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ACM Home arrow People's Republic?

People's Republic?

A People's Republic

 

   

In the history of Australian republicanism, our second republican movement was inspired by and led by the Communist Party of Australia. This  movement continued for more than the first half of the twentieth century.

The Communists or Bolsheviks planned to establish a People’ Republic on the Soviet model found in Russia and Eastern Europe. There, the monarchy was seen as a check and balance on the government’s power, and was terminated wherever one existed.

The move to establish a communist people’s republic in Australia succeeded the  first significant republican movement on this land.

This was the movement in the second half of the nineteenth century to establish a white supremacist republic outside of the British Empire.

Its proponents were dissatisfied with the tolerant racial policy of the colonial authorities both as regards immigration but alos in relation to the indigenous people.

Those in favour of a White Australia realised this could be achieved by the new federal entity, which the founders ensured had power to deal with immigration.A white republic outside of the Empire was not necessary.  British opposition to a race based immigration policy could be disregarded at the federal level.

In the hope of placating London, the policy was disguised by the administration of a dictation test. This transparent piece of hypocrisy was borrowed from South Africa. The strongest support for the policy came from the Labor Party and the unions, who feared that their newly won standards would be reduced by Asian immigration.

 



A People's Republic of Australia Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 31 August 2008

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“We often forget how strong the Australian communists were in the 1940’s in the unions, how they opposed the World War II efforts, sometimes even after Russia became our ally after the 1941 Nazi invasion,” observed Cardinal Pell on 12 August, 2008.

His Eminence was launching “B.A. Santamaria: Running the Show: Selected Documents 1939-1996,” edited by Patrick Morgan for the Melbourne University Press.

He pointed out that in 1945, the Communist Party still had a majority of 90 votes at the Australian Congress of Trade Unions.

Subsidised from Moscow, they had no electoral support, but managed to control key unions, usually through manipulating the elections.

Their plan was to change our country into a Peoples’ Republic on the East European model.

This People's Republic of Australia, with one party government, would be part of a brutal Marxist empire ultimately responsible for the death of 80 to 100 million people, and the enslavement of many more.

They were thus the second serious republican movement this country has known, in between the White supremacists of the late nineteenth century who saw republicanism as a way to escape from the British Empire’s liberal immigration policy, and the notion of racial equality so clearly enunciated by Queen Victoria herself.

Cardinal Pell points out that it was only through the Industrial Groups that the communists were defeated.

This was the great achievement of a most distinguished Australian, B.A. Santamaria.

 

Working through the parishes of the Catholic Church, he established a movement which by the early 1950’s had 6000 members in 350 districts with 100 factory and union groups.

This book is a natural companion to the superb collection of BA Santamaria’s letters,  once again edited so well by Patrick Morgan, “ B.A. Santamaria : Your Most Obedient Servant."






...he was no republican...




  When I attended the launch earlier this year of  “B.A. Santamaria : Your Most Obedient Servant,” I took the opportunity to ask a very close colleague of BA Santamaria about his attitude to republicanism. 

 His answer was that Santamaria was a strong constitutionalist and a firm believer in federalism. 

 Never once did he hear him suggest that the Crown be removed and Australia become a republic. 

Santamaria died in 1998.


 He had enjoyed an extraordinary influence on the political life of the nation. 

He led the fight against the communist dominance of the union movement, concentrated as it was in Australia’s strategic industries at a time when a world war between the Soviet Union and the West was widely feared and when the communists were expected to form a fifth column. 

 


...support for the constitution...
 


 

 While Santamaria wrote on and was interested in all serious political developments,  there seems to be nothing in his prolific correspondence proposing the grafting of a republic onto our constitutional system. 

This is confirmed in a comment in a speech B.A. Santamaria gave in 1978, which is reported in the latest volume at page 373.

He was referring to the struggle within the Australian Union of Students. This has some relevance today with suggestion the Rudd government may re-introduce compulsory membership of such unions.

 

In 1975, Sanatmaria feared that the AUS seemed likely to achieve its objective of transforming 260,000 students into a substantial revolutionary force which with the trade unions could use “political strikes and violent demonstrations to force a Labor government away from constitutional into revolutionary courses.”

 

His assessment of Gough Whitlam’s attempts to rule without a grant of supply confirm Santamaria’s strong constitutionalism.

He says: “While Mr. Whitlam was in no sense a revolutionary, neither was he very fussy about constitutional propriety.

 

“His proposal to govern without supply voted by the Senate as well as the House of Representatives, as prescribed by the Federal Constitution, had it succeeded, would merely have rescued him from the temporary embarrassment of proximate defeat.”


“But it would have also provided the revolutionary forces with the revolutionary precedent on which they would have capitalised: that, not his embarrassment, was what was important.”


These are the thoughts of a strong constitutionalist. It is to be hoped that in the education of our youth, attention is given to the extraordinary role B.A. Santamaria played in the life of our nation.

