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A monarch without a monarchy

May 19th, 2007

Irfun Yusuf points out some problems with the sample citizenship test released by the Federal government. Here’s a real doozy

15. Australia’s values are based on the …

a. Teachings of the Koran

b. The Judaeo-Christian tradition

c. Catholicism

d. Secularism

The correct answer, apparently, is B, despite the clear statement in the Constitution that Australia should have no established religion. This, combined with the implicit requirement to repudiate Catholicism and Islam, violates the spirit of the Constitution and probably the letter of anti-discrimination law.

That’s by far the worst, but there’s plenty more. For example, to get full marks you have to say that Australia is not a monarchy (Q5) but that our head of state is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (regarded by most as a monarch) (9). Of course, the questions of who is our head of state, and whether or not our system is a monarchy have been the subject of sharp controversy in the recent past (for example, who should open the Olympics). I wasn’t even sure which answer was supposed to be right on the Head of State question.

All these questions should be scrapped. But if all that is left is a set of easily-memorized answers to Carmen Sandiego questions like “Australia’s national flower is …”, there seems to be little point in having a test at all.

(Via Catallaxy and Andrew Norton) Some corrections and clarifications made in response to comments

Update 21/5

As pointed at by Geoff Honnor at Troppo, Howard denies that the sample questions are genuine. Applying the careful parsing necessary with both the government and the Murdoch Press, I can come up with two possible interpretations:
(i) The Herald-Sun made the questions up, but ran a report with the natural reading that they were from a sample test made available by Kevin Andrews (‘given an exclusive insight’, ‘sample questions highly likely to be in the test’) and so on
(ii) The questions were from a sample test made available by Kevin Andrews, but since it wasn’t part of an official test, Howard feels free to disclaim them

As regards motives, (i) suggests a standard beatup, while (ii) suggests either a trial balloon or a dog-whistle exercise designed to stir up controversy (successfully, though maybe not with the reaction they hoped for). More at LP

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  1. melanie
    May 19th, 2007 at 18:22 | #1

    I think I’d have to tick all four of those.

    My first passport, issued in December 1972, says that I am an “australian citizen and british subject”. In those days, new citizens had to swear loyalty to her maj – something I never had to do since I was born with a feudal obligation to be her subject.

    Nowadays people wanting to be citizens get the following choice:
    Australian Citizenship Pledge #1
    From this time forward, under God,
    I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people,
    Whose democratic beliefs I share,
    Whose rights and liberties I respect,
    And whose laws I will uphold and obey.

    Australian Citizenship Pledge #2
    From this time forward,
    I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people,
    Whose democratic beliefs I share,
    Whose rights and liberties I respect,
    And whose laws I will uphold and obey.

    Note that even the religious one doesn’t mention which god. Either seems perfectly sufficient to me.

  2. May 19th, 2007 at 18:45 | #2

    Australia’s values are based on which of a-d? I am a non-believer but I think the answer is self-evidently b. The question is not asking if we have a state religion nor is it implying we should repudiate Catholicism or Islam.

  3. jquiggin
    May 19th, 2007 at 20:16 | #3

    HC, Andrew Norton does a pretty good demolition of the Judaeo-Christian construct, which is a recent and dubious import from the US. And of course the implication that Catholicism is an alternative to “the Judaeo-Christian tradition” is bizarre.

    And to defend my (and your) corner here, on what basis are you writing the important tradition of Australian secularism out of our history? We may be a minority but we’ve contributed our fair share and more.

    The (direct) Islamic contribution to our culture is relatively minor and recent (indirectly of course, there’s much more as with Judaism and Graeco-Roman classical culture), but if you’re going to dump Christianity in favour of “the Judaeo-Christian tradition” why not go the whole hog and claim “the people of the Book” as our source?

  4. May 20th, 2007 at 07:39 | #4

    surely the point of this test is not to winnow out,or even instruct, recent arrivals. it’s purpose is to reassure old ozzies that their ideas continue to direct the nation.

    arguing about the answers seems naive.

