Peter O’Brien on Brexit

I am a ‘republican’, by which I mean I would prefer to see the British Monarch removed from our Constitution and his/her role taken by a President appointed by Parliament.  In other words, the Governor General would then become our de jure, rather than just de facto, Head of State.

For the present I no longer support the drive towards an Australian Republic, not because I think it is wrong in principle, but because I believe it has been corrupted.  The current President of the Australian Republican Movement does not understand the constitutional issues and, more damagingly, has co-opted the idea into a partisan political question dividing Left and Right.  Until we can have a debate in which people from both sides of politics can choose either side without being subject to abuse or opprobrium, the idea of the republic will be divisive and therefore, counterproductive.

That by the way.  What prompted the above is my dismay at what is transpiring in the UK over Brexit.

Supporters of the Monarchy in Australia, argue that one of its benefits is that the existence of a uniting figure, such as the Queen, provides a defence of our fundamental institutions, by which I mean the rule of law, representative government, universal suffrage, the separation of powers and so on.  The idea, apparently, is that the majesty of the Queen and her sacrosanct position will give pause to those who might seek to subvert our democracy.

Well that concept is now under serious review in Britain.  What we see is a large group of cynical and self-serving MPs overtly attempting to subvert the will of the people as expressed in the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Judging by all I have read, the British Parliament is now both incapable and unwilling to deliver the Brexit that the people voted or.

The most likely outcome that I can foresee is another referendum which, almost inevitably, will overturn the original decision, not because the will of the people has changed but because the parliamentarians have so corrupted the Brexit process that many people will now decide enough is enough.   Many Remainers predicted that Brexit would be a disaster and then worked assiduously to make it so.

Another referendum would be a subversion of democracy – overturning the institution of representative government.  Anything other than a complete Brexit would be a subversion of democracy.  Does the Queen understand that, I wonder?  If she does, does she believe, according to the theory advanced by Australian monarchists anyway, that she is the last bastion?  I am not sure what powers, if any, she has to act but she does have a voice.  Would she consider speaking out against the outrage that we now see playing out at Westminster.  Her declaration in support of Brexit, if only for the reason that it was the express will of the people whom she represents and whose interests she is sworn to defend, would go a long way to ensuring the success of a second referendum.

For her to speak out on this would be to go against a lifetime of regal reticence.  But, arguably, she has never confronted a situation like this before.  It is probably the most difficult constitutional crisis faced by Britain during her reign.  She has always given the impression that she understands and values her role.   If she chooses to remain silent simply in order to avoid the inevitable controversy, she will seriously undermine the case for the Monarchy as anything other than a colourful tourist attraction.  It is hard to imagine that a direct descendant of Queen Victoria could wish to preside over the utter degradation of a once proud nation shackling itself to the corrupt regime in Brussels.

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55 Responses to Peter O’Brien on Brexit

  1. feelthebern

    The Queen supported the Nazi’s.
    She can go get fucked.

  2. Indolent

    A new referendum would be a disaster. What sort of question would be asked? I’ve heard the current deal vs. remaining in the EU mentioned. Perfect, for anyone who wants to ensure that Britain remains tethered to the E.U. forever.

    I agree that this is the greatest crisis of the current reign. What is really at stake is democracy vs. slavery.

  3. Indolent

    The Queen supported the Nazi’s

    The Queen was a child when the war broke out. The Royal family, whatever its opinions beforehand, certainly didn’t support the Nazis after that.

  4. Infidel Tiger

    After months of begging her father to let his heir pitch in, Elizabeth—then an 18-year-old princess—joined the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II. Known as Second Subaltern Elizabeth Windsor, she donned a pair of coveralls and trained in London as a mechanic and military truck driver. The queen remains the only female member of the royal family to have entered the armed forces and is the only living head of state who served in World War II.

    Supported the Nazis?

    What rot.

  5. Ubique

    British Parliament is now both incapable and unwilling to deliver the Brexit that the people voted for.

    The British Parliament doesn’t need to deliver anything except to ensure that adequate preparations are taken by the executive branch of government for a no deal exit, which was always going to be the best deal achievable for Britain.

