Sunday, 28 June 2009

Aussie republicans in praise of a Monarch

Both politicians have an established reputation of being staunch republicans. However, when it comes to the praise of a Monarch, Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull can choose words as if they were loyal servants of Her Majesty.

King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain paid a visit to Australia from 24th to 26th June 2009. On their arrival in Canberra the Queen's representative, Governor-General Quentin Bryce, received the royal couple at the airport in Canberra. Later that day the King and Queen were officially welcome by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and the Leader of the Opposition, Malcolm Turnbull.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd:
"Australia and Spain share more than history though. Both of our nations also bring together a modern story of democracy and development; and of contribution to international affairs.

"Your Majesties are renowned patrons of democracy, having overseen, for more than three decades, Spain’s enduring transformation into one of the world’s great democracies.

The following sentence was not included in the official transcript that was published on the prime minister's website:

"And I for one, Your Majesty, recall as a young man, your courageous efforts in those difficult time."

The Leader of the Opposition Malcolm Turnbull:
"It is a great honour to welcome Your Majesties this evening to this seat of our national parliament. I join with the prime minister on behalf of the people of Australia in welcoming His Majesty on his first visit since the bicentennial celebration in 1988.

"Her Majesty, of course, joined us as an honoured guest at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Welcome back, Ma’am.

"Tonight the presence of Their Majesties offers an opportunity to reflect on the deepening and the strengthening of the relations between two vibrant and successful modern democracies and to pay tribute to the role of the Spanish Royal Family in promoting freedom and democracy.

"Very few Kings in history could claim to have been as courageous in their defence of democracy as you have been, Sir."

Malcolm Turnbull could have added the Queen's brother's efforts to restore democracy in her home country Greece. After all, it was King Constantine who tried in a counter coup in December 1967 to oust the colonels' regime and restore democracy. His efforts failed and he paid a heavy price. He went into exile, of which he has officially not returned. And what is more, a smear campaign has blackened his image in Greece and abroad.

"As we know, His Majesty created a new history for an ancient nation in those eventful days between 1975 and 1978. Not only by reclaiming the role of Head of State after the death of General Franco, but by the relinquishing power to a parliamentarian democracy under a new constitution.

"For many of us the end of totalitarianism in Europe was marked by the fall of the Berlin Wall. Yet in many ways, Sir, it was the advent of the Spanish democracy under your expert stewardship that helped inspire the hunger for freedom and liberty among so many peoples’ and nations’ labouring under the suffocating rule of dictatorship: Democratic elections in June 1977, the promulgation of a new constitution by 1978, ratification in a popular referendum and then subsequently signed into law in a powerful symbolic moment by the King in His parliament.

"So it was that the heir of an ancient dynasty became the father of a modern democracy.

"Only 30 years on no one thinks of Spain as other than a respected member of the community of advanced democracies, a robust and well regulated modern economy, the 9th largest in the world."

King Juan Carlos proposed the following toast:

Ladies and gentlemen,
will you please join me in a toast to Her Majesty the Queen and the people of Australia.

No republican present refused to drink to the Queen of Australia.

And one could ask, why a form of state should be abolished (in Australia) that has produced such a fabulous Monarch.


MadMonarchist said...

I suppose the republican traitors of Australia could praise the King of Spain because he is no threat to their power. Not that the Queen actually is either, but they seem to see it that way. She is the block against them having the highest "office" in the land. King Juan Carlos is also a very likable man who is very close to his people. I have often given my opinion that if the Queen or some of the lesser royals could be sent out to spend more time in places like Australia (possibly even marrying a local) it would all but kill the republican movement.

ミゲル said...

Those australia republican bastards!
Yes and I wrote "australian" without capital A because those ambitious politicians are the real threat to Democracy and therefore are not worthy of having capital letter in their citzenship!
And you're so right about: "I have often given my opinion that if the Queen or some of the lesser royals could be sent out to spend more time in places like Australia (possibly even marrying a local) it would all but kill the republican movement."

Matterhorn said...

This is quite ironic. Yet, I suppose they were not really praising him as a monarch, but as a defender of democracy.

"Only 30 years on no one thinks of Spain as other than a respected member of the community of advanced democracies, a robust and well regulated modern economy, the 9th largest in the world."

