Australia's bestselling author is Peter Fitzsimons. I have enjoyed reading every one of his many books. He is a dynamic public speaker, a talented journalist whose articles enjoy top ranking, and, in the world of sport, he is a Wallaby.
Today, we identify him by the Red Bandana he wears constantly as his trademark, but also as a spectacular way of covering his Yul Brunner haircut.
Now he is embarking on the crusade of his lifetime that may lead him to become a legend as a nation changer.
He has become President of the Australian Republican Movement following in the footsteps of Malcolm Turnbull and Geoff Gallop. This means that he has taken up the task of removing the British Monarchy from our Constitution. Currently, and ridiculously, the Queen of England has the final say on who will be our Governor General.
Will he achieve this aim or will he suffer the same fate as Turnbull two decades ago?
He will win.
A relentless character of powerful influence, who has a huge following in the community, he will never give up on this issue. We have been friends for thirty years and I can confirm that, when he is in full campaign mode, he is unstoppable.
The indisputable fact is that two thirds of the Commonwealth of Nations (the old British Colonies) are Republics. Some have been so for 60 years and very few have the Union Jack on their flag. The Queen has no legal ties with them and cannot choose a Head of State for any of them. Yet she is a revered and welcome visitor to their lands, as she is in the United States where her ancestors were kicked out 250 years ago.
So, those who claim that Australia will be banished from the British Commonwealth if we become a Republic are deliberately telling a lie in the desperate hope of winning a losing battle to retain a colonial past which is gone forever.
The change from Constitutional Monarchy to Republic should have gone through when Malcolm Turnbull lead the charge to remove the humiliating requirement that Australia cannot elect its Head of State without the British assenting to it.
Turnbull lost that vote only because the Republicans were a badly divided force. Some wanted Parliament to appoint the Head of State while others wanted a direct vote of the Australian people. The monarchists actually got only 21% of the vote, not surprising when we note that those of British descent are a minority of our population.
Thus, the Red Bandana strategy is to hold a plebiscite during the next term of Parliament when it can be held on the same day as the same sex marriage vote.
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