Read the question: Citizenship edition

Social media and the luvvies (and some people who should know never to believe anything the left says) are in an uproar:

Fresh questions have been raised about the eligibility of federal Liberal MP Ann Sudmalis, following the discovery of an incoming passenger card from 1966, which she filled out when returning to Australia as a 10-year-old, listing her nationality as British.

Indeed – it looks like she did. But look at the passenger card.

Look again very carefully.

The question is clearly: Nationality and if British specify country of citizenship. The answer is perfectly plausible: Her nationality is British and she is an Australian citizen. I suspect many Australians gave similar answers in last years census.

So let’s be blunt here – this is a nonsense gotcha. No doubt there are many politicians with stuff to hide but this shows nothing. Except the desperation of the Guardian to keep pressure on the Liberal government. Why? I don’t know – they are managing to destroy their own prospects without the left having to manufacture fake news.

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54 Responses to Read the question: Citizenship edition

  1. Rob MW

    “Except the desperation of the Guardian to keep pressure on the Liberal government. Why? I don’t know…..”

    Where to start Sinc 🙂 I think, for starters, the commie paper weights are already camped outside the gates of Yarralumla.

    It is curious though; ‘Nationality’ indicates personal/original identity yet ‘Citizenship’ gives legal identity.

  2. Hydra

    Where the hell did the passenger card come from?

  3. Mark A

    Hydra
    #2475878, posted on August 22, 2017 at 12:36 am

    Where the hell did the passenger card come from?

    That’s why you should never ever disclose anything to government, that you can avoid.
    Peeps with an agenda have peeps in the right places with time and time on their hands.

    I once knew a young lass ‘working’ in the PS, her main task was to collect the weekly tattslotto fees in the department, they were running a system.

  4. J.H.

    No… Not quite the right question Sinclair.

    It goes to that Nationality bit and the British Nationality Act 1981. She didn’t apply to be a Minister in the Australian Government back in 1966, she did that in 2013.

    The British Nationality Act 1981, expresses that a person is entitled to be registered as a British citizen through their mother if: you would have automatically become a citizen of the United Kingdom and colonies by descent if women had been able to pass this citizenship on to their children in the same way as men at the time of your birth; you would have had the right of abode in the UK and have become a British citizen on 1 January 1983 if you had become a citizen of the United Kingdom and colonies; and you’re of “good character”

    Has Ann Sudmalis, by the above stated British Nationality act criteria, been “Eligible” for dual citizen status?…. if so, she is rendered by the Australian Constitution as being ineligible to be in the Australian government.

    In the days prior to her registering to be a candidate in our Australian government system, she should have clarified her Citizenship status as per the Constitutional requirements…… Had she been buying a house, she would have done a legal search to ensure the property was unencumbered. Why not be as diligent on her registering for a Parliamentary position?

  5. Zatara

    Nationality, while not synonymous with citizenship, has it’s own characteristics which make it germane to this debate.

    From the perspective of international law, nationality is a status that allows a nation to grant rights to the subject and to impose obligations upon the subject.

    Categories of British nationality

  6. Zatara

    its, not it’s. Autocorrect sux.

  7. Nerblnob

    Guardian hates Diversity and Immigrants.

  8. Combine Dave

    Another fake Australian.

    Out! Out! Out!

  9. Up The Workers!

    And I see that Pommy Bill (aka Bull Shitten) of the Australian LIARS’ Party, said last night on the A.L.P.’s “Hateline” propaganda hour: “I know what I am”.

    Well, so do we, Bill – as do all the Union suckers at Cleanevent, and all the Union suckers at Unibuilt and all the Union suckers at Chiquita Mushrooms, and your first wife and the girl who accuses you of raping her when she was 16, and the Canberra-based P.A. who subsequently needed an abortion.

    It is interesting to consider that the little Vietnamese pie-shop lady that he famously abused and shouted at, was very likely not only a BETTER Australian, but legally MORE Australian than Bull Shitten is.

