January 20

Nobody is interested

Launched in March 2009, The Making of Modern Australia is a cross-platform people's history of postwar Australia, declares the ABC site .

What began as an interactive website is now also a major four-part TV documentary series on ABC TV with a book of the same name, written by series narrator William McInnes.

The book featured in The Sydney Morning Herald (14/1), but only in the print edition.

The cover of its ‘Summer’ section carried a large photo of William McInnes with a pointer to a piece inside on mateship. That led to an extract from the book over two pages.

In it we learn that  Mr McInnes voted Yes in the 1999 republican referendum. But as with most people who voted yes, he says “ I’m in no hurry. Whatever we want.”

…lively discussion in a typical pub…about the Royal Family…

The extract includes a lively discussion in a country pub. It is mainly about the Royal Wedding, Prince Charles and The Queen. There is nothing hostile – just interest. It is typical.

Australians talk about the Royal Family in a friendly, knowledgeable way. I find people – outside of ACM – will often speak with authority on the Royal Family,  telling me all sorts of things about which I just would not know. They criticise individuals but rarely The Queen. They are more inclined to give advice.

Sometimes they preface there words with the comment  “I’m a republican, of course.”  

That means I don’t want you to think I am old fashioned but I rather like the monarchy and I am wary about the republican politicians.

…part of the Australian scene….


[continued below]

The point is the Royal Family are part of the Australian scene – part of most people’s virtual extended family. In any event, this pub discussion takes about one quarter of the extract.

And republicans say nobody’s interested in the monarchy.

Malcolm Turnbull was of course right when he wrote in his diary before the referendum: nobody’s interested.

Apart from a tiny minority, nobody’s interested in changing to some politicians’ republic.


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