In the commentary to the reprinting of Dr HV Evatt’s “The Royal Prerogative”, ANU Professor of Law, Leslie Zines states the clear constitutional position.
This is that all governments, federal or state governments are “Governments of The Queen”, that is, the Queen of Australia.
They are not governments of the prime minister, or of the premier, or indeed, of the Coalition or the Labor Party.
No matter how much our politicians try to hide it and try to avoid it, federal or state, remain the governments of The Queen.
And the powers of the Crown, whether exercised by The Queen, the Governor-General or the Governors, are held in trust for the people.
That is in essence a constitutional monarchy.
Under this system, the politicians are not the masters but remain the servants of the people.
In a cartoon in The Australian of 10 August, 2005 a man at a rostrum at a large public meeting asks “WOULD THE LEADER OF HER MAJESTY’S LOYAL OPPOSITION PLEASE STAND.”
Then pointing to a large man in the front row, Kim Beasley caricatured as Humpty Dumpty, he says “ERR … NOT YOU, HUMPTY“.
A large figure in a Ned Kelly helmet then stands up.
The title of the cartoon is the “BARNABY REJOICES”.
The cartoon is of course referring to Senator Barnaby Joyce. And we know that Senator Joyce is an honorable man, and that when he swore allegiance to the Queen, he made no mental reservation.
When Senator Joyce swears an Oath he means it, not like the republican MP who recently admitted, in the NSW Parliament, that he is a perjurer!
The Australian’s cartoonist, Bill Leak, has a more correct understanding of the constitutional position than most politicians, including those premiers and prime ministers who refer to “My government”.
It’s not theirs; it’s The Queen’s who holds her powers in trust for the people.
Never let the politicians forget that they remain under the Crown. Not above it or instead of it. They are under the Crown!
Whenever they forget that, they begin to think they are free to do anything they want to.
Remind them just who is in charge!
Until next time,