Andrew Inglis Clarke

Father of Federation and of the Hare Clarke Voting System

Clark, an amazing Tasmania, was a Barrister, Parliamentarian, Attorney-General, electoral reformer and Constitutionalist.

Clark was indeed a ‘sound’ lawyer.  His refusal to accept anything, but an honest and reasonable fee prevented him from making a fortune from his profession. He was, however, more than a lawyer; he was also an engineer, poet, political philosopher and the Father of Australian Federation.

The electorate of Denison has now been changed to Clark, named after Andrew.

He is credited in his first year in the House of Assembly with initiating 150 Ministerial Bills, only one fewer than Henry Parkes.  Some of his Bills dealt with cruelty to animals, legalising trade unions, more orderly control of public houses, the care of destitute children, payment of Members of Parliament and reforming laws on lunacy.

The University of Tasmania was established largely because of his efforts with association with colleague, Neil Elliott Lewis later to become Premier. He was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Tasmania 1901-1903.

Clark attended the first conference on Federation held in Hobart in 1886 and in 1890 was a Tasmanian delegate to the Australasian Federation Conference and to the national Australasian Conference in 1891. In his early years, Andrew was taught at home, because of his poor health, by his talented mother, Ann Inglis.  Later he attended the Hobart High School leaving school at 16.  At the age of 24, he decided to study law and in 1877 was admitted to the Bar.

As early as 1874, Clark was a promoter of proportional representation voting as opposed to the one-man, one-vote concept.  In 1878 Clark married in Melbourne Grace Paterson, daughter of John Ross, a Hobart ship builder.  In the same year he was elected to the House of Assembly for Norfolk Plains, but lost in 1882. 

In 1885 Clark founded the Southern Tasmanian Political Reform Association and unsuccessfully stood for election once again in 1886.  During the same year the movement promoting the establishment of a Commonwealth had its birth in Tasmania when on 25th January 1886, the first session of The Federal Council of Australia was opened by Governor Strahan.  Clark, of course, attended.  Later as a member of the Federal Council, he would draft a Federal Constitution for the convention of 1891.

In 1887 Clark was elected and served as Attorney-General under Premier Phillip Oakley Fysh (1835-1919) until 1892.  Sadly in this year of 1887 he lost his son, Melvin Inglis who died in infancy.

In August 1896, Clark was able to introduce proportional representation for Hobart and Launceston for the following year, after heated discussion. It became known as the Hare Clark system. Thomas Hare was an English Barrister. Clark also urged modification such as the transfer of surpluses and reducing the element of chance.  In that year, he was unable to attend the Federal convention because he was in America.

Opposition to the Hare-Clark system was vigorous with petitions being received by the Parliament to abandon it.  On the whole, it would appear electors mastered it quite well. Premier Edward Braddon was urged to adopt it.

In the 20th December 1897 in the Town Hall there was a presentation of an address to Clark for his stand on his constitutional principles. Clark replied by saying how important it was to the adherence to constitutional methods as the only safe guard to public liberty, particularly against the dictatorship of any one man or group of men. Here, I firmly believe he would be appalled how the Australian Constitution has been abused and ignored by the Federal Government and Premiers, because of the current social circumstances. Section 92 and 117 for example guarantees movement of citizens between States while section 51 (xxiiA) is against forced medical procedures, such as mandatory vaccinations or the unconstitutional National Cabinet of Premiers. As Clark would understand without these constitutional provisions we are dominated by those enjoy their new found power.

In 1898 Clark was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Tasmania and a senior judge in 1901. Clark never enjoyed strong health and the year of his death 1907 (14th November),  proportional voting was adopted for the whole state and used for the first time at a general election, April 1909.  In 1907 the established two party system did not exist in Tasmania.

What type of man was he personally?  James Backhouse, legal practitioner, historian and author states in his book Prelude to Federation (OBM Publishing 1976), “Lewis (N. Elliott) is one of the very, very few, prominent politicians in whom public spirit is at all marked.  A. I. Clark is another.”

The Hare-Clark electoral voting system continues to apply State-wide for the House of Assembly.  It has it detractors, but generally it is well received.