  5. Andrew Norton
    May 20th, 2007 at 09:04 | #5

    As my post indicates, I don’t think this question is suited to multiple choice answers. But it doesn’t violate the Constitution; it is not establishing a religion, imposing a religious observance, prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, or requiring a religious test for an office under the Commonwealth.

    BTW, it is Irfan Yusuf rather Yusuf Irfun.

  6. Hal9000
    May 20th, 2007 at 09:21 | #6

    IMHO, this is part of a more general tendency, or perhaps strategy if you’re more conspiratorially minded (and with John Winston Howard, who knows?), to convert citizenship from a right into a privilege. It’s of a piece with the disenfranchisement of prisoners, itinerant workers, vagrants and the young, and it follows in the inglorious footsteps of Jim Crow in the US.

    The general idea is to heap more and more conditions on citizenship. Mere membership of the community will not do. The cases of people who had been brought to Australia by their families as infants are exemplars of this kind of thinking. In what way is someone whose first memories are of living in Australia and who is now an adult distinguishable from any other member of the community?

    John Howard’s nostalgia for the Australia of the 1950s should be taken to include that grand old system of exclusion by the use of a test, the so-called White Australia policy. This was, after all, a nation-defining instrument of State policy. Like in the post-Jim Crow US south, the mental universe of exclusion continues and new, less formal, ways have been found of keeping ‘others’ at bay and defining them in the popular imagination. As in the US, the creation of citizenship as a privilege and not a right acquired by dint of being alive in a community is an important aspect of constructing the ideology of them and us.

  7. jquiggin
    May 20th, 2007 at 09:44 | #7

    I doubt that it violates the Constitution, Andrew, but it is certainly inconsistent with its spirit. As regards anti-discrimination legislation, I think you could make a pretty good case that this test contravenes it.

  8. jstrocch
    May 20th, 2007 at 13:17 | #8

    By jquiggin | May 19, 2007″>http://johnquiggin.com/index.php/archives/2007/05/19/a-monarch-without-a-monarchy

    The correct answer, apparently, is B, despite the clear statement in the Constitution that Australia should have no established religion.

    It is a categorical mistake to identify intellectual values with institutional structures. A foundational value (such as the “J-C tradition”) is a mental construct. An established religion (such as the Anglican Church) is a social construct.

    The founders of the US & AUS polities favoured a secular state so they strictly seperated Church and State through the ban on established churches. But they were most anxious to permeate civil society with religious ideas, the better to moralise individual conduct. All the founding fathers strongly supported traditional religious teaching, although not by state subsidy.

    Pr Q is veering close to sacred bovinicide here as it was Gough Whitlam who did more to conjugate Church and State than anyone else, by quasi-nationalising Catholic Schools with public funding.

    Pr Q says:

    All these questions should be scrapped. But if all that is left is a set of easily-memorized answers to Carmen Sandiego questions like “Australia’s national flower is…”, there seems to be little point in having a test at all.

    No. There is a great point in having citizenship tests, especially considering the civil unrest bullets we just dodged since Howard terminated the near-disastrous reign of the Wets.

    A civic test is a good way of teasing out the ideological basis for citizenship. This is just a bad test. We also need psychological tests (IQ) and physiological tests (fitness). Australia needs people who are fit, smart and nice if we want to compete.

    jquiggin Says: May 19th, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    HC, Andrew Norton does a pretty good demolition of the Judaeo-Christian construct, which is a recent and dubious import from the US. And of course the implication that Catholicism is an alternative to “the Judaeo-Christian tradition” is bizarre.

    …if you’re going to dump Christianity in favour of “the Judaeo-Christian tradition” why not go the whole hog and claim “the people of the Book” as our source?

    It great that Pr Q brings the Greeks into complete the sociological Holy Trinity with the Jews and Romans. The pre-modern foundationalists are being silly because they totally confuse the foundational cultures of Christianity.

    The Judaeo-Christian tradition is, as Pr Q suggests, a misnomer jerry-rigged by the Great Books “Canonnists” to fill the ideological gap left since the post-WWI collapse in the idea of Christendom. Christendom (of which Australia might claim a part) is a synthesis of Semitic, Hellenic and Italic cultures ie the Judaeo-Greco-Roman tradition. Our values are informed by Jewish moral, Greek logical and Roman legal and lingual ideas and practices.

