Minutes of the 11th EGM of The Republicans at Epping 2121
on 26 November, 2014
It was a late start to proceedings due to unpreventable circumstances – at 8.45pm.
1. the matter of Phillip Hudson’s article in The Australian of 24 November:
‘Tony Abbott needs Ricky Muir-like candour to win back voters’ faith’;
2. The seeming success so far in the anti-Halal food certification campaign.
Summation: the former spelling out, reasonably accurately, the communications difficulties the Federal Coalition government is having, pro tem, and how they might deleteriously play out for it and the latter possibly becoming a ‘sleeper’ (policy) issue.
Advised: Letter sent to author Paul Kelly re the perceived major omission in his 2014 scholarly work
viz. ‘TRIUMPH & DEMISE: The Broken Promise of a Labor Generation’ – that of K-Rudd having effectively vetoed the scheduled referendum on the recognition of Local Government in the Federal Constitution with his bringing forward of the set Federal Election date by a week. *See ‘QUOTABLE QUOTES’ section on Page 3.
Advised: Letter sent regarding possible sponsorship to David Walsh, Founder & Funder of the Museum of Old & New Art (MONA) at Berriedale in Hobart.
Replacement Catalyst: What, with the failure of the ‘YES’ case in the Scottish Referendum on independence, the so-called ‘black spider’ memos – the interference record (some 25 or so instances) of Monarch-in-Waiting, Prince Charles, lobbying Westminster ministers (both Labour and Conservative) – going back some years.
Adopted: The Report in to the Conduct of the inauguration of the State Republic of Tasmania Campaign by Peter Consandine.
(a) the basics of the State Republic of Victoria campaign to commence on 14 January, 2015
(b) the basics of the State Republic of Western Australia campaign to commence on 12 March, 2015.
Resolution: (now), with reference to (a) get ‘Republic of Victoria’ attention-getting sign made in exactly the same layout, style and sizing as that prepared for the Tasmanian venture.
Resolution: (now), again with reference to (a) re-format the two applicable petitions for the Victorian effort.
Reports from The Traps:
(a) rumours that moves are already afoot to tip Bill Shorten from the position of Federal Labor Opposition Leader – on the grounds that Peter Faris QC has been appointed in an alleged sexual assault damages claim matter against him;
(b) the alleged dissension in the ARM ranks with the hierarchy of the organisation instructing the State and Territory branches what to do and, more rigidly, what NOT to do while they ALL await the opportunity to “do something”!
(c) the meeting with the staff manning the (Watson) Canberra Head Office of ARM – David Glynne Jones and Kate Fenning – on the last day of October;
(d) the meeting with Wattle Association President, Terry Fewtrell, held on the afternoon of the same (very hot) day;
(e) the participation at the SPA public meeting at Glebe Town Hall on the issue of ‘Too Big a Sydney Population’ on the afternoon of 8 November.
Adopted: Peter Consandine’s new label for do-nothing-until-the-monarch-dies’ Republicans: ‘Elizabethan Republicans’. Cute but appropriate.
Resolution: That Peter Consandine write a follow-up letter to his ARM counterparts, Messrs. Geoff Gallop and David Morris again inviting them to come on board the ‘Oz Republic by Default’ Campaign instigated by The RPA.
Reported: The RPA is now linked with both the Rationalists Association and the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance.
Noted: The AEC has delivered the official notification – as a result of the latest re-distribution – that the State of NSW has had its number of House of Representatives Seats reduced from 48 to 47 whilst the State of WA has had an increase in the number of its H o R Seats from 15 to 16.
Further Noted: The AEC is fully-satisfied with The RPAs 2013-2014 Financial Return and that it will be published with no amendments or adverse comments in the Government Gazette.
Noted (proudly in fact): The Republican Wine Club, on 11 November, chalked up 21 consecutive years of boutique wine trading.
Noted: That the Medium-sized current range of t-shirts is depleted – leaving ONLY the XL and XXL sizes in stock and comparatively few of either.
Adopted (after protracted discussion), New Policies:
(a) The need for a Federal Homeland Security Department if not Commission;
(b) The phasing out prior to ending of Dual and Triple Citizenship status – that the ONLY Nationality for Australian Citizenship should be – by 5 years time – purely and ONLY Australian.
* The previously mooted policy idea of merging the ABC and SBS was re-categorised as a ‘Policy Under Further Review’ – to be re-considered in the light of the findings and recommendations of the Productivity Commission inquiry on the matter which is ongoing.
