December 2

Missing the point

While the competing Sydney newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, chose a nine page supplement on  the Royal engagement, The Sydney Morning Herald  preferred to editorialise.

Clearly the Telegraph thought the engagement highly relevant to Australia. Contributor Ross Brundrett said observers predicted a tilt towards the Crown in the republic debate. 

He recalled a Herald Sun telephone poll after Prince William's visit: Would Prince William be a good King of Australia?  

An overwhelming 80% said Yes.

…a distraction….

Meanwhile the editorial in The Sydney Morning Herald (20/11) was, as Tony Abbott wrote in the 2010 Nevill Bonner Oration, worried that the celebrations for William and Kate might be a distraction from the need for a republic.

While coronations may be the solemn reconfirmation of the institution, the editor lamented: 

…. nothing displays the normally latent strength of the monarchy like a royal wedding. It is an event which all who are members of any family can relate to and share. At once ordinary and impossibly grand, the event attracts the uncritical attention of billions. It is that combination, too, of ordinariness and grandeur, of family continuity and regeneration, which gives the monarchy its continuing power over the imaginations of many

…its not about modernity….

But the editor completely missed the point in his final comment:

"Regardless of the glamour of the coming wedding, regardless of the conduct and character – past and future, admirable and otherwise – of the members of the House of Windsor, a hereditary monarchy can never modernise itself sufficiently to be a suitable constitutional arrangement for an independent, democratic Australia."

Dear, dear editor, our concern here is not about the degree of modernity the monarchy espouses.

It is about our system of constitutional government and thus the role and function of the Australian Crown in our polity.

You need to accept that the Australian people  established as an indissoluble Federal Commonwealth under the Crown, a crowned republic.  And in 1999 they reaffirmed that overwhelmingly when they rejectd the politicians' republic you so strongly insisted they endorse. 

…not a cent more from the taxpayers for the republicans…


[continued below ]

Dear editor, don't you understand the word No?  

The late Professor PHLane, surely the doyen of the nation’s leading constitutional authorities, long ago advised republicans  what they should do.

They ignored him on 1999, and they still do.

He said they would be best advised to start again rather than trying to graft a republic – a politicians’ republic – onto what is essentially a monarchical constitution.

The problem today is that the republicans still want the taxpayer to do their work for them.

Now,if they want a republic and a new flag, they should just tell the people what they want.

Why should the taxpayer hand out hundreds of millions of dollars more to a private group unwilling to do the hard yards and work out what they want?

Weren't the hundreds of  millions they extracted from the taxpayer in the nineties enough? 


(Even if the Herald's Mike Carlton has jumped onto a new bandwagon – see below)

…Head of State…  

Of course the Herald relies on that worn out argument constantly wheeled out by the republicans, that only under a republic can we have an Australian as Head of State.

This despite the fact that any expert in international law would advise that the Governor-General is Head of State, a diplomatic term which is not used in the Constitution, the Statute of Westminster or the Australia Acts.

And as a descriptive constitutional term term  who can go further than that bench of Founding Fathers  who in 1907 proclaimed the Governor-General to be the “Constitutional Head of the Commonwealth” and the Governor to be the “ Constitutional Head of State”?

….Mike Carlton's new bandwagon… 


In the same edition of the Herald the former talk show host Mike Carlton, has moved on to the “ We failed last time so let’s wait until the end of the reign” bandwagon:

"Here in Oz we will waste a fair bit of time raking over the republican debate. That right royal bore David Flint has already stuck his head up to blather, yet again, that the republican movement is dead. No, it's not. We will move to a republic after the Queen dies and Charles takes the crown."

No I didn’t, Mr. Carlton.

And no we won’t, for the reasons outlined here.


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