    But the post-modern fashionistas are being even more silly to deny that Mediterranean civil and spiritual values are not foundational to Occidental culture. Have a look at out language, public buildings and law for a start. This includes secularism which goes back to the Romans and Greeks.

    Christendom got a make-over when Protestants ushered in modernity by individualising the intellectual values and nationalising the institutional structures of Occidental antiquity.

    Pr Q says:

    And to defend my (and your) corner here, on what basis are you writing the important tradition of Australian secularism out of our history? We may be a minority but we’ve contributed our fair share and more.

    So far as I am aware (standing ready to be corrected) the modern rational secular tradition in morality (ie Enlightenment) is almost totally a product of the Protestant Reformation. Kantian-Millian-Voltarian secularists and Post-Vatican II lapsing catholics are more or less wish-washy versions of the Protestants. They kept the Christian moral body but lopped off the ecclesiastic legal head.

    A modern society, based on accountable institutions utilising indidvidual voice and choice, has to have a firm intellectual and moral foundation. The Open Society’s self-governing polity essentially runs on Protestant principles of the self-disciplined personality and self-regulating professionality.

    You cant have build the civilization of modernity on the foundation of antiquity without individual internalisation of values. That is the job of a modern religion or its secular equivalent.

    In that sense, Howard is trying to re-build the notion of a civil religion. In Australia this has always had a folk Enlightenment accent ie libertarian “have a go”, egalitarian “fair go” and communitarian “mateship”.

  9. jstrocch
    May 20th, 2007 at 13:58 | #9

    jquiggin Says: May 20th, 2007 at 9:44 am

    I doubt that it violates the Constitution, Andrew, but it is certainly inconsistent with its spirit. As regards anti-discrimination legislation, I think you could make a pretty good case that this test contravenes it.

    Requiring the citation of religious scripture chapter and verse is not against the letter of constitutional law. But it would have been frowned on by founding fathers who also instituted “free, compulsory and secular” education.

    Wikipedia states that

    Pr Q says:

    Section 116 establishes what is often called “freedom of religion”, by forbidding the Commonwealth from making any law for the establishment of a religion, imposing any religious observance, or prohibiting the exercise of a religion, or religious discrimination for public office.

    But, as Dr Knopfelmacher was wont to say, there is such a thing as a proposition which has ideological validity and is yet a sociological absurdity. The formal ban on religious professions in the polity is consistent, indeed dependent on, substantial religious professions in society.

    The question is not “religion or irreligion?” but “what kind of religion?”. The recent emergence of ecological religious sentiment motivating the Greens is a case in point.

    If the profession of the principles of Judeao-Greco-Romano civilization “contravenes the anti-discrimination laws” then those anti-discrimination laws are an ass. Otherwise we may as well all pack up our bags and live in caves because the barbarians are going to hold the field.

  10. melanie
    May 20th, 2007 at 14:31 | #10

    The Judaeo-Graeco-Roman tradition is another mental construct. The Roman numbering system was sensibly replaced by the Arabic one, thereby enabling us to adopt mathematics from “islamic” cultures. Spag Bog came from China and central America (though arguably it doesn’t represent a ‘value’) – the ‘propensity to truck and barter’ was certainly not a J-C invention. We do not require religion for morality – on the contrary, we get our religion from our sense of morality (the Greens that Strocchi points to being a case in point). Aborigines seem likely to be very upset by the notion that being ‘australian’ requires adherence to a J-C system of values. Yet, as far as I can see, their civilisation is no more barbaric than ours.

  11. melanie
    May 20th, 2007 at 14:31 | #11

    The Judaeo-Graeco-Roman tradition is another mental construct. The Roman numbering system was sensibly replaced by the Arabic one, thereby enabling us to adopt mathematics from “islamic” cultures. Spag Bog came from China and central America (though arguably it doesn’t represent a ‘value’) – the ‘propensity to truck and barter’ was certainly not a J-C invention. We do not require religion for morality – on the contrary, we get our religion from our sense of morality (the Greens that Strocchi points to being a case in point). Aborigines seem likely to be very upset by the notion that being ‘australian’ requires adherence to a J-C system of values. Yet, as far as I can see, their civilisation is no more barbaric than anyone else’s.

