In the April May issue of the magazine for seniors, 50 Something, Rosemary Desmond talks with journalist, author and prominent republican flag changer Peter FitzSimons. On one page there’s a very nice full page photograph of Peter FitzSimons and his family outside Mawson’s house in Antarctica.
Among the questions are “You’ve interviewed every Australian Prime Minister from Gough Whitlam to Julia Gillard. Who was the most s memorable and why?”
Peter FitzSimons chooses Gough Whitlam and Paul Keating who is “an absolute standout…. He put us on the road to a republic, even though we have not yet achieved it.”
Another question is the inevitable one, whether, after the end of the reign, Australia will become a republic.
‘We have to become a republic.…tomorrow,” he insists. “ I find it completely ludicrous that in the 21st century, we are still stuffing around with system that has an English woman is the head of state,” ignoring the fact that the Governor–General is head of state.
He says he would simply “change one thing. The Prime Minister selects the Governor- General and instead of getting the Queen to sign off on that, we should get the Australian Parliament to sign off on it and everything proceeds as before.”
But, Mr FitzSimons, millions and millions of dollars of taxpayers funds were diverted from such matters as yet schools and hospitals for the republicans to come up with me he will be made with just that model. Most of the politicians and the media barracked for it in the referendum but when it actually went to the vote, it was rejected nationally, in every state, and in 72% of electorates.
You might as well flush the millions and millions of dollars this will cost down the drain. But the republicans won't be paying. Once again it will be the taxpayers. The republicans have been very smart int pushing their costs onto the taxpayer. To date there have been twelve – twelve- votes and inquiries.
And if you read my 1999 book Cane Toad Republic, Mr. FitzSimons, you’ll see that whenever the same question has been put again in a referendum – even up to 5 times – the people have never changed their mind.
Mr FitzSimons makes two other points. Just like the former New South Wales Premier now Foreign Minister Bob Carr, he’d have the President still called Governor-General at least at the beginning. Bob Carr it isn’t a good person to follow in matters concerning the Crown. He made the disastrous error of turfing the Governor out of Government House.
This was so very unpopular Paul Keating blames it for his losing the 1996 election.
The other point is that he still wants to get rid of our Flag. He points out he is on the board of the Aussie flag trashers, AUSFLAG. Knowing the Australian people just don’t want to change their flag, their latest strategy is to try and slip in a separate sporting flag for the Olympics, the Ashes and things like that.
Nobody has fallen for that.