  6. mh

    feelthebern
    #2908838, posted on January 16, 2019 at 2:18 pm
    The Queen supported the Nazi’s.
    She can go get fucked.

    Very silly comment. RUOK?

  7. stackja

    Judging by all I have read, the British Parliament is now both incapable and unwilling to deliver the Brexit that the people voted or.

    Close vote and not all voted.

    UK votes to LEAVE the EU
    EU Referendum results, counting complete
    Leave Vote share 51.9%
    Votes 17,410,742 Votes
    Remain Vote share 48.1% Votes 16,141,241 Votes 0 results left to declare
    EU Referendum latest updates
    LEAVE
    UK votes to LEAVE the EU
    Electorate 46,501,241
    Turnout 72.2%
    Rejected ballots 26,033

  8. feelthebern

    Ok, I’ll walk it back.
    The Royal family had a bet each way, just in case the Germans ever crossed the channel.
    Sorry to derail Peter’s thread.
    I go now.

  9. Helen

    The legislation that was passed last year, was for brexit with deal and if none could be agreed, then no deal brexit. That is the law as it stands. So unless they make a new law in the next 90 or what ever days are left, it will be NO DEAL BREXIT.

    Which I think is the best outcome.

  10. struth

    a good post, Peter O’Brian, I hadn’t been considering the queen in playing a role in any of this, but she can, and maybe even will.
    Hopefully she’s kicking a few butts behind the scenes at the moment.

  11. Dr Fred Lenin

    The EU comissars have been arrogant in refusing to make a reasonable deal ,but then when did comissars ever take noice of voters . The EU will lose billions a year if Brexit succeeds and they need that money to keep the Fourth Reich afloat . The EU globalists know the majority of career pollies support globalist one world unelected government , must have been lots of bribes floating about to gain their support wonder if Krupp IzgFarben are funding it like they did the national socialists who murderd nearly as many as their red soviet associates .

  12. The citizens of the West are slowly coming to the realisation that perhaps, violence is the answer.
    If so, it will be a sad and bloody day.
    I hope not.

  13. iggie

    Before we have a referendum on a Republic, I’d like to know what it will look like.
    Will the President be chosen by the people , the Parliament or the government of the day?
    What powers will the President have (similar to the US President or will they just cross out Gov Gen and write in President with the powers within the present Constitution)?
    Readers can think of other issues and what needs to be changed in our Constitution to accommodate this change.
    If I know what what it will look like, then I can make up my mind whether to vote for it or not. It’s no good having a referendum on a Republic if the government then decide to do it their way.

  14. Bosnich

    Feelthebern ..’I go now’.
    Good idea,fuck off,twat.

    !

  15. Ubique

    Close vote and not all voted

    Considering the massive effort the British Government, with the full support of the Green-left establishment, put into promoting the case for remain and warning of dire (but fake) consequences of leaving, the result was testament to the common sense of the British public.

    If the leave and exit cases had been given equal billing by the Government, the chances are the exit vote would have won in a landslide.

  16. jupes

    Anything other than a complete Brexit would be a subversion of democracy.

    This.

  17. Lysander

    This is dumb people are not to wake up to leftist tactics:

    – Have a referendum on SSM = if pollies don’t fall in line there’s a massive campaign against;
    – Have a referendum on Brexit = if pollies fall in line there’s a massive campaign against;
    – Referendum for a country to join EU (like Ireland) = then fails = try three more times till a yes result;
    – Referendum for daylight saving (like in WA) = then fails = try three more times and even bring it up after three noes.

  18. Dr Fred Lenin

    The Australian republic will have a political apointee as president ,the career pollies are not going to let the people fill that plum job by choosing someone they havent vetted , the president will sign laws made by the owners of the political branches of the uniparty and open fetes . You dont think the career crooks are going to risk a Trump in the presidency .?

  19. struth

    I truly believe if they had another vote, the result would be the same, even though I am dead against them having one.
    The question had been put to the people and their will is known.
    There’s still a traitor’s gate and a tower hill, and plenty of spikey poles for heads to be stuck on.

  20. struth

    Our parliament is far too lawless and out of control to consider a republic, it would end up a disaster.

  21. Old School Conservative

    It’s no good having a referendum on a Republic if the government then decide to do it their way.

