Friday 29th of August 2014

'An Open Letter to Mr Abbott':

REPUBLIC

The prime minister's sycophancy towards the British monarch’s grand-descendants has become too much for the many Australians. On behalf of millions, the ARM national director has written Tony Abbott an open letter. History editor Dr Glenn Davies reports.

THE PUBLIC REPUDIATION of Prime Minister Abbott’s knights and dames decision showed that Australia has moved on from the old colonial way of thinking.  However, on 24 April 2014, Prime Minister Abbott stated in Parliament

Many decades, hence, when a currently unknowable Australian prime minister welcomes your son, King George VII to this building, that will be a sign of the stability and the continuity in the life of our nation.”

In response, David Morris, national director of the Australian Republican Movement has written 'An Open Letter to Mr Abbott':

Mr Abbott,

When you were elected by the Australian people, you did not swear allegiance to Australia and its people, as had your predecessors in recent times, but you swore allegiance to the Queen. 

When you welcomed Prince Harry to an important military commemoration, you did not make the day all about honouring our military, but you said ‘we all feel monarchist today.’

When great Australians have been honoured for decades with a meritocratic Australian honours system, you – to great ridicule – brought back colonial titles, knights and dames.

And when Australians warmly welcomed visiting British Royals, treated by the media as global celebrities, you dragged an innocent baby into your personal crusade to take us back to colonial thinking. Back to a time when the infant Australian nation was but a realm of an Empire.

Mr Abbott, if the baby visiting us this week with his parents becomes King George VII, it may well be a sign of the stability and the continuity in the life of the British nation.

But you are Prime Minister of the Australian nation.

In Australia, the stability and the continuity in the life of our nation comes from our people, not from people who live on the other side of the world.

It is the Australian people who have built the world’s greatest nation, one of the most deeply democratic, egalitarian and successful places in which to live.

It is the Australian people to whom an Australian prime minister should swear his allegiance.


Every Australian baby should have an equal opportunity to aspire to be our head of state.

The history of the Australian nation is a stable and continuous road to national confidence, unity and independence. 

Our nation might not always live up to our ideals, but we deeply believe in equal opportunity, being judged on merit and hard work; we believe in fairness and multiculturalism.

We are not a society that believes one person should be born to rule over everyone else based on their race, religion, place of birth, privileged family and gender. No, we are not all monarchists, Mr Abbott.

We know not everyone agrees. Some want to take us back the past when we had a colonial mentality, when we did not back ourselves.

Yes, monarchists fought against Australia having our own national anthem, just as they fought against ending appeals to the Privy Council. But our nation is so much better because the monarchists failed.

Yes, Mr Abbott, monarchists are on the offensive again, co-opting global celebrities to their cause, but our nation will be so much better when we stop dragging innocent foreigners into our domestic debates.

The global celebrities you drag into your cause cannot defend themselves, they cannot enter the debate because they cannot have a view.  This is our nation, not theirs.

Our relationship with their nation will be much more mature when we back our own, first and foremost.

Australians warmly welcome tourists.


Yes, the Australian people will welcome a future visit from King George VII of England to our country, that will be a sign of close friendship.

And we will do so as a free nation with dignity and self-respect when it is an Australian head of state who leads that welcome.

ARM nation director David Morris is right, of course.

The Royals represent Britain, but cannot represent us or unite us as Australians. 

We have our own identity as Australians.

Australians believe in freedom and equal opportunity, not that some are born to rule over others.

Australia today is one of the world’s great nations, with a bright future that must be 100 per cent in the hands of the Australian people. We are ready to move on from our colonial past and become a fully independent nation with fully Australian national institutions, including our own Head of State. 

So amongst the media frenzy about visiting British celebrities, don’t mistake goodwill for the cringe of earlier decades. We can, of course, have affection for Britain and its celebrity Royals — but affection does not mean allegiance.

The British Royals are welcome to visit as representatives of Britain, however we look forward to the day when the British people and their Royal Family themselves welcome  a visit from Australia's Head of State.

Dr Glenn Davies is Australian Republican Movement's Queensland branch convenor. Find out more about an Australian republic at ouridentity.org.au.

 

 

 

a royal break a leg...

 

When Australians finally decide we must finalise our independence, the obvious day of the year to inaugurate the Republic of Australia is today  the 9th of May writes history editor Dr Glenn Davies.

THE 9th of May is a beautiful time of the year, with breezy, high-skied blue days around Australia.

It is also a date that resonates in Australian civic history.

On 1 January 1901, after years of debate, the various colonies in Australia joined together to form a Federation. While the new Constitution of Australia called for a new capital to be constructed, away from the major cities, until that time Melbourne would act as the seat of government of the new nation. Elections were held for the first Parliament of Australia and, on 9 May 1901, the newly minted federal parliament was sworn in at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne.

The opening of the new parliament was commemorated in oil on canvas by one of Australia’s best known artists, Tom Roberts.

Roberts’ painting is titled The Opening of the First Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia by His Royal Highness the Duke of Cornwall and York, 9 May 1901 and is widely known as the ‘Big Picture in recognition of its grand scale. Measuring 5.65 metres across, and 3.6 metres tall, it is painted on three separate pieces of canvas, stitched together.

There was no national capital city when the Australian Federation was formed in 1901, so for the first 26 years as a nation, the Federal Parliament met in the Victorian State Parliament in Melbourne. However, provision had been made in the Constitution for a seat of Government of the Commonwealth, to be located within Commonwealth territory in the state of New South Wales, but not less than 100 miles from Sydney.

The site for the national capital was finally announced in 1911 and an inauguration ceremony held on Capital Hill in 1913.

On 9 May 1927, Old Parliament House in Canberra ‒ known formerly as the Provisional Parliament House ‒ was opened. The building began operation as a temporary base for the Commonwealth Parliament after its relocation from Melbourne to the new capital, Canberra until a more permanent building could be constructed.

Soon after its completion, the ‘Big Picture’ was presented to King Edward VII, and sent to England. It remained there for many years, hanging in St James’s Palace until 1957, when Queen Elizabeth II agreed to return the painting to Australia on permanent loan.

Read more: http://www.independentaustralia.net/australia/australia-display/australias-future-republic-day--the-9th-of-may,6459

 

ninth of may