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Australian writer and monarchist Hal G.P. Colebatch, a staunch conservative, has written this article about the dangers of those pushing for constitutional change in Australia and its real agenda, which is mirrored across the English-speaking world in the attacks on constitutionally restrained government and Common Law.

For many conservatives I've known here, the fears are that the real agenda behind the republic push is to rewrite our culture, legal and constitutional system wholesale to create a more centralised state. It is about removing restraints on government in ramming through its agenda at cost to the people, our liberty, sovereignty and identity. And no doubt this goes for the UK, Canada and New Zealand. And dare I say, finds parallels in the USA as well.

If you think this is alarmist talk, I bring you two examples from the Commonwealth of where this has happened: South Africa and Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon).

In South Africa, the National Party that came to power in 1948 made it clear that its goal was to establish a republic, which would also withdraw from the Commonwealth. This was resisted by mostly but not exclusively English-speaking South Africans and in general opponents of the government who knew the consequences of this would be the removal of restraints from the government, and thus an increasingly authoritarian and lawless state.

Likewise, in Ceylon, the original Soulbury Constitution lasted until 1972. When the republic and name change was carried out, it meant more than changing the head of state and the name of the country. It meant also removing the restraints and protections enshrined in the original constitution, effectively paving the way for increasingly authoritarian governments (despite democratic elections) under Bandaranaike, Jayawardene (who enacted a new constitution strengthening the presidency) and most recently Rajapaksa. Only now is Sri Lanka trying to reverse the damage done.

Consider the separatist movements in Scotland and Quebec. There is no doubt that their goal of creating independent republics is all about the desire of separatists to appropriate power for themselves, and impose their will without the restraints of Westminsterism.

Perhaps this is also why in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand today, there is abysmal education about the role of the Crown, the constitution and common law. The continued undermining of the system is about demolishing obstacles for vested interest groups to attain absolute power.
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