“It’s time we pulled out of the one-sided debacle that is the Commonwealth Games,” announced one member of the republican commentariat in the Sydney Morning Herald on 15 March, 2006, which we reported in this column on 9 April, 2006. Now the Hon. Daryl Melham, a member of Her Majesty’s Loyal Australian Opposition, who has on several occasions solemnly affirmed or sworn allegiance to his Sovereign, seems to have added the Commonwealth Games to his other favourite target. This is the Office of the Governor-General, the miniscule detail of which seems also to attract the regular and obsessive interest of one Senate Estimates Committee. The Hon. Daryl Melham is the Member of the House of Representatives for one part of inner Western Sydney where the principal issues are law and order, transport, schools, and hospitals. We wonder what his constituents think of his curious campaigns.
Before anyone gets too carried away about his revelation concerning the called “costs” of The Queen’s recent homecoming, principally as Head of the Commonwealth to open the Commonwealth Games, we should remember that, unlike a politician, no allowance or salary has ever been paid to The Queen of Australia, who has reigned for over half the life of our nation. Nor will she ever receive a golden handshake or massive amounts of superannuation, subsidised as no worker’s is, by the taxpayer. Much of the so called “costs” were an accounting allocation of salaries for people who would be paid anyway, for receptions for Australians to meet and see her, and security or the consequences of security advice which we pay to protect any VIP. This would presumably include security for those politicians who spend their time beating up this sort of issue and harassing the office of the Governor-General, a distinguished Australian who has served his country so honourably on the field.
The Hon. Daryl Melham has never ever raised his voice in protest about the millions and millions the republicans diverted -and the many millions they still want to divert – from schools, hospitals etc to finance their forlorn search for some sort of a republic which would actually get up. Perhaps we should thank the honourable gentleman for this attack on the arrangements what was essentially about the Commonwealth Games. We know that the republicans plan to throw out our extraordinarily successful constitutional system and our flag. Thanks to him, we now know that what we suspected is true, some of them also have the Commonwealth Games and probably, the Commonwealth in their sights. Where will it end?