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The Australian editorialises for a republic Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 10 June 2001

Just after the announcement of the appointment of the new Governor-General, The Australian’s editorial returned to the question of a republic.

I responded with this letter;

"Sir,

I hope you will allow the following  response from Australians for Constitutional Monarchy to the very strong editorial in the 28-29 April edition.

You are right to editorialise (28-29 April) that we neither chose the new Governor-General nor indeed our Sovereign in the sense of electing them. But in 1999 Australians did indicate their overwhelming preference for our existing constitutional system. And this was against a strong campaign overwhelmingly supported and argued by our nation's rich new establishment.

 It is clear from the history of referenda that the Australian people will not allow any tinkering around with the constitution.

They are right in this, witness tinkering with the reserve powers in Sweden, and with the electoral system in New Zealand.

The point is that if Australians decide at some time to move to a republic - I stress if - they want two things. First, they choose the President and secondly the President have real powers - and not just in a crisis. How this would work with the Westminster system is anybody's guess. In that situation, the American system seems attractive - if you like wall-to-wall politicians, that is not only in the executive legislature but also in the judiciary. There is no leadership beyond politics in their system and the nation is consumed with adversary politics. That may seem very democratic, but there is an unanswered question about the US constitution. Why, unlike ours, has it never been successfully exported?

Yours etc,

 David Flint "

.

 
Keating v. Menzies Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 10 June 2001

In April, a wartime letter from Robert Gordon Menzies to our High Commissioner in London, Stanley Bruce was “found”. It formed the basis of an attack on one of the greatest and certainly most successful Prime Ministers.

Most of the letter had in fact been previously published.

Paul Keating, never backward when he can drag Menzies reputation down, thundered that this was proof of Menzies cowardly policy of appeasement.

That Menzies was an arch royalist no doubt explains much of Keating’s hatred – but both Curtin and Chifley were monarchists too. In fact Curtin recommended a Royal Duke as Governor-General!

I sent a response to this letter to the Sydney Morning Herald: 30 April 2001 :

Read more...
 
Laurie Oakes reproaches John Howard Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 10 June 2001

Among the several things the Bulletin’s Laurie Oakes reproaches John Howard for, one is that we are not a republic.

That John Howard did what Paul Keating didn’t - actually let the people vote on the republicans’ preferred model – seems to be beside the point.

I suspect the letters editors think it boring to allow anyone to write against the republic.But  editors don’t seem to want to stop their journalists from raising the same issue incessantly. After all, the people did vote No.

 So I pointed this out in this unpublished letter to The Bulletin.

Read more...
 
Philip Benwell attacks Governor-General; "Dont subvert the constitution"-"Fin Review Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 10 June 2001

 Mr Philip Benwell of the Australian Monarchist League has had two letters in the Herald, which is his right.

At the Convention the Monarchist League delegates refused, with the ACM delegates to vote “tactically”. This was to throw our weight behind the McGarvie model. If we had done that the McGarvie model would have obtained a majority, and would have been the model in the referendum. The ARM was terrified that we would do this – even though we said we would not as a matter of principle support any republican model. Moreover voting the argument vote “tactically” meant not only supporting the McGarvie model at the Convention – it meant opposing it at the referendum. This we would not do. And the Monarchist League delegates agreed with us on this.

Of course we may from time to time disagree on other matters –, as any of us will. As I do in relation to Philip Benwell’s two letters.

In one, he charged Archbishop Hollingworth with hypocrisy in accepting the Governor-Generalship. I think this view is harsh. As the Archbishop said at the Constitutional Convention, “my head inclines the one way and my heart another”. The Archbishop saw the Convention’s task as producing the best republican model to be put to the people. In any event he abstained on the crucial vote on what he correctly saw as a flawed republican model. He says he is happy with Australia’s current constitutional arrangements. In this he is like the overwhelming majority of Australians.

 Philip Benwell’s second letter was on the doctorate recently awarded by the Archbishop of Canterbury. True, there was no thesis, nor examination, as in the Ph.D. But it is not, as reported, an honorary doctorate. It is a higher doctorate. These are awarded for outstanding work, usually published in the field of the doctorate. Thus the LL.D., the Doctor of Laws, is awarded for published work of great distinction on the law. A Higher doctorate ranks before a Ph.D., and the SJD and similar degrees (a doctorate which includes both coursework and a thesis). It has nothing to do with an honorary doctorate. So it would be quite correct to address the Archbishop as Dr Hollingworth.

To return to and end on republicanism generally. It is clear that the question of a republic remains on the agenda.

The Australian Financial Review published this extract from my article in the latest issue of Quadrant.

Read more...
 
Republican movement faces cash crisis-cancels ball Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 10 June 2001

"BROKE ARM PASSES THE HAT AROUND" – "ARM FACES CASH CRISIS"

It is with these headlines that The Australian and the Daily Telegraph of 12 October report that the ARM is facing a funding crisis. It must raise $50,000 in the next four to six weeks.

 “Malcolm Turnbull is not paying the bills anymore”, lamented the only paid ARM employee, National Director James Terrie.

The ARM has just cancelled what was described as a ball, “The Second Coming” in Sydney on 13 October.

Apparently no one wanted to come.

This is the latest of a long series of “no-shows”.

Read more...
 
New ACM service Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 27 May 2001
Welcome to our new version  of our regular e mail Hot Topics circular!
We have be inundated by people wanting to receive this free news
service and are delighted to provide you with regular updates of
issues affecting ACM.

As always we welcome your input and response at any time. Please note
from now on material presented on the ACM Hot News site has been
approved by the ACM national convenor and executive director.

ACM has received many complaints at the inappropriate use by
opposition leader Kim Beazley of the Centenary of Federation
celebration in Melbourne to reignite his republican push .

National office hosted a supporters morning tea last Friday May 25th.
Philip Gibson (AIDC) and Kerry Jones discussed the issue of the
Governor General as our Australian Head of State: a position which has
clearly been confirmed over the last twenty years. Much documentation
was tabled which will feature in the next addition of the national ACM
constitutional news.

Please find below interesting information provided by Philip Gibson
regarding the serious deficiencies of the republican model presented
at the November 1999 referendum and as provided by leading
republicans.

The next national ACM function will be the Queen’s birthday luncheon.
The guest speaker will be Professor David Flint who will address us on
the new appointment of The Most Reverend Peter Hollingworth as our
Australian Governor General. (for more information look up our events
link on our web site www.norepublic.com.au )

Keep tuned to this service for the latest news updates.

Best wishes from ACM.Philip Gibson's contribution follows
Read more...
 
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