It is beginning to dawn on the commentariat that the republicans have no hope of persuading Australians that they should throw out our remarkably successful constitutional system.
Fairfax/ABC journalist David Marr admits as much in The Sydney Morning Herald, 5-6 November, 2005, but assumes rank and file Australians are actually interested in the issue.
They are not.
Most republicans know this, and have long resorted to a strategy of trying to keep republicanism in the news by a series of stunts.
The sense of desperation and hopelessness that now pervades republican circles means that some of the stunts are infantile and worse, tedious.
For example, the silly demand The Queen “give back” the Tom Roberts painting that hangs on permanent loan in Parliament House Canberra.
They might have also asked Her Majesty to give back all Crown land!
The republican movement has already announced they will try to politicize the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
Do they really think that will endear them to Australians?
And now, Fairfax commentator, Peter FitzSimons, breathlessly reveals in the Sun Herald 6 November, 2005 "a top secret breakfast" attended by republicans in Phillip Street recently. (That is where most of Sydney’s barristers have their chambers.)
Apparently they planning a “big thing in January, just before Australia Day.”
Mr Fitzsimons, (by the way, apologies for misspelling your name last time) this is entirely predictable.
What will they do – decorate Queen Victoria’s statue with, say, Eureka flags, as we schoolboys used to do to Apollo Belvedere’s statue at the end of term? (Not with Eureka flags)
The stunt will predictably feature in the republican media, but be completely ignored by the rank and file.
Until next time,