You know the republicans are in trouble when they engage in some stunt.

Remember when they demanded The Queen give back Tom Robert’s wonderful painting of the opening of the first parliament? It hangs on permanent loan in Parliament House Canberra!

The latest stunt is the "cost" of Prince Charles’ visit.

This is the greatest piece of fiction since Wuthering Heights!

Let’s take a moment to deconstruct this stunt.

The fact is that Australia receives a succession of official visitors to this country each year. They are the presidents, prime ministers, princes, popes, patriarchs, UN people and various celebrities who come here each year. Under international law we have to provide security for many, if not most of them. And we send a range of people overseas, and expect that they won’t be gunned down, kidnapped or treated shabbily.

We also look after our own leaders, flying them around and ensuring reasonable security for them too. To do this we have aeroplanes, cars, and police on hand.

For foreign heads of state – say a visiting governor-general, there is accommodation at Government House. (That is, except in Sydney. There former Premier Carr had the bright idea of revenging the sacking of Jack Lang! At great additional cost, he actually threw the governor out of Government House. He thus ensured that anybody who lives outside of Sydney can’t be governor. What an insult to country people!)

We also look after foreign diplomats, as ours are in other countries. When one came to a function I was at recently in Sydney, the security services covered his car and the venue.

Now if someone asks, say a politician or the media, the accountants can engage in the rather pointless activity of allocating a "cost" for each person. I suppose they just take the annual bills and divide them up on an hourly basis.

But this is something of a fiction – these services are there any way. They are on standby.

If they weren’t looking after and transporting visitors, diplomats and politicians, what would they be doing? Sitting in an office looking at the ceiling? Leaving the aircraft on the ground? Leaving the cars in the garage?

So what is the point of this "cost" exercise? The point is this.

The politicians use this to score points off other politicians. The media loves this.

And the republicans use this to criticize royalty. The media loves this too. Including "your" ABC.

Of course they don’t do it to anyone else.

Why? Because they have an agenda. The agenda is to get a republic. To get a republic by hook or by crook. That’s why!

And although she has served us – and served us well – for over one half of the life of this country, we have never paid The Queen anything. Not a cent. Not a brass razoo. And there won’t be any golden handshake for Her Majesty. Nor will there be any superannuation.

Of course, the republicans don’t complain about this. Nor do the republican politicians – they don’t want to draw attention to their own honey pot!

And of course, none of this is reported.

As for Prince Charles, we also pay him nothing. He actually cares for and feels close to this country, the country where he spent some of his school years. He wants to make a real contribution here.

The Prince raised a quarter of a billion dollars last year for the underprivileged in the UK and the poorer Commonwealth countries. Needless to say this is hardly reported.

If the republican politicians and the republican journalists were honest they would call for Australia to shun all visits from all VIP’s, to stop protecting them and to do the same to our own leaders. They are not that stupid. If we did, some foreign governments would retaliate, leaving our leaders unprotected when overseas.

Terrorists and criminals would soon realize that Australia did not look after any VIP’s, and react appropriately. The terrorists are ruthless, but they are not stupid.

That is, if anyone, celebrities or not, came here anymore. That would do wonders for tourism and for our reputation, wouldn’t it.

So the republicans won’t do that. But they go on and on about the fictional “costs” of royal visits. Why?

It’s just another cynical stunt to force us to get rid of our constitution system. And our flag. They now pretend the flag is not a target too. Remember how The Age let that one out of the bag!

That’s the real agenda.

Until next time,

David Flint