January 17

Haka for the crowned republic


The Guardian has published (15/1) a  long article on Prince William’s visit to New Zealand and Australia, “Prince William embarks on first official tour – a three-day visit to New Zealand.” (15/1)

The report by Stephen Bates is balanced and fair notwithstanding the fact that The Guardian is a republican newspaper.  It is however erroneous to say that in 1999 Australians voted “by a narrow margin” not to abandon the monarchy. It was a landslide. Had it been an election, the government would have won a majority never before seen in Australia. And the No vote prevailed in all states – the referendum also had to be won ina majority of them.

In any event Mr Bates thinks the visit could be propitious because the debate in both countries has stalled. And he notes that last month the opposition replaced its pro-republican leader Malcolm Turnbull with Tony Abbott, a man who says he will always be a monarchist.

…Prince Charles will be given a 'fair go', laments republican newspaper…

Mr. Bates also points out The Melbourne Age recently bemoaned: "It's highly likely that after the Queen's death the Australian ethos of the 'fair go' will probably deliver the next monarch."

He says New Zealand is unlikely to move before Australia, and committed republicans like former prime minister Jim Bolger think there is no need to hurry. This infuriates committed republican campaigners, but Mr. Bates has discovered there are only 800 in the movement.

…NZ already  a crowned republic…

"I think there is a positive virtue in having a head of state 12,000 miles away," Noel Cox, professor of constitutional law at Auckland University of Technology and chairman of Monarchy New Zealand told The Guardian. "It means we don't have to worry about them and we effectively have a crowned republic already."

Thomas Flynn, described as Tony Abbott's successor as executive director of Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy, said: "They can come here as often as they like. People say Australians don't like Prince Charles and wouldn't like Camilla, but if they got to know her, I think they'd change their mind – she likes a drink and a smoke, so I think she's very Australian in character."

And as republican Professor Geoff Craven once predicted were a referendum to be put on the only alternative to the rejected 1999 republican model –the result would be that Australians would live not only under the reign of King Charles III but also King William V.  And that is a delightful prospect.

…Haka for Her Majesty -at the Palace…. 




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