Thursday 31 December 2009

Let's get the news

While the classic media tend to ignore what some people call “monarchism”, Monarchists set up their own publications. The International Monarchist Conference is putting a great effort into connecting the different national Monarchist organisations. And they make Monarchist publications in pdf-format available for everyone.

At SYLM you’ll find Monarchist magazines and newsletters in French, Italian, Brazilian, German, Serbian, but only a few in English. For instance the two main Australian publications (Defender, published by the Australians for Constitutional Monarchy [ACM] and Liberty published by the Australian Monarchist League [AML]) are not presented on the IMC’s website, probably because they are not available in a pdf-format.

And where is the Greek magazine Royal Voice (Βασιλική φωνή), also published in Australia by the Greek Royalist Association of Australia? Most likely, there are more Monarchist initiatives in Australia which should be made know to others.

British, Canadian, NZ or US Monarchist publications are equally missing, something that must be changed in 2010.

However, should you be able to read a little bit of French, download your copy of “Le Royal Démocrate” and get the latest international Monarchist news. Or start reading the German news-letter “Corona”, published every three weeks.

The most prestigious magazine is certainly “Brasileira”, an excellent and very professional Brazilian magazine of more than 20 pages each issue.

The variety of Italian publications is staggering and reflects the country’s political rifts.

I suggest, you find out for yourself, if there’s anything you’d like to read.

Have a royal 2010.

Friday 18 December 2009

"Rabid Monarchists"

The Victorian Attorney-General and Acting Premier Rob Hulls has a problem. He does not like his actions being questioned. After his announcement two days ago of the replacement of the Queen with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) from New Year's Day was received with blanket opposition, he hits back at his Monarchist critics inside Victoria and beyond her borders. He claimed "rabid Monarchists" were wrong to suggest the change was part of a conspiracy to undermine the Monarchy.

Oh yeah?

It is not as if Monarchists have no reason to see in his action an improper way of removing the Queen from our legal system and replace her by a government appointed DPP.

And all this was done in secrecy, announced a fortnight before it will come into force and before the Christmas holidays will stop all political action. Honi soit qui mal y pense, one could say with the motto of The Most Noble Order of the Garter ("Shame on him who thinks ill of it").

A fellow Monarchist remarked in a forum: “Mr Hulls’ justification suggests a poor understanding of the Australian and Victorian constitutions, the Australia Acts of 1986, and the role of the Australian Crown. Or perhaps it is just a blatant attempt to cover up a personal republican agenda? Either way it does not inspire much confidence in the State’s Attorney-General.”

Today The Age wrote on this matter:
Mr Hulls, an avowed republican, hit back, saying Monarchists were inventing ludicrous conspiracy theories when all he was trying to do was modernise the state's justice system.

The Victorian convener of
Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, Brett Hogan said, there were good reasons for criminal legal proceedings to be brought in the name of the Queen.

'Having legal cases go forward on behalf of the Queen or the Crown reflects the fact that the case against an accused is pursued on behalf of the state as a whole, not the person who currently happens to hold the office of Director of Public Prosecutions,' he said.”
You actually do not have to assume a conspiracy theory, just look at the actions of the Labor governments. For instance I find it appalling that the Victorian government made a deal with the private (!) consortium AquaSure to build a desalination plant and agreed to release law enforcement data – including images, audio, video and “data related to individuals” to AguaSure. That’s a new kind of public private partnership.

And the latest move of the Rudd government to censure the internet is equally boiling my blood. On Tuesday afternoon, the Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, announced he would introduce legislation before next year's elections forcing ISPs to block a secret blacklist of "refused classification" (RC) websites for all Australian internet users.

The former High Court judge and ardent Monarchist Michael Kirby has criticised the Federal Government's internet censorship agenda, saying it could stop the "Berlin Walls of the future" from being knocked down. In an interview with Fairfax Radio Kirby said some circles feared the controversial policy would be "the thin end of the wedge of the Government moving in to regulating the actual internet itself".

"Once you start doing that you get into the situation of Burma and Iran where the Government is taking control of what people hear and what information they get," he said, adding that Australia's approach hadn't been attempted anywhere else in the world.

Is that really all “ludicrous conspiracy theories” or just fear of what may come up next that the control freaks in the Victorian and the Federal governments want to impose on us? Freedom wears a Crown, not a Phrygian cap.

Thursday 17 December 2009

Creeping republicanism

Without any public discussion Attorney-General and Acting Premier Rob Hulls yesterday announced a major change in Victoria’s legal system. The Age: "From New Year's Day, criminal prosecutions will be brought in the name of the Director of Public Prosecutions, rather than the Queen."

Mr. Hulk, oh pardon, Mr. Hulls: "Substituting the DPP for the Queen or Regina reflects the legal and political independence from the United Kingdom and its monarch that has been achieved by Australia."

From 1st January 2010, law lists will read "DPP vs Bill Smith" instead of "Queen vs Bill Smith".

What a progress! And what kind of legal argument is it to claim, this move would reflect “reflects the legal and political independence from the United Kingdom and its monarch”? Obviously the Attorney-General keeps ignoring the fact that he pushed aside not the Queen of the United Kingdom, but the Queen of Victoria and the Queen of Australia.

Could some one give repetitional lessons to the Attorney-General about OUR constitution, please?

"Referring to the Queen is outdated," Rob Hulls claimed. But Victorians may well have come to to the conclusion that the Brumby government is outdated and has passed its use by date long time ago.

It’s time to get rid of this failed government and its hypocritical methods of running this state.

Wednesday 16 December 2009

Iran’s flirt with an Iraqi Prince continues

In Tehran Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki met Sharif Ali Bin al-Hussein, the chairman of the Iraqi Constitutional Monarchy Movement and one of the claimants to the Iraqi throne.

The Tehran Times even published of photo of the Prince and Mr. Manouchehr Mottaki:

According to the newspaper, the Iranian foreign minister said that Iraq has been able to establish, what he called, "legal institutions" over the past seven years and added that Tehran has always supported these moves.

Sharif Ali said certain countries do not want to see democracy and the rule of law established in Iraq, but the Iraqi people are committed to democracy. If Tehran would tolerate a "Crowned Democracy" to use a term styled by King Constantine II of the Hellenes, remains an open question.

Tuesday 15 December 2009

A royal relief for Kristina Keneally

Kristina Keneally must be relieved. Barely a fortnight in office as New South Welsh fourth Premier in as many years, she has good news to announce:

Prince William's visit to NSW next month will be an opportunity to showcase the state in foreign media, Premier Kristina Keneally says.

Keneally on Tuesday confirmed the Prince would officially visit NSW in late-January as part of his first Australian trip as an adult,” reported The Age.
The royal visit of the 27 year-old Prince will not only draw international media attention to a member of the Australian Royal Family, but also distract attention from a dysfunctional government that has had little positive to report.

And what neither Ms. Keneally nor The Age said: The Prince's two days in Sydney and Melbourne will be privately funded by the Queen as it is not classed as an official visit.

