February 2

Philip Adams: Heed the PM’s advice- study Australian history


Mr. Philip Adams, the passionate republican commentator, is obviously in need of the sort of history lessons the Prime Minister recently proposed.  This is obvious from his recent piece,"Creative possies for used pollies", The Australian, 31 January, 2006: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,17985957%255E12272,00.html

He says Mr. Howard, to head off any challenge from Mr. Costello, should follow the example of Sir Robert Menzies when he recommended that Richard Casey be appointed as Governor- General.

There are three flaws in Mr. Adams proposal.

First, Casey was not Menzies’ first choice. That was war hero Admiral Sir John Collins, who actually declined the appointment.

Second, he had been ennobled as Lord Casey.To have an Australian Prime Minister based in the House of Lords, rather than the House of Representatives would be constitutionally possible for a short period, but politically impossible. Even the Australian Senate is not an acceptable base for the prime minister-consider the case of John Gorton.

Finally, Casey had been out of politics for five years. So how could he possibly challenge Menzies?

While in politics, Casey was never a serious challenger of Menzies, either in the Liberal Party or its predecessor, the UAP. In 1956, he was defeated by Harold Holt in the first ballot for the deputy leadership of the Liberal Party.

Apart from his failings in Australian history, Mr. Adams could heed the call for a return to courtesy recently proposed by NSW Chief Justice Spigelman.

Mr Adam’s attempt to insult the present Governor-General, Major General Jeffrey, who has served Australia well in peace and in war, was both infantile and ineffective.

Link to Philip Adam’s piece


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