Not since Gerry Adams came to Australia and called on the nation to vote yes in 1999, another foreigner, Sir Michael Parkinson, has told Australians they must change their constitution.
Best known in Australia for his altercation with an emu, the venerable Commander of the British Empire was only one part of the republican blitzkrieg for Australia Day.
The other was the attack on the Australian Flag and the Constitution coordinated between Ausflag and the Fairfax press.
Smarting from the rubbishing they received in their early launch of their Mate for a Head of State fiasco well before Australia Day, the republicans were careful this time to give no advance indication of their two attacks.
Apart from having a foreigner do their work, there is a time and place for such things, and there is a process which ought to be followed. On a day when most Australians are united in celebration, this is unnecessarily divisive.
Anyone who ventured forth among Australians on Australia day – beyond the rarefied atmosphere of those republican inner city salons in Melbourne and Sydney – would have found that Australians were flying and the younger ones wearing their beloved flag.
Why disturb that harmony?
And why be so half- baked?
Rather than a showing of a limp collection of beach towels, why not go away and come up with one decent design?
As with the Constitution, our elite republican flag changers can’t be bothered to do what is necessary to get to that point where they must persuade the people that their proposal is, as the Founders said of the referendum process, that it is “desirable , irresistible and inevitable.”
The reaction of the politicians was inevitable.
The principled rejected the proposal; the opportunists, guided by their spin doctors, agreed.