A republican call has been made in an Australia Day piece in The Australian both for a new flag and a new anthem (“Let's use our national day to set national goals and make our country stronger,” 28/1).
It is proposed these be unveiled with the inauguration of a (politicians’) republic.
Pending the realisation of some vague undefined politicians’ republic a “distant prospect” Australia Day should be “reshaped”.
The proposer is Troy Bramston, a former adviser and speechwriter to Kevin Rudd , a former President of NSW Young Labor and Secretary and Vice President of the NSW Fabian Society. A frequent commentator he is a prominent republican.
He worked for years with the Australia Day Council and claims the Australia Day address was his idea, which explains a lot.
Was it his idea to invite and English knight, Sir Michael Parkinson, to tell us to become a republic?
He wants a purge of all of our national symbols, and cringes every time he sees the Australian Flag.
He very carefully does not repeat the usual republican untruth that Australians did not fight under the National Flag during the world wars.
He says it was not the ”sole” flag, using the artifice that the blue ensign was not “official “until legislation in 1953.
This is not so. It was approved under the Royal Prerogative in 1903. This was announced in Commonwealth of Australia Gazette No 8 of 1903 which states that King Edward VII approved the essential designs for the flag of Australia, known as the Commonwealth blue ensign, and for the flag of the merchant navy, known as the Commonwealth red ensign.
…Presidential visit to the House..
Mr Bramston has another proposal – one which will make most Australians laugh at its naïveté – to bring to Australia the US President’s State of the Union address to “set national policy goals for the year ahead and articulate a unifying vision for the nation.”
A unifying vision?
It is typical of republicans that they have little appreciation of the differences between a politicians’ republic like the US and our crowned republic.
So you get their oft repeated criticism that our constitution doesn’t even mention the prime minister. Why should it? It would only make some of them more – obsessed about their role and function than they already are.
The American President is both head of state and head of the government .
Indeed he is the government. When he travels there is no acting President in Washington. The American government comes with him.
We have a Sovereign, The Queen and a head of state, the Governor-General, both of whom are above politics. We have a head of government who is only first among equals – and is responsible to the House of Representatives.
If she loses her majority she is out the door. She must answer to the House for what she does