Charles III : Not My King!

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20-09-2022: The ascension of the Charles III to the throne in England after the death of Queen Elizabeth II presents Australian workers with an anachronistic folly. Constitutionally, Charles as King will be installed as the head of state. While it is true that this is largely a titular role, the King as head of the constitutional monarchy of Australia does have the power to dismiss the elected government – which actually took place, in 1975.[1] Kings, Queens and monarchs should long ago have exited the stage of history as a medieval relic, but they remain in the United Kingdom (UK) and its diminishing “Commonwealth”. Despite this, working people in Australia have been subjected to a seemingly endless and wall to wall mainstream media commemoration of the former Queen, the monarchy and the royal family. It is as if history is going backwards, and arch political reaction has once again set in.

Labor for the monarchy

Australian Labor Party (ALP) Prime Minister Anthony Albanese surprised many by announcing a one-off public holiday on September 22 to mark the funeral of Queen Elizabeth.[2] Far from once advocating an Australian republic, the ALP in government is now fuelling the archaic fawning over the British crown. Albanese even stated that now is “not the time” for a debate on a republic. The resulting atmosphere of stifling political conformity is reaching uncomfortable Covid-like levels. For example, Indigenous Women’s Rugby League player Caitlin Moran has been suspended for at least one game and is facing having 25% of her salary cut (!) for an unfavourable social media post about the passing of the Queen. Moran had posted what could be interpreted as a disrespectful or even flippant remark. While half jesting that the Queen dying made it a “good fkn day” on Instagram,[3] the reaction of the National Rugby League (NRL) has been way beyond any sense of proportion.

Ms Moran, an Australian Women’s Rugby League representative, was commenting on her personal social media platform. It was not a team post, or one which represented the NRL, nor anyone else. Moreover, Ms Moran has Aboriginal heritage, and given the horrific treatment of the Indigenous people by British colonialism, she – along with hundreds of thousands of others – are entitled to NOT feel a sense of mourning for the monarchy, to say the least. The British and later Australian colonialists waged 150 years of war against the Aboriginal people, driving them off from their land and in some cases outright exterminating them. These massacres were not for the faint hearted. It is estimated that a minimum of 20 000 Indigenous people were directly slaughtered by colonial violence, with some being hunted and killed. It sometimes took the form of crowds of Aboriginal people being driven over the edge of cliffs[4] rather than “wasting ammunition” during mass shootings.

In the UK itself, there has been swift repression of anti-monarchy protestors. One woman holding a “Not My King” placard outside the Palace of Westminster was led away by police. She was not arrested, but another woman holding a placard stating: “F**k Imperialism – Abolish Monarchy” certainly was.[5] The woman with the “Not My King” placard quite correctly stated that it was not democratic for a King to be made the head of state without it being put to the public. Indeed! Also, for working people internationally, the English monarchy is entirely bound up with imperialism, as England is the oldest capitalist entity on the face of the earth. As such, it was arguably the most successful colonial imperialist, with only 22 countries existing today which were NOT invaded by its Empire.[6]

Covid political hangover

The embarrassing servility to archaic royalty on display is largely the result of the ultra-conservative political reaction of “progressive” liberalism during the preceding 2.5 years of deliberate anti-working class assault under the guise of “Covid”. For 2.5 years, the so-called left, self-proclaimed “socialists”, anarchists, ossified Trade Union officials and “humanitarians” of all stripes – universally enforced a medical fascism which threw millions out of work, forcibly shut down whole sectors of the economy, and subjected the oppressed to previously inconceivable lockdowns and mind-boggling deprivation of liberty – up to and including the operation of concentration camps. Even though Aboriginal people were subjected to more of this “health” repression than others, the Indigenous community was split on Covid, as were all other sectors of society. Now, when such an egregious form of monarchical political reaction ensues, the so-called left is powerless to offer any resistance – given their abominable recent history as willing gendarmes of the very imperialism of royalty.

The capitulation of the faux left on Covid directly fed into NATO’s horrific proxy war on Russia. The majority of the Covid “left” endorsed the West’s war via Ukraine, while even those parts of the left who voiced some opposition to open Nazi backing in Ukraine had their voices muted due to their total genuflection to the NATO powers on an alleged “pandemic”. Therefore, it is welcome that in Australia, the Warriors of Aboriginal Resistance (WAR) have called a national day of action on September 22, to protest the one off public holiday and to raise the demand of “Abolish the Monarchy!”[7] Despite our political differences with WAR over their tactics in relation to demands around January 26 as Invasion Day/“Australia Day”,[8] we applaud the initiative of WAR in this instance. It was vital that there was some political opposition to the reactionary eulogising of a blood-stained regal Empire, and the recognition that the crown in Australia was built on the near extermination of its Indigenous custodians.

A republic in Australia is long overdue, and in fact may have come to pass in 1999 IF the option presented to the public at that time did not give more power to parliamentary politicians. Of course, this still would have been a republic built on the maintenance of the capitalist mode of production. Capitalism produces imperialism, and thus is the root source of the oppression of Aboriginal people along with the working class via fraudulent epidemics, a skyrocketing cost of living and a potential nuclear war launched by London, Canberra and Washington against Moscow and Beijing. What is required is a workers’ republic, with public ownership of the means of production and a planned economy. Key to this is the forging of a multi-racial and multi-ethnic Marxist vanguard party, which can help end every form of outdated colonial slavery by leading all of the oppressed masses to victory.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

[1] https://www.nma.gov.au/defining-moments/resources/whitlam-dismissal (17-09-2022)

[2] www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/sep/11/australia-to-have-public-holiday-to-mark-the-death-of-queen-elizabeth-ii-anthony-albanese-announces (17-09-2022)

[3] www.abc.net.au/news/2022-09-15/caitlin-moran-rlpa-queen-elizabeth-ii-remarks/101445248 (17-09-2022)

[4] www.evolves.com.au/impact-colonisation-indigenous-australians/ (17-09-2022)

[5] www.au.news.yahoo.com/anti-royal-protester-not-king-151749869.html?guccounter=1 (17-09-2022)

[6] https://www.dailypressdot.com/only-22-countries-that-united-kingdom-has-not-invaded/757246/ (17-09-2022)

[7] www.facebook.com/WARcollective (18-09-2022)

[8] www.redfireonline.com/2021/01/24/abolish-australia-day-is-a-mistake/ (18-09-2022)

Photo credit: http://www.peoplesdispatch.org

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