Ernest Hemingway once observed that the “first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.”
If Hemingway lived in Australia today, he would add a third panacea. This involves imposing a politicians’ republic and shredding our Australian Flag. His Munificence Wayne Swan is becoming unstoppable.( Sid Maher, Swan calls for a republic, urges ALP to stick together, The Australian 2 March 2013)
Paul Keating drafted the template for constitutional and flag shredding as a useful panacea for errant governments. And now our pommy bashing Treasurer Wayne Swan is pushing the barrow for a republic which on the last model will vastly increase the hold of the political class to over the nation.
When his much heralded surplus disappeared when nobody was looking a mere five days before last Christmas, Treasurer Swan shifted his tack to getting rid of The Queen. This was despite the fact that he had solemnly sworn or affirmed his allegiance to Her Majesty on at least six occasions.
Treasurer Swan wasn’t exactly one of those whom Malcolm Turnbull would say was “prominent on the republican barricades in 1999”. In fact, the electors of his seat of Lilley made it very clear that they didn’t want a bar of the Keating-Turnbull politicians’ republic he and his ilk were trying to foist on a very reluctant nation including the especially reluctant and well-named sovereign state of Queensland.
…Bodyline cricket? What has that got to do with it? ..
Mr. Swan made a startling revelation this summer in the leading republican broadsheet, The Sydney Morning Herald (25/1), just before it shrank to a tabloid.His Munificence solemnly announced to an astounded nation that his attention – or more likely that of someone on his vast personal staff – had been drawn to the test cricket series between Australia and the United Kingdom 80 years ago, known as Bodyline.
This made him determined to get rid of The Queen.
Using a sporting controversy as the reason for a change to the Constitution is curious, but Treasurer Swan is merely repeating a pattern which emerged in the 90's. As Sir David Smith demonstrates in his authoritative book, this involved celebrity republicans inventing the most "weird and wonderful reasons" for wanting to remove the Crown from the Constitution. (See Sir David Smith, Head of State, 2005, from page 189 – and you may wish to note the additions in The Cane Toad Republic, 1999, from page 25. Read them out aloud to your friends – republicans are such fun.)
Now in his piece Mr Swan lavishly praised the two Labor wartime prime ministers, John Curtin and Ben Chifley. We hope he knows that both of them were very strong constitutional monarchists. If he does, why didn’t he say so?
We warrant he did not say so in his latest sally.
One thing Mr Swan surely knows is that support for a politicians' republic has fallen over the years to 33% which indicates that in a popular vote, the No vote would be even bigger than in 1999.
Mr.Swan uses the same old Head of State argument notwithstanding the fact that his government holds out the Governor-General as Head of State when it suits them.
ACM is an organisation which is if anything consistent. We say – as we said in the referendum, The Queen is the Sovereign and the Governor General is the constitutional head of the Commonwealth.
And that was the unanimous view of the High Court in 1907 – and each and every Justice ranked as a Founding Father.