Wednesday, July 29, 2015

New Republican Push

Since Sunday we have seen mass tidal waves from the press from all quarters national and international reporting on the Australian Labor party agreeing in a vote last weekend that future labor governments will attempt to actively progress the abolition of the monarchy in Australia.

Now I don't believe for a second that writing this column is going to stop Labor and the republicans from ruining Australia and it's long standing history and culture that has been with Australia since 1788.

I think like millions of loyal Australian's to Her Majesty the Queen, this is a huge mistake for Australia and for the once great working class Labor party.

We all know that if Australia was to become a republic we would of course have to change many things such as the Australian coin designs which feature the monarch's likeness or portrait, which at the moment by law is required.

Law enforcement and army badges would have to be redesigned because they symbolise the crown as the legitimate authority in Australia as well as the 'laying up' of the regimental queen's colours for the same reasons.

An excellent example of this would be a the ceremony that the Indian army had in laying-up their kings colours when they become a republic. Which you can watch here

However there are things that no one has talked about, such as the Australian coat of arms that we have all seen hanging atop government buildings, the Australia shield with the other state arms emblazoned on the shield with the kangaroo and emu as supporters.

All state and territory arms including the commonwealth arms described above were granted not by the College of arms in London but by Her Majesty the Queen, so in a republic these arms would have to be removed and replaced with some corporate deign most likely.

All Australian's currently are able to apply to the College Of Arms in London for a full coat of arms and everything that entails, however In this hypothetical situation where Australia has gone down the wrong path, Australian's wishing to bear arms would only be allowed 'honourary arms' and only after they can prove a british connection.

Another Blow to Australian culture and heritage would be the Australian honours system, whether you are a fan of the Knighthoods and Damehoods being reintroduced won't matter because in a republic the current Australian honours system which currently holds 55 awards would also be dismantled because they were created by letters patent by the Queen, including military honours like the Victoria Cross.

You can read about the creation of honours on the it's an honour website here

The most saddening thing about Australia moving towards a republic however will be the loss of the monarchy and what it represents to many Australian's, in this ever progressing world it represents the old fashioned traditions and values that Australian's still have a deep respect for and still cherish,

A common mantra that republicans say is that even if Australia was a republic the royals would still be in magazines and news papers for people to enjoy, and they may well be, but the fact is it'll mean nothing to Australians because the links would be severed.

So unlike the tabloids and reporters all in favour of a republic and like the millions of loyal Australian's I will continue to be loyal to Her Majesty, our realm and crown to the bitter end.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Reinstating Queen's Counsel

A barrister wearing the robes or Silk of a Queen's Counsel.

Australia is a constitutional monarchy, and with monarchy comes the symbols, titles and patronages that represent the monarchy or monarch, whether or not they directly link the monarchy or not.

Whether it’s the monarch’s coat of arms, the lion and unicorn aloft government buildings, the monarch’s portrait hanging for all to see in government and public buildings, or knighthoods bestowed by the monarch

These things are all part of the monarchy that Australia is a part of and has been a part of since it was first colonised by Britain.

Sadly, over the last 20 years, republicans that have risen to power have used the extent of their power either in government or just on a council level to remove and hide these symbols.

In effect, these people are removing parts of Australia’s traditions and some of Australia’s oldest national identity as a constitutional monarchy and its heritage that it inherited from Great Britain.

Which is why, even though it has little significance to the monarchy and restoring its many symbols, I believe that the title of ‘Queen's Counsel’ should be reinstated to Queen’s Counsel.

The major Commonwealth realms, Great Britain, Canada and New Zealand still retain the title of ‘Queen’s Counsel’, with New Zealand reinstating the title in 2010.

Australia still has these senior practitioners but under a new title called ‘Senior Counsel’, which is really the exact same thing and they even dress the same as the original Queen's Counsel.

The title of ‘Senior Counsel’, however, is only used in republics that were originally part of the British Empire and later Commonwealth realms but now a republic, like Africa, Hong Kong, Kenya, Singapore, etc.

Australia still being part of the monarchy should continue to use the titles that come with having the monarchy and not that of something that represent a republic.

That is not the only reason the title of QC should be reinstated in Australia.

When people go to a lawyer, it is more reassuring when you get someone with the prefix of QC at the end of their name, showing that they have hired a lawyer of a high standard.

