With this ridiculous and embarrassing claim, the Australian Republican Movement has demonstrated it has well and truly lost the plot.
They dreamt up a story that The Queen had ordered Julia Gillard to bring on a republic to be announced at CHOGM in Perth. Then they say that because of this "scoop", Prince William called off the Australian honeymoon he and Catherine had never planned.
The ARM today is certainly not the one led by Malcolm Turnbull, who was close to Paul Keating, had a business like relationship with John Howard and was widely respected in political and media circles.
The ARM today is isolated. It does not share theestablishment position of not proceeding to a republic during the present reign.
The establishment republicans both in the parliament and in the media now have little to do with the ARM leadership.
It is not only that the movement is weaker and marginalised. To put it mildly, their behaviour is increasingly bizarre.
…stunts over studies….
Since the referendum the movement has preferred stunts over detailed proposals about their preferred republic or indeed their preferred new flag.
When Malcolm Turnbull was leader, we knew exactly what their preferred model was. In addition he openly supported an exhibition of new flags instead of pretending that the ARM had nothing to do with a new flag. ( Since then he has become a convert to our National Flag)
Instead the new ARM has offered an increasingly jaded and uninterested nation such stunts as the Mate for a Head of State fiasco.
…"bring on the debate" with the wedding…
Before the Royal Wedding, they were adamant that the republic debate should be brought on at the same time.
Immediately after the Royal Wedding a website controlled by the ARM vice chair media director ran an unbelievable story that The Queen had actually informed Prime Minister Julia Gillard that she welcomed Australia becoming a republic. Indeed they suggest she as much ordered Ms. Gillard to achieve this.This was so baseless we immediately put out a media release reminding journalists of The Queen’s position on this which was on the public record from before the referendum and which had been maintained consistently since then.
And as everyone knows, Her Majesty is not for turning.
Our media release was too late for the ABC’s Insiders programme on the Sunday morning (1/5), where one journalist seemed to treat this with some seriousness. We put this clip on YouTube which soon appeared on the republican site.
..ABC realises it was all fantasy…
By Monday morning the ABC had woken up to what was going on. So they called off an interview with the ARM about the story.
The republican site has since posted a story claiming that The Queen wishes to be “a proactive signatory and and participant in our Constitutional coming of age.”
They say Prime Minister Gillard planned to discuss this with “a small group of trusted advisors, and only then (to) call a special caucus meeting to discuss a plan of action before making any public announcement.”
…announcement of republic at CHOGM!…
.The plan was that an announcement we would become a republic would be made probably at CHOGM in October and thus “in the Queen’s presence.”
“ (It) would provide a perfect backdrop for the launch of the Australian Republic campaign — and would indicate there was no rancour over the matter as the Queen would be presented as an equal ‘partner’ in the conversion; it would be like an amicable divorce—joint custodians of a shared history.”
Continuing this fiction, the ARM media director’s site claims Prime Minister Gillard was “furious that her discussions with Britain were revealed.”.
“…there has been a concerted witch-hunt to establish the sources of the leaks since only a small number of insiders were initially aware of the project, ” we are told
The story gets even more improbable. They actually believe The Queen or her advisers actually read this republican site. No news services – including the ABC carried this story.
…claims Royalty Family take notice of this fantasy…
“The Queen was a bit peeved initially, I’m told, but is now not overly fussed at the revelations,” they claim
“Palace sources say she views the leak as typical of the inept way the matter continues to be mishandled by Australia.”
The most extraordinary part of the story is that because of this leak to the republican site is this.
“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were advised to cancel their Australian honeymoon.”
What are they consuming at ARM HQ?