Sunday 3 February 2013

Freedom of the Press, best protected by a Crown

The 2013 Reporters Without Borders (RWB) World Press Freedom Index makes interesting reading. “This year’s index is a better reflection of the attitudes and intentions of governments towards media freedom in the medium or long term."

The same three European countries that headed the index last year hold the top three positions again this year. Of the 2013 Top Ten of the countries with the greatest freedom of the press eight are Monarchies: The Kingdom of the Netherland (Rank 2), the Kingdom of Norway (3), the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg (4), the Principality of Andorra (5), the Kingdom of Denmark (6), the Principality of Liechtenstein (7),the Dominion of New Zealand (8) and the Kingdom of Sweden (10). RWB: “Although many criteria are considered, ranging from legislation to violence against journalists, [monarchist] countries occupy the top of the index while dictatorial [republics] occupy the last three positions.

Australia sits on rank 26, better than the rank 30 it occupied the year before. RWB does not explain Australia’s position, but the position in the top 30 may have something to do with the fact that the Australian media suffer from being in the hands of few media companies. News Limited (Murdoch) and Fairfax dominate the media business.

The USA turns up on rank 32, which may come as a surprise for the “great republic”. Constitutional Monarchies like Jamaica (rank 13) fare better than republics like France (rank 37).

The 14 countries with the most restricted media expression are all republics of some sort (people’s republics, democratic people’s republics or islamic republics like Iran, Yemen, Laos, China or Eritrea). The least free Monarchy on this list is the Kingdom of Bahrain on rank 165 (8 ranks better than in 2012).

Republicans never get tired of calling Monarchies “undemocratic” and they love to equate republics with democracies, but in reality nowhere is the freedom of expression and the freedom of the media in better hands than in crowned democracies.

This is a fact pointed out in the Canadian book : Freedom wears a Crown, and is a point well known to Monarchists, but ignored by republicans.

Saturday 2 February 2013

Nicola Roxon quits - The Queen carries on

This morning Nicola Roxon resigned from Cabinet as Attorney-General and will not contest her seat in the election on 14th September. If she is known for something, then it is certainly for her fierce republicanism.

In 2006 she suggested, Queen's Birthday holiday should be replaced by something more to her liking.
"As a committed republican, I find it hard to justify the time off for the Queen's Birthday. Nevertheless, I am not sure that the republican cause can survive if the cost is one less long weekend.

"Perhaps Tax Return Day? Maybe we can make the Australian "Christmas in July" official?

"Or why not Socceroos' Day?

"I am only half-joking."
Australians for Constitutional Monarchists' National Convenor, David Flint, cites another quote of Nicola Roxon:
"We reported in this column on 13 March, 2006 the brutal words of the Hon. Nicola Roxon, the federal shadow attorney general in Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition: 'There are no new monarchists being born,' she said, only months after swearing or affirming her allegiance to the Sovereign. 'If we bide our time they will all die off…'"
Nothing could be more wrong. While she resigned from her job "to spend more time with my daughter", Her Majesty has been Queen of Australia for 61 years and shows no sign of retiring.