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The constitutional debate
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Monday, 30 April 2001

4 May, 2001

 

This is the first of a series of occasional columns.  I welcome this opportunity to comment on the continuing debate, as I see it from an ACM perspective.

Australians clearly prefer the existing constitution over the alternative - that was the clear message from the 1999 referendum when, it should be stressed,  republicans put up the best model.  Of course, the republican movement tries to put a different picture on that.  In effect they claim that when the people said "No" they really meant "Yes".

Read more...
 
Our Head of State
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Tuesday, 10 April 2001

The sole strategy of republicans is to call for an Australian Head of State. If it can be shown that we already have one in our Governor-General, their whole strategy is destroyed. It also destroys the need for the ALP/Australian Republican Movement's proposed non-binding, costly and irresponsible, plebiscite 'to establish support for an Australian Head of State". Especially as it lacks any model to replace our existing Constitution.

 Here is the reasoning:

Read more...
 
Kim Beazley's cascading series of plebiscites and referenda.
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Tuesday, 10 April 2001

At the 2000 ALP National Conference, the Hon. Kim Beazley said: “We need a process which gives all Australians a greater sense of ownership and genuine involvement in any proposal for a republic. As I have said publicly, this could be achieved with the three-step consultative process which would begin with a plebiscite on the threshold question: Do we want an Australian as our Head of State.

If a majority of people agree, a second plebiscite would follow to determine the preferred mode of selecting the Head of State. Finally, a constitutional referendum would be held based on the outcome of the two plebiscites.”

Read more...
 
The constitutional debate:A review of Malcom Turnbull's " Fighting for the republic"
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Wednesday, 04 April 2001

This is the first of a series of occasional columns.

I welcome this opportunity to comment on the continuing debate, as I see it from an ACM perspective. Australians clearly prefer the existing constitution over the alternative - that was the clear message from the 1999 referendum when, it should be stressed, republicans put up the best model.

Of course, the republican movement tries to put a different picture on that. In effect they claim that when the people said "No" they really meant "Yes". Apart from this spin, another tactic is what is best described as "creeping republicanism". If you can't get a republic, attach and remove the symbols. Thus we see attempts to change the coinage, the bank notes, the coats of arms and the flag. Of course the Olympics ensured that republicans would retreat on the flag, at least for the time being. Sydneysiders will note however that the Town Hall hardly even uses the national flag in all the banners they commission regularly for various events.

So we had to have a controversy about the 50 cent coin commemorating the life of Sir Donald Bradman. Republicans were up in arms about... the platypus! As I reminded one radio presenter, when another country became a republic, the Prime Minister put his wife's image on the coins to replace the Queen, who is on our coins as a non-political symbol.

All this indicates what we well know - the republicans still won't do the "hard yards" and produce republican model which is as good as the present constitution. I was invited recently to write a review of Malcolm Turnbull's book Fighting for the Republic". I said to the editor - "You do know my views on the republic". He said "yes, we are also asking a republican to review Kerry's book."

That review follows.

Read more...
 
ACM Conference 2000
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 03 September 2000

Australians for Constitutional Monarchy will be holding their first National Conference in Sydney since the 1999 referendum. ACM National Convenor Professor David Flint said the focus of the conference, planning of which began in February, would be education. He said ACM had invited a number of constitutional experts to discuss the future of Australia's unique relationship with the Crown. 'This year's theme is 'The Way Ahead' and we have deliberately invited anumber of young Australians to present their vision for the future ofAustralia's Constitutional Monarchy,' Professor Flint said.'Damien Freeman's paper on 'Succession' is sure to spark debate amongstConstitutionalists.'We are also delighted that Sir David Smith has accepted an invitation topresent a paper.' Professor Flint said he hoped the conference would attract delegates fromaround the country and that the conference would be an opportune time forKerry Jones to launch her book 'The People's Protest', an account of thereferendum campaign from the winners circle.With the kind permission of Mrs Heather Bonner, the conference willconclude with the First Annual Neville Bonner Oration on November 6th tomark what ACM hopes will become known as 'Constitution Day'.