    Maybe, instead of checking out this serial mis-handler of the truth to see whether he ever DID formally renounce his Pommy citizenship (which he flatly refuses to produce proof of), we should instead be frisking the bludger to see if he has a valid 457 Visa, allowing him to work in this country in the first place?

  10. Herodotus

    If being British (even in dual context) makes one a foreigner, how come we, a former Brit colony, still have solid lines of governance from the Queen of England to Australia via our Governor-General?

    Would being British-Australian have been seen as a disqualification when the constitution was written? I think not.
    It’s possible for the Hight Court of Australia to put its own interpretation on that, but I think it would be a nonsense to make some residual britishness or NZity a problem. Slovenian, on the other hand ….

    Footnote: You never have to ask “why” when considering the Guardian’s motives or modus operandi.

  11. jonesy

    Context, people! Australia is a vastly different place from now compared to 1966. But to produce the card…the “Actual” card, filled in by a minor, returning home with her parents after a stay in ” Mother England”…Really??? A ten year old girl??? More likely filled in under instruction of others. Parents? Immigration officers?

    I scream to think that my tax dollars supported some measure of this witch hunt!

  12. Aussieute

    Up The Workers!
    #2475942, posted on August 22, 2017 at 6:51 am

    And I see that Pommy Bill (aka Bull Shitten) of the Australian LIARS’ Party, said last night on the A.L.P.’s “Hateline” propaganda hour: “I know what I am”.
    +1
    He may know what he is … but is it what he really is.
    Add to that many of the Labour mob who have gone to ground.
    Penny Wong is one avoiding the proof as well.
    The whole lot stinks … prorogue the parliament
    No proof no right to stand or be elected … quite simple
    Interesting read if true … NZ law could disqualify all Australians from their Parliament

  13. Alexi the Conservative Russian

    Someone within a government department is responsible for this leak. An audit of access to the relevant files needs to be conducted and the perpetrator named, shamed and fired. The head of department should be charged with this chore and if he comes up empty he should be fired forthwith without a pension.

  14. Macspee

    Someone has done something illegal releasing this form. Some are inferring that a 10 year old child can legally claim a nationality or citizenship – well she can’t. Claims that this has any connection to her status are clearly wrong as it is irrelevant. If she has applied for a UK passport that will make a difference. At the time she would have been on an Australian passport.
    Many years ago I applied for an Australian passport and was told to go away and apply for naturalisation. As I wanted to travel soon, I told them to get stuffed as I had lived in Australia for 30 years less 6 months and got aUK passport. It was 10 years later that I found out that they lied and I was entitled to automatic registration as a citizen just like the then GG who, it turned out was in the same boat. I now have dual citizenship and will hold on to it – it’s good for a quick trip through Europe (for now at least) without need for visas and if the morons take over this country as they may well do, I can always go and live somewhere in the Highlands as a matter of right.

  15. Greg

    And who released this information?

  16. duncanm

    https://rallyaustralia.com.au/spectator-info/

    And who released this information?

    Exactly.

    This should be the scandal.

    Who the hell is digging through 50yo government records and releasing the information? Smoeone is breaking the law here, and it aint necessarily Ann Sudmalis

  17. duncanm

    (bad cut paste — but you should go anyway, It’ll be fun).

  18. Macspee

    Oh, and by the way in 1966 Australian citizens still had British nationality as did citizens of other former British colonies. If you had a UK passport you didn’t need a visa to enter Australa ( or vice versa) it took Lord Goff to change that and require UK passport holders to have visas.

  19. H B Bear

    And who released this information?

    Probably the same person who cleaned out the WA Corporate Affairs file relating to the registration of the AWU Workplace Reform Association. What a coincidence!

  20. incoherent rambler

    Section 4:44 (i.) : ‘Any person who is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power.’

    This is pretty clear.
    Foreign rights granted by a foreign government disqualify a person from parliament.
    Half of our MPs need to go.
    The alternative is that the HC creates a constitutional crisis by ignoring the constitution.

