What's Jai thinking?

2013, June, 11 Written by Jai Martinkovits 0

Happy Birthday Your Majesty and long may your reign

Daily Telegraph Article

THE celebration of the Queen's official birthday reminds us of our oldest institution, the Crown, which has been with us since settlement and evolving for much longer.

Yet republicans advocate dumping our tried, tested and proven crowned republic for some vague, undefined politicians' republic. On some occasions they also argue that we should be shredding our beautiful national flag.

Peter FitzSimons and Ray Martin did this just before Anzac Day in 2010.

Now, parading under the banner of "our identity", the Australian Republican Movement would have you believe that Australia faces some sort of identity crisis. To this end, they are running an expensive and glossy campaign.

You would have thought that anyone proposing change would at least say what sort of change they wanted. But no, the republicans want to foist this burden on to the Australian taxpayer. And burden it is.

The latest is Malcolm Turnbull's idea for some interactive internet plebiscite to work out what the republicans seem unable to do themselves.

To date, there have been 12 major votes and inquiries on the republic. All have been paid for by the taxpayer. Republicans seem to believe electors should keep on voting until they get it right - until we have more politicians occupying high positions, with some ghastly beach towel as our flag.

In the meantime, an unholy alliance has emerged between Turnbull and Wayne Swan.

Swan, flailing in his surplus troubles and Turnbull, perhaps wanting to show how he is different from his leader, are seeking to put the debate back on the public agenda.

Monarchists have good reason to be uneasy about Turnbull's attempt to reignite the republic debate. Apart from being a great communicator, Turnbull was, according to his campaign director Greg Barnes, the principal benefactor of the republican movement in the '90s.

Separately, it would seem that the Australian Republican Movement has been trying to hitch a ride on the movement to have indigenous Australians recognised in the constitution.

Recognise, the primary group campaigning for indigenous recognition, clearly does not want to be associated in any way with the republic movement. Its campaign director, Tim Gartrell, was quick to point out that Recognise is already receiving support from both sides of the republic debate, including strident monarchist Tony Abbott.

Indeed, Abbott has long demonstrated genuine concern about indigenous people. And republicans seem to have forgotten that some of the strongest supporters of the Crown have been indigenous. Neville Bonner, our first indigenous federal parliamentarian, was one of the founding fathers of the constitutional monarchy movement.

As Turnbull famously said in his published diary from the referendum campaign, "nobody is interested".

[Republished with full permission. Originally published in The Daily Telegraph on 11 June 2013. To see the layout of the print version of the newspaper, including the ARM's piece, click here to take out a special subscription to The Daily Telegraph.]

2013, April, 29 Written by Jai Martinkovits 0

Right royal reason to party

Wedding PrepClick here for the original article.

Many royal fans will be out and about at functions across the nation put on by the Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, said a spokesman, Jai Martinkovits.

There will also be many private parties, he said.

So what should people be doing to celebrate such an occasion?

“According to the polls most people will be watching on television,” Mr Martinkovits said.

The wedding will be telecast on every free-to-air station except SBS tonight, starting from 6pm on ABC1.

As for the royal nibbles, canapés, quail eggs with celery salts, mini-Yorkshire puddings with roast beef and mini-sausage rolls are rumoured to be the order of the day.

If you're planning your own party, however, Mr Martinkovits doesn't think you need to roll out the cucumber sandwiches.

“There's no particular tradition that needs to be followed, just having a dinner party is enough,” he said.

2012, March, 29 Written by Jai Martinkovits 0

Mark My Words

2012, March, 29 Written by Jai Martinkovits 0

Visit is crowning glory to a right royal year

Prince CharlesAt a time when most are considering retirement, Prince Charles, 63, raises over a quarter of a billion dollars for charity annually.

That's right, not million, a billion.

This year has been a royal year indeed.

Even with the central events of the Diamond Jubilee behind us, the excitement continues.

The impending visit of the Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is not only an integral part of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, but also an important opportunity for Australians - particularly the young - to connect with their future king.

Australians should expect to see more and more of Prince Charles.

As is befitting for a lady of her age, Her Majesty will likely delegate an increasing number of her duties to her son and grandchildren.

And that is no bad thing, providing excellent training to the future heirs to the throne, while increasing the presence of the royal family in Australia.

Prince Charles has a special affinity with Australia and Australians. He was schooled at the Timbertop campus of Geelong Grammar School and has made numerous visits.

The prince's visit coincides with a quasi rebranding of the Australian Republican Movement - a desperate attempt at keeping a dead issue alive.

Interestingly, the ARM seems to be shying away from the word "republic", instead favouring the term "our identity".

This is no new phenomenon.

The ARM realises that the word republic is, as it always has been, on the nose.

In the lead-up to the referendum, the question, which would incorporate the long title of the legislation, was developed by Cabinet after advice from a joint parliamentary committee that held meetings at which interested parties were heard.

The Australian Republican Movement proposed that two words be removed from the question.

One word was "president".

The other word was "republic".

This was greeted with surprise and ridicule, even in the republican media. The concept of a republic is an elitist proposition. Australians are just not interested in change.

They never were.

Many prominent Australians, including Tony Abbott, John Howard and Michael Kirby, believe Australia is already a form of republic - a republic under the crown, or a crowned republic.

This, of course, is entirely different from proposals for a politicians' republic.

In 1999, Australians made it overwhelmingly clear that they wished to retain our present constitutional arrangements.

They did so in all states and in 73 per cent of federal electorates.

Since 1999, support for a vague form of politicians' republic has further collapsed. Although there will be those who seek to undermine their royal highnesses' visit, using it as an opportunity to agitate for change and to make tasteless remarks, the vast majority of Australians will take the chance to become better acquainted with their future king.

Although he may not presently enjoy the same popularity as his sons, Prince Charles is a leader and a well-rounded person who is well placed to step up to the responsibilities of the throne.

In the meantime, instead of running useless campaigns based entirely on spin, republicans should perhaps retire gracefully.

- Jai Martinkovits is executive director of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy

[Originally published at http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/visit-is-crowning-glory-to-right-royal-year-for-prince-charles-writes-jai-martinkovits/story-e6frfhqf-1226505573826]

Jai Martinkovits