To our surprise, and outrage, the Sydney Morning Herald on 14 March actually claimed in its editorial on the Royal Homecoming, “Happy and Glorious” that we monarchists, “who have stooped to arguing that the Queen is largely irrelevant to Australia, “ actually wanted Advance Australia Fair played instead of God Save The Queen at the Games!
Every monarchist in the country wanted both played – well almost every monarchist . But the Premier of Victoria had claimed monarchist support for banning God Save The Queen at The Games.
The Premier had relied on a letter in The Australian on 2 March 2006. His claim and the basis for it was widely reported in the national media.
( The details of this sad story are set out in my Column on 7 March 2006)
I sent a letter to the Herald which was not published. The I heard a leading talkback presenter lamenting the fact that the monarchists supported the ban, so I conatacted the e Herald again seeking a right of reply. They agreed to publish the first paragraph.
Monarchists did not want Advance Australia Fair to be played instead of God Save the Queen at the Games, as you claimed in your editorial ("Happy and glorious", March 14). In accordance with Australian law, introduced by the Hawke government, we wanted both.”
The remainder of my letter read:
“Equally wrong is Nicola Roxon, a frontbencher in Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. She said of constiutional monarchists: "If we bide our time they will all die off… (13/3). Wrong, wrong Ms. Roxon. Why don’t you check your facts before you rush into comment.
Polling in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, has consistently shown that republicanism is strongest among the male middle aged, and weaker among the old and , interestingly the young. In a 2005 Morgan Poll, only 37% of those aged 14 to 17 voted for a republic. Imagine what the results would be in a referendum, where the details of the changes the republicans would prefer to keep hidden until after the vote.