Australia restoring the title of Queen Counsel will also put Australia back in line with the other Commonwealth realms that still use the title.

These are all good reasons to reinstate the title of Queen’s Counsel to Australia once again.

Looking at the most recent case where the title has just been reinstated in New Zealand you can see that the arguments for and against really would not be that different in Australia.

In New Zealand in 2010, the New Zealand government reinstated the title of Queen’s Counsel and ended the use of Senior Counsel.

This was met with wide support but the only objections to the reinstatement were that the title is too ‘colonial’, which from the start was a weak argument that was quickly defeated.

There was no other reason other than a few republican members of Parliament calling it colonial cringe,and then going on to ask if they could also reinstate finger less gloves and black suits for parliament.

The New Zealand republican MPs did not offer any real solid arguments for why the title should not be reinstated.

There is one good argument that the ‘silks’ selection process can be and at time is corrupt because attaining the rank of Queen's Counsel, known as 'taking silk’, is quite competitive.

This is true at times but like in New Zealand, Australia could think of a more secure way for barristers to be selected and appointed for the title.

That said, the reinstatement of the title ‘Queen’s Counsel’ in Australia will not only help with what people already perceive to be of high standard but also put Australia back in line with the other of Her Majesty’s realms.

And it is also in some respects restoring one of Australia’s longest traditions.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Australian Republicans and British passports

There is an argument that comes around every now and then that I have noticed, and I fell it should be addressed as best it can be.

Australian Republicans occasionally use the fact that they have to use the ‘all other passports’ line at Heathrow airport in England and not the ‘European union and British passports’ line as a reason to become a republic, or that it’s a reason why they support a republic.

For some examples there is a few blog posts on the blog site Independent Australia, one of these posts is a story about how a man named Jock McGregor and how he became a republican when he arrived at Heathrow, and having to line up in the ‘all other passports’ line.

Some extracts from the blog post mentioned above here:

Jock was the proud holder of an Australian passport. He had served in the Royal Australian Air Force during WWII and had been seconded to the Royal Air Force in the U.K.

On the flight from Brisbane to London Jock was seated beside a German gentleman and after a while they got to talking.

When they arrived at Heathrow Airport both Jock and his German friend disembarked. To Jock’s surprise he found that there were two queues for Immigration and Customs.

One line was for European Community passport holders and the other was marked “Others.” As Jock and Margaret waited in the “Others” queue with fellow Australians, New Zealanders and Canadians they saw the former Luftwaffe pilot whizz through with a cheery wave along with Britons returning home.

A more recent time of this argument was made by the ARM at the South Australian Secondary Schools State Constitutional Convention which can be found here

And if we are forced to stay as a Monarchy, we would want to land at Heathrow and be given some status. At the moment we go behind those from the EU and the Swiss, who are not even in the EU. We fall in with the Chinese and Russians, at the end of the line. Not particularly the sort of welcome one would expect from our own Monarch.

First off, in the blog post about the man at Heathrow that had to stand in line while ‘the former Luftwaffe pilot whizz through with a cheery wave along with Britons returning home’

While it is True that Australian’s have to line up in the ‘other passports’ line it’s nowhere near as bad or degrading as these people have made out it is.

When an Australian gets off the plane into Heathrow you line up like everyone else, keep in mind however that Heathrow airport is a central hub and hundreds of thousands of people go in and out of the airport daily from all over the world.

Waiting in line at Heathrow really isn’t that bad, it really depends on how many flights come in at the same time as your own and which terminal you’re at.

Once you have gotten to the head of the line, you just show your passport, and tell the Border agency officer at the desk where you’re staying for the first night, the Border agency officer doesn’t ask to see a Visa because Australian’s don’t need Visa’s when you go to Great Britain for 6 months or less.

Then you can go through, collect your luggage and be about your business trying to figure out how to get to the Heathrow express train into London.

On the contrary to these republicans that seem to get offended by this difference in passport, they are virtually the same.

Republicans should also note that if you are an Australian under the age of 30 you can be granted a visa that lasts for 2 years and you can live and work in Great Britain without requiring a job or sponsor called a ‘youth mobility scheme’ which Canada and new Zealand are also involved with.

So this leaves me to wonder are Australian Republicans just really touchy and expect some sort of special treatment. Or do they secretly wish to be British subjects again and be granted their old British passports once more?