Debates behind the writing of this book. Importance of Commonwealth experiences in 20th Century evolution of the Crown. "Forseyite monarchism". Thanks.
Book One: Whispers of History
The Legacy of Revolutions
Beyond the Painted Chamber
The American Revolution in the context of Westminster history: war of reform, not independence. Restoration of 1660, emergence of Whigs and Tories, Glorious Revolution of 1688. Debates of Convention Parliament: republican doctrines underlying Crown. Emergence of office of "Prime Minister".
"…Stained with the Blood of Her Children."
Political issues behind dissent in American colonies. The Revolution: supporters and opponents on both sides of the Atlantic. Jefferson, Washington and Continental Congress make it clear they view conflict as civil war. Similarly, members of the Lords and Commons. Effect upon parliamentary reform. Conclusion.
Her Majesty’s Government
History of ministerial responsibility: 17th Century formula of "the King can do no wrong".Ancient form of responsibility. Conversion to modern form as ministers acquired control over policy. Relevance of relics of ancient form: exercise of reserve powers, duty of servants of Crown to disobey manifestly unlawful orders. Implications for armed forces and police, "Her Majesty’s Prisons" and habeus corpus. The Crown as emblem and the Oath of Allegiance.
Contrast: the United States of America. Teapot Dome and Watergate. Findings of Watergate Congressional Committees: profound executive lawlessness entrenched in system. The Schlesinger Report. Presidential knowledge and superior orders: the Justice Department’s stance. Executive-ordered illegal espionage, kidnapping, and possible murder. Congressional Quarterly suggests "awful new flaw" in US Constitution. Contrast with Crown and modern interpretation of Bill of Rights (1689): New Zealand High Court and Fitzgerald v. Muldoon (1976).
Viceregal witnesses of executive illegality: what should they do? Evatt and criticisms of his stance. The sacking of Premier Jack Lang by Sir Philip Game, New South Wales 1932. Lack of practical justiciability in many executive actions. Conclusion: Westminster Crown provides solution to many of the profound flaws illustrated in the executive government of the United States.
Beyond Our Shores
The republican form and the republican ideal. Switzerland and England, de Tocqueville’s views. Collapse of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Hitler. Influence of Westminster upon French Republics. Collapse of France’s Fourth Republic in 1958 military coup d’etat. De Gaulle, the Fifth Republic and virtual dictatorship. Democracy and Asia: Aung San Suu Kyi’s view.
Bagehot’s authority questioned. His perceptions
of the Crown and his own 19th Century prejudices: hatred of the
"lower classes", disdain for the "upper".
The Crown as "disguise". Heredity and personal ability.
Morality. Efficacy of reserve power or its lack: Bagehot v. Machiavelli,
illustrated by the Irish Presidency. A different, modern paradigm:
the monarch as "potent witness" of executive government.
Book Two: Civil Politics and the Crown
The Necessity of Reserve Powers
Existence (and Need for Existence)
Conflict of interest inherent in representative democracy: constituency and elective oligarchy. Need for safeguards. Justiciability and non-justiciability. Difference between Charter of Rights and reserve powers; Machiavelli and lo stato. Hitler and the last days of the Weimar Republic: judicial impotence. An attempt to subvert democracy in Australia: Australian Capital Television Pty Ltd v. The Commonwealth of Australia (1992). The High Court’s ruling. Dangers of a judicial aristocracy, and self-imposed surrender of popular sovereignty. Summary: a defence of reserve powers using Madison's words.
Granting or Denying Dissolution or Prorogation
Importance of reserve executive power to refuse dissolution and prorogation of Parliament. Evatt’s views, and Edmund Burke’s declaration of principle. Blake’s speech in the Canadian House of Commons. Extreme case: 1994 Solomon Islands constitutional crisis, where Governor-General forcibly re-convenes Parliament against advice of incumbent Prime Minister who has lost its confidence and wants to keep it prorogued. Relevance to 1996 New South Wales prorogation controversy: Winterton’s opinion refuted.
