…once upon a time…
Australia becoming a republic peacefully and ever so easily, was the theme of a modern fairytale, “A call to armchairs” by Seamus Bradley in The Age. The fairytale has one moment of reality, and I suspect only one. In the wholly unlikely event of Australia becoming “a” republic, that is any sort of republic, The Queen would act graciously.
In a piece I was asked to write for the Sunday Times in December, 2007, I mentioned the fact that sometimes, prospective benefactors to ACM say, “but doesn’t the Royal Family fund you?”
“No,” I say, “that would be improper. Her Majesty just does not get involved in political campaigns.” (ACM is not of course party political, but it does campaign on the constitution and the flag.)
After the referendum, The Queen said that whatever had been the outcome, the Royal Family would have retained their deep affection for Australia and Australians. The future of the Australian Crown was for us, the Australian people.
…but nobody's interested…
The point is there is little interest today among the general public in republicanism, certainly less than during the 1999 referendum campaign. Even then, the republican movement leader Malcolm Turnbull came to the realisation that the republicans would lose. As he confided to his diary: "We have Buckley's chance of winning… nobody is interested.."
Nobody is interested.
Harold Schmauze of the Monarchist Alliance poses the question, “What would The Sunday Age do without the Monarchy?” To put this question in context I should mention that Mr. Bradley is not just a citizen interested in these things, but he is The Sunday Age's assistant editor. This means that he is likely to have a different world view than, say, your average Australian. That is at least what research consistently tells us.
In another Monarchist Alliance post, George Bougias says you’d have to ask if there were something seriously wrong with republicans who spend so much time and effort on (and tell so many lies for) a cause don't believe in, "the” republic. Actually "a” because they haven’t yet tod us what sort of republic they are talking about. He says it seems that the only issue republicans can agree on is, as Seamus Bradley admits, that “a republic doesn't really matter.”
…and as for the media. What is their agenda?
These questions could be asked of many in the media. Perhaps there is an answer.
According to Sir David Smith, one of our leading media practitioners, Paul Kelly, explained in 1993 t why the media gave prominent and priority coverage to constitutional change. This is because, Paul Kelly avers, “the media has a vested interest in change –change equates to news and news is the life blood of the media.” ( Sir David Smith, Head of State, 2005 at page 189; the book was reviewed in this column on 11 April 2006.)
…Sir David's interpretation…
Sir David interprets this to mean that the media supports constitutional change, not because it is good for Australia, but because it is good for business.
Consider the enormity of that. The media supports constitutional change, not because it is good for Australia, but because it is good for business.
Is that the answer for the media’s lone obsession in republicanism?
What do you think, dear reader? If you wish to respond click "Register" on the lower left of this homepage.
…No one cares, so drop it…
"Republicans should read Seamus Bradley to find out why Australians will never vote for a flawed presidential republic over our proven crowned democracy — the envy of the world," wrote George Bougias in a letter to The Sunday Age, published on 6 January, 2007.
"In Bradley's words, "the republic doesn't matter". Yes, Mr. Bradley (and The Sunday Age), no one cares, so how about spending time, money and ink on what's really important?"
The Sunday Age did not include this postscript: