May 13

Republican arbiter of public virtue

Who appointed Robert Manne the arbiter of public virtue, asks Christian Kerr in The Spectator  (9/5).
Not so long ago ultra republican Manne condemned constitutional monarchists as liars and frauds because we have long argued the Governor-General is head of state. His reasons were based on an elementary error, one which an undergraduate researching the question would have discovered. Robert Manne is after all a professor of politics.

In any event the Australian Prime Minister recently did what constitutional monarchists do – he referred to the Governor-General was head of state. Professor Manne has heaped generous praise on the Prime Minister concerning unrelated matters. Professor Manne has not however not yet  denounced the Prime Minister over the head of state issue. 

In the meantime Professor Manne is in the news over The Monthly, the magazine which published the Prime Minister’s major summer term essay. Manne recently vetoed the editor’s decision to publish something from former Treasurer Peter Costello, a decision which led to the resignation of the editor.

The Australian, not noted for such generosity, gave him space for a rather limp explanation of his actions. The explanation  was similar to one in Crikey , whose founder used to publish anything on the basis that he would always publish a reply. That did not protect him from the litigious proclivities of one ALP politician. 

According to Christian Kerr, the magazine’s “commitment to independent thought has just taken an almighty walloping. And the blame for all this should be laid at the feet of that pompous ass Robert Manne."

….he "has form"…

"Manne has form on this," Christian Kerr writes in The Spectator (6/5).   "He came close to destroying a magazine once before: Quadrant. Will the Monthly survive? It looks touch and go. Gideon Haigh must have spoken for many contributors when he told publisher Morry Schwartz, ‘Sorry, Morry. I’ll never write another word for you.’ “


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