A more detailed article is available in the people section of this site

Australia in the year 2021

Australia in the year 2021. A police State. A country where our freedoms have been taken away. This is the new RESET. It is a country where those in charge, Police Commissioners, so-called health experts, advisors and Premiers instruct us to inform on our fellow citizens – all for our own good; all in the name of fighting the spread of Covid-19. We now have a two tiered citizenship, those who are vaxxed and those who are not vaxxed. Perhaps the latter should go around with a yellow star sewn to their breasts. The country is hopelessly in debt which grows by the day.

The Premiers have become power drunk; show no compassion, no understanding, lie and are corrupt. Our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, does nothing. He does not lead when he should. Is he just too weak or is he a willing part of the whole rotten system? When the Australian Constitution is abused he says not a word, other than “there’s nothing I can do” even though he can use the High Court. That is what it is there for. Interpreting the Australian Constitution.

I never thought I would see Australia come to this. We live in a world that is beyond imagining a few years ago. A country where police brutally bash fellow citizens while being selective on who can hold demonstrations and who cannot. Compare the treatment between the soft approach to Black Lives Matter and the brutal repression of the Freedom Marches and Workers. The police too are drunk on their new found power. They have forgotten their oath and have become nothing but agents of the government – governments who are corrupt and sinister.

I wonder what those who sacrificed their lives in war would think of the new Australia. What would they think of the mediocre creatures that control our lives called politicians? To be fair a few are standing up for the people, like Pauline Hanson, Mark Latham, Craig Kelly, Campbell Newman, George Christensen, Eric Abetz and Malcolm Roberts. Too few in number. The majority will do what their Party tells them to do. This is the weakness of the Party Political system. Why do we keep voting for the same old parties? Liberal/Labour/National and Greens? After all they are the ones who have destroyed this nation of ours. They are all globalists, believing in the One World Government. They have been taken up on the mountain and have sold their souls to the devil. In the meantime the people suffer, suicides are up, mental health is up, bankruptcies are up, businesses closing down and people struggle financially. Kids can’t play in the parks. Curfews. What nonsense is this? And we are all forced to have the jab. Families cannot visit each other, cannot attend funerals and children are separated from their parents. People cannot attend religious services. This is crazy and callous.

What was it that ex-President of the USA, Ronald Reagan said, “the most dangerous ten words in the English language is, I am from the government, I’m here to help you’’ Governments are not here to help us, they are here to entrench their own power, which is always at the expense of the people. Remember the section in the bible, when the people screamed and demanded to have government run by mortals. It was the prophet Samuel who warned them of the dangers awaiting them. (1 Samuel 8). Fellow prophet Jeremiah was to write, “The heart is wicked above all things, who can know it?” (17:9). And so it is with human nature – not to serve, but to be served. Our Premiers, little people who have no souls, fulfil that status.
In my humble opinion and I hope I am wrong, but Australia is (to put it crudely) “stuffed”. But there is something more here than just Australia – it is a world-wide phenomenon that is going on. Repression throughout the western world. It’s working to an agenda. Those in charge are evil in the extreme.

Much of the mainstream media are co-operating in this, mouthing the government line that we all need to give up our freedom for the betterment of all, but with no clear indication when those freedoms will be given back – which will be never. We have entered a new era, a dark era, when thuggery and brainwashing is the order of the day. Sadly most people comply, but there are the few who will lead, who are brave, and who believe that we are free individuals. God has given us our freedom, not governments. We can choose how we live. All this cannot be happening by accident. It is by design. Premiers, Prime Ministers, even Presidents are just puppets serving those behind the scenes, the cabals who are calling the shots – the billionaires the bankers, financiers and corporate giants. And as for the ordinary politician? He or she are again just puppets, but lower down on the chain, while the useful idiots are the brainless robots that implement their will without knowing it in every facet of society.

But there is hope. There is always hope. The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. There is an in-built passion within human beings for freedom. We have seen tyranny come and go throughout history and freedom reasserts itself. It comes at a price usually by the few sacrificing themselves for the benefit of many. I believe Good will prevail in the end. I do recall that line in the movie “Never Ending Story “when the young boy confronted the savage, horrible beast (and is there a hidden message here?), who said “I am just a Messenger,” adding, “when people believe in nothing they are easier to control.” That’s where we are at now, isn’t it? Our beliefs, our heritage, our religions are mocked and discarded. People do not believe in anything anymore. Thus they are easier to control with myths like global warming and that we all going to die because of the virus if we do not do as we are told. They are superior beings, the political elite. Yet, we are “all in it together” which is just sheer nonsense and hypocritical.
Stand firm. Do not compromise. Keep your faith and trust, attributes that will lead to victory. Whereas wen the people are constantly being fed a message of fear; just remember that is because the political elite fear the people.