Forced Dissolution and Refusal of Assent
Lord Hailsham, Mussolini and the reserve powers. The royal power of veto: Bagehot contradicted by Alpheus Todd and John Stuart Mill. Home Rule and the 1913 threat of civil war in Ireland; George V contemplates the Veto. Opinions: Balfour, Anson and Dicey. Modern view on forced dissolution and veto: upholding sovereignty of the people through seeking their verdict. Forsey and forced dissolutions. A general need for a potent witness: the emergency of the Great Depression.
The Wielder of the Reserve Powers
Of Hawks and Pigeons
Voltaire’s warning. The nature of wielder of the reserve powers: inclination and resources. Plato sets the ball rolling. Churchill’s view. An ancient echo: Machiavelli’s analysis of executive survival. John Stuart Mill’s criterion for a well-constituted office. How constitutional monarchy, through the hereditary principle, fulfils Mill's criterion by creating a vested interest. How elective presidencies intrinsically fail it.
The dangers of a directly-elected President: de Gaulle’s near-dictatorship in France, 1958-1968. Dangers of parliamentary election: 1992 disastrous stalemate over election of Italian President, resolved by murder of Giovanni Falcone. Similar crisis in Slovakia. Feeble response of Turnbull Committee.
Advantage of current system illustrated by 1991 Diro Affair, Papua New Guinea. Difficulties of non-executive trial process: judicial trial, parliamentary impeachment. Failure of impeachment in United States: Congressional Quarterly’s criticism. Disastrous model proposed for Australian republic.
Of Dogs and Wolves
Winterton’s minimalist formula. Australia: a "crowned republic"? Dangers of current method of appointing GG: Whitlam’s expectation that Kerr was "his creature"; expectation that McKell "should" allow personal political beliefs to override propriety in refusing dissolution to Menzies. Implicit expectation (and encouragement) of partisan corruption within Australian politics, and accusations of "Judas" when propriety followed instead. Danger of political patronage if viceregal office in Prime Minister’s "gift". Doctrine of "inevitable dismissal" of GG by Queen rejected in Oxford and Canada: D.P.O’Connell QC, Dr Geoffrey Marshall, 1978 Regina Protest of the Canadian Premiers. A solution to current dangers: 1930 framework of viceregal appointment and nomination by community leaders via a "Convocation of State".
Military Considerations, or Uncivil Politics and the Crown
The Issue of Military Command
Necessity of a commander-in-chief in all political systems. Current role of our Governor-General as commander-in-chief. Inherent safeguards.
Military Aid to the Civil Power
Necessity of Military Aid to the Civil Power. Used in Australia: 1978 Sydney Hilton bombing and the Bowral call-out. Used in Canada: 1976 Olympic Games, 1970 kidnapping by Quebec Liberation Front. Used in UK: Northern Ireland. Dangers in partisanship: 1970 Kent state Massacre in United States. Rules of engagement. Sombre contrast: 1919 Amritsar Massacre. Value of a non-partisan witness of executive government during military call-out.
The Army and the President
1787 Philadelphia Convention recognises armed oppression an obvious threat in republican form of government. Historical experience in military dictatorship during 17th Century English republic, arbitrary reign of James II, failure of English safeguards in colonial context during American Revolution. American solution: institutionalise Congressional ability to wage civil war upon President and US Army, through Second Amendment, the so-called "Right to Bear Arms". Alternative in Switzerland: conscription for all male citizens at all levels of military expertise, in a national conscript army. No solution proposed by Turnbull Committee; problem conveniently ignored. Alternative danger: army rises against resented government. Problems inherent in the fact all governments are resented by disadvantaged parties in society; politicisation of armed forces. Conventions surrounding Crown that act to discourage this.
An African confrère: postcolonial attitudes driving Australian debate obsolete, a retro-’70s ideological fashion in the 1990s. Of monarchists and royalists. Socialist monarchists: irrelevance of "left-wing v. right-wing" taint to debate. Role of Crown and ignorance of "experts". Becoming "a republic for Asia", a contradiction to multiculturalism. Imperial China and the British Civil Service.
