Readers of Sydney's Daily Telegraph were this morning regaled with a leading opinion piece, beside the editorial, with this threatening headline: THE REPUBLIC IS DESTINED TO RISE AGAIN. It comes from the pen of Mark Day, their jovial columnist, and until he fell out with Malcolm Turnbull, a director of the republican establishment organization, the ARM.
It was accompanied by a cartoon showing a plane diving towards a determined pilot, John Howard,proudly wearing the ACM motto, NO REPUBLIC, on his uniform. The republican plane is piloted by someone in the particularly small cockpit who is not immediately recognisable- it is certainly not our bon vivant MrMark Day! In fact I thought the pilot was a chicken! The Federation star is on its tail-that is the tail of plane,and not the chicken. Does this acknowledge what we all know and what The Age has now confirmed-that under a republic, our Flag will go too? And what is this about the, THE, republic? It should read a republic-in fact it could say any old republic. The republican establishment, now in a state of intellectual anarchy, has abandoned not only their two previous preferred models, but the idea of a preferred model. The republican establishment now has not the foggiest idea which republic they want-as long as it is a republic. That is why they have given the job to a Senate Committee to work out. And who, do you think, is paying that bill?
In any event, I sent the following letter to the editor:
Your columnist Mark Day says his republic will rise again.(9 April). Doesn't he know that a souffle doesn’t rise twice?
As his former leader Malcolm Turnbull admitted in his diary months before the 1999 referendum, we have Buckleys chance of winning- nobody is interested! A pity he waited until after the referendum to publish this!
And if Mr Day wants to try again, this time please Mark, please don't put your hand out to the unfortunate taxpayer! You know that millions and millions of their money-not the elites- has been diverted from schools and hospitals into this folly. It is timely that Mr Day should raise this. Mr Richard Butler, once given to addressing the glittering victory dinners the republican establishment used to offer, has achieved wonders since he decided that Hobart was worth the Crown. He has united the politicians and the commentators across the political spectrum in affirming that in our system, the Head of State must always continue to provide leadership beyond politics. It is unfortunate that the republican establishment, in neither of its taxpayer funded models, was unable to demonstrate this. We know they are still trying, in both senses but this time, let them do so at their own expense.
And I wish you all a peaceful and rewarding Easter.