There was one cloud over the swearing in of our Governor-General on Friday, 5 September 2008.
After assuring us for years that the president in whatever republic they are secretly planning for Australia would be exactly the same as our Governor-General, the Australian Republican Movement’s official spokesman now dismisses the position as “silly.”
When it was pointed out that former Governors-General have actually received a pension since the seventies, and some support in discharging their various charitable and public activities in retirement, the Republican Movement spokesman Jason Falinski told The Daily Telegraph this was “another example of how silly that job has become."
Mr Falinski, who is seeking election on 13 September 2008 as Mayor of Sydney’s Warringah Council, did not reveal the other aspects of the role and function of our Head of State which he and the ARM deem “silly”.
Nor did he reveal how this silliness will be removed in the plans the Republican Movement has for some sort of politicians’ republic.
Those plans have been kept secret by the ARM in the decade since the referendum.
The ARM, it should be recalled promised before the referendum, they would close down whatever the decision.
(According to the NSW Electoral Commission, Mr Falinski declares he is a member of the Liberal Party, but does not mention the ARM. He is described as unaffiliated in the ballot. He declares that he will make Warringah a “beacon of hope in Australia“; all means of contacting him have been suppressed.)
…was this really the BBC?…
Then the BBC reported the swearing in this way:
“She ( the Governor-General) is thought to be a republican – that is to say she would like to see an Australian head of state, rather than the present constitutional arrangement, where Queen Elizabeth occupies that role. “
It is surprising that the BBC would report the event in this way. They should be more careful. Republicans are notorious for misleading the media in attributing republicanism to well known Australians.
Others have included the Leader of the Opposition Dr. Brendan Nelson and former National Party Leader, Mark Vaile ( see “Who is interested in The Queen and who is interested in a republic? “ 20 June 2006 ).
As to the Head of State, we wonder whether the BBC is aware of the ruling of the High Court of Australia on this , and the Balfour Declaration, on who is the Head of State.
This is just not up to the standards we have come to expect from the BBC.