  12. jstrocch
    May 20th, 2007 at 17:21 | #12

    melanie Says: May 20th, 2007 at 2:31 pm

    The Judaeo-Graeco-Roman tradition is another mental construct.

    True, but a better one than the nonsensical idea of Judeao-Christian, since Christianity is a sub-set of Judaeo religions. An ideological tradition is one thing, a sociological institution is another.

    The Roman numbering system was sensibly replaced by the Arabic one, thereby enabling us to adopt mathematics from “islamic� cultures.

    melanie Says:

    the ‘propensity to truck and barter’ was certainly not a J-C invention.

    True. But the instinctual emotion get frustrated without the institutional formation. I suggest that the Roman system of representative govt and accountable contract law was especially good for promoting both catallactic economy and democratic polity.

    melanie Says:

    We do not require religion for morality – on the contrary, we get our religion from our sense of morality (the Greens that Strocchi points to being a case in point).

    You wont get any argument on that from this student of socio-biology. Primitive moral sentiments evolved amongst tribal hominids. But they tend to be very parochial until civilizational structures broaden their application and deepen their meaning.

    Religion is one such civilizational structure. And the religion most favourable to Enlightened modernity is late Christianity. The Enlightenment is simply Protestantism taken to secular extremes.

    melanie Says:

    Aborigines seem likely to be very upset by the notion that being ‘australian’ requires adherence to a J-C system of values. Yet, as far as I can see, their civilisation is no more barbaric than ours.

    Aboriginals and Christianity have had some good moments. Christian ministers were at the forefront of protecting Aborigines from white mans depredations. They also led the effort to integrate Aborigines into the Australian polity and civil society.

    I would not get misty-eyed romantic about the noble savage myth of aboriginal institutions, whether black or white. Primitive societies were awful places where only the most ballys Alpha-males got a fair go. The Australian Aborigines were no different.

    Civilization – living in cities under the civil rule of law – is always preferable to barbarism – living outback under tribal lore. If this was not the case then most Aborigines would have stayed in the bush.

  13. Jill Rush
    May 20th, 2007 at 19:37 | #13

    The problem with the question is that it doesn’t reflect the reality of many Australians. It doesn’t recognise the input of the Chinese or Islamic culture let alone the input of Indigenous people. The Islamic culture provided a first in giving the people of Medina a constitution. Australia is based on a constitution.

    The Greeks would look to the institution of democracy and the Roman tradition also took a hand. None of these is in the Judeo Christian tradition. Perhaps the questions reflect more on the ideology of the government which wants schools to teach history but possibly wishes to rewrite that history.

    The problem with this test is that it will prevent uneducated people who are illiterate in their own language let alone English from becoming citizens.

    The sad thing about this is that they are usually hard working and loyal citizens. Tha advantage is that many people who have been living here for many years have decided as a consequence of this test to become a citizen and will probably vote in the election this year. Ity remains to be seen whether they agree with the government.

  14. melanie
    May 20th, 2007 at 21:33 | #14

    strocchi, you are making some assumptions about Aboriginal culture being somehow inimical to modernization that ‘western’ culture is somehow not. Baloney as the Americans say.

    They also led the effort to integrate Aborigines into the Australian polity and civil society.

    Hello? Did you mean ‘British’ polity and civil society?

    I don’t actually agree with Smith on the truck and barter stuff. It isn’t an instinct, it’s a ‘sociological construct’ (if I’m using your terminology correctly). Aborigines trucked and bartered many millenia ago, but in a different way. Modern commerce was really invented along the Silk Road and in other Eastern regions (into which trade the Europeans eventually wanted to participate).

    ‘Living in cities under the civil rule of law’ was not invented in the west either – certainly didn’t apply to the western states of the US in the C19th – despite the best efforts of Wyatt Earp et al. What you call the civil rule of law is actually the requirement, derived from the expansion of trade, to respect contracts. This only became possible once individualism gained ground against absolute monarchies (and mafias, warlords and the rest) – it happened in the West, but has nothing to do with religious values, quite the contrary, it has to do with the rise of secularism, separation of state and ‘religion’ if you like.

