Interrupting “Republicanism By Stealth”
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Interrupting “Republicanism By Stealth”

Interrupting “Republicanism By Stealth”

The Abbott government is reversing years of stealthy and undemocratic republicanism.

Since the 1990’s, republicans in every political capacity have attempted to introduce Republican ideas and principles by changing our institutions and devaluing the role of inherited traditions. They do this, usually without telling the people, but sometimes blatantly ignoring the people’s will.

We lost knighthoods. So, the people who performed great and noble deeds for the good of our country and others could no longer be honoured as such. That was a great shame. A knighthood provides a higher honour than any other form a country can bestow. The achievements of individuals such as Sir Roden Cutler VC and Sir David Martin become much more notable, when an honorific is attached to their name. Our Governor, Marie Bahsir would be more properly honoured with the honorific Dame Marie.It is always important that we acknowledge the achievements of great public figures who have selflessly contributed to the betterment of others, such as Sir Peter Cosgrove.

Some on the left have confused the re-introduction of a knighthood with introducing of an aristocracy, mistakenly believing a knighthood to be hereditary. It isn’t.

Even Republics, such as France, offer forms of knighthoods. These are allegedly ‘grown up’ countries. I hope that we can stop being the angsty teenager, uncertain of our identity, and grow up, fully aware of our British heritage and move forward, confident in who we are. We are Australian. Tony Abbott is leading the charge in creating a confident, grown-up Australia.

The republicans changed the legal sphere. We lost the Crown Prosecutor and replaced them with the DPP. We lost Queen’s Counsels and replaced them with Senior Counsels (an acronym I still confuse with the School Certificate). In other states and federally we are seeing a return to the former title, QC. New South Wales is ignoring this significant trend. When faced with the opportunity to become a QC instead of an SC, most barristers change. Perhaps republicans need to start listening to the people, rather than resorting to increasingly dated and unpopular practices.

In New South Wales, the Republicans kicked the Governor out of Government House. This resulted in the biggest public demonstration in the republican campaign – and it supported the Governor. It rejected the ‘republicanism by stealth’ of Bob Carr. Removing the Governor served to make Government House less accessible to the people and more exclusive. Gone were the days when grounds were open to charities for fundraising. There are now fewer public openings. This reflects the inner-city elitism of the broader republican movement in closing Government House to the people, and ensuring that those from rural New South Wales could never be appointed Governor. It is good to see that the State Liberal Government is restoring the Governor to her rightful place.

For years, in the manner of hormonal teenagers, republicans have attempted to destroy our institutions, so that their feelings of angst and uncertainty about our country can be relieved. Mainstream Australian’s have continually rejected this. We are a respected and sophisticated nation. We don’t have growing-up to do. We are a proud, confident nation that respects and pays tribute to our past and our heritage through our institutions and public commemorations such as Australia Day and ANZAC Day. We will navigate through the Asian Century as a nation that is confident in an identity forged through its British heritage, institutions and Western liberal values.

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