  21. John64

    Someone has done something illegal releasing this form.

    Correct.

    And British Bill Shorten scoffed at accusations by Nick Xylophone that there are offices full of ALP staffers “who have nothing better to do” than spend hours upon hours day after day trawling the internet looking for citizenship dirt on their political opponents. Like most of what comes out of British Bill’s moth – horseshit. And not forgetting that this is all being done on our dime.

    The uneasy truce between the Libs and The Liars is due to the threat of mutually assured destruction. Once the first domino falls from one of the major parties it will be open warfare. Mind you, the Libs have much more to lose over all this – Government.

  22. Atoms for Peace

    And better writing skills than the current crop of pithed graduates that lumber forth from our education system..

  23. Tim Neilson

    Oh, and by the way in 1966 Australian citizens still had British nationality as did citizens of other former British colonies.

    That’s what I was wondering. I thought that up until the 1980’s we were all “British subjects” in some sense but not British citizens.

    A “nonsense gotcha” indeed.

  24. Roger

    The answer is perfectly plausible: Her nationality is British and she is an Australian citizen. I suspect many Australians gave similar answers in last years census.

    In 1966 it was perfectly legal under Australian law for an Australian citizen to identify as a British subject even though they were neither born in Britain nor had parents or grand-parents who were.

    Iirc, the right to do so was only expunged c. the mid ’80s; and rightly so, too, as the ambiguity was best done away with.

  25. Macspee

    Thinks
    Section 4:44 (i.) : ‘Any person who is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power.’
    Does the expression “entitled to” stand alone? May one be entitled to rights and privileges without bring either a subject or citizen? If so, and I suggest that is the case, then the provision is far wider than we might think which means that even if you renounce nationality or citizenship you may still be “entitled to” rights and privileges even if you don’t want them or even know you have them.
    Here’s hoping for a sensible result from the Hight Court but don’t hold your breath – it hasn’t done very well for many years.

  26. Roger

    Who the hell is digging through 50yo government records and releasing the information? Smoeone is breaking the law here, and it aint necessarily Ann Sudmalis

    It might not have been obtained illegally. Someone with knowledge of Sudmalis’s life and perhaps a grudge against her could have done an FOI request at the National Archives, in which case there will be a paper trail. They have storage facilities in each state capital and Canberra and passenger arrival documentation is kept permanently because of its significance to family and general history. Presumably it would have been stored in the archives facility closest to her port of entry in 1966.

  27. Tintarella di Luna

    Macspee
    #2476201, posted on August 22, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Exactly my argument.

  28. Tintarella di Luna

    In 1966 it was perfectly legal under Australian law for an Australian citizen to identify as a British subject even though they were neither born in Britain nor had parents or grand-parents who were.

    Iirc, the right to do so was only expunged c. the mid ’80s; and rightly so, too, as the ambiguity was best done away with.

    Was it the Australia Acts, 1986 that did that or was it the change to citizenship which included being able to be a dual citizen in about 1984?

  29. Bushdoc

    “which she filled out when returning to Australia as a 10-year-old, listing her nationality as British.”
    Don’t mean to be pedantic. The article is immediately incorrect. A 10 year old is not legally allowed to fill in a legal document. Her mother presumably filled it in. Also Sinc is correct it clearly states she is Australian. Further back then it was normal practice to use the term “British” rather than Caucasian or Anglo/Celtic as we do today.

  30. Tintarella di Luna

    And who released this information?

    Probably the same person who cleaned out the WA Corporate Affairs file relating to the registration of the AWU Workplace Reform Association. What a coincidence!

    Quite, H B Bear

  31. John64

    It might not have been obtained illegally.

    A few years ago my good lady applied to the National Archives seeking documents relating to her late father’s employment with the Snowy Mountains Authority in the early 1950s (as it transpired quite a few interesting things were provided including employment and leave records and locations of postings.)

