Jul 11, 2013

RIP HRH Princess Shirley of Hutt River Principality

 Image (L): A young Princess Shirley 

 The Principality of Hutt River has announced the death of their matriarch Princess Shirley, the wife of the founder of the breakaway province, which seceeded from Australia in 1970.


Our sympathy goes out to Prince Leonard and his family for their loss of the lady who has supported and stood by her husband in his battle against government injustice for over forty years.
The Casleys have been an inspiration to many ‘Free State’ and secessionist libertarians over the years owing to their successful efforts to secede from Australia and managing to make a go of it.  While the Australian government has adopted the official position of not recognizing Hutt River Principality, no serious effort has been made to end it.
While there is little to demonstrate a commitment to libertarian principles by Leonard and his family, they deserve some brownie points for the following:
  • Secession was a response to the draconian actions of the West Australian Wheat board, (the central marketing authority) which restricted the property to a quota amounting to 1% of the 9,900 acres of wheat ready to harvest at that time.
  • They declared war on Australia for several days over demands from the Taxation Department.  A compromise has been reached whereby residents lodge returns, but are considered non-residents for tax purposes, thus paying no tax from income derived in the principality.
  • Probably the lowest income tax rate in the world, of 0.5% flat rate.

Hutt River derives income from agricultural production including sheep and grains, a wildflower production and export business, and the approximately 40,000 tourists per year who visit as well and associated stamp, currency and souvenir sales.
The history of the secession is an interesting mix of canny actions by the Casleys and their advisers, and ineptitude in the response to it by the West Australian and Australian governments. 
The move from province to principality was done in response to the threats issued by the incoming Whitlam government to end the secession.  A search of British law revealed that the “Imperial Treasons act of 1495” which had never been repealed, essentially made it an offense (treason) to take action against a de facto prince in the exercise of his functions. 
Thus, the adoption of the title of prince, is not an act of eccentricity, but a legal instrument ensuring the independence of the micro state.
Its nice to find someone who is not only prepared to take on the state, but who can win that fight.

2 comments:

  1. "seceded" in the first paragraph - not "succeeded".

    ReplyDelete
  2. hanks Anon. I don't know how that one slipped by me.

    ReplyDelete