THE Queen insisted that there should be no gifts for her Diamond Jubilee - instead, she wanted people to contribute to a lasting legacy that would help communities around the world.
To celebrate Her Majesty’s unrivalled 60 year contribution to the Commonwealth the creation of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust was announced at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth in 2011.The Australian entity was launched in February, 2013.
The Australian entity, The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust Australia, jubileetrust.org.au ,was launched in February 2013, by the Governor-General Quentin Bryce.
It is chaired by former Governor-General, Major General Michael Jeffery. The purpose of the Trust is to raise funds throughout Australia and the Commonwealth to support projects that will enrich the lives of the people of those countries. It will join the world effort to eradicate avoidable blindness conditions in our region and the rest of the Commonwealth.This is part of a global movement to end avoidable blindness and the Australian arm will focus on trachoma, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.
A former chairman of the Australian Republican Movement, and its National Campaign Director during the referendum, has come out and confirmed what everyone knows.
The republican agenda is both to bring on some sort of politicians’ republic and to change the Flag.
Greg Barns still speaks for the ARM as the links to videos at the foot of this report demonstrate. He writes writes on the ABC website The Drum that to be fully integrated into Asia, Australia and New Zealand must fundamentally change their constitutions and shred their flags.
Why should we do this? Because Mr. Barns has decided, unilaterally, that they say to Asia say to Asia that “we hanker after the colonial past.” Presumably our attachment to the rule of law, the Westminster system and to our language, do not create a similar impression.
I have travelled in Asia. My mother was born there. I have never been told by any Asian, ministers, judges, editors , journalists or anybody else that we hanker after our colonial past, that we must change our constitution or shred our flag.Mr. Barns and the ARM are “verballing” all Asia to slip through their agenda to ram a politicians’ republic down our throats and to shred our Australian Flag.
Mr. Barns says that when it comes to Asia, do not “walk the walk” -whatever that means.
And does “full integration” mean something like the European Union as Kevin Rudd proposes?
Let us hope that before we are rushed into that the people are first asked in a referendum whether they want to enter such a union.
New federal ministers were sworn in at Government House on 3 February 2013. Although they all swear allegiance to the Crown as MP's each time they are elected, this requirement has been removed when ministers are appointed.
This is yet another form of creeping republicanism.
Why can’t republicans behave properly? Despite a massive media campaign, and the support of two thirds of the politicians, the people rejected the politicians’ republic (the one the republicans designed at taxpayers' expense) in the 1999 landslide.
We make no criticism of the Governor-General who, like her predecessor, must in these matters act on the advice of the Prime Minister.
By the way, republicans should not repeat the canard that John Howard fixed the question. It was approved by both Houses, two thirds of which were republicans.
The ABC promoted shredding our flag and changing to a politicians’ republic in a curious segment in its flagship current affairs programme, Q&A.
Tim Levinson is also known as Urthboy, a hip hop artist and manager of record label, Elefant Traks. He appeared on the ABC’s Q&A programme on 4 February 2013, the first for the year.Other panellists were Coalition politician Christopher Pyne, former Coalition politician Amanda Vanstone, Labor politician David Bradbury , and journalist , author and feminist Anne Summers.
Although moving to a politicans’ republic was not mentioned on the programme the chairman Tony Jones did so in a special mention at the end when he invited Mr. Levenson to sing in an American accent a ditty entitled “Empire Tags.”
Most if not all members of the panel are republicans. Ms. Vanstone and Mr. Pyne are outspoken supporters of some form of politicans' republic. Certainly, no known defender of our constitution or flag was there.
Readers may wonder why the ABC is promoting these issues.
There are two books of enormous significance to the foundation of Australia, in addition to the documents which authorised the settlement in 1788. They are the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer used by the Rev Richard Johnson in the very first Christian service on Australian soil held on 7 February 1788.
His text came from Psalm 116, beginning 'What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?' The Bible was the large leather-bound King James Version which he carried with him on the First Fleet.
The Rev Richard Johnson's Bible, and his Book of Common Prayer, foundational documents in the formation of Australia, now reside under the care of St Philip's York St Anglican Church in Sydney. The current Rector of St Phillip's, The Reverend Justin Moffatt, considers Johnson's KJV to be one of our greatest treasures.
The Rector points out that few countries are able to still show documents of such importance to the foundation. When Gov Phillip arrived in Sydney, he brought with him for of the foundation’s of this nation: the rule of law, the English language, the Crown, and our Judeo Christian values.
Later we were to receive the gift of responsible self-government under the Westminster system and we ourselves decided, ,“humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God” to unite in an indissoluble Federal Commonwealth under the Crown and under the Constitution,
The Bible bears the signatures of King George the Sixth when he visited Australia as Prince Albert, by Queen Elizabeth the Second, Prince Charles and Diana Princess of Wales .
It would seem that even republicans are shying away from debating the merits of a republic.
I recently attended the Republican Youth Forum, held on the Thursday, 31 January 2013, at the Flinders Street Campus of Victoria University.
Overall, the event was a small affair, with approximately 36 guests and about 10 staff – including David Morris, Executive Director of the Australian Republican Movement. Many of the guests brought a friend, so it is unlikely that all those in attendance shared the same views.
