Pity our Australian republicans.
They are used to the media being on side. This was especially so in the referendum campaign. As that most distinguished British editor Lord Deedes observed in the London Daily Telegraph on 8 November, 1999:
“I have rarely attended elections in any country, certainly not a democratic one, in which the newspapers have displayed more shameless bias. One and all, they determined that Australians should have a republic and they used every device towards that end.”
His conclusion was supported by Dr Nancy Stone’s exhaustive survey of two representative serious media outlets.
…change in the air..
But change is in the air. You can just imagine them getting indigestion over breakfast over some of the things being said in the media as the opportunist republican politicians now say,” Not in this reign”.
They can all read the many spin doctors reports on polling and focus groups which are telling them “Just don’t go there.” And of course the likelihood is that most of them will no longer be in Parliament then.
…hereditary principle returns- or did it ever go away?…
A piece by Ben Chu – no monarchist he – in the Sun Herald colour magazine on 6 February, 2011 must have been particularly upsetting for the republican high command.
Reprinted from The Independent (19/1) it is “The hereditary principle: family fortunes. ”
A fascination with romantic royals and celebrity dynasties might seem innocent, but it reveals that the hereditary principle is still shaping our society, he argues.
Now I certainly don’t agree with everything Mr. Chu writes. His and many other journalists' and politicians' conversions suggest a wind of change is sweeping across the media and especially through the realms.
…drowning in royalism…
We are drowning in royalism, he writes.
First came the gush of national enthusiasm at the announcement of the impending nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Then we were drenched in critical acclaim and publicity for The King's Speech.
By the time the royal wedding comes around in April, our heads will be well and truly under monarchist water.Resistance against this royal resurgence seems to be futile.
The Labour MP Keith Vaz yesterday tabled a bill in the House of Commons to scrap the law of primogeniture, which guarantees male heirs to the throne automatic preference over their elder sisters.
The chances of this reforming legislation being passed are as great as seeing a guillotine erected in front of Buckingham Palace in the near future. The cultural manifestations of royalism are perhaps the most powerful.
The King's Speech is a tale of how the Duke of York (the future King George VI), played by Colin Firth, tackled his debilitating stammer in the inter-war years with the help of an Australian speech therapist.
The critics are right: Tom Hooper's film is an expertly crafted piece of cinema with some fine performances. But it is also unadulterated royal propaganda. The Duke and his wife, the future Queen Mother, are presented as aloof but also witty and, at heart, warm.
The film ends with the new monarch, having tamed his stammer, successfully rallying the British Empire in a 1939 radio broadcast for a conflict against Nazism. We are informed in the final words of the movie that King George VI became "a symbol of national resistance" throughout the war.
So never mind Winston Churchill (a bit-part player in the film). It was the Royals wot won it!
Actually for those who were alive then in Australia, The King and The Queen were very much symbols of national and Commonwealth resistance from the beginning of the war, when we were so alone, until the very end.
The republican eltes sometimes find this difficult to accept.
In one ABC docudrama, the historical fact that the soldiers had on a particularly occasion sung God Save The King in a courageous act of defiance to the Japanese Army was suppressed.
The proof of the nation's deep respect for their King was that the country was thrown into deep mourning on his untimely demise.