It can be expected that a certain amount of money will be spent on security personnel and probably travel arrangements, which fierce republicans may bring up in a desperate attempt to boost their fortunes, however, republicans are very selective in their outburst of rage.

Or did you hear any complaints about Tiger Woods' taxpayer funded $A3.25 million visit Down Under in November 2009? Victorian Premier John Brumby has said the decision to entice the superstar golfer to Melbourne cements the city's position as the "major events capital of the world''. Did the world take notice for more than three days? After Mr. Woods left Australian soil, he attracted fame for other reasons than playing golf in Melbourne.

The Prime Minister's office stated that the visit originated from Prince William's request to visit the country to get to know Australia and its people.

"During his visit, Prince William will focus on his core interests of supporting servicemen and women, helping young people fulfil their potential and sustainable development in the light of climate change," it has said.

"The Prince will also use the visit to learn more about local indigenous issues and visit the bushfire-ravaged countryside in Victoria."

"Prince William will have the opportunity to meet a cross-section of Australians involved in a variety of projects of interest in both Sydney and Melbourne."

There are times, when one cannot help feeling that even republicans are happy to see royals in Australia - even if they actually don't invite them

Monday 14 December 2009

Iran is playing funny games

When it comes to the Monarchy, that Iran lost 30 years ago, the regime and its media never fail to add a disparaging adjective to the noun “Monarchist”.

Therefore it was very surprising that today the English language daily newspaper Tehran Times published an article on the visit of Sharif Ali Bin al-Hussein, the chairman of the Iraqi Constitutional Monarchy Movement and one of the claimants to the Iraqi throne.A stamp commemorating better times: Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi of Iran and King Faisal II of Iraq.

Prince Ali, a member of the Iraqi branch of the Royal Hashemite dynasty, who narrowly escaped 1958 the massacre, when King Faisal II and other members of Iraq’s Royal Family were brutally murdered, met Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani who presides Iran’s so called parliament, in Tehran.

The Tehran Times:
Sharif Ali thanked Iran for making efforts to help establish stability in Iraq after the overthrow of the Saddam regime, saying it is essential that the two countries increase their ties.

Sharif Ali said the recent terrorist incidents in Iraq were conducted by the remnants of the previous regime in order show that the government is incapable of maintaining security.

Sharif Ali Bin al-Hussein
What game is Iran playing? Why did the regime invite a member of the Iraqi Royal Family,while on the other hand, the Mullah’s and their clerks sentence Iranian Monarchists to death by hanging?

From Sharif Ali Bin al-Hussein’s point of view it is logical to hold talks with Iran considering that a majority of the Iraqi population are Shi’ite muslims. To improve his chances, the Sunni Prince must be seen to be on good terms with the Shi’ite neighbour.

But what does Iran gain from courting Sharif Ali Bin al-Hussein?

The flag and coat of arms of the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq.

Saturday 12 December 2009

The modern Greek republic is bankrupt

The Age reported today: Greece hits $500bn debt crisis: "'The country's debt has reached 300 billion euros, which is the highest level in our country's modern history,' Deputy Finance Minister Filippos Sahinidis told MPs on Thursday."

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said that the country's financial crisis was a threat to its sovereignty.

"We are determined to do whatever is necessary to check the huge deficit, to restore stability in public finances, to promote development," Papandreou told his cabinet. "It is the only way to ensure that Greece does not lose its sovereign rights."

No King to blame
And the politicians can't even blame the Monarchy for their failures. After all, they sent King Constantine into exile.

As a Monarchy, Greece experienced an economic miracle after World War II, as The Jurist explains:
1953 was the starting point of the economic "Greek miracle". For twenty years, Greece had the highest growth rate internationally (after Japan). Despite the many political problems (which included a military junta from 1967 to 1974, the Cyprus problem and the outlawing of the Greek Communist Party from 1948 to 1974), Greece managed to transform itself, over a period of thirty years, from a destroyed (due to a long series of wars), underdeveloped small country to a country worthy of becoming a member of the (then) European Communities. Greece was accepted as the 10th member of the ECC in 1981. At the time, most of its economic indicators were better or equal to Ireland's (that was already a member), Spain's and Portugal's (which were to become members in 1986). The"Greek miracle", which was a textbook example, was basically the result of the policies of the Conservative politician Konstantinos Karamanlis who governed Greece from 1955 to 1963 and from 1974 to 1980, with a mix of Keynesian and Free-Market policies.
This is even acknowledged by Wikipedia:
Greece’s growth averaged 7% between 1950 and 1973, a rate second only to Japan's during the same period. In 1950 Greece was ranked 28th in the world for per capita GDP, while in 1970 it was ranked 20th.
What an obvious parallel: Greece's economic stability ended with the country's Monarchy!

Tuesday 8 December 2009

35th Anniversary of another Greek Referendum
It seems, nothing has changed in Greece. DW published this news item on 7th December 2009:

Greece has seen another day of violent clashes that erupted over last year's police shooting of the 15-year-old teenager Alexis Grigoropoulos.

Greek riot police clashed with hundreds of stone-throwing youths in Athens on Monday as protesters took to the streets for a second day.

Security forces made 21 arrests after scores of stone-throwing youths separated from the throng of 5,000 demonstrators marching towards parliament.

Two youths were arrested earlier on Monday for throwing stones at a police station in Athens. Two other police stations in the suburbs of Agia Paraskevi and Kallithea were also attacked, police said.

In the northern city of Thessaloniki police fired teargas at dozens of violent youths, who broke away from a march of 2,500 people.

"The clashes are not significant overall, the protests went as expected," said a police official who declined to be named.

Today’s news from Greece is as disturbing as it was 35 years ago, when just another Greek referendum on the country’s Monarchy took place. Barely 18 months after the military dictators had forced the Greek people to sanction their decision to proclaim a republic, the Greeks were asked to go to the polls again.

The weekly magazine “To the Point International” covered the referendum:
In spite of the low turn-out, the monarchy referendum brought all the Greek passions back into the political arena. The campaign was more lively than the general election. A few days before the vote, six policemen were slightly hurt, when a group of Maoists attacked a royalist headquarters …”
On 9th December 1974 German TV correspondent Günter Eder gave this report from Athens:
When the first result came in and were displayed in the press centre the international and Greek journalists were hit by a shock: A village on the Peloponnese had voted with a two thirds majority for the King. But all following results demonstrated quickly that there would be a hefty defeat for the King.

In the end 1,443,804 Greeks backed the Monarchy, while 3,236,345 rejected the idea of a “Crowned Democracy” as the King had called his concept of a renewed Greek Monarchy. 1,328,665 Greeks did not cast their vote in the polls.

Naturally Monarchists were disappointed by the result. In a declaration King Constantine said: “I have lost. I wish that the result of the referendum may be good for our country.” Even while in exile he served his country. For example, he was to play a leading and perhaps crucial role on the International Olympic Committee in the award of the 2004 Olympics to Athens.

