John Howard, the 25th Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia, has spoken at length for the first time about one of his greatest achievements, his successful defence of the Constitution.
“When I look back on that referendum its most distinctive feature, and the fundamental reason it failed was that it was a citizens’ rejection of an elitist proposition,” he said.
Some republicans say that John Howard “rorted” the referendum, but when he actually announced the model overwhelming approved by republicans at the 1998 Constitutional Convention would be put, the republicans were unanimous in praising him. They could not have had a fairer, more reasonable opportunity to put their case. Added to that, they had the support of most politicians and most in the mainstream media. And it was the most auspicious time for change- a new century, a new millennium, the centenary of Federation, the Olympic Games etc.
Delivering the Neville Bonner Oration on the tenth anniversary of that failed referendum to a large assembly, including Senator Cory Bernardi and ACM’s second executive director after Tony Abbott, Mrs Kerry Jones, John Howard was introduced by Professor David Flint.
Australia’s highest rating broadcast commentator, Alan Jones, moved the vote of thanks. Unusually among the commentators and an almost unanimous mainstream media who campaigned for the republic, he had advised listeners in 1999, “If you don’t know, vote no.’’
The youthfulness of the very capable MC and Young ACM spokesman, Jai Martinkovits, seemed to fascinate the ABC. There is a delusional belief among republicans, propagated for example by the Health Minister, the Hon Nicola Roxon, that “no new monarchists are being born.”
Those who recently said that ACM ran a campaign which was dishonest or unscrupulous, disreputable and destructive, John Howard says “ I thought the ACM behaved with great honour…you consistently represented the status quo…"
A DVD of these speeches, together with interviews not seen before with John Howard, Alan Jones, Kerry Jones, ACM executive director Thomas Flynn and Senator Cory Bernardi , has now been released.
A bargain at only $20 including post, packaging and the GST, this DVD is an excellent record of the event, and would make a superb gift. In addition it would be a valuable resource which supporters could donate to a favourite school, university or public library. Just click on the form below, print it and fill it in.
You can post it to ACM or fax it to (02) 92 61 50 33, international +61 2 92 61 50 33. Or you can phone through your order to (02) 92 51 25 00, international + 61 2 92 51 25 00.