120th Anniversary of the Australian National Flag

The Flag of Australia
The Australian Flag

3rd September this year is the 120th anniversary of the Australian National Flag, which dates from 1901. It was on that day Prime Minister Edmund Barton announced the winners of a competition who had designed a flag for Australia. A large flag, 5.5metres by 11 metres, was then flown over the dome of the Exhibition Building, Melbourne. At that time the flag was known as the Commonwealth blue ensign; later, the flag became known as the Australian National Flag. It was not until 1953 with the passing of the Flag Act that it was proclaimed definitively the Australian Blue Ensign as the National Flag and the Red Ensign as the proper colours for merchant ships registered in Australia.

The origin of the Australian National Flag is more than interesting, because our flag was chosen as a result of a nation-wide competition.  Indeed, as far as I am aware, Australia is the only country where this has happened. One per cent of the entire population of Australia responded with an entry.  Therefore it was the PEOPLE who originated our flag, which is a wonderful achievement and we should be proud of that

Those who judged the flag entries did so with the guidelines in mind of history, heraldry, distinctiveness, utility and the cost of manufacture.  It was Lady Hopetoun, wife of the Governor-General, who opened a display of the entries in the competition. Sir Edmund Barton announced that five entrants, who had submitted similar designs, were to share the honour of being declared the designers of Australian National Flag.

It is important to know that the designers were given a free rein on ideas, so there was no cohesion or any enforcement of what was expected.

It is said one of the winners of the competition, Ivor William Evans, who was born in Melbourne that his father, a flag maker, may have influenced his son’s design. Mr Evans senior would have been aware of the Australasian League Flag, the symbol of the anti-transportation movement of colonial times and which is held in that city.  The flag is very comparable to the national flag and preceded it.

Ivor was 14 years old when he submitted his entry.  But what was his motive?  Was it because his father suggested it to be similar to the historic one in Launceston? There is no record of this; rather Ivor believed that the flag of the United Kingdom, Great Britain had a place on Australia’s flag because of the historical links between our island continent and the British Isles. Ivor believed that it had an “Honourable place” on the Australian flag and he recognised this fact – a new nation paying respect to its origins. Ivor made a flag that he filled with symbols of his hope for the nation’s future. 

If we project ourselves back a hundred and twenty years at the time of federation, pride in the new nation was strong and we had adopted our own national Constitution.

The Southern Cross as displayed on our flag has great meaning. It tells the world geographically where we are situated and it also shows whereas we have a British heritage we are different and we are a separate nation to the Mother Land. Another reason for Ivor’s choice of the Southern Cross was Dante’s poem when he wrote about four bright stars which symbolised the four moral virtues of justice, prudence, temperance and fortitude – principles that Australia should live up to.

We possess a beautiful flag which was displayed with great enthusiasm at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.  Down through the 120 years it has been displayed through adversity (war and natural disasters) and national and personal successes. It was first flown after its origins in 1901. I have a photograph of it draping Harry (Breaker) Morant’s grave in South Africa during the Anglo-Boer War when he was executed on the 27th February 1902.

All Australians are encouraged to fly or display the Australian National Flag and to celebrate Australian National Flag Day on 3 September each year. Australian National Flag Day was proclaimed in 1996.

Here are some ideas to help celebrate Australian National Flag Day: Conduct a flag-raising ceremony. Business and organisations which don’t have a flagpole may wish to display the Australian National Flag in the public areas of their buildings, such as foyers. Fly from your own home.  Display from your car. We have a most beautiful and one of the most impressive and recognizable flags in the world. Every display should be befitting the national emblem. There is no restriction in flying the flag as stated by the then Prime Minister, Ben Chifley in a press statement of 1947. Let’s safeguard it and be proud of it.