He had been in exile since December 1967 and unlike other Greeks who had been forced by the dictatorship to live abroad, the Greek Royal Family was not allowed to return, when the regime collapsed. The referendum campaign took place without the main person, although it is unlikely that the King would have been like a political campaigner attending meetings and shouted slogans.
Instead, on 26th November 1974 he sent his people a message expressing his admiration for their fight and their sacrifices during the time of the dictatorship. “As you all know, I was forced to leave the country after my effort to liberate Greece from the dictatorship.”

In the British television programme, "Constantine: A King's Story", a Greek Orthodox priest explained that Constantine will always be King. Unlike many modern Monarchs, but as with Queen Elizabeth II, the King was anointed at his coronation, as were the Kings of the Old Testament. Although he accepts the referendum, The King has not abdicated.
The acclaimed six part TV series “A Royal Family” finished with this remarkable sentence: “Some countries have lost their Monarchy, yet, they still have a Royal Family.” That is certainly true for Greece.Queen Anne-Marie in a costume that was designed by the first Queen of modern Greece, Queen Amalia.

Thursday 3 December 2009

"I support the monarchy, always have, always will"

Today The Sydney Morning Herald conceded defeat by admitting, that the danger of "Australia becoming a republic any time soon have nosedived with Tony Abbott becoming the Leader of the Opposition.

"... In an interview with the Herald yesterday, Mr Abbott made it plain that he would never contemplate a republic, even after the Queen had left the throne.

"'That was Malcolm's position and I have no plans to revisit it, full stop,' he said.

"'I support the monarchy, always have, always will, not because I'm a royal groupie,' he said. 'It's a terrific system of government and I challenge anyone to come up with a better one.'

"In his office yesterday, Mr Abbott had a portrait of Her Majesty."

I may dispute other concepts of Tony Abbott and certainly do not like the idea of going nuclear in Australia, but I must admit that what he said on the Monarchy fills me with joy. The headline of this posting could be my motto: "I support the Monarchy, always have, always will ... It's a terrific system of government."

Wednesday 2 December 2009

Quotes on Turnbull

When Malcolm Turnbull pushed aside the then Leader of Her Majesty’s Australian Opposition Brendan Nelson, the media welcomed him frantically:

Sydney Morning Herald, 16th September 2008: The rise and rise of Malcolm Turnbull

The Daily Telegraph, 17th September 2008: Australia's conservative opposition elects republican as leader

Australia's conservative opposition party has elected a staunch republican as its new leader in a move which increases the likelihood of the Queen being dumped as the country's head of state.

Republicans now head both of Australia's main political parties after multimillionaire former merchant banker Malcolm Turnbull was named leader of the opposition.

Mr Turnbull chaired the Australian Republican Movement from 1993 to 2000 and led the failed 1999 campaign to make Australia a republic in a referendum.

But very soon after his assuming of the new position, the honeymoon turned sour.

The Age, 23rd October 2008:
Turnbull's poor judgement puts the spotlight back on him

The Age, 20th February 2009:
Turnbull's authority takes a battering after a week from hell

Malcolm Turnbull had some tumultuous times when he led the republican movement but there could have been none worse than this week from hell. His Liberal Party turned cannibalistic. ... Turnbull can only be appalled at the havoc, especially as much of it is his own creation.

The Australian, 20th June 2009:
Malcolm Turnbull, the preferred candidate of everyone in the left-liberal commentariat from Phillip Adams to Michelle Grattan, is now ensconced as the least conservative leader to head the conservative side of Australian politics.

The Age, 18th September 2009:

Indeed, the week of Turnbull's first anniversary as leader has turned into a total disaster for him and a celebration of the man he ousted. Nelson, whose leadership was undermined by Turnbull over emissions trading, gave his successor a double blast on the issue - warning against any deal on the legislation before the Copenhagen conference, first in the party room and then in his last parliamentary speech. A deal is just what Turnbull is battling to get.

When he delivered his valedictory to a packed house on Wednesday, Nelson was treated like a hero. Turnbull was forced to sound gracious to the man who recently described him as having ''narcissistic personality disorder''. These farewells can often be surreal but this one was extraordinary. It was the same later at the party room drinks. The affection for Nelson was obvious. Turnbull knows that's not how his colleagues feel about him.

Sunday Herald Sun, 28th November 2009: Malcolm Turnbull's biggest mistake was joining the wrong party
Liberal Party members see Turnbull as brilliant, brash, multi-skilled and charismatic on one hand and arrogant, divisive and a spiv always looking for deal on the other.

The Age, 29th November 2009: When being the smartest man in the room is not enough
Turnbull's lack of political skills has let him down.

The Age, 2nd December 2009: A mad era best forgotten - along with Hewson and Latham
Turnbull inflicted more damage on his colleagues than Kevin Rudd ever did.

In November 2007, I [Peter Costello] conducted the ballot for Liberal leader that Brendan Nelson won by three votes. No sooner had I declared the result than Malcolm Turnbull disputed it. And told me that Brendan Nelson was not up to the job.

I suggested that Brendan had won fairly, that Malcolm should accept the result and that if Brendan was as bad as he said, then the party would turn to him. ''Put in an outstanding performance as shadow treasurer and you will win over your colleagues,'' I said.

Malcolm left the room and went down to Brendan's office to give him a free character assessment. The leaks and the backgrounding started from that day. Malcolm's supporters were ruthless in tearing down Nelson. Weakened by this campaign and suffering poor polls, Nelson called another ballot. Turnbull won by four votes. In total, only three votes moved. It was an ominous sign. He got there, but not by building support among his colleagues.

The past fifteen months have shown, how a darling of the media, a republican messiah even, fell from grace and is now seen - even by his republican mates - as a disaster!

Turnbull is gone - and Queen Elizabeth II is still Queen of Australia!

Tuesday 1 December 2009

Prince Charles will be making a keynote speech Climate Conference in Copenhagen

HRH The Prince of Wales will be making a keynote speech on December 15th 2009 at the opening ceremony of the High Level part of the UNFCCC Climate Conference in Copenhagen.

This is the first day of the second week of the conference, when the Heads of State and Ministers participate. This invitation reflects the impact of the pioneering work carried out by The Prince of Wales in the environmental arena over the last thirty five years, of which The Prince's Rainforests Project has been the most recent example.

The Prince will use this opportunity to highlight that the future of mankind can only be assured if a consensus is forged on how to integrate economic development with a real understanding of the ecological carrying capacity of the planet. This is the fundamental requirement of any solution to climate change and must be built on a public, private and NGO sector partnership. HRH will stress the urgent need to find a way to live as part of, rather then apart from, Nature.

A transcript of the speech will be available on The Prince's Rainforests Project website later that day.
Chief Raoni Txucarramae of the Kayapo people in northern Brazil met The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall on their visit to the Amazon rainforst in March 2009.

