A relative by marriage of mine, who is German, is not particularly interested in matters constitutional or legal. Back in the early nineties, we had the following conversation:-
Wolfgang: David, Australia must be come a republic.
W: The Queen costs us so much.
DF: What do you mean?
W:All that money we send to London.
DF: What money?
W: The rent, all that money which comes from all the Crown land The Queen owns!
A German immigrant can be forgiven for not understanding things we take for granted.
That said, the Carr government actually found the time- while they are administering NSW so well- to change the name of Crown land to…believe it or not.. State land! What a wonderful achievement of the Carr government! T
he fact is that the republicans do not fool anyone when they engage in silly stunts, rather than in explaining what changes they want to our constitutional system. They particularly do not fool anyone when they fail to identify just what precisely is so wrong with our constitutional system that we must divert yet more millions and millions of dollars from schools and hospitals into not one , but three, votes to persuade us to throw out our constitution, and then change our flag.
Perhaps their silliest stunt was when they demanded The Queen give back Tom Roberts wonderful painting of the State Opening by our future King of the first Federal Parliament.
That painting hangs on permanent loan in the Parliament in Canberra. It is hardly the personal property of The Queen!
But even one state premier joined in this ridiculous and frankly embarassing demand. Do they really argue that if Australia became a republic, The Queen would take it back to London in a huff? Do they really think Australians would really believe such rubbish?
Tired of stunt after stunt, including the recent ones about the Royal Marriage and the Commonwealth Games, including the untruthful claim that ACM had said we would be thrown out of the Commonwealth if we became a republic, ACM decided to act.
So this year, before the holiday, ACM called on the republican movement to give up their stunts and their instead tell the people what precisely they are proposing for constitutional change in this country.
We also called on the republican politicians to stop their campaign of creeping republicanism, a campaign for which they have no mandate whatsoever! The Sydney Morning Herald reported this in its breaking news digital service on 12 June 2005 under the headline: REPUBLICANS URGED TO AVOID QUEEN STUNTS.
It opened with this sentence: Australian republicans should avoid stunts on the Queen’s Birthday and allow people to celebrate the country’s constitutional arrangements, Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy (ACM) has said.
It reported that the ACM National Convener had said this year’s holiday would be enjoyed by many thousands of Australians as a celebration of Australia’s history, heritage and great democracy, and that he hoped republicans will respect our great democracy and allow all Australians to celebrate this coming weekend rather than introduce republican stunts.
The Herald report quoted the following from the ACM statement: (Quote) This weekend is an appropriate time for all Australians to recognize the significance of our Australian constitutional arrangements. As we celebrate we can take stock of our past while focusing on our future as the greatest democracy (unquote)
According to the Herald, the current ARM leader said the Queens Birthday long weekend served as an annual reminder to Australians about the unfinished business of an Australian republic. The ARM at present pretends it has no favoured model. Mark Latham and the Liberal Senator – and ARM office bearer – Marise Payne, have let the very obvious cat out of the bag on that.
The convoluted and expensive process the ARM now insists the Australian taxpayer fund to deceive Australians into throwing out their constitutional system is designed to produce a model in which we get the additional politician Australians are no lying awake at night dreaming about!