Friday, October 16, 2009

The Death of Marie Antoinette, October 16th, 1793.

Two hundred and sixteen years ago to the hour, the Queen of France, Marie Antoinette was murdered by Jacobin thugs in the Place de la Revolution (now Place de la Concorde)

Vive la Reine!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Why I am a Monarchist

Below are the main reasons that I am a Monarchist:

- I do not trust politicians. When you take ordinary people, whether ambitious for their own ends or genuinely concerned with 'making a difference', and give them power they will use it. If given power without adequate checks and balances then they will abuse it. It may be cliche but power does corrupt. I do not hate or blame politicians entirely for this, a society gets the politicians it deserves, the ultimate fault rests with the electorate. Which brings us to:

- 'The People', I do not trust the people. I know it is considered terribly elitist to say this, but it is true. It is not that I consider myself better, more intelligent or more capable than the average person, but I am thoughtful, whereas most people tend to be reactionary and thoughtless.
We in Australia recently saw the end of a grossly incomptent 'conservative' government, after eleven years. It stayed in power through the judicious use of middle class welfare (and other even more despicable means) to effectly bribe the electorate. It was obvious, everyone knew but no one cared because they were being rewarded. The population at large put their bank balance above their integrity and above their duty to their democracy.
A democracy can not function when the population at large is willing to turn a blind eye to corruption and incompetence. I dare say the current centre-left Government of the Commonwealth of Australia will disgrace itself in a similar fashion eventually.
Now, before I am accused of being left or right ring I will say this: I am neither. Politics is too important to treat as a football league, with support for one side being unconditional and irrational. I will examine individual policies and formulate my opinions based on them, and the conduct of the politicians. I will admit a certain disgust for politicians (or anyone else) who one one hand claim to be conservative but also support a republic. You can not be a conservative and at the same time support the abolition of the oldest and most important institution in the Australian Commonwealth. That would be like claiming to be a Christian, but that you do not believe 'in all that Jesus rubbish'.
To those of you with partisan sympathies one way or the other, I ask you this: Would you want to give John Howard, or Kevin Rudd, absolute power? Because that is what would happen if you abolish the Crown.

-Monarchy is cheap and efficient. We have had over a century of politicial stability thanks to the Crowns check on political power, and we pay very little for it. The annual cost of the Governor General, the Governors and their respective staff and residence is nothing compared with the cost of to the taxpayer of our politicians and their staff and allowances and whatnot (I do not begrudge them any of that, so long as it is not abused). The cost of the Monarch herself (or himself, as it will be again in the future) is technically born by Her British subjects, but even then the annual allowance of fifty million pounds or whatever it may be exactly is more than offset by the hundreds of millions of pounds the Crown Estate (the income of which is granted to the Government by the Monarch in exchange for said allowance) generates per annum.
It may be that we could develop an institution that will provide the checks and balances of our present system under a republic, but how much more expensive will that be to initiate and maintain? How many independent watch dogs and committes will it require? We have a remarkably effective system at very little cost.

-Monarchy is the great equaliser. No matter how wealthy or distinguished an individual may become, they are still merely a subject of the Crown along with the humblest factory worker, teacher or tradesman.

-Monarchy provides continuity. Prime Ministers, Presidents and governments come and go, but the Monarch remains.

-Monarchy is beautiful. Watch the footage of Her Majesty's coronation, or the Trooping the Colour or even just the Monarch opening Parliament and tell me that it is not splendid stuff.

-Monarchy is compelling. We grow up with stories of Kings and Queen, Princes and Princesses. When did you last read a fairy tale about a noble president going on an arduous quest to save his first lady (republicans have tried to publish such stories, I understand)? The simple fact is, most people like the trappings and titles of Monarchy. Even those erstwhile republicans in the former American colonies of the British Empire have a fascination with royalty and titles.

Monarchy is dutiful. Her Majesty the Queen has over four hundred official engagements every year, the Prince of Wales even more. Never a complaint from them. Both Crown Prince William and Prince Harry have done mmilitary service, Prince Harry was even sent to an active war zone before his return was forced by the disgusting behaviour of the media. How many sons of presidents are serving in the military? How many sons and daughters of republican politicians worldwide are serving in an active war zone? The answer is very few.

God Save the Queen.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Republicans: Deceitful or delusional?

I was recently engaged in a healthy debate on the issue of an Australian Republic on a popular blog, and it astounded me how many people claimed then Prime Minister John Howard rigged the referendum by removing from the question the words 'president' and 'republic'. Well, see for yourselves, here is the question:
Do you approve of an Act to alter the Constitution to establish the Commonwealth of Australia as a republic with the Queen and Governor General being replaced by a President appointed by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Commonwealth Parliament?

Such a confusing question, what? I can see how 72% of electorates, 54.87% of voters and every state could reject the proposed changes on such an ambiguous and poorly worded question.
Incidentally, it was Australian Republican Movement leader Malcolm Turnbull (I think I've heard his name recently) who proposed the word 'president' and 'republic' be removed.
Now, I am no fan of Howard, Ifound his administration to be both unconservative and downright incompetent and times, not to mention profligate in its spending ($800,000 dollars spent on a few hundred refugees under the Pacific Solution for Gods sake. If you are going to lock refugees up at least try and do it economically). But had he rigged the referendum, it would have been such an immense breach of Australian law and constitution there would have been no end of legal challenges launched by the republicans. There were none. Why? Because Howard did everything according to the constitutional requirements and protocols.
As for the illogical statement that 'a No vote was not a vote for the monarchy' that is like saying 'a Labor vote was not a vote against the Liberals'. Not a perfect analogy I admit*, but it illustrates the farce.

*There are more than two parties, there were only two choices in the referendum.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Slow Death of a Republic

The latest Morgan Poll ( ) shows the general level of support or a Republic in Australia at 45%, while support for the Monarchy has risen to 42%. While highly encouraging for anyone who truly cares about the future of this countries political system, the really important result is one barely commented on, even in what little media attention has been given to this poll. This is that 64% of young people asked, 14-17 year olds, support the Monarchy. This makes a mockery of Republicans claims that they only have to sit back and wait for the 'inevitable' Republic to come to them.
I have long held that most republicans are not fuelled by concern for our constitution, but an immature dislike of Great Britain and her institutions which developed amongst Baby Boomers as a reaction to their parents loyalty. The younger generations lack this, we travel to Britain, work in Britain, live in Britain in vast numbers. We have more respect for Britain, though we do not defer to them in any way, and rightly so.
Australia is a proud, independent nation that shares one of the most stable and free political systems in the world, and the bedrock of this is our constitutional monarchy. Thankfully, Australians, and particularly young Australians, are beginning to wake up to this fact.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia.

After eleven years of incompetent and radical government masquerading behind the conservative label so unthinkingly bestowed by a compliant media, Australia has a new Prime Minister. Thank God.
Although Howard claimed to be socially conservative but economically radical (a contradiction, one is either conservative or not) the pure and simple truth is that he was a power hungry man who would attack any institution, any eminent person, who dared to criticise him and his clique of absurdly useless ministers. He was economically radical and socially neglectful, doing nothing to help promote traditional valued in Australian society, all the while espousing such populist trash as 'mateship'.
We now have a truly conservative Prime Minister in the form of Kevin Rudd, who has, it seems, promptly abandoned earlier claims to hold a referendum on the Republic question, much to my delight as the one difficulty I had in voting for a Rudd government was that Labor supported the idea of an Australian Republic.
Let us hope the venerable institutions of Australia, so abused by the Howard government, can now be rejuvenated and restored.