  15. jstrocch
    May 20th, 2007 at 21:56 | #15

    The real problem with such tests is that they focus on our ethnic origins rather than our ethical destiny.

    For sure Christianity is the foundational institutional and ideological system that regulated the intellectual and moral life of Occidental civilization. Only a complete dunderhead could miss that, since it stands out like dogs ba*ls from even the most cursory study of Australian history.

    It is important to know where you came from to know who you are. But it is even more important to know where you are going.

    Ethnological culture warring, whether by the multi-culti Wets or canon-wielding Dries, is not so helpful in this matter. The Dries, IMHO, are the lesser of two evils. But they are still squabbling over who triumphed in History rather than waht will the future bring.

    Within the living memory of some of this blogs readers some sci-technologist somewhere will be re-engineering human nature and therefore human culture. This is a more important question for civics teachers to address.

    I dont see much interest in it from either side of the Culture Wars.

  16. jstrocch
    May 20th, 2007 at 22:30 | #16

    melanie Says: May 20th, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    strocchi, you are making some assumptions about Aboriginal culture being somehow inimical to modernization that ‘western’ culture is somehow not. Baloney as the Americans say.

    Well the facts speak otherwise. Anglomorphic cultures were the first and foremost to develop Enlightened modern Open Societies. Other cultures, whether primitive or developed, followed suit. I am afraid that the Aboriginal people have been a little laggard in this respect, but they will get there.

    It follows that non-Anglomorphic cultures were more “inimical to modernization” than the Anglomorpic culture. Perhaps that is a good thing or perhaps it is a bad thing. But, as Bob Dylan would say, it is certainly a thing.

    melanie says:

    ‘Living in cities under the civil rule of law’ was not invented in the west either – certainly didn’t apply to the western states of the US in the C19th – despite the best efforts of Wyatt Earp et al. What you call the civil rule of law is actually the requirement, derived from the expansion of trade, to respect contracts.

    I did not say that the Rule of Law was invented by the Occident. Only that Occidental societies, whether of antiquity or modernity, did it better. THis is quite obvious from the example of the Romans, who had the best lawyers in history. The British simply copied the Romans.

    Thus modern commercial law of contracts is largely the product of Roman legal principles filtered through British political institutions. Hence all the Latin tagging silks at the Old Bailey.

    Again I am not indulging in Occidental triumphalism just for the heck of it. Happy to grant all the credit you like to the achievements of Oriental civiilzation, and put in a good word for the Hindus and Arabs as well.

    All cultural values sprang from some ethnic group located at some time and place. But only some cultural values pass ethical muster.

    Modernity is a process of social rationalization which filters good ethical values from ethnic groups. Some ethnic groups evolved better ethical values faster than others so they get more seats in modernity’s hall of fame.

    melanie says:

    This only became possible once individualism gained ground against absolute monarchies (and mafias, warlords and the rest) – it happened in the West, but has nothing to do with religious values, quite the contrary, it has to do with the rise of secularism, separation of state and ‘religion’ if you like.

    That is not quite true. It is certainly true that seperating Church and State operational functions was a major achievement of the Enlightenment.

    But conjugating Church and State was not the major source of woes, either ancient or modern. Britain has an established Church and is the foundational culture of modernity.

    Of course a fundamentalist Church, whether seperated or conjugated with the state, is always going to put a spanner in the works. “Lord spare us the plague of an over zealous clergy.” Hume

    It is false to assert that religious institutions are antithetical to individualism. Weber’s work shows quite clearly the linkage between Protestant religious institutions and economic individualism ie capitalism. The great captains of industry did not see business as a purely secular process. They saw it as a profession where making money could earn brownie points in the eyes of God. See Benjamin Franklin.

    More generally, the Christian religion is founded on the notion of the salvation of individual souls and the individual conscience. The legacy of two millenia of Christian spiritual individualism had a profound impact on the social individualism unleashed by Reformation, Enlightenment and the rest.