Saturday 28 November 2009

Queen Elizabeth: "Many of the people least well able to withstand the adverse effects of Climate Change live in the Commonwealth"

The Queen's speech at the opening of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), in Port of Spain, 27th November 2009

This diamond anniversary year is an important time for the Commonwealth to look back – and, more importantly, look forward. In doing so, I believe we can be pleased with how far the Commonwealth has come in its 60 years, and yet how true it has remained to its origins. But this does not mean we should become complacent or rest on past successes. Like any good organization we must continue to pay close attention to the things that give it distinctive character.

In my view one of the core strengths of the Commonwealth lies in the commitment to common goals and values. Our shared pledge to
“the pursuit of peace, liberty and progress” that my father helped to enshrine in the London Declaration in 1949 means as much today as it did then. We cherish freedom, democracy and development as dearly as ever.

But the Commonwealth’s strength lies as much in people as it does in values. Few other global organizations can boast the same rich diversity of humankind and yet also such a commonality of spirit.

The Commonwealth can be proud of the fact that in each of its six decades, it has shaped the international response to emerging global challenges.

And on this, the eve of the UN Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change, the Commonwealth has an opportunity to lead once more. The threat to our environment is not a new concern. But it is now a global challenge which will continue to affect the security and stability of millions for years to come. Many of those affected are among the most vulnerable, and many of the people least well able to withstand the adverse effects of Climate Change live in the Commonwealth.

A second area of opportunity for the Commonwealth is nurturing its young people. As with environmental challenges, this area is not new; but while the Commonwealth may rightly celebrate reaching its 60th anniversary, the future of this association lies with the one billion who are under 25 years of age. The Commonwealth must show that it is relevant to and supportive of our young people who need to be convinced that the Commonwealth can help them to realize their ambitions.

For small island states, the buffeting of the economic storms of the last twelve months has provided a stern test; and great resourcefulness has been shown in order to meet the challenge. As an organization the Commonwealth must remain dedicated to building resilience among its smaller members.

But it is not enough to look within the boundaries of the Commonwealth. In a world where political, economic and environmental problems and opportunities cross continents, the Commonwealth will also need to prove its relevance beyond its own borders and develop a truly global perspective.

The motto of Trinidad and Tobago says: ‘Together we aspire, together we achieve’. There could be no better description of the Commonwealth’s ethos and no better guideline for achieving this CHOGM’s stated goal of a more equitable and sustainable future.

I hope the leaders here present – informed by the Commonwealth Youth Forum, the People’s Forum and the Business Forum held earlier this week – can map out the route for another sixty years of success.

And with these challenges in mind I am delighted to declare open this twentieth meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government.

Thursday 26 November 2009

Is Kevin Rudd a closeted Monarchist?

The Australian Monarchist League's National Conference on 7th and 8th November in Sydney.

Kevin Rudd had sent a message to the Conference, which is full of surprises. See for yourself:
" I congratulate the Australian Monarchist League for its achievements over the last 17 years."

Well, well, Prime Minister, that includes the defeat of the republicans in 1999. Did you forget?

By the way, neither Liberal Party leader Malcolm Turnbull nor the leader of the NSW Liberal Party Barry O'Farrell bothered to send messages. Kevin Rudd must be a closeted Monarchist.

Monday 23 November 2009

Royal Australian Navy Commander honoured by His Majesty, The King of Tonga

Commander Peter Thompson, RAN, is honoured by His Majesty, The King of Tonga, George Tupou V, by being appointed as an Officer of the Royal Military Order of Saint George, whilst HMAS Tobruk was in the capital city of the Kingdom of Tonga, Nuku 'alofa on Operation Samoa Assist.

Commander Peter Thompson, RAN (middle) and His Excellency, Dr Bruce Hunt, The Australian High Commissioner to the Kingdom of Tonga (left), talk with His Majesty, The King of Tonga, George Tupou V, in the King's Villa after the ceremony.

Saturday 21 November 2009

Presidents come with high costs

Remember the popular republican complaint, a Monarchy would cost the taxpayer tooooooo much money? Republicans give the impression, a president would be cheaper, certainly "more cost efficient".

Wait a minute, why not make a reality check?

The newly installed EU president, Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy, will start his new office on 1st January 2010. And he starts the job with a healthy budget. The Daily Telegraph has this to say about what the EU taxpayers have to shoulder:

"Herman Van Rompuy, the EU's new President, will be paid over £320,000 [$580,000] a year. The EU president will only pay a 24 per cent rate of tax and his personal annual travel budget will be £4 million [$7.22 million].

"He will have a staff of 60 people - a cabinet of 22, ten body guards and 28 support staff. His total office budget will be £22.3 million [$40.27 million]."

Herman Van Rompuy and Catherine Ashton

A new palace for the president
"A state of the art building is already under construction, at a cost to the taxpayer of £280 million [$505,6 million], to house the new president of Council.

"Named the
Résidence Palace, after an existing Art Deco building, the new edifice has been designed to be the most impressive in Brussels and will be the venue for European Union summits after 2013. It has a floor space of 29,000 sq metres.

"The new figure is president of the European Council, the quarterly summits of heads of state and government that are the EU's highest political body.

"Under the Lisbon Treaty, the European Council becomes a fully fledged European institution rather than a political meeting, with origins in informal fireside chats between EU's founding six countries.

"The new President is charged with
"driving forward" European Council decisions, which will in future be both politically and legally binding on all EU member states."

The EU shows how to appoint a mate as president
Republicans must love the way the EU got its first president. 27 politicians sat together and agreed to appoint one man out of their midst to be the head boy. No parliament involved, no election, not even any kind of consultation with the peoples he is supposed to represent.

And to make things worse, the population of all but one of the 27 member states were not even asked if they wanted a president. Gosh, aren't republics so democratic?

Wednesday 18 November 2009

A day to celebrate the Queen – and us

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on the throne is still more than 26 months away, but Australian republicans are already getting hot and bothered about the way, Australia should - or in their case: should not! - celebrate this important day. To make their opposition to any celebration clear, David Donovan, spokesman for a republican splinter group, has ”strongly objected” any move “to reserve a day in 2012 to mark the Queen's milestone”. It goes without saying that the discussion was brought to Australia by a Murdoch newspaper.

With their raging and ungraceful behaviour, republicans are giving the impression of being very joyless people,.grumpy and dissatisfied with their world, denying other people a joyful time and celebrate. Nobody will force them to shout: “God save the Queen!”, but why deprive other people of a public holiday and them having fun? The Queen has been Australian head of state for nearly 58 years and her Diamond Jubilee will be celebrated by the Australians, of whom, many have seen her on at least one of her 15 tours of this continent.A public holiday for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee is a dignified way to celebrate the event. Just the right way for her – and for us.

