Five years ago, just as The Queen of Australia was about to arrive, who else but the republican movement would decide to push their agenda?
But it was a curioulsy empty agenda. They refused to reveal what they want to do with the Constitution and the Flag.
They had had seven years since the referendum to work this out.
The extraordinary thing is that today, thirteen years since their landslide defeat in the referendum, nothing has changed.
The republican movement still won't reveal what they want.
Now the republican movement wouldn't dare march down the street to make their demands.
The reason is that both of their attempts to call for a public demonstration of support were disastrous failures. one was during the referendum, when you would have thought there might have been dome interest.
When ACM did, we filled Macquarie Street Sydney with one of the largest and most peaceful demonstrations seen in the city for years.
The point is that as Malcolm Turnbull admitted just before the referendum, nobody is interested in a politicians' republic.
But if the republicans were marching down the street, they would have to be be chanting:
" We want a republic….but we haven't the foggiest idea what sort of republic we want."
And " We want a new flag too.. but we haven't the foggiest idea what new flag we want….
(We do have some nice beach towels though…. and we have one flag from an ARM endorsed exhibition we would plead that you never ever reveal.)"
…what has changed?…
On the eve of The Queen's last homecoming, the Channel 9 Today programme convened the following debate between Australians for Constitutional Monarchy and the Australian Republican Movement.
This was broadcast on 13 March 2006.
Five years later, rather than their stunts, rather than their abuse, tainted as we have seen by racism, shouldn't the republican movement do the hard yards and tell the people what new republic and what new flag they are planning – or aren't they able to do even that?
As the Channel 7 compere told them when they launched their disastrous Mate for a Head of State campaign, until you explain what you want, nobody will take any notice of you.