An Australian Crown
Emergence of an independent Australian monarchy: "Dominion status" and Imperial Conferences of 1926 & 1930; the 1952 London Conference and the Royal Style and Titles Act. The 1980s military coups in Grenada, invasion by the United States, and the role of the Governor-General in restoring sovereignty. Ignorance of British Government. Fiji’s proposed Restoration. The Crowns of the States. Supposed powers of reservation and disallowance.
"An Australian Head of State"
The mosaic of a Head of State; the tiles dissociate and form subtler patterns. The GG and international protocol. Buckingham Palace’s defence of the GG as an Australian viceregal "Head of State". Patriotism and nationalism. Australian republicanism and ethnic nationalism.
Realm Against Realm
The Commonwealth of Nations. An "inner"
and "outer" circle. A supra-national Queen of many
realms: implications for conflict and diplomacy. The 1995 "Turbot
War". Britain and Australia: a trading renaissance? The
last thirty years and "British treachery". Mr Turnbull
and the Olympic spirit.
Book Three: The Flies of a Summer
A Declaration of "Positive"Rights
The democratic case against a declaration of "positive"rights. Historical perspective: Tom Paine versus Edmund Burke. Paine's principles, and the "vanity and presumption of governing beyond the grave". Australian Constitution "Benthamite". Dicey's distinction between English common-law rights and Continental constitutions. Dangers of grandiloquent statements. Judicial aristocracy and philosophical issues: the frustration of US Supreme Court judges. Historical transmutation of meaning. The Bench politicised: the US "solution" of judicial appointment, and La Fiesta de San Fermin. Stripping the people of power: the historical context of the US Bill of Rights, as a Federalist instrument of class hegemony. Issues summed up by Orwell: All Animals are Equal, but Some Animals are More Equal than Others.
Of Many Things
A Walk Along the North Shore
The demagogues' agenda reaching further than the republic itself.
A Change of Standard
Issue of a changed flag conceptually distinct from that of a republic, but bound up in the current nationalist atmosphere. Presence of Union Jack not necessarily implying any colonial status: twelve Australasian and South Pacific countries, States and Associated States with Union Jack on their ensigns, none of which are colonies, and one (Hawaii) that was never a British colony. Tuvalu's reclaiming of its original flag incorporating Union Jack: a sign Australian postcolonial obsessions are outdated.
Interlinking of safeguards by Crown with other parliamentary safeguards - earlier lines of defence. Historical origins of control of Supply, in English mediaeval realpolitik: parliamentary leash on executive actions. Relevant given the modern political abuses by Prime Ministers, particularly in Australia. Powers of the Senate as a States'House, modelled on the Commons, not the Lords. The 1975 Dismissal, and flaws in Whitlam's defence of his own actions.
The Ending of States
Importance of retaining the States, and a federal system, to the liberty of the people: issues outlined in 1789 by Dickenson at the drafting of the US Constitution. Federations as transitory structures? A mathematical analysis. Whitlam and State fears of constitutional integrity. November referendum process may be flawed in its assumptions: Quick and Garran, and the obnoxious implications of forcing a republican form of government on a monarchist State. Australia becomes a conglomerate of republics and monarchies. Why the Queen will not (and cannot) abdicate from loyalist States. The Rhodesian example. Implications of secession, and historical precedents. Western Australia's 1933 move to secession.
Lord Hewart and discontent. Representative democracy as a form of catharsis. Summary of arguments. Monarchist alternative to the Oz Republic: an eight-point plan for genuine reform of the Crown, including aboriginal reconciliation, reform of the Govenor-General's post and removal of the offensive elements of the current laws of royal Succession. Opportunity exists in the Crown to elevate our community over the politicans, its (and our) elected servants. International forum to mark these reforms for the Centenary of Federation presents itself: the 2001 Brisbane CHOGM, a more appropriate venue than a sporting festival in Sydney.
(448 pages, including prelims; 20 B/W photos and illustrations.)