Monday 16 November 2009

Miller’s tales, not fairy, but calculated

What utter nonsense! In his autobiography New Zealand born “entertainment mogul” Harry M. Miller claimed, Prince Charles, “the heir to the throne told a 1977 dinner party in Sydney that he did not understand ‘why Australia bothered with us – we really are yesterday's news’”. And – according to Mr. Miller - the Prince went on: “What he was saying was that Australia should be a republic and it was really bull**** to be kow-towing to the British monarchy.” The British Daily Express published this outrageous “bull****”, which, of course, The Age and other media republished downunder.

What none of the media mentioned was the source of this complete idiocy: In 1978, Harry Miller started a ticketing company called Computicket, which went into receivership within six months. On 30 April 1982, Miller was found guilty of fraud which lead to the collapse of the company, and he served ten months in prison at Long Bay and Cessnock Correctional Centres.

A convicted fraudster is hardly the best source for an event that should have happened 32 years ago. Why should Prince Charles make such a remark? And why to Mr. Miller? It seems, all Mr. Miller is interested in, is money. Therefore these ridiculous claims are the best promotion for his “autobiography”, which Philip Benwell, The Australian Monarchist League’s National Chairman, said “is not the truth, but fiction, that sells books and newspapers”.

Of course attacks on members of our Royal Family are as easy as profitable. Not only sex sells (Mr Miller also claims in his book, Confessions Of A Not-So-Secret Agent, that Prince Charles bedded a string of local girls during his visit – including the daughter of a prominent Australian politician.) , but smear campaigns do as well. Everybody knows, that the heir to the throne cannot defend himself.

A Clarence House spokesman said last night: “We do not comment on private conversations that may or may not have happened but these words do not ring true at all as having been said by The Prince. They do not in any way reflect His Royal Highness’s views on Australia.

Mr. Miller must have learned a lot while in custody. He certainly did not come out of jail as a reformed criminal.

Thursday 12 November 2009

Where did the eggs end up? The Age missed the target

When it comes to the Australian Royal Family, The Age follows strictly a journalist’s credo: “Only bad news is good news.”
While the Melbourne newspaper had so far ignored the Canadian tour of Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall, which started on 2nd November, one incident in Montréal made headlines in the republican mouthpiece. “Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, have been met with eggs and shouts of 'Majesty go home' from scores of anti-royalty protesters blocking the entrance to a Canadian military armoury.” Two paragraphs on the “scores” turned out to be “200 demonstrators” (Montréal has 1.8 million inhabitants) “bearing billboards urging Montreal and Quebec to break away from the British Commonwealth”.

So it was not just an anti-Charles & Camilla protest, but a separatist incident. Not uncommon in Quebec, where two referenda were held, with a vocal minority ignoring two democratic decisions. Does sound familiar, doesn't it? Australians know this attitude, that a defeated minority keeps ignoring the result of a referendum.

A Canadian paper had a different report: The Edmonton Journal speaks of “150 slogan-chanting Quebec nationalists who tried to block the front doors to the Black Watch armory in downtown Montréal.” And contrary to The Age, the royal couple have not been met with eggs, but “[protesters] began to throw eggs at the front doors of the armory” before [!] the royal arrival. Nothing of the following was reported by The Age: “Prince Charles arrived wearing his Black Watch ceremonial uniform, and the reserve regiment's band greeted him by playing the regimental quick march, Highland Laddie.

"In his speech,
Charles drew mild laughter with his remark about the 'little local disturbance' outdoors, then spoke warmly in English and French about his affection for the Canadian Black Watch.
"The royals were also to meet recent veterans of Afghanistan before returning to Ottawa in the evening.

The royal couple had landed in Montréal, where they were greeted by Quebec's Lt.-Gov. Pierre Duchesne before hopping into a black Towncar heading downtown in a 15 vehicle convoy.

"Welcome to Montreal" and "Welcome to Quebec" the crowd shouted as the Prince and Duchess were greeted by Quebec’s Premier Jean Charest on the downtown street.

Of course The Age ignored all the other items of Prince Charles’ visit to Quebec: At Montréal's nature museum, the Biodome, chosen as a site in keeping with the conservancy theme of the trip and Prince Charles's ecological campaign, about 60 royalty fans, most of them French, mingled with police, a quartet of protesters who sang and a young woman in a seal suit.

Mayor Gerald Tremblay greeted the prince at the entrance. Prince Charles stopped to chat with one fan who came with her husband and her two dogs. "He said 'Vous avez de beaux chiens’," said Bernadette Kosko.

Another 50 supporters waited for two hours inside. A few sang Happy Birthday, while most looked thrilled to have shaken hands with a prince.

Charles also met with Ouranos, a Montreal-based network of 250 experts on regional climatology whose mandate is to help society adapt to climate change.

When it comes to The Age’s policy, a couple of eggs thrown at an entrance door are more important than Prince Charles’ ambitious environmental fight. Poor Age and poor Melburnians who rely on such a newspaper. It came as no surprise that The Age chose the most unflattering photo. As usual.

Italian summary
11/11/2009 Montreal - Il Principe Carlo d'Inghilterra e la moglie Camilla sono stati contestati a Montreal, in Canada, davanti a una caserma, dove Carlo, arrivato con indosso la divisa del Black Watch per consegnare una bandiera al Reggimento di cui l'erede al trono britannico è comandante, era atteso, da circa 200 manifestanti che lo hanno accolto al grido di slogan come "Maestà, tornatene a casa" e "Viva il Quebec libero". Le contestazione, che è stata fatta passare per antimonarchica ma era invece di carattere separatista, è stata organizzata dalla 'Rete di resistenza del Quebec', un gruppo nazionalista che rivendica il rispetto della tradizione storica della provincia francofona del Canada rifiutando la passata colonizzazione britannica.

Saturday 7 November 2009

"There is also no political will to revisit the issue"

My fellow bloggers of The Monarchist reflect on the Australian referendum's 10th anniversary.

The Monarchist is always worth reading, but this article has my special sympathy.

"... republicans know they don’t have a model that they know can win. They know that a president chosen by politicians is a vote loser. But they seem unwilling to commit to a president chosen by popular vote. Why? Because such a change would be even more radical than the 1999 proposal – and would probably go down to a substantial defeat after being subjected to the white heat of a referendum campaign. Direct election is apparently popular now – but other referenda proposals have had high levels of support that evaporated in the lead-up to a vote. This conundrum ties the republicans up in knots."

Friday 6 November 2009

The Monarchists won the Australian referendum in 1999

... even if republicans will never admit that fact. It must be a very frustrating exercise to propagandise for a republican regime for Australia and not get any closer to the fulfilment of toppling the Queen of Australia. On the 10th anniversary of the referendum The Age continues its bombardment against the Monarchy by insulting all those who voted No: “The Age has long believed that … becoming a republic will be a crucial mark of Australia's adulthood. Sadly, the past decade has witnessed a national retreat into childhood.”

Ten years of constant propaganda for “a” republic by the united Fairfax & Murdoch media, by the ABC and other TV stations and what is the result: Opinion polls show no more republican sentiment than in 1999. A more democratic attitude of the mighty media owners and their servants would suggest to accept the outcome of a democratic vote and live with it, but this is not what they do. They increase their attacks on the Australian Constitution and the institution of the Monarchy.

