PETER FITZSIMONS WRITES IN THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD - The impact of Brexit – love it or hate it – on the Australian Republican Movement?
Enormous. And about 10 times what I had anticipated.
Our membership is suddenly surging once more, and did so from the very moment the vote came in. Social media is crackling with calls for Australia to get on with it. Everywhere I go – and I am speaking at Mudgee on Monday evening, seeing as you ask, and Perth on Tuesday – the passion is enormous and getting stronger. I am filled with hope that our membership, which has more than quintupled in the past year, will more than double this year.
For, irrespective of the wisdom or otherwise of the Brexit move, it puts into stark relief the ludicrousness of Australia persisting with a now outdated constitutional structure.
Let me count the ways ...
From our first days as a nation, our constitution and our flag proudly proclaimed us to be a part of the British Empire. Is it not obvious to all, right now, that very shortly the last country left standing from that once mighty empire, or even heavily linked to it, will be England herself?
If Scotland and Northern Ireland bail out on the United Kingdom, as is now mooted to happen, can you imagine the global humiliation of Australia still insisting that, as for us, we can still do no better than find our heads of state from one family of English aristocrats living in a palace in London?
Yes, shout it loud and proud, those Australian monarchists who still believe: "Goodbye, Great Britain, here in Australia we are so lacking in self-confidence we're happy to stay with 'Little Britain'!"
Come on. Who thinks that?
And which serious politicians?
Certainly none of the current leaders and nor should they.
In this coming election, let us pick politicians who want to steer us towards 2032, and not 1952.
Let us acknowledge Brexit for what it is, a political opportunity to galvanise the Australian people to not only be masters of our own destiny, but to be seen before the world to be exactly that!
We fancy ourselves, and are, one of the most successful, egalitarian and multicultural nations on earth. And yet, here in 2016 if you compare the photo of the English Queen with her family on her Buckingham Palace balcony a fortnight ago, and compare it with your family photo from last Chrissie or holiday season, here is the stark truth. Under our current constitution, every one of the 20 odd people of that English family on that balcony, from the 90-year-old down to six months old, is automatically more qualified to be the Australian head of state than any one of your or my family!
Because they are from the right, white English family, occupying the most entrenched, privileged and elite position on earth! And every one from your family is specifically barred, because they are mere Australians, not from the aforementioned right, white family.
This is an embarrassing nonsense. Most of our politicians know it. About 50 per cent of Australians know it. And only 25 per cent of us are dead set against making the change. So be it.
Let, now, the politicians lead on it. A week from now in this country there will be a different political paradigm, as power shifts. Whoever is in charge, let us insist they get moving in the next electoral cycle on Australia at last fulfilling our destiny, to be free-standing beneath the Southern Cross.
Brexit has demonstrated that, whatever else, the Brits in general, and the English in particular, have got enough self-confidence to go it alone. I refuse to believe that this country will not demonstrate similar self-confidence and get cracking on this next obvious step. Join us.
We can do this as a people, and get the job done within four to five years. On that night, the greatest in Australian history, those who are Australian republicans can be pleased. Those who are members of the Australian Republican Movement who have actually done something to help, to make it happen, can be proud. Google and join!
And when it does happen, when Australia is seen to be master of its own domain, instead of it being a divisive and horrible campaign as was Brexit, it can be a wonderfully unifying moment of national pride. Instead of the market and our currency crashing in tandem, as the world loses confidence in us, it would have obvious positive outcomes for our economy, as the world's belief in us starts to match our own belief in ourselves. With an Australian head of state promoting Australian trade, what better signal to our key Asia-Pacific neighbours that we have finally moved out of our post-colonial era, and are open for business in our own right!