Reg A. Watson is a Tasmanian author & historian.  He is also President of the Australian National Flag Association (Tas)

We the people must regain our inherited freedoms

Even before the present virus outbreak, our freedoms were being eroded. Democracy we have seen is not a guarantee for freedom, ending up what could be termed, electoral dictatorship, meaning for the electorate there’s little choice. We have witnessed dreadful decisions enforced throughout Australia, without any compassion. A recent example has been the drowning of a small boy with the authorities not allowing a proper funeral.

Freedoms do not come easy; they are not given; they are fought for and won. We must be eternally vigilant otherwise they will be taken away. We are familiar of those who went to war to ensure that our way of life and freedoms are protected from a brutal enemy. Freedom, however, has to also be won through the corridors of powers, such as our parliaments and institutions. We cannot be free unless we have freedom of movement, (which is being denied at the moment by State governments) freedom of expression and freedom of thought. We must have a free media. We must be protected by unbiased laws, but we have seen throughout, Australia being governed by the executive and not by parliament.

The freedoms which we have enjoyed have been inherited from Great Britain. Millions have been attracted to our shores because of the freedom we offer. Long before the Norman Conquest (1066), King Alfred, the only British king to be called “Great”, implemented laws which laid foundation of the rights of the common man.

Then in 1215 we had the Magna Carta when King John was forced to sign the Charter forcing the King to be subject to the same laws as any other person. It influenced the United States Bill of Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. Both these latter peoples’ right were also influence by the British Bill of Rights of 1688 which set out the basic laws of parliamentary rule and again the rights of the common man, while putting a brake on the powers of the Monarch, the then government.

Then we have the Australian Constitution, with sections 92 and 117 guaranteeing the freedom of movement backed up by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, with Article 13 guaranteeing the free movement in and out of a country, with Article 20 guaranteeing the right for peaceful assembly and association. Australia signed this, but what is the point of signing something that we are NOT going to honour? Or Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1986) which refers to “right of liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence”? Any internal passport as proposed by the Federal Government, based on discriminatory policies, goes against these basic human rights.

We also operate under English Common Law and among other aspects, state that we are innocent until we are proven guilty, not the other way around. Indeed, technically, any spot fine or ticket written goes against the principle of Common Law. By writing a ticket you are automatically determined guilty before you can prove your innocence.

Governments exist to serve us, we the people are not here to serve the government.

We have seen State Governments act in a dictatorial way, especially in Victoria and New South Wales. We have seen police acting on behalf of the various State Governments, brutally victimising their own citizens. There have been multiple breeches of human rights in this regard. When Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews was questioned on this during a media conference, he replied “THIS IS NOT ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS”.

How come we have got to this stage? Simply because of the continual message of fear espoused by governments, politicians, sections of the media and the medical fraternity. Remember? We were told that up to 150,000 people were predicted to die from corvid-19 as stated by the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Paul Kelly? The total nationally is less than 900, less, may I say, those dying annually of the flu.

Leading QC (Queen’s Counsel), Michael Wyles, has stated lock downs are illegal. They have not only destroyed the economic life of people, but too, their mental and social life. The rate of suicide is far higher than the death rate of this current virus, much of which could have been avoided if the vulnerable were instantly protected and those who had the virus were adequately quarantined.

A certain percentage (and it is quite high) of people like to be told what to do. It brings security and they don’t have to make decisions for themselves. I have been staggered how easy and how quickly we have been willing to give our freedoms away and let us not be fooled, governments have learnt from this. The Digital Certificate now available online by the Federal Government would be welcomed in Red China similar that country’s social credit policy. Do the right thing as proposed by the government and you will be rewarded. COVID – Certificate of Vaccination I.D.

Once our freedoms have gone, they will not be voluntarily given back to us by those in charge. We have our own mind which can make up its own decision for our own selves. Do we really need governments to do this for us? We can exercise our own choice and if we make the wrong choice we have to accept the consequences. We must question everything, rather than accepting without question what is being told to us. I personally start on a position of cynicism which is a safety valve. For example, how do I know I am being told the truth? What is the motive of those telling me? It is human nature to work from a position of self-interest and that includes government, its agencies and certainly big business, like Big Pharma.

