Just as the world's financial markets were in turmoil, shadow treasurer Julie Bishop was out campaigning …on how to turn Australia into another politicians' republic. What that has to do with her treasury portfolio is not clear.
But just when the Treasurer Wayne Swan was off to Washington to address the Group of 20, his shadow was going on about the one part of the constitution which works and works very well.
It’s not as if Australians are lying awake at night wondering how to get that politicians’ republic, even if it were to come with a bottomless glass of chardonnay.
We find it difficult to see how this ( a politicians' republic, not the chardonnay) fits into the treasury portfolio. That is a matter for Mr. Turnbull, who has put this into the " not to be reconsidered before 2025" file.
That aside, instead of working on how to avoid a recession or even a depression, Ms. Bishop chose to spend the evening addressing a movement who promised they wouldn’t be around after 1999, whatever the decision.
After all, that passionately republican commentator, David Marr, says the movement is “near comatose,” and the respected political commentator Lenore Taylor, says they are on life support. So why spend the evning with them instead of working on those Group of 20 and IMF briefs?
…making headlines…the wrong ones..
Saturday 11 October 2008 was not exactly the shadow treasurer’s day. She woke up to headlines about making “another gaffe,” as The Australian put it.
Christian Kerr, whose spectacular ascent from Crikey.com through The Australian to the rarefied atmosphere of The Spectator is only rivalled by Malcolm Turnbull’s, is keeping count of Ms. Bishop’s gaffes.
He says her latest – wrongly attributing something to the Prime Minister – was the third since she recently took over this crucial portfolio.
We have not seen any reports on Ms Bishop’s Canberra lecture.
But the last time she promoted a politicians’ republic she made the news in her home state.
The Post of 5 November 2005 reported her extraordinary prediction of a British republic "within a decade".
A "change of government in Britain, or a change of monarch, could lead to action."
She said a consistent factor in the discussion was Britain – whether to sever links to it, or retain them. ( Actually even the most vestigial links – ones the states had insisted on – were terminated twenty two years ago. All we have now is a personal union of the Canadian, New Zealand Australian British and other crowns.)
In 2005 Ms. Bishop said a new British government, not the Blair government, might take constitutional steps to make the links to Australia redundant withina decade. There are seven years left.
Even then she admitted republicans had still not worked out an acceptable model for an Australian republic.
Here's atip, Madame Shadow Treasurer. You have one already. It's a crowned republic
Anyway, The Post They put all this this under the dramatic headline, “BRITS WILL PUSH MOVE TO REPUBLIC, SAYS BISHOP”
Curiously the British media totally ignored what was the scoop of the century. A leading Australian tory predicts a United Kingdom republic by 2015.
We can hardly wait to see what she predicted in Canberra.
In the meantime Ms. Bishop has made much of the fact that her electorate voted in favour of the republican model in 1999. They must be lonely in that great state.
ACM’s Western Australian Convenor Neil Fearis wrote to the Post about this on 14 November 2005:
"Ms Bishop reflects on why the "Yes" vote in Curtin was so high. I would not be foolish enough to offer an explanation, but it might be interesting to examine, within each electorate, whether there is any correlation between the strength of republican sentiment and the level of chardonnay consumption.”