Well. Anyone who has been near the organization of a wedding knows there are always glitches. And this one was no exception. The republicans thought they were on a winner, the politicians thought they could break their oaths and the pundits in the commentariat kept on hoping for more glitches and saying that anyway, Australians were just not interested.
And such is the incestuous nature of our media the same people were saying it in the press, the ABC and commercial TV. On one occasion, on a breakfast TV programme , a panel of the usual knockers from the commentariat, an email was read suggesting the media might leave the Royal couple alone. The republican pundits rushed to plead their innocence and to say it was all the fault of the public!
When Prince Charles showed some understandable but mildly expressed irritation with the media who had goaded him, lied about him, invaded his privacy and grossly defamed him, the media rushed to condemn him as if he had waded into their midst with a sword! The poor slighted journalists. How awful for them-they are so sensitive!
Some thought that perhaps he should have been tougher on them. And as Sophie Masson wrote in the Daily Telegraph, of 11 April 2005, if the media thought the public would hold this against him, (quote) perhaps the media should get out more!"
The republican movement rushed in, thinking the marriage was a winner for the convoluted, expensive plan they have adopted to achieve their Latham model republic.
They trumpeted to all and sundry that because of the marriage they had experienced an undisclosed surge in members!
They tried this before in 1999 in a particularly vicious and personal campaign against Charles and Camilla. They pretended this time they were not being personal. Then the NSW government, apparently believing it had perfected the delivery of government services in the state, and thus having time on its hands, decided this was the right occasion to dispense with the very same oath they had all solemnly sworn, some several times! The West Australians republican politicians followed.
But the wedding and the service went off well. The service was beautiful, the guests were fascinating, the bride beautiful , she and the groom dignified, and the family superb.Only the media seemed dysfunctional.
And what will leave the commentariat with vast amounts of egg on their face, the ARM without its silver bullet to destroy our Constitution, and our oath breaking politicians looking even more discredited than they presently are, is that almost one and a half million-ONE AND A HALF MILLION Australians- watched the service on TV.
And this was on a Saturday night, the very night a large number go out! This is about fifty per cent more than watched the very popular Mary Donaldson marry Crown Prince Frederik!
And as for the republican argument that the wedding had turned Australians against their Constitution, Alexander Downer, Australia’s very successful Minister for Foreign Affairs said:
"I think it’s not an issue that preoccupies most people. When I go into the shopping centers and markets in my electorate, that’s not something people rush up to me to talk about."
In the meantime, Senator Vanstone, the republican Minister for Immigration warned republicans against bagging the monarchy and monarchists.
I sent this letter to The Australian about the misrepresentation of Senator Vanstone by one of those royal watchers:
Rather than quoting Senator Vanstone selectively, Mr. Barry Everingham (7/4), as well as the republican movement, could take notice of what she actually said – stop bagging the monarchy, the Royal Family, and indeed, the monarchists . She also advised them to abandon the Mark Latham endorsed process and model. Mr. Everingham could also give up relying on the Head of State argument. As leading republicans now say, this debate is arid and fruitless.
When our Governor General, Major General Jeffery, arrives in Rome, our government will have held him out to be the Australian Head of State. He will be received in Italy and the Vatican as precisely that.
The term Head of State is not found in the Constitution.
It is a diplomatic term, of relevance only in international law. Yours etc.
The Sydney Daily Telegraph then published my letter about the oath breakers in the NSW parliament on 11 April 2005:
Given the state of public transport, the roads, the hospitals schools, water supplies, electricity, other basic infrastructure, law and order itself, and the heavy taxation burden the people of New South Wales must bear, it is extraordinary that the Carr government can find the time and the money to bulldoze through legislation to get rid of their Oath of Allegiance. This is the very Oath they had sworn to uphold!
The people of this- and every other State- gave a resounding answer to the question whether they wanted to change their Constitution in 1999.The NSW government is ignoring this- and the petitions of the people who have registered their strong opposition to this measure.
The present Oath of Allegiance is for all members a promise of loyalty, and for the ministers it is an acceptance that they are responsible to and accountable to the people through the Crown whose principal functions are exercised by the Governor.
The Carr government has previously treated the office of Governor shabbily. Having ejected the Governor from her rightful home, at great additional cost, inconvenience to the governor, and effectively excluding any person from outside Sydney from becoming Governor, the government seems intent on downgrading this important check on the abuse of power.
The new Oath is a fiction-if they really were going to pledge loyalty to the people they would ask us. Yours etc
[My final sentence was edited, no doubt for space:
If they were genuine, they would give us the right the people of California have -not to wait four years, but the right to recall the government whenever we are dissatisfied. Yours etc]
Until next time,