Today Monarchists all over Australia celebrate the outcome of the 1999 referendum and they have all reason doing so. Their opponents run around like headless chooks, contemplating new plebiscites and referenda, hoping for politicians to come to their rescue and give them “a” republic. Haven’t they noticed that relying on politicians is the most unreliable way to get results - and another reason to keep the Monarch who is above politics.

The Age even had the chutzpah to return to “the enthusiastic endorsement of republicanism at last year's 2020 Summit”, without mentioning that the summitteers were all handpicked and no Monarchist was considered worthy to take part in this show exercise. Is the republicans' aim to exclude all those who oppose their sailing into the rough sea of a politicians’ republic from speaking out for Queen and Monarchy? Fortunately we will not know, in which way republicans might exclude Monarchists from the Australian agora, because there is no likelihood that they will win a referendum.

All the contemplation on plebiscites (The Age: "A two-part plebiscite that asks the threshold question - should Australia become a republic - and then offers voters a choice of republican models could cheaply and conveniently be held at the time of the next federal election.") does not take into account that plebiscites do NOT change the constitution. What will republicans do, should they win the suggested plebiscites, but lose the referendum? Ignore the referendum? Return to square one? Repeat the referendum until the result pleases the The Age and the people behind the media? Or will they finally accept a democratic result and live with it?

Open questions, which The Age's editorialist did not bother to ask, even less dare to answer.

Tony Ab-bott ser-ved the Queen of Aus-tralia.

Wednesday 4 November 2009

SBS censorship

First the positve: SBS – Special Broadcasting System – provides an extraordinary access to news programmes from all over the world and has services in 64 languages. That is certainly a record and thanks to SBS millions of migrants in Australia can watch and listen to news from many countries in the world.

However, the republican virus has infected SBS. Or at least the editing of news journals sometimes gives the impression that could lead to such a conclusion.

The French journal “France 2” of 3rd November 2009, which was broadcast on 4th November in Australia was cut short. Not extensively, it was just three minutes shorter than the journal the French audience could watch. But these three minutes were a report on the French royalists and the second in line to the throne, Prince Jean de France. Anchorman David Pujadas had announced a report on “Les Royalistes français d’aujourd’hui” (Today's French Royalists) and a few pictures of Prince Jean scrolled on the screen, giving the audience an impression of what was to come.

But not for the Australian spectators. SBS deprived them of this report. Since the journal was not longer than usual it is up to everyone’s guess, why SBS deleted the report on “Les Royalistes du 21eme sciecle”, as it was titled on France 2’s website. Fortunately the news is available on the French website for a couple of days. Click on the 20 heures button of "mardi 3" and scroll down to the second last item of the content list.

Tuesday 3 November 2009

France & Iran: "Being a Monarchist is not a crime!"

A Fourth Iranian Monarchist Sentenced to Death
Davood Fardbacheh Mir-Ardabili, born in 1973, is charged with being a member of the Iran Monarchy Association. He was arrested on May 4th that is to say before the demonstrations following the elections in June, which didn’t prevent a judgment by the Revolutionary Court of Tehran in charge of the repression of the events.

Davood Fardbachech Mir-Ardabil has not been allowed to be defended by a lawyer nor insure his defense by himself.

The International Monarchist Conference (IMC) is protesting once more against these arbitrary lawsuits. The Iranian regime has just marked a new stage in abject behavior. It is no longer only a matter of iniquitous cases but actual judiciary assassination.

Arash Rahmanpour

The name of Davood Fardbacheh Mir-Ardabili has just been added to the name of three other monarchist activists sentenced to death by hanging, journalist Mohammad-Reza Ali-Zamani (37 years old), Hamed Rouhinejad (24 years old) and the young Arash Rahmanpour (only 20 years old).

We demand the release of Iranian political prisoners!

Sign the petition:

Join the demonstration of November 3rd, 2009 at 7.00 pm, place d’Iéna in Paris, near the Iranian Embassy (Metro Iéna).

General Secretary of the International Monarchist Conference
Spokesperson of the Free Zamani Action Group

Tuesday 6 October 2009

Queen Elizabeth II met Her Victorian Premier at Balmoral

The Queen of Australia received the Premier of Victoria in an audience at Balmoral Castle. On 5th October 2009 John Brumby informed Her Majesty on the Victorian bushfires in February 2009. He expressed his wishes, that Queen Elizabeth II may return to Australia in 2010.

Thursday 1 October 2009

1st October 1949, a sad day for China

I was about to send the Chinese Communist embassy a letter of condolences, to regret the fact that 60 years ago a "people's republic" was proclaimed. A lamentable event indeed. But the real damage was done, when a republic was proclaimed on 1st January 1912. This “Republic of China”, which will celebrate its revolution on 10th October ("Double Tenth" of 1911) still exists, although its territory is nowadays restricted to the Island of Taiwan and some offshore islets.

For a Monarchist who has no love lost for this form of state, they are both undesirable. However, there are significant differences between the Republic of China and the people’s republic of China. While the once all-mighty Kuomintang on Taiwan gave up its iron grip on the population and paved the way to a multiparty democracy (it lost power in 2000 to an opposition party) Mainland China is still a one-party-dicatorship under an oligarchic Communist Party.

A Chinese Monarchist
When the Chinese Emperor was forced to abdicate far from every Chinese cheered the new republic. The great Chinese scholar Liang Qichao yearned for the return of the Emperor system after the abdication of Pu-Yi in 1912. Both this, and his urging for media freedom in China, "made him an unpopular figure both with Dr. Sat Yun Sen and the emerging Communist Party". Chris Devonshire-Ellis writes in his blog: "However, notable scholars of the day much admired him, including Lin Yutang, who called Liang 'the greatest personality in the history of Chinese journalism,' and Joseph Levenson who described him as 'a brilliant scholar, journalist, and political figure.'”

China's Imperial Flag was lowered in 1912

What about a Chinese Monarchy?
Daniel Bell, US professor of political theory at Tsinghua University in Beijing, gave an interesting look into his students’ thinking:

"One of my graduate students told me that she was dismayed by the uncritical coverage of the inauguration [of US president Obama], the kind of love-fest for a political leader that could only make the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party envious. We discussed, only half-jokingly, the possibility that China should adopt some form of constitutional monarchy, so that the public could project its emotions on a symbolic leader while evaluating the de facto political leader’s performance more rationally."

Who would be Emperor?
The Mad Monarchist from Texas found the right words describing the tragic end of Emperor Pu-Yi, who reigned as the Emperor Hsuan-tung and later as Emperor Kang The:

"Despite the best efforts of the communists the idea of the last Emperor as a villain never really took hold. Most today probably view him as a tragic figure but I take a more nostalgic view. It often seems that the world as a whole missed the significance of the fall of the Chinese Empire; an imperial system which lasted from the time of the ancient Greeks until the 20th Century. His life marked the end of an era and the start of a long period of suffering and terror for China. It also marked the end of China as a society based on the moral principles of Confucius.

