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