The Dead Heart recently took the opportunity to pose a few questions to Nicholas Roberts. Nicholas runs a web-site to promote the adoption of One Country as a new National Anthem for Australia. His site is at http://synarchy.net/onecountry/.
Would you like to give a brief introduction to yourself?
My name is Nicholas Roberts. I am an Australian citizen, living in Sydney, working on-contract as webmaster for an Australian rural industry association. I have plans to extend my Web systems company Synarchy Australia, into media and Web publishing. Hence the interest in media and politics.
I have been living in London, UK, and travelling around the world, for the last two years, and was shocked by the grim reality and lack of freedoms, of life overseas from Australia.
I also, would like to think, that I, or other Australians, will be sooner than later, President of the Commonwealth of Australia.
Why choose One Country as the Australian National Anthem?
I find it a stirring and invocative essence of the unique nature of Australia. It strikes a chord in me, a spiritual resonance, that is more idealistic, principled and poetic than Advance Australia Fair which I find relatively hum-drum and mediocre.
Why replace the current anthem?
I think the tone and lyrics of Advance Australia Fair are manifestly from another age. One Country would be a natural evolution from AAF.
Why start this campaign now - One Country is a 10 year old song? Surely there would have been a greater chance of success when the album/single were originally released.
The historical moment is right for a "workable model", a political-cultural evolution of a next generation Australian Nation-State, that more fully represents the ideas, needs, hopes and very real challenges of the 21st Century.
Is anyone else that you know of proposing an alternative national anthem?
Don't know. Doesn't look like it.
Its a matter of promoting something. You just have to look at www.ausflag.com.au to see that people are enthusiastic for a change of Australia's national symbols. One thing about Ausflag was that it was elite, selection by committee, the great and the good, a bit too Freemason, enlightened few, Founding Fatherish for me (and seemingly most Australians).
Have you had much support to date?
No, I tried drunkenly, to sing One Country, on New Years Eve in Sydney, but quite a few people thought I was rather stupid. I still cant remember all the words (hence the didactics) and an anthem needs a group. I think I'll try it at the Sydney Cricket Ground (guerrilla grass-roots activism).
How confident of success are you?
The journey is more important than the destination. A synarch thinks creative leadership is more important than winning.
Have you contacted the band about your campaign?
I tremble at the thought, though I am only a small 'f' fan. I probably ought to, but I prefer an unofficial approach right now.
Have you any idea of their opinion?
Not a clue. But I guess they would be hesitant to be a part of the Establishment, very sensible too. Hence my reluctance to go about a top-down approach.
I think the elite operation that was ARM self-destructed. Malcom Turnbull, the Republican movements chief is: a millionaire, ex-NSW Labor Right-Right, current Liberal, investment banker, internet profiteer (sold Ozemail to WorldCom, imitates Amazon with Chaosmusic). ARMs model would have set us up with a Republic in the Venitian (mercantile democracy) or perhaps the Roman model: rule by plutocrats (the owners) and their servants, demagogues, patricians and tyrants. There is plenty of fertile soil in Oz for these undemocratic futures.
Remember that formal, the legal structures of institutions do not have to change in order for the resulting system of government to change. So much of government is convention that the spirit can be altered without the letter of the law undergoing a change. This is how the Ceasars managed it, and to a lesser extent the Fraser government in 1975.
I think the 1999 Referendum question should have been: Do you want Australia to be a Democracy?
Coincidentally, I voted YES-YES, though my better judgement said NO-NO.
Do you feel that the song is appropriate as it is, or should it be altered in some way (for example, in terms of length)?
I personally don't think it needs altering. Essentially this would be a decision for the artists and the public.
How is the multimedia clip coming along?
Badly. I want to create a SMIL clip, with the words of the lyrics running in sync with the video, but RealServer G2 is not a service to which I subscribe. I intend to establish my own internet-connected box (Synarchy Networks) and install Real Server G2.
The music video that already accompanies One Country conveys quite a "National Anthem" feel - why are you trying to create a multimedia clip when the video serves so well?
I agree. However the words in sync would be a useful learning tool. I also like the idea of democratically selecting the symbolic associations.
Thanks to Nicholas for taking the time to answer our questions. We will bring you further details on the multimedia clip when we receive them. Once again, his site is at http://synarchy.net/onecountry/. Good luck, Nicholas.