    The application form was very detailed and included requiring a statement as to why the applicant had a legitimate interest in the documents being requested.

  32. duncanm

    Bolt links to the NAA image online — so not illegal, but by jesus, someone spent a lot of time digging through the dirt.

  33. J.H.

    It doesn’t matter what she was in 1966.

    The point everyone seems to be missing is that Ann Sudmalis registered to be a Parliamentarian in 2013 while the NEW British Nationality Act 1981 Entitled her to become a British Citizen via the mechanism of Jus sanguinis or born citizenship via her Mother’s Citizenship and Nationality status.

    It would seem that this makes Ann a recipient to entitlements endowed by a foreign power, something she neglected to check as is her Constitutional obligation BEFORE registering to be an elected official in the Australian Parliament… However, it may be that Britain is not classed as a “Foreign Power” in this narrow context, so perhaps the Constitution is not contravened?

  34. Arnost

    Indeed Tinta,

    Section 4:44 (i.) : ‘Any person who is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power.’

    I would suggest that Britain may not have actually fit the definition of a foreign power until the passage of the Australia Act in 1986. So all politicians identifying as Ann Sudmalis prior to that would have been OK…

    After 1986… they are all stuffed.

    The High Court in Sue v Hill in 1999… decided that the effect of the Australia Act 1986 (Cth) was that, at least from the date when the Act came into operation, Britain had become a “foreign power” within the meaning of Constitution section 44(i), so that a parliamentary candidate who had British nationality was ineligible to be a member of the Commonwealth Parliament.

    linky

    This means that after that time to be eligible, Ann Sudmalis would have had to renounce British nationality explicitly [and this would apply equally whether she was born here of umpteen generations or newly migrated].

    And one can make a stretch and suggest anyone born in Australia or gained Citizenship here prior to 1986 would have automatically become, or become entitled to be, British nationals, and – unless they explicitly refuted their British nationality – is ineligible to be a member of the Commonwealth Govt…

  35. Roger

    And one can make a stretch and suggest anyone born in Australia or gained Citizenship here prior to 1986 would have automatically become, or become entitled to be, British nationals, and – unless they explicitly refuted their British nationality – is ineligible to be a member of the Commonwealth Govt…

    Not British nationals but British subjects. But that entitlement was removed from Australian law in 1984 (arguably 1973, even). No Australian citizen had to personally renounce that status, it was effected by a change in Australian law. Only those who were/are British subjects according to British law would have to renounce that status to sit in the Australian parliament.

  36. DM of WA

    Arnost #2476312, posted on August 22, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    has it exactly right.

    I will add that this whole constitutional debacle has its roots in the big republican push in the late 80’s and 90’s to remove all the links to the UK in preparation for the glorious Australian republican revolution.
    Now the politicians and activist High Court judges are reaping the whirlwind. Maybe there was a case for the principle of conservatism in politics after all?

    Anyway I am bathing in the Schadenfreude.

  37. Diogenes

    Arnost,
    Not quite. British law is quite explicit as to who qualifies for British citizenship and somebody like me , born 1959 in Victoria Aust where both parents were ‘wogs’ , naturalised 3 years before I was born, means I cannot apply to be a Pom Jus Sanguinis or via the “I was a British subject when I was born” argument.

    My wife, whose mother was a Pom, could claim a British passport Jus Sanguinis. Should she do so the right does not extend to our son or his son, unlike any potential Hungarian or Romanian or Iranian citizenship I am entitled to (or the Iranians say I am) .

  38. Macspee

    It is a moot point whether being entitled means you have the entitlement – full stop – or whether it means that if you make application in the prescribed form you may be recognised as being entitled and your entitlement springs into being but unless you go through the process you get no entitlement. Is there an entitlement to vote in UK? No. Is there an entitlement to a pension? No. Is there an entitlement to reside? No. You only get these things via processes that are more than just having an entitlement.

