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That inconvenient 1701 Act of Settlement

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Barry Everingham responds to an attack on him on David Flint's Australians for Constitutional Monarchy website. One of the claims by the ACM is that Australia can unilaterally change the Act of Settlement that since 1701 has favoured first born males over females and says that only Anglicans can rise to become monarch. Another reminder that you need to check the facts after reading the ACM website.

'The crown won't fit' / [Original artwork by Jeff Wood]
WHEN ACM attacks an individual who has the temerity to criticize the monarchy and the outdated Australian Constitution which lumbers this great nation with an irrelevant non-resident foreigner as head of state, there is no place on the ACM website to reply.

David Flint and Thomas Flynn control their fiefdom jealously – they are the only members permitted to vote and their website is locked to outsiders – we can read it but not defend on it.

The latest attack on me is made by one Mark Legge, one of Flint’s young acolytes. Mark has popped up recently and seems to be replacing the unlikely Jai Martinkovits who was the Professor’s favorite for a long time.

It’s hard to know where to start, so let’s mention Camilla, Charles’s long-time mistress while he was married to the Divine Diana and who he made an honest woman when Diana died.

The Monarchists claim she will be the “princess consort”, not queen, when Charles become king. That claim is crap – purely and simply.

The British do not go along with morganatic marriages and in royal families when a woman marries a king she becomes queen. A title isn’t plucked out of thin air – as the current Queen’s uncle, Edward VIII discovered when he wanted to marry his American mistress and was forced to abdicate.

I’m accused of scraping the bottom of the barrel and “turning to the paparazzi" [check that spelling Mark] for misinformation [note spelling] when I mentioned that Charles told Camilla all he wanted in life was to be her tampon!

Charles’s words were heard by millions around the world when Camillagate was given relentless air time following the release of the infamous telephone conversations between the lovers while Diana was still alive.

Just what kind of people are those royals really?

Mark then draws a long bow when he has another go at me when I decry the 1701 Act of Settlement, which lumbers us with this rum lot and not one Australian among them. He says the laws which controls the Act can be changed by our Parliament. Well, if that’s the case let’s change it now – a free vote in both Houses on the matter would, I submit, be very interesting!

Unfortunately, after a quick check on Wikipedia, a peer reviewed publication rather than something produced by a university vetinary student, I find Mark's argument is rather drenched in cold water, when it says:
"Since the implementation of the Statute of Westminster in each of the Commonwealth realms (on successive dates from 1931 onwards), the Act of Settlement cannot be altered in any realm except by that realm's own parliament, and then, by convention, as as it touches on the succession to the shared throne, only with the consent of all the other realms."

So much for that.

Oh, by the way Mark, we do take a place in the world but it’s hardly serious when the legal Queen of Australia no longer is taken seriously.

Her likeness has been removed from schools, public buildings and embassies – it’s as though she doesn’t exist.

One of our most distinguished diplomats, Richard Woolcott, has pointed out the embarrassment our representatives experience when explaining to foreigners the convoluted system under which we labor.

And in conclusion, Mark claimed in his attack that if we aren’t taken seriously then other monarchies aren’t either.

He misses the point when he mentions Japan, Norway, Belgium, Spain and Denmark.

They, of course, have their own nationals as heads of state; they are not considered to be so immature that they need a foreigner to do the job.  
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