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?