Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Australian Referendum in 2010?

From Saturday's Daily Telegraph: Australian republic without Queen? (Memo to the editor: if it's an Australian republic, then it's without the Queen.)

If Kevin Rudd becomes Australia's next prime minister – and that is what the opinion polls suggest – then the new Labour government will push very hard for a republic. There is a strong possibility that, following a proposed referendum in 2010, Australia will no longer have a Queen. And that would be a terrible shame. We realise that it is not our business to tell Australians who should be their head of state: unsolicited advice from Poms is rarely welcome. But there is a very good reason for keeping our ties to Australia, quite apart from the exemplary way in which the Queen discharges her constitutional duties. It is that – contrary to expectations – our two countries have recently grown closer together, not further apart.

Richard Alston, the Australian High Commissioner, summed up the situation expertly in a speech in Melbourne on Thursday: "As we have progressed along the path from near subservience to brash upstart to key global players, so our relationship with Britain has evolved, matured and deepened. We have grown closer in terms of trade, intelligence sharing, cultural exchange, migration flows and political respect." Mr Alston rightly stressed the importance of the diplomatic alliance after the September 11 attacks. That alliance might be equally strong under a republic; then again, it might not, since the liberal political class that would dominate a republic wants to distance itself from the Anglo-American axis.

Less controversial is the claim that migration has strengthened our relationship. There are so many young Australians in London that "Strine" has become a local accent. And that suits us fine, because these visitors are part of our family – our tanned and thirsty cousins from the other side of the world. It seems thoroughly appropriate that we should share a head of state. If Australia decides to go it alone, that will be our loss.

Be sure to read some of the excellent comments at the end. Hat tip to Professor Flint at Australians for Constitutional Monarchy. It would appear that Aussies are being kept in the dark on this. Nice for Rudd to inform England, but not Oz.


Beaverbrook said...

As one commenter put it:

Apart from the inconvenient facts that -

- A referendum about a republic is not currently planned for 2010,
- 2010 will be an election year,
- Alston's speech was not about a referendum or a republic,
- the Liberals do not, in general, favour a republic, nor do they wish to distance themselves from the UK or the USA,
- Australia does not regard a UK relationship as inextricably tied to a USA relationship, or vice versa,
- the republic debate is not an issue in the coming election,

this article is reasonably accurate.

Anonymous said...

Some of the comments under the Telegraph article are not so much excellent as indicative of the problem. Here's a choice favourite: "Basically please be comfortable staying in the GB and never! ever come to Australia." Very nice.

I think that we should not comfort ourselves with a lot of twaddle about how much Aussies hate politicians etc etc. Australia is very likely to leave the family - the first Commonwealth country of primarily British ancestry to do so in more than 200 years...and I think that we underestimate how much the tolerance of this ancient tie between CANZUK is (perhaps unconsciously) predicated on the fact that each of the other countries has kept it. In other words, I doubt that the image of Australians waking up in 2010 in the New Larrikin Republic is going to hurt the Republican movements in Canada and NZ (nor even in Britain, although in the latter we're a good century away from abolition); whereas an undecided or even indifferent Canadian, for example, must surely be more likely to accept the status quo if he or she opens a newspaper to see headlines about Aus or NZ rejecting a republican future. It stands to reason.

This is why I very much fear that the future for the kinds of people who enjoy this blog is really not so rosy as it might be.


Beaverbrook said...

Tough to say, Cato. But if I was Prince William, I would be looking to get even after they kicked sand in his face and told him to get lost. Part of the problem is, I'm not sure if the Royals are willing to take one for the team anymore.

Anonymous said...

Getting even might be fun...something like the 1705 Alien Act?

Seriously, though, the most enjoyable irony might be if William announced his betrothal to some flower of Aussie womanhood the day after the referendum results come in...


David Byers said...

All I can tell you, from here in Australia, is that Loyal Austrlains are going to fight like mad to keep the Crown!

Australians for Constitutional have a very good team and we should go well - if given a fair debate.

David Byers