    Like the Poms had a vote on leaving the EU and then May decided to do it her way!

  22. Old School Conservative

    A well argued position Peter.
    How the lefty heads would explode if the Queen publicly supported a no-deal Brexit.
    Win-win.

  23. Louis

    The replacement of the British people happened under her watch and she said nothing. I believe it is simply the idea of saying nothing and people will assume she knows something.

    BTW I’d just as soon as have a monarch as I would a president appointed by the parliament!

  24. duncanm

    stackja
    #2908857, posted on January 16, 2019 at 2:36 pm
    Judging by all I have read, the British Parliament is now both incapable and unwilling to deliver the Brexit that the people voted or.

    Close vote and not all voted.

    right.. so we’ll ignore the rules of a referendum if its ‘close’, shall we ?

  25. Iampeter

    I am a ‘republican’, by which I mean I would prefer to see the British Monarch removed from our Constitution and his/her role taken by a President appointed by Parliament.

    Then I’m not sure you quality as a republican. A republic isn’t really about who the head of state is but the fact that the functions of government have been defined and aren’t up for voting.
    It’s a good thing the Australian “republican” movement is dead.

    Another referendum would be a subversion of democracy – overturning the institution of representative government.

    That’s not a perversion of democracy, that IS democracy. It’s mob rule.

    Judging by all I have read, the British Parliament is now both incapable and unwilling to deliver the Brexit that the people voted or.

    That’s because the reasons people voted for brexit are the wrong reasons, which are as equally collectivist as the EU is.
    If brexit was in the name of establishing a rights protecting republic, in order to escape the collectivism of the EU then it would be very clear why it’s happening.
    Sadly, the reason most people voted for brexit, was in opposition to one of the few good things about the EU, open borders.
    This defeats the purpose of brexit and such an incoherent movement can’t achieve anything and is predictably imploding.

  26. Delta

    Judging by all I have read, the British Parliament is now both incapable and unwilling to deliver the Brexit that the people voted or.

    Except the British parliament has passed legislation setting out that the UK will leave the EU on 29 March 2019. The default position is that that will occur with or without a deal. If there is no deal, then the UK leaves the EU without a deal. The only way that this could be changed would be for parliament to pass other legislation changing what has been put in place which (apparently) is not very likely as 40 sitting days remain until 29 March.

    Peta Credin has some wise words about Brexit in a recent radio interview in the UK with a “no-nonsense Breakfast with Julia Hartley-Brewer.”

  27. Destroyer D69

    It is not for England to accept the EU proposal. The people voted to LEAVE.. Not to ask for permission to leave,. Tell the EU to suck it up and get used to it ,the gravy boat has sailed despite Teresa May attempting to force control of sailing orders remaining in EU hands.

  28. Infidel Tiger

    Iampeter’s autism is flaring up.

  29. calli

    “British leaders don’t get to repechage democracy” – Peta Credlin

    Thanks for that link Delta.

  30. Confused Old Misfit

    Interesting comments over at Samizdata.

  31. Dr Fred Lenin

    The more you think a out a republic promoted by that crowd of incompetent dickheads in Canberra the stupider it sounds its typical of the supposed elite ,fixing something that works pretty well and is really above corruption . Australias political maggots cannot be trusted with anything . Look at the immigration mess the power mess ,the bugeoning public employee mess , the over regulation mess the education mess ,the crime mess ,and so on .every one crested by the clowns . Another thing wouks that a hole whitlam have been sacked under a parliament chosen president? I think not we would have been dragged into the socialist gutter when krud and giliard were kids .I dont have a lot of time for royals but they are the lesser of two evils .

  32. Adelagado

    I too voted for the ‘minimalist model’ republic. (‘i.e. an appointed president/governor general with no real power whatsover). Now, 20 years later, seeing how directionless, weak, and conflicted our political leadership has become I’m beginning to think a directly elected president might be the way to go.

    Trump is speaking his opinion, staying loyal to those who voted for him, and trying to do what he said he would do. And the USA is better for it. We need a little bit of that over here.

    Perhaps a directly elected Australian President would still have no real power but at least he would be free (and expected) to voice his opinion on important matters, just like Peter O’Brien is saying the Queen should do.