    The results speak for themselves. From late antiquity onwards Christianity civilized the pagan war-lords of Northern Europe and turned them into chivalrous knights. It also did much to banish witchcraft and other pagan voodoo which was messing with peoples minds.

    Doubtless their were problems with this (Crusades, Inquisition). But generally people got better as their religious feelings were institutionalised.

    The most successful nation of late modernity is the US. It is also by far and away the most religious.

    Secularists are constantly scratching their heads about this paradox. But it is only a puzzle to scholars who have a naive and superficial view of cultural evolution.

  17. May 21st, 2007 at 14:26 | #17

    On the update you missed possibility (iii) These were some possible sample questions put together by a junior functionary and then sent to a mate at News Corp for any one of a number of reasons.

  18. jquiggin
    May 21st, 2007 at 15:49 | #18

    I don’t think this works, AR. The report gives the clear impression that the info came from Andrews, citing him on both sides of the link as follows

    “Ours won’t be the same as any of those. It will be uniquely Australian,” Mr Andrews said.

    “But it always makes sense to have a look at what others have done in the past.”

    The Herald Sun today publishes 20 sample questions that are highly likely to be in the pool of 200.

    Mr Andrews said the test could include questions on national symbols such as the flag, the coat of arms and Australia’s floral emblem.

    If the Herald Sun knew that Andrews had never seen the sample questions (as opposed to not having given them final approval), then their article was highly misleading.

  19. May 21st, 2007 at 20:10 | #19

    Whatever questions end up being in this test, the Budget papers stated that an extra $123 million will be spent implementing and administering the new citizenship test, including over $16 million for “Australian values statements� and “Australian way of life booklets�.

    For a government that likes to dismiss symbolism and promote practical measures, $123 million is a lot of money to spend on a symbolic test when there’s a lot of practical things it could be spent on to improve the integration of migrants and other long-term residents.

  20. jstrocch
    May 22nd, 2007 at 00:11 | #20

    It is impolite to say this but Australia is a nation predominantly Caucasian in race, Christian in religion whose Constitution is derived from the Anglomorphic political tradition.

    The Anglomorphs derived most of their high-concept intellectual inspiration and institutional formations from the Semitic, Italic and Hellenic traditions of antiquity. That is to say, our lineal, lingual, legal, liturgical, and logical values originated in Meditarranean antiquity whilst our institutional structures were formed through Atlantic modernity.

    Apparently there is no non-embarassing or politically correct way of stating the bleeding obvious. So best leave all new migrants to blunder into the waiting arms of the Wets who will then make a complete hash of them, as usual.

  21. jquiggin
    May 22nd, 2007 at 07:56 | #21

    “Apparently there is no non-embarassing or politically correct way of stating the bleeding obvious. ”

    Not to mention, no succinct way :-)

  22. Ken
    May 22nd, 2007 at 09:44 | #22

    Even if something as varied and hard to pin down as Australian Values could ever be reduced to a multiple choice like this, this really does leave a bad taste in the mouth. For all prospective citizens it will tell them they aren’t really wanted if they answer wrong. Perhaps there is a scoring system involved here, a hierarchy of preferred people to be Australian – J-C at the top, Muslim at the bottom, but I can’t figure out whether Catholic will get more points than Secular because that’s sort of Christian but not the right kind or less points because Catholic is worse than being Secular. (Definitely takes me back to those good old days)

    Actually I was thinking this might be something along the lines of what AR said, but from higher up, a little stir of the waters and see what muck arises. The question and issues arising touch on the prejudices and bigotry of a large chunk of
    Australians, and I’ve noticed our LibNat leadership are inclined to give that a stir when they feel cornered – Aborigines taking our backyards, Refugees (who could be Terrorists, and probably not real refugees) vilely throwing their kids overboard. Could well be a bit of Button Pressing – it’s got them over the line before, to their discredit.

  23. May 22nd, 2007 at 13:14 | #23

    Not being a regular reader of the Hun I will have to accept your assurance (#21) that they would not publish something that is misleading or highly misleading.

  24. May 22nd, 2007 at 16:51 | #24

    Looks like any assurance you might give on the Hun would be wrong, per Andrew Bartlett.