**Peter Martin’s quite brilliant idea for a Pensions Loan Scheme be further explored with regard to its policy efficacy.
Resolution: That The RPA write to our monarch and, respectfully, ask her to consider abdicating once she has exceeded the record time-on-the-throne by her great, great grandmother, Queen Victoria (nearly 64 years), say, by the time she chalks up 65 years as Australia’s Head-of-State by which time she would be 90ish.
Noted: ALL the material necessary for the compilation of ‘STATE of the REPUBLICAN NATION Report #3’ is prepared. As a result, the general feeling of the Meeting was that this written publication be released in tandem with the Victorian State Republic Campaign – in January next.
Agreed: That the Labor Party failed the 1999 Republican referendum – the ‘YES’ vote ONLY carrying in 24 of the Labor-held H o R Seats. Abysmal!
Agreed: That Australia’s first Governor, Arthur Phillip, should be afforded more recognition for the kind approach he took in treating and dealing with indigenous Australians during his tenure – notwithstanding the fact that he was an appointed military dictator.
Special Notations from Bob Brown’s 2014 publication ‘OPTIMISM’: 1. (paraphrasing him) He too describes Queen Elizabeth 2 as Australia’s prisoner; 2. He too plumps for 1st September [WATTLE DAY!] as his favoured date for a uniform National (Public) Holiday.
Noted: Ex-Tasmanian Greens Senator, Bob Brown, will be Wattle Day Events’ 11th Annual Wattle Day Luncheon Guest Speaker on 1st September, 2016. Ex-Senator Brown being a former ‘REPUBLICAN of the YEAR’, as it happens.
*During proceedings a phone conference was held with The Party’s WA Deputy Convenor, Marcus Anderson, chiming in for some involvement with his Eastern Seaboard compatriots – for the very first time. It was ALL very experimental.
Agreed: ‘HUBTOPIA’ is a catchy but applicable ‘shorthand’ way of alluding to the location (in North-West Sydney) of the National Executive Secretariat of The RPA.
Two salient and integral lines from author Paul Kelly… “A nation that has lost the art of reform and self-improvement will finish on the path to decline and Australia has stepped on to this escalator;
Australia cannot succeed in Asia with a political culture that is inflexible, resistant to change and tied to European-type regulations and entitlements”.
Some most controversial lines from a 24 September speech by University of Adelaide mining geologist, Ian Plimer…”Government should focus on the ‘hard sciences’ that underpin economic growth rather than useless degrees that don’t increase the nation’s wealth…although degrees in fine arts and politics and sociology may well be important, they are probably brakes on the economy rather than stimuli to grow the economy… universities are churning out graduates who lack a broad education and they have little chance of finding work in their study area… this is the plague we have to have – the plague of dunces”.
Some words of caution from author Peter Grose describing his WW2 heroine, the much-decorated ,
wooden-legged, American spy, Virginia Hall, in his engrossing 2014 book ‘A GOOD PLACE to HIDE’…”Right up until her death in July 1982 she refused ALL requests from authors and journalists to interview her about her exploits. “Too many of my friends were killed because they talked too much” is what she would invariably reply.
Some hard-hitting opining by Boston University’s Professor of Biochemistry, Isaac Asimov: “Democracy cannot survive overpopulation…population growth has for too long been the equivalent of the 800 pound gorilla in the room and with global population fast approaching 8 billion plus the impacts are increasingly being felt across the entire globe”.
Lastly, Max Wallace has some wisdom to convey…Max, in an article he wrote for the Winter edition of the New Liberator periodical, advocates the taxing of religious and non-religious institutions alike:
“We [ALL Australians] would win – not just the churches but the atheist and other secular organisations that had function as alternatives to religion, as well”. Max maintains the following 2 dictums, with due emphasis:
1.”It is not the business of truly secular governance for government to be subsidising belief” and
2. “The substantial taxes that would flow back in to the consolidated revenues at Federal, State and Local government levels would be a significant benefit for authorities addressing ALL the expenditure commitments they have to ALL citizens – be they religious or secular”.
The Big Concurrence:
The Meeting concurred with the Sydney Morning Herald Editorial of 6 November, to wit ‘Gough Whitlam: Unfinished business for a modern nation’. The SMH Editorialist asserted thus: “Australians would do well to disentangle the republican debate from the former PM’s 1975 dismissal…it’s time to revive the discussion about how our Head-of-State is chosen to ensure that the people of Australia are involved in the decision-making of our land and to make Australia confident of its future in our region and in the World”. One wonders: were the Chieftans of the ARM ‘on song’? Probably not, unfortunately.
Agreed before Close-Down at a very late 11.25pm: That the night of Wednesday, 25th February, 2015 be the time and date of the next EGM (#12).