March 10

Dispelling the myths:the Head of State



There have been surprisingly few reviews of the book, Head of State: the Governor-General, the Monarchy, the Republic and the Dismissal written by Sir David Smith and published by. Macleay Press.

The book is not featured in most bookshops as so many books on political matters are.

And yet, there has long been a strong media interest in the subject of this book.

This rises every year on the anniversary of the dismissal of the Whitlam government, culminating in the 30th anniversary in 2005, the time when this book was launched.

In the years leading up to 1999, there could not have been stronger campaigners for republicanism than the mainstream media, including the national broadcaster, the ABC. Since then, support for republicanism remains high in the media, particularly the Fairfax press.

The book is a major intellectual contribution to the subject. It should be a standard reference in universities and in the media -which of course does not mean that the author’s opinions must be accepted.

It is that his treatment of the facts, his marshalling of the sources is absolutely superb. He could , for example, be invited to give the ABC Boyer Lectures-he is without a peer as an authority on the office of the Governor-General and the role of our oldest institution, the Crown, which remains ne above politics, and which is central to our system of government .

Our universities, our media, our intelligentsia could surely not be so biased , so petty and so uninterested in the search for the truth that they would choose to ignore him, could they?

Now News Weekly, whose publishing arm, Freedom Publishing, has published two of my books, has published my review of Sir David’s book. This is included in the 18 February, 2006 edition, No.275.

This will be included in a subsequent column.


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