  25. jquiggin
    May 22nd, 2007 at 22:29 | #25

    I don’t know how you read #21 that way. I was just saying that either Howard was lying or the Hun was – I read you as offering an innocent explanation.

  26. May 23rd, 2007 at 01:07 | #26

    I stand corrected – but I did only mean it jokingly, as I thought the reference to the Hun may make clear.

  27. Hal9000
    May 23rd, 2007 at 13:36 | #27

    Jack says “The Anglomorphs derived most of their high-concept intellectual inspiration and institutional formations from the Semitic, Italic and Hellenic traditions of antiquity.”

    Not so, at least in regard to institutions. Parliament is pre-1066 Anglo-Saxon, as is the system of adversarial litigation/prosecution, trial by jury and the presumption of innocence.

    Meanwhile, whence came “Anglomorph” – a word unknown to lexicographers everywhere? Is the derivation from ‘morpheme’ (the smallest linguistic unit capable of carrying a meaning), or perhaps from morphology – although the finest minds of Victorian Britain were unable to produce evidence of biological racial distinction for the Islands’ natives?

  28. SJ
    May 23rd, 2007 at 22:09 | #28

    “anglomorph” is readily explicable:

    It would be also both tedious, and by now vacuous, to repeat in a paper such as this the long history which culminated in the present English system of government (in which Australia also participates) and which is generally known as “The Queen in Parliament”. Also, it must be firmly asserted that not only the word “Crown” but the very term “English” is now inaccurate and “foreign” in use. Continental Europeans use it for all inhabitants of the British Isles and often also for their clearly identifiable overseas offspring (eg. the German term “Englander”), irrespective of whether they refer to Cockneys, Glaswegians, Dubliners or, indeed, Melburnians, without being aware of possible ethnic slights. Among those slights, the linguistic annexation of Celts to Englishmen appears to some particularly obnoxious.

    To avoid such naming issues, not without importance in a paper on ethnic culture and politics, we have coined the term anglomorph for all native inhabitants of the British Isles and their overseas descendants. Anglomorphy thus refers not only to the institutionalized population of a few offshore European Islands, but also to the more or less powerful “antipodean” and otherwise distant colonial offspring of those Islands, whose men, guns and ships exported anglomorphy both the human stock and the cultural and political structures to form a mighty global “colonial” set of establishments. The present Australian state (“Commonwealth”) is one such anglomorph establishment ie. politically and culturally “English”.

    It’s British Colonial speak for “he’s one of us, old chap, whether he wants to be not, and therefore we’re entitlted to speak for him”.

    The quote above comes from Frank Knopfelmacher. If Knopfelmacher was still alive, I’d suspect that he was posting on this blog under a pseudonym. ;)

  29. August 3rd, 2007 at 03:52 | #29

    As a “CONSTITUTIONALIST� the Framers of the Constitution were faced with a petition of more then 37,000 signatures (from Victoria) opposing any preamble referring to God, as people were concerned that the Commonwealth of Australia then could enforce religious doctrines, etc. Hence,, the Framers of the Constitution to counteract this objection, made clear that the constitution was a “secular� constitution, despite of the preamble, and that the Commonwealth of Australia was prohibited to make laws regarding religion but that they inserted Section 116 as to make it clear this to be so.
    The States themselves were entitled to practice The Judaeo-Christian tradition, such as banning Sunday trading, etc.

    While the Commonwealth of Australia legislated for the Australian Citizenship Act 1948, the truth is that constitutionally the States retained their legislative powers as to define/declare citizenship and the Framers of the Constitution specifically refused (See Hansard 2-3-1898 Constitution Convention Debates) to give such powers to the Commonwealth of Australia. As they made clear, any person who obtained State citizenship automatically became an Australian citizen (being a federal political status that included franchise) albeit being a Subject of the British Crown (British national).

    Whatever this crap is about some “citizenship test� it seems to me none of the Federal Government members would have a clue what really “citizenship� stands for.

    There is more, lots more.
    For more see my blog at http://au.360.yahoo.com/profile-ijpxwMQ4dbXm0BMADq1lv8AYHknTV_QH and my website http://www.schorel-hlavka.com

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