 

 
ACM National Conference 2000
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Saturday, 08 April 2000

 9 April 2000

Australians for Constitutional Monarchy will be holding their first National Conference in Sydney since the 1999 referendum.
ACM National Convenor Professor  David Flint said the focus of the conference, planning of which began in February, would be education. He said ACM had invited a number of constitutional experts to discuss the future of Australia's unique relationship with the Crown

Read more...
 
14th Caribbean Heads of State meeting
Written by Peter Williams in Jamaica   
Monday, 29 November 1999
The 14th Conference of Presidents and Governors-General of the Caribbean Community of nations opened at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica with pomp and ceremony. 

As each each Head of State took their positions, their national anthems were played and flags hoisted behind them.

Sir Patrick Allen, the Governor General of Jamaica, extended a warm welcome to the Presidents of Trinidad and Tobago, and Dominica and to the Governors-General of Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Bahamas -  the last island to host the Conference.

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[ Governor-General of Jamaica, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen (centre) speaking at the closing ceremony of the 14th Conference of Presidents and Governors-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston on Thursday (November 24). Ten Heads of State from the region attended the four-day conference which was staged under the theme, ?Building Together for the Future?]


The theme of the Conference was 'Building a Future Together' and the focus was on exploring initiatives and activities to ensure a better future for the youth of the Caribbean Community of nations.


In Sir Allen's opening address he said, " I urge you fellow Presidents and Governors-General to commit to our offices and influence to reach our young people. They are the future of the Caribbean. We have to build in them confidence toward the future, an indomitable spirit, and defiance in the face of adversity and challenge.

"We must continue to remind them of our history and of their historic opportunity to carry on the struggles of our ancestors and their elders
."



...prerogative and prestige ...



Dr. Kenneth Baugh, Jamaica's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade in his opening day contribution said, 

"Although your executive functions are circumscribed by constitution and law, your capacity to influence, intercede  and empower is broad in scope and rich in potential.

"You are consulted  on most aspects of national life and your counsel and experience are valued and respected. You have the prerogative and the prestige to change the atmosphere in our nations and to lead our people into paths of truth and light that will illuminate and inspire
"
Read more...
 
Royal Easter Show Sydney
Written by ACM   
Monday, 29 November 1999
The 181st Sydney Royal Easter Show, 10-23 April 2014, is Australia’s largest annual event, attracting close to 900,000 people each year. It is a celebration of Australian culture, from our rural traditions to our modern day lifestyles, providing unique experiences for everyone.

Each year the country and city join together to enjoy agricultural competitions, animal experiences, entertainment, carnival fun, shopping and much more.

The Show was first held in 1823 and is run by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes and rewards agricultural excellence. The Sydney Royal Easter Show allows the RAS to continue investing in agricultural programs and supporting rural communities in Australia.

 
 
My heart is heavy today... How dare you?
Written by Neville Bonner   
Wednesday, 04 February 1998

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[This is the text of a speech given by the Late Mr. Neville Bonner , former Senator for Queensland and the first Aborigial member of the federal parliament, who  addressed the Constitutional Convention on 4 February, 1998. This was the only speech at the Convention which was followed by a standing ovation]

 

Mr BONNER - As a Jagera elder from Queensland, I pay respect to the elders of this tribal country. Fellow Australians, I speak to you today with a heavy heart. A friend of mine and fellow Aborigine Cec Fisher once inscribed a book of poems to me with the words `to the old man'. In it is the poem entitled `Memories and the Pain'. It tells the story of my people and it goes like this:

 

You came ashore, pale like spirit people
Took our land, forest, river, hills and plain

 

Gave us Christianity, changed our future

 

Left us with Memories and the Pain.

 

You killed our ancestors or imprisoned them

 

Our mother earth you plundered for your gain

 

From her breast rich mineral ores you extracted

 

Helplessly we watched, left with Memories and the Pain.

 

Towns were built as civilisation imprisoned my people
No longer allowed hunting, fishing, these things you wouldn't explain

 

Government policies and law took our land away from us
All we have are Memories and the Pain.

 

Two hundred years down the track will it ever change?

