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The IRA and an Australian republic Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Monday, 24 January 2005

Most visitors to Australia decline to become involved in our internal affairs. Not so the Sinn Fein politician, Gerry Adams, who advised Australians to vote yes in the referendum. Mr Adams has always denied any involvement in the IRA, but his colleague, Mr Martin McGuiness has since admitted his role in the terrorist organization.

 Some years ago two young Australians were murdered by the IRA in the Netherlands. They were mistaken for British soldiers. The IRA apologised but would not hand over the murderers. Our then Prime Minister, Mr Hawke contemptuously rejected the apology. A recent story has another Australian connection. This was the robbery of an Australian owned bank in Northern Ireland. The amount taken was enormous. The police concluded it was an IRA activity; so did the Prime Minister of the Irish Republic.

We are waiting on  Australian eupublicans to distance themselves from IRA support.

 

 

 
Creeping republicanism again Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Monday, 24 January 2005
The recent poll in WA, drawn to our attention by a very observant reader, Matthew Blake, and the Herald Sun poll demonstrate that Australians are not interested in republicanism. It is difficult therefore to understand why some politicians keep pushing republicanism. One form is creeping republicanism which indicates the politicians are just not willing to wait until the people agree, but are determined to take action now to remove every sign and symbol indicating our heritage. They have however given up on the flag-for the time being.
Read more...
 
Mark Latham's republicanism by exhaustion Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Monday, 17 January 2005

Ivan Molloy was the controversial ALP candidate for Fairfax, and was famously and mistakenly referred to by Mark Latham in a press conference as Ivan Milat, the notorious murderer.

His wife is also controversial, particularly when she said all Liberal MP’s were responsible for the bombing in Bali. Then the Courier Mail accused Dr Molloy of being associated with a Philippine terrorist group and published a photograph which they said supported this. Dr Molloy defends himself in the SMH/Age Good Weekend, 15 January, 2005.

For us, the interesting aspect was the revelation that Dr Molloy is a committed republican, and that he debated John Howard on the republic at the University of Queensland in late 1995. He claims he won the debate.

 Another committed republican in the news is Dr Glynn Davis, a former public servant who has become Vice Chancellor of the University of Melbourne. He served on Paul Keating’s Republic Advisory Committee, which went around the country unsuccessfully trying to raise enthusiasm for the republic. As Tony Abbott said, its success can be measured by the fact that some of its public meetings could have been held in a phone booth! When Dr Davis was Vice Chancellor of Griffith University he presided over a conference about the constitutional future of Australia. Unlike Corowa, no one from ACM was invited to speak, which quite frankly, was a relief. ...... If you speak against republicanism at these gatherings, as we have found, some republicans behave very badly. This happened to some of us in the deliberative poll at old Parliament House in 1999, and at Corowa –where we were invited.

It also happened when Kerry Jones and I appeared before the Senate Committee last year at Parramatta. Our appearance was interrupted by the loud, frequent, noisy, and often incomprehensible interjections of a crew of elderly republicans.

Senator Bolkus, the Chairman observed to a colleague at the end of the session," I thought there was going to be a riot," a rather improbable eventuality given the age and immobility of most of the interjectors. They were not called to order, and I never protested- it was all far too amusing.

 Incidentally Dr Davis’ predecessor at Melbourne, Professor Alan Gilbert, once distinguished himself during the referendum by observing that if we voted No we would become an international laughing stock!

He has now been appointed a Vice-Chancellor of a British university. This could be interesting-it is not unusual for British Vice Chancellors to be knighted.

In the meantime the respect we enjoy in the region and the rest of the world has never been higher. Some laughing stock! 

 Mark Latham’s biographer, Craig McGregor, must also be a republican. Writing in The Age on 15 January, 2005, he urges the ALP to keep Mr. Latham as leader, a matter on which ACM has no position. Arguing about it with what he describes as a Latham sceptic the other night, he says he quickly ran through the worthy proposals Mr Latham had presented to the Australian people during the election campaign. Apart from some predictable matters on which ACM again has no position- he added something which even the republican press and Mr Latham himself avoided like the plague during the campaign.

 This was, you guessed it … 'moving towards a republic'. Mr Latham promised the impossible-a vote every year to turn us into a republic. You have heard of creeping republicanism-this is, surely, exhausting republicanism.

 
Staggering cost of republic Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Saturday, 15 January 2005

The year 2005 began with some last ditch attempts by some republicans to revive the Head of State argument, the issue that just does not cause Australians any sleepless nights. I

n the meantime, we received some interesting information about the costs of elections, so we thought we might raise the one question republicans avoid-how much will it cost? Also we have the latest on the bill to change the succession, some compelling evidence that republicanism is not only on the wane here, it is certainly so in the UK. We have our say on the pathetic behaviour of too many in the British press in relation to Prince Harry. To read some of the commentariat, you would assume that their youth was spent in monasteries and nunneries- imagine if they had had the lens of the paparazzi on them when they had just left school even in their private moments! 

