We know from the Australian Republican Movement’s 2013 National Lecture that in their politicians’ republic the Australian Flag will be shredded and replaced with the Eureka Flag. In addition, any reference to God will be removed from our constitutional documents.
Peter FitzSimons was specially chosen to deliver this year’s very well promoted Australian Republican Movement’s National Lecture at Monash University on 11 June 2013.
His views are well known and come with no surprise. It would seem the ARM is comfortable with them. Curiously, the ARM has seen fit not to release any text of the lecture. Nevertheless Mr. FitzSimons has helpfully revealed the substance of his lecture in media interviews.
…Mate for a Head of State…
Mr. FitzSimons is a well known journalist and author, and was the main force behind The Mate for a Head of State campaign launched by leading republicans in 2005 to raise public interest and support for some vague undefined politicians' republic.
Widely reported in the media, it turned out to be a most embarrassing failure.
…get rid of that flag…
Along with his republicanism, Mr. FitzSimons is a well known major campaigner for flag change. It is not surprising that in media interviews about the lecture he said the Australian Flag must be changed. Although he had previously rejected the Eureka Flag because of its association with a communist trade union and the Cronulla riots he was now persuaded that it would be an appropriate replacement.
Here is yet another confirmation that Flag change is programmed to occur under any politicians' republic.
He proposes that the head of the republic be named the Governor-General and that he or she not be elected by the people.
In that he takes issue with Mr. Turnbull, who would now accept direct election by the people on certain conditions. We assume Mr. Turnbull would insist that an elected president would be, if not powerless, without the reserve powers similar to the Governor-General.
If we are wrong, Mr. Turnbull will no doubt correct us. ( We will of course publish that correction.)
On this it should be borne in mind that before the 1998 convention election, the ARM indicated its mind was open to direct election.
Once the convention opened, it became very clear that the ARM's mind had slammed shut and direct election would not be accepted. This led to the adoption of tactics to kill the issue and a consequent breakdown in relations between the ARM and the direct elect republicans.
But for the mediation of ACM national convenor, LLoyd Waddy QC, there would have been a walk out by the direct elect republicans.
Mr. FitzSimons did not reveal the answer to the difficult question as to how the republican Governor-General should be removed.
He dismissed questions about the vacuum which would occur when the conventions surrounding the Crown were removed in this politicians' republic..
Mr. Fitzsimons dismissed God as an “imaginary friend “in the sky. There would be no place for Him in the politicians' republic.
He said that these were “grim times” for republicans with support “waning badly”.
Republicans, he said, must keep their “powder dry” for the end of the reign. He seems to think the succession will prove a silver bullet for the republicans. He forgets that the republicans campaigned in very personal and disparaging terms – to no effect – against the Prince of Wales and his consort in 1999.
This lecture indicates the thinking of the Australian Republican Movement is not unlike the position it adopted in the nineties. The choice of the head of state is to be left to the politicians and the Flag is to go. To this is added a particularly aggressive atheism. There is one rider on this. If the price of a republic is direct election, that would be acceptable provided the head of state had no reserve powers. Finally the end of the reign is a silver bullet which will deliver some form of politicians' republic.
Like the Mate for a Head of State campaign, it won't happen – provided we remain vigilant and united in the stand we adopted at the convention and took to the referendum.