 

Land Rights marches, protest, anger, promises once again

 

Policies, the Aboriginal Land Bill said to make amends

 

Still they come back, the Memories and the Pain.

 

[O you delegates] . . . think a while, dispossession, stolen kids
Old Marpoon, Noonkunbah, Death in Custody, tied together by chain

 

In your wisdom of one people one country, help lock out
Our haunting Memories and the Pain.

 

Regardless of the policies, reconciliation and the rest

 

Thoughts of our Aboriginality will always remain

 

Time will never diminish the black deeds of history

 

We will carry forever, Memories and the Pain.

 

You came to my country. You invaded my land. You took our Earth (our everything). You poisoned my waterholes. You killed my people. You gave away my land. You imposed your law on my people. You ignored the instructions of liberal colonial secretaries to deal with us and respect us.

 

And then, 150 years ago, you were given self-government. You established your own parliaments and your own governments. And a century ago you agreed among yourselves to establish your federation. And then slowly you began to change. You began to do what the British had told you to do before self-government. You began to accept that my people had rights; that they were entitled to respect; that we were God's children too.

 

You employed us, paying us, on some occasions, a fair wage. You allowed us to serve in your army, to serve and honour your King and your country. You even elected me to your parliament. And today you have a growing articulate, educated body of indigenous people, a people who more and more control their own future, a people who will play an increasing role in this country. They are a people who already bring honour to the country in sports, the arts and intellectual activities.

 

Mr Chairman, fellow delegates, you did not ask my people if you could come here. You did not ask my people if you could occupy our land. You did not ask my people if you could stop us from living our traditional lives. You did not ask my people if we would wish to live under your laws, under your government and in your federation. I speak today, as I said, with a sad heart.

 

We have come to accept your laws. We have come to accept your Constitution. We have come to accept the present system. We believed you when you said that a democracy must have checks and balances. We believed you when you said that not all positions in society should be put out for election. We believed you when you said that judges should be appointed, not elected. We believed you when you said that the Westminster system ensures that the government is accountable to the people. We believed you when you taught us that integral to the Westminster system is a head of state who is above politics. We believed you when you said that, as with the judiciary, Government House must also be a political-free zone. We believed you when you said that it is not important that the Crown has greater powers and that what was important was that the Crown denies those powers to the politicians. I was one of them. We believed you when you said it is now our country too and that we should be fully involved in deciding its future.

 

You have taught us all this. You have taught us to accept the way in which the country is governed. You told us that this is the most democratic system, a system which is equal to Canada and New Zealand. We believed you. We accept all this and now the educated, articulate Australian is no longer your preserve alone. We, too, can be educated and articulate, respected Australians.

 

My heart is heavy today - not for me, fellow Australians; God has been kind to me. I have seen my 76 years in this country. I am not a rich man, but I am proud to say that I have had the great joy of having five sons, three white step-children and 28 grandchildren. But my heart is heavy. I worry for my children and my grandchildren. I worry that what has proven to be a stable society, which now recognises my people as equals, is about to be replaced.

 

How dare you? I repeat: how dare you? You told my people that your system was best. We have come to accept that. We have come to believe that. The dispossessed, despised adapted to your system. Now you say that you were wrong and that we were wrong to believe you. Suddenly you are saying that what brought the country together, made it independent, ensured its defence, saw it through peace and war, and saw it through depression and prosperity, must all go.

 

I cannot see the need for change. I cannot see how it will help my people. I cannot see how it will resolve the question of land and access to land that troubles us. I cannot see how it will ensure that indigenous people have access to the same opportunities that other Australians enjoy. Fellow Australians, what is most hurtful is that after all we have learned together, after subjugating us and then freeing us, once again you are telling us that you know better. How dare you? How dare you?
I look across this chamber and I cannot fail to see the very rich among you. You have had the very good luck to have great wealth, to have been so well educated in your schools and universities. I ask you: what reason do you have now in 1998 to tell the indigenous people that we must again accept what you have decided about our country? Why are you doing this? You know the change you propose will have no effect on the problems of my people and of the country. I plead with you to apply your great talents and your great wealth to overcome these.