  33. mh

    The British need the spirit of Enoch

  34. Peter O'Brien

    Close vote and not all voted.

    The biggest voter turnout in British history. The voters were subject to a comprehensive scare campaign and still voted to leave. A majority is a majority.

  35. Peter O'Brien

    Then I’m not sure you quality as a republican

    I’m not really a republican which is why used quotes. I just use the term as it is the common usage in this debate. I ususlly clarify my position but as this was not a post about the “Australian Head of State”, I didn’t bother in this case.

  36. Boambee John

    Adelago

    Perhaps a directly elected Australian President would still have no real power but at least he would be free (and expected) to voice his opinion on important matters, just like Peter O’Brien is saying the Queen should do.

    Combine the positions of PM and President. The president to sit in Parliament, select ministers from the members of the Reps, no senators, and governs while holding the confidence of the house.

    Losing a vote of confidence automatically leads to an election for both houses and the president.

  37. Squirrel

    UK Labour seem to be walking both sides of the street on Brexit, so a monarch of very advanced years, who is obviously concerned about the continuation and smooth succession of the monarchy, may well be reluctant to make a public intervention which would not please a party with a good chance of being in power in the near future.

    This episode might also be fairly fresh in the memory –

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/queen-falls-victim-to-radio-hoaxer-1579745.html

  38. Anthony

    Nothing inherently wrong with voting for things multiple times.

    Interestingly, if you believe the polls here. Then Remain has had the majority even back in 2016. So, perhaps a lot of people not voting out of complacency. If you get a result because you can’t be bothered voting – you probably get what you deserve.

  39. Tim Neilson

    If you get a result because you can’t be bothered voting – you probably get what you deserve.

    Precisely.

    There were reports of WWII veterans shuffling to the polling booths on their walking frames to save their country a second time, then after the result da woke yoof who had spent the day on the couch playing video games complained that all those other people hadn’t voted the way da woke yoof wanted them to.

  40. Mater

    So, perhaps a lot of people not voting out of complacency.

    They had their say, and that was that they didn’t care either way.

  41. md

    I am a ‘republican’, by which I mean I would prefer to see the British Monarch removed from our Constitution and his/her role taken by a President appointed by Parliament.

    We can’t have ‘ordinary’ people having any direct control over government, can we? They might do the ‘wrong thing’, mightn’t they. Better to keep it in the family with politicians appointing their mates to a useless ceremonial role that pays $350k, plus all the staff and the digs and the use of one of the government Boeings.

  42. Jeremy

    Here is a constitutional question I sent to UK last night – no response yet.
    The cabinet and the PM are ministers of the Crown. The Police and the army swear loyalty to the Crown not the Parliament.
    If the Parliament, or part of the Parliament including the PM and Cabinet, are intent on disobeying the Laws of the Land as established by Act of Parliament, as seems to be the case, is it not the duty of the monarch to dismiss parliament and call for a new election?
    A temporary emergency Cabinet could be sworn in to manage the Brexit which has already been legislated.
    Messy, I agree, but where the monarchy is acting to support the law of the land and the will of the people it can survive the inevitable uproar.
    This is the purpose of a constitutional Monarch, to sack the government when it becomes overmighty and ignores it’s own laws and the constitution, whether written or unwritten.

  43. Up The Workers!

    Swapping the Queen for that bottle-fatigued, international laughing-stock and serial groper – the Drunker Juncker, from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; (current President of the E.E.C.) hardly seems like a fair exchange, although noted Leftard “intellectual and “deep finker” Jeremy Corbyn, the Human Mung Bean, certainly seems to “fink” so.

    Alternatively, maybe the Poms and Jeremy would feel more comfortable with a 6th Century head-lopping, wife-bashing Musbyterian “religious”-type as Head of State running the joint, as happens in numerous other “progressive” countries in the Middle East whose populations are leaving by the millions.

    Most current members of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, come from state-of-the-art 6th century regimes exactly like that.

    Barbarism is perfectly OK – provided you are the one swinging the sword, and not the sucker whose head is about to be dislodged.