 

Read more...
 
Never stand between republicans and royalty Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Saturday, 15 January 2005

The Weekend Australian, 15-16 January, 2005, has a piece on royal spectacles in London. The lead in said:

"When it comes to pageantry, pomp and circumstance, nobody does it better than the Brits. Tears well up, even in the eyes of avowed republicans."

 That is so true. Never stand between royalty,even pretenders to some obscure throne, and a gaggle of Australian republicans. If you do, you will be knocked over in the stampede.! The piece in The Australian gives information on how Australians can obtain places to the Trooping of The Colour, Royal Ascot, and other events.

 Republicans may , and no doubt will apply.

 
The tide is turning Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Tuesday, 21 December 2004

The Speaker of the Tasmanian Parliament and ALP member for Lyons, the Honourable Michael Polley has called on Tasmania’s Federal Government members to stand up for Tasmania and ensure that Prince Charles does visit Tasmania next year. He said:

" Tasmania is the only Australian jurisdiction with a genuine claim on royalty, and it would be fantastic to see the Prince of Wales here visiting the home State of the Princess of Denmark. Indeed, as the future King, Prince Charles should be visiting all the States, not just a selected few. Tasmanians have been shocked by the revelation that the Prime Minister intervened to prevent Prince Charles from including Tasmania on his itinerary. It is up to our Tasmanian Liberal representatives in Canberra to fix this situation urgently, and to ensure that the Prince doesn’t miss out on visiting our beautiful State when he is in Australia next year."

 Mr Polley went on to point out that Tasmanians are strong supporters of the constitutional monarchy, as demonstrated in the 1999 referendum. He is to be commended for his strong support for the Crown, his respect for his Oath and his regard for the wishes of Tasmanians. He is a democrat. Congratulations, Mr Polley!

The federal government has denied that the Prime Minister intervened to prevent the prince from visiting Tasmania, but will consider the concerns of Tasmanians. 

 The tide is turning in all over Australia as support for a republic declines. As an Indian newspaper, the Midday Mumbai ( 22 December), observed, the concept of an Australian republic has all but vanished.

Read more...
 
Republic plan doomed, says Malcolm Turnbull Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Saturday, 11 December 2004

It always helps in life, particularly in matters relating to the future governance of this country, to know what people are actually thinking.

 I recently dined in an Indian restaurant in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs. It was an excellent meal, but at the beginning I noticed the waiter circling and smiling. He came over with the owner, a charming lady in a sari.

 The following conversation ensued.

Waiter: I know you...I have seen you on TV. You are … you are… let me think …you are…your name is … Malcolm Turnbull, the republican!

 Following the roars of laughter from my table, I said:

The other side, actually.

He smiled: Of course you are, you were on the other side -you had a spokeswoman, Kerry, Kerry….. your daughter!

In less than two minutes, I had been Malcolm Turnbull, then Kerry Jones father!

Now according to Michael Gordon writing in The Age on 11 December, 2004, the real Malcolm Turnbull, the member for Wentworth in the House of Representatives, has warned that while he indicated his strong support for a republic in his maiden speech, a future referendum offering a directly elected president would be doomed to fail.

.

Read more...
 
Lessons from the Ukraine and from our election Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Saturday, 04 December 2004

The crisis in the Ukraine reminded me that many of the former communist states decided to adopt constitutions which graft onto the Westminster system, where governments are responsible to Parliament, the office of an elected president who shares executive powers with the Prime Minister and the government.

 This of course results in competition between the president and the Prime Minister, particularly, but not only when they come from different parties (the French call this cohabitation)

Read more...
 
Eureka! Plan to use celebrities to promote republic. Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Thursday, 02 December 2004
You will have seen the excellent report from Diana Melleuish and Stephen Copeman on this site about the conference on Eureka. But the claims being made about Eureka, and the suggestion its anniversary supplant Australia and Anzac Day call for a reponse. If we actually look at recorded history, we find that many of the claims about Euerka just cannot be sustained.
Read more...
 
Eureka Diary Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Monday, 29 November 2004
Last weekend two ACM observers attended the Eureka 150 Democracy Conference at the University of Ballarat in Victoria. This conference was held to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Eureka Stockade uprising and to assess its impact on the development of democracy in Australia.
 

Their observations, one by Dina Melleush and the other by Young
ACM Coordinator Stephen Copeman follow.  Both articles will be
in the next issue of ACM’s newsletter which is going to press shortly.

                 
Read more...
 
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