Features Australia

The Palace should be warned

Republicanism is near-comatose. Don’t revive it

7 February 2020

10:00 PM

7 February 2020

10:00 PM

Visiting Argentina last week, I could not help but notice how lush and green the countryside was. Little wonder; forest fires had fallen  by 28 per cent from the previous year. While we have been told by the NSW minister in charge of such things that the increase in Australia is caused by global warming, surely then the decrease in Argentina must be similarly caused.

Of course, there could be another explanation. The facts may one day be revealed through scientific research, but it is far too early. There are too many inconsistencies, failures in projections, egos and dazzling financial incentives as well as too much theology, arrant hypocrisy and damage being done by precipitate half-baked conclusions wrapped up in a new doctrine of infallibility to have any confidence at all in the establishment position. It would be naive not to be suspicious about the hysteria, the money involved and the political manoeuvres played at home and abroad.

There is also the clear, obvious and unavoidable truth that whatever damage is  done to Australia by the politicians, even were they to turn off all our 1.3 per cent of the world’s emissions, not the slightest difference to the temperature would be made. (Bushfires might be reduced because of the inability for arsonists to find any fuel.)

It is completely untrue to say ‘the’ science is settled.

As  noted here last October, the leading British scientist Professor Richard Holdaway, for seventeen years director of the UK-based RAL Space with 250 of the world’s best space scientists and engineers reporting to him, insists that around 40 per cent of today’s climate scientists do not support the global warming theory. Yet their views are to be found in only about one per cent of mainstream media reports.

This bias is not unusual. For example, few media outlets reported, at least seriously, the fact that Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign was subjected to unjustified court-approved electronic surveillance which continued well into his presidency. When Trump reported this, it was dismissed as next to deranged on  most Australian current affairs. Just as most of the media constantly bend over backwards to dismiss any suggestion of  impropriety in Hunter Biden’s vast and curious income from the Ukraine and China to say nothing of the other four members of the Biden family who were similarly greatly enriched while Joe was Vice President. Or how slow media outlets were to reveal the absence of any justification for the Russian investigation or for the Trump impeachment.

In addition to rarely reporting scientific dissent on global warming, the media rarely reveals the fact that most politicians and other public figures who demand the people reduce their carbon dioxide emissions enjoy, as some latter-day Versailles aristocracy, massive and ever-growing CO2 footprints. The principal exception the media make in mentioning large footprints are members of the Royal Family. The reason is not so much the commentariat are republicans — they rarely read and if they did would hardly ever agree with Locke or Montesquieu―— but they usually harbour an obsession against the Royal Family. As  most are also staunch global warmists, Prince Charles does put them in a quandary.

This issue now even touches constitutional matters. As The Spectator Australia’s editor points out, the current Westminster version of constitutional monarchy is based on leadership beyond politics; indeed, that is its strength. This means that the Crown, including the viceroys,  must have no public position on political issues. And among those there could be none more cogent than global warming.

The Palace should be warned. The editor, one of the rare ones in any of the realms who both understands and strongly  supports the constitutional monarchy system, has rung a warning bell about the activities of those in the immediate succession to the several thrones, and especially the Prince of Wales, on the ground that they are as bound to political neutrality as the Sovereign.

Now Charles could mount several defences. But one would not pass muster. That is to claim that using the unproven and scientifically-disputed theory of global warming as the basis for a massive action package is not political. He would be on firmer ground to point out that no prime minister or opposition leader openly dissents from the theory. (In fact it is almost only in the US that we find a leader with that rare strength.)

The precedent of the Prince Regent as a political player belongs to the earlier version of constitutional monarchy when  this was normal. He could better use the precedents which began with the former ALP NSW Premier and then superbly successful Governor-General Sir William McKell. Sir Robert Menzies had attacked the appointment, but in office he was persuaded that Sir William was an impeccable viceroy. The problem in using this as a defence is Sir William hardly expected to rise to that position, Charles has known this since he was a boy.

If Charles continues to campaign, will this do any damage to the Crown? Indeed, it could turn some so-called republicans into supporters of the Crown. And while it will annoy some monarchists, it will probably not change them into republicans. Monarchists are rarely so fickle or so shallow.

In any event republicanism is now near-comatose even in Australia where it has long been little more than a pathological or at times infantile aversion to royalty. Twenty years after the declared inevitable Keating-Turnbull  republic was defeated in a landslide, the movement is holding a two-year consultation to unite republicans around some as yet totally unknown model.

That is nothing more than the white flag of surrender. In the meantime, Charles, who is an honourable and well -intentioned man, should now at least hear and hear regularly the views of those, including but not only supporters of the Crown, who have constantly put powerful and entirely honourable arguments against what remains still an unproven theory.

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