Thursday 6 February 2014

Lawyers chose the Queen

This week Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark announced that Victorian Senior Counsels will in future have the option to be appointed as Queen’s Counsel (QC) or Senior Counsel (SC). Mr. Clark followed a request to the Victorian Government from the Victorian Bar Council to give senior barristers the choice of being known as Senior Counsel (SCs) or Queen’s Counsel (QCs).

Mr. Clark's predecessor, controversial Labour Attorney-General Rob Hulls ditched the QC title in favour of SC in 2010.

Victoria's move follows Queensland's example, which restored the QC title in 2013, giving Senior Counsels the option to change their title to Queen's Counsel. Seventy of that state’s 73 senior counsels changed their title to QC in the wake of that announcement.

As in Queensland, Victoria's current senior counsels will now have the option to retain the SC title or switch to QC. NSW, WA, SA and the ACT have so far retained the SC title. The Northern Territory was the only Australian jurisdiction not to dump QC.

Queen Victoria would welcome the Victorian Attorney-General's decision to restore the Queen's Counsel.

Victoria's move came three days before Her Majesty's 62nd anniversary as Queen of Australia. On 6th February 1952 her father, King George VI died in his sleep and his eldest daughter ascended to the throne as Queen Elizabeth II.

The story of Queen Elizabeth's accession actually starts on 31st January 1952. King George VI saw off Princess Elizabeth and her husband, The Duke of Edinburgh> on a tour that was destined for Australia and New Zealand, a tour the King himself was supposed to have taken, yet being unable to do so due to his illness. King George waved off his daughter as she embarks on the plane - some people say they both knew this was the last time they were ever to see each other again.

On the 5th February, King George retired to bed at Sandringham House in what was described as 'his usual health'.

The following morning, when the footman came to wake up the King at 7:30am, it was discovered that he was dead - The King had died in his sleep.

News was broken to London at 10:45am in a special news bulletin.

Sunday 2 February 2014

Backing for an Australian republic has collapsed to a 20-year low

The Ensign of The Governor-General of The Commonwealth of Australia.
It must have been a difficult day for the Fairfax journalists to admit: Voters' support for republic hits 20-year low.

With just 39.4 per cent of Australians saying they support a republic, backing for an Australian republic has collapsed to a 20-year low. An exclusive ReachTEL poll of more than 2100 Australians, conducted on Thursday night for Fairfax, shows 41.6 per cent oppose the country becoming a republic, and 19 per cent had no opinion on the issue.

It must be especially troubling for the Aussie republicans that their idea of changing the constitution is unpopular among the 18 to 35 year olds, reaching only 35.6 per cent. Only those Australians aged 65 and older are more opposed to a republic than the young ones: 30.7 per cent want a politicians' republic instead of a Constitutional Monarchy.

Geoff Gallop, chairman of the Australian Republican Movement (ARM), commented rather stoically: "Polls will come and go." One wonders if he remembers the opinion polls which were commissioned by the republicans themselves, which - surprise, surprise - bring a much more favourable result for the republicans.

The Queen's next representative in Australia as Governor-General, General Peter Cosgrove AM, MC, has already proved to be more popular than the incumbent Governor-General Quentin Bryce. 57.1 per cent think Peter Cosgrove is the better Governor-General, only 42.9 per cent consider Quentin Bryce to fulfil her duties better. It might have to do with the fact that in November 2013,  Quentin Bryce used the final Boyer lecture of the year to publicly threw her support behind the republicans' cause. Most observers found it rather improper for the holder of the highest office in Australia, which should be above party politics, to get involved in such a divisive discussion. However, her son-in-law is the present leader of Her Majesty's Australian Opposition, William (Bill) Richard Shorten. Instead of her family, Quentin Bryce should have thought of the Oath of Allegiance, she took on 5th September 2008 at Parliament House, Canberra,

Oath of Allegiance
I, QUENTIN ALICE LOUISE BRYCE, do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her heirs and successors according to law. SO HELP ME GOD!

(Quentin Alice Louise Bryce)

Saturday 1 February 2014

General Peter Cosgrove, AC, MC nominated as Australia's 26th Governor-General

The Queen of Australia with General Peter Cosgrove, AM, MC at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, in October 2011.
Retired defence chief General Peter Cosgrove, AC, MC has been nominated as Australia's next governor-general by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

The ceremonial role, as representative of Queen Elizabeth II, involves opening parliament, giving assent to laws and receiving official visitors.

General Cosgrove will become the 26th governor-general of Australia. Governor-General Quentin Bryce's term will end in March.

The Governor-General is appointed by the Queen on advice of Her Majesty's Australian prime minister.