 

You have taught us that, in a democracy, democratic power must be limited; that in the Westminster system there must be an umpire; that he or she must be above politics; that solutions to problems - supply crises, for example - must be handled responsibly, efficiently and swiftly. Republicanism is a vote of no confidence in the existing system, but you forget that you have taught us to love, honour and respect that system.

 

As I said, I have a heavy heart. I ask you: what are you doing? Are you not already divided enough on other issues, real issues, real problems? Why are you diverting attention from these issues? We have come to respect and honour our Governor-General, for the reason that he cares about these issues. I cannot see that a political president, elected or appointed, who cares more about whether he receives a 21- or 19-gun salute, whether or not he is the subject of a toast, whether or not he will be re-elected and to what extent he will be funded and supported after his term, would care one jot more for my people.

 

From the bottom of my heart, I pray you: stop this senseless division. Let us work together on the real issues. Let us solve those problems which haunt my people - the problems of land, of health, of unemployment, of the despair and hopelessness which leads even to suicide. Let us unite this country, not divide it ever - that toy of those who already have too much: mere symbolism. Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to end what I have already said by singing my Jagera sorry chant. My heart is sad. I look around this chamber and see that the total number of indigenous people of this vast country numbers six. That is an indictment on someone - I do not know whom. Because of the lack of a populous number of indigenous people on this momentous occasion, it makes me sad indeed.

 

[Mr Bonner thereupon chanted his tribal sorry chant.]

 

CHAIRMAN - Thank you very much, Neville Bonner. Jim, you will need to be in good voice. I now call on my very dear former colleague and friend, the Hon. Sir James Killen.

 

Sir JAMES KILLEN - I never thought that the word `gracious' could be used in relation to indictment, but this chamber, and indeed the country today, has been presented with a gracious indictment against it, and that indictment has been presented by my old friend Neville Bonner. It is a very old friendship indeed and a very precious one. There was one blemish, if I may presume to say so, which resided in my friend's speech. He said he was not a rich man. For myself, I take the view it is not what a man or a woman has in his or her house that counts; it is what the man or the woman has in his or her heart that counts.
Having said that to my old friend, let me say this: I know of few people in this country who command affection and admiration as does Neville Bonner. In that sense, my old friend, you are a very rich man indeed. If you want to regard that as a rebuke, then you and I will adjourn to the Condamine of old where I had, years ago, swum in a certain state of disrobe with your people.

 
The Mystery of the Queen's Two Bodies
Written by Lloyd Waddy RFD QC   
Tuesday, 11 June 1996

Lloyd Waddy RFD QC
National Convenor
Australians for Constitutional Monarchy
Address to Seminar Marking HM The Queen's Seventieth Birthday
Parliament House
Sydney, Australia
June 12, 1996

Transcript as released by the Office of Research and Education

Mr Waddy RFD QC:Four years into the great constitutional struggle for the hearts and minds of our fellow Australians, and indeed nine hundred years into the continuing struggle to preserve our liberties, it is not easy to take a new angle on our Constitutional Monarchy. By the time I finish I hope that you will feel that I have succeeded to some small extent and that some new light has been shed on our battle.

On the 10th May this year it was reported that an artist, Antony Williams, had produced a new portrait of Her Majesty The Queen to mark her seventieth birthday. It immediately attracted controversy.

Lord St John of Fawsley proclaimed: "those are not the Queen's hands."

Traditionalist critic Brian Sewell joined in the attack. "The swollen fingers and fat wrists, the worn and ill-trimmed nails, are those of Murphy's men, relieved of the pneumatic drill, next to grasp a pint of Guinness" he is reported to have said.

Read more...
 
The parrot is not dead..he's only sleeping
Written by Professor David Flint AM   

In denial, the Eurocrats are saying the EU Constitution is not dead, notwithstanding its overwhelming rejection by the French. It does not matter that the French are saying No for reasons different from the British. The French say the EU Constitution will bring in an era of unbridled free markets: the British fear the opposite-that it will restrain them

The EU Constitution is dead, like John Cleeses parrot, but the Eurocrats will not accept this. Just as our Australian republicans refuse to accept the rejection by the people of their preferred republican model.

Read more...
 
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