Here, the monarchical aspect of the country seems implicitly quite forgotten. Yet I am sure that many Spaniards and others do think of it as an important aspect of the nation's identity.

Troy said...

Likable? Juan Carlos? Let's remember that this is a man who sat on his heels for 2 days to see which way the wind was blowing while Tejero staged his unsuccessful coup.

Spaniards in general consider him a drunk and a serious waste of money, a rude man and embarrassment who considers himself above others and has no idea how to behave himself. We only have to look back to his outburst in Chile to see that he actually does think himself a 'king', and thus above us mere mortals.

His son won't be as lucky as him when he passes, not even the resurrection of his benefactor (the dictator Franco!) will save his 'job'.

radical royalist said...

If "Troy" gives us the republican truths, we know what to think about its value.
King Juan Carlos did not wait two days to condemn the putsch, but withing a couple of hours he went on air and condemned the coup d'état. Check your history books, "Troy"!

Concerning His Majesty's popularity, let me remind you that in 2007 he was chosen as the most important Spaniard in History.

His outburst in Chile against Hugo Chavez brought him more popularity and "Por qué no te callas?!" became a favourite among the young.

Concerning HRH Don Felipe, let me quote the above mentioned poll: "The King was joined in the top ten by his queen, Doña Sofia and also by Prince Felipe."

Republicans cannot provide facts, just lies and wishful thinking.

Troy said...

Where are you writing from RR? I'm actually writing FROM Spain and have a rather good idea of how things are here, being called a liar makes me feel like we are involved in a playground squabble here, someone a little upset that they can't play princess?

Anyways, if you can get beyond your rosey coloured Monarch glasses vision of the world, there is ample evidence that JC knew about the plot and indeed waited until he knew which way the majority of the army was going to react, albeit circumstantial. To not question these things is simple poor investigation.

As for him being 'important', here we have a problem in translation. 'Importante' in Spanish does not have the same meaning as it does in English. It's very common to hear Spanish speakers say things like, 'we have an important problem' or the likes. Indeed they could rate JC as being the most important person, but they would also classify Franco as 'importante', but other than staunch Monarchists and Fascists, few would classify Franco as good.

Even the rancid Right here dislikes JC. One only has to listen to extreme right talk show hosts like Frederico Losantos here in Spain to know that they deeply resent his choice to turn Spain into a constitutional monarchy (handy choice indeed, keep your 'democracy' yet leave me sitting on the throne playing in Mallorca with your money).

If there weren't a general fear of a return to civil war polarisation, JC would have been sent to the dole a long time ago.

I suggest that you do a little reading before speaking about things you know little about.

radical royalist said...

Interesting reply. Remember, what you said in your first comment, Troy: “…this is a man who sat on his heels for 2 days to see which way the wind was blowing.”
Yet, the second link proves what I knew. The coup began on 23rd February at 6.21 pm and was ended with the King’s speech on TV at 1.14 am on 24th February. That makes 7 hours and 3 minutes, far off the two days you claimed.

Eye witnesses said that in these 7 hours His Majesty had telephoned eleven generals. As one report said: “Usually it was enough that the Monarch reminded them of his authority as their King and head of the armed forces to suppress eventual putsch sympathies they may have had. His talk to General Milans del Bosch in Valencia was sharper: ‘I order you to withdraw all troops to the barracks immediately.'”

If you dislike the word “important” in English or Spanish, what about this quote: “El 69% de los españoles cree que la monarquía parlamentaria es el sistema político ideal para España, frente a un 22% que preferiría una república.” (20MINUTOS.ES/EFE. 11.10.2007 - 21:32h). That does not leave room for interpretation.

I am not surprised “the rancid Right” dislikes His Majesty. Fascists always disliked Monarchs. He ended their control of Spain.

Troy said...

This conversation is obviously going to go nowhere. If you seriously believe that the coup attempt simply began 7 hours before they sobered JC up and put him in front of the TV cameras...well, I have a lovely piece of property to sell you in Southern Florida, ever hear of the everglades? Beachfront...really.

These numbers that you keep trotting out just aren't real. From the far left, to the far right, the old drunk just isn't very popular, no matter how hard his publicity firms try and shape his image.

radical royalist said...

Insults are no argument - but very republican.

I notice that you are a typical specimen of that breed.