  39. Haidee

    My father was born in Scotland; the entitlement thing was never mentioned.
    But then he didn’t do any overseas travelling and he wasn’t seeking to sit in the Australian parliament.

  40. Roger

    Macspee, we’re talking about an entitlement as it existed under Australian law, not British law. But, yes, the benefits attached to that entitlement that could be exercised in Britain were always determined by the latter jurisdiction. Relations between the UK and her former colonies and dependencies have, as they say, evolved over time. Nonetheless, some citizens of Commonwealth nations who are resident in Britain can vote in British elections and, if I’m not mistaken, can even be elected to the UK parliament.

  41. stackja

    Since the High Court is involving itself in the running of Australia. For example, Mabo, Hill etc
    Should not the High Court be subject to citizen review like the Parliament?

  42. Ian Fischer

    I am confident the High Court will sort this mess by interpreting the Constitution, accordingly.

  43. Macspee

    Roger, surely the issue is whether there is an entitlement under UK law, if there is not there is no issue – is there? The question is whether the UK entitlement exists and if it is such that it impacts in Australia it is not a question of it existing under Australian law Sure some residents get to vote, etc., but they have to go through a process beforehand before an entitlement is crystallised.
    I might be entitled to a pension but I won’t get it until I go through a process to prove that I have that right before it can be acknowledged and recognised in the law so that I can get whatever it is that attaches to the right.
    I’m not au fait with current provisions in the UK but I have the idea that at one time you could be a UK citizen through a grandfather but then it dropped back to father. I’m unaware that it could ever be obtained through a mother but that may have changed and if it has would that affect Ann Sudmalis. If it does it sounds like a typical unforseen consequence of poorly thought out policy.

  44. Macbeth

    Fifty years ago, I heard of a fellow, who on applying for a job with the PMG, answered the ‘Conjugal Condition’ question with “Crook back”.

  45. Richard Bender

    For all the conspiracy theorists about how this card was obtained, please see http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/fact-sheets/fs38.aspx.

  46. Combine Dave

    This is pretty clear.
    Foreign rights granted by a foreign government disqualify a person from parliament.
    Half of our MPs need to go.

    Good.

    Drain the swamp.

  47. Diogenes

    This is pretty clear.
    Foreign rights granted by a foreign government disqualify a person from parliament.
    Half of our MPs need to go.

    Good.

    Drain the swamp.

    So North Korea could unilaterally make every person currently resident, or arriving or being born within the next 10 years in Australia a North Korean citizen with no possibility of renunciation – you would be fine with that ?

  48. duncanm

    That NAA database is an awesome resource.

    Found my Dad’s family ‘off the boat’ record from Scotland as immigrants when he was a wee lad, and records of my maternal grandparents flitting off on 1st-class trips on the Orient line.

  49. duncanm

    So, what about Plibersek ?

    Plibersek was born in Sydney, the daughter of migrants from Slovenia.

    Slovenian Citizenship

    Rules
    Gaining citizenship by birth

    A child gains the Slovenian citizenship by birth:

    – if both parents of the birth mother and father are Slovenian Citizens,

  50. Zatara

    Foreign rights are not the problem. Foreign obligations are.

  51. duncanm

    Slovenia has National Service

  52. Arnost

    Diogenes…

    I am no lawyer – but in my brief exploration on the subject amongst other precedents I looked at the Balfour Declaration (1926), Cwth Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948, the British Nationality Act (1948).

    These seem to make clear that up to 1984 Australian citizens continued to also be British subjects. Note there was a clear category of “citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies” (CUKC) for people born or naturalised in either the United Kingdom or one of its colonies.

    Even after that there is a category of British Overseas Territory Citizen – and those in that class had the right to apply and get automatic access to British Citizenship, and from British Overseas Territories Act (2002):

    …any BOTC who was not already a British citizen automatically acquired British citizenship otherwise by descent on that day, however a person who acquired BOTC status by descent would also become a British citizen by descent.

    linky

    So maybe we all are British citizens…

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