Should Australia become a republic, or remain constitutionally subject to the British Crown?
That’s a question that rebounded to the top of the agenda during the great 2020 debate on Australia’s future that the Rudd government convened in April 2008. The summit in Parliament House aimed at harnessing the “best” ideas of Australians in order to map out a strategy for the country’s long-term future—in everything from the economy to the arts to national security.
Both Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his feminist-socialist deputy Julia Gillard are committed republicans.
Though Mr. Rudd indicated during his election campaign that he would bide his time on introducing a second referendum on the question of whether Australia should divorce from the Crown in the interests of becoming a republic, the 2020 forum gave new emphasis to this central policy plank of Australia’s new government. As New Zealand Herald’s Greg Ansley reported in the wake of the two-day talkfest, “[R]epublicanism, constitutional reform, an overhaul of federalism and a treaty with indigenous Australia are now firmly back on the political agenda …” (April 22, 2008).
None of this should be surprising, given that the bulk of the 1002 invitees to the 2020 summit were drawn from the liberal-socialist element of Australian society, overloaded as it was with the intelligentsia, spiced with enclaves of the commentariat, and with even a hooker present to represent something called the Scarlet Alliance standing out in the crowd with her green-and-gold dyed hair.
The Australian Institute of Public Affairs declared the summit a “‘blatantly political exercise’ that had selected participants to endorse a prefabricated mandate” (ibid.).
Most respondents to the press and media websites such as News Ltd. and Fairfax seemed to regard the 2020 summit as a talkfest of a “politicized elite with little in common with ordinary Australians” (ibid.).
As the Sydney Morning Herald noted April 21, 2008: “Those who hoped to be amazed by the summit—to find themselves yelling out loud, ‘What a great idea’—will feel cheated to find only the well-established social-democratic agenda”—in other words, the same old tired, tried and failed left‑wing arguments.
It was the new Home Affairs minister, Bob Debus, who at the 2020 Summit spearheaded the raising of the issue of Australia rejecting its attachment to the Crown to form a republic. Although delegates in the 2020 governance group had originally agreed to a 12-year target to achieve an Australian republic, that was not good enough for Mr. Debus, who promptly challenged them to commit to a shorter time frame. This resulted in applause in support for his proposal that the government commit to leading Australia to become a republic by 2010. The summiteers consequently voted three to one to endorse this ambitious, and probably unachievable, target.
Voices of Dissent
One left‑wing Australian, author and media personality, Clive James, though not present to voice his opinion, came out in favor of the monarchy in the lead-up to the 1999 vote on the issue of whether or not Australia should become a republic. During a tour of Australia in 2007, James reiterated his conservative stance on the institution of the British monarchy yet again.
Though James hails, politically, from the left, he describes himself as a cultural conservative. As such, he is not for an Australian republic.
In reply to a question regarding Australia’s choice between perpetuating its constitutional attachment to the Crown as compared to becoming a republic, James responded that he valued and believed in the current constitutional system. He continued, “You ask when are you going to be free of the British monarchy? You are free under the British monarchy. What you have to guarantee is that you are free under the next system. I think it’s a very advantageous political system to Australia, to have a connection with the old British monarchy. … I know I must be seen as impossibly conservative, but you can be quite on the left, which I am, and still be culturally conservative” (Age, Aug. 25, 2007).
Much to the chagrin of Australia’s rabid supporters of republicanism, one would have to assume that Clive James is not the only leftist who possesses such a view. All states in Australia are in the hands of leftist state governments. In 2007, the country endorsed a leftist political party to lead it at the federal level. This does not, at first appearance, seem to fit with a national electorate that eight years ago rejected, by a clear margin in all states of the Commonwealth, the argument to change the Australian system of governance from constitutional monarchy to a republic.
Though at the time of the 1999 referendum Australia had a conservative federal government, all states were then, as now, ruled by leftist governments. As one source pointed out, the dichotomy between a majority electorate that leans to the left and yet maintains a healthy respect for the monarchy is a conundrum that rattles those in the forefront of the republican movement: “The Queen’s popularity in the 21st century is puzzlingly irksome to these self-appointed progressives” (Australian, Nov. 19, 2002).
The Best Value Available
Andrew Roberts, in his masterful work A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900, points to the English-speaking peoples as being “the dominant world political culture since 1900.” Such is the whim of human nature that this dominance has led to them being “constantly envied and often hated.” Of course, the worst hatred by far has often come from the self-hating far-left in our midst, the old “fifth column.” It was of such that hailed from within the mother country that Lord Palmerston was to complain, “England is, I believe, the only country in which, during a great war, eminent men write and speak as if they belonged to the enemy” (ibid.).
Of course, inherent in Palmerston’s comment was the knowledge that these dissidents lived in one of the few nations on Earth that permitted the airing of seditious views in the interests of free speech! Be that as it may, given the state today of journalistic commentary on the Iraq and Afghan wars, it’s easy to see those “eminent men” have effectively handed down their seditious trade to the generations that have followed.
