AND ANOTHER ONE: Turns Out Nick Xenophon Is For Sure A British Citizen

Back in the long long ago, some of us thought the Australian Constitution was a pretty boring, pretty standard document – just an old piece of paper explaining how the government operates. Yawn.

NOT ANYMORE. I prefer to think of the Constitution – and Section 44 in particular – as the creeping bass line in Queen‘s ‘Another One Bites the Dust‘. Just think about it: “Another one gone, another one gone…” and the ever-threatening “Hey, I’m gonna get you too.”

Trying to cover Australian parliamentarians’ repeated failure to check their eligibility to run for election – because they all have no damn idea to which countries they are a citizen – and just the sheer schadenfreude of it, is like watching a supercut of the most tragic murders in ‘Game of Thrones.

And so we come to our latest citizenship scandal, that of Nick Xenophon, the guy who went ahead and started his own party because he wanted to restore “trust” in politicians.

Xenophon held a media conference earlier today in Adelaide to announce the news: he’s a secret Pom too, and will be referring himself to the High Court, along with those already scalped by Section 44: Fiona NashBarnaby JoyceMatthew CanavanMalcolm Roberts, Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters.

Yesterday Xenophon admitted he’d be “seeking clarification” from the UK on his citizenship – his dad was born in Cyprus, a British territory until 1960, and moved to Oz as a British citizen. Which means that Xenophon could’ve inherited British citizenship.

Well, the UK Home Office came back to him in the affirmative: Yep, you’re one of us, alright.

In his statement, Xenophon said:

The great irony here is that my father left Cyprus in order to escape British Colonial rule.

It was obviously unknown to me or my family that I was deemed to be a Colonial UK Citizen by virtue of the 1948 British Nationality Act.

But it gets interesting from there. Apparently, when Cyprus became independent in 1960, all Cypriots lost their colonial UK citizenship, EXCEPT those living in a heap of Commonwealth countries, like Canada, South Africa and Australia.

After a lot of blah-blah-blah about being a ‘British Overseas Citizen’ – which confers one with almost no benefit – Xenophon took the opportunity to call out his opponents for wasting time on what he reckons is a non-issue.

To those politicians and their staff beavering away at this, presumably over many many hours and days, I say: didn’t you have anything better to do with your time given the urgent and serious problems and challenges that South Australia and our nation faces?

No wonder so many Australians are disgusted by our current broken state of politics.

No wonder so many Australians are repulsed by politicians and the political class.

Based on legal advice, Xenophon has decided not to resign from the Senate. Fair enough. If members of the Coalition wont quit, why should he?

But it is pretty funny in the wake of comments from Rebekha Sharkie, a member of his own political party, who just yesterday demanded that Turnbull oust Joyce and Nash from Cabinet. She doesn’t see a contradiction there though.

Xenophon ended his statement by bringing up the reality of Australia’s massive migrant population.

I know in my heart of hearts that my allegiance from the day I was born to the day I die will be to Australia and only to Australia.

This is not some esoteric issue. We are a nation of migrants, fully one half of Australia’s population were either born overseas or have at least one parent born overseas.

You can read his full statement here:

Still, the man has a sense of humour about himself, posting a coupla snarky pics of himself on Twitter posing next to a portrait of Winnie Churchill and continuing to call his British citizenship “bizarre“, “useless“, “obscure“, and “peculiar“, presumably because he just remembered he owns a Thesaurus.