"It is debated as to who would be the heir of the last Emperor today. In his book,
Pu-Yi wrote that he designated his cousin, Prince Yu-Yan as his successor. He died in 1997 and if his line is accepted the heir to the Dragon Throne today would be his son Prince Hengzheng, aka Yuan Yuan."

Chinese Monarchists are starting to get organised. Here's a new website of the Imperial Qing Restoration Organization.

And the Mad Monarchist had his own thoughts on 1st October 60 Years of Red Chinese Tyranny.

Friday 25 September 2009

Malta's republican "parliamentary coup"

"The 1974 parliamentary coup which transformed Malta from monarchy to republic was another first. Should this be on the candidates list for National Day? It remains memorable for the way it was done more than for its effect. Had anybody started a debate or called a referendum on whether Malta should shed it last remaining shreds of Monarchy a majority would have been found. The PN Opposition would have been outmanoeuvred, too embarrassed to defend a British Queen. Blessed by consensus, the transition may have eluded notice. Instead the new republican constitution, (little more than an amended version of the earlier one) was forced upon the country under threat by the government to seize absolute power on the pretext that Article 6 of the constitution which mere said that the constitution was supreme was not itself entrenched requiring a two thirds majority for its amendment."

"The constitutional amendments including the stopping of this loophole were agreed to by the opposition under apparent duress. No revolution took place on December 13th. There was no break in legal continuity and the Government was allowed its two thirds majority. Instead of consensus granting ownership of the change to all parties, we had coercion and we still have resentment.

Harry Vassallo in Malta: a babe in arms , 23rd September 2009

Thursday 24 September 2009

The Queen will meet Her Victorian Premier in October

On 5th October Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, will receive Her Victorian Premier at Buckingham Palace. Acting Premier, Attorney-General Rob Hulls, could not hide his pride. On Channel 7 he said: “I think it’s a coup for the Premier. I don’t think there has been too many premiers that had a personal audience with the, er, with the Queen.” It must have been difficult to say the Q-word, because he mumbled it and needed two attempts to say it. But he managed, he really managed well to announce that Victorian Premier John Brumby will meet the Sovereign on 5th October.

Channel 9 had this to say: “This is the first time an Australian Premier has been invited to a rare audience with the Queen. Buckingham Palace has contacted the government to request he visit her while in the U.K. next week.

“The Queen has taken great interest in the Black Saturday bush fires.

“She received daily updates throughout February and March and made a personal donation to the bush fire appeal.”

Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, was equally praised. Channel 7: “Princess Anne won fans visiting Melbourne for the National Day of Mourning.” And the Victorian Environment Minister Gavin Jennings added: “They were chuffed that in fact she was there. It made quite a big difference at that time of adversity.”

Even The Age printed a short notice on the forthcoming royal audience for the Victorian Premier.

Friday 18 September 2009

Royal Wedding in Athens

"This week the happiness of two young royal children attracted more the attention of many Greeks than the unsolved conflict of Cyprus. Accompanied by the enthusiastic joy of his compatriots young King Constantine II led his 18 year old bride, Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark, to their wedding in Athens." This is how the German weekly DIE ZEIT began its report on the colourful celebrations in the Greek capital on 18th September 1964, to this day 45 years ago.

More still photos on this joyous day can be see on the website Greek Wedding.

The US magazine Time knew this about the Royal Wedding:
"Weddings are, so to speak, expensive propositions. In Athens, Finance Minister Constantine Mitsotakis announced that the marriage of Greece's King Constantine, 24, to Denmark's Princess Anne-Marie, 18, cost the treasury $303,000, including $183,300 spent on wedding gifts. However, an issue of 2,000,000 commemorative 30-drachma pieces will net a profit of $1,063,000, leaving the wily Greeks with $760,000 to play around with, or possibly use as a dowry for Crown Princess Irene."

Monday 14 September 2009

The Age's research unveils Prince Charles' secret

Paola Totaro, The Age’s Europe correspondent, was the lead story of extra, the paper’s quarterly newsletter, published last Saturday. Since 2008 she enjoys the “job from heaven” and “her reporting successes soon included … Prince Charles (the Man Who Would be, er, King …)”. This is probably the most positive reference the heir to the throne could get in Fairfax Media.

The journalist’s portrait has more to tell about her encounter with the Prince of Wales: “It was via the [Foreign Press Associaten in London] that she met Prince Charles, speaking at an award night. This confirmed what Totaro’s research had shown – even while many lampooned him, he’s been warning about climate change for 20 years.

Wow, what extraordinary piece of investigative journalism do we get here! The Age’s correspondent found out what everybody, who paid just a little respect to Prince Charles, could know. But the Fairfax journalists were too busy “lampooning him”.

Thursday 10 September 2009


Call me naive, but I always thought writers cannot be bought. Journalists may come at a price. I consider it a possibility that you can ask a journalist to write a biased report, and you may get, what you wanted if the price was right. But I find it hard to believe, that you could demand from a writer to fabricate an essay with a fixed tendency. Well, obviously republicans can. And the pric(z)e is the extraordinary sum of $611.99.

In case you wanted to participate in the “Republican Short Story Competition” your entry was “required to portray an Australian republican future in a positive light”.

Brave new world, where criticism will only be allowed if you followed part two of the rules and “demonstrate the absurdity of a hereditary monarch as the Australian Head of State in twenty-first century Australian society”.

And to participate in this “republican fiction” you had to pay the entry fee of $11.99 (incl GST). “Entry fees are to be paid by money order or cheque to Australian Republican Movement.” Boy, they must be desperate for some dollars more.

Ohe iam satis!

Tuesday 1 September 2009

Libya lost her Monarchy 40 years ago - and got Qaddafi instead

For every Monarchy overthrown, the sky becomes less brilliant, because it loses a star.” It was Anatole France, first winner of the Nobel prize for literature 1921, who wrote this remark. It is certainly true, when we commemorate the 40th anniversary of the overthrowing of the Libyan Monarchy and the seizure of power of Colonel Muammar al-Qaddafi. He used King Idris’ absence to declare a Libyan Arab Republic on 1st September 1969, a republic that has changed its name constantly during the past 40 years. Today its master pleases to call his construction “the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya”.

King Idris I, (Arabic: إدريس الأول‎) born Sayyid Muhammad Idris bin Sayyid Muhammad al-Mahdi as-Senussi (12th March 1889 – 25th May 1983) was the reigning King of Libya from 1951 to 1969 and was also the Chief of the Senussi Muslim order.

