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ACM Home arrow Latest News and Opinions arrow The Contradictions Of A Republican Royal Watcher

The Contradictions Of A Republican Royal Watcher Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Saturday, 26 March 2005

Crikey.com.au has just published another contribution from Barry Everingham, the republican royal watcher whose opinions and stories appear regularly in the press.

Mr Everingham is entitled to his republican views, but they do stand strangely with his fascination for all things monarchical. As a psychologist said , seeing the strange behaviour of Basil Fawlty with Manuel, there is a thesis there!

On second thoughts not so- his is only an egregious example of elite republican behaviour. A word of warning. Never stand between royalty and Sydney’s republican establishment-you will be knocked over in the rush! One of the correspondents to the Daily Telegraph (8 March 2005) put it in a way we could not:-

Sir,

With the visit of Mary and Frederik of Denmark, I have noticed an amusing irony-the royal gala dinners were full of old, fat republicans stuffing their faces!

Jacqueline De Cotta, Richmond

But back to Mr Everingham’s peculiar fascination with royalty. He clearly wants us to know of his intimacy with them.

He recently told us of a conversation he had in New York with the late Princess of Wales. Earlier he repeated a comment he claims was made to his cousin-yes, his cousin- by the Duke of Edinburgh about the referendum, of course. It seems a platoon of journalists, and the former Governor of Tasmania were all together in a wardrobe listening to the reactions of The Queen and Prince Philip on the 6th of Novemeber 2005!

No wonder our legal system treats most hearsay evidence as worthless!

Mr Everingham is of course entitled to dream of royalty, if he must. But he is not entitled to defame members of the Royal family.If it were anyone else, a writ would follow, so the media is careful. It seems you can now say anything, however revolting or disgusting about the Royal Family.

In any event, Crikey published my response to his latest contribution under the headline,

David Flint vs. Barry Everingham: Round Two.

They described me as the former ABA head and die-hard monarchist. This was my response:

The republican movement’s argument that Camilla Parker-Bowles would become Queen of Australia on Prince Charles' accession, and that together they would be our Head of State, is misleading. Mrs Parker-Bowles can never be Queen of Australia, just as Prince Philip is not King of Australia.

Under the Royal Style and Titles Act, 1954-1973, the only Australian Royal Title is the one conferred on the reigning Sovereign, the Queen or King of Australia. (This is incidentally the one position in our nation which attracts neither salary nor superannuation).

The wife or husband of the Sovereign has no constitutional position, title, power or authority in Australia. While the parliaments of Australia, the UK, Canada, NZ and all the other realms must all agree on any changes to the succession, the requirement for uniformity no longer applies to royal titles. This is consistent with the emergence of a separate Australian Crown, recognised by the High Court.

It is also clear that the British courtesy title, Queen Consort, will also not be used, just as the governor of NSW does not use hers. In addition, it is worth pointing out that the title Head of State has never been conferred on The Queen. Instead, whenever the Governor-General travels overseas, he is held out by the Australian government, and he is received by foreign governments and international organisations, including the UN, as the Australian Head of State.

Republicans unsuccessfully used the prospect of this marriage in the referendum campaign, and repeating this now suggests they have learned little. And the fact that your "royal watcher" has to resort to insulting and belittling terms only reflects the lack of substance in his argument. Rather than this storm in a teacup, the republican movement should be explaining why many more millions of taxpayers’ funds should be diverted from schools, hospitals and transport to be used on their convoluted and extremely costly plan. This will actually involve three separate votes – and that at the federal level only!

Senator Marise Payne, who holds high office in the ARM, now realises this plan will result in a republican model being put to the people which Malcolm Turnbull says is so flawed the people will reject it by a majority greater than in 1999.

Yours etc,

.....

Until next time,
David Flint.
 
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