July 29

In their dreams

And I was thinking that most republican heavies had reluctantly come to  the conclusion that the end of this reign won't produce their silver bullet. The country won't immediately decide to adopt any sort of politicians republic the usual suspects decide we must have.

Not it seems, the Sydney Morning Herald's weekly columnist, the former 2UE talkback broadcaster, Mike Carlton. (We're  challenging him to a debate on this.)

On Saturday 27 July, 2013 he wrote that the "chances of (Prince) George Alexander Louis Mountbatten-Windsor wearing what Professor David Flint and his ilk absurdly call the Australian crown", must be slim."


He says that there seems to be a "consensus'' that "the republic should be on hold until the end of this reign after which "we" will move, "respectfully and with gratitude", to erase ''foreign'' royalty from our constitution and to install an Australian as our head of state."

By "we" our Mike is no doubt referring to the declining band of "passionate republicans'' left in the country.




Putting aside the errors of law and fact in his prediction, Mike doesn't have a very good record in making predictions about these things. In fact his predictions have been terribly wrong.

Give up, Mike – it must be so embarrassing to be shown to be so wrong.


He was sure the people would vote for his politicians republic in 1999 and was no doubt  astounded by the landslide.


Then there was his prediction that the funeral of the Queen Mother went only be noticed by "confused Japanese tourists'' and a "few royalists.


As we have been saying for a long in this column, the end of this reign will be honoured by the world's media by the biggest retrospective we have ever seen. In comparison the recent birth of the prints and the Royal wedding will pale in comparison. Then there will be a fascination about the accession and especially about the Coronation, as well as about the next Prince of Wales and his family.

The problem for republicans is as Bagehot said a constitutional monarchy is about interesting people doing interesting things. And as ACM has always insisted, all of this is the cream on the cake.


The fundamental theme is that we have a very good constitution which has its weaknesses. But none of those weaknesses relate to the Crown which is an enduring Australian institution


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