In 1911, Italy conquered Cyrenaica in the brief Italo-Ottoman War. In 1920 Sayyid Muhammad Idris bin Sayyid Muhammad al-Mahdi as-Senussi was recognized by the British under the new title of Emir of Cyrenaica, a position also confirmed by the Italians. Two years later he was named Emir of neighboring Tripolitania. Idris' efforts to gain the country's independence were suppressed by the Italians, and he was driven into exile in the late 1920s. After struggling for liberation through the 1930s, Idris fought with General Bernard Montgomery and his army and they defeated the Italian and German troops in Libya in 1943.

The Italian colony was dismembered in a British and a French occupation zone. Tripolitania and Cyrenaica belonged to the British zone, Fessan was French. After the Peace of Paris in 1947 the country became a trust territory of the UN. The occupation zones persisted. In 1949 the UN decided to grant Cyrenaica independence under the Senussi-Order and its Emir Mohammed Idris as-Senussi.

From Benghazi, Idris led the team negotiating with the United Kingdom and the United Nations over independence, which was achieved on 24th December 1951. Idris was proclaimed the King of Libya. The flag of the Senussi Emirate was black with silvery half-moon and star in the middle. After Libya gained her independence, she introduced a national flag that was that of the Cyrenaica, however completed by a red stripe above the black and broad middle stripe and by a green stripe below. The three stripes represented the three parts of the country: Fessan, Cyrenaica und Tripolitania.

Following independence Libya faced a number of problems. There were no colleges in the country and just sixteen college graduates. Also the country had just three lawyers with not a single Libyan physician, engineer, surveyor or pharmacist in the Kingdom. It was also estimated that only 250,000 Libyans were literate and that 10% of the population was blind, with eye diseases such as trachoma widespread. In light of these Britain provided a number of civil servants to staff the government.

In April 1955 oil exploration started in the kingdom with its first oil fields being discovered in 1959. The first exports began in 1963 with the discovery of oil helping to transform the Libyan economy.
On April 25, 1963 the federal system of government was abolished and in line with this the name of the country was changed to the Kingdom of Libya to reflect the constitutional changes.

King Idris maintained close relations with the West in spite of increasing tensions between the US, UK, and the Arab world. In 1969, King Idris I had decided to abdicate in favor of his nephew on 2nd September. A coup led by Colonel Muammar al-Qaddafi (and with murky support from the Italian government of the day) overthrew the King's government on 1st September, while the King was receiving medical treatment in Turkey. The King's nephew and Crown Prince, Sayyid Hassan as-Senussi, was placed under house arrest, along with most of the rest of the Royal Family. King Idris was placed on trial in absentia in the "Libyan People's Court" and sentenced to death in November 1971.

In 1984 Qaddafi released the Royal Family from house arrest and tossed them onto the street. The family lived for a period in a cabin on a public beach. Crown Prince Sayyid Hassan, suffering from poor health, was allowed to travel with most of the family to London for medical treatment, where they settled. The Crown Prince died in 1992, and was succeeded by his son, Prince Sayyid Muhammad bin Sayyid Hasan ar-Rida al-Mahdi as-Senussi.

Today's Libyan Royal Family
Prince Muhammad, the de jure King of Libya, has been active in Libyan exile circles, participating in an anti-Qaddafi rally in London in 2005, when he joined hundreds of Libyan opposition members in London to push for Qaddafi's ouster - their first conference in exile to tell the world, they said, there is an alternative to Qaddafi that is not Islamic extremism, but the Constitutional Monarchy.

Prince Muhammad has made Libyan democracy his public cause and has not renounced the throne. When in December 2007 Qaddafi put up his tent in Paris he was not left alone. From London came the claimant of the Libyan throne and reminded the French and the Libyan dictator that there is an alternative to the North African clown, as Taki calls him. The French newspaper Le Figaro had an extensive interview with Prince Mohammed as-Senoussi. Although he and his supporters were forbidden by the French police to stage a demonstration against Qaddafi, his presence in the Paris was enough to upset Qaddafi and his host Sarkozy.

Muammar al-Qaddafi as a tourist in the Louvre, Paris

Qaddafis' Monarchy
In August 2008, Qaddafi appeared in public wearing a regal crown and carrying a scepter, for the formal signing ceremony of a reconciliation pact with Italy. In tow was his son, Seif al Islam, designated as his dynastic successor to rule the republic or kingdom. All of this followed a meeting in which 200 tribal leaders conferred the title of “King of Kings” upon the once anti-monarchist revolutionary.

Friday 28 August 2009

The Age's History lessons

It is reassuring to notice that sometimes a reader manages to correct a few of The Age's errors, caused by the ignorance of the journalists in charge. Of course I do not accuse them of a biased film review, when it is sheer stupidity.

Middle Park resident Robert H.’s letter to the editor was published today:

History lesson
WHEN I go to see The Young Victoria I hope to find that the filmmakers have achieved better historical accuracy than is implied in Jim Schembri's review (The Age, 27/8). King William was not Victoria's ''father'' but her uncle.
Prince Albert was not ''Belgian'' but German. To say that Victoria's mother, the Duchess of Kent, tried ''thwarting her, if only for her own good'' sanitises a malodorous episode: the Duchess, bitter that her husband's death prevented her from becoming queen, set out, in league with the evil Sir John Conroy, to promote herself as the obvious choice for regent should William die before Victoria reached 18. There is some evidence that the Duchess' first move, as regent, would have been to have Victoria declared insane, a la George III.

One may wonder why the editor chose the headline "History lesson" when it is so obvious that none of the editorial staff either had any or are interested in receiving any history lessons.

If you want to read the rather shallow review by Jim Schembri, click here. The Age kept the faulty piece of journalism online and changed only the most obvious mistake (King William IV being Victoria's father instead of being her uncle, but Prince Albert remains “her long-distance Belgian suitor”).

The mistake was not corrected in today's edition of the Entertainment Guide, where on page 5 it is still claimed that Victoria took "over from her father, King William". Never trust anything you read in The Age.

Thursday 27 August 2009

Crown Prince Tupouto'a Lavaka of Tonga has been visiting Australia

ADF reported on a Royal visit:
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Tupouto'a Lavaka of Tonga and his Chief of Defence Services visited the ARMY ABORIGINAL COMMUNITY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (AACAP) in Mapoon, Queensland today (27th August) to view the works being conducted by ten Tongan Defence Personnel who are attached as part of the AACAP Contingent.

Lieutenant Chris Thompson (right) shows His Royal Highness, the Crown Prince of Tonga Tupouto'a Lavaka (left) and Brigadier Jeff Sengelman (centre) around a vertical construction site at the AACAP in Mapoon, QLD.

His Royal Highness, the Crown Prince of Tonga Tupouto'a Lavaka and Chief of Tongan Defence Services Brigadier Tau'aika Uta'atu, with Engineering Trainees and their Australian Army Mentors at the AACAP in Mapoon, Queensland.

AACAP has offered the opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the Army and the Tongan Defence Service (TDS) through positive international engagement. The TDS has contributed 10 tradesmen (including carpenters, plumbers and electricians) to work alongside Army tradesman to complete the AACAP vertical construction task: involving the completion of three houses for community members.