The front page banner headline on the London Daily Express (21/5) proclaimed a disturbing message: ‘Monarchy on the brink’.
The story was that the Queen was ‘under threat’ and facing ‘a serious challenge’ to her holding the position of Australian head of state. But as politicians, diplomats and international lawyers know, Malcolm Turnbull admits and statute declares, this position is our governor-general’s.
The report was about the latest developments concerning Paul Keating’s child, fake republicanism.
He long ago gave Turnbull the job of delivering this, a task in which he monumentally failed, despite vast riches and widespread political and almost total mainstream media support.
Just as well, because when Australians realise the sort of republicanism Keating prefers, they will thank their lucky stars voters so overwhelmingly rejected the 1999 Keating-Turnbull fake republic.
It was at Latrobe University in 2017 that Paul Keating first publicly revealed his preference. He lavished praise on one particular republic producing ‘the best government in the world in the last thirty years.’
Observers might have thought he was speaking of some ancient republic, such as the United States or Switzerland.
He was not. His rich praise was reserved for the communist Peoples Republic of China. A one-party government whose true nature has, with the Wuhan coronavirus, been once again exposed. A government which, in recent elections, the people of Taiwan and Hong Kong demonstrated is the very last they wished to live under. A government which has long been itching to whisk away the rule of law from Hong Kong, which ridiculed the ruling against it by an independent tribunal about the massive theft of the South China Sea and which another tribunal found manages a despicable trade in human organs stripped from large numbers of healthy young prisoners of conscience.
Yet this is the form of republic which the father of Australian republicanism praised as ‘the best government in the world’.
I have long resisted increasing evidence linking such authoritarianism with what was being planned for Australia. The first indication of this came to me from a respected Real Republican during a 1999 referendum debate against Malcolm Turnbull at Corowa organised by the Australian.
I had told my fellow debater, the highly respected former independent MP and Real Republican, Ted Mack, about my difficulty in persuading the official republicans that their model was highly flawed. This was because it would give the prime minister vast powers not contemplated under the Westminster system, turning the president into a puppet.
Ted replied, ‘Don’t waste your time. That’s precisely what they want.’
Link that advice to the Daily Express report and there is much to be concerned about. The Express report centred on an interview with the latest in an endless line of national directors of the allegedly ‘resurgent’ republican movement.
Their problem was that hardly anybody was interested in the fact that last January they buried their failed two decades policy to vandalise the constitution.
This involved tricking Australians into circumventing the referendum process for an unconstitutional vote of no confidence in one of the world’s oldest constitutions.
The ’new’ strategy is for republicans to agree, over two years, on a new model to go straight to a referendum. The flies in the ointment are still the Real Republicans, generously funded from Labor grandee Clem Jones’ estate. They will never accept politicians choosing the president, but neither will the political class ever accept the people doing this.
But that’s not all. Most of the political class are embedded in the Beijing lobby, many having done extremely well. They have ensured that of the key Anglosphere countries, as recently revealed by the prestigious Henry Jackson Society, Australia has the biggest strategic trade dependency on Beijing. The mainly republican politicians have allowed strategic and premium assets to be acquired by corporations which are communist- controlled fronts, as demonstrated by their behaviour in the Wuhan coronavirus crisis.
The Express reveals that the republican movement hopes to get the political class to agree on a republic where the people elect the president, but one who is impotent, stripped of the governor-general’s reserve or discretionary powers.
Those powers came with the emergence of the Westminster system in the 19th century, with the Crown no longer important for the power it wields, but rather, the power it denies others. This can be crucial when appointing or dismissing governments or granting elections. It provides a balance to the weakening of the separation of powers which ironically lives on in the US with the presidency, effectively an elective monarchy.
While the US was the favoured model for our constitution, when it came to the executive, our founders pulled back. Rejecting a proposal that the governor-general be elected, Sir Samuel Griffith insisted that the history of the US constitution had demonstrated the ‘unwisdom’ of having a US-style executive disassociated from parliament. Ours would be an antipodean Westminster system. Hitherto, republicans have debated not the formal stripping of the reserve powers, but their codification. Eventually, Gareth Evans threw his hands up in despair, declaring codification to be impossible.
This latest proposal to remove the reserve powers is nothing more than a confidence trick on the Real Republicans and on all Australia. An elected presidency would be constitutionally worthless, a mere satrap of Emperor Xi Jinping.
The political class would vastly increase their powers, having already captured our representative democracy to a degree unknown in comparable countries.
In Australia today, politics is a life-long career with candidates for political office rarely preselected on merit but rather for their loyalty to a power-broker. The resulting decline in the quality of government is shocking.
What is now on offer is a ‘republic’ designed to increase the politicians’ control over our lives and no doubt to move us even more than they already have into Beijing’s orbit, as the Victorian government is accelerating with extraordinary impunity.
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