Ms Nicola Roxon, of the front bench of Her Majesty’s Loyal Australian Opposition, recently called on republicans “to apply the blowtorch to constitutional monarchy.” Ms. Roxon rejoiced in the fact that”… being a republican is a core condition of membership to the ( Labor) caucus”.
She forgets perhaps that so was being a socialist until Mr Hawke and Mr Keating sold as much of the family silver as they possibly could. Ms Roxon boasts of her work with Liberal republicans, especially Senator Mitch Fifield, who tells her a slim majority of Liberal candidates for election are already republicans.
Presumably they haven’t read the works of the liberal founder, Sir Robert Gordon Menzies. Or perhaps they share the remarkable ability of Senator Vanstone who communes with the next world. This has has allowed the good Senator to declare to the nation that Sir Robert Menzies is now a republican.
M s.Roxon laments the fact that the republicans were too polite in the 1999 referendum. She must not have read Mr. Turnbull’s diary, Fighting for the Republic, which Mr Julian Leeser said should be renamed Whingeing For the Republic. In it he describes his campaign director, Mr Greg ( “Australia is a pigsty “) Barns being in a head kicking mood, and in my direction. Mr Turnbull was not very polite in his cruel descriptions of me with my pseudo English accent, suggesting that I was not a constitutional lawyer’s bootlace, and so on. But the cruellest blow was to say that my Cane Toad Republic would end up in the remainder aisles of the bookshops. You would surely forgive me for the dainty morsel of schadenfreude I experienced when a friend phoned later to say he had seen the Turnbullian tome seriously discounted at the university co-op.
But back to Ms. Roxon, who is clearly in a headkicking mood. “We definitely need to sharpen our attack on the institution of monarchy,” She said “The best thing is, they are such an easy target.”
Ms. Roxon turns the current fashion of republican inevitabilism into a scientific doctrine. Ms. Roxon mirrors the approach taken by Karl Marx, who “found” that history is governed by scientific immutable laws. Marx said that under the laws of dialectical and historical materialism, the inevitable direction of all society was to the communist utopia. Ms Roxon claims to have discovered an immutable law of history, that constitutional monarchy is a stage between absolute monarchy and a republic, presumably any old republic , even the disastrous Timorese one, which if adopted here would indeed be a cane toad republic.
She says those who developed the constitutional monarchy “would turn in their graves, I suspect, were they to see the likes of David Flint or Tony Abbott suggesting that their compromise was the final destination for democratic progress.” She said that monarchy was not suggested as an option in Timor, Afghanistan or Iraq. She asked her audience to “… imagine if instead of Xanana Gusmao the East Timorese had to rely on Sir John Kerr, as the representative of a distant foreign monarch, to restore order. One shudders at the thought.”
Is Ms. Roxon seriously saying that the East Timorese constitution, modelled on a Portuguese model, is superior to ours, one of the world’s most successful constitutions?
Is Ms. Roxon proposing to model the Australian constitution into one similar to Timor’s? Will Ms. Roxon’s campaign for a Timor style constitution go the way of the “mate for head of state campaign”?