago. The Australian Monarchist League is deeply concerned that The Sydney Morning Herald appears biased in its presentation of arguments pertaining to the removal of the Crown from the Constitution.
On 20 June 2022, representatives of the Australian Monarchist League spokespersons met with Mr Thistlethwaite, as did I via telephone. At this meeting, Mr Thistlethwaite expressed his intention to implement a national “education campaign” to better condition the Australian people to support voting for a republic at a referendum, a position he has now publicly confirmed in his interview with The Sydney Morning Herald.
The Australian Monarchist League considers an education campaign of such parameters nothing short of indoctrination.
In his interview, Mr Thistlethwaite outlines three explanations his education campaign will offer: 1) “that the Queen of England is [Australia’s] head of state; 2) “that we can have an Australian [as our head of state]”; and 3) “that there are alternative models about how we appoint [that Australian as our head of state]”.
Her Majesty The Queen is, by the Australian Constitution, Her Coronation oath and Acts of Parliament, Queen of Australia, not “Queen of England”. Indeed, the title “Queen of England” does not exist, revealing Mr Thistlethwaite’s constitutional and legal ineptitudes.
As Queen of Australia, Her Majesty is an Australian, just as she is a Canadian, a Papua New Guinean, a New Zealander, and so on. Moreover, by conferring upon her representative the Governor-General of Australia the powers of the Crown, she entrusts an eminent Australian with the capacity to discharge her Sovereign responsibilities as the Commonwealth’s executive head of state.
While there may indeed exist “alternative models” as to how a prospective President of Australia could be chosen, these models, be it their particulars or their inherent consequences, are poorly constructed within the minds of republicans, as evidenced by the deep internal division and mistrust which characterise the republican community. They are nothing more than undeveloped theories, and have no business manifesting in the classroom or the media.
In any case, however, even if these theories were fully conceived, they do not remotely challenge the political, economic, sociocultural and diplomatic strengths of our present constitutional arrangements.
Had The Sydney Morning Herald contacted the Australian Monarchist League for comment, Mr Thistlethwaite’s misinformation could easily have been avoided.
The Hon. Eric Abetz
Australian Monarchist League
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