Ross FitzGerald, writing in The Australian on 27 October 2005, warns of governments being out touch with the electorate, indulging in pet projects and ideological obsessions. In Paul Keating’s case this was, he says, "his obsession with the Big Picture, identified with the republic…"
You were on the radio this morning, arguing your position -and if I may say so- arguing it well on some very serious issues.
Not issues that nobody is concerned about.
So there are two points you should draw from Dr Fitzgerald’s piece.
Afetr all he is a political friend, isn’t he?
First, apart from the elites, nobody – nobody – is interested in a republic.
So could I. I have just had an identical experience.
Second, politicians who are "passionate" about the republic may send a signal to the press gallery about how fashionable they are.
They will certainly send a signal to the rank and file that they are out of touch.
And by the way,Kim, your friend, the former Deputy Secretary of Defence, and fellow republican, Ken Harris can explain to you why you should steer clear of the Latham republic.
This is the republican model which tries to graft a directly elected president onto our system. The one where you thought the reserve power problem would be impossible to resolve.
Remember, in February you were down to launch his book , Pathway to Treason, but the caucus held you back that day by reelecting you as Leader.
Pathway to Treason, whic I am sure you have read, is about the extreme dangers of the Latham model. Frankly Kim, its a Frankenstein monster, as Ken Harris has come out publicly a few days ago to tell you.
Kim, be a republican if you must. But don’t be like the Convention Celebrities who all pronounced themselves "passionate" republicans. If you must, be an "inevitabliste". And then just sit back and wait for the inevitable to happen, without forcing it. (It won’t-but that’s another story)
Kim, you have obviously learned not to touch the flag. Treat our constitutional system the same way.
Don’t touch it.
Until next time,