 
New media in the Peoples' Republic. Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Wednesday, 30 April 2008

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Just because the Prime Minister drew inspiration for the 2020 Summit from Mao Tse-tung's famous observation "Let a hundred flowers bloom, let the hundred schools of thought contend," does not mean the media should behave as though they operate under a one party state.

In the euphoria of the rigged vote and the monumentally silly recommendation of “ ending ties with the UK” at the Summit governance panel, some media people have launched a campaign to say monarchists have lost the will to defend our constitutional monarchy.

This has no basis in fact.

John Hartigan and  Mike Steketee should read this column on 23 April 2008 , “Republic: they didn't “lose the tarts’ vote.”


...Peter FitzSimons' wishful thinking... 


As for Peter FitzSimons, he writes in The Sun-Herald of 27 April, 2008, that he misses the old days when if he put a “republican rant,” he could count on hundreds of outraged emails and letters.

He says that after his “recent unfortunate outburst” he “just knew that Professor David Flint would fire up...and he didn’t! And just about no one else did either.”

Mr. FitzSimons is as mistaken as he was when he planned his failed “ mate for a head of state” campaign, the subject of our special report of 13 August 2006.

In the column, “Humpty Dumpty enters republican debate” ( 13 April 2008) we discussed Mr. FitzSimons' proposal for what he called this “simple referendum question:
 

“ Do you believe that this is the 21st century after all, and if so, do you think it high time that we backed ourselves as a grown up people capable of governing ourselves without recourse to the current embarrassing anachronistic system, whereby our head of state is selected by every generation putting a baseball mitt to the highest nether regions of the English aristocracy?”  

As we said in the column, we suspect this would require a supplemental grant to the electoral commission’s printing budget.

In his latest piece Mr. 
FitzSimons writes:

“ This time ,it really seems as if the mood has changed, as if monarchists realise they can only hold back the tide of history for so long, and that the time really has come to back ourselves to be capable of governing ourselves .

“ If by 2010, all the better.”

Mr. FitzSimons does not realise that we have long been independent.


....monumentally silly recommendation...


It is not surprising that he does not know.  It seems that most of the people on the governance panel at the 2020 Summit chaired by Mr. Hartigan and Maxine McKew MP also don’t know this.

If they did know, why did they let such a monumentally silly recommendation pass?


As Sir David Smith observed in a letter published in the Canberra Times on 22 April 2008:

“In the initial report of the 2020 summit, the top idea from the governance panel proposed that stage 1 of the plan to introduce an Australian republic should include ‘ending ties with the UK’.
 

“What a pity that not one of the summiteers was able to tell the panel that the the Hawke Government’s Constitutional Commission, with Gough Whitlam as one of its members and Sir Zelman Cowen as one of its advisers, had reported in 1988 that ‘at some time between 1926 and the end of World War II Australia had achieved full independence as a sovereign state of the world.  The British Government ceased to have any responsibility in relation to matters coming within the area of responsibility of the Federal Government and Parliament.’” 

In our column, “Summit Laughing Stock,” (20 April, 2008)“ we did  refer to certain residual ties with the UK which lasted until 1986.

But these did not affect our independence – they continued because we wanted them to, or at least our politicians could not work out what they wanted in their place.

I did not see Mr FitzSimons piece because I was in Melbourne. Having read it, I can only say that Mr FitzSimons is engaging in wishful thinking.

One of the functions I attended in that gracious city was a very well attended meeting to consider our strategy.

This is about the way we will fight the way republicans hope to transfer even more taxpayers’ funds from schools, hospitals, water etc into working out how they they will shred, again at the taxpayers' expense, our constitutional system and our flag.

So don’t set your hopes too high, Mr. FitzSimons.  
   
 
An inevitable People's Republic? Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Saturday, 20 October 2007

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The republicans’ ultimate argument is that a republic is inevitable. John Ralston Saul wrote in The Australian review of 20 February, 2004 that “Inevitability is the traditional final justification for failing ideologies.”  And if a republic is inevitable, why are republicans so anxious to push it? 

Perhaps we already have one. According to The Australian 20 October 2007, Mr Kevin Rudd, the Leader of HM Loyal Australian Opposition says he comes from “the people’s republic of Queensland.”  The term was first adopted by communist dictators in Europe, Asia and Africa, including incidentally, those which were previously constitutional monarchies. A few non- communist states then began to use the term, including Colonel Gaddafi’s “Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.” More recently, it has been used in a jocular sense to describe left wing dominated entities. Thus Waverley Council in Sydney was described in this column on 11 January, 2006 as the People’s Republic of Bondi, when under left wing control it refused to fly our flag over the Bondi Pavilion, a position it was forced to abandon because of public outrage. Given the context, in which Mr. Rudd was saying there is a “digital divide” even in Queensland , we think Mr. Rudd was employing irony with the press. (The term “digital divide,” as Mr. Rudd used it, refers to the fact that some people do not for various reasons, rely on computers.)  