St George’s Day

The 23rd of April is St George’s Day. It is important to remember the patron saint of England, St George and to observe St George’s Day and to wear the red cross against the white background, which is proudly carried on our Australian National Flag as well as the Tasmanian Flag. There are always the constant attacks on our national flag and the demand for a new one as there is for a republic.  Just recently of course we saw the sad passing of the Duke of Edinburgh, but it did show the out pouring of remorse world-wide over his death and the warmth that he was regarded  His virtues was one of sacrifice and of service, before self.  He had a vital career in the Royal Navy before he married Her Majesty, but he gave it all up for the Crown and for country.  Those attributes we must reclaim.  We live in a society which is now very much a “me “generation.
We all know of the story of St George and he is represented by the image of slaying the dragon.  This is more than just a simple portrayal.  It has a great symbolic message behind it.  It is good overcoming evil.  The Dragon of course is represented in the Holy Bible as Satan, the great deceiver and there is our George piecing the Dragon with his lance; good overcoming evil.

The Anglo-Saxon people have given the world so much good, not only in an array of invention, from the railway to television, the jet engine and much more, but in commerce, education and in the forefront of freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of action, freedom of thought backed up by English Common Law, together with the Magna Carta (which is still in force, regardless what is said), the 1688 Constitution and even our own Australian Constitution. Before the Magna Carta it was Alfred the Great (the only English king to be called Great) who brought in laws that were taken from Holy Scriptures and it was these laws which were the basis of our pending freedoms. The judiciary must be independent and free from all government interference.

Yet, these days we have seen our great heritage and institutions under constant threat. We have seen our basis rights abused by over bearing governments, often backed by the police.  It has happening in all European countries and even in the traditional Anglo-Saxon countries, like Australia, New Zealand, the US and particularly in Canada, where the abuses I have seen I would not have thought would be possible a few years ago. Very few of our politicians make a murmur over it all.

So why is it happening?  Simply, to bring in a new society. The old must be destroyed, because the old is simply in the way.  Our traditions inherited here in Australia from the Mother Land must prevail.  If they do not then we will live in a lesser world than what we knew and we will be passing on to our children a darker society.

England has given us so much and yes, she also made mistakes, but the symbol of St George overcoming evil is just as relevant today as it was so many centuries ago. If we are so bad as our heritage is now portrayed by the academics, the mainstream media and the political parties, then why do, (what is seems), the whole world want to live within our Anglo-Saxon countries?  We must have done something right.

Not so long ago, we had a Royal Society of St George Society here in Hobart.  It no longer exists.  I can also recall some decades ago attending a dinner/dance with many attendants and over the subsequent years, attending other functions with myself holding St George’s Day church services at St George’s Church Battery Point followed by lunch at the Prince of Wales Hotel.  All that has gone.  It is important that the Royal Overseas League continues to herald and honour this important Day.  On the 1st of March I attended a choral presentation for St David’s Day (the patron saint of Wales) at St David’s Cathedral.  It was a wonderful service and of course big celebrations always occur on St Patrick’s Day and then in November we have St Andrews Day.  St George’s Day must not drop out of the calendar.  I am reminded that the most beautiful magazine, This England, led a campaign in England to have a national holiday for St George’s Day proclaimed, but big business and the government did not warm to the idea; perhaps it would not be in keeping with the modern multicultural society of England, where everyone else can celebrate their national heritage but the English can’t.

Incidentally, St David’s Cathedral was named after David Collins. It was he who settled Hobart in 1804, another great achievement of our heritage. This is a rare honour, as Cathedrals are usually named after saints and in this case most believe after St David of Wales.  Although the saint is honoured at the Cathedral, it was indeed named after David Collins who died in 1810 and is buried in St David’s Park also named, naturally, after him.

The Cross of St George is well known world-side. It is the National Flag of England; it is on the Union Flag of the United Kingdom, on our Australian National Flag, on our Tasmanian Flag and on other State flags, plus a number of provinces in Canada. It is also on The Hawaiian Flag, the National Flag of New Zealand and Fiji and many other national flags, including military ones, such as the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. Certainly St George has proven to be a significant historic figure. His cross also appears on the Greek Flag and the flag of Georgia. He is also the patron saint of Portugal, Moscow, Ethiopia, Lithuania, Palestine and Malta.  So you see he and his cross is not only an English icon.

Knowing of the importance and significance of St George in our everyday life, it is important that his memory and his meaning remain alive in this modern era.  It provides stability, goodness and points a way to the future.