June 24

Another wild goose chase


During the referendum campaign, the newspapers formed a consensus view. This was the constitutional monarchy was doomed. A politicians’ republic was inevitable. So they pushed for that wild goose chase, how to graft a politicians' republic onto our successful constitutional system.

It cost a fortune, divetring taxpayers' money from essential purposes. Worse, it distracted our politicians from fulfilling their fundamental duties in governing the country.

Only a handful of newspaper commentators dissented from this republican consensus.

[ Wild goose chase ]

More than a decade on, the constitutional monarchy is stronger than ever. It is ironical, but sad that the future of newspapers rather than the monarchy is under a cloud.

There are were reports recently that the Fairfax board was seriously considering terminating the print editions of the weekday newspapers leaving only the Saturday editions on paper. All the rest – including those great journals of record, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age – would be online.

The American experience is that an online newspaper is no substitute for the print version. The very large establishments which only the print media have are soon run down. They begin to lose their clout and their influence.

The ABC apart, it is the newspapers which do the bulk of reporting in Australia. The electronic media are highly dependent on the newspapers, and usually managed with only a handful of journalists.

The stories tend to break in the newspapers and are then taken up by the electronic media. At the same time people rarely read the electronic versions of newspapers in the same detailed way you do a newspaper.

This is a tragedy for Australia and it may beinevitable. I hope not.

But isn't it ironical that the very people who were predicting the inevitable destruction of a constitutional monarchy are possibly the ones to go?

…commentariat still republican…

And yet the commentariat remains obstinately and unhealthily obsessed with destroying the Australian Crown. The Weekend Australian of 9–10 June, 2012 contained two pieces responding to the Diamond Jubilee which demonstrate this. And they are not the only ones.

The Australian published my letter and one from Neville Jackson from Wahroongah in New South Wales today: “There is no point in another wild-goose chase for a republic.”

ANGELA Shanahan and Peter van Onselen are easily distracted by their irritation with the crown ("Queen is rightly admired but Australians must continue to question her constitutional role", and "The royal reason our system is broken", 9-10/6).

Usually more concerned about moral issues, Shanahan wishes to remove the one constitutional institution that is intrinsically Judaeo-Christian. She forgets the old adage that where there is a crown there is an altar.

Van Onselen is rightly concerned about the concentration of power that Canberra politicians, in alliance with activist centralist judges, have surreptitiously achieved without the express approval of the people.

The solution is not in another round in that wild-goose chase, how to graft some politicians' republic on to our system. It would be a distraction that will only waste money and time without achieving anything.

The Australian people are canny enough not to let republican politicians monkey around with the Constitution. . .The solution is not in some politicians' republic, but in making governments accountable, not every three or four years, but on every day of every month every year.

David Flint, Bondi Beach, NSW


THE only reason Peter van Onselen is suggesting there should be a resurgence of the republican cause is out of panic at the way the monarchy has been greatly boosted by the huge demonstrations of affection and popularity surrounding the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Despite van Onselen's comments, there's nothing wrong with Australia's political and economic systems that couldn't be corrected by right-of-centre majority governments.

What republicans choose to ignore is that the nation's political and judicial establishments and procedures were built on the Westminster system. If the abolitionists had their way in breaking with Britain, Australia would be further isolated on the world stage.

Neville Jackson, Wahroonga, NSW .


You may also like

Celebrate the King’s Birthday

Celebrate the King’s Birthday

Record Online Audience 

Record Online Audience 
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Subscribe to our newsletter!