 As we reported in this column on 23 September, 2007, Mr. Rudd has announced that if he were to become prime minister, a referendum on some sort of republic will be held within three years, probably 2010. On Channel 10’s “Meet the Press” on 23 September 2007 Labor’s shadow health minister Nicola Roxon declared that “the republic will be an issue that we will pursue passionately.” This is not the view of traditional Labor voters.

The Prime Minister, Mr Howard, is opposed to a republic, but his likely successor if the Coalition wins, Peter Costello, favours a republican model similar to the one rejected in 1999. The Liberal Party, founded by a very strong constitutional monarchist, Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, now has no position on the question. Its Coalition partner, the National Party is strongly opposed to a republic.  

 
Communist support for republic Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Saturday, 08 July 2006
Hammer and sickle

If you saw some of the ABC programmes on the Communist Party of Australia in recent years you would have thought that they were no different than a benign, well intentioned church going group. Of course idealists once came to communism as the answer to the excesses of capitalism, especially after the depression. But the idealists were soon expelled or they left. The Communist Party planned to turn Australia into a peoples’ republic. Failing this they were ready to sabotage anything here to further the interests of the Soviet Union, which financed and directed them. Their only spark of independence came towards the end, and that led to the split into three communist parties, one Russian, one Chinese and one neutral.

The Communist Party of Australia was revived in recent years as a result of a name change by the Socialist Party. In the 1999 referendum campaign, the Party argued predictably that the monarchy is an “unwanted relic of feudalism in England and colonialism in Australia.” The comrades declared it irrelevant to the people of Australia. The party joined with the elites in the media and among the politicians to endorse the Keating –Turnbull model as “ an important, progressive step forward.”

Just before the referendum, on 20 October 1999, their journal, The Guardian reported that “a recent survey by Newspoll found that 64 percent of voters support Australia becoming a republic and 95 per cent believe Australia's head of state should be an Australian.” (Actually, in the year preceding the referendum, Newspoll recorded the level of support some sort of republic, which is in itself is meaningless. These fluctuated from about the mid forty percent to about the mid 50 percent, and never ever reached 64%. But on 12 September,1999 Newspoll inextricably changed to a convoluted question (see below) which obviously confused respondents and was never repeated.It is interesting that the comrades chose this one and ignored the others). The Guardian thundered to those who listened :

“The Communist Party urges you to vote "YES" for an Australian republic.”

They put out a pamphlet, For an independent and democratic republic of Australia.

No doubt they support the republicans latest plans to throw out our constitution.

Read more...
 
Corowa Conference 2001 Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Thursday, 16 May 2002

The Republic: Report from Corowa
Professor David Flint, AM

...The invitation...

The Corowa People's Conference was conceived and developed by the Hon Richard McGarvie, who insists he is neither a constitutional monarchist nor a republican, to approve a process to "resolve the Head of State issue". Mr McGarvie was formerly a judge of the Victorian Supreme Court, and then the Governor of Victoria. He is a distinguished jurist, and is the author of Democracy---Choosing Australia's Republic.

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Australians for Constitutional Monarchy (ACM) were invited by Mr McGarvie to send sixteen delegates, but we explained we saw no problem with the issue of an Australian Head of State, as we already had one. Even our most republican Prime Minister held out the Governor-General as Australia's Head of State to foreign governments and the United Nations, and officially declared him to be so. We made it clear, therefore, that we would not support any process to resolve a problem which just does not exist. Nevertheless, Mr McGarvie, a courteous and very decent man, wanted us to come. It was on that basis that we accepted.

With the support of a Victorian government agency, there was a major advertising drive for delegates. It was clear that only republicans would be interested in such a conference, and that proved to be the case. Strangely, several celebrities whom the organisers had said were coming, including former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and Victorian Premier Steve Bracks, did not turn up. Apart from a few who favour the existing Constitution, the self-selection process resulted in the attendance of a considerable number of lawyers. We knew this because speakers had to announce their names and their work. Quite soon, the designation "lawyer" was met with amusement---even exasperation---from the other delegates, even from those who themselves seemed to be republican lawyers!

It reminded me of Edmund Burke's surprise in finding that a very great proportion of the French revolutionary assembly were lawyers. Burke obviously did not think much of them. Most of them, he said, were:

"... the inferior, unlearned, mechanical, merely instrumental members of the profession...intoxicated with their unprepared greatness...(who)... must join in any project which could procure to them a litigious Constitution; which could lay open to them those innumerable lucrative jobs which follow in the train of all great convulsions and revolutions....".

I hasten to add that I have no reason at all to think this harsh description applies to those who came to Corowa!

...The shortlist...


  
 
 
Read more...
 
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