Roberts goes on to note that despite being twice brought to a state of hot, global war by the forces of tyranny, despite the Cold War against global Marxism-Leninism, and despite recently having to fend off terror from Islamic fundamentalism, “the English-speaking peoples would remain the last best hope for mankind.” The reason that Roberts gives for this resilience of the English-speaking peoples is: “The beliefs that they brought into the 20th century largely actuate them yet; their values are still the best available in a troubled world; the institutions that made them great continue to inspire them today.”
It is the point about the lasting institutions of the English-speaking peoples being a reason for their continuing inspiration today that is lost on so many today. The Australian newspaper termed the republican movement “self-appointed progressives”—people with misguided zeal to detach Australia from the very foundation upon which its free and open society has been built.
To those who are willing to view the arguments for and against an Australian republic, our question is, what has been the history of nations that have divorced themselves from the very institutions upon which their nations were founded? What happens when a people dismantles those institutions that gave them the prestige to stand tall in the eyes of friend and foe?
Andrew Roberts throws some light on the importance of this question when he observes, “Prestige is a tangible benefit in the calculus of international relations, its loss a concomitant danger” (op. cit.).
From where did Australia gain its prestige as a nation? From standing up to the forces of tyranny under a proud flag that superimposed the Union Jack upon the stars of the Southern Cross! From flying high over its buildings of state, the red, white and blue livery of the very temple colors of the ancient nation of Israel!
Too few there be who recognize that today!
A Royal Heritage
To those who would seek to rip the British flag off Australia’s national flag, Clive James rightly claimed that Australia ought to retain it as a “generous act of respect” to the country that mothered it into nationhood.
The trouble is, a half-century and more of regressive, liberal-socialist-feminist education, overlaid with a more recent morally vacuous political correctness, has produced a generation in Australia largely divorced from its true and ancient heritage. That great past has been sacrificed on the altars of godless socialism, feminism and multiculturalism! Add to this the influence over the masses of the famously baying Australian press, out to get blood at any expense—especially if that is royal blood—and the result is entirely predictable. You end up with the imposition of the warped will of the loudly chattering “progressives” over the real will of the people.
As Clive James warned in a 2006 interview, “There is a danger in Australia constantly of the consensus of the commentariat separating too far from the opinion of the people, to the point where the commentariat becomes contemptuous of the people.”
This is a considerable problem in all the English-speaking nations today. The opinions of the public are influenced by, and in too many instances overtaken by, a select commentariat that has the power of the mass media at its disposal and uses it to selectively deliver messages based upon the bias of its choice. Too often that bias is against all the founding principles that secured a nation to its original foundations. In Australia, this commentariat is far too often intent on severing the nation’s ties from all that made it, once, a great nation within what was, once, a great Commonwealth of Nations established in the traditions of the English-speaking peoples.
Should Australia become a republic or retain its freedoms under its royal heritage? That question will soon be revisited upon every Australian subject of the Crown.
The only way you can give an educated judgment on that question is to thoroughly research the true heritage of the Australian nation and find out just what it means to be attached to that Crown and what it would truly mean to be divorced from it.
Our booklet The United States and Britain in Prophecy thoroughly addresses this question. That book, more than any other, proves that the ancient history of the English-speaking peoples is much more ancient than most realize. It will give you an understanding of the foundation upon which our freedoms have been built. It reveals the true and ancient history—and the mind-boggling future—that the Crown will yet have in a governmental system that will eventually impact all nations. Whichever way Australia votes on the republic versus monarchy issue, the nation is destined to come under that Crown for the entire duration of its future as a nation, believe it or not!
That’s what is prophesied in your Bible!
During the great decade of social change, the 1960s, a powerful voice was broadcasting coast to coast in Australia every evening on radio. Herbert W. Armstrong pulled no punches when it came to speaking the plain, unadulterated truth. Multiple thousands of Australians appreciated his no-holds-barred approach to delivering the plain and simple truth on any matter.
Using the Bible as the foundation for his logic, he linked history, current world events and Bible prophecy in mind-searing messages that captured the attention of a sizeable national audience in Australia. By the end of his long and eventful life—which ended on Jan. 16, 1986—Jesus Christ’s great prophecy of Matthew 24:14 had been fulfilled. The original gospel message as received from Christ, personally, by the original apostles, had been preached to all nations!
It was Herbert W. Armstrong who wrote the book The United States and Britain in Prophecy. Perhaps you were one who heard those powerful radio broadcasts. Even if not, you owe it to yourself to obtain your own copy of this book, gratis, read it and make up your own mind whether, in the light of the proven history and prophesied future of the Australian people, you really want to see your nation cede its rightful attachment to its God-given, royal Crown.