  44. Iampeter

    There were reports of WWII veterans shuffling to the polling booths on their walking frames to save their country a second time

    How is brexit going to save Britian?

  45. md

    Rees-Mogg dealing with a BBC4 interviewer. Note the interviewer’s verbal and body language.
    When the Left finally complete their construction of a supranational legislative system that snuffs out voter influence (and it will happen), remember that one of the greatest crimes of ‘conservatives’ (and there are many, many of them) is that they did not address the matter of the state-owned media.

  46. egg_

    serial groper – the Drunker Juncker,

    The former PM of Luxembourg is now Zaphod Beeblebrox?

  47. Entropy

    I am curious as to why Australia has not been actively pursuing an FTA with the UK, to go live immediately on Brexit. You would think the poms would want it too, if nothing else it would help their negotiating position with Brussels.

    It isn’t as though we would be putting at risk significant trade with those quota and tariff imposing hypocrites in the EU. Look at the joke of an “FTA” our useless DFAT is trying to implement with their Euro masters. It isn’t worth the bother. I am convinced DFAT like foreigners-especially like the ADF, French ones-more than their fellow citizens.

  48. J.H.

    I wouldn’t be so certain that a second Referendum would give a different result. However the point is that the original Referendum will have been dishonored and the democratic process abused, corrupted and waylaid if the Political elite attempt to interfere with the first result.

    As for Brexit itself, a “No Deal” exit is actually the best. The WTO rules would see Britain’s entire sovereignty, laws, territories, waters, fishing, mineral and oil rights, etc. Restored to them. No deal with the EU is necessary. All treaties, deals and obligations would be rendered obsolete. The deal making and renegotiating begins AFTER the Brexit, not before it.

  49. J.H.

    The Media try and portray that the Brexit vote is somehow unrepresentative because “most Remainers were complacent and didn’t vote”…. Statistics belie that canard. The Brexit vote resulted in Britain’s 2nd highest ever voter turnout of 72.2 percent. Only the 1992 general election had a higher voter turnout of 72.3 percent.

  50. quod erat demonstrandum

    1. Majority UK vote to leave EU because sick of being told what to do by Brussels
    2. Remainer PM goes to Brussels to be told of ‘best terms’
    3. Majority UK parliament say deal sucks
    4. Apoplexy over no deal Brexit
    .
    Wasn’t this always the only possible (and best) outcome?

  51. Look around the political World, now and in the past. There are countless examples of Heads of State who have abused their powers.
    Erdogan, Xi, Chavez, Putin and on and on and on.
    Australia and other Commonwealth countries have decided to take those enormous powers of a Head of State, and place them in the hands of a disinterested woman living thousands of miles away, hence minimising the chances of those powers being used against the people.

    There is a reason why places like AUS, NZ, CAN etc have had stable democracies. The only notable constitutional crisis we’ve had was when our GG decided to use some of those powers. Well may we say God save the……..president?
    Why wouldn’t we expect more frequent constitutional crisis if we were to bring back those powers and place them in the hands of a fat minority lesbian (say)?

  52. Dianeh

    Peta Credin has some wise words about Brexit in a recent radio interview in the UK with a “no-nonsense Breakfast with Julia Hartley-Brewer.”

    Peta made one very strong point that I hadn’t considered.

    May approached the negotiations with the aim of having to get a deal at all costs, which gave the EU the upper hand in the negotiations. She should have approached the negotiations with the stated aim of, we are leaving without a deal unless your can offer us a good deal. The power in the negotiations would have been with the UK.

    This implies May never really intended to leave.

    May should have employed Trump to determine the negotiation strategy.

    I also don’t believe a second referendum would vote remain. I was watching Piers Corbin the other day in passing. He voted remain and says that he now believes they were lied to and still are being lied to. He would not vote remain again. He is also aghast that the politicians are ignoring the will of the people. He would vote leave if there another referendum and he sounded so angry I imagine he would campaign to leave. 🤬

  53. DaveR

    Supporters of the Monarchy in Australia, argue that one of its benefits is that the existence of a uniting figure, such as the Queen, provides a defence of our fundamental institutions……

    I wonder how long that will last when, inevitably, the Queen is no longer with us, and the fool Charles is on the throne. A definite use by date.

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