Broadly speaking those in attendance satisfied my definition of youth, however there were a few, shall we say, “older” people present.
What I found particularly interesting was the disproportionally high number of males present. ACM functions I have attended in the past have always struck me as very balanced between the sexes. And this is confirmed by the demographics of the ACM Facebook page. Why does republican ideology fail to engage women?
Republicans are reeling from the announcement that the most powerful and "passionate" republican in Parliament , the Attorney-General is the first law officer of the Crown The Hon Nicola Roxon,, is to resign from the Cabinet.
Ms Roxon has been at the centre of a major controversy concerning a proposed Bill which opponents say would significantly restrict freedom of speech.
Ms. Roxon declared soon after her appointment that she is a strong advocate of a republic, and that she would be looking for the “right opportunity to re-invigorate (the) debate” on removing the Australian Crown from the Australian constitutional system.
This is the same Australian Crown to which she has more than once pledged allegiance.
[ Hon Nicola Roxon sworn in by the Governor-General Quentin Bryce ]
Unlike the current republican movement of which she has been a prominent member, she has come out and indicated her preference about the form of politicans' republic which should replace our ancient model. Her declaration after her appointment meant that she had no intention whatsoever of putting her republican agenda on the back burner even while she was the first law officer of the Australian Crown. She clearly saw no conflict of interest in this.
No doubt feeling that he should not explain how his much heralded surplus disappeared when nobody was looking a mere five days before Christmas, the Treasurer Wayne Swan shifted his gaze to getting rid of the Australian Crown.
This is an institution to which he has solemnly sworn or affirmed his allegiance on at least seven times.
It was no doubt intended as a distraction and probably a wedge into the Liberal Party whose political wing -- but not the rank-and-file -- harbour a number of republicans.
In a badly timed opinion piece in the leading republican newspaper, The Sydney Morning Herald (25/1), he has revealed that his attention -- or more likely that of someone on his large personal staff - has been drawn to the test cricket series between Australia and the United Kingdom 80 years ago, known as Bodyline.
..but Treasurer, Curtin, Chifley and Evatt were all constitutional monarchists...
Mr Swan lavishly praises the two Labor wartime prime ministers, John Curtin and Ben Chifley, but fails to mention the fact that both of them were very strong constitutional monarchists.
Using a sporting controversy as the reason for a change to the Constitution is ridiculous, but this repeats a pattern last seen in the 90's when, as Sir David Smith says in his authoritative book,( Head of State , 2005,page 189), republicans invented "weird and wonderful reasons" for wanting to remove the Crown from the Constitution.
Mr Swan would be well aware of the fact that support for a politicians'republic had fallen over the years to 33% which indicates that in a popular vote, the No vote would be even bigger than 1999.
The announced abdication of the Queen of the Netherlands in favour of her son has once again encouraged the commentariat to agitate for change for the sake of change.
As the former editor- in-chief of The Australian Paul Kelly once admitted in an unguarded moment during Australia’s excruciatingly long republican debate, the media has a vested interest in change. It’s good for circulation and ratings.
There are far more important indeed fundamental considerations. There is no tradition of abdication in our system; rather there is a tradition of service. Certainly Her Majesty is 86 but she is in good health. And she can increasingly allocate royal duties across the talented and respected members of her family who are equally dedicated to service.
The Queen rightly regards the Oath she swore at her Coronation, and indeed the whole Coronation service, as no mere formality but a sacred commitment and trust.
Our Coronation Service alone in the world retains setting aside of the Sovereign through the anointing which comes from the Kings of the Old Testament.
As Shakespeare’s Richard II declares:
Not all the water in the rough rude sea Can wash the balm off an anointed king
The Queen believes strongly that she has entered into a commitment to her people for her whole life, nothing less.
Recall, if you will, those words from the declaration she made when she turned 21 in the city of Cape Town in South Africa when she addressed the people of the Commonwealth.
...Her Majesty’s Declaration...
“If we all go forward together with an unwavering faith, a high courage, and a quiet heart, we shall be able to make of this ancient commonwealth, which we all love so dearly, an even grander thing - more free, more prosperous, more happy and a more powerful influence for good in the world - than it has been in the greatest days of our forefathers.
“To accomplish that we must give nothing less than the whole of ourselves. There is a motto which has been borne by many of my ancestors - a noble motto, "I serve". Those words were an inspiration to many bygone heirs to the Throne when they made their knightly dedication as they came to manhood. I cannot do quite as they did.
“But through the inventions of science I can do what was not possible for any of them. I can make my solemn act of dedication with a whole Empire listening. I should like to make that dedication now. It is very simple.
“I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.
“But I shall not have strength to carry out this resolution alone unless you join in it with me, as I now invite you to do: I know that your support will be unfailingly given. God help me to make good my vow, and God bless all of you who are willing to share in it.”
Her Majesty will not heed the impertinent calls from the press gallery “ Abdicate now!” Nor should she .
Her loyal subject will support her.
They